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Are you considering dropping your usual 9 to 5 for a more nomadic lifestyle? That’s fantastic! There has never been a better time to make this decision. Today you can hop online just about anywhere in the world and produce some cold hard cash for yourself. Go where the wifi and the rum are strong, and you’ll do just fine ;)
There are plenty of jobs that allow you to travel and get paid very well, if not better than your normal 9 to 5. I can attest to that personally; I make over $100 an hour as a writer and I work remotely. Whatever skills you have, there is likely some way to apply them to making money online.
So what are some of these great remote work opportunities, you ask? Let’s get right into it and look at the best jobs for working abroad. Many of these are income sources you could start building today if you wanted to!
Look for Remote Work in Your Field
Before you do anything else, you might want to look for work in your field. There are many sites for finding remote work:
You could also look on some traditional job sites for remote work, as long as you type in “remote” for the location (or check the relevant boxes for the “remote” job type):
Hey, if you have already developed a professional skill set of some sort, there’s no need to throw that away just because you want to travel. So go ahead and look for remote jobs in your field first!
Try Freelance Jobs for Working Remotely
Freelance jobs, by their very nature, are perfect for the nomad. You work as much as you want, when you want, and you can do it from anywhere.
Freelance writing has always been a staple for digital nomads, and there are several reasons why. First of all, there is a constant demand for new content. Businesses need new content for their websites, blogs, newspapers and almost any other kind of medium that requires writing.
Apart from the high demand, freelance writing has a relatively low barrier to entry and a lot of potential. As you build on your skills and experience, you’ll find there are plenty of clients willing to pay good rates for your work. Check out: Why Become a Freelance Writer?
Freelance Graphic Design
If you have an artistic side, you can make a tidy sum by creating artwork for other people. From logos and website banners to t-shirts and 3D models, there are many people looking for competent graphic designers who can create designs for both professional and personal projects. This is another area that you can break into if you have talent, and you don’t necessarily need formal training.
Freelance Web Developer or Designer
Freelance web developers and designers can make quite a bit of money. You do need some heavy technical skills to get started in this line of work, but there are some online coding bootcamps that can help you get started. Here’s a resource for finding coding bootcamps.
Writers, graphic designers, and programmers are in high demand, but there’s work for a lot of different freelance professionals. Freelance bookkeepers, social media marketers, photographers, and many other professionals can find work on the road. You’ve just got to think outside the box a little bit!
Buy and Sell to Live Your Nomadic Lifestyle
Many digital nomads have traditionally stayed away from running online stores. Some of the reasons for this are the high startup costs and fulfillment problems. When you’re never in the same place for very long, it’s pretty hard to deal with the logistics of selling physical products.
However, dropshipping allows you to run an online store and sell thousands of items without actually having the products. A customer purchases an item from you, and then you purchase the item from a third party supplier who also handles the fulfillment and ships directly to the customer. This way you can run a store without ever touching physical products.
Online Market Trading
Online market trading works just like regular trading except that every part of the process takes place online. This means you won’t miss out on a chance to sell or buy even if you’re in another part of the world. If you have a bit of starting capital, you’re willing to take a bit of risk, and you’re interested in learning to trade, you can make quite a bit of money this way.
Registering and Selling Domain Names
Many websites are created on any given day and each of these websites will need a domain name. Coming up with good, marketable domain names can be quite difficult. When you do think of a good domain name, but it’s already taken, it sucks! Many people have gotten into the business of buying catchy or popular domain names and selling them to other people. If you can predict which domain names people are likely to want, you can make money.
Registering domain names is simple and cheap. If you can sell several later to the right buyer, it can be a lucrative endeavor for you. Imagine spending $10 on a domain name and then selling it for $1000.
Photographs are another product that is always in high demand. Businesses need relevant photos that they can use in presentations, on their blogs, and other places. If you like taking photos, uploading them to websites such as Shutterstock can create a passive income stream that can be quite substantial depending on the quality and subject matter of your images.
This is similar to stock photography except it’s all about videos. If you have the right stock videos, you could find them used in documentaries and other media on the internet and on TV. With video becoming such an important part of how we consume media, this could be an even better opportunity than selling stock photos.
Try Some Entry Level Remote Jobs for Fast Cash
Taking Online Surveys
Instead of taking a Facebook survey to find out what kind of insect you were in your previous life (... guilty), you could take surveys that actually pay. Taking surveys has been a staple for digital nomads and work at home moms alike. Taking surveys is relatively easy and it provides researchers with a quick and simple way of gathering information.
Many companies, businesses and organizations receive data in hard copy or formats they can’t use. As a data entry clerk, you would take this information and enter it into spreadsheets or whichever form is most convenient for the client. These jobs are plentiful on bidding sites like Upwork.
Again, places like Upwork have a variety of jobs available to people with general administrative skills. Virtual assistants can do any number of things from admin to data entry to light social media marketing. The skills needed are usually minimal, making it a good place to start for people who don’t have any particular specialty.
Being bilingual or multilingual can be very profitable for a digital nomad. Translators have become important for many companies that are doing business in other parts of the world or dealing with people who only speak other languages.
Translators can also be hired by content creators such as authors who may want to reach a new audience that speaks a different language. Documentary filmmakers may also need someone to translate audio or text in a video that was filmed in another part of the world.
Transcription is another entry level task you can find on Upwork. ou take video or audio content and write out what is said in the audio. Transcribers are usually paid per minute of audio, making it a better deal for those who work quickly and efficiently.
Start Building an Audience for Passive Income
Whether you live an interesting life full of thrills and adventure, or you’re in a unique situation that other people can relate to, starting a blog is something that you can do both for fun and for money. There are many ways to monetize a blog, but note that this is often a long term game; it does take some time to begin to see money from a blog. So, you’ve got to be passionate about a subject if you decide to set up a blog.
Although blogging and vlogging often go together, there are many people who prefer to do vlogs exclusively. The main advantage of vlogging is that rather than writing and telling people about your experiences, you can show them with video. Platforms such as YouTube and Facebook provide an easy way to post videos about your life and gain a solid viewership that you can either monetize directly or use to attract sponsors. While some people say the blogging market is getting saturated, there is still a bit more room in the vlogging community for you to carve out your space.
Contrary to what some people are saying, podcasting is far from dead. Podcasting still serves as a great way to communicate to niche audiences about almost any topic. Whether you like to read poetry, tell jokes, discuss cars or pop culture, starting a podcast is a fun way of finding an audience. With the right niche, content and audience, sponsors will pay to be mentioned on your podcast.
Become a Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers have risen rapidly in just a few years and are some of the most highly paid personalities on the internet. If you have a large number of followers on social media sites such as Instagram, advertisers may be willing to pay you a fortune to put up a sponsored post about their product or service.
Setting up Niche Sites
Another thing you could do passively is set up niche sites and sell products through affiliate marketing. Your site would deal with a simple topic like “hair growth” and offer everything people need to know to buy the right hair growth products. Then you direct those people to the right storefronts and get a commission from the merchants.
Share Your Skills to Make Money and Travel
Become a Tutor
Do you fancy yourself an expert on a particular subject? Why not become a tutor then? Websites such as tutor.com connect students with online tutors who can provide individual and personalized tutoring for a fee. You can tutor anyone from a high school student to a college engineering student depending on your specialization.
Create a Course
If you have a unique skill or knowledge, you can be sure that someone out there wants to know what you know. There are successful online courses out there for everything ranging from fly fishing and woodworking to real estate investment and movie making. Hey, I’m even in on it; I run my Freelance Writing Jumpstart course which is a blast to teach-- and I love being able to help others.
Usually, you would have a blog or vlog to promote your course, but not necessarily; some course creators use other forms of marketing to generate interest directly to their courses and host them on a platform like Udemy.
Write a Book
The rise of eBooks means that you don’t have to hope that someone in a certain publishing house will come across your manuscript. You can write your own book and put it on sale on sites such as Amazon with very little effort, and you’ll also get a much larger cut from any sales generated.
Doing a Few Remote Jobs at Once
One final note is that you can-- and maybe should-- try out several of these income sources at once. First, you’ll see which ones you like, are good at, and fit in your schedule as a traveler. Heck, you’ll also see which ones are most reliable and best at paying the bills. It’s totally fine to have a patchwork income, and if one thing falls through, you’ll have a few other side hustles to back you up. So why not give a few of these a try!
What Else Should I Add?
These are the remote jobs I hear mentioned most often by other travelers. Have you made money some other way? Care to share?
Who Wrote This?
I’m Renee Hyde and I’ve been a digital nomad freelance writer since 2012. So far I’ve visited 60+ countries and counting! On this blog I share tips about dreamy travel destinations, travel hacks, ways to work remotely and travel, and advice for living your best nomadic life!