Being a Digital Nomad is a new sexy trend, we are talking about the new laptop lifestyle. After all, who wouldn’t like to travel the world and generate an income thanks to your laptop and internet connection? This idea seems very romantic but one of the issues these modern nomads have is about how to make money online and maintain this lifestyle.
Here, in this epic long guide, I am sharing all my expertise on this topic, because of being a nomad and thanks to all the information I have gathered on the internet and my personal experience.
I’m going to mention which are the best ways to earn money online and make a passive income while traveling the world.
What is a digital nomad?
Basically is someone who doesn’t have a fixed place where to live, loves traveling and moving to new locations. A nomad that does not have a home, works remotely and relies upon an internet connection. A traveling nomad is not someone who is an expat, or works from home. Common misconceptions are that this kind of people are single but the truth is that many digital nomad families travel while making money online.
How to become a digital nomad
To have a nomadic lifestyle first you need to love the feeling of adventure, of exploring the world, to be open to new experiences and the motivation to become a better person along the journey. Then, you need to know how are you going to generate an income that can let you live a good lifestyle and not just survive. You can also become a nomad traveler if you have the consistency and then the necessary tools to work remotely.
Read below and you will find ideas that will help you achieve your goals.
Locations and cities
There are popular places in the world that are suitable for those who are in pursuit of the nomadic lifestyle. I can mention Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Singapore. I am saying they’re good locations because of the following reasons: fast internet connection and great co-working spaces. A co-working in space is basically a space within an office that you are paying per hour.
In the following page, you can check the temperature of different cities in each month of the year so that you can choose where and when to go according to your needs.
As regards accomodations you can read our guide here.
According to nomadlist.com, there is a list of popular cities that nomads choose:
- Ubud in Bali, Indonesia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Berlin, Germany
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Budapest, Hungary
Do You Have To Quit Your Full-Time Job To Be A Digital Nomad?
Some people think that you need to quit your job in order to become a nomad. Well, this is not true. In fact, some people choose to keep their current jobs while having a nomadic lifestyle. This is something you can arrange with your employer. Many companies accept that you take a license (non-paid of course) for a period of time while keeping your job.
Types of nomads
What is it like to live as a nomad? We can distinguish between the following types:
1. The Backpacker
The typical Backpacker is going from one hostel to another hostel, usually traveling through economic destinations like southeast Asia. They are working on co-working spaces, meeting people and making friends along the way.
2. The Expat
The expat likes to stay longer in the current location he/she is right now. In this way they get to know almost like a local the place where they live, connect with people and make more friends. The period of time they remain there can be sometimes more than 6 months.
Digital nomad jobs or location independent jobs
These are the type of jobs or ways of income that usually a typical nomad would have. Let’s put it clear here that freelancing or being a freelance worker is not the same as being a digital nomad.
A freelancer is a person self-employed, independent, that usually is paid per hour or day, not committed in the long term with the employee. A digital nomad could be in the same working situation but the difference is that he/she travels and moves often while a freelancer works from his/her home.
1. Software development
This is one of the most common ways of freelancing. On sites like upwork.com, freelancer.com or peopleperhour.com you can find a lot of job opportunities related to programming skills like web development or mobile app development.
2. Blogging with affiliate marketing
Having a blog and monetize it through affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make a passive income as a digital nomad. If you want to know how I have a created a blogging course you can follow it here How To Start a WordPress Blog.
Affiliate marketing works like this: You promote a product in your site through a review, it means you add links referring to that product. Then if people buy that product you get a commission that usually is a percentage from the total sale. Popular affiliate networks are Amazon or Cj – Commission Junction.
E-commerce is another great alternative for making money online. The number of people buying stuff online is growing and growing every year. In the year 2020, it is estimated there will be online sales for $ 4 trillion USD. Dropshipping is a subset of eCommerce. Dropshipping is in fact, a business model where you don’t have physical products, you don’t have a stock, because you are the middleman. It means that if someone buys from you, then you just send the order request to the manufacturer/provider and he/she is responsible for the delivery of that product directly to your client. This business model has become very popular in the last years. Currently, the best eCommerce platform for having an online store is Shopify, and with it, you have all the necessary tools to create your eCommerce store.
4. Business Coaching & Consulting
Business coaching is a type of business where you are basically coaching, teaching and guiding other people how to achieve their business goals. Become an expert on one thing you love and you can start selling your services and help others succeed. Business consulting it’s booming and is a $250 billion industry that keeps growing.
Think about yourself, what is your passion? Is there something you know very well so that you can help others succeed?
If you are a professional photographer or have good skills with it then you can sell your images in iStock, Getty Images or ShutterStock. With the time your earnings will increase, depending on how many and how often people buy your photos. I know people can make a living on this and make thousands of dollars a month by just selling on these platforms. As an additional tip, you can also contact hotels and tour companies to offer them your services.
6. Social media management
With social media management, you get paid just by managing the social accounts of celebrities or companies/brands. Normal tasks would be uploading photos, creating stories, videos and replying comments from followers. Nowadays the so-called influencers can have hundreds of thousands of followers and require someone to do the tasks I already mentioned. You can create your account in fiverr.com and offer your service. Search for “social media management” and you will find other services to inspire you. You can additionally search for jobs in upwork.com or elance.com
You can get paid buy fulfilling online surveys. The following below are the ones I found: American Consumer Opinion, InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Pinecone Research, and Harris Poll Online, Survey Junkie, OneOpinion, VIP Voice, Opinion Outpost, SaySo4Profit, PanelBucks, PaidSurveys, Prize Rebel and Paid Surveys at Home
8. Virtual assistant
There are so many entrepreneurs that when they have growing businesses they can’t handle all the tasks they have, so they need an extra help. Here come virtual assistants to help. Their tasks can involve things like replying to emails, updating social media. Search for opportunities in fiverr.com or remote.co.
9. Graphic Design
Everything on the internet is connected with a visual idea. Graphic designers have a great opportunity to develop their skills and work for companies creating banners, logo or advertisement campaigns. Take a look at 99designs.com
10. Working as a translator
11. Instagram influencer
An Instagram influencer is a person who has a huge number of followers interested in his/her lifestyle. As Instagram has become one of the most popular social networks in the last years, with a growing number of users, is not surprising to see people who are featuring photos of their everyday life just like famous people. Instagram has let “common” people become like “famous” people. These influencers show catchy images, usually of high quality and get paid for publishing posts or placing temporarily a brand’s website in the bio section of the profile. An influencer with 1 million followers can get paid even 1,000 USD for a single post. But even small influencers with 25- 50k followers can be paid 100 for a single post. You can sell your shoutouts ( posts) on sites like shoutcart.com or buysellshoutouts.com.
12. Other skills
Tools for nomads
Here, I will make a list of tools that will help you on your journey to becoming a nomad. Some will help you to administrate your finances, while others help you to grow.
Press releases sites
A press release is a short news story that usually a journalist requests about some topic. This is your opportunity to get the word out about you and your work, giving you more exposure or possibilities to get clients and grow.
- journorequests.com is PR ( Press release) site where journalist in need a specific content are looking for bloggers/writers to provide them with it.
- www.helpareporter.com is another PR site.
Email Hunter is a chrome extension that helps you to get quickly the emails of any website. So you don’t need to bother with writing a message in the contact form of a site. My recommendation is not to use the contact form, instead write a mail directly to the address provided by this tool.
If you have a blog or eCommerce store there are tools that help you analyze your competition. The following tools will give you metric such as the number of visits, where the visitors come from, what are their best keywords or ad campaigns.
Spyfu: is a tool that lets you spy your competition and check what are their best keywords or ad campaigns. As you probably know, using the right keywords can make your website increase the traffic and thus the profit.
SimilarWeb is another tool very similar to Spyfu.
Social media tools
As a nomad is exploring the world, probably (and is a good idea) you would like to share your photos of the amazing places you are seeing. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, with an acceptable phone camera like an iPhone or similar you can make great shots. The best social platforms where to share your work or experiences are currently without doubt Pinterest and Instagram. A popular way to start growing your Instagram account and get followers is to buy shoutouts. Shoutouts is basically a post or story that are mention you so in that way people can see your profile and potentially follow or buy from you. When your account becomes big enough ( 10k followers) people will start paying you for shoutouts.
dlvrit.com is social media auto post tool that helps you to post your content in all your social media accounts.
archie.co is a social media marketing tool that helps you to grow your online presence. It finds targeted followers that have high affinity with your content, interacts with them
onlypult.com is a tool for scheduling your Instagram posts. The more often you publish photos the better.
Find co-working spaces
When you are in a new city you may want to break the routine, go out and connect with other entrepreneurs and socialize. One of the best places to do that is attending to co-working spaces.
Sites to look for remote jobs
Working remotely it is on the ADN of a digital nomad. The following are great sites for finding all type of remote jobs.
Traveling gear you should have
What are the travel essentials for a nomad? As the equipment should be lightweight and easy to carry, these are my recommendations for your packing list:
Choose a good backpack. Here you will put things like your passport, credit & debit cards, cash, and your phone. Put all your valuable electronics in your carry-on.
If you have a luggage you would put here:
- Additional clothes
- Universal adapters
- Photocopy of your passport
- Universal Adapter Plug
- Rain Poncho
- Bottle Opener
- Travel Document Holder
- Resealable Plastic Bags
- Pain Reliever
- Travel-Size Toothpaste
- A Magazine
- Special footwear for a plane traveling
- Travel-Size Toothpaste
- a Pen
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Sewing Kit
- Nail Clipper
- Medicine for Diarrhea
Tips for packing and traveling
1. Make a packing list
When it comes to packing, procrastinators fall short. Start your packing process days or even weeks ahead of your departure date; this gives you time to craft a complete list, plus purchase any additional items you might need for your vacation. Creating a packing list is a fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to bring something important.
2. Roll your clothes, don’t fold them!
I owe this important trick or travel hack to my wife. I remember in the past I used to put clothes one above each other and then it was sometimes complicated to find. But she showed me how to roll clothes for packing like in the image above. By doing this you make a better use of the space, it is more practical and you will find things much easier. In addition, your clothes are less prone to have wrinkles.
3. Know your airline’s baggage-fee policy
Figuring out the airlines’ tricky and befuddling baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. While most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, the majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights.
Tips and hacks
Having a signature in your email can simply boost your traffic to your website or social account. You can put a link to a specific landing page or offer and in this way, you will get an amazing targeted traffic.
Email Signature Promotion
How to Save Money on Car Rentals?
Here are my tips for saving money on car rentals:
1. Join a loyalty rewards program. In this way, you will gather points that you can use on future trips.
2. Search for coupons. Search for deals in popular coupons sites for example https://slickdeals.net/coupons/hertz/
3. Ask for a discount at the counter desk.
In any case, also pay attention in order not to pay extra taxes or extra insurance you don’t need.
Saving Money with House and Pet Sitting
This is a fresh new cool way to travel and earn money. House and pet sitting means that you are paid to take care of a house and optionally the pets while the owners are out while living in the same house. One interesting fact is that there are many luxury properties where you can potentially stay.
Find opportunities here:
If you want to become a global nomad you really need to think about your insurance. Here we have two options:
- Health insurance
- Travel insurance
Travel insurance is a better option for travelers who are on holidays because it covers medical emergencies or other things like theft of personal items. See more at World Of Nomads, a popular travel insurance for digital nomads.
Health insurance is a good fit for those who plan to live abroad. You can have check-ups and medical services that are non-urgent. Read more.
- Nomadbase is a social network for digital nomads. Available on iPhones and Android.
- MagPie is a social network for female nomads.
- Flylancer help users to schedule meetups.
- NomadProjects is an app that helps nomads find business partners for their side projects. As the founder, Thom Wensink said: “Some days you work 18 hours, other days not at all. Sometimes you sleep in a hostel with crappy Wi-Fi, other days you stay in an AirBnB apartment. Nomad life is versatile. You want someone that understands your lifestyle and workflow.”
Some 46% of nomads are not currently married or otherwise in a committed relationship, the Digital Nomad Survey. Nomad Soulmates is here to help.
Head to travel resources if you want to which tools to use to search for flights, transport, and accommodation.
Forums for Nomads
Being a digital nomad family is cool, and the best is that you are not alone! Come and join the following forums where you will get valuable information, moreover of connecting with awesome people. Please feel free to share this guide if you think it can be helpful for others to start and develop their nomadic path.
Conferences for Nomads
Attending conferences is another great way to connect with people, make new friends or find opportunities for spreading your business ideas. Some of the most popular conferences for digital nomads are dnxfestival.com, nomadsummit.com, 7in7.co.
Facts about Nomads
According to a survey from FlexJobs, we can mention the following facts about people who choose this nomadic lifestyle:
- 70 % are women and 30 % are men.
- 72% have a bachelor’s degree and 33% have a master’s degree.
- Most digital nomads work for a company (35%) than nomad freelancers (28%) or business owners (18%).
- 42% have been nomads for less than a year, 33% for 1-5 years and 24% have been nomads for more than 5 years.
Most popular Career Fields for Nomads
- Project Management
- Customer Service
- Art & Creative
- Computer & IT
- Data Entry
- Education & Training
Challenges & Benefits
- Digital nomads say that one of the top challenges of being digital nomad is having a good Wi-Fi (52%), a good place where to work (42%), networking (35%), time zones (29%), work communications (20%).
Top Benefits: flexible schedule (85%); no commuting (65%); freedom to live and work where I choose (65%), work-life balance (63%).
Reasons to have a nomadic lifestyle: work-life balance (73%); freedom (68%); love to travel (55%); avoid office politics and distractions of a traditional work environment (43%); want to explore other cultures (37%); high cost of living in home country (30%); poor local job market in hometown (24%).
Lifestyle: 92% of digital nomads say the lifestyle is important to them.
Impact: 88% report that being a digital nomad has had a huge improvement or positive impact on their lives.
Some recommended books:
My intention of writing this guide was that you would pass from a lost mental state asking yourself “Where Should I start?” to “a-ha, now I have a much better mental picture about what I need to do”. The first step is that you take the decision to become a digital nomad. Then learn from this guide and from every other useful resource. Don’t pretend to know everything, just learn along the way, the experience will give you invaluable knowledge.
If you have any questions, doubts, if you think I am missing something or you have any suggestions as well, please write me to contact(at)safarinomad.com.
In addition, you can follow my Blogging Course by email consisting of 7 useful lessons, tricks and some secrets I have used in order to make money online from blogging making it possible to me and my wife to be location independent and have a nomadic lifestyle.
Additional Useful Resources:
- How To Setup A Company In a Foreign Country
- http://leapin.eu – Estonian e-residency Guide
- https://e-estonia.com – About Estonian e-residency
I am a digital marketer who loves helping others succeed. In addition, traveling is another of my passions so this site is the best place to share all what I know and have experienced.