How to make money as a digital nomad

 

Stepping into the world of the digital nomad was a big, and scary, leap. However, since making the decision a few years ago, I’ve had zero regrets in making the transition.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely, using telecommunications technologies to make a living. Digital nomad jobs typically include writers, editors, producers, web and graphic designers.

However, the list of jobs available to digital nomads is ever-growing, and is ultimately changing the way we work.

An easy set up — how to make money as a digital nomad

The biggest plus of being a digital nomad is that you’re not confined to an office. Providing you’ve got a strong WiFi connection, laptop and a place to work, you’re all set.

I always knew I wanted to work remotely one day, I just didn’t know how to do it.

If you’ve also been considering leaving behind the traditional 9 to 5 and becoming a digital nomad, keep on reading. These 10 things will help kickstart your journey and put your digital skills to use from anywhere in the world.

How to make money as a digital nomad

1. Start a blog

Unroll your eyes and hear me out before you make a judgement.

While it may seem like everyone, and their grandma, has a blog, having a successful site can be very profitable.

However, before you even think about opening a new blog account, first think about finding your niche.

Get focused

Like many blogs out there, mine stemmed from a passion. I’d always loved writing and traveling, and decided to combine the two and start a travel blog.

More specifically, my site focuses on boutique travel and unique travel experiences, such as glamping.

Jot some ideas down, brainstorm and research. The importance of having a good, and original, niche will help you stand out from the rest. More importantly, it’ll also help raise your website ranking in Google in the search results.

Some examples of niche websites could be:

  • Dad blogs
  • Mom bloggers in a specific town or region, ie California
  • Mom bloggers for teenagers
  • Teachers/teaching blog

Your niche is personal to you

When finding a niche about your new blog, make sure that it reflects your interests. Don’t start a new makeup blog just because it happens to be on trend.

Users coming to your page will instantly know if you’re a blogger who really understands the niche, or not.

Granted, there are some niches that do better than others, and truthfully, that also make more profit. However, once you’ve found your niche, stick to it, and concentrate on creating original, and helpful, content.

When you’ve chosen your theme and are ready to go live, look for a good hosting company such as Hostgator or iPage.com. They’re ideal for first-time bloggers, and usually have some enticing deals and discounts to get you started.

2. Create a profile on freelancing sites

Freelancer or People per Hour are a good place to start. They’ve hundreds of freelance jobs just itching to be filled. For both sites, it’s important you spend adequate time filling out your profile.

Add a photo, your rate of pay, something about you etc. The key here is to keep it lighthearted and to the point.

Remember, you’re not entering a corporate environment, so keep it light. Sign up using my referral link for People per Hour and get your journey started.

Freelancer works on the same principle. You can filter what types of jobs you’re looking for, and hopefully find something that’s right for you. The competition’s high on both, but be persistent, and triple-check your submission before submitting your bid.

Upwork is another site worth signing up for. With around 12 million registered freelancers, and 5 million customers, it’s one of the best sites for digital nomads.

Upwork also has a sophisticated verification system. This helps to ensures that the site attracts professionals with the right credentials.

Tip: know your strengths — how to make money as a digital nomad

It’s the classic job interview question: what are your key strengths? When making the decision to work remotely, this can help you secure the kind of work you’re good at.

I’ve a background of over 16 years working in communications, and never hesitate to mention it when pitching.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“…the list of jobs available to digital nomads is ever-growing”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
typewriter with paper - how to make money as a digital nomad

3. Join the gig economy crowd

We’re fortunate to live in an age where technology and innovation meet. Websites like Fiverr let you create your own profile and showcase your skills. From website and logo design, to music and audio jobs, it’s all here under one banner.

It works on the concept of jobs, or gigs, starting from $5. This may not sound like much, but the more jobs you do, the more you earn.

Another important tip for being successful on Fiverr is to gain positive reviews from your clients. This will help to bolster your account, and will also help you stand out from other sellers.

Once you’ve established a reliable reputation, you can focus on becoming a top seller, and enjoy your earnings.

Get specialized

If you work in the field of web or graphics design, it would be worth signing up to 99Designs. Designers will respond to a client’s request, and send a sample of their work. The chosen designer may be paid immediately, or continue communicating with the client until the job is done.

The equivalent of 99Designs for writers and copywriters is nDash. Writers can either pitch their ideas to companies or brands, or see what jobs are available and apply accordingly.

Covering jobs that range from programming to translation, Guru is another platform that’s worth signing up for.

the word, influencer, spelt out - how to make money as a digital nomad

4. Become a social media influencer

For the people who know me best, I’m the last person who’d ever consider myself to be a social media influencer.

However, in an age where companies are looking for all sorts to market their products, even I’ve a shot! Being an influencer doesn’t mean trying to become the next biggest Instagram model.  

And, whether you love or hate the term, being a social media influencer can be very profitable. With the help of influencer marketing agencies, anyone can start promoting products and get paid for it.

Focus on content — how to make money as a digital nomad

Once you’re signed up, don’t expect the big bucks to start coming in right away. A number of factors play a big part in whether you’ll be accepted by a campaign.

Similar to registering for the freelancing sites, those with more followers and engagement are more likely to get the job.

Still, don’t be disheartened by this. Many brands look for micro-influencers to promote their products. These are influencers with small, yet engaged, followers. If the brand likes your submitted content, there’s a high chance they’ll choose you for the job.

Several agencies to look into include:

Focus on creating unique content that’s fun and authentic. It will increase your chances of landing the campaign, and give you some experience in the process.

5. Sell your story

Have you ever traveled somewhere that not many people have visited? Or, maybe you’ve got a unique story that only you can tell.

Whether it’s for a travel magazine or a specialized interest publication, editors may be keen on hearing your story.

Before you email your article/post idea, be sure to read the publication’s pitching guidelines. Following the process of who to pitch to, and what article ideas they want/don’t want, shows that you’ve read them. It may also help to increase your chances of not getting a straight-up ‘no’.

Huffington Post, Lonely Planet and Conde Nast Traveler, are just the tip of the iceberg in publications that may buy your story.

6. Become a virtual assistant (VA)

The second I start earning big, I’m getting myself a virtual assistant (VA).

Virtual assistants can be a godsend, particularly to busy bloggers. They’ll do all the jobs that you consider mundane, and more. That said, the market’s huge for VAs, with plenty of jobs waiting to be snatched up.

Websites like Upwork are a good place to start if you want to register your services as a VA.

I would also suggest  joining relevant Facebook groups, those solely for VAs as well as those for digital nomads.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Kunsthistorisches Museum

“Thanks to the constant innovation of new apps infiltrating the marketplace, there are plenty of jobs for digital nomads.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

7. Teach online

Put your teaching skills to good use and teach from anywhere in the world.

Websites such as Teachaway, Teachable, Udemy and Coursera make it possible to work doing what you love, and remotely.

Create a course and teach it to millions of users around the world. Alternatively, search the database to find traditional school-based (remote) roles, and teach online.

Teaching English online has been a long-time method for those wanting to work remotely while traveling. The better qualifications you have, the better the job, and rate of pay, you’ll land. That said, put the work in and get a globally recognized qualification, such as one from TEFL.

8. Download the right apps

Thanks to the constant innovation of new apps infiltrating the marketplace, there are plenty of jobs for digital nomads.

Technically speaking, the last two don’t fall under the category of digital jobs. However, these websites can help you make money while pursuing your dream of becoming a digital nomad.

Completing tasks — how to make money as a digital nomad

Websites like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack and Handy are just several sites where you can advertise your services. Jobs range from carrying out deliveries, to more specific needs, such as plumbing services.

Create an account, add what type of service you offer and specify your rate of pay. The more positive reviews you collect, the higher your chances are of getting a job.

9. House-sitting / pet-sitting

If you’ve never heard of house-sitting or pet-sitting, you may want to jump on board with the idea. In short, you can earn money just by looking after someone’s house or pet — or both.

It’s ideal for digital nomads on the move, and helps you cut costs while traveling.

There are many companies now advertising this, and with gigs in reach of your location. Simply search for the term ‘housesitting’ and see what comes up in your browser.

10. Make money from rentals

Renting out your property, or spare room, is an easy way to make some extra cash, especially when traveling.

Airbnb is the go-to for many renters. Market your apartment, home or spare room and have control over your potential guests. Other alternatives include VRBO and HomeAway.

These sites can be a great money-maker for hosts. If you’ve not yet signed up, use my Airbnb link to get £30 (€34/$42) off your first booking.

What are your thoughts on these money-making ideas? Is there anything else you’d include for ideal digital nomad jobs? Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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A collage of people on their laptops - How to make money as a digital nomad
A collage of people on their laptops - How to make money as a digital nomad
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Lisa Rivera

Lisa Rivera

Founder

 

Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience, a demographic (late 20s onward) that enjoys glamping over camping and staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels. Flashpackers also like to indulge in the local food and wine, cultural activities, as well as a spot of wellness on their travels. Want to know more? Read on....

       

 

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