11 Best Digital Nomad Jobs (And Advice on How to Get Started!)
With the rise of technology, it’s become easier and easier to find work remotely, as long as you have reliable WiFi and cell phone service. It seems like the term “digital nomad” has found increasing popularity, with digital nomad hot spots popping up all over the world. Co-working spaces have become a growing business too, with companies like WeWork, Outsite, and Selina expanding exponentially. You can find the best digital nomad jobs here in this article.
Read More on Travel & Digital Nomad Life:
- Best Destinations for Solo Travelers
- How to Become a Freelance Writer (& Travel the World!)
- 10 Bucket List Travel Destinations for 2020
- 25 Must-Read Travel Hacks for Saving Money, Time, and Space
Are you interested in becoming a digital nomad? Read further to find out if this location independent lifestyle is for you!
Best Digital Nomad Jobs: What is a Digital Nomad?
Let’s face it, the idea of being a digital nomad is just cool. Who wouldn’t want to live with a potentially flexible schedule, traveling as you please to new exotic locations, meeting fresh faces and making new friends along the way? Would you like to find out what are the best digital nomad jobs?
While the life of a digital nomad seems exciting, there is still work that has to be done. Many people think digital nomads are always working on a beach somewhere or by the pool all day, getting a tan while typing on a laptop and sipping a cocktail. The reality is that most digital nomads spend their days in a coffee shop or co-working space getting sh*t done; then have the flexibility at night or weekends to get out and explore their new locations.
According to Wikipedia, the term digital nomad is:
“…a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles.”
The life of a digital nomad varies greatly! It can look very different from person to person, but they all have the commonality of working through technology, either for themselves or for an employer.
Where Does a Digital Nomad Work?
Digital nomads find work in all types of ways. Many digital nomads work for a company that provides them the flexibility of working remotely. They might be customer service reps or full-time copywriters. I’ve even met lawyers who are digital nomads, remote IT guys, recruiters, and stock brokers.
Often, when you run into a digital nomad, he will be a freelancer or run some type of company on his own. A digital nomad could be a freelance writer, proofreader, language translator, online tutor, or web developer. If you have some type of skill that people will pay you for while working remotely, you can likely become a digital nomad.
How Much Can a Digital Nomad Make?
The amount of money a digital nomad makes will depend on the person’s job and expertise level. Digital nomads can negotiate their salary with a company just like they would if they were working on-site. Often, remote workers can even negotiate some of their expenses into a salary, including living expenses, co-working memberships, or continuing education.
As a freelancer, you can change as much as a client will pay you! Your experience level should be taken into account when quoting a client for your work. The more experience you have, the higher you can charge. If you live in a place like Mexico or Thailand where living expenses are considerably cheaper than in the United States or Europe, your money can go much farther in these countries.
Where is the Best Place to Find a Digital Nomad Job?
There are so many job boards popping up where you can find work as a digital nomad. These job boards cater specifically to companies who are looking to hire remote workers. The companies featured might be start-ups who want to minimize their costs of housing employers in a corporate office. They hire remote workers because they can keep their expenses low while launching a company.
Or, they might be companies who just see the value in hiring people who work remotely. Often, these remote workers are highly motivated and happier employees as they can spend time working in environments where they know they can thrive.
Below are a few job boards I recommend checking out to get started finding remote work:
- We Work Remotely
- Angel List
- Working Nomads
- The Muse
These are just a few websites to get you started! Another way to find a remote job is to simply search for companies that you would like to work for. Do some research on the company via LinkedIn or Glassdoor and see if they typically hire remote employees.
How Do I Start as a Freelancer?
This is a loaded question! Many people begin their freelance career or side hustle in different ways.
Starting as a freelancer will depend on your specific skills and the niche you choose to pursue. I recommend starting by creating your own website and an online presence. Your website is the place where you can share a bit more info on yourself, the services you provide, a place to showcase your work, and begin gathering reviews and recommendations from clients.
Then, you can begin networking and reaching out to companies who might be your potential clients. I recommend sending strategic, targeted cold emails to these companies to pitch your services. The cold email should show that you’ve done your research on the company and even hit on 1-2 of their main pain points. You can share samples of your work or request a quick phone call to connect further.
Expect to send a LOT of these cold emails in the beginning to start generating clients. Once you have some experience under your belt, along with some consistent clients, you should expect to begin receiving some referrals from your happy customers.
Where Does a Digital Nomad Live?
The beauty of being a digital nomad is that you can live almost anywhere you like! The only requirements are reliable internet and cell service. Many choose to stay within time zones close to the company they work for or clients they serve.
Some digital nomads book long-term rentals through websites like Airbnb where they can take advantage of long-term stay discounts. Others find short-term rentals through local websites or realtors.
Another growing trend for digital nomads is staying at co-living locations through companies like Outsite. This company provides 20+ co-living houses in multiple countries where most of the guests are digital nomads. The benefit of staying long-term in a place like an Outsite house is that you get to meet like-minded people who also travel and work remotely.
What Are the Top Digital Nomad Cities?
With a growing trend of professionals ditching the cubicle and adopting the digital nomad lifestyle, there are cities popping up around the world known as digital nomad hot spots.
These cities typically have a pocket of ex-pats and digital nomads who can connect with each other, despite being in a foreign country. A few of these popular hubs include Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali, Lisbon (Portugal), Medellin (Colombia), Budapest (Hungary), and Mexico City (Mexico). Websites like Nomadlist rank cities based on a “nomad score” including cost, safety, fun, and internet.
Pros & Cons of Being a Digital Nomad
Of course, there are both pros and cons that come along with adopting the digital nomad life. It might seem like one big adventure, but the reality is that digital nomads still work (usually a lot!).
It can also be a challenge building a good group of friends (or dating) when you are moving from location to location. However, the trade off is that you get to explore the world and meet tons of interesting people along the way.
- Flexibility in your schedule and location
- Be your own boss (if you choose) or find fulfillment working remotely for a company
- Meet lots of interesting people from different backgrounds and cultures
- Can be quite lucrative if you are working for yourself and become an expert at your skill
- Finding reliable internet and accommodations can be a challenge if you do it on your own
- It can be lonely – you have to be proactive about meeting people in new locations
- You have to stay focused (you might want to be out exploring but have a deadline due!)
There are so many options for becoming a digital nomad or beginning a career working remotely. I’ve compiled some of the top digital nomad jobs below to start brainstorming your escape into digital nomadism.
Best Digital Nomad Job #1 – Freelance Writer
Freelance writing is probably one of the best digital nomad jobs available. It is also one of the easiest to break into if you are good with words. There are tons of different types of writing jobs and gigs available, from copywriting to resume writing, social media, web content, and marketing materials.
Writing can also be lucrative once you build a name for yourself and become viewed as an expert in your niche. Freelance writers can charge anywhere from $100 to $1000+ for a project depending on the piece of writing. Jordan at Creative Revolt does an amazing job of coaching newbie writers into landing their first clients and earning those first checks.
Check out this article to learn more about becoming a freelance writer: How to Become a Freelance Writer (& Travel the World!)
Best Digital Nomad Job #2 – Blogging
Creating a blog is another one of the best digital nomad jobs. Blogging has become an incredible business that allows the blogger to build an audience, solve an audience’s problems, and make an income through ad revenue, selling courses, providing coaching services, and by promoting other people’s products.
Some of the most lucrative blog niches include personal finance, lifestyle, investing, business, travel, parenting, pets, and health & fitness. There are tons of successful blogger stories out there. Somto at SomtoSeeks is a successful travel blogger who helps teach her audience how to drive traffic to their blogs with Pinterest.
Another blogger success story is Michelle with Making Sense of Cents who has built her personal finance & lifestyle blog up to earning over $100K+ in a month (yes a month!).
Best Digital Nomad Job #3 – Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to earn an income working for one or multiple clients by completing a variety of tasks. Virtual assistants tend to do much more than an administrative assistant, including perform research, provide customer support, process orders, edit or proofread documents, manage emails, manage bookkeeping, create sales pages, and perform data entry.
The more specialized a service you can provide for clients, the more you can charge. For example, someone providing services in optimizing website SEO might charge more than someone who just performs data entry.
The average pay for a virtual assistant ranges anywhere from $15 per hour on the low-end up to $60 per hour on the high end for more complex responsibilities. The Penny Hoarder shares more on some of the top in-demand services virtual assistants provide along with average hourly rates.
4 Customer Service Representative
Working for a company as a customer service representative might be a good option for being a digital nomad. Many companies will hire customer service reps to work from home (or a remote location) answering calls from customers, responding to emails, resolving product or IT-related questions.
Top customer service jobs include online chat agents, home call center agents, and travel agents. You might check out FlexJobs and WeWorkRemotely for potential job postings.
5 Web Developer
If you’re a web techie person and can build websites (or apps) for clients, becoming a freelance web developer is an excellent option for work when adopting the digital nomad life. This type of job lets you work anywhere in the world, as long as you have a solid laptop and WiFi.
The beauty of being a freelancer is that you can work as much or as little as you like. If you are looking to amp up your income, simply work on taking more projects within a shorter period of time. If you want to take off work for a few weeks and travel, do it! The average income for a freelance web developer is between $50K to $70K; however, web developers can make upwards of $100K+ as they grow their expertise and skills.
6 Social Media Manager
Becoming a social media manager is a great option if you are looking to work remotely. These professionals typically schedule social media posts, track and report on social media engagement, and put together a strategy for increasing social media reach to new and current followers.
Social media managers might focus on one platform, like Facebook, or manage multiple platforms, like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Most social media managers charge between $20-$50 an hour but can make upwards of $100+ per hour once they gain more experience.
Transcription is a viable option for anyone looking to work remotely. Being a transcriptionist requires listening to audio files and then typing what you hear. In some situations, transcriptionists might need specialist equipment or programs, like a popular Express Scribe transcription software.
Transcription jobs are typically broken into three categories, including general, medical, and legal. The medical and legal transcriptionists typically require additional education, but the general transcriptionist can be hired without any prior schooling. The average rate for a transcriptionist varies between $15 to $25 an hour.
8 Online English Teacher
Do you have a knack for working with kids? Do you have prior experience tutoring or teaching in the classroom? If you do, then tutoring English online may be a good fit for you when looking for a remote job.
Technology has made teaching English online accessible for almost anyone. Companies like VIP Kid hire native English speakers to tutor Chinese students in English through a structured online problem. It can be a great side hustle as it pays around $14 to $18 per hour while setting your own schedule.
It’s no secret that ecommerce has taken the retail world by storm, putting malls and traditional retail stores out of business. With the growth of technology and fast shipping, ease of shopping online has made creating an ecommerce store a great business idea.
There are many ways to break into the ecommerce world. You can go through the process of manufacturing your own product and then selling on Amazon. Thousands of people have found success with this approach (find more on The Amazing Seller).
Another strategy is to build an ecommerce store that revolves around drop shipping. This approach entails marketing and selling a product through your website and then fulfill and ship it through a third-party vendor. For example: Your customer makes an order through you…then you turn around and order it through XYZ company. You make profit through the margin you charge on a product.
10 Language Translation
Are you fluent in any languages? If you are, providing language translation services is a great option for becoming a digital nomad. Many companies will provide consistent work for a skilled translator, whether it is translating documents or verbal translation for clients.
Language translators make an average of around $47,000 per year with the higher-end 25% making over $60,000 per year. FlexJobs is a great place to start researching companies looking for language translators. Check out this FlexJobs article featuring companies who are actively looking for translators.
11 Consulting & Coaching
Do you provide some type of service that others are willing to pay for? You might be able to turn this service or knowledge into a consulting or coaching business.
For example, “Jill” is an expert at corporate sustainability based on her 10 years of experience working in this field for a company. She’s also taken several courses on various sustainability topics and has an industry certification. Bored with the corporate life, she decides to branch out on her own and provide consulting services for companies who are looking to start-up a sustainability practice in their organizations.
She does a ton of research and cold-pitches over 100 companies, lands 7 to 8 consultations, and scores 2 new part-time clients. Now, her time is spent working with these companies one-on-one (and remotely) evaluating their business structure and creating a sustainability program that they can incorporate.
Could you turn your expertise into the same type of coaching or consulting business? Maybe you’re an expert at Instagram marketing, putting together weight loss programs for women, or you’re great at public speaking. These are all areas where you could build a platform and begin coaching others who want to learn those skills.
Are you ready to become a digital nomad?
Do you think that the digital nomad life is for you? If you’re looking to break out of the 9-5 cubicle life, work for your self or score a remote position with a company, and eager to travel the world exploring new places and meeting new people, becoming a digital nomad might be a great fit.
There are a lot of pros and cons to consider when launching into this lifestyle, but trust me, the pros outweigh the cons! Are you a digital nomad? What tips do you have for those who are looking to begin traveling and working remotely?
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