PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway
— Earl Nightingale
Who is a Digital Nomad?
As simple as the name says, a digital nomad is a remote worker, who is independent of location-specific jobs and works while traveling from anywhere while staying connected.
The dream of working as a digital nomad has no newness to it. There are innumerable others like us who live and work from wherever they want, under the condition they’ve continuous Wi-Fi supply.
Lots of companies are building working spaces and proving spaces in coffee shops to let freelancers work and interact with each other.
Since Wi-Fi connectivity has become ubiquitous even in the dense forest, the idea of freelancing and blogging to make a living is on a fast rise. The freelance market is exploding. Employers are increasingly relying on freelancers to help them out with their complex projects.
At the same time, this brings in lots of competition among freelancers. Having said that, securing a position for yourself as a successful freelancer is still feasible with chances of receiving a higher income. You need to be a game changer, must know every pros and cons of the move you play.
Why People are Leaving 9 to 5 Job to Become a Digital Nomad?
Digital Nomads life sound definitely exciting with fewer thoughts put in following a strict office schedule. They are their own king. Here is a list of some of the common benefits that are luring people to dump their 9 to 5 job.
- You get more time to boost your productivity level. It is just for saying a person works for 9 to 5 in an office. An office-goers know how much they really put-in every day in their daily job and waste the rest of the time in chit-chatting and coffee breaks.
- You have fewer distractions. Since you are all by yourself at a distant place, there’s no one to boss you, you can maintain a constant workflow.
- You have the strength to channelize your work in a shorter amount of time with plenty of time available to dedicate to other things that matter to you.
- You receive privacy as well as an option to stay connected with your teammates through apps and programs. Unlike office environment where you are available every time and put no efforts in communicating, freelancing asks you to put efforts and become more responsible in handling daily communication and important meetups. A chance to be an entrepreneur.
- You can work from wherever you want. Clients don’t care if you are sitting in your bathroom or lying naked in your bed or having free time near the Caribbean Sea, they just want you to get the Jobe done. Sounds like a dream job.
- You are the future of the workforce. Every year, there’s a huge rise seen in the level of remote workers. Companies are preferring freelancers more and more over regular employees. Things are still in the procedure, so you have the benefit to become an early-adopter.
Everybody has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn’t happen right away.
— Haruki Murakami
How I Started Working as a Digital Nomad?
Like everyone, I had a zeal to travel to different places and earn a living at the same time, which was not possible with a 9 to 5 job. I quit it. It was a time when I had no other option to thrive on. It looked like a disaster, no job, only dream with no plan. All I could do was to take in every possibility of earning money as a freelancer which would go a long way with me even when traveling from places to places.
I laid down every possible writing style I could. It was a period of hit and trial. Sometimes I would go whole day working and sometimes everything seemed so lame that I would go with nothing. It took time, but things changed and I finally became started earning huge from my writing.
Does my story ring bell in your ears? Is it somewhat similar to yours? Are you also struggling to find your way out? Do you, too, want to be a digital nomad like me and like everyone else?
Well, here are some tips to help you out there:
1. Your Image Defines Clients’ Trust in You
It is fairly impossible for a client to know if you are working in your PJs or lying naked in bed and finishing their project. But it is important to come up with your best foot forward in case of your online profiles. Here are some important things you must include in your online profile:
- Personal Statement including your skills, strengths, interests, and experiences
- Portfolio with the best samples. They must be linked to the original work with appropriate summary and visuals.
People struggle while writing their personal statements. Don’t make it too wordy. Use only those words that you want your client to know, which makes you look skilled. Don’t write a story, use bullets and be concise.
2. Learn to Say No
You must set reasonable expectations out of every agreed contract. Then, exceed them later whenever possible. For example, if you can write 2000 words in a day, doesn’t matter how tempting other projects sound, do no go for someone that asks for 5000 or more words.
Clients are always on a lookout for cheap labor at the sake of quality. Choose your clients wisely, you may get underpaid for some of your quality work if you don’t know how to reject the unworthy clients.
It happened with me, as a newbie I charged less for the projects, from which I could make twice or thrice more than what I received. I received success only in underestimating my skills and discouraging myself to produce great work. If you are satisfied with your earnings, don’t get involved with nasty contracts. Learn to say No.
3. Do a Clear Assessment of Your Skills
Freelance writing is a wide market and to make yourself competitive, you need to specialize in a niche first. Though knowing a bit about everything gives you more options, it is better to find a niche first. It will make you an expert in one field and then, you can confidently proceed to another one of your choices. If you know finance, credit cards or how to invest wisely, then find ways to monetize your interests by writing educating articles about them.
Use common sense. Everyone wants to be a jack of all trades. But in the long run, it may fail you miserably. If you know Spanish and have never traveled outside South America. Don’t portray yourself as an expert in the history of European countries. Stick to your knowledge and expand it to build a strong foundation.
4. Be Professional, even if You are not an Office-goer
Professional is not a label you give yourself - it is a description you hope others will apply to you.
— David Maister
Working remotely is fairly a challenge. You need to be very attentive when clients give you a brief. There’s a lot of room for confusion. Be a professional and maintain a balance as a conversational and approachable freelancer. People can’t see you, it’s all left unto how you use your tone.
Also, proofread everything before contacting your clients. I faced a situation when my work looked perfect to me, but when I sent it to my client, who happened to be an English instructor herself, pointed out that my work is too wordy. I’d to rewrite my whole content and proofread it thrice before contacting her. Maintain high-quality, go word-by-word, meat deadline and build strong relationships to smoothen the possibility of future work.
5. At First Go Somewhere Cheap, If You Can
The yearning of making a good living from freelancing can be quite overwhelming sometimes, but remember you are not alone, many people try and fail in this business. If you are persevering, then, remember, you are amazing.
The best way I found to minimize my stressed mood was to travel at cheap and safe places. You can search for several places on Earth, where the daily cost is relatively cheaper and you can earn while living in distant places. I found myself calm and full of energy while traveling distant locations which give me food for thought to do some more projects.
6. When You Get Started, Don’t Think of Stopping
There is a huge sea of freelancing websites that provide you varied options of writing opportunities with high-paying clients. You need to decide which works best for you. Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru offer some of the best writing gigs.
Endurance matters in this field. Be consistent and you’ll surely break in. There are high chances clients may not give you an immediate response but that shouldn’t stop you from going further. You’ll realize how surprisingly easy it is to freelance and travel at the same time to make a living.
7. Download the Helpful Applications
Many software companies have put efforts to build apps specifically designed for remote workers. Including Google Drive, ZOOM, Slack, there are many other apps available to stimulate your work. Most of the times, your client is going to recommend you certain apps to maintain the workflow.
8. Learn How to Work While Sitting in Your Vehicle
I once received a call from my client while traveling. I was on the bus at that time and had to do the work urgently. It was messy and little problematic, but I had to do it. At many places, public vehicles have Wi-Fi facilities, so you have no excuses to not complete your job. Always have your phone recharged with a big data plan. Even airplanes have their own Wi-Fi facilities. So, make yourself ready to work from the comfort of your vehicle.
9. Make Sure to Pack Your Essentials
Social media like Instagram surely make you feel the road trip as the ultimate luxury, but that’s a half-baked truth. In reality, you need to pack your bags with all the essentials. You never know what lies ahead, so be sure to go on with every necessity possible. Here are some of my essentials list:
- USB Charger
- Charging Cord
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Sanitary Napkins
- Notepad and pen
- Headphones/earphones with built-in microphones
- Key chain with a flashlight
- Sports apparel
- Protein bar
- And so on…
Where to find Jobs as a Digital Nomad?
You’ll find several websites offering promising remote jobs with assured income. But to find which one is the best for you is a little tricky. Here are a few sites preferred by a very huge number of freelancers:
This website is an online hub for every possible necessity of a remote job. You can share ideas, post jobs, connect with others and learn with each other.
2. We Work Remotely
It is one of the highly rated online places to find jobs. The jobs are not limited by demographics, giving you an option in every kind of remote job opportunities.
I have found this website very helpful in informing me of every possible aspect of a remote job. It has enough content to answer your every question related to remote life, along with several job opportunities.
How to Make Yourself a Preferable Candidate?
To receive a substantial amount of income, you must know how to advertise yourself. You need to stand out from the crowd and make yourself desirable. While many prefer to start with low rates to get the job easily, but that’s not the only way to build your job history and impressive portfolio. Here are some more effective tips:
1. Receive the Required Training to Set a Competitive Edge
Anyone can claim themselves to know something. But the freelancing doesn’t work on “Tell, tell, and tell”, you need to “Show, don’t tell”. Give them proof of your proficiency. Consider yourself an employer and you have two candidates: one knows how to write, copyedit and proofread the content and is confident about his/her skills. The other candidate offers the same services and has received a certificate for the same. Which one will you prefer?
On the contrary, many freelancers do go without certificates, but in that case, their experience and voluntary work speak louder. If you can’t manage to get a certificate, go for voluntary work. Search in your local if you can find a company who is hiring beginners in your field. It will help you build a portfolio.
2. Don’t Sell Yourself as an Individual, Sell Yourself as a Brand
As an individual, you have the talent and skills to do the required job. But as a brand, you not only have the talent and required skills, you also know how to bring quality to your work. Social media has become a center of everything, whether it’s for employee search or information gathering or anything else.
- Make sure to build an attractive account on Twitter and LinkedIn with a professional bio and profile picture.
- Post regularly and engage with others.
You need to be interactive to get noticed by others in a positive way. Many people complain of not reaching many results from their social media profile. It is not because they didn’t try, rather it is due to the fact that they didn’t have a well-formed strategy. You need to try various things to figure out what actually works for you.
While other social platforms are also useful in branding yourself, Twitter and LinkedIn are comparatively preferred more.
3. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile with all the Useful Information
Most of the recruiters consider a candidate to be potential enough to get hired when they have a strong LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual resume. I won’t deny the fact the site also has spam users, but it is, still, very fruitful in proving you with the desired job offers.
4. Engage with the Companies You want to Work with
I liked the way how so many companies actually respond readily to other people’s tweet and pay attention to their queries. This is a sure sign that if you interact with them in the right manner, you might receive the opportunity to work with them
- Follow their business accounts. Share, like and comment on their updates and tag them in your posts.
- Say something thoughtful that brings attention to your comments.
Instead of posting that same old comments, “very useful information”, “thank you for the content”, “very helpful” or any other similar sentences, try to write something more insightful. Give your opinions, share how their content is helping you to work better and what else, they could add to make the content useful for more audience.
5. Walk an Extra Mile During and After your Interview Process
The interview seems like that same old process with boring questions and talking about your strengths and weaknesses. I actually find it boring, but you can still make it memorable by your personality. Give valuable insights, don’t just answer, provide views and suggestions. You must also know how to write a follow-up interview email.
6. Keep on Searching till You Find What You are Looking for
Establishing your credibility as a remote worker isn’t easy. You can’t expect the person who can’t see you to trust you readily. You need to work hard and keep on searching until you find the right gig. Starting is little difficult, but when you find the potential clients, there are very high chances that you may get referred by them to reach more clients, if you work is worthy enough of getting noticed.
Where can You get Free Job Training?
While there are a plethora of sites with paid training, some sites are generous enough to provide you free online training with trustworthy recognition. Here are the best of all, go through their sites and you’ll find immense options for online training.
- HubSpot Academy
- Google Online Certifications
- Wordstream’s PPC University
Successful Job Options as a Digital Nomad
The list of successful digital nomads is pretty huge, instead of discussing them, I have jotted down the jobs that they do to make their nomad life successful.
- Blogging has been around the corner since day one of the Internet. Initially, it was created for informational purposes, now we all use it to inform as well as earn. It goes without saying how so many people are making six-figure out of this business. Yes, I call it a business.
- No matter how many billion blogs exist on the Internet right now, I must say it’s tricky and needs the plan to get your blog at the top and earn huge pay check out of it.
- Bloggers earn money through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling products
- And so on.
How to get started with Blogging?
- Just get started, no matter what knowledge or skills you have. It is important to begin somewhere and then carry out the necessary changes as per the analysis.
- Pick any topic that you have enough knowledge about. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what topic you choose to write, if you have quality information that can be helpful for others. You’ll surely see a rise in visitors after some time.
- Remember blogging is not a fast earning money channel. You need to have patience and readiness to upgrade your marketing and content strategy to meet the latest rules.
- Blogging helps you with passive income. Once, you started receiving visitors, you’ll see money cashing in without many efforts.
- Give uniqueness to your content and presentation. Most of the successful blogs are not only known for their helpful content, but also for the manner they present the information, which surely makes a huge difference.
- Work on your email marketing strategy. Start planning it from day 1.
- Blogging comes up with hundreds and thousands of different strategies to earn plenty of money. While advertising and affiliate marketing are the common ways and people still earn from them, you can find several other strategies to increase your revenue.
- Other monetization methods include providing your website space for others to advertise their products and services in exchange for money. You can also start your online course and advertise on your blog about the same. There are plenty of options, you just need to get started.
Related Content: How to Land Writing Gigs Through Your Blog
- There’s a huge craze for copywriting business since people know it can help you thousands of dollars within a short span of time. Even though lots of people are working as copywriters, still there are lots of voids to fill in this job.
- As per the estimation, highly skilled copywriters earn more than USD 400 per hour. You can get an idea of how lucrative this job is.
- Copywriting is not just about writing, you need to be knowledgable in the following skills as well:
- Writing (of course)
- Customer analysis
- Technical knowledge of the products they are writing about
3. Content Writing
- No matter what company you work for, content is the core of everything. A good content writer never runs out of a job.
- A content writer needs to have expert writing and marketing skills.
How to get started with Content Writing?
- Start with anything you’re passionate about.
- Post it on your blog.
- If it gets good traffic, your skills are remarkable. Otherwise, change it periodically to analyze the visitors’ behavior.
- Content writing techniques come from test and trial. Many online and offline institutes offer you lucrative courses on how to earn a living from content writing.
- If you are a newbie, it is good to join one of these courses to learn the basics. But to be very honest, you need to practice, practice and practice.
- Try different content writing strategies and figure out which one works best for you. It is possible that a thing that works for others may not work for you and vice-versa.
- Read the Google SEO guidelines to know the key points on how to build the right content structure.
Related Content: How to Write Authority Content to Build Your Business
4. Self-Published Author
- More and more writers are opting for self-publication in place of traditional publication. It gives them a sense of freedom and authority.
- Sites like Amazon are the best place for self-published authors.
- These authors also need to know marketing skills to reach to the wider audience.
How to get started with Self-Publication?
- Do fine research on what genres are the best-selling and what are the pros and cons of self-publishing.
- You may have a story to pen down, but there’s no guarantee that there’s a market for it or not.
- Examine what type of books are loved by masses and which of them have been featured to a bestseller or received prizes. It gives you an idea of readers’ taste and their numbers for a particular genre.
- Photography is a generalized category for lots of different visual arts. You can be a portrait, wedding, wild, drone or any other specialized photographer.
- Photographers earn money by selling rights to stock sites or various publications. They also earn through freelancing.
How to get started in Photography?
- Know your camera well
- Understand different angles of photography
- Build your network with other photographers and those who are in need of original photos such as creative directors and so on.
- Photography is a golden job for Digital Nomads since many of them require you to visit different places and people.
- Vlogging is short for video blogging. It is just like blogging, but instead of content, videos are used to explain the particular topic. The best example is YouTube and Vimeo.
- Similar to Bloggers, Vloggers earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products, sponsorships and so on.
How to get started with Vlogging?
- Study different techniques for creating videos.
- Learn about copyright laws
- Practice different methods of making a video
- Learn about different video editing apps and software such as Final Cut Pro
- Don’t just post your video, add hashtags and relevant content in the description.
7. Graphic Designing
- Graphic designing is creating designs in the form of text and images to use for the purpose of marketing and branding. These designs are also used in magazines, books, and online media, etc.
- Graphic designers are always in demand, in fact, most of the freelancers are graphic designers. This means there’s stiff competition, but due to the urgency and need for immediate designs by so many companies at the same time, hardly any designer is left without a job.
How to get started with Graphic Designing?
- A portfolio is everything. Have your samples ready, even if you haven’t worked for anyone yet, design something of your own use it as a sample in your portfolio.
- Jobs looking for graphic designers receive thousands of applications within a minute or sec. It is better to try at different online and offline places at the same time. You never from which end you get the most rewarding job.
To not get confused by the term “artist”, I should mention I am talking about professionals expert in painting and illustrative work.
People still like to buy paintings and handicrafts material to decorate their homes. In fact, there are so many famous sites online exclusively dedicated to artistry work.
So, if you are passionate about arts, then you have lots of promising options to showcase your talent.
How to get started as an Artist?
- If you are good at digital painting or illustration, you can build your blog or post on other sites like Ello, Behance to spread the word about your talent.
- You can also sell your work on sites Etsy to earn a huge payout in return. Many people are earning a living by selling their work on Etsy. So, that’s quite a promising option.
- You can also start a YouTube channel or an online course on how to paint or craft an illustration.
9. Website Designing
- Graphic Designing and Website Designing are two distinctive fields, many professionals do both to increase their earning, while many others prefer to specialize in either of them.
- Either way, you have lots of options to earn a pretty good income.
- Unlike Graphic Designers, Website Designers are required to have basic coding skills like CSS, Bootstrap.
How to get started with Website Designing?
- Build your own website and showcase your skills
- Make use of social media especially Instagram to show your work. Always remember to put your name or handle on your post so it can’t be misused by others.
- LinkedIn can help you a lot in finding the desired job, especially LinkedIn groups are the most effective way to build your professional network.
Related Content: 6 Mistakes Every Beginner Web Designer Needs to Get Rid Of
10. Instagram Influencer
- Will you laugh if I tell you that people are making a living out of Instagram, in fact, some are earning a six-figure income from this social media platform? Well, whatever you feel about it. This is, indeed, true.
- Instagram has become the greatest marketing source for both small and big companies.
- Companies are approaching more and more Instagram users, who have thousands to millions of followers, to promote their products and services.
Note: Never Buy Fake Instagram Followers. It is quite easy to figure out and your chances of earning may get diminished.
How to get started with Instagram Influencing?
- Even if you have a very few followers, from a few thousand to hundred, doesn’t matter. Go with them.
- Engagement rate matters more than a number of followers.
- Use high-quality images with meaningful captions.
- Experiment with different hashtags. If your first few attempts at using different hashtags don’t work, then keep on trying.
- I am saying from my own experience. I remember how few of the hashtags helped me receive more than a thousand likes within a minute or not. On the other hashtags helped me reach only a hundred likes.
- Instagram Influencing is an amazing option. You need to have great marketing and visualizing skills to make a mark in this type of job.
11. Social Media Management
- Social media management is the process of brand recognition by rating awareness through different social media platforms. The most effective ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest and sometimes, Snapchat as well.
- A social media manager needs to practice varied marketing strategies to grow the engagement rate and followers for the particular brand to generate leads.
- They need to analyze data, schedule and create social media content and interact with the users.
How to get started with Social Media Management?
- While these tasks look easy, they are actually not. To put yourself as an effective manager, it is better to go for an online course first from sites like Hubspot and Hootsuite.
- You can also work as a freelancer and build a profile on various freelancing sites.
- Since many freelancers are already working as a social media manager, you can check out their profile to know the basic requirements. Just run a simple Google search and there you are.
12. Videography and Video Editing
- Videography is a tricky job. You need to be aware of different software and apps available in the market to produce the highest quality result.
- Study different angles of shooting the video. Have enough knowledge of different camera and required tools.
- Video editing is the modification of existing work.
- Most of the times, as a video editor, you are not required to shoot the video, you have to edit the available videos and make them something exceptional.
How to get started with Videography and Video Editing?
- Take free courses from sites like SkillShare or Udemy
- Try your hands on Premiere Pro and create an outstanding portfolio.
- Watch YouTube tutorials. You can find plenty of them, even you can start your own YouTube channel to earn some side income.
- Videography and Video editing are overlapping jobs. Videographers shoot video and video editors edit them, but sometimes they need to do both by themselves.
13. Online Coaching
People are more interested in studying from home rather than getting ready before an hour to study at an institute. Thus, the need for online coaching is growing rapidly.
If you are not sure how to start one, search on the Internet, you’ll find lots of free online coaching where you can understand the basic requirements on how to deliver the lessons and build the productivity of your course.
How to get started with Online Coaching?
- Since many people have started their own online courses, deciding which of them is the best depends on several factors such as online coach’s popularity, certificates, and previous experience.
- While online popularity may get ignored, it is important for you to be certified and have enough resources to prove your efficiency.
- Build a strong LinkedIn profile with a long list of recommendations to establish credibility.
- Don’t copy others and follow a specialized niche. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Good luck with your new digital nomad life!
© 2019 Prachi Sharma