Buongiorno! Today I’ve got lots of GREAT information for you on how to live in Italy and work online (and drink wine while you do it). I will show you some of my favorite resources I’ve discovered that you need to ADDIRITTURA (actually) make that happen. Some would call this a work from home post, others a mompreneur post, and others a network marketing post. Basically this post is helpful to anyone who does any type of online work and just wants to live a fabulous life of freedom.
As mentioned in my previous posts I quit my teaching job and started up my own online boutique while living here in Italy. I needed to have this type of flexible job in order to move around Italy with my spouse because he’s in the Italian Navy, and we often have to pack up our bags and live in a new place! You can imagine how difficult it is to find a job all over again in a new place,starting from the bottom, convincing employers that you plan to stay for a few years when in reality you really don’t know. I got tired of that real quick. So one day I said vaffanculo (@°#$£%), I’m working for my myself.
It was a challenge convincing my husband to let me “stay at home” and pursue my dreams….(deep down I was always envious of entrepreneurs), but he reluctantly let me try this out, and I am happily showing off my success to him.
Since I have an online business I know how important it is to rely solely on online supplies and services in order to have a completely independent lifestyle. Being in Italy it isn’t easy to find things that you need for your super curated business. I mean we are talking about a country where small businesses make up for most of the economy…this means what you buy down the street probably won’t be available a week from now! That shop down the street is owned by an old lady who might not be living 5 years from now so how can you rely on that for a source for your growing business? These are the real problems of Italy. Better yet, what about the fact that the services you need done locally (like taking a network marketing class) are all in a foreign language? That is a roadblock, and is just another reason to be independent and be 100% online.
So with that in mind I have thoughtfully created a list of online tools and websites to help those who want to start an online business and probably have the same challenges that I have. These range from financial planning tools, SEO tools, hashtagging tools, success coaching programs, free downloadable mock-up photo sites and the rainbow just continues!
I’m going to list these in categories of the websites I have used and have found immensely helpful in running my 3 online businesses all while living in Italy! Did I mention that I drink wine while I do this?
Go grab yourself a glass of wine, just do it. Get into the visual mood of what it’s like to work at home and live my lifestyle. Here it goes!
Sell things through Pinterest
When I joined the Etsy Academy one of the first things I learned about was a website called Tailwind. Tailwind helps you automatically pin all of your products into Pinterest for you so that you don’t have to manually pin every single item yourself, over and over again every day! Expert marketing coaches say to pin at least 100 pins a day-you can’t pin enough pins on Pinterest to promote your shop, your blog, your brand…etc. With tailwind you set it and forget it! I personally pin over 1000 pins a month through Tailwind and I set this up in just a few minutes to automate all month-long. That was easy! Don’t know why you need Pinterest to sell things or to grow as a business? Well Pinterest is basically a search database just like Google but in a fun picture format. If you want your items to be found and you want to make sales then use Pinterest!
What’s that? I forgot Instagram you say? Oh ya! Instagram is another huge platform where you can sell things virtually. Want to know what I use? I use a site called Hashtaggify that helps me choose the best hashtags that are proven to be highly searchable and currently trendy. That website is amazing. I had no idea there was ever such a thing! Apparently professionals don’t aimlessly hashtag their posts, they carefully choose hashtags with data behind them proven to give results. There is also an app by the way called Hashtagger which is fun!
Design Stuff Online and Sell it (zero inventory)
Another awesome site that is based out of the EU is Zazzle. With Zazzle you can sell your designs if you are a graphic artist and you will make commission on each sale. Your designs show up on personal items like coffee mugs, t-shirts, business stationary…etc. You can even sell logos! In fact my logo for my shop was designed by a Zazzle artist!
If you aren’t a graphic artist then another way to use Zazzle is to create your own personalized objects with the website, have those products shipped to you, and then sell those in your online shop!
Another AMAZING resource that I use daily is called Canva. In Canva you can choose a photo that you like, write on top of it, and download it to use as an advertising tool for your business! Even wonder how all those pins on Pinterest look so professional and you think to yourself how those people make these stunning photos? Are they all just great photographers? NO!! They have a BIG secret. They don’t take those photos! They borrow them from Canva!
Learn How to Sell With an Online Business Coach
If your route of working for yourself is by making handmade products but you don’t really know how to sell on Etsy, or online in general then the Etsy Academy will be your road map. When I started my shop a few months ago I didn’t really know how to drive traffic to my shop, I had zero experience in sales, network marketing, and SEO. Since joining the Academy I have had a step-by-step guide teaching me exactly what I need to do to get sales in my shop. The Academy is full of video tutorials, personal office hour help, a private online community for shop critiques and help, and weekly modules focusing on one subject to turn your shop into a full income job. The coach is a 6 figure Etsy shop owner, she is fab! What I love so much about this resource is that it’s a one size fits all kind of deal! The things I’ve learned in the Academy have benefited me in all my businesses not just the Etsy business.
Take Virtual Classes and Learn Anything!
If you are planning to indeed move to Italy (or any location) and live off your cake decorating abilities or wedding dress designing skills then there is a list of amazing websites full of material to help you excel.
Craftsy is a website with online classes, supplies, and an option for you to sell your patterns.
CreativeLive is an extensive resource of video classes teaching a range of skills you can apply to your online business. There are videos on commercial photography, crafting videos, boot camps, entrepreneurship videos, and even self-help videos to name a few!
Another site that is similar is CreativeBug. CreativeBug has a more hands-on approach. Here you can actually learn how to draw, how to paint, how to do paper-crafts, how to sew and the like. There is also an inspiration section of the website where you can be inspired from a huge range of instagram posts. There is also a free section in the site to download free patterns and tutorials!
Blitzy is paper craft central! If you are like my mom, and you love to create cards, then this website is a perfect resource to buy all kinds of supplies! Maybe you are interested in selling planners, stickers, calligraphy designs, or pre-made scrapbook pages. Whatever it is you can use this site! I would personally use this website to create pretty packaging for my items, or supplies to make my own business cards the cheap route.
Another online job you can have is blogging. How do bloggers make money? Well, they advertise for other companies through affiliate links (a link that when clicked tracks back to the blogger and pays them a commission for the sale eventually made). So trendy! One HUGE affiliate link hub is ShareASale. ShareASale is a platform where you can search for certain companies who may be offering an affiliate program. You sign up for their program through the website, and you get paid through ShareASale by all of the companies you decide to be an affiliate for. It’s all done in one easy place and you get paid by direct deposit!
Organize All that Money You’re Making
Now the fun part happens. You are actually making money but need to figure out how to organize it all. If you’re like me and have your money floating around in several bank accounts in two countries, online banks, and PayPal then you need to keep reading. Wave is an online accounting tool that helps you keep track of all your income and outcome in ONE place. It’s simple. You import your bank information into the tool, and the tool helps you easily do your taxes, find your expenses in categories, remind you to pay people, and all that good stuff.
So those are the sites that I use that help facilitate my lifestyle. If you’d like to add to this list comment away!