Once again we are thinking of sources of income for our subscribers who are interested in living overseas.

For a retiree with documentable income it isn’t difficult to relocate overseas. But for our young subscribers, it can be daunting. So many really want to diversify into our area–or elsewhere–but they have to qualify on the basis of income and many have a family.

But this is not only for them. As our long-time subscribers know, we don’t trust government retirement in any bankrupt country–which includes most of them. Living in Chile is a rare exception and undoubtedly there are a few others. In any case, we recommend doing what it takes to establish an additional stream of income. And, if possible, more than one.

We also like to see people doing what they love. Today we are writing about the opportunity offered by the Internet. We realize that the Internet may well not be for everyone. Some people like to spend their time outdoors, or like to work with mechanics, or like to fish, or take an old house and make it like new, or even work on tax returns (yuck! But someone has to do it and, to our utter amazement, some people actually like it!)

But you can do that AND do an online magazine. Once you get it established it only takes a few hours a week to maintain. We think that if you do what you love you’re probably going to be successful.

Having said all that, we believe the Internet is the modern day Wild West of opportunity. We have heard people say it’s already overcrowded but that’s far from the truth. It is just getting started good.

Lots of people prefer to shop online, including your editor. Business analysts tell us that the big mistake that caused the Borders book giant to go under while Barnes and Noble prospered was that Borders focused on merchandise and Barnes and Noble went into electronic products. That should tell us something!

We have published stories in the past of different people we know, personally, who have established a very nice lifestyle for themselves through blogs and web sites. But today we want to give  you some concrete ideas. We hope that as you read and think about them, it will even help you to come up with ideas of your own. We are expecting some very difficult times economically but we still think there is time–AND we believe there will be a lot of opportunity for those who are prepared.

If you are still in your home country you can start an online business now. There is a learning curve, of course, but once you learn, you can build any number of web sites. We know one very successful couple who has over forty web sites. They tell us that they get up every morning and check the computer to see how much money they made during the night.

This is not to say you can get rich quick with the Internet. It is to say that opportunity in the field amazes us. Not only that, if you have a moderate knowledge of Spanish, this industry is just getting off the ground in South America. If you have the basics of Spanish, but are not at the level of grammatically correct, you can get a translator to put your work into proper form at low cost.

This is a business you can do without employees and you can do it anywhere you happen to hang your hat as long as you have a laptop and an Internet connection  And in fact, for those mentioned earlier who like working outside, with a laptop, you can even do that.

You can even farm out the parts of your business that you don’t enjoy. This is a business you can operate without employees. But there are also low cost services that will handle the parts of your business that you like the least or where specialized talent is required. You can get bookcovers designed, graphic art, editing, translation, writing, video editing, marketing and promotion, and other services.  Check the following web sites as examples.

Fiverr.com  
Odesk.com

Now, for ways to earn online: The following are successful businesses that we know about.

  1.  You can build a content site and sign up for google ads. You don’t have to do much more than that as far as marketing for ads is concerned. Google puts the ads on your site and pays you for every visitor who clicks on one. We know one man who has, over the years, established 200 such sites and lives very well on the income.
  2. A web site that lists temporary and permanent rentals. The advertiser is charged for the ads, plus you can carry other advertising. We are personally acquainted with this entrepreneur. His family business has developed to the point where the son, who lives in a different country altogether (Japan) has joined in the business. As the parents retire, the son will operate the business and provide extra income for them as well as for his own family. That is, if they ever stop working. With the internet capability, you wouldn’t even have to be in the country you are promoting.
  3. Building web sites for other businesses and marketing for them. We know one man who does that for several businesses.
  4. Selling your own products. One man we know not only sells his own stuff, if he publishes an issue promoting your real estate for sale he charges $2,000 for a single mailing. He has built a very large mailing list, which is the secret. That couple are multimillionaires from their publishing business.
  5. Another man buys product and then sells online. Last we talked to him  he had ordered a lot of name brand tennis shoes and was selling them online. In that case he has to fill the orders and mail them himself. His business is relatively new but he tells us he is up to $1,000 a month profit so far. This is a retiree who, like us here at Four Flags Journal, is taking the precaution of building other streams of income.
  6. Affiliate marketing. As an affiliate you sell the product but you don’t handle it. It is shipped by the producer but you receive a commission.
  7. Publishing other people’s newsletters. In that case you build their subscriber list and handle everything but the writing and you receive 70% of the profit. For those who are familiar with Bill Bonner of Agora, the largest financial newsletter publisher in the United States, is it any wonder that he is a billionaire?
  8. Social marketing–maintaining social media for companies, such as commercial Facebook pages, etc. Do you spend time on Facebook or Twitter. You might especially like this.
  9. Although this is a little different from those listed, in the case of one couple, the man was an accomplished artist. Their idea was to publish children’s books teaching kids how to draw. They developed a very successful business. However, they also publish in hard back. One of their major customer bases is home school families.  Their business is not solely online. However, if you should decide on publishing books, there are fulfillment companies in the U.S. that will publish and distribute your hard back books.This couple is in Uruguay.
  10. Publishing an online magazine for which you charge a subscription fee for access to the information.

Really the opportunities are unlimited. All of this complies with our guideline of doing what you love because if you develop web sites of your own,  you can choose subjects that you really enjoy. Is it golf? Is it firearms and related products? Is it archaeology? Is it history?

You say yes, but I have no idea how to do all that. How could I ever learn?

Well, we thought of that too. Four Flags Journal is offering a course in building an online business. We’re offering an ebook that will tell you all that is involved. For future reference, if we recommend any product, it is only because we are familiar with it and think it is worthwhile for our subscribers. We won’t recommend it otherwise. If it is a paid advertisement, and we are not personally familiar with the item, we will indicate that it is an advertisement. If we recommend it, then we have personal knowledge.

The course we offer is one that we have taken ourselves. The instructor and coach, Mary Ellen Tribby was publisher first for Bill Bonner of Agora as well as other publishers and it would be impossible to find anyone more qualified from whom you can learn. You will cover all the steps for building an online business. She also does an online conference call monthly and will look at your work and tell you what you need to do to make it great.

You can get the free ebook HERE. And if you have questions, we’re happy to answer. And here’s to your fantastic success!

Arlean

Notes: Why Borders Failed While Barnes and Noble Suervived

We here at Four Flags Journal wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will not publish next week but we hope to see you again after the New Year!

Arlean