The post contains some affiliate links. Review my disclosure for more information.
Being a digital nomad isn’t easy. It looks sexy, but it’s hard to maintain. You need to have consistent digital nomad income, meaning you need consistent well-paying remote work. But well-paying work that allows you to work on your laptop, from a beach, sipping fruity beverages aren’t necessarily falling from trees.
In Easy Money-Making Ideas For Digital Nomads, I gave a high-level overview of the easiest remote work for digital nomad income, but today I’ll share the Epic List Of Digital Nomad Income Ideas. There are sure to be digital nomad income ideas that meet your needs.
Let’s clear the air & set some expectations
First, what is a digital nomad and how do digital nomads make money?
- A Digital Nomad is anyone who works remotely and using that freedom to travel and live abroad.
- Digital nomads make money doing any of the digital nomad income ideas listed below.
Second, nowhere in this list do I mention taking surveys and being a mystery shopper. And, I’m not going to say ONE iota about budgeting. BLAH! If this is your thing, go with God and do your thing. But I’m focused on helping digital nomads generate income and build sustainable businesses because that’s the only way to sustain a digital nomad lifestyle.
Third, I believe you can create a digital nomad income and a lifestyle. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy. It’s taken me 7 years to build up my digital nomad income, and it could still be better. So, it’s probably not going to happen overnight, and no one in your life may understand what or why you’re even trying to create this work at home career. But really, who gives a shiznit!?!
You know that you want to have the flexibility to travel and to spend time with your family that you’d otherwise forfeit to a dreary office with artificial lighting. So we already know you’re willing to do.the.work. So let’s dive deep into this epic list of digital nomad income ideas.
My Epic List Of Digital Nomad Income Ideas That Pay Well
1. Freelance Writer
Being a freelance writer is the career equivalent of having your foot fall asleep. It feels amazing to work from home, set your own hours, and spend quality time with your kids. But at the beginning, it hurts like a million tiny pins poking you when you’re constantly trying to find and secure client work. I’m a freelance writer and with time, find work gets easier but everyone has to start somewhere.
Elsa Cain and Gina Horkey are great examples of successful freelance writers. Gina’s even created a course to help people, interested in starting freelance writing careers, launch their businesses and start work at home careers. It’s called 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success. I took her course, and she really helped me figure out that it was possible to make money writing, and I landed my first few clients.
2. Graphic Designer
Graphic design is a little-acknowledged freelance opportunity. I don’t want to discount the trained graphic designers out there because there are some amazing designers on the internet and it’s also ok to be an amateur designer.
With professional programs like InDesign and Photoshop, amateur cheat programs like PicMonkey and Canva, and continuing art courses on things like color, dimension, lettering, etc, you could create a new skill.
Like any freelancer, you’ll want to specialize your services. Some designers create logos, some create animation, graphics for print, graphics for the web. Your choices are limitless.
Then start your portfolio. As you build your portfolio, the better your work will become and you can start a website, start a blog, an Etsy Store, or a Fivver store to promote your business. You could also decide to do all of these things to start selling your services.
3. Virtual Assistant
There’s a lot of money on the internet. It may not be floating out of the screen, but there are people who need help with their email, managing their schedule, writing blogging content, crafting press releases, and just overall helping them to manage their virtual life. Virtual assistants (VAs) provide all of these services and more.
I’ve hired VAs in the past to help me with my website, to edit ebooks, create graphics, and just to help me with general admin services. If you really want to create a career where you help people, being a VA is a great service and it can be fairly lucrative. I’ve hired VAs ranging in price from $15/hour to $45/hour, depending on their expertise.
If you want to learn more about how to become a VA and what to expect as a VA, you can take this awesome course, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assitant Success. Gina Horkey created this course to teach regular people like you and me the technical and back-office skills to start a legit home-based Virtual Assistant business. If you’re interested in learning How To Become a Virtual Assitant and you want to work from home, Gina’s courses are excellent. This is a home-run course for you.
4. Social Media Consultant
Do you love social media? Could you literally spend all day on Facebook? Pinterest? Instagram? Well, people will pay you to manage their social media accounts for their businesses. It’s a real thing. It’s called social media consulting.
And if you can prove that you have a strategy to help brands increase their social media footprint (get more likes, views, follows), then people will pay you BIG bucks to help them out. If you’re already a pro, then start finding clients.
Want to learn more about certain social media platforms? For Pinterest, I recommend you sign up for Pinning Perfect by Blog Clarity. This course is comprehensive and the creators have a great relationship with Pinterest. So they know all of the best new pointers and strategies, and they update the course consistently with new tips.
For Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I’m still searching for the BEST course. As I find courses to recommend, I’ll definitely let you know.
Remember, you don’t have to be a PRO with all social media. You can specialize in just one platform. Look at Simple Pin Media. Kate Ahl has built an empire around helping brands leverage Pinterest to increase traffic and sales. You just need to be a PRO on one platform.
5. Web Developer
Ok, so most people just don’t wake up and decide to become a web developer. But if you did decide you wanted to become a web developer, you don’t need to go back to school, but you will need some training. But it’s no sweat.
There are a TON of reputable web developer courses available (for a fee) on the internet. I had a great experience with Skillcrush. If you’re really serious about learning these skills, you could realistically complete a course AND know how to code in as little as a few weeks.
A word of caution: as someone who’s taken some coding courses, it’s one thing to understand the book but it’s a whole new world when you try to actually implement what you’ve learned in a real online environment.
So, contrary to popular opinion, as soon as you complete a course, you’ll probably want to find a client and start practicing your new skills. You can find web developer work on job search databases like freelancer.com, flexjobs.com, or upwork.com. The more work you get AND complete, the better your skills will get.
In my experience, the best way to hone your expertise is to have a client that expects a finished product. The expectation keeps you honest and makes you go out of your way (even if that means asking a more experienced consultant for help) to get the job done.
6. Professional Organizer
Being a professional organizer is a legit business. People who love to create order and purpose out of chaos for other people make perfect professional organizers. So many people live in disorganized rat’s nest OR they have a secret drawer, closet, or room that they’ve been using for temporary “storage.”
Professional organizers provide a lifeline to their clients by clearing the clutter in their house and in their life. As a digital nomad, you may not be able to physically reorganize and declutter people’s homes, but you may be able to find a unique way to help people organize. Take for instance, Brittany Dixon at Brittany & Co. Consulting, she helps busy entrepreneur plan, strategy, and take control of their lives (and schedules) using Trello. She’s created a ton of super usual digital products that anyone can buy.
Any digital nomad or aspiring digital nomad could take one segment of personal organization and niche down to create a whole online brand and help a ton of people.
7. Wedding/Event Planner
Being an event coordinator or even branding yourself as a wedding planner is a great stay-at-home business. Sure, you have to find the clients but that’s true for any business, new or old.
One mom making waves in the wedding planning industry is Shay Rybin. I met her several years ago while she was working full-time and trying to make a full-time income from her wedding planning business so she could spend time with her son. Now, Shay has employees! You can check her out at Shay Lynne Weddings. She’s a great example of how having a vision for your future and the drive to continuously learn new skills (and improve older ones) can chart a path of a dream business.
As a digital nomad, while you may not be able to be physically present for every wedding you support, like the professional organizing digital nomad idea, there are bound to be ways to help a happy couple plan for their wedding without breaking the bank with your course, training or one-on-one phone support.
8. Life Coach
Being a life coach is totally broad and there’s a lot of chatter about how helpful and efficient it is. Coaching also has this weird “red-headed step-child” thing going on and not everyone takes the concept of life coaching seriously.
So here are my two cents. When done well, life coaching is a truly valuable service that allows people to overcome the circumstances in their lives and live more intentionally. When you’re a coach, you help people to see that they’re stuck; accept that they’re stuck, and support them to create a path of getting unstuck so that they can do/be/create a new experience in their life.
Sarah Olin, PCC owns Lucious Mother. She is an amazing example of a woman who saw the value in coaching and used it to transform her life. Now she’s leading the charge to help moms create permanent shifts in their lives and families.
9. Etsy Store Owner
If you love making things —jewlery, dog biscuits, knitted baby bonnets, candy, etc..—you may want to start an Etsy Store. Etsy is an online platform that makes it easy to post pictures of your creations and sell them to the world.
Love to make a certain product? Well get busy and start making some extra money on Etsy. This article on Why You Need To Start An Etsy Store may help you take those first steps.
Etsy Store work at home careers can be truly fulfilling because you’re selling personal creations. I feel like Etsy Stores are like little art studios for the creators. It’s an amazing way to share your art with a larger audience. Curious, read more about Why You Need To Start An Etsy Store.
10. Multi-Level Marketing
I know. Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is not everyone’s cup of tea. These companies have a knack for creating awkward conversations between family and friends faster than possibly even politics.
Now, that doesn’t mean that MLMs are bad. In fact, a lot of MLMs are amazing; you just need to know how to do the work. And honestly, that’s true for any work at home career venture.
I tend to respect MLMs that invest in their consultants because that means you’re going to get more than just money out of the job. My three favorite MLM companies right now are Primerica, J.Hillburn, and MaryKay.
Primerica’s level of individual investment is astronomical. When you become a consultant, you can get a whole host of licenses and certifications that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
MaryKay provides coaching and sales training, and J.Hillburn gives each of their consultants portable skills—mainly bespoke measurement training and luxury product sales coaching.
From personal experience, MLMs are not evil but how people go about them is a bit ridiculous. Starting with who you know is good, but the most successful MLMs create networks and outreach to work with people beyond their contact list. This is where starting a blog is really helpful. With a blog, you can talk about various aspects of what you do without trying to sell anything.
For example, MaryKay consultants could write or create videos on how to create the perfect eye for a special event, like a wedding or New Year’s Eve. Learn How To Start A Blog and give your MLM business a boost.
If you’ve got accounting skills and not just bookkeeping skills (we’ll talk bookkeeping next), starting an accounting business and working for yourself is an amazing way to keep your skills sharp while limiting the number of hours you work.
Accountants can help small, medium, and large businesses—or even individuals—manage their funding allocations, create projections, make investment recommendations, do taxes, manage audits, and provide business consulting services to name a few of the many services an accountant can provide.
And while I’m the first person to caution would-be entrepreneurs to read The 5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Another Degree, because you probably don’t need one — taking accounting classes, certifications, and even getting another degree in accounting (if that’s the career you want to pursue) is not a bad investment in time or money.
I like to think of Bookkeeping as the accountant’s right hand. If you’re trustworthy, good with numbers, and you know how to budget, becoming a bookkeeper makes for an awesome work at home career opportunity.
In this article from the Penny Hoarder, you can learn How to Earn $60/Hour Working From Home As A Bookkeeper. Pretty cool right?!
Contrary to popular belief, you can make money blogging but really only if you think of your blog like you would any business. I network now with bloggers who make well over $100,000/ month. Michelle Schroeder-Garnder of Making Sense of Cents was recently featured on CNBC because this 28-year-old earns over $100,000 a month blogging and traveling full-time.
The tipping point for a lot of bloggers in a course called Elite Blog Academy. You can only join the course once a year and generally only for like 5 days. As courses go, it’s pretty elusive. If you’re interested, hop on the EBA waiting list so you can at least learn more about the course when it launches.
As long as you’re willing to be consistent with it, blogging can be one of the most lucrative work at home careers on this list.
14. Affiliate Marketer
With affiliate marketing, it’s now possible to make money recommending your favorite products, classes, and services to people online and via email. I’m constantly seeing people recommend books, products, and services that they’ve used (and LOVED) online. Generally, these folks disclose that they will be compensated for their products recommendations (because it’s a law), but they can be compensated handsomely. And in some cases, no one actually has to buy what they’re recommending. A mere click will do.
While affiliate marketing works best with a blog, you can post affiliate links just about anywhere as long as it’s within the terms and conditions of the company with which you’re working.
To learn more about affiliate marketing, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, is a pretty awesome course and Michelle (the 28-year-old making $100,000/month), does a fantastic job showing you how to make money without a huge online platform.
As long as you have ideas and access to a laptop and the internet, you can become a published author. You can write books or create study guides, create a catching cover or hire a designer to create an eye-catching cover, then use a program like Vellum to format and publish your book.
You can register with Amazon, and Apple iBooks to sell your ebook, and you could start making money on your book as soon as it’s available for sale.
The really cool thing is that once your book is available online if people like it, you could attract the attention of a traditional publisher who may choose to republish your book with an actual publication house.
16. Amazon FBA Seller
I just found out about this. Being an Amazon FBA Seller is amazing! You basically buy stuff from one place and send it to Amazon. Amazon maintains your stock and lets you use their online platform to sell your stuff to people all over the world. Amazon handles the shipping and you just get paid.
Ok, I’m just learning about this opportunity, but this article goes into great detail on How To Become An Amazon FBA Seller. If you have a limited time, this is one of those work at home careers that allows you the flexibility to devote as much or as little time as you can manage.
Taking mesmerizing pictures is a skill, and the amazing thing is that what’s mesmerizing to each person is a little different. So, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been taking pictures for a month or for years. As long someone likes your photographs—and you like them—it doesn’t matter what other people think. Go out and take photographs that you like and the more photos you take, the better you will get.
Learn How to Start A Photography Business. There are a ton of courses out there to get started. Everything from learning how to take professional photos on your iPhone to how to take better pictures of your kids. If you seek it, there’s probably already a course online to help you out.
18. Interior Designer
Love to redecorate? Get a thrill from finding devastatingly gorgeous home decor steals? There are whole degree programs dedicated to interior design. So it’s not something you can just pick up, but it’s a skill just like anything else. So while you may not be able to call yourself an interior designer, you could call yourself decorator or a home decor specialist.
You could start a blog and write about your projects, take pictures, and display some of your before and afters. If you really want to build a following, you may even want to do show your audience how to solve small home decor dilemmas or create something new on a budget.
All you need is a little talent, a blog, and some serious drive to get work at home careers like this started.
19. Estate Sales
Ok, so as work at home careers go, this is a grim one. That’s why I left it for last, but it’s also a huge service for grieving families. After the loss of a loved one, families are faced with the momentous task of clearing out their homes and offices. Once the family takes the items that are most meaningful. Having someone come in and take away the items (whether they’re purchased or just hauled away), can be a blessing for a grieving family.
And depending on the arrangement, if you’re handy with furniture refurbishing, you may be able to update older pieces and resell them for a profit.
So, I’ve exhausted all of my experience with digital nomad remote income option, specifically remote work that pays well. Do you know of any additional digital nomad income ideas that I missed? Leave a comment with a link to your website, and I may add it to the list.