How to Become a Successful Digital Nomad
Use the Web to Earn a Living While Traveling as Freelancer
|The working nomad can now become location-independent thanks to the Web.
My office is no longer at end of an overcrowded commuter train journey. Over the last eight months it has been where I have chosen: a café by the beach on a tropical island, a mountain retreat, or an airplane at 30,000 feet. This time I won’t be returning home with less in the bank because I have managed to find the perfect balance between travel and maintaining an income.
I have been traveling and working around Southeast Asia and Australasia on income from my websites. While on the road I have been running a blog called WorkingNomad.com, which is a mix of travelogue and information for others dreaming of making an escape.
Creating and running websites is not for everyone, although getting started as a website publisher is no longer a big task largely to blogging and social media marketing.
I run a dozen websites. These sites generate income from text ads, affiliate marketing (whereby you promote the goods and services of companies in return for commission), and self-publishing of books for sale.
Here are some ways to make money on the web:
Writing and Publishing
The Internet has not only enabled a writer to work from anywhere but it has also presented itself as another platform for getting work published. Writing, whether it is fiction or journalism, can be very competitive but there are plenty of opportunities for the talented and persistent.
In order to be a successful writer you need to bring something different to the publishing table. Search out a unique angle and find a niche area. Like any new business, you need to see what gaps exist and attempt to exploit them.
Photography and Art
The Internet has also opened up opportunities for the visually creative type as well. I met another working nomad once who had spent three months in Sri Lanka. She was an artist from Spain who painted landscapes and had successfully found two markets for her work. Not only does she sell her pictures online, she also sells them to other travelers and locals. She uploads digital pictures of her work to her laptop and then transfers them to an online store.
A quick and easy way to get your work out there is by selling on an online auction site such as eBay. With no technical knowledge you can quickly get your work in front of an interested audience.
Travel photography is another field of work that can be made into a business pretty much anywhere. There are many photo stock websites that will display and sell your work.
Finance and Money
I know of one guy who is a day trader. He previously worked for an investment bank as a trader and decided he wanted a change of lifestyle and a move away from the pressure of the trading floor. With a laptop and a good Internet connection he can pretty much trade stocks from anywhere. His choice was Thailand.
Another popular job for a working nomad is to play poker online. Gambling carries huge financial risks, but some people out there in some remote corner of the planet play the game and win. I wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term venture unless you really know what you are doing and you can afford to lose what you stake. The same advice goes for trading stocks.
There are many freelance type jobs that can be conducted remotely via the Internet. Some examples include translation work, web design, computer programming, bookkeeping, personal assistant and administration work, copywriting, and all other kinds of design. Yet another option is to teach English online from the location you choose, as offered by this successful long-term teacher and expat in his course "The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online!”
The list is endless. Think of all the work that is being taken offshore now. The Internet has enabled much of this to happen, and there is no reason why you cannot place yourself offshore.