The term ‘digital nomad’ is the new hippie – it sounds cool, but most people that claim to be one are just faking it. It’s so much more than a title. It’s all about the freedom and independence associated with it. A digital nomad is anyone that works online, and therefore has the freedom to live any and everywhere in the world. That’s what we do and how we have traveled and lived abroad for the past three years.
So many people overcomplicate the logistics of being a digital nomad for one very simple reason: they’re not actually digital nomads, and so they can’t share what they don’t know.
The only thing intimidating about being a digital nomad is making money independently. Most of us are taught to work for others, typically exchanging our time for money. While you can simply take your regular job and work remotely, or ‘from home’, I think that defeats the purpose of becoming a digital nomad.
I focus on entrepreneurship or self-employment whenever I speak about being a digital nomad, because I think that how you make money is as important as how much you make (if not more important). It’s not desirable to simply work wherever you want if you still have to do something you don’t want to do. Whether you’re in Thailand or Smallville, USA, it will equally suck to spend 8-hours a day answering the phone or responding to emails, in exchange for money.
So how do you make money for yourself online?
While there are hundreds of ways to make money online, I think most ways stem from 1 of 5 methods. More importantly, I focus on these 5 ways to make money online because I use all of them and am 100% sure they work. It’s also important to note that I had no prior experience before being broke in Nicaragua, and making my Macbook my own personal money printer, as I started making money for myself.
Through time and experience the process has gotten a lot simpler and easy to execute. Now I can literally take a month off, learning a new language or exploring a new country, then launch one of these five ways to make money and in a matter of one week, I’ll make more than enough money to cover my lifestyle for months.
That’s anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. In 7-days! Here’s how I do it.
Even more important than the content you create on your blog, or the amount of people that read said content, is the almighty subscriber list. If you have any type of online presence you have to, have to, have to find a way to collect email addresses from visitors. What you then have is a potential customer list that you can utilize at any given time. It is so much easier to convert a dedicated audience than to search for customers.
So, let’s talk numbers. Say you have 10,000 people subscribed to your blog, and you send out an email, offering a $10 guide you have created. If 1% of your list, or 100 people, chooses to purchase that guide, you have successfully made $1,000.
Of course, if your proposed product costs $50, you’ve made $5,000. And if 2% of your subscriber list (just 2%!) chooses to participate in your $50 project, you’ve made $10,000.
It goes without saying that you would have to create a product that adds more than $50 worth of value, but if you’re reading this I imagine you don’t have a problem working, you just want to make money in a way that affords you freedom in addition to things. By creating valuable content, you will gain subscribers, and by understanding what your subscribers want, you’ll be able to add value to their lives. When you add value to someone’s life, they will happily compensate you.
2. Creating Products & Services
Adding value is simple once you know what your audience wants. The trick is to try to give them that information as simply as possible. No one wants to take a college course to get to the point; people are paying you to simplify a subject for them. Your job is to create a shortcut.
I offered a shortcut for traveling the world for cheap, in an eBook I self-published and now giveaway to subscribers.
I utilized my expertise, as an experienced traveler, and compiled all of the information that had become common sense to me, and offered it to less experienced travelers. It was an absolute hit and financed my life for about a year.
My favorite part? It was a digital product, so I created the book once, and every time someone purchased it, I did not have to lift a finger to complete the transaction. It was completely passive income.
There are also ways to create your own physical products and maintain a semi-passive income through drop shipping, another method I often use. I simply design a product, then allow a trusted company to create, package and ship the finished product to my customers. After every purchase, I simply forward the order and after a few clicks, my work is done. I don’t incur any costs up front and do not have to bother with any inventory.
Services work the same way, and are better for artistic creators, as they often require some sort of customization. This includes tattoo designs, logo designs, commissioned artwork, accounting services, marketing assistance, web design, fitness training, nutrition assistance, and every other customizable expertise you can transition into a service.
You can offer these products and services on your own platform, or on pre-established platforms, both of which options are discussed in depth later.
No reason to reinvent the wheel, right?
That’s the premise behind reselling products. You are basically selecting great products on the market, and selling them to customers as a third-party. You can either purchase the products wholesale and maintain the inventory, or use a drop-shipping method like discussed above. I’ve utilized both methods and discovered pros and cons to both. It’s really up to what fits you and your business best.
4. Affiliate Marketing
You know how your cable company pays you if you refer someone to sign up for a package? That’s affiliate marketing. It’s simply getting paid by established brands for your word of mouth advertising and recommendations. It’s a simple concept, but only effective if you have an audience that is truly interested in the products you promote.
For instance, my readership does not check out my blog to purchase windows, so promoting them would not do me any good. But house sitting does connect with my blog readers who are looking for travel tips and shortcuts.
By referring customers to other businesses, you can make money online. I have several friends who make over $10,000 every month from affiliate marketing alone.
I think of freelancing as the perfect start to becoming a digital nomad – partly because that was my personal path, and partly because it is so simple to get started. Freelancing is essentially being self-employed without any commitment to an employer. Unlike entrepreneurs, freelancers don’t often have a business per say, and instead tend to perform one-time jobs, or ‘gigs’.
My first gigs consisted of writing a lot of blog posts for new blogs popping up on niche subjects. I’m an aromatherapy expert because of a gig that required me to research and write recipes using essential oils for ailments and sicknesses.
Knowing how to identify your skills, find clients, and price your services is the most challenging, yet simple, task.
Using worksheets and exercises I’ve helped hundreds of people understand their expertise and launch their own digital nomad careers, using these 5 easy ways to make money online.
I use every one of these methods regularly. In my eCourses, Passport Income and The Lightbulb Effect, I teach you how to identify your expertise, build your own website, and monetize your unique skill set using these five methods, so that you can easily make money from anywhere in the world.
Like me, you’ll be able to travel and live wherever you want once you gain your financial independence. And as a bonus, you’ll receive a free copy of my upcoming downloadable toolkit: Creative Portal: A Guide to Creating Digital Products, before it is released to the public.
If making money online sounds like a good fit for your lifestyle, and you’d like to reclaim your time through financial independence, sign up for my eCourses so that we can get started. You can take them at your own pace, and start whenever you’re ready.