Just about any skill set or career can be digitized and facilitated online as a nomad job.
Common skill sets that working nomads typically possess can be generally drilled down into seven factions.
Each have their strengths and weaknesses and will often collaborate with one another to their mutual benefit.
Word-smiths; Travel bloggers, authors, journalists, reviewers of products or places, copywriters with various specializations from SEO to sales copy, infoproduct creators, and so on.
Media Producers: They make stuff! Videographers, designers, musicians, podcasters, photographers, illustrators, animators, and so on.
Internet Marketers: Often working for brands, they excel at search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media management, affiliate marketing, and so on.
Drop Shippers: Taking affiliate marketing to another level, drop shippers typically outsource order fulfillment to private companies such as Amazon FBA or other ASEAN suppliers.
Teachers: Instructors and teachers who took traditional teaching online to websites like VIPKid for teaching English by the hour, Skillshare or Udemy to generate a passive income.
Virtual Assistants: They handle a variety of tasks for others, such as audio transcription, website updates, email outreach, light design work, etc.
Programmers: People who develop code for mobile applications, HTML5 web-based applications, WordPress plugins, computer software, or internet-of-things devices just to name a few.
Related: 9 websites that will teach you to code.
With any of these skill sets, a working nomad can either create something to monetize on their own, or they can trade time for money and use their skills on someone else’s clock with a nomad job.
“Passive” Income Options for Every Working Nomad
Designers will always have a site like TeeSpring, teachers can turn to teaching websites, writers have ebooks and TextMaster, programmers can use sites like Upwork or create their own products for a popular app store, and internet marketers can drive traffic to their own monetized products or everybody else’s.
Before I made my side projects cash positive, I lived on TextMaster.
A traditional day job you telecommute to is not a requirement for having a reliable income while on the road, and for many it appears to be more of a hindrance when compared to the prospect of creating a more passive income.
However, in just about every case there are going to be a few constants.
Internet Marketing Unites Us All
No matter what you do you’re going to have to understand search optimization, how to write copy that converts, how to leverage and monetize a website, and how to network.
Internet marketing is the skill set that unites us all. Whether you’re marketing yourself on Upwork, or you’re marketing your own products on Amazon –you’re going to have to learn the tricks of the trade.
Google < Pinterest
For most people, SEO is an absolute clusterf*ck that seems incredibly complicated and it’s often the last thing on the list of skills we’ll opt to learn.
I think it is important to mention this because search engines are going to algorithmically decide your fate, no matter what you’re doing.
While I am going to deeply address this in later guides, I wanted to leave you with one thought; f*ck Google. At least at the onset of your journey. There are way more competitors for any niche on Google than there are in other “walled gardens” –private websites that have their own search engines.
For example; Pinterest users have more money to burn than those using other search engines. Pinterest isn’t just for girls, either. That was a big mistake I made back in the beginning. It’s still quite competitive, but nowhere near Google.
That goes for YouTube, too. And Amazon. And iTunes. And whatever communities you’re currently using.
Alex and Lauren over at Create and Go are responsible for waking me up to Pinterest, and they’ve forced me to take it seriously.
We’ve been overhauling all of our Pinterest boards and successfully generating 10x the traffic we had a month ago, and this is entirely because of a course we took from Create and Go called Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
Don’t take my word on it, you can view some of their free videos here to learn more:
- Laying the Foundations – SEO
- Creating Viral Pins Step-by-Step for Massive Traffic
- Pinterest Worthy Content
- Websites Fail, Traffic Cures
Even if you skip Alex and Lauren’s paid course and only watch the videos above, you’ll still be wiser for doing so.
All things considered, my only solid advice here is to focus on one search engine in the beginning. Pick one with lower hanging fruit, and really cut your teeth on it.
The SEO tactics you will learn and execute along the way will prove useful for when you one day take on Google, except smaller search engines will deliver much more reward in a shorter amount of time.
In a matter of a month you could dominate your niche on Pinterest. Attempting the same on Google would take a minimum of 9 months, IMHO. And that’s if you know what you’re doing right off the bat.
If you haven’t made the leap yet, I suggest you give up 3 – 4 hours every week night to learn what makes a smaller search engine tick –and then exploit it for everything it’s worth.
So you wrote a really great guide about taking photos of bananas? Turn it into an audio recording and upload it to SoundCloud and iTunes. Make a video preview. Fuck the fear. You don’t need a fancy intro, either. Get in front of the smartphone camera, and build your following.
When you do create content, write a content schedule like you’re planning a table of contents for a book. That way you can repackage everything into slideshows on Slideshare, email courses, video courses, ebooks –whatever floats your boat.
A Note to Travel Bloggers
If you’re going to get into travel blogging, even as a side project –do it right. Because a single article feature on your website could land you a free week at an all-inclusive resort, free drinks, scuba lessons –you name it. Which will come in real handy if you need a bit of an insurance policy should the money ever run out.
Guest Blog Opportunity
If you’re a serious travel blogger and you’d like to get a free link from me personally for SEO purposes, you can visit this page on Hobo with a Laptop and fill out our survey –we’d be happy to have your work appear on our website.
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Other helpful links:
Free Nomad Travel Guide for Hobo ReadersIf you're planning to become a travel blogger or digital nomad in the near future, we invite you to take a look at Digital Nomad Escape Plan; a full-fledged ebook to help you get started on your nomad travels in Chiang Mai, Thailand (and it's completely free).
You can download your free copy here.