Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 17, 2022

How do digital nomads make money?

That’s a question many people ask, and it’s not always easy to answer.

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely, using technology such as a laptop and an Internet connection. They move around to different cities and countries to find the best quality of life and work opportunities.

So, how do they make money while on the road?

There are many ways to make money as a digital nomad.

In this article, I’ll discuss some of the most popular methods.

Whether you’re looking to become a full-time digital nomad or just want to add some traveling to your current work situation, read on for tips on how to make it happen.

What Is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely, usually from a laptop, and travels to different cities or countries as they please.

They’re able to do this because of the internet, co-working spaces, and other telecommuting options.

The business model term was coined in 1999 by Sebastian Marshall, an entrepreneur who traveled the world while working on his startups. It’s only become more popular in recent years as numerous online publications discuss technology that allows people to work remote jobs from anywhere.

Benefits & Disadvantages to Location Independence

There are several benefits and disadvantages to gaining the ability to work online as a digital nomad.


  • No more office politics or dress codes
  • Increased flexibility and freedom
  • More time for travel and exploration

No More Office Politics or Dress Codes

One of the main advantages of being a digital nomad is that there are no more office politics or dress codes.

You can work how you want and wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Increased Flexibility and Freedom

Being able to have some control over how much time off you take or how many days per week are dedicated to working is a huge benefit for digital nomads.

More Time For Travel and Exploration

When you’re not tied down by deadlines, meetings, or office drama – it’s easier to get out there and explore the world around you.

You have more time to travel and experience new things that would otherwise be missed if you were stuck behind a desk all day long.


  • Less financial stability
  • Missing out on some life experiences

Less Financial Stability

The main disadvantage to being a digital nomad is that you’re not always guaranteed an income.

This can make it difficult to save money or plan long-term financial goals.

You May Miss Out On Important Life Experiences

Another disadvantage of location independence is that you may miss out on important life experiences, such as growing up in one place or having a traditional career trajectory.

You might miss your sister’s wedding or your father’s retirement party while you’re traveling the world.

These are just some of the pros and cons that come with living as a digital nomad.

It’s important to think about how these might impact your life before making any decisions.

Ways Digital Nomads Make Money

Now that you know what a digital nomad is and some of the pros and cons of the lifestyle, let’s take a look at how they make money.

There are many ways to make an income while living this way, but I’ll discuss some of the most popular methods below.

Freelance Writing

Freelance jobs work great for digital nomads. One of the most popular way for digital nomads to earn money online is by freelance writing. Many online platforms connect writers with potential clients, such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. You can also find work directly from companies that need writers for their content marketing campaigns or website updates.

Graphic Design

Another popular way for digital nomads to work remotely is by doing graphic design work. Many online marketplaces connect graphic designers with clients, such as 99designs, Crowdspring, and DesignCrowd. You can also find freelance work directly from companies or individuals who need help creating logos, banners, illustrations, etc.

Social Media Management

Many businesses today are looking for someone to manage their social media presence. This could include creating and publishing content, interacting with followers, monitoring analytics, and more. If you have a background as a social media marketer, consider helping others with their social media posts.

Programming & Web Development

If you’re a programmer or web developer, there are many opportunities for you to work remotely. You can find freelance work through online marketplaces such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal. Or you could look for companies that need remote programmers or developers.

Virtual Assistant Work

Virtual assistant jobs can help digital nomads with remote work. Many online platforms connect virtual assistants with potential clients, such as Zirtual and Fancy Hands. You can also find freelance work directly from companies or individuals who need help managing their business tasks while they’re away on vacation or traveling for business.

Teach English Online

Many people around the world want to learn how to speak English – so there’s always a demand for teachers. You could teach classes via video chat using tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, or even in person if you happen to be in the same country as your students. If this remote work sounds interesting to you, many online platforms can connect you with students – such as VIPKid, EF English First, and DaDaABC.

Other Types of Teaching

Digital nomads can teach other subjects, too. You might teach how to play an instrument, how to cook like a pro chef, how to speak a foreign language, or how to use certain software programs.

Start Your Own Online Business

If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, you could also start your own business to make money online while traveling. This could be anything from a digital marketing agency to an online store that sells handmade jewelry. The possibilities are endless – just make sure you do some research and plan out how you’ll make money before launching.

App Development

Similar to web design, you could focus on developing apps while you travel. With the world becoming more and more mobile-friendly, there is a greater demand for apps than ever before.

Translation Services

Many businesses today need help translating their content into other languages so they can reach a wider audience abroad – which means translators have lots of opportunities to make an income while traveling! You might also consider offering translation services from one language into another (for example Spanish-to-English). If this sounds like something that interests you, many online platforms can connect you with clients – such as Gengo Translate and VerbalizeIt Translation Service Company UK Limited (VerbalizeIt Translation Service Company UK Limited).

Affiliate Marketing

Many digital nomads make money through affiliate marketing. This means that they earn a commission when someone buys something using their referral link or code on an online store like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.

It’s one of the easiest ways to start making money from home without having any experience with how businesses work – all you need is some basic knowledge of people’s needs and how to connect them to the products they already want to purchase.

However, you need to know specific facts if you’re a beginner affiliate marketer.

Online Courses

If you’re an expert on something, then why not share your knowledge with the world? You can create online courses and sell them for a profit through websites like Udemy or Skillshare. And if you don’t have time to make one yourself, there are plenty of freelancers available at these sites who will do it all for only a few bucks.

SEO Specialist

As a digital nomad, you can make money by providing services for businesses and individuals who need help with their website’s search engine optimization (SEO). These include optimizing titles tags, meta descriptions, image alt text – all things that will increase how visible the site is on Google.

Customer Service Rep

If you’ve worked as a customer service representative in the past or have an interest in how companies communicate with their customers, then this might be an ideal job for you! There are many opportunities available online via platforms such as and where freelancers can bid on jobs that match their qualifications.


You could always start your own blog and make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling your products and services. There are many bloggers out there who make a full-time income from blogging – so it’s possible. Just remember that making money blogging takes time (and often a lot of hard work) to see results.

Video Creation

Do you love making videos? Then why not start a YouTube channel and make money from it! You can do this by signing up for an account at, then follow their how-to videos on how to get started with video creation.

Data Entry

Many people looking for location independence make money by doing data entry work. It involves entering information into a computer system, then verifying and correcting the data as needed. If this is something that you’re interested in, many platforms offer such opportunities – like Clickworker and CrowdFlower.


If you have an eye for detail and love to read, then proofreading could be the perfect job for you. You can work from anywhere with just your laptop or even smartphone (if needed) as long as there is internet access nearby.

Write Resumes/CVs

Are you good at writing resumes and CVs? Then why not make money online doing this for people who need them? You can find clients through platforms such as, for example, where freelancers bid on jobs that match their qualifications, experience level, etc.

Product Reviewer

Do you love to shop? Many companies will pay people to write reviews about their products on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

Drop-Shipping Business

If you want to start your own business, then consider doing drop-shipping. It’s a great way for someone who doesn’t have much capital or time investment.

FAQs About How Digital Nomads Make Money

I know you may still have plenty of questions about how to make money as a digital nomad. Let’s dive into a few.

How do nomadic lifestyles make money?

There are a variety of ways that digital nomads make an income as remote workers. They can work as freelancers, taking on short-term projects from businesses and individuals all over the world. Others may start their online businesses or blogs and generate revenue through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling products and services.

How much money can you make as a digital nomad?

The amount you can earn varies widely depending on how many clients and projects you take on at once, how much time they require (and how long), etc. However, it is possible to make upwards of $50-$60k, and even into six figures, per year if you’re willing to put in the effort.

How much money do you need to live a nomadic life?

You will likely need at least $5000 in savings before embarking on your digital nomad journey. This is because some destinations, like South East Asia or Latin America, may not be as expensive as others (i.e., Europe or North America), but you’ll still need some funds to cover your basic costs of living like food, shelter, and transportation.

How can I become a digital nomad?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the path to becoming a digital nomad will vary depending on your skills, experience, and location. However, some ways to gain location independence include working online as a freelancer, starting an online business or blog, doing data entry work, proofreading/editing, or writing resumes/CVs.

Can I work from anywhere as a digital nomad?

Yes! As long as you have a stable Internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world – on your laptop or even smartphone.

How hard is it to be a digital nomad?

It depends on your work ethic and how much you’re willing to hustle. Some people find it easy to make money as a digital nomad, while others have to put in a lot of effort.

What is the best job for a digital nomad?

The best job for a digital nomad depends on how much time you want to spend working. Some jobs can be done from anywhere with just your laptop or even smartphone, while others might require more traditional office equipment like printers and scanners.

Can I have a family as a digital nomad?

Yes! It’s possible to have a family as a digital nomad. However, it may be more difficult to find affordable childcare options in some parts of the world, so you’ll need to do your research in advance.

Of course. You need to pay attention to each country’s guidelines. For example, some countries may have restrictions on how long you can stay in the country without a visa or what types of work you’re allowed to do. Do your research before embarking on your location independence journey to ensure that you’re following all local and national laws.

Are there any risks in being a digital nomad?

There are always some risks associated with traveling, but this is especially true for people who have no permanent residence or home base.

For example, how do I get my mail if it’s sent to an address I’m no longer at? What happens if something terrible happens and my passport gets stolen or lost in another country where English isn’t spoken well enough for me to explain what happened (and how do I get back home without one)?

These types of issues can be difficult, so it’s best not to take them lightly.

What businesses can you run from anywhere?

There are several businesses you can run from anywhere in the world. Here are a few examples: freelance writing, blogging, graphic design, eCommerce, affiliate marketing, or editing.

Final Thoughts on the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Location independence comes with its own set of pros and cons, but it’s something more and more people are starting to consider for passive income.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a digital nomad or how to make money while traveling, do some research online. There are plenty of resources and communities out there that can help you get started.

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