Teaching And Blogging: The Life Of A Bleacher Revealed

Today’s post comes from Goats on The Road who are about to embark on exciting journey through Central Asia.

We’ve been blogging and teaching now for a year and it has been an amazing journey. We’ve moulded two lifestyles into one and we call it “bleaching”.

We recommend that more people become bleachers and here’s why!

For us, bleaching is a segway into the ultimate lifestyle of pure blogging, but for many it could be the perfect longterm career. We enjoy teaching English in China so much that it will be hard to give it up. Many people around the world are now teaching English and blogging about it. Teaching has become a digital nomad’s hobby and extra income earner.

We spend 20 hours a week in front of a class and 30 more in front of a computer screen. We’ve learned a lot about both jobs and we have found a great balance in our lives.

Teaching And Blogging

Blogging in Our Office

We work mostly in the afternoon, so our days always start with a nice cup of coffee and a little bit of music. We talk about the plan for the day both in our classes and on our laptops. We then move from the couch to the “office” (our kitchen table) and begin a shift of blogging.

We usually write posts, update social media, connect with other bloggers and work on SEO on our site for about 5 hours before stopping for lunch. We then move away from the computer and make lunch. After lunch we usually go out for a few hours. Some days we meet up with friends. Some days we just take a nice walk around our beautiful city of Yangzhou, China, before getting ready for our evening class.

Teaching And Blogging

Teaching English At A Promotion

We then go to school for 2 hours where we teach our adorable students. Our minds are completely in “school mode” and we play games and teach new grammar points to our classes. Sometimes we teach in class while other times we teach at promotions in front of a crowd.

Teaching has enabled us to really spend more time on our website, while completely enjoying our “real jobs”.

Teaching And Blogging

Savings

At home we worked between 50 – 80 hours / week and had absolutely no time to work online while we were saving money for our next trip.

Teaching in China not only pays enough ($1500 per month/person) for any budget traveller to save money, but it also gives us a ton of extra time to work on our online business. We work between 16-20 hours per week teaching, so even with all the hours spent on our website, we still have plenty of time for exploring China.

Teaching By The Numbers:

Hours/week: 16 – 20

Salary: ¥9000 ($1465/person)

Housing, bills, going out, beers & living well: ¥3400 ($570/person)

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Monthly Savings: ¥5480 ($895) / person

That means that after a 1 year contract in China you should have over $10,000! That’s enough to travel for 5 – 10 months depending on your travel style and choice of destinations.

Add potential blog earnings to that and you’ve got yourself some hefty savings! But how much is your blog worth? The chart below outlines vague monetization potential of the average blog:

Blogging By The Numbers:

Making Money From Your Blog

 

Monthly Income: $0 – $7,500+

Remember… you’re only teaching 16-20 hours/week. This means that you can still travel around China while you’re working because your online business is completely mobile!

Since we started working here we’ve travelled to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi and more. We’ve met a ton of new friends both local and foreign and have learned some amazing new skills (like making dumplings).

Teaching And Blogging

Making Dumplings With Our Chinese Friends

So if you’re a blogger and you want to find the perfect job to travel, explore and build your online business… then consider teaching English.

China has a plethora of excellent job opportunities and you don’t necessarily need a degree or CELTA to find a job! The pay is great and living expenses are very low (especially outside of the big cities).

So what are you waiting for?! It’s time to leave the 9-5 and explore a world of freedom and opportunities! If you need some inspiration or someone to help you through the steps, check out our website in the bio below.

We’ve got plenty of tips and information on how to sustain a life of travel, fun and adventure while never being stuck in a cubicle.

**A Note From The Goats: In 2 days we are packing up our lives here in China and taking off on a 5 month backpacking journey! We will be camping, trekking, fishing and exploring Mongolia, Central Asia and Iran. Follow our adventure for tips, photos, videos and cool stories from this off-the-beaten-path region. We look forward to having you along for the ride!

About The Authors:

Nick & Dariece Avatar

Nick & Dariece have left everything behind in search of cultural experiences, beautiful beaches and off the beaten path adventures. They call themselves Goats On The Road and their website for independent and off the beaten path travel encourages others to pack their bags and leave the ordinary behind. Visit Goats On The Road and get excellent tips for the adventurous traveler!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

 

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin July 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

Nick & Dariece,
BLEACHER. Your story is a mirror image of mine (except I live and teach in Thailand). I teach 20 hours per week, and when I’m not in the classroom, I’m blogging. It’s that simple. It’s the perfect job to maintain yourself while abroad and it provides for some pretty interesting classroom stories.
Teaching ESL is also a source of writing inspiration. I’ve written stories that were a result of my experiences in the classroom, and they’ve been some of my best. Great post, and way to combine two of my most defining words into one.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hey Kevin,
We agree, love teaching! Also working with locals helps to get a better understanding of the culture. You’re right, it makes for some great stories… maybe that’s my next post “Hilarious Stories From The Classroom”.
Cheers.

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Casey @ A Cruising Couple July 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Great post!! I love the balance you have struck. I wish we could have done something similar here in Taiwan, but instead we decided to teach as many hours as we could to save more money. I would love to try teaching again but on more of a part-time basis I think :) It is just so easy to burn out!

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Hey Casey,
Funny, we were thinking next time we want to be MORE part time. Well, at least a shorter contract. We loved it but the itchy feet came back after 6 months. Maybe a 6 month contract next time! (teaching is exhausting)

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zoomingjapan July 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Very interesting!
I also like the term “bleacher”.
I guess I’m more a “teagger” as I teach more hours than I blog.

I totally can relate to what you wrote.
I’ve been an English teacher in Japan for 6 years now.
I used the time to travel all over Japan and I’ve been almost everywhere.

I do blog about my trips, but as I work 40h+ per week, I don’t get to blog as much as I want to.

I could certainly make about the same amount you do with teaching only 20h+ here in Japan, but the cost of living is more expensive here compared to China.

I also make no money with my blog (yet), so I have to depend on the money I earn with teaching – and I spend a lot of money when traveling in Japan.

A very inspiring story – and that’s what I’d like to do in the future as well.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hey, Thanks for the comment. We’d LOVE to teach in Japan! Working 40hrs / week there must give you plenty of travel savings. I thought teachers made considerably more there no?
Keep working on the blog and monetization will come, have you checked out Nomadic Samuel’s bloggers tips section? Helped us out a ton.

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zoomingjapan July 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

The standard salary for most English teaching gigs is 250.000 yen which currently is about 2500$US before taxes.
Being from Germany I really can’t complain about it. Our taxes are so high, that it would be difficult to make as much back home AND travel a lot.

Yes, I checked them out.
I just hope that one day I can earn some money with my blog as well! :)

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Maya August 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Hi, I’m just wondering trying to do the same..how did you find a teaching job when you are not a native speaker? Seems to be difficult for me. Thanks and enjoy Japan!

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Samuel Jeffery August 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

I think it’s easier in countries such as China.

nicole July 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Do teachers have to prep for their ESL classes? That usually takes up a huge chunk of time.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Prep can take a long time but it gets less and less the more you practice. Our hours included some time to write plans which only usually take about 20 mins / 90 minute class.

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Dimas Agil R.K. July 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Yeah, sound so interesting and amazing, how you can live free by following your passion and you get paid for do that!

But it’s difficult for me right now. I’m still a college student, that not have enough money to travel around, and make a lot of funny and awesome story in my blog. SO, it’s difficult too, make money from blogging. Don’t have enough visitor to money blogging.

But I believe, someday, I can do that “bleach”, go traveling all around Indonesia, and then, all around the world.

Thanks for share that tips and story. :D

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hey Dimas,
thanks for the comment. Visitors will come with time. You can still bleach without making any money, as long as you’re enjoying it. Make money from teaching while blogging for fun and eventually things will fall into place. They did for us!

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Dimas Agil R.K. July 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

It’s a honour for me too you can reply my comment.
Yeah, my blog growing up, right now. Hope someday I can manage it more professional, so visitor will coming.

That’s what I do right now. Bleach, enjoying write down my travel story, share with others. I’ve got pleasure when someone respect, comment my story.
:D

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Eileen, The Super Tourists July 17, 2013 at 6:33 am

Interesting though. I used to teach english to korean students based in the philippines, but the pay is nowhere near to what it pays “white guys.” no matter how spot on my written and spoken english is, there will always be that prejudice against non-western looking people.
Even a friend of mine who was American by citizenship but Filipino by ancestry was able to find a teaching job abroad, however, her pay is significantly lower than her lucky-to-be-white colleagues.
I’m not bitching or anything, just stating something that happens. LOL. It’s more word vomit, if anything.

awesome post!

btw, samuel, ive been stalking your korea videos– we are headed there this fall and all the videos are awesome! :D

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Hey Eileen, We totally agree with you. It’s not fair how much “white” comes into play when applying for teaching jobs. Some native English speakers who come from Asian families have had a hard time finding work, simply because they don’t “look” the part. It’s unfair for sure. Our school had promotions where we just simply went to the mall or other schools and handed out fliers, simply being a foreigner drew a crowd and from there the school was able to gain new customers.
Hopefully schools will realize that good teachers don’t always HAVE to look like foreigners. Everyone should be paid the same and get the same opportunities so long as they’re equally qualified. Hopefully things will get better in the future.
Cheers for the comment.

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Jeremy July 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Interesting. A lot depends on your contract, though. I got roped into what I’m now realizing, more and more, was NOT a good one! I spent six months teaching English in Xi’an (left a month ago, currently in Beijing) and my schedule was nowhere as cushy as this one, nor was the pay grade. It was a rewarding and fulfilling experience, no doubt, but I’m realizing that I could have walked away with a lot more than I actually did.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Hey Jeremy,
We’ve heard of these horror stories and sorry to hear that you are one of them. There are some bad contracts to watch out for and they’re hard to stop. Hopefully it doesn’t keep you from trying again. Try Shane English, they’re a great school to work for.

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Maria July 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Love the enthusiasm for both parts of your lives and the creativity!

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Thanks for that Maria! Safe travels…

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jennifer July 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I plan on doing this in a few years. I love the idea of making less money annually and seeing more of the world than I ever could with making more money while stuck at a desk.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hey Jennifer, glad we could help inspire you. Keep the dream alive, work less and travel more!

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Sam July 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I love the term ‘bleacher’ and wish I’d known about it earlier! Before leaving to travel around South America with my partner, I was teaching English in Europe (Austria, mostly, then Spain), and was also typically teaching around 20 to 25 hours a week, so I would’ve easily had time to start blogging as well! Oh well…coulda, woulda, shoulda, eh?!

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hey Sam, you never heard that term because its trademarked by the Goats ©2013! haha totally joking.
Ever consider teaching and blogging now? it’s never too late.

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Sam July 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Absolutely! I’m looking at jobs in China as we speak!

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Tim Moon July 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

China sounds like a great place to be. Also, with all that free time it works well for entrepreneurs who are starting a business other than blogging (like sourcing, importing, etc.). The guys at The Elevator Life did that to bootstrap their business. I’m teaching in Korea this year to do the same thing – save money, travel and write. Who knows where I’ll be next year but China is certainly under consideration.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hey Tim,
Good for you. there are lots of things you can do with the extra time while teaching. I would definitely recommend China, we had an excellent time there.
Safe travels!
PS. checked out the comment luv post, we’d love to do that drive one day. Looks EPIC!

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Tim Moon July 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Thanks Nick. It was a pretty cool drive. I’d recommend doing it closer to the summer or earlier fall. My drive was early September and it was cloudy and rainy most of them which obscured a lot of the scenery. If I ever drive it again, I’ll take my time too. I was sort of rushed last time.

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Loz in Transit July 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Its really interesting how Blogging has become a lifestyle that one can restructure they’re life around. Passion projects have always been there for musos, artists and entrepreneurs but now everyone has a gateway to “living the dream” with a blog.
Its really a two-fer. You strive for what you want: Novelty, an interesting job or place to make a life, travel. Write about it for your own posterity and help inspire others. Of course like other passion projects, the making money part is difficult and takes real dedication. No shortcuts. But the process in itself I’ve found to be the reward.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hey, thanks for the comment! Ya we agree, making money is the hard part but there’s a ton of resources online that can help. We’ve found Nomadic Samuel to be a great help in monetizing our site. It’s cool to know someone who’s been there and done that. Mentoring always helps new businesses grow.

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Vid July 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Aah!!! The Goats :)

Lovely couple, inspirational travelers. What they say in this post is so true: work, save, travel. Repeat. I am sure this lifestyle has its share of troubles and annoyances, but I feel the end result, the travelling, is totally worth it :)

Nick, Dariece: Looking forward to reading all about your adventures – we have never been to this region so will definitely pick your brains when you are back.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Haha, thanks guys, great to see we’re gathering in the same places online, maybe soon we’ll meet on the road.

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Charli | Wanderlusters July 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I’ve never considered teaching during my travels but it appears to be such a great way to really immerse yourself in the local culture. Love that you’re finding it so rewarding. Life should be filled with experiences that offer us insight into new cultures and lifestyles.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hey Charli,
We totally agree and we also recommend teaching abroad. Great life, great experiences.
Cheers.

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noel July 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

That was a great post, I loved how the authors break down the actual earnings to their expenses and what they can save. It Asia that goes far so you can actually travel to many destinations. These guys did an excellent job.

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Nick - Goats On The Road July 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Hey Noel,
Thanks for the comment, the savings definitely go farther in Asia or other cheap places. Not much money in the US or western Europe, but in Asia it’s a fortune!

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Wil @ Where's Wil July 19, 2013 at 8:44 am

I haven’t yet taught English but I plan to start shortly here in Malaysia. Once one gets the hang of traveling on a budget, it’s easy to live for cheap and there are so many different ways to cover your expenses.

Currently I’m working as a website designer, a blogger, a fire performer and a writer (and soon a teacher). It keeps me busy, entertained and loving life. I couldn’t imaging life any other way.

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Dariece - Goats On The Road August 15, 2013 at 9:53 am

Wow Wil, that’s an awesome list of jobs you have there! All perfect for travelling :) Cheers

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Christoffer Moen July 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Excellent post. Love that you gave us a breakdown of earnings and travel costs, it can be done — teaching, saving, and traveling in between or vice versa :)

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Nicole @ Green Global Travel July 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Awesome way to see the world. I love how much detail you go into and it shows just how much thought and planning go into an adventure of this scale

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jasmine July 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

hey goats on the road!!
Love the name !
Came across your blog from nomadic sams blog (which i decided to follow because i love ‘that backpacker’ audreys blog :) (now i love all three blogs !)
Have been teaching in thailand and travelling through s.e.asia, (just not blogging – a lot of photos tho!) – China sounds great for teaching . Can’t wait to read through more of your blog posts :)

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Gold Price July 27, 2013 at 1:47 am

Given that China is such a large country, long-distance trains and buses are crowded and usually have extensive routes. If time is an issue and money is not a concern, an ESL teacher can travel to most areas of China via airplane. There are over 500 airports in China, all of varying sizes and each offering different services. Many of these airports are small and only offer domestic flights, but some do offer international flights.

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Mo Draj July 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Great article and very inspiring. Teaching English is one of the most recommended jobs for every traveller and yet I might try and keep that in mind for the near future. Thanks for the post.

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Carmen July 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Wow, what an insight into teaching in China! I really didn’t think you made that much money. Really makes me want us to do it next year when we travel Asia – we might be a little low on cash by that point!

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Mary @ Green Global Travel July 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Wow, life sounds great!! Great post and interesting to learn about how it is teaching English in China! Thanks for sharing!

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