Recent years have seen the rise of the Digital Nomad; those lucky few self-employed thrill-seekers who travel the world with a laptop in their backpack, and think that working 9-5 is for suckers.
I’m sure you’ve heard all about them and you’re probably wishing you could do likewise. Being able to go where you please, when you please, and call nobody boss is a fantastic lifestyle in theory, but how does it work in practice?
If you’re wondering how to be a nomad, we’ve looked at the three most popular ways to earn money while you travel for those wanting to pursue this lifestyle.
If you want to live as a digital nomad you’ll need to prepare. Don’t pack your bags until you’ve laid the foundation first. And, since it’s certain to be the most time-consuming part of that process, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up your own blog.
“Do I need a blog?”, I hear you ask. The answer is yes. No proper Digital Nomad is without a blog.
Having a blog is pretty much a given. It allows you to share your travels and experiences while also connecting/networking and, of course, promoting your own business/services. Plus, if you manage to create a really successful blog with a strong following of regular readers, you can also earn huge amounts of money through advertising or affiliate marketing.
But, like I always say to people, if you want to blog, prepare to slog. Do your research, find your own unique niche that will help you stand out from the crowd, do careful keyword research so you’ll get found on search engines, do outreach via social media to find followers and readers and, of course, work your ass off to deliver distinctive, high-quality content on a regular basis to keep your readers coming back for more.
We highly recommend Sharon Gourlay’s “How to Make Money From Blogging” – She details strategies for monetization and the exact methods she uses to make an annual $150,000 income.
Many people make the mistake of believing they need only set up a blog and can then start earning money straight away. As mentioned, it actually takes time to get to that stage. So if you’re looking for a way to start earning money online straight away then check out the top online freelancing websites.
Here you can peruse thousands of jobs which are posted every single day. If you’re good at coding, designing or writing you can earn a good living on the road – especially once you’ve gotten a few jobs under your belt and received good reviews. But even if you don’t have any of the typical freelancer skills you can still find some nice, high-paying odd jobs if you look hard enough.
The most successful freelancers are those who provide regular work, at a reasonable price and can be relied upon to meet deadlines and answer messages in a timely fashion. This is easy if you work from home, but far more difficult if you’re on the move and/or off the beaten track.
It’s therefore important that you investigate backup solutions for those times when coverage is poor or the internet connection goes down altogether, because trust me, it will!
My advice is to always have a contingency plan, avoid narrow deadlines and never over-extend your workload. This way, even if you do suffer from a communications disruption or a powercut, you can still get in touch with your clients and deliver your work on time.
Set Up A Business
Blogging and freelancing can bring in the cash, but then who wants to live in paradise if all you do is work indoors on a laptop all day? Blogging can be very time consuming and freelancing can be very stressful. Not only do you need to stay connected to ensure your work is completed on time, you also have to spend a lot of time managing your clients, not to mention making sure you get paid in a timely fashion.
For this reason I recommend you strike a balance between online and offline work. Offline work gets you out in the fresh air, it helps you to meet people and also makes you realise why you chose this type of life in the first place. So get out there and see what opportunities are available.
Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID via DFAT Australian Aid.
If there aren’t any jobs, create your own. Become a freelance tour guide and go on hikes or alternative city tours. Become a teacher; maybe you know how to kite surf, or golf or maybe just teach locals English. Open your eyes, your ears and, most importantly, your mind, to the opportunities all around you and don’t be afraid to just stick your neck out.
Once you do this you’ll find that opportunities will present themselves more frequently. A five-hour part time job at the local beach bar also gets you a nightly job as DJ, which results in a chance encounter with somebody looking for somebody looking for presenters for the local expat radio station which then leads to.
Get the idea? We all have our own unique skills, experiences and knowledge to share, and these are worth money. The trick is to get into a mindset whereby you can profit from them. Do this and the road will open out before you without any obstacles to stand in your way.
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