I’m going to be completely honest: my parents think I’m unemployed. They also assume I travel via “millennial magic”, since they seem to have no idea how I actually make money while traveling. They don’t understand the terms “digital nomad”, “freelance developer”, “internet nomad” and “nomadic entrepreneur” . This is totally okay with me, I’m tired of trying to explain what exactly I do and how this works. I’ll live in this pseudo-Harry-Potter fantasy for a bit. (RavenClaw all the way, btw!)
While they don’t understand what I do, they are not completely wrong with this magic idea either. I’m not quite sure how I wound up in this situation either! Everything sort of….fell into place. Let me help you do the same.
How I Became a Digital Nomad
Besides being resourceful, which I think is my most prized trait, I’m going to chalk up most of my internet success to sheer damn luck. When I’m not cruising other bloggers, I peruse job boards and set up streams of income for my future, to insure I can travel as much as possible. I don’t know where I’ll be, or when, so I try my best to make sure I have work lined up online and off, where ever I may be. I do anything and everything my skillset allows me to, and am constantly learning and reevaluating what I have to offer. SEO? Yes sir, I learned a bunch of that. Web Development? Well, learning, but I can help you there. Blogging/Content Creation/Freelance Writing? Here’s my portfolio!
The best piece of advice I can give you is to elevate yourself. Learn something new on Udemy and then use your social circles to find work, or apply via online job board space. Keep networking. There’s power in your ‘weak connections’ (i.e. people you don’t know very well). Most of my travels have been partially funded or subsidized with the skills I’ve picked up over the years.
Below you will find a few resources to help get yourself started. Best of luck!
Digital Nomad/Internet Freelancer Jobs Available Online
The first question you want to ask yourself is: what skillset do I have? or “What jobs would I not mind doing?”. Not only do you not have to start a blog to make money, but I discourage you from thinking that blogging is the primary way that nomads like myself make money. The truth? It’s not.Here I meet via Skype bi-weekly with multiple bloggers who make money in various ways, but blogging itself is usually not our primary source of income. Heres the honest truth: 85% of bloggers make NO money from their websites (Source: here) !! Blogging is HARD, and it’s not going to earn you any money in the first 3, 6, 9, or even 12 months of work for most people.
Wow, harsh much?
The good news is: there are working nomad jobs that pay (well) available all over the web. Your internet lifestyle dreams are not dead.
So, what CAN you do?
Go ahead and start that blog- but make it a long-term goal to make money. In the short run, look into:
- Copy Writing
- TeleComuting from your current position
- Essay/Creative Writing
- Teaching English via Skype
- HIT’s (Human Intelligence Tasks)
- Affiliate Advertising via Social Media
- Opening a Shopify/Etsy Account and selling your art/goods
- Consulting work (social media/ fitness/ etc)
- Online Tech Support
- Secret Shopper
- Data Entry
- Resume Writing
- Search Engine Evaluation
- Micro Freelancer (via Fiverr/Upwork/ProBlogging/ etc) ((Basically Pay-per-gig))
- Working Holiday jobs
- Virtual Recruitment
- Virtual Assistance
- Pinterest! **
**Yes, you can actually get paid to pin and create pins for other people!
Freelance Nomad Resources
There is tons of information online about different opportunities available to people that are willing to give up their 9-5 days for something a little more non-traditional. Here is a small list of some of my favorite resources:
While I could simply list out all of the websites that I have made money from, I’ll give you a bigger hint as to how I eventually came into some success. Get yourself some business cards advertising your services of choice. As you travel or network, make sure you hand these out. I have made money, or subsidized my travels simply by utilizing the relationships I’ve formed throughout the last few years. A lot of friends-of-friends have reached out to me for help, or asked me to help them with travel itineraries, write for them, and even helped create new blogs.
My most lucrative opportunities have come from attending women’s’ networking events where I met other entrepreneurs that needed some assistance managing schedules, or creating content. You can make money simply by being active in your community and finding people that want to lighten their workload! Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.