Johnny Ward left home with empty pockets to make his mark on the world. A decade later, the Irish blogger has made an unbelievable $1.5 million from writing about his travels. Oh, and he’s been to every country on earth.
“I travel because [it] teaches us gratitude, empathy, appreciation and humility,” he writes. “And of course it’s fun. Outrageous fun.”
Ward writes on his website, One Step 4Ward, that he didn’t really have a plan when he hit the road, but he knew a 9-to-5 gig in an office would never cut it for him. So after graduating from university, he came to the U.S. for a bit, then went to Asia, making minimal cash teaching but taking breaks to travel as often as possible.
Once he learned that blogging could be a way to make money while traveling, he knew this would be his new job.
And just like that an epic trip of a lifetime is over. Flying to Bangkok, Thailand this morning. Riding tuktuks around Sri Lanka on Large minority Travel's 'Lanka Challenge' was nothing short of amazing. 1000+km, learning to drive this little beauty through breathtaking mountain passes, around temples, through rural Sri Lanka, around rice paddies, national parks and lakes with 2 friends really was something special. Travel should be adventure, you should get to experience the beauty of the country you're privileged enough to be visiting, and there was no better way to do it than this. Combined with the donations and projects that they work on, the daily 'challenges' allocated to each time really throw you into some crazy experiences. I'm not normally one for group tours, as you guys know, but this was just a mind-changing trip. Super fun, true epic adventure, a dash of luxury, new friends, giving something back and an indepth taste of beautiful, beautiful Sri Lanka. A country where friendliness and kindness are a national trait. I'll be back here soon, and I'm already signing up for the next epic adventure with these guys. Racing boats around the Philippines in September or April anyone? ❤️🇵🇭 #adventuretravel #lankachallenge #lankachallenge17 #largeminority #onestep4ward #srilanka
Ad Sales And Tons Of Content
Ward says learning to monetize websites was the key to his success as a travel blogger. He writes about his business experiences on One Step 4Ward, providing valuable guidance for aspiring travel bloggers. He said he was shocked to see an advertisement inquiry one day soon after launching his blog in 2010.
“Within six months I was making $500 a month, another three or four months, it was $1000,” he writes.
He realized how well one website was doing, so Ward says he decided to double down and create more sites for more earning potential. By 2015, he had more than 100 sites, and the non-techy businessman hired a web expert, writers and SEO experts to keep everything going. Even though life was getting busy, he was still able to focus on his first love: constant traveling.
“At no point did I get an office, and no point did I require anyone to report their hours to me,” Ward writes. “We all worked from our laptops, all trusted each other, and all got along as friends. Digital nomads, all of us.”
Every Country On Earth
Earlier this year, Ward completed his goal of seeing every country in the world. He saved Norway for last because it’s close to (or at least on the same continent as) where he grew up and he could have a celebration there with loved ones.
And when he wants to sleep in his own bed for a week or two? Ward just returns to Thailand where he has a condo he bought with cash from his travel blog earnings.