Since the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, entrepreneur Amy Green started a thriving website to help people wanting to move to Portugal from the UK. Her site www.movetoalgarve.com is not yet a year old and already has over 6000 monthly page views. Today we met up with Amy to find out how she had so much success with her post pandemic startup.
1. What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
The Covid-19 pandemic forced a lot of us to question and reassess our lives, and that was certainly the situation for me. I am asthmatic and had been through several months of complete lockdowns and isolation in the UK spanning over a year in total. Being stuck inside in a cold and dark country, with the looming prospect of Brexit was too much, and in December 2020 I decided to move to Portugal and get residency there. I rented a flat in Lisbon and got my residence on 9th December just 3 weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period!
I already worked online as I am a digital marketer by profession, but I realised that I would ultimately need a passive income or a personal project that I could earn from. It just made sense to help others to move to Portugal and turn it into a website and business. My website is not even 1 year old and already has more than 200 articles on it and attracts over 5000 visitors a month!
The best thing is – it’s actually started making money already from ads and affiliate sales. Admittedly, that’s only $100 a month, but it’s a start. My goal is for the revenue to reach $1000 a month, because that’s the amount I need to live on in Portugal. Until I reach that stage, I will continue to freelance to ‘top it up!’
2. What is your business all about?
Move to Algarve is all about helping Brits (and anyone really!) to move to Portugal. It offers practical advice on issues such as visas, money and shopping. For example, I have a popular article on how to get the D7 Visa Portugal requires Brits to have since Brexit.
My website also offers guides to people who are just visiting Portugal as travellers and want travel advice. This includes how to get to places, itineraries and highlights of certain destinations. Although there is an Algarve focus, my site actually provides information on the whole of Portugal. I’m back in Faro next week for more research and I can’t wait!
3. How do you differentiate yourself from others in your field?
I differentiate from others in the field by being an expert on Portugal. This helps me to stand out from the crowd and reach high Google rankings – because I have high quality content and Google recognises that I am an expert in my field through the articles on my site.
Initially, going back 5 years or so, I tried to launch a travel blog that was more generic. But I realised that being a ‘travel blogger’ is nothing special anymore,. There is so much competition out there that it is hard to stand out from the crown. Offer a blog on a specific destination with practical information and you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Anyone who wants to know about moving to Portugal or travel in Portugal can come to me – that’s how I’ve ‘niched down’.
4. What advice would you give to someone asking for advice about becoming an entrepreneur?
My best piece of advice would be to save as much as you can before taking the plunge. Have your business running as a sideline alongside your main job for a year or two before you quit. This gives you the chance to be sure that it can work and also the chance to save money to live off.
It’s important to remember that you may not earn a lot in your first year or two of business. For me, although I started to earn a small amount in my first year, it’s no where near enough to live off, and in all honesty, it often gets reinvested into the business to pay for new content or advertising. I don’t expect to be able to live off the profits from my Algarve project until 3 years down the line.
Many people have this misconception that you run your own business and you will be loaded straight away! That can sometimes be the case, but more often than not you won’t earn enough to live on immediately. That’s why multiple income streams and back-up plans can be good.
5. We are entering an era where everyone is interested in multiple income streams. How does one decide on a business to pursue?
So my theory is that you MUST be passionate about the business you choose – so passionate that it gets you up early every morning and drives you. If you don’t have that passion, you won’t survive ahead of the competition. But having multiple income streams is not a bad thing. You can try a few businesses alongside each other to work out which one will take off, and when you know, run with that one and kill off the others. Most entrepreneurs have several failed businesses before they find that gem that is really going to make a good income.
For me, I always have other ways of making money such as teaching online, offering clients SEO services and renting out property. This means that if my business is not earning or going through a dry spell, I won’t be left without any income.
So in a nutshell, I would say follow your passion but always have a contingency plan and financial backup.