Backpack, credit cards, passport and laptop

The laptop or notebook as it must be called now is definetly becoming more and more popular as a travel accessory with the intrepid World traveller.

I certainly thought that was the case in Southeast Asia but the same is true of New Zealand as well. I have a free wifi connection where I am staying so I am often sitting around the dining area of the hostel with my laptop. Quite often another traveller will come up to me and ask if I have a connection and then produce a laptop and share the bandwidth.

I posted the many useful reasons for travelling with a laptop before and I believe it is definetly worth the extra weight.

My main problem has been battery life with my current Dell Inspiron. Getting near an electricity point and being in a wifi zone is one of the biggest challenges the working nomad faces!

Perhaps if things continue to go well I might by one of the new Sony Vaios that promise 7 hours battery life. I’ll believe that when I see it!

So a minor annoyance for me is that I’ll be right in the mid

Working Nomad questions and answers part one

I am going to start a questions and answers theme for a few weeks after a suggestion made on one of my posts. This should give you a good idea where I am and what I have been doing. The first part will focus on the work side of things.

I am still in Auckland and it looks like summer has finally arrived along with some extreme humidity!

How much time you spend working (and looking for a place to work for free)

Ok I am currently working quite a bit more than before. The hostel I am staying at has a free wifi connection 🙂 and I figure I am spending 2 hours online and 1 or 2 hours actually creating content / making changes (daily).

So I have no issues looking for free places to work. Overall New Zealand is not a patch on Asia when it comes to free wifi. It seems very rare here and the actual cost of wifi in cafes is 5 times what an Internet cafe charges in some cases. Internet cafes in Auckland are generally NZ$ 2 an hour which is pretty good though.

What sorts of things you are doing with your websites?

Well I have not created any new websites for a while now. What I am trying to do is manage the dozen sites by adding new content. I have learnt that it is better to leave older pages alone unless there needs to be a change made. I do not change TITLE or META tags anymore like I used to. I am finding this is working well with the search engines as they seem to like stable pages.

I am constantly scanning for keywords to find more niches though. There is definetly a correlation between me taking keywords seriously and my increasing income.

Thanking the Google Gods not the Yahoo Yahwehs

Me and Car on Car FerryJanuary has seen a spectacular start to 2007 for the Working Nomad. Most of my sites traffic seemed to plummit in December but I hung in there and kept working away and now I am seeing the benefit.

In terms of search engine traffic I get very little from Yahoo. Indeed I never have got much from them – luckily Google dominates the search engine market and while things stay as they are then long may Google rule!

The only site that gets decent Yahoo traffic is one that has never had Adsense on. Go figure!

Quick update from Taranaki

I drove down to the Taranaki area of the North Island yesterday and have spent most of the day surfing the famous Fitzroy Beach, until the cold water gave me cramp!

I am off tomorrow for some overnight trekking around the spectacular Mt Taranaki volcano before heading back to Auckland at the weekend.

January has been excellent so far and I could be back in record month territory after a few months away!

Turning a corner… slowly.

Hey guys,

It’s been ages since I’ve updated on my progress but it seems like a lot has happened lately. December was a great month with a couple of discoveries – Linkworth and selling text links directly. I sold one Linkworth link in December for $20/month (before the %25 cut) and decided to up my price to $30 and just got an email today saying I’ve sold another.

Selling links directly has helped me rake it in over the past few weeks. It’s great motivation to get back to basics by focusing on, my main site with the best content, most traffic and highest PR that is therefore the most appealling to people looking to buy links.

Adsense was under $100 yet again for December but has picked up loads in January and if I don’t finally break that $100 mark this month I’ll be surprised. Plus I’ve sold a couple of t-shirts! My niche site which I built for an event coming up on February 3rd has let me down severely in the Adsense and affiliate departments (despite getting pretty good traffic and pageviews of 150+ and 400+ daily respectively) but I’ve managed to offload a couple shirts in a couple days for a whopping $6 in profit. Not much but it’s always nice to get that first sale to know a program actually works!

Speaking of which… I bought some travel insurance via an affiliate link (through Clix Galore) on one of my sites and have yet to see any commission reported. That’s a bit of a concern, especially since the people at the insurance company have been pretty slack at getting back to me. Oh and one more thing… I just realised last week that my affiliate program was a bit wonky making bookings through my site impossible. It’s fixed now and has never been a major earner but it’s still frustrating. I’m up to about $170 with them at the moment too so every sale, no matter how small or few and far between, will push me towards the $200 payout and losing two months sucks big ones.

That’s all for now,

Finding the balance between being settled and nomadic

I am still in Auckland and happy with my decision to come to NZ again and stay aound for a while. Staying in a backpackers hostel gives me the flexability to go away for a week or so which I will be doing next week.

I also have free wifi access here and I am based right in the central business district. My only issue is having to leave my car in the suburbs as the parking is very tight and expensive.

I have forged together a nice group of friends who are all mainly travellers and are working in Auckland. Meeting locals is ok as I have got to know the hostel workers and their mates pretty well.

I am attending weekly Spanish lessons starting next Monday which might give you a hint as to where I am planning to head after NZ.

Earnings report for Dec 06

December started horribly and I had a number of my worse days for well over a year but somehow I managed to recover, basically from Christmas day onwards which is strange! I expected the Christmas period to be worse not better.

Anyway my earnings for the month came in at a little under GBP 1800 or USD 3500. At one point I didn’t think I’d make 4 figures!

The good run of fortune has continued into Jan and it’s looking like being a good month. I am feeling quite motivated again and have been putting in the hours recently.

For anyone who is interested I worked out my earnings for 2006 and they came in at a little under GBP 22,000 or USD 42,500 which is not bad for a beach bum I suppose 🙂

Happy new year from the Far North

I am in Kaitai at the top of the North Island about to head off to look at some big trees, the Kauri that can have a base of 5m across. Photos will follow.

Had an enjoyable time in the Bay of Islands over New Year but it was very hectic there. New Years Eve midnight was spent on the beach watching fireworks which was cool.

After a shocking first three weeks of the month I have made quite a recovery on the web earnings front and December will hopefully not be too bad. An eanrings report for the month and 2006 will be updated soon.