All over the world, travel writers and travel bloggers, often considered part of the new “Digital Nomad” landscape, are turning their backs on the traditional nine-to-five grind, setting off for travel, fun, and adventure…and getting paid while doing it. Here, International Living details the top 10 ways these wandering workerbees are earning money abroad.
All over the world, folks of all ages are turning their backs on the traditional nine-to-five grind and setting off for travel, fun, adventure. And they’re getting paid while they’re at it.
These itinerant writers earn remotely—working for themselves instead of clocking in at the office, hospital, shop, or factory. It’s a trend that’s gaining popularity. PeoplePerHour, an online freelance marketplace, forecasts that one in two people in the U.S. and the UK will be freelance by 2020.
Travel writing and travel blogging freelancers, like others earning their keep through online work, have “offices” wherever they open their laptops… and they aren’t constrained by borders. You’ll find lots of them traveling—and earning—overseas, on white-sand beaches, in tropical mountain valleys, and in vibrant university towns.
They seek income opportunities online—which keeps them tethered only to an Internet connection. And—in the right places—they can live better while they spend less, earning in dollars and living in places where the cost of living is much lower than in the U.S. It means they keep more of what they earn (or need to earn much less, so they can afford to work much less, too, leaving more time for fun diversions).
“It’s a lot easier to embrace the nomadic writer lifestyle than you might think”, says Jason Gaspero, who has been working as a freelancer for more than 10 years. “You don’t need a special degree. You don’t need special equipment, other than a laptop and a reliable Internet connection. Simply fire up your computer and, boom, you could be making money.”
There are all kinds of different ways to make money as a freelancer and some adept travel writers and bloggers country-hop every few weeks and live in dozens of countries every year.
“I’m free,” says Nimisha Walji, who took what she knows about yoga and turned it into an online income. “I can go where the wind takes me and live any place I choose! If I hear about somewhere nice, or feel like a change, I can pursue that in a matter of days. Sometimes hours.”
David and Diane Daniel were early adopters of the itinerant freelance lifestyle. Since 2005, this wandering duo has been traveling to the world’s most appealing destinations and earning a great income at the same time. “We were digital nomads before it was cool,” says 51-year-old Diane. “We take home with us. It’s just us, together. That’s it!”
“Since 2005, we’ve been traveling, spending time in Mexico, Italy, and France,” says David.
“I’ve also worked from Australia, Ecuador, Canada, and England.” For the past few months, the pair has been kicking back on an island just off Mexico’s Caribbean coast near Cancún.
“We’ve been to Isla Mujeres several times before,” says Diane. “It’s a great place with mostly stable internet, wonderful restaurants and beaches, and perfect tropical weather. We’re housesitting now for some folks who only come down during the winter. We’re caring for their dogs, and all we have to do is pay the electricity bill and the internet bill.”
When they aren’t riding their motor scooter around the island or visiting with friends, Diane manages her own online graphic design business and adds photographs to the couple’s stock- photo portfolios. Writers and bloggers, too, can find creative ways to make their mark by living and writing from amazing places while spending next to nothing on living expenses.
10 Top Digital Nomad Incomes
Working flexible hours and living in an affordable, tropical destination can be an appealing lifestyle option. But many folks—still stuck at the office—wonder how they’d ever swing it. Here are 10 top portable opportunities that can produce income fast, and deliver the flexibility to take that income overseas:
- Sell skills or products online through your website or a third-party site like Amazon.
- Earn as an online tutor through Skype or udemy.com. Online tutors earn anywhere from $25 to $300 per lesson.
- Earn with affiliate marketing through your blog. Earn money promoting a product or company on a blog or website, with a link to the seller. Affiliate networks have different systems. Some pay for every user that clicks on the link, others require the customer buy a product before a commission is paid.
- Become a freelance copywriter, writer or blogger with assignments and regular work. Copywriters write simple letters and emails for companies to help sell their products online and it is a great way to support yourself while writing about your travels.
- Provide drop-shipping services. Drop-shipping is a type of online selling, without paying for storage or manage inventory. The drop-shipper markets the products and when somebody buys, ships the product straight from the manufacturer to the customer.
- Become a stock photographer. Photographers can turn travel snapshots into a passive income that makes money on stock websites.
- Teach English online. English speakers can earn as much as $30 an hour on sites, teaching English.
- Become an online researcher performing the behind-the-scenes tasks that ensure the web-based information of businesses and organizations is accurate. With no start-up costs and no specialized education needed, online research is one of the easiest Digital Nomad incomes to get up and running.
- Provide online freelance services through websites like Upwork.com. There are thousands of businesses, small and large, that just may need the skills that you have to offer. From graphic design to proofreading to travel writing, it’s easier than ever to find work as a freelancer.
- Earn with e-books. This doesn’t require being a bestselling author to make money with e-books. It’s about repackaging books that are in the public domain to sell them online or license existing print books, convert them to e-books, and pay the authors part of the royalties.