If you’re the type of person who keeps scrolling through flight and hotel deals every week and can’t stop thinking about their next holiday when your last one just finished, you should consider becoming a digital nomad.

If you’re already considering this option, you might be wondering about the income possibilities and how to work while you’re travelling. Well, thanks to laptops, smartphones and Wi-Fi, this isn’t just a possibility, it’s a lifestyle choice. You can choose to have an online job that will give you the freedom to choose where you want to work, when you want to work, and even how you work, without setting foot in a boring old office ever again.

And with social media and blogging becoming more prominent in communication, it’s a lot easier to share all your ideas internationally and have the ability to build a successful business online from any spot on the planet.

Don’t get on a plane before fixing these two things

There are two things that you need to handle before doing anything else, if you want to become a digital nomad. Before sorting these two things out, you shouldn’t get on any planes. By the way, NONE of this should be considered financial advice and you should always consult a professional before making any decisions. 

  • 1. Your expenses and debt. If you have a lot of debt, you’ll have a hard time becoming a digital nomad. If you get stuck without an income for a longer period of time you will be struggling to keep your head above water. You should pay off your debt by doubling the minimum payments on the highest interest rates loans or credit cards, and then move on to the rest of your debts.
  • 2. Your income. You need to be aware of how you’ll be making an income while you’re on the road. What is going to happen to you if you can’t find any work or if you get stuck in a county with no backup income. Figure these two things out and then you can focus on the rest. Once you’ve handled your expenses, focusing on the income can be a bit tricky. You need to know the details of how your money is going to come in, what your goal is, and focus on various passive income streams. Have multiple streams of income at all times, so make sure you find the right money-generating activities that you can turn to any day.

How to GET an income as a nomad

By the way these things aren’t EVERYTHING you could do, these are just a few things. If you find a good way of making money as a nomad that isn’t on this list, by all means do that! These are just a few of my best ideas and what I use myself.

  • 1: Start a blog or website: A great source of passive income is starting a blog or a website (By the way that link is to a post I wrote showing how to setup your first website in under 4 minutes, start to finish). If you understand how online marketing works, you can do this correctly and create a blog that is going to produce income even when you’re not working. Although general blogs are nice, they are way too common, so focusing on a niche is a great choice. And then think about all the digital products you’ll be able to put out which will be in harmony with whatever your blog is about.
  • 2: Publish an eBook on Kindle: You can use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform to do this task (Search Amazon for ‘Transcend Your Limits’ to see our books!). You can even create a corresponding print-on-demand book from the eBook also on Amazon. You can even convert it to an audiobook and publish it on Audible. If you don’t know what to write about, do some research. If all else fails, depending on the niche of your blog, you can collect, revise, rewrite and rework some of your blog posts and publish them in an eBook with added details.
  • 3: Provide your professional services: If you have a professional skill, such as graphic design, programming, accounting or other skills that you can take on the road with you, you can easily monetize them using a variety of websites. From UpWork and Freelancer to many others, you can try taking advantage of the free public Wi-Fi in any location to put your services online for people to buy.
  • 4: Try the gig economy: Try offering those same or similar skills in the gig economy. This depends on your location and how you’re able to do this. You could drive for ride-share companies, deliver packages, do various tasks for people who are unable or are too busy, or use a site like Fiverr to do small gigs that you can complete easily.
  • 5: Teach English to people abroad: If you’re not able to do anything else, or you’re really stuck while travelling, try teaching English. You can do this by contacting local schools where you’ll offer your services, but this will mean that you will be looking for local wages. Or you can try doing this online too, where people are looking for anything, from a tutor, to someone who can help with their English homework, to someone they can chat to so they can improve their knowledge.
  • 6: Create online courses and sell them: Another type of passive income is to create online courses. Depending on your skills, you can create different courses for different areas. And you can teach people pretty much anything. This all boils down to your course and how it’s structured and the sales funnel that is associated with it. Or just visit a website like Udemy where you don’t have to worry about the sales and marketing side.

Or start a passive income business

I think above all else, having an online business that gives you PASSIVE income is the best thing for digital nomads. It enables you to work ONCE building a system, and then get paid for LIFE while you spend your time doing awesome things. I have a detailed video course showing how to do this step by step here.

My personal experience

From my personal experience, the best income and setup has been when I’ve had savings to fall back on, PASSIVE income (see my post, 39 passive income ideas you can start today), AND an active income all at the same time. This means you’re never relying on one stream of income. In fact it’s common for good digital nomads to have more than 5 streams of income.

For example you might be a rock climber, and have a YouTube channel with videos of climbing and techniques that earns advertising money. You might have written an ebook about climbing that gives you money from Amazon, PLUS you have a website about it that makes money from affiliate sales, PLUS you could earn active money by teaching climbing (or English) abroad.

So just from one skill (climbing) you can create several sources of income. And this could be done with almost any skill, if you KNOW lots about a particular topic or thing, you can share what you know in various ways and make money from it.

Please don’t be one of the countless nomads who pack their bags for Thailand every year without a plan, an income, or much savings. You’ll end up frantically running around the airport calling everyone you know begging for the money for a plane ticket.

Build up your income and savings and then go. You’ll enjoy it a LOT more when you aren’t worried about buying lunch or renting a nice apartment because of the money. And it’s not hard to build up a passive income, it just takes a bit of work and patience more than anything. Good luck!