I think it's time we really demystify the idea that working remotely and becoming location independent is some pipe dream that only the luckiest get to live. We're sitting on a very rocky economy as I write this and it's just been declared that we are in another recession. It can seem a bit like the world is ending for independent businesses when even the largest industries are going bust. But just remember that a number of HUGE companies actually came out of the last recession and actually, it can be a great time to have a start-up. I'm thinking Whatsapp, Venmo, Groupon, Instagram, Uber and many more businesses that came out of a particularly dark time for the economy. So don't lose hope – it could be the start of a new wave of success for you – if you take the time to harness your power.
The truth is – if you've gone through lockdown loving your time working at home and questioning whether you want to go back to "normal". Perhaps it's time you reassess what you want from your life and whether location independent work and living is something you aspire towards. It might be that before now you've always thought it was unattainable, that it was a lifestyle withheld only for Instagram influencers and travel bloggers. That couldn't be further from the truth and over my years of travel I have met many, many full-time travellers in a range of careers. You would be amazed at the enormous number of ways you can make money online – and these are growing by the day! It's predicted that by 2035, around a billion people worldwide will be working remotely – don't you want a piece of the pie?
How have I managed to travel and work online?
I've now managed to be location independent and work remotely for over six years. Trust me, the majority of my money definitely doesn't come from this blog. Absolutely Lucy to this day remains a passion project but not something I ever wished to rely on to fund my lifestyle. I've had various online jobs and have developed my personal brand as a way of giving it sustainability. These digital nomad jobs have ranged from copywriting, journalism and editing, to SEO, social media and many more roles. Working remotely has given me the freedom to travel without limits (other than WIFI). It's also given me a way to grow my skill-set exponentially in a way that I couldn't if I were working full-time in one role.
I've been a huge advocate for remote working for many years. Check out the articles below for more on this topic and some great resources and discounts for online courses:
- Freelancing – how to "home office" as a digital nomad
- 20+ online courses to boost your CV today
- Flexible working helped me escape domestic violence
35+ Digital Nomad JOBS to change your life
I've created this epic list of amazing digital nomad jobs that could help transform your life by getting online. Some of them are more well known choices – but a lot of these are careers that could easily translate to remote living. There are many that have been forced online due to the pandemic – but have naturally adapted well to digital. I hope this list will open you eyes to the possibilities and encourage you to get creative with your future career.
Copywriter, Editor, Proofreader or Freelance Journalist
Freelance journalist was my first ever online job and one that easily translates to digital. If you have experience in journalism and the right contacts – it can be very easy to work as a freelance journalist while travelling or living abroad. If you have a nose for stories – you'll be able to find them wherever you go. It's all a case of pitching to the right people and being able to sell your ideas. If you don't have experience or a qualification but love to write. There are always copywriting, proofreading or editing jobs available online which can really help you to build your portfolio. Check out Upwork and Fiverr for freelance work.
Translator or Transcriber
Both jobs which often go under the radar – but these can be a great way to get online work. Don't forget in the digital world we live in – most texts will need to be translated into other languages. If you know multiple languages, it can be a great way to utilise your skills. Likewise, TV programmes, Youtube videos, online courses and even podcasts will come with a transcription available for those who are unable to hear. Check out Go Transcript or Transcribe Me for jobs.
Run an e-Commerce Business
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit – why not channel that into creating an online business selling products you love? You could set up your own website selling T-shirts, coconut bowls or pretty much anything! If you already have an audience – it's a good way to make extra money selling your own products or those from outside sources. It also works nicely when travelling as often you can set these up so that you simply take the orders, but the actual products are sent from the supplier direct to the customer. Now anyone with a blog or website can add an e-commerce section easily using plugins like WooCommerce or Shopify – I'm actually in the process of doing this myself. Check out this article: How to set up an e-commerce website in 9 steps
One of the top digital nomad jobs and a great way to sell your skills. If you have a talent for illustration or design – learn how to package and market these skills to land your own clients and work from anywhere. Every company out there needs graphics for their advertising campaigns or websites – you could be the person who creates them. Love to draw? If graphic design isn't your thing, why not become an illustrator? Perhaps your drawings are already popular through your social media channels – you could turn those followers into customers by offering the right services. You could even start creating illustrations for children's books as one digital nomad I met had done – she had been travelling full time for several years. Find freelance graphic design jobs on Indeed.
Social Media Manager
It has become vital for brands to have social media outlets and for these to grow and reach their customers directly. This is why the influencer industry has become so huge. It is a form of direct advertising that has never been available before. Hence why there are SO many social media managers that work on varying levels. Some focus on brand work and helping brands to grow/manage their accounts. Others work on behalf of large accounts that need outside help to maintain their content publishing schedule and to continue to grow their accounts. And then you also get those who target smaller accounts and work with them to help grow their following – perhaps to help grow their business. Check out this selection of remote social media manager jobs on LinkedIn.
This follows on nicely to virtual assistant jobs which can sometimes incorporate social media scheduling. But it doesn't stop there – the virtual assistant role can include a huge range of administrative tasks to help support businesses where needed. It helps to have experience with programmes such as WordPress, Trello, Slack, Google Suite and Microsoft Word/Excel. Keyword research is also a common task for virtual assistants so it's worth teaching yourself these skills. The role can change hugely depending on the business and person you are working for. Many bloggers also hire virtual assistants to support with all the smaller day-to-day tasks. This role can also mean working specific and more flexible hours to suit your employer (and the timezone they are in) so take this into account. Read this article: How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs You Can Do From Home
Now admittedly, as digital nomad jobs go, this is one of the more boring options. However, it is steady work that is in high demand by a LOT of companies. If you're new to online work and don't feel you have marketable skills – data entry is a great option for beginners. You need to be confident with programmes with Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, and look into other data entry software so you know what to expect. If you're good on a computer with basic numeracy and literacy skills – this could be perfect for you. Check out this article for the options available: 12 Legit Data Entry Jobs from Home
You don't need to be a travel blogger to work remotely! Creating a blog can be a great way to focus on passive income which gives you the space to focus on more projects. Bloggers – across a range of topics – are able to work online which gives them the freedom to work from home, to relocate or to travel whenever they like. It doesn't mean they always choose full-time travel, but it gives them the flexibility to work from anywhere! You could blog about fashion, travel, food, lifestyle, finance or even crafts! I know amazing bloggers who are making thousands of $$$ per year in passive income on topics like crafts. This gives them the freedom focus on building a business around their lifestyle. YES it does take a LOT of work – but it's worth it. Read: How to start a blog & upgrading your website
Building a Personal Brand
Social media has transformed the way we do business and it's now easier than ever to build your own personal brand and create a lifestyle business of your own. You don't need to be a blogger or "influencer" to do it. You just have to have an entrepreneurial mindset – to see where there is a need for your passion and skills. Then to see how you can monetise this by creating an authentic and profitable personal brand. This can be through creating your own digital products, or through e-commerce. But most importantly – it's a brand that you are entirely in control of and it's money that goes directly to you. This can be simultaneously exciting and terrifying – but there are amazing resources available to help inspire and motivate you.
Programming and App developer roles
I know several full and part-time travellers who work in programming and it has helped them to travel all over the globe. It has also meant that they haven't had to rely on picking up work when travelling as they've often had longer-term clients. It's a skill that is hugely in-demand as more brands and individuals require personalised and details websites and programmes. Coding and the problem-solving side of this work is such a valuable skill. I actually wish I had trained in this much earlier in my career as it could have transformed my working life. Read: How to Become a Programmer: The Complete Beginner's Guide
One of my great friends works as an app developer and has spent the last decade travelling the world. He is tied only to a good WIFI connection and loves his job and the freedom it brings. It's an exciting industry to be a part of.
Website developer & designer
Slightly different to the above, digital nomad jobs in this field will focus more on the wider picture and overall project. Instead of writing code or specific programmes, a developer will help with the overall building of a website and the design elements. Again, if you have a knack or training in these areas, there can be good money in this work as it's also in high demand. A complete website redesign can cost thousands – so imagine how much money you could make per project. Read: How to get hired as a junior web developer
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Another of my own digital nomad jobs and one that enabled me to live in both the UK and Germany, while travelling Europe. The nature of this work is online and often means working with younger and more flexible companies who are open to flexible working. I was working with a start-up company that developed into market-leaders during my time with them. SEO is one of the hardest things to learn because it is an ever-changing beast. However, it is highly useful and worth keeping tabs on changes online that could affect either your business, work or website. Read: What is SEO and How It Works?
Whether you work for an affiliate marketing company or you simply use it through your own blog, website or social media channels. It can be a great way to generate passive income if you have an audience. This means that technically you could be earning money even when you are asleep or sunbathing on a beach in the Maldives. Basically you work on commission and advertise products using special links which give you a % of the sale. It's small amounts, but can add up if you are selling larger or more expensive items – or if you have a large audience. Read: Affiliate Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
Teaching Languages or Online Tutoring
One of my next projects – I actually completed my TEFL during lockdown and hopefully plan to teach English online in the future. It's easy to teach online these days – whether you teach languages through a network. Or perhaps you offer private tutoring in languages or any other special skills such as music. If you do decide to settle in a place, you can even start to branch out and offer these services 1-2-1 or in group sessions locally, and then move these online if you move on. If you wish to study to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) click the banner below and enter the code for 10% off.
Life Coach, Health Coach or Business Coach
You can become a coach in pretty much anything with the right training! If there is a topic that you're passionate about, why not get the coaching training and start offering online sessions? I'm currently working with life coach Lauren Iles and it's been such an amazing experience that has really helped me at a key point in my life to turn my ideas into an action plan. You could become the person who is helping others to do the same and take charge of their life.
Counsellor or Psychotherapist
Through my work, I have been speaking with a number of counsellors and psychotherapists who have been forced to take their work online during lockdown. But most of them have said that actually the service works well online and they will continue this in the future. If you have the training and experience to do so – it could be a great way to use your skills and provide comfort and support for those in need no matter where in the world you are.
Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher or Meditation Teacher
My sister works as a personal trainer, and she, like many others, have been forced to take sessions online during lockdown. Many PTs I have spoken with have been amazed at how well it works online and have planned to keep offering this when things go back to "normal". Likewise, many yoga and meditation sessions are now offered online and can offer spirituality and a way to continue practice no matter what the distance. Many yoga and meditation teachers already work while they travel – so this provides a great way to offer online services as well.
Video production and editing
One of the most sought-after skills at the moment and a great one for those seeking digital nomad jobs. It's also one that you can teach yourself thanks to countless online guides and Youtube. Many businesses will require video whether it's for their website, social media channels or advertising. If you have the skills to create and edit video footage, you can easily do this from anywhere. You may even find it opens doors to more travel as a way of securing footage and working with companies worldwide. A good portfolio is a must! Find jobs in video production and editing.
I was so excited when I met a traveller friend who told me this was what he did for work! (He had the best voice!) It's another of the digital nomad jobs that we don't necessarily think of but that is used all the time. Companies need voiceover artists for their websites, social media or advertising footage, they are also needed for TV or radio adverts. If you have a great voice – it's a good line of work to get into. You will need some recording equipment or access to a studio in order to provide the material – but if you love it, it's a worthwhile investment. Read: How to Start Voice Acting - Become a Voice Actor in 2020
Customer Support or Technical Support
Again – a service that all companies need and often outsource. This can range from taking calls to supporting digital chats through online messaging systems. If you want a less demanding role where you can clock in and clock out with ease – this might be for you. Find remote customer service jobs.
This is actually my next big project – I'm going to write a book! You don't have to write online in order to make money. You can create self-published works and sell them via Amazon or various other sources. Or you may even be able to find an agent and publisher to sell your books. Either way, it can be a great way to have regular and steady income wherever you are. As long as you are writing, you can do it from anywhere! I know a woman who writes children's books and usually bases herself in South America while writing.
If you're an expert in your field or have lots of experience on a specialist topic – you could start offering consulting services. I know people who do this in social media, affiliate marketing, coding and even architecture. It's also a great way to charge higher rates for specialist support and to set your own schedule which is great for travel. This could come in the form of regular Skype meetings and even phone coaching, or you might prefer to look over work/presentations and then offer notes.
Accountant, bookkeeping or tax support
All three of these can work as digital nomad jobs – they're definitely less common but would easily translate online. Accountants and bookkeepers will always have a steady stream of clients – and taking these online was a must during COVID. Many businesses have adapted well and will introduce more online meetings and clients in the future. As long as files can be storied online and accessed, it's entirely possible. Again, tax advice, while specific to a country, it doesn't mean you have to be in the country while advising.
Photographer or Videographer
A perfect job for travellers – both open a lot of doors for flexibility and also capturing a place along the way. You can also easily find work with hotel brands, travel companies, tourism agencies and many more who require your services.
Take surveys online
If you have the time to spare, this can be a great way to make some extra $$. There are entire websites and social media groups dedicated to taking surveys and various services in order to earn extra cash. This can also come in the form of helping to test user experience as a "mystery shopper" or even getting paid to shop, or watch Youtube videos. Check out this article: 12 Websites Offering Odd Jobs to Earn Extra Cash
These are just some of MANY examples of digital nomad jobs that could help change your life. There are nearly 40 suggestions here, but don't let your research stop there. I've linked countless resources in this post where you can get the training, find out more or even source jobs in specific fields. If you're determined and put your ideas into action, there is absolutely no reason why you can work remotely and become location independent. Whether you want to travel full time, or you simply want flexible working hours and no commute.
There are so many ways to make it happen. So why not?
Do you work remotely? What digital nomad jobs can you recommend? Have you got an unusual digital nomad job to share?