November 10, 2019

What does FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early and Starting an Online Business have in common?

The Barefoot Investor or FIRE movement might be exactly why you are looking at starting an online business. Financial Independence Retire Early and Starting an Online Business have some pretty strong connections.

If you haven’t come across the FIRE movement, check out this ABC news article here. The Aussie Firebug also has lots of great information and is this month’s online business case study.

The Back Story:

Inspired by a blogger, called Aussie Firebug to increase my income, Your Online Journey was created.

Having started and sold my digital marketing agency Get Online Australia Digital Marketing, I was in a full time job in  marcomms. Enjoying the perks of employment is great (paid holidays!), but I missed having an online business. The autonomy, freedom, challenge, growth and constant learning of an online business are major drawcards for me. Its also an investment in my future financial goals and an opportunity to help others with theirs.

The FIRE movement caught my eye. Having read the Barefoot Investor (highly recommend), one of his strategies for wealth creation is what’s become popularly known as a side hustle. Having an online business is a great side hustle! My brain was firing with ideas!

An online business is a great side hustle, if its done well, it can greatly help you on your path to Financial Independence by boosting your income.

How does the FIRE movement help your goals for starting an online business?

Barefoot Investor and FIRE have a few things in common, mainly a

  • focus on wealth creation
  • helping Australians be financially sustainable in retirement
  • practical tips and a supportive community to help you achieve your goals

They take different approaches to achieve it but increasing your income, so that you can save more is a key focus.

The FIRE movement is about saving as much of your income as possible – 70% ideally (apologies if you just choked on your sandwich).

There is a lot of frugality to achieve that! Or, you increase your income to boost your savings (both Barefoot and FIRE focus on this).

There are some great communities around the FIRE movement that share their tips for both being frugal and also increasing income. The classic side hustle or online business is a recurring theme.

Our Case Study: Aussie Firebug’s Online Blog

Aussie Firebug is a great case study for how you can design and start your online business to suit your interests and contribute to your long term goals.

Uber transparent monthly posts shows his progress and journey to financial freedom. The contribution his blog makes to those fnancial goals is also included in these updates.

Aussie Firebug has a super strong ‘why’ created by his desire for early retirement. In businesses and organsiations of every size, you need business objectives and goals. Strategies and actions then help you achieve them.

To achieve FIRE :

  • Work out your retirement number, the net worth you need to Retire Early (your objective)
  • Create a series of goals (short, mid and long term) that you will need to achieve to reach your objective
  • Put in place the strategies you need to achieve your goals (and ultimately your objective)

Part of Aussie Firebug’s strategy to achieve early retirement was starting a blog. That blog has helped in a few ways:

  • Ability to learn more and become and expert in an area of great interest to him
  • Assists in reaching goals by creating a level of accountability
  • Asssist in reach goals by providing additional income
  • Aussie Firebug states how much it has assisted him, by having feedback and advice from others in the community that follow his progress

What’s to love about this strategy of creating a blog?

  • Helps others and him!
  • Has found a niche where there is a supportive community

How to achieve Financial Independence Retire Early,  starting an online business?

First you need to learn what FIRE is all about – so check out the Aussie Firebug website.

Secondly, you need to look at how to start and online business and setup your online business for success.

How is income created from the blog?

Aussie Firebug makes it money through Affiliate Marketing – that is affilliate links. But that wouldn’t be possible if there wasn’t a tonne of value being created for their audience.

There are a few things that Aussie Firebug is doing really well:

  1. Affiliate links. This is where you earn a small commission from a link that helps you get income and doesn’t cost the visitor anything.  “I will never recommend a service or product I don’t believe in. Affiliate commissions help me continue running and maintaining” – use of affilate links in an ethical way! Love it!
  2. Using WordPress as his content management system / website builder.  This will keep costs down as he can choose cost effective website hosting such as Siteground or Crazy Domains and allow him greater control over this costs.
  3. Specialised niche that he has become an expert in (person of influence!) and that has growing interest (see chart 1).
  4. Great Calls to Action connected to email marketing automation using Convertkit.
  5. Focuses on delivering value to his audience. Aussie Fire Bug has a clear audience and has created tools that will be valuable enough to them that they are very willing to hand over their email address. Aussie Firebug then stays in touch with them through email marketing, after the initial automatic email sequence that delivers that tool.
  6. Search engine optimisation and no paid traffic (see chart 2). Aussie Firebug’s SEO is very strong.  The valuable resources that are provided are tailored to the Australian audience and shared in online communities which creates a high volume of backlinks.
  7. Keep it simple! I think simple is a key success factor in a side hustle. You don’t always have tonnes of time for a side hustle (after all its a side business). Keep it simple.
  8. Podcast. A podcast is a great way to keep connected with your audience.

How you can get an online blog started in a similar way:

  1.  Use our Business Focus Workbook if you need help discoverig your niche, audience, goals and objectives.
  2. Get started right now with our 5 Simple Steps to Start an Online Business whcih takes you through researching and choosing a business / blog name, registering your website address, setting up hosting and getting WordPress installed. A focused two hours and you will be started!

In Summary:

Hopefully you enjoyed this case study looking at how The Barefoot Investor or FIRE movement.  This is just one example of a blogger that has used starting a blog and online business in their journey to FIRE.

Financial Independence Retire Early and Starting an Online Business can go hand and hand but only if you create an online business the right way.

Aussie Firebug  is a great blog to follow if you are looking at  a Side Hustle or Online Business to achieve FIRE.

Your Online Journey? Well, YOJ was setup to inspire and help people to start and grow their online business in a sustainable, success-focused way. That includes helping you learn and grow your online business on the WordPress platform.  Aussie Firebug is a great example of how it can be done.

Charting the online journey:

The below chart is from Google Trends and shows two of the associated keywords – ‘financial independence retire early’ and ‘FIRE movement’ and how their interest has changed over time. There is strong growth in interest in the past 12 months, which aligns with the growth in traffic shown in Chart 2 below.

FIRE Movement Google Trends

The below chart shows how Aussie Firebug has grown over time – with big increases this year! This was produced using SEM Rush which is a great research tool.

SEM Rush analysis of online blog

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