10 Ways To Make Money As A Digital Nomad

More and more people are becoming digital nomads thanks to the technology we have to hand. We live in a digital age and an information age and that has given a lot of people the kind of freedom our parents and grandparents could only dream off.

To make money while travelling the world in the past was really only available to business owners who had staff keeping the business going, authors who made money from the sale of their books (via publishing houses) and news & travel reporters.

Everyone else was location dependent. They could only make money when they were based at or around a specific location like a factory, workshop, shop or town. They made money by being paid for the work they did, work which required them to be somewhere.

Today, it is different… anyone can make money as a digital nomad .

There are many ways for people to make money and travel the world. There is no reason for some people to be in one specific place anymore. People can do work at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world, and be paid by anyone from anywhere in the world.

These people… are digital nomads.

The article that you are reading today could quite easily have been written in Australia, England, the United States, Hong Kong, Canada, Argentina… then emailed to the website owner. As it happens it was written in England for the website owner who also lives in England… but they are miles apart and have never met.

This article could easily have been written in a hotel room, in a coffee shop,  on a park bench, on a beach or in a camper van… this article has made the writer money without the need to be in a dedicated office.

In this article I am going to list 10 fantastic and fun ways that a person can make money as a digital nomad. This is not the complete list… as I say, there are loads of different ways to make money while travelling, but these are some of the best and more interesting ways to make money as a digital nomad.

Starting with my favourite… but I would say that being a writer 🙂

1 – Writing

There are many different forms of writing which a person can do for money.

  1. Article Writing
  2. Ghost Writing
  3. Book author
  4. Journalist
  5. Copywriter
  6. Email & newsletter writer

I am sure there are others but they all do merge into each other in some form. For example: a copywriter writes content which makes people ‘do something’ like sign up for a newsletter, buy a product or even leave the website so that the website owner doesn’t have to deal with them again. Copywriting is results focused. It’s aim is to motivate a person to ‘do something’.

Email & newsletter writers and article writers can also write content with those actions in mind. When a writer is trying to get a person to do something, they employ proven psychological methods. When a person can write in a way which gets results by getting readers to do something, they can be paid a lot of money.

A copywriter can earn a lot of money when writing a sales letter for a client. One sales letter could take as little as a few days to write, yet it could earn the writer several thousand dollars. Top copywriters can charge over $10,000 per sales letter.

You don’t need to do many sales letters to earn a decent yearly wage… and as you should know by now… you can write articles, emails and sales letters anywhere in the world using nothing more than a tablet, a laptop and sometimes just a smartphone.

Work can be shared with clients using software services like Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox or simply attaching documents to emails and sending them.

Writing is one of the best and easiest businesses that anyone can take with them. I dare say that you could write on a remote mountain side and still earn money. You certainly can work as a writer in a campervan, a villa, a coffee shop and on a beach. 

This is an ideal business for someone wanting to travel and become a digital nomad. You just need to make sure that you develop the skills so that you can charge a premium price for the work that you do.

You don’t want to be spending all your hours churning our cheap articles while you are trying to see the world. Develop the skills such as copywriting and get paid a lot to write something which can take as little as a few hours.

Learn more here: How YOU Can Make Money Using The Written Word

2 – Ad Based Affiliate Marketing

Get this right and you can make a lot of money… and you can do this from anywhere in the world. 

Ad based affiliate marketing is where you pay to run ads across specific platforms and websites which promote other people’s products.

At first it doesn’t sound all that great when you consider that you spend your money to promote other people’s products, but here’s the thing… you find high priced items which pay you a commission of 50% or higher whenever a sale is made.

You find these products on websites such as Clickbank.com and JVZoo.com. There is a huge resource of products which you can promote.

The idea here is that for every dollar you spend, you earn at least two back. Ideally you aim to make more and you should… once you have mastered the art. And it is an art.

It can take quite a bit of learning and if you are not careful, you can lose money when learning… but when you do get to grips with it… you should be buying yourself money. Everytime you give ad networks like Facebook, Google and Revcontent a dollar, you should get back $2… $5… $10 or more. 

You are literally buying money.

Cash flow is something you really need to keep an eye on though. Networks like Facebook tend to take your money weekly whereas some affiliate companies do not pay out until the end of the month so you can go through a period where you are spending money and not actually banking any back. But it does come eventually, you just need to keep a close eye on what you are doing and monitor your ads and accounts daily.

3 – Video Blogger & Sponsored Content

This is a great way to make money. This is where you get paid by companies to promote their services and products in videos.

There is a downside to this… you will need to have a large following and be an established video blogger before you can really make decent money with sponsored content. But when you are… you can make a lot of money… or at least enough to keep you on the road as a digital nomad.

The video below is a brilliant example of a video which has been sponsored by a 3rd party company.

38 seconds into the video, Nate Murphy clearly states that the video is sponsored by Outdoorsy which is a camper van hire company.

Outdoorsy is a perfect match for the video as it is aimed at people who live in camper vans known as vanlifers, people who are interested in either converting a van into a campervan or simply interested in using campervans.

Many vanlifers are digital nomads. They work on the road doing one or several of the ideas mentioned in this list. A lot of them are video bloggers with their own YouTube channels where they make money from several ways including:

  • Sponsored content such as mentioning products and services from a 3rd party
  • Advertising revenue from adverts shown on and around the videos as part of the YouTube partner programme.
  • Donations such as the YouTube ‘Thanks’ button (as seen on the image above).
  • Subscriptions using Patreon (more about this later).
  • Product and merchandise sales. 51 minutes into the above video Nate promotes his own information product called the ‘Van Conversion Guide’.

Being a successful video blogger – vlogger as they are officially known as – can be incredibly lucrative and wonderfully freeing because you work as and when you want.

Depending on what videos you create, you could create a whole month’s worth of content in one week and then drip them out over the rest of the month.

It is one of those businesses where you do the work once and you get paid over and over again. A video which becomes popular can be watched by new people for years to come which also means that you can still be earning money many years after that one video was published.

It is also a numbers game.

Having five videos online will not make  you a lot unless they happen to be incredible and they go viral. Being seen by just a handful of people will not make you much money either… but if you have 200 or 300 videos online which are seen regularly by people and you keep adding more videos, then you are tipping the scale of success your way.

In the screenshot below, Nate has had a total of 20,551,000 views on just 10 of his videos. He has over 300 videos on YouTube… I gave up counting when I hit 300!

If 1,000 views earned Nate $5 from advertising revenue, sponsored content and product & merchandise sales… then those 10 videos have earned him $102,755. That’s not bad is it?

Many young YouTubers have bought houses and flash cars from the money they have earned from advertising revenue and sponsorship deals. Some have become television celebrities. 

So as you can see, being a video blogger can be incredibly lucrative and if you love to travel, it is a business which you can run and manage from anywhere in the world. In fact, travelling while video blogging gives you more to vlog about and more interesting stuff for your viewers to see.

Check out Nate Murphy’s YouTube channel.

4 – Self-Published Author

This is another one of those self based businesses. 

You do this for yourself.

You are not offering a service here. You can offer ghostwriting services which do pay well and they were talked about in the first section.

Being a self-published author can make you a lot of money if you approach it correctly. You can make a decent monthly income even if you don’t  make bucket loads of cash… but please be warned… if you approach this wrong without the following plan, you can struggle and it can be hard.

We are at the best time in human history where an individual can create a piece of written content and sell it to people from all over the world, take payment and deliver the item on autopilot without having to touch anything physical… apart from the device you write on.

No longer does a person need a publishing house or company to publish a book for them. You now have the freedom to do everything you need to do without other people telling you that your work is unpublishable, dictating what you do and taking the lion’s share of the money.

To approach this the right way… you need to do a few specific things which are:

  • ‘Write to audience’ and write books which people want to read. You can figure this out by doing research. Romance stories are big sellers.
  • Write a ‘series’ that follows one or several people on many different adventures. Series generally sell better than one-off stand alone novels.
  • Write three to four books before you even publish one online.
  • Build an email list and maybe a Facebook group.
  • Run Amazon and Facebook ads to your books and reinvest any profits until you are making a decent income each month.
  • Publish your book on several online stores.
  • Get your books converted into audio books and add to audible.

To make sure that this works you need to have a plan and also you need to give yourself time. You can’t expect to make $10,000 per month within a couple of months after writing only a couple of books.

There are people who make $10,000 a month from self-publishing their own books and there is no reason as to why you cannot do the same. 

There are roughly 7 billion people on planet earth at the moment. Over 500 million live in the main English speaking nations with millions more who speak English as a second language.

Ebooks are not expensive, they generally cost just a few pounds to buy. Rarely do they cost more than ten pounds, especially fiction. With Amazon, not only do you get paid when someone buys your book, you get paid for the amount of pages read if they are added to the Kindle Unlimited programme.

People pay a small monthly fee to be part of Kindle Unlimited where they get access to millions of books. 

This is a  numbers game, if you want to make thousands per month, then you need to either sell thousands of your books and/or have thousands of people read your books each month. So with this in mind you need to publish new books regularly.

Publishing one large book is fine if it becomes a bestseller, but most of the people who make thousands of pounds each month from their books are not bestsellers and are often completely unknown. Their secret is that they publish a lot of short stories within a series.

Think of Enid Blyton’s popular Secret Seven and Famous Five children’s stories. Writing in a series means that if a reader enjoyed the characters in one story, they will want to read more and if you have more… then you are more likely to sell more books because a buyer is likely to buy from you again.

There are more than enough people to sell your books too. There is no reason why you cannot make this work… you just need to be totally focused and go for it.

As mentioned previously, niche romance and love stories are big sellers and you can learn more about them here. The Passive Income Power Of Short Romance Books And Love Stories

5 – Email Marketing

This business model is both a stand alone business but is also a vital component to many of the other businesses in this list.

Email marketing is essentially where you send emails to people promoting products. These products are either your own or other people’s who pay you a decent affiliate commission for any sales made.

This is another game of numbers… when you have a large email list and you promote high priced items, you don’t need to make many sales to generate a decent monthly income.

The popular and successful marketer Anik Singal says that he generated over $1 million over a 12 day period sending out 18 emails promoting a $3,000 product for Joe Vitale. For every sale generated, Anik was paid an affiliate commission of $1,500. 

Who would say no to that?

An email based business can give you freedom.

It is reported that for every one on your email list, you should make a pound each month. So if you have an email list of 5,000 people, you should make around £5,000 each month. 

Even if estimates are high and you only make the equivalent of fifty pence per person per month, you still should be earning £2,500 each month from a list of 5,000 people.

With email marketing you legally build email lists by giving away free products called lead magnets such as an eBook or collect emails when you sell a product, also an eBook.

You don’t simply send emails to people, that is illegal and called spam. It is something you do not want to be doing. There is more than enough money to be made when using email marketing properly.

Even if you choose one of the other business models in this list, it is worth building an email list because they help you to ‘scale’ your business. 

You can grow your business and earnings by promoting products which people on your list are interested in, you can find clients from your list if you offer a service and you can drive traffic to your posts or videos if you are a blogger and/or vlogger.

An email list is traffic you own. Unlike your followers on social media platforms, you own your email list. With social media, they can limit how many people see your posts and when. They can also close down any pages, groups or profiles that you manage without warning. 

Once Facebook, Instagram or Twitter close you down, you lose access to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people.

Unless you do something really bad and break a lot of rules, or stop paying for a service, your email list service will not close you down. Say something which ‘appears’ to go against a social media platform’s terms and conditions and you can be shut down without a chance to appeal.

With email marketing, you write an email, click send and you watch money come in. Many email marketers use their email lists as personal cash machines. That sounds pretty vulgar, but that isn’t to say that they do not respect or care for the people on their email lists. Far from it. They just know how powerful and important their email list is for generating an income.

Emails can take as little as 5 minutes to write, or they can take upto an hour to craft. Depending on what it is that you are writing about and promoting. It is possible to write a week or two’s worth of emails in a day. When you have an established email list, you could write those emails in a day and have the rest of the time off.

6 – Match Betting & Sports Trading

This one is not for the fainthearted or the fearful… unless you are disciplined and good with self control.

There are people who make a lot of money with gambling systems and trading sports. When I say a lot of money… I do mean a lot of money!

If you are in the UK the winnings are tax free too. But, you do need to use money, be careful with what you do, and not allow yourself to be ruled by emotion.

You need to master specific methods, stick to those methods and master self control over your emotions when sports trading. Once you start to deviate from a system, you become a gambler… and gamblers lose.

Match betting is great as you can generate free money by taking advantage of the special offers and free bets which are regularly offered by the online bookmakers and exchanges.

The problem is that over a long period of time, match bettors can have their accounts closed down by the bookies or the offers simply dry up. Match betting is good but if you want long term money then you need to focus on a real sports trading system which uses a betting exchange such as Betfair and BetDaq.

Betting exchanges don’t mind how much money you make… in fact they love it when you make more because they earn a fee off all transactions. Unlike bookmakers, you are not betting against the exchange, you are betting against other gamblers and traders so as far as the exchange is concerned, the more money you make, the more they make.

They actively encourage you to make more money and so your account is relatively safe. Unless you do something illegal and fraudulent, there is no reason for a betting exchange to close your account down.

If you would like to learn how to make money trading horse racing check out System 89P here.

7 – Virtual Assistant

Being an online virtual assistant is a great business to take anywhere in the world with you. As long as you work the hours contracted and do the work that is asked of you, you can do this anywhere in the world.

A virtual assistant can be responsible for doing a lot of the smaller and annoying jobs that business owners and entrepreneurs don’t enjoy doing. We are talking about the jobs which take up time and ultimately rob the owner of precious time.

Business owners and entrepreneurs identify what their strengths are, their weaknesses are, what they enjoy doing, what they hate doing and ultimately… what it is which makes them the most money.

They will then focus only on the things which they do best, the things they enjoy doing and the things which make them the most money. The rest of the stuff gets outsourced to a virtual assistant who either does the work themselves, or they manage a team of others who does the work for them.

The tasks often passed on to virtual assistants are:

  • Answering, replying to, deleting emails.
  • Making phone calls or reaching out to potential clients, customers and possible partners through email.
  • Blog commenting and other small SEO related jobs.
  • Formatting and publishing blog posts and web content.
  • Transcribing audio recordings.
  • Managing social media profiles and platforms.
  • Uploading and sharing content on other platforms.
  • Doing research.
  • Bookkeeping and filing receipts.
  • Hiring and firing of freelance workers.

The above list is not in any way comprehensive. There are many many more jobs which can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant can be paid well if they work for the right person. The right person understands what a virtual assistant can do for them and is not just some cheap labour. 

It’s not about taking care of the crappy jobs that the business owner does not want to do… it is more about giving the business owner more freedom to focus on the better aspects of the business which in turn make them and the business more money.

By taking care of the ‘other stuff’ the business owner has the freedom to create more products, write new books, record new videos… and make more money.

A virtual assistant is an important cog in the system. And they should be paid well… if someone isn’t willing to pay you well to give them back their freedom… don’t accept the position.

8 – Blogger

Blogging can be quite profitable… even today in what is considered to be an incredibly saturated internet. 

Blogging has been incredibly profitable for many years with hundreds of thousands of people turning their hand to it. 

Money is made from a combination of paid advertising which is shown on their blogs, sponsored content (we’ve touched a little on this in number 3), merchandising, donations, affiliate marketing, email lists and sales of your own products such as courses.

It must be stressed that a lot of people don’t make a penny from blogging but that comes from failing to do one or several of these:

  1. Following a proven plan.
  2. Working in a popular niche.
  3. Giving useful content.
  4. Giving regular content.
  5. Creating quality content.
  6. Interacting with people and building a network of friends (this can be incredibly useful for traffic when the time comes).
  7. Sticking with it no matter how hard and pointless it feels – too many people give up when the going gets tough and do not dedicate enough time and energy to blogging.

As with everything in this world, if you approach blogging without a plan or a decent length of time, you will not succeed. 

How can you if you simply do not give it the time and effort it deserves?

Blogging can require a lot of work, but once you hit that position where you are making money… you can make good money. There are thousands of people who generate thousands of pounds each month thanks to blogging.

The great thing about blogging is that you control what you do and when. You can work in the evening when it’s cold and dark and have the day off if you wish.

If you fancy having a go at blogging, please realise that you will  be making a lot of content to be shared across several platforms. It’s not just a case of adding an article to your blog and hoping that people will come and read it.

There is so much content competing on the web battling for people’s attention. You need to focus on at least one, maybe two social media platforms to build a large following.

Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, the content can now be micro-content. Blogging can be an article on your website but feeding it can be a series of short videos filmed on your smartphone and shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

There is a lot of money to be made from blogging, but beware that there is a lot of work involved and make sure that you have a plan to follow when you start. Then, once you hit that sweet spot… you will be able to travel the world while making money without the need of a real or proper job as society will have you think.

9 – Subscription Focused Content Creator With Patreon

This business is basically the same as being a blogger or vlogger apart from you get paid through people paying you a monthly subscription fee to see your content.

YouTubers and bloggers are now turning to Patreon (and other similar platforms) to offer exclusive content for people who pay to see it.

Patreon is a social media-like platform which allows a person to take recurring subscription payments. It has a feel similar to Facebook.

Subscription and membership businesses have been great ways for people to make a decent living online, but until recently, websites had to be built using dedicated membership software and using dedicated merchant accounts to take money.

Building a dedicated subscription based membership website required time, technical ability and money. That was until Patreon (and others) came along.

Now, thanks to Patreon, you can start your own subscription based membership business within the day.

Patreon is a platform which takes payment and allows you to post content to it in the same way you share content on Facebook. Unlike Facebook though, you can lock off your content and only those who have paid can access it. 

Some bloggers, podcasters and YouTube vloggers use it to help supplement their incomes by offering exclusive content which is not shared on their normal platforms.

Anyone can open up a Patreon profile:

  • Teachers
  • Musicians
  • Authors
  • Film makers
  • Animators
  • Podcasters
  • Comedians
  • DJs
  • Whatever your hobby or niche is… you can open up a Patreon profile and start taking payment in exchange for your content.

The popular bestselling Author Seana McGuire supplements the income she gets from the sale of her books with a Patreon account where people pay to read exclusive short stories and get to see what goes on behind the scenes of her personal life. This usually involves a lot of cats. 

As you can see in the image above, at the time of writing, Seanan McGuire is making £9,754 per short story… and I believe that she is publishing at least two short stories each month… so she could be earning twice that amount.

At the very least she is earning just shy of £10,000 each month from her short stories… and they are very short stories too.

Having a Patreon profile can complement quite a few of these business ideas. As you see with Seanan being an author, this could go nicely with number 4.

Have you ever heard of Amanda Palmer?

No I hadn’t either… but look at her subscription numbers and the prices she charges for access to her content.

At time of writing, Amanda Palmer has 12,457 paying subscribers. Her lowest price tier – she has 8 price tiers – is for £1 (possible $1 in the States)… that means that she is earning at least £12,457 (or $12,457).

Patreon will take their fee out to cover running costs, merchant fees and developer costs for the platform… but still… who wouldn’t like to be earning over £12,000 a month for creating your own stuff.

10 – Merchandise, Cups, T-Shirts and Low Content Books.

This is a great business model. It can take some time to build up until it is a case of managing a semi-passive income but one you are in that position you can make money at any time of the day, every day of the year.

For this, you design merchandise like cups, T-shirts, hoodies, phone cases and even Low Content Books which you sell online using a variety of platforms.

Again, this is a numbers game… and it is also dependent on a lot of traffic generation. You can’t expect to add a couple of T-shirt designs to the internet and expect to make a stack of sales and be quids in for the month.

Firstly you are going to need people to see your designs and they are not going to magically appear without you running some form of paid advertising or doing a lot of free social media sharing.

Unless you get an unexpected celebrity endorsement or your T-shirts appear in a popular movie or music video creating a surge of people searching for your designs, a couple of designs will not make you much money. Ideally you need a good number of products to make decent money.

Selling just a couple each of two different designs is not as good as selling a couple each of two hundred different designs.

By putting out more designs and products, you can appeal to more and more people. 

You can design and offer products on websites such a:

  • Cafepress.com
  • Redbubble.com
  • Amazon.com
  • Zazzle.com

These companies use print-on-demand technology which means that they only print a product when an order has been received. There is no need to print off a lot of stock and sit on it.

They process the order and the payment and then send the product out to the customer. They then send you your money after a set period of time. 

There is nothing for you to do other than create the designs, list them and send people to your designs.

The actual physical work is done for you.

Low Content Books are easier to make than writing a book because all they are are journals and notebooks with empty lined pages for taking notes. They are designed with specific people in mind. That is where they make their money. 

Instead of making a box standard notebook or journal with lined paper, you create a design and target a specific group of people such as UFOlogists or bird watchers.

Learn more here: Design And Sell Low Content Books

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to make money as a digital nomad allowing you to travel the world.

Either as a freelance worker, a remote worker or making money working for yourself as a blogger, vlogger, affiliate marketer, writer etc.

I won’t say that you will start today and be earning thousands by the end of the month. You will need to work and put the time in. Without work and planning, you will struggle.

Some of the best advice I can give is to spend some time thinking about what it is that you can do and what to do. Spend time planning it carefully then make a start. Once you make a start, stick with it and give your chosen method plenty of time to master it, grow it and to make it a success.

Now go and become a digital nomad and enjoy some travelling.

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