Question of the day - How do we make money on this journey?

New feature on the blog: Questions and Answers. We get plenty of emails sent to us every week and we regret that we can't answer them all in person. A way for us to give you our view on some of the most common inquiries is to publish some questions here, so that all of you can take part of our thoughts.

First question out today is an email that was sent to us for a couple of days ago. Here it goes:

Hi. I'm an Italian sailor and I love follow your tour around the world.
I feel you like some friends that send me postcards... and I can see these postcards on your blog.

I'm glad to know that the tour is not only like a long cruise: little problems , decisions, works, etc... all this things give spice to the boat life. I feel you are not bored!!!!

I have an ordinary question and doubt. How can you make money? A tour is expensive: hotel, dinner, boat maintenance, and other things.

Can you give me an answer? I will not wait for a very private explaination , but a simple answer about the way you make money. Charter? You are consuming your personal money? Photos?

Best Wind
by Luca

Thank you for your email Luca. This is a very frequent wondering among our readers and I remember we touched the subject quite briefly for a couple of months ago, but here it goes again in more specific details. 

Luca didn't ask how we saved up for this tour so that we can keep for another time, but just shortly: When we had decided that we wanted to sail around the world, we made sure to sell off a lot of our personal belongings. We also juggled around with some savings and made clear that we had cash enough to upgrade the boat to perfection and also to be able to live on the boat for 1,5-2 years. We did spend more than we originally planned for during the first year out, but we do still have some savings left for an additional year or so. Now we don't have any bank loans or mortgages at all so this makes life one step easier for us. We made sure to pay off what was needed before we set off on this tour and we also made sure to upgrade and equip the boat to utter perfection so that we didn't have to deal with sudden failures or unpleasant maintenance for a long time to come.

Since our original plan, that was to sail only for around two years, have been changed to sail indefinitely and for as long as we still love and enjoy this amazing freedom, we need to make sure that we get in cash during the time to be able to maintain this liberating way of living. I think I said it before but it suits to mention it here again; this life and this tour is not a vacation only for us, it's a lifestyle and our everyday life - and we need to make sure it is sustainable for as long as we still enjoy it. The ways to make money differs quite a lot to what we would have done back home on land, but we do what we have the time and the possibility to do and as long as we feel good and happy with that, we will continue in a similar way.

The main importance in life right now is to be free from stress, free from obligations and normal life obstacles and to enjoy the world, the places we get to see and unlimited time with each other. And as our everyday needs have drastically decreased during this first year on the sea, so have also the amount of money that we need to be happy. It is definitely easier to feel fulfilled for a low cost on the sea and in connection to the nature, than it is back home in the big city life on land. We are also very glad that we no longer (well currently at least) are part of the wheal of consumption that is so easy to get tangled up in on life on solid ground.

These are the ways we have made money since we left our home in Barcelona for nine months ago:

- The blog. Having an independent blog that hits around 150.000 page views and 90.000-120.000 unique visitors every month, we now have the possibility to get paid for this story that we have published online. There are several different types of advertisements and sponsorships that appears on this website and I have found a good strategy for what brings in relatively OK amount of incomes every month. We do get a lot of inquiries from companies that wish to send us free stuff for us to promote on the blog, and while that is fun at times depending on what things they offer, it is also of significant importance that our partnerships brings in some real money. This blog is definitely both business and pleasure to me and they both need each other for me to be engaged to it, to this extent. I'm sure you already figured it out, but I spend quite some time on this site and things in relation to it. Something like 2-6 hours are spent every day on this blog, sometimes even more, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have been online this much if it didn't give me at least some type of payment. This blog is my true passion, a great part of my life, a fantastic way for me to share what I love, it is my baby that I love nurturing and improving with every day that pass, but it is also the greatest source of income for me at the moment and the business side of it is almost equally important as is my personal interest in it. And as I know that many of you love numbers, I can reveal that I currently make somewhere between $500-1000/month on collaborations and partnerships through this blog. That's not a lot, but it helps, and I hope to be able to increase this with time.

- Alex skills. Besides of Alex being a skipper who occasionally takes on shorter yacht deliveries for some good extra incomes I also think I might have told you that Alex is one handy man. I'm not only talking about mounting furniture's bought in IKEA or fixing with simple mechanics of the engine - no, this man is particularly skilled when it comes to composite work (carbon and fiberglass), woodwork and whatever else you can think of that has to do with boats and other handcrafted things. He could basically get a job at any famous boatbuilder in the world with his knowledge and expertise and he has decided to take on shorter projects when there is time and space for it, if the money is right. On the projects he's been doing so far, he have made well enough for us to live on and to top up our savings during the very same time. I was not aware of his skills to this extent before we left and I was confused when he first told me that he might be willing to do some work on other boats, one week per month or so - Work on boats?? But you're a mastering engineer! - but I have with time found out that he loves the art of building and he also has a fucking gold mine in his hands. Literally. Pretty good to know for the day when our savings might be gone and vanished, if we are not yet ready to get back to the normal world that is.

- My photography. I sell some of my photos from this blog to both private and professional clients, information on this can be found here. This has proved to be a very popular thing and I wish that I will continue to have the time (and the clients!) for it for time to come. I have also been in touch with various sailing/travel magazines for publishing my photos in their publications, but I must admit that I have been extremely lazy in sending in samples and portfolios like they've requested. I maybe should be more active on this part, but on the other hand it is a tough industry where you have to work your ass off to be seen and published, the payment is quite low for photos nowadays and also I really do hate to have to promote my creativity as I believe that it all should come out naturally. With this blog on the other hand, I do already see a good future potential and a profit and with the blog I'm also free to work in my own tempo, on my own conditions and the photography shown here pays off in other ways, indirectly. I also do simpler web design and I design blogs for private clients from time to time.

- Sponsoring. Again, when having such a large blog (large in visitors), you will get companies interested in being seen on your website. Because of this we get loads of things for free or for a discounted price. Hotel nights, clothes, boat equipment, marina visits .. you name it. This is a great way for companies to be seen on our website and a good way for us to have some fun without spending too much of money. We are very restrictive though. We do not let just anything come up on our site, and only the things and services that we could consider spending our own money on will have the chance to be connected with our blog. We love working with the places and brands that we had the chance to work with in the past and we do hope to get more of these for the future. It's one of those great win-win deals you can establish if you have a niched blog like ours and one of the benefits I love with the whole social media industry that I've been working with for the past five-six years now.

We are fortunate that we have our creative skills that can give us a bit of extra incomes along the way, but even without it I'm sure we would be able to spend a good time with only our savings for at least a couple of years around the world. I will get back to you one day soon with more specific calculations on how to save up for a journey like this and what are the budgets and so on, but this post is too long as it is already so let's wait with that for another day. Let us know if you have any additional questions on this subject.