So, what is a “Digital Nomad”? As far as I can tell, it is a person that can make a living and pay the bills as long as they have access to a computer or a smartphone and, most importantly, the internet. Can you think of anything better than sitting in the shade on a tropical beach, typing away with your blog and earning a living? No manager breathing down your neck or complaining when you arrive late to work! Sounds great, right! Well, this is my aim.
Maybe you have read the “About Me” page, so now you have a good idea of who I am and what I am trying to change in my life.
One of the best bits of advice I ever received in the military was: “If you don’t like something, don’t whine about it. Get yourself in a position where you can change it”.
So, my previous articles talked about me losing weight and curing myself of type 2 diabetes. Another piece told of how I quit a severe smoking habit of thirty years. Below are 5 steps to become a digital nomad I am taking. The following articles will expand on each subject area, but you should get a good idea below.
Move from Hobbyist Photographer to Professional Photographer
For many years like so many other photographers, I have dabbled with the hobby, going back to 35mm film that cost a fortune to get developed. Having moved to digital cameras and equipment, I realised that it is possible to make good money as a photographer and videographer.
Did you ever wonder what the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional is? Simple, at the point, someone hires you and pays you as a photographer, you become a professional.
I have mainly focused on product photography and landscape photography precisely because I don’t think I have the patience to be a wedding photographer, this really does suit the digital nomad persona. I spent many years working a second job as a bouncer in various nightclubs in the UK and developed an intense dislike for drunk idiots. Landscape photography allows me some quiet time and the time to get set up for that shot you have imagined.
There are so many videos on YouTube telling potential digital nomads how to make silly amounts of money each day with affiliate marketing and creating “Click-bait” adverts. It is also amazing how they all seem to hold the “Secret”. I have looked at this, but to be honest, I refuse to create rubbish on this site just to try and get you to buy something you don’t need or want.
Using adverts on this site from google ads; which will be tailored for you, the reader. Also placing some Amazon affiliate links, but these are all products that I use to save you hunting for them. Yes, I will get a kickback if you make a purchase but be assured it is not rubbish, and it will always be something I have used myself.
So, if you decide to add affiliate marketing to your list of ways to generate income, then it is up to you if you want to be genuine in your adverts or just generate clickbait garbage.
Teach English online
There is a massive call for people who can teach English online. If you are young and want to travel and explore the world. Especially the far east, this could be an answer. There are plenty of online companies offering “TEFL” (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualifications. Just as many agencies looking for “TEFL” qualified people. So be careful that you select a company that will give you a recognised qualification.
So, get yourself qualified. If you are young, energetic, and like working with kids, then you are one qualification away from an incredible digital nomad adventure in the Orient.
I qualified at level 5, so I could also teach business English. There is a vast difference between the typical English language taught in schools and what I call “Conversational” English. I qualified to teach businessmen “Conversational” English that they can use in their day-to-day business activities.
Selling online products and merchandise
All you need to do is enjoy taking a photograph, edit it. Upload it into your print on demand company. Then select your products, and let them deal with production and distribution.
You could rent a shop, have all your work professionally printed and framed, then wait for people to walk in and purchase one or two. However, in this modern work, why limit yourself to just the local footfall and pay a considerable amount of money just for a shop.
Print on demand allows you the luxury of creating a shop online and advertising it to the world. It is not a magic money-making scheme but is undoubtedly better than the expenses of a shop, expenses of inventory and the pain of having to deal with international shipping.
There are also places to sell b-roll videos and even sound bytes.
The biggest step of all is having the courage to make the jump into self-employed status as a digital nomad. It is always simpler to work for someone else. You go to work, do your job and get paid. All you worry about is paying your bills and doing a good job.
If you are single, I think this step is a little easier, especially if you have the chance to lean on mum and dad for a while during the initial months of getting yourself set up. If, however, you have responsibilities, it will take more planning and a lot more courage.
Some of my friends who ended up self-employed and doing very well will admit the only reason they did it was through either redundancy or another reason where they lost their job and technically had no choice. Had this not happened, they would more than likely still be working for the “man”.
As you come on this becoming a digital nomad journey with me, you will see me plan this step as I have responsibilities and cannot just take the dive. But you will see how I build up to it and maybe even join me as we put the pieces of the puzzle in place.