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Top 5 Ways to Make Money as a Digital Nomad

Many people dream of traveling full time, exploring new destinations, and seeing the world instead of sitting behind a desk at work every day. The good news is that the dream of traveling and making an income online has never been more achievable. 

With more and more companies moving their employees online and technology enabling remote work capabilities, there has never been a better time to work from the comfort of… literally anywhere.

What is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who has a nomadic lifestyle, spending their time traveling worldwide with the ability to work digitally from any location, many times coffee shops and co-working spaces. There are generally three types of digital nomads: remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. 

#1. Remote Work

Nomads who earn an income from remote work while traveling are usually people who already had a job back in their home countries that simply allowed them to continue working remotely (or teleworking).

These types of digital nomads have a position at a company and have been given permission to work entirely online. With fixed salaries and fixed hours, this kind of work can be anything from software engineering to accountancy, digital marketing, or project management. 

#2. Freelancing

The second type of digital nomad is the freelancer. This category encompasses a wide variety of professions and can include anything from copywriting to coding, graphic design to translation services. Many digital nomads use sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Flexjobs to get started in the freelancing game. 

Freelancers make money from gigs with clients. They can work on an hourly basis or if they have permanent clients, the wages can be fixed for a specified period of time. This type of work can be pretty erratic — unless you have a contract or retainer package — meaning income can be quite irregular. Freelancers have to constantly be on the lookout for new clients, asking for referrals and pounding the proverbial pavement for work. 

#3. Photography & Videography

The best part about travel is that you have endless possibilities for incredible photos of people, landmarks, nature, culture, and events. If you have a knack for photography, a creative eye, and the ability to capture stunning images, you can make some money doing what you love. 

If you plan to travel full-time, chances are that you’re planning on documenting your adventures. With skill, luck, and a high-quality DSLR camera (or drone), you can make money on your incredible travel pics by selling them to stock photo or royalty-free video websites for cash.

#4. Teach & Tutor Online

Many people with a passion for travel started out teaching English overseas. Once they got a taste for the ex-pat life, oftentimes they decide to go nomadic. This usually means teaching or tutoring students online. All you need to get started is a laptop, a pair of earbuds, and a strong Wi-Fi connection. 

Digital nomads that choose this path can teach any language they know or tutor students in any subject matter that they happen to have proficiency in. There are dozens of online platforms to choose from so if you have a love for teaching and travel, make sure you have a university degree and a TEFL or TESOL certificate to get a leg-up on the competition. 

#5. Start a Blog

Digital nomads that start their own businesses fall into the “Entrepreneur” category. Traveling entrepreneurs can own a digital business in a variety of areas, one of which is starting a blog. The key to starting a successful blog is to find a niche topic in which you are an expert or can write confidently on a regular basis. 

Once your blog starts to rank on search engines and get some serious traffic, you can monetize the blog through ad programs or affiliate marketing. If your blog promotes the products or services of other companies, you can earn an affiliate commission every time you refer a sale. 

All of these options require hard work and dedication but what they don’t require is a desk, office, or commute. If your heart is set on travel, they offer the amazing opportunity to earn money while seeing the world as a digital nomad. 

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