11 Digital Nomad Jobs For Beginners: Smart Ways to Make Money as a Digital Nomad and Travel the World
People have been travelling for millennia but with the advent of the internet a new way of traveling while working has come about. The term “digital nomad” has now become a commonly used identity for the modern generation of travellers yet a lot of people still want to know how to become a digital nomad and travel the world.
Technology such as laptops, tablets and smartphones along with the growth of the internet has opened up possibilities for singles, couples and families to work and travel with freedom with the possibility of digital nomad jobs for beginners. Pandemics and lockdowns aside the tools available make it easier than it ever has been, and you can get ready for when travel is unrestricted once again.
If you feel the travel bug and want to get out and see the world then read on to learn about different types of digital nomad jobs and how you can learn new digital skills or turn your existing digital skills into ways of earning money to fund your travels while on the go.
After all, who doesn’t want to be earning money while sitting on a beach sipping a margarita! In reality you may not be sipping cocktails all day long and it’s probably best to send off the latest project to your client before you start a drinking session, nevertheless there are people out there right now who are finding creative and flexible ways to earn money while seeing the world and you can.
1. Teach English
Teaching English as a foreign language is often one of the popular options digital nomad jobs for beginnerswhen looking to make money while traveling as there is always demand. Teaching or tutoring English can be a valuable source of income, can be done both off-line and on-line and can be quite well paid.
Native English or at least a fluent command of English is essential. A teaching degree is not necessary but a university degree plus a teaching qualification such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreing Language) or TESOL (Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages), while not always absolutely necessary, is generally a requirement when applying for most positions.
Teaching English Online
An increasingly common option as digital nomad jobs for beginners is to earn money to travel by teaching English online. Having a degree is generally well regarded plus obtaining a TEFL/TESOL qualification will open doors when applying for teaching positions online.
There are a number of well established companies such as [Let’s Tefl] and [TeachAway] that can help with certifications and placement/job hunting.
Teaching English online can also be fairly lucrative and an excellent way of making good money. Rates can range from around $13 to $25 an hour (approx. £12-25 UK, 10-20€ Eurozone countries). A good friend of the mine has been funding his travels for a few years by teaching English to Chinese students online while pursuing his passion for travel photography, check his amazing portfolio out here [Joao Sousa].
If you want to have the most job prospects and interested in earning a certification then [Let’s Tefl] program is consistently regarded among the best options on the market.
2. Online Tutoring/Coaching
If you’re not happy teaching English that doesn’t mean that online teaching is completely out. There can be many other in-demand subjects that can be taught online.
Providing there is demand for the skill, this could range from teaching other languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, maths, science, nutrition, life coaching or another niche skill.
Think about what skills you may have and have a google search to see if there is demand for online teaching. If there is demand for the subject you could be teaching or consulting from your armchair in your living room or a cafe in Cambodia.
As long as you have a decent internet connection and able to install video software on a laptop you’re set.
3. Freelance Writing
If you enjoy writing, freelance writing or copywriting as it is often referred to professionally is a skill that is always in demand. Many digital nomads earn a living as freelance writers as well as being an invaluable skill for blogging while they go.
From writing ad content, transcribing, writing articles to content repurposing, it is something that can be started as a side hustle, working for small businesses from sites such as Upwork, work for content mills or turn into steady income with repeat clients so provides some flexibility depending on your preference as far as digital nomad jobs for beginners go.
Copywriting is something that is often outsourced by many businesses so ideal for earning an income while traveling. Businesses are used to hiring freelancers for writing projects so once you get your name out can be a source of repeat business.
While writing for a content mill may not be so appealing as a full time option due to the lower rates of pay, earnings are relative so it may be a good part-time option or stop-gap while traveling in countries with lower cost of living.
On the other side of the spectrum specialised niche writing can be highly lucrative but will often require considerable experience and/or expertise. This could range from well researched niche writing, book writing, or science writing. The flexibility and payouts could well be worth it.
If you have an aptitude for one or more languages then translating could be a great digital nomad job for a beginner. By combining freelance writing with a language you can earn good money by being a freelance translator.
Translators are needed by many businesses and in many industries so there are lots of options once you get a little experience and your foot in the door. It can range from translating transcripts or articles to official documents. A high fluency in at least two languages is a mus.
Combined with domain specific industry knowledge this area can be very lucrative indeed.
5. Digital and Remote Work (Freelancing)
There are lots of business skills that can be done as a freelancer (contractor) working remotely and traveling. Digital skills are in high demand of course with software programming, video editing, graphic design, web design, business and social media marketing being sought after skills.
The great thing is that many of these skills can be done from anywhere with a decent internet connection which makes it easier to travel around the world while earning money.
If you don’t feel you have the necessary skills to be a digital nomad right away don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to upskill and train up by following free or paid courses for almost every digital skill imaginable. Take inspiration from a number of self-taught copywriters, YouTubers, photographers and web developers.
A lot of information is readily available for free if you search for it but a good paid course can reduce the time needed to learn the skills. Just do your research before parting with any cash as some are better than others.
Spending time to learn some of these skills can put you in a good position to travel the world by yourself, as a couple or as a family while earning.
6. Travel Writing & Blogging
Blogging can seem like a natural choice when travelling the world and you enjoy travel writing. However there are both pros and cons to travel blogging. There are lots of ways to make money through travel blogging but the road is not always easy to follow and often harder than it seems to run a successful blog.
Due to the competition, even successful adventure travel writers find that most travel blogs require multiple monetization methods in order to pull in enough revenue to fund their travels.
There are multiple methods to monetize a blog such as an affiliate YouTube channel, affiliate marketing, old fashioned SEO, courses but if you can create an interesting niche or new angle for your travel blog then that can be particularly powerful.
If you have experience from traveling to remote and unusual destinations then there are tons of people who would be interested in reading well written and researched guides and articles with local knowledge. People will often visit typical travel destinations but also want to know about places off the beaten path.
You will also be more likely to rank highly in search engines with articles about more unusual and unique destinations that are not so often written about.
Starting and running a high traffic travel blog is hard work and you won’t get minted overnight. Not as straightforward as some other methods so perhaps less suitable as digital nomad jobs for beginners but you will build valuable online skills and combined with multiple monetization methods such as affiliate marketing can create a steady monthly income in the long run.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate income creates a solid source of revenue for many online marketers but much like blogging, it takes time and effort to build the traffic necessary to direct towards affiliate offers.
While it can start as a trickle of income, a successful affiliate blog, YouTube channel or social media influencer can eventually make considerable income reaching into thousands of dollars per month for top affiliate marketers.
Once up and running affiliate marketing can create a steady and long-term source of income whether you’re working or traveling. However the challenge is figuring out how to put together the right solution for your visitors and emulating the top affiliates.
If you’ve already thought about affiliate marketing, want to get started quickly and ready to take a course then the options below are among the top systems that will get you ahead fast.
The [Income School system] by the guys at Project 24 has a 60 step approach to a profitable niche affiliate site and private community to help you succeed.
The [Authority Site System] from Authority Hacker is another program that can help you get from newbie to profitable site in no time.
Another great resource is Wealthy Affiliate. They offer courses, hosting and thriving online community with tons of useful information tools to help you on your affiliate journey. You can join for free and get access to limited features or go premium for just $19 a month using this link and get access to all the courses, WordPress hosting and tools.
Running your own ecommerce business can take various shapes and sizes and if set up in the right way can give you plenty of freedom to travel and explore on your own terms. You can set up your own store building a site from scratch, using WordPress, Shopify or you can sell online via platforms such as Amazon and Ebay.
There are many people who do this successfully and running your own ecommerce businesses can be very lucrative even for sole proprietors. You will need to source your products and handle customer service but you don’t necessarily have to have your own warehouse to do this. In fact many people start out small handling products themselves initially while they grow the business.
Alternatively you can use fulfillment services like Amazon FBA who will receive shipment, handle the order and send it to the customer without you having to physically do it yourself. Super handy if you’re travelling. Tip: fulfillment services like Amazon FBA can be used even if you don’t sell on Amazon.
However don’t kid yourself, this is a business like any other and whether you use one of the platforms mentioned above or create your own branded store, in order to be successful you need to treat it like a real business.
Similarly to a regular ecommerce store dropshipping can be a good way to build an online business that allows you earn an income and travel around the world. Once the necessary systems are set up, a dropshipping business can be low maintenance to maintain. However, like any business it still requires work.
In order to have a successful dropshipping ecommerce store you need sought after products and traffic. The idea of quickly setting up and selling cheap products sourced from Alibaba is competitive to the point where margins are no longer what they used to be.
However it’s still possible to set up a profitable dropshipping store in a niche with quality products and there are still many ways to do that. Of course traffic is just as important and can be done through organic SEO, social media and paid advertising.
When done right, the margins for dropshipping can be higher than some affiliate marketing and you have a lot of flexibility and control over your ecommerce store. By sourcing a product and selling directly to the customer you effectively become the middleman and that can result in a larger cut of the final sale price. When scaled this can result in significant monthly profits.
[Get started with Shopify, the leading platform for dropshipping ecommerce stores]
YouTube content creation can be an interesting way of making some additional income while traveling. There are some amazing success stories such as Lost LeBlanc or Sailing La Vagabonde with over a million subscribers however this won’t happen overnight.
However if you enjoy making videos and like the idea of vlogging your travels there’s no reason you can’t start this as a side gig to share your content and start building a following that could one day turn into something bigger.
In order to benefit from YouTube’s direct advertising you will need to have a minimum of 1000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of watched content per year.
While there’s a lot of competition for popular travel destinations it’s far from saturated and there are a lot of gaps for more videos. There are a lot of travel vloggers who make a comfortable sideline income and even fund their travels this way. We’d recommend combining this with other social media, blogging or writing as you build it up.
Niche locations that are Interesting to viewers can have little competition. There are some strong searches for some lesser known places and even a small channel can easily get ranked for particular search terms.
There are a lot of channels out there with forgotten videos or poorly optimized videos that are still getting thousands of views sometimes just because of a particular location name in the title of the video.
With a little SEO knowledge and reasonable video editing skills (which you can learn) you could quickly rank highly for some of these niche locations and terms. Additionally while advertising for outdoor and travel terms can have a high CPM which generally means it’s more competitive for advertisers, the benefit to you as a video creator is that you need lower views to get payouts from advertisers.
Of course like many other social media strategies, YouTube is no exception, it’s a numbers game and whether you have a few videos with thousands (or millions of views) or have a lot of videos with a lower view count, it can still add up and start earning decent money.
The great thing about YouTube is how easily accessible it is and you don’t need to be an expert with state of the art equipment and video editing software to get started. In fact a lot of travel vloggers make decent sideline income from uploading their videos with just a laptop and a GoPro, smartphone or standard camera.
11. Social Media Influencer
There are a number of people who make money from their social media presence as influencers with huge numbers of followers on platforms such as twitter, facebook, pinterest, Instagram. Some have websites and YouTube accounts as well but many survive solely via their main social media platform with a strong niche focus. This can be a great advantage to someone who is interested in travelling.
There are various ways to monetise a large social media following and as has been done with celebrities and sports people there are companies and brands that are interested in promoting their products through influencer marketing.
The bigger the following the more brands are likely to pay for you to promote their product on your channel. Rates will vary depending on the requirements, whether video, photo or just text based posts so often need to be worked out individually and terms agreed. Alternatively brand advertising and shoutouts can be purchased and sold on influencer marketing marketplaces.
However you don’t necessarily need millions of followers as brands are equally interested in smaller niche accounts with engaged followers. One of the easiest digital nomad jobs for beginners to get started with. Sponsored posts can create a tidy side income for many travellers who will likely be using their accounts to share their travels anyway.
Hopefully this post gives you some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and start to imagine the possibilities of earning while travelling.
Some of these ways of earning will be better suited to single travellers while other options will appeal to couples or families with kids. Some of the methods described take time to build up and you will not get rich overnight however there are some tried and tested methods to earning steady income at the same time. We hope you’ve found this guide to digital nomad jobs for beginners inspirational. If you love travelling, don’t let negative thoughts stop you, apply your creativity and never stop dreaming!
The internet provides more opportunities than ever to earn and travel as a digital nomad or digital travel family. While there will always be some challenges, with a good attitude and some creative thinking anyone can do it.
For some more traditional ideas on how to make money while travelling check out this article