Wednesday 23 May 2018

'If I can do it, anyone can' - Meet the Co. Down man who became a millionaire by visiting every country in the world

Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Mark McConville

Mark McConville

Johnny Ward (33) from Co Down, Northern Ireland, spent ten years travelling the world and became a self-made millionaire along the way.

How? By blogging as he travelled.

"I don't come from a family with money. I'm not a rich kid who decided they wanted to travel," Johnny told Independent.ie.

"At the start, I didn't have enough money for a plane ticket so I signed up and did some medical research. That made me around €2,000 - €3,000 - enough to set off on my journey."

"I travelled to Thailand and taught English for a while when my money was running out and I was living off around €5 a day," he continues.

"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, and heard people were making money blogging. So I started blogging about my travels and it all began from there."

Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward

The money quickly started rolling in.

"My first blog I got paid for made €80, and thought it was amazing. Then I started to make around €5,000-€6,000 a month, and it started snowballing from there."

"If I can do it, anyone can do it".

So how exactly did Johnny generate so much cash from his travels? Here, he shares his tips with Independent.ie.

How can I start making money while I travel?

"The Internet. The idea most people have when travelling is to save up enough money to travel for a certain length of time."

"In fact, working while you travel is the key. It's a change of mindset."

As you travel, for example, you can sell stuff online or teach English on Skype, Johnny says (he even traded currencies). The key is to generate money as you go, he says, rather than saving like mad beforehand. "The mindset needs to change."

Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward

What about travel blogs? How can they make money?

"99.9pc of people don't get paid to travel," Johnny says.

"You travel to create the content and once you have the content you can create the blog/videos to then sell to places that would be interested. That then generates money to your blog."

He recommends starting a blog on places you travel, keeping note of all that you are doing. For this, you will need a domain name and web hosting - he recommends buying your own domain and paying someone to build the site, as it will stand out more.

Standing out, of course, makes it easier to sell ads.

"Once you start building your profile then it becomes easier to sell. But unless you're a big name on social media etc, you won't get paid to travel," he adds.

Johnny had to blog constantly for a year before he was approached for content. Lots of people post content for a few months and then get discouraged, he says. But one of the keys is sticking with it, and building up that content base.

"You need a lot of followers really to get people to notice you that way."

Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward
Johnny Ward, Onestep4ward

What's your favourite place in Ireland?

I spent two weeks road tripping in Ireland last year and it really is a beautiful country. I loved Inis Mór in the Aran Islands, and Slieve league in Donegal. The Cliffs of Moher are stunning, and I saw the Dark Hedges (in Northern Ireland) for the first time as well.

What are your future plans?

"How many countries are there in the the world? It's kind of complicated, but I call it 197 and I've been to them all."

"When it comes to making money from my travelling now, I choose where I want to go. I do it because I love travelling and I make my own plans."

"If I'm able to make money off what I love doing then great."

Johnny also runs the charity fund givebackgiveaway.com, which helps build playgrounds for disadvantaged kids in the Philippines, India, Tanzania and Nicaragua.

Read more:

21 tips from Ireland's savviest travellers - make a real difference to your next trip!

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