Central to any digital nomad lifestyle is the actual money-making activity that you will allow you to work from anywhere in the world. For many people these ‘digital nomad jobs’ are elusive. How does one make a living while travelling the world? The answer is a near infinite list of possibilities. Technically anything you can do to make money from a computer - provided it doesn't require access to a physical location - could be a ‘digital nomad job’ but of course, there are some disciplines that are much more common than others. In my experience, most digital nomad jobs fall under the disciplines of IT, marketing and design. These fields are often dominated by the use of a computer and require little amounts of manual labour. Plus, these are fields that most modern day businesses will need at some point. That being said, as technology continues to automate more of the physical tasks we do in our careers, there is more opportunities opening up to work remotely in a range of different fields.
As the name suggests, web developers create web applications and websites. This is one of the most common digital nomad jobs as it requires no physical labour, just a computer and a few simple tools.
Similar to a web developer, an app developer creates software specifically for a certain platform, whether that be your phone or your computer.
Often confused as the same thing as a web developer, web designers are simply designers who create visual designs for the web. While a web developer will build the pages and features of a website, web designers will design the visual look of them.
Graphic design is a broad field that can cover web design but also motion graphics, typography and illustration. The end product of which could be used in both online or print media.
UX stands for User Experience and encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, product or service. UX designers are professionals who understand user psychology and can advise businesses around how to create the best user experience.
In the age of the internet, the opportunity exists for everyone to publish their own content and businesses are now starting to understand that publishing great content can draw people to their business. As a content writer, your responsibility would be to write online content such as web pages or blog posts.
A content marketer is a marketing professional who has a clear goal to raise awareness, convert and sell for businesses. While content writing could be part of your role as a content marketer, your responsibility is to strategise and figure out how the use of content will produce long-term benefits for a business.
Copywriting is basically writing with the purpose of persuasion. While a content writer will write blog posts, copywriters will write sales pages. Both are similar but copywriting is much more lucrative as your income is only limited to your ability to write persuasively.
Conversion Rate Optimiser
Commonly referred to as CRO, Conversion Rate Optimisation is a field in marketing and data analytics that involves increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. Usually, it involves a sequence of making modifications to pages, setting up tests and analysing data that gets repeated over and over.
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO, for short) is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic search engine results. In simple terms, SEO specialists help websites appear higher up when you search for something on Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other search engines.
Performance Marketing is a comprehensive term that refers to online marketing in which advertisers and marketing companies are paid when a specific action is completed; such as a sale, lead or click. PPC on the other hand, stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Basically, the role of a Performance (PPC) Marketer is to work with online ads. These might be the ones you see at the top of Google, in your Facebook feed or on a website. PPC marketers strategise, create and test these online ads for maximum ROI and if you’re good at it, the career potential is limitless.
Social Media Marketer
Social Media Marketing is a form of online marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media in order to achieve marketing and branding goals. As a social media marketer, you'll be responsible for creating social media campaigns and publishing regular social media content for your clients or boss.
‘Virtual Assistant‘ (or VA, for short) is a broad term that generally refers to a freelancer who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely. Theoretically, all the previous sales and marketing disciplines previously mentioned could be a part of a virtual assistant’s job however, VAs are usually more generalised. You may find a design VA who deals with all creative assistant work, a technical VA who deals with websites and technical marketing aspects or a generalist marketing VA who works across the full stack of marketing disciplines. It really depends.
A Strategic Business Consultant works on the high-level aspect of a business. While sales and marketing are usually involved, it’s perhaps more appropriate to say that strategic consultants can work with businesses to solve almost any issue and assist decision making at the senior management level of the organisation.
Online Language Teacher
You’ll likely find ‘Online Language Teacher’ on the top of any list of ways to make money living abroad but have you considered offering language training completely remotely? For North Americans, there’s a platform called VIP Kid that accepts almost anyone with a college degree and for Brits, Aussies and Kiwis, I hear the equivalent is ABC360. Many native English speaking people are attracted to teaching English online as it’s a field in which they already have the most important skill they need, a command of the English language.
Translating is not a field I hear about often in the digital nomad world but for a location independent lifestyle, it makes perfect sense. If you’re bilingual, you already know how to translate to a certain extent so you’re off to a great start! A good place to look for work is on freelance platforms like UpWork.com
Accountant or Bookkeeper
The accounting industry is one of the latest to be heavily disrupted by technology. With many of the tasks of an accountant now moving to the cloud, there’s often no reason why accountants and bookkeepers couldn’t work remotely.
● Audio Producer ● Voice Talent ● Video Editor ● Customer Service Agent ● Animator ● Data Entry ● Editor / Proof-reader ● Financial Planner ● Life Coach ● Video Game Developer
The list goes on literally forever. As I said earlier, any activity that you can perform on a computer that doesn’t require access to a specific physical location could be a digital nomad job so it’s virtually impossible to provide a full list. What you have right here though, is a list of possible jobs that many others have done before you. So which ideas sparked your interest the most? Maybe now is the time to learn a new skill and become a digital nomad. Until next time, Chris