One of the top questions I field concerns finding work on the road and becoming that ever-elusive digital nomad. I fund my nearly nine years of travel through freelance writing and consulting work—this is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a lot of options out there for remote based work. Second most popular question is how I make money blogging; I don’t run any ads here so I am not the best person for that question, but many of the links and resources on this page will answer how others are funding a remote-based, freelancer life—the trendy term for which is digital nomad. I was a digital nomad before the term existed, but it does a good job encapsulating the lifestyle and goals of becoming a freelancer so that you can travel the world.
If you’re already freelancer or a digital nomad, this page on my site is dedicated to listing the actual tools, programs, and products you need to run an work online. Everything from Evernote to Nutcache to the best online banks for digital nomads.
In equal consideration to the above, I will note that working remotely is not ideal for everyone. It seems like a great idea and an easy life, but being your own boss comes with its own set of challenges. For those keen on building online work, below I’ll share websites, ideas, and opportunities I have encountered over the years that can either support a digital nomad lifestyle, or even build up secondary income to make money doing something you’re already passionate about (a side hustle). If you are interested in becoming an expat and finding a traditional job in an interesting place, the end of this post shares extensive resources on finding overseas jobs in traditional work or development work. Unlike the websites selling you courses on how to become a digital nomad, this page is a long deep-dive into actually finding paid freelance work, or online-based jobs that will support you on the road. No up sells, so courses, none of that—just my experience. If I recommend a book here, then I’ve read it. If I recommend something, then I use it.
This page is a collection of sites, advice, and services you may find intriguing and useful. Of note is that these are often ways I have seen friends build up an online business; I do SEO and Online Marketing for small businesses and built out my client base over more than 13 years of networking and word-of-mouth. I believe that if you have the skills and dedication that you can definitely build online income, but it may not always be through the avenues you first imagine.
Websites & Ideas for Learning How to Work Online
There’s a variety of information here: hands on work in the field, building a business opportunities, teaching English … if you want to travel and work but don’t know where to start, this page will help. But first, let’s boil down the process, then get into the nitty-gritties that will give you real resources to make this happen.
How to Become a Digital Nomad
- Identify a skill you already have, or one you would like to learn, that can be delivered online.
- Alternately, take the leap and plan to start your own business! There is a huge community of digital nomads running small (or huge) companies that run entirely online selling products or services to others.
- If you have a skill, you need to find remote work—there are job boards that can help.
- If you have an existing job you love, then it’s time to have a conversation with your boss about what remote-based work will look like. Start small if it’s new to your company—ask for a few work-from-home days to start.
- If you don’t have seemingly any skills that translate into remote-based work, then think about jobs that will take you overseas—it’s not quite the digital nomad life, but there is an incredible diversity of overseas jobs out there.
- Nix the plan to become a professional travel blogger (or photographer or travel writer), unless you seriously have a passion for it despite the odds, or if you have existing skills.
- Find digital nomad friendly locations to start your remote-based life. Not all places in the world are ideal for working and traveling, so choosing cities and an appropriate travel style are important first steps.