My husband and I have been digital nomads for 9 months and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’re constantly learning and meeting other digital nomads. We’ve been able to sustain this lifestyle for the 9 months due to good planning and being able to make money online.
If you’re reading this, you are probably wondering how you can be a digital nomad and make money – REAL money.
Or, you clicked on this wondering what is a digital nomad.
What Does Digital Nomad Mean?
To start, what are we even talking about when we say “digital nomad”? What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a person who is location-independent for work. Meaning, a digital nomad can live and work anywhere they want with an internet connection.
The definition is really a combination of digital + nomad. Helpful – right? A digital nomad must be connected to the world digitally (or electronically) to be a good internet connection around the globe.
This could be working from a hostel in London or a villa in Bali or a co-working space in Medellin. Really anywhere with access to a reliable internet connection.
Now that we are clear on what a digital nomad is, let’s get into how they make money.
How Do Digital Nomads Make Money?
There are really 3 main ways to make money as a digital nomad. The three ways are remote jobs, freelancing, and starting a business.
Unless you have insane investments, most digital nomads utilize a combination of these three things to make money.
Another tip, most digital nomads have more than one income stream.
A lot of people work with their corporate jobs in remote positions. In 2020, most jobs moved to online during the pandemic anyway. If you’ve been working from home for the past 3 months, consider working with your manager to permanent work from home role. Twitter moved to allow their employees to work from home indefinitely.
Prior to quitting my job, I was working from home for 2 years. Although I didn’t do any long term travel (for tax purposes), I was able to visit friends and family in different states easily. I would take my computer and get some work done while also having fun.
Note: I said that I didn’t travel internationally long-term due to tax purposes. I worked for a huge company that had many international locations. Our policy stated that if we were not allowed to work and travel internationally (especially longer than a week) without permission because it’s suspicious to local governments where they had other locations. I don’t really get it but I wasn’t willing to risk it without asking permission.
If you don’t have a remote job, consider finding one.
Where to Find Remote Jobs:
- Flex Jobs is a job search company where all of the jobs are remote. There is a monthly membership fee but once you find the job, you can cancel the membership. Also, most of the jobs aren’t specific to Flex Jobs.
- Many digital nomads choose to teach English online because the schedule is very flexible. The most popular company is VIP Kid – bu there are hundreds of options.
Freelancing means working for clients for a specific project or timeline.
Although it seems like a job for creative types, there are many options for creative and non-creatives. If you have a specific skill set that people are looking for, you can become a freelancer.
Some examples of freelance jobs are writing, designing websites, making apps, analyzing data, managing social media, marketing, and copywriting. The possibilities are endless.
Where to Find Freelancing Gigs:
- The most popular place to find freelance gigs is Upwork. But there are others. Upwork is great because of its huge scale. The other sites usually focus on a specific skill set – design, writing, or content creation – where you can join if you have those skills.
- Instagram and Other Social Media Channels post a lot about looking for people for specific projects.
Entrepreneurship is my favorite way and the path that I chose. Being an entrepreneur means you get to create your own job. Your job can be anything people are willing to pay for.
But you have the opportunity to legit create your own job. Try solving someone’s problem and you don’t have to worry about making money.
The most common businesses for digital nomads include consulting, blogging, and selling products. Again, the possibilities are endless.
Where to Start with Entrepreneurship:
- Sell your services on Instagram
- Sell through Amazon FBA
- Create an Etsy store to sell your DIYs
Digital nomads can make money with investments. I placed this as a separate section because it’s usually not the first one to start with making money as a digital nomad. Because it takes money to make money.
Especially if you want to do it while traveling.
Where to Start with Investing:
The first step is to learn as much as possible about your investments and the risks.
- Invest in companies that make dividends quarterly.
- Invest with a real estate investor.
- Purchase a home for rent. If you want to be location independent, include property management.
What do we do for money?
So, now that I’ve given you all of the ways digital nomads make money on the road. You probably want to know what we do to make money on the road.
I hesitate to write this because it changes often and I don’t want to de-motivate you.
For starters, we saved a lot of money before quitting our jobs.
We both own a business. For me, that business is this blog.
At different times, we’ve freelanced and gotten full-time jobs.
We invest a lot of money in real estate. We currently have a rental property where we profit the rent paid above the mortgage.
I hope this post is inspirational and actionable because you can see that it is possible and actionable resources to get started.
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If you found this article helpful or have more questions about being a digital nomad, leave a comment below. And we’ll respond ASAP to help.
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This was so helpful! Thank you so much!