How can I make money online?

It seems to be the million-dollar question – and for very good reason. Once you’ve cracked it, you’re well on your way to becoming a digital nomad, travelling full-time and enjoying a booming career while you do so.

Living the dream. Having it all. Changing your life. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a very possible goal.

But how exactly can you possibly make enough money online to travel indefinitely?

Even though many people are surprised to hear how I do it, it’s far from the only way. So many jobs are becoming remote – mostly because many of them could have been done remotely all along – and companies are more open to remote workers than ever before. Which is great news for anyone who wants to become a digital nomad.

The question is… what kind of remote work can you do? The answer may just surprise you.

Just to let you know… This post (probably) contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links, and I may receive a small commission if you click one. This is at no extra cost to you and allows this site to keep running.

How to make money online

If you’re still wondering how it’s possible to make money online, this page will be your new favourite resource. That’s because I’ll be sharing all the location independent jobs I come across as I travel the world and meet other digital nomads. My goal is simply to inspire you to find a career that allows you to live the life you want – whatever that is.

There’s one small catch: I’ve only included jobs if I’ve personally met someone who does it full-time while travelling. There’s a lot of unreliable information out there so I want to make sure you know this is a page you can trust. That’s why a job will only be added if I can verify it.

That means I’ve probably missed some super awesome (and obvious!) location independent careers, but don’t worry. I’ll be updating this page as I meet other digital nomads with cool jobs you might want to consider.

Make sure you check back soon to see what else gets added – I’m sure there will be plenty more surprises!

Digital nomads jobs that will give you location independence

From cabin crew to cruise ship security, there are plenty of jobs that require travel. In this list, however, you’ll only find jobs that let you travel on your own terms. I’m talking careers that give you complete flexibility over when and where to work and, ultimately, how you spend your life.

Sound good? Let’s go!

1 – Web/App Developer

From mobile apps to WordPress plugins, ‘developer’ covers a wide range of careers. It’s probably why it’s such a popular job among digital nomads, and it’s also one of the most common job titles I’ve come across in the co-working spaces I’ve worked at.

If you want a job that’s in demand, pays well and challenges you daily, it might be time to start studying.

How to get started:

There’s no getting around it: you’re going to need to study for this one. Hard.

If you’re completely new to coding, don’t expect it to be easy. Familiarise yourself with the different coding languages – what they do, how they’re used and who needs them – and choose one that excites you. You can always pick up a second or third language later, but focus on getting really good at one to begin with.

You can find some great course on everything from Python to Ruby on sites like Udemy and Codeacademy.

2 – Videographer or Filmmaker

You don’t need loads of equipment or a degree in film-making to get started in videography. All you need is a basic camera set-up and bundles of enthusiasm to see the world through your camera’s eye. You can check out my minimalist vlogging equipment right here.

How to get started:

Pick up a camera! I recommend starting with a cheap vlogging camera with a flip screen, whether you plan on filming yourself or not. The flip-out screen just makes it easier to get creative shots and go crazy with angles.

Even though you’ll need to know some basics, there’s no need to stick to the rules. In fact, it could be what sets you apart in this industry. Filmmaking is as much about creativity as it is getting the techy bits right, so have fun.

If you want to get your work out there, think about starting a YouTube channel. Even a weekly upload will help you get feedback and get you into the habit of sharing your work.

3 – Virtual Assistant (VA)

As more and more people begin to work online, virtual assistants are only becoming more in demand. The job description of a VA could involve anything from basic admin tasks to social media scheduling or even proofreading and editing. Use it to your advantage by specialising in something you love.

How to get started:

If you’re trying to become a virtual assistant, it’s best to pick a niche that you can dominate. That could be a specific type of task (e.g. answering emails) but it could also be the kind of industry you want to work in (e.g. blogging).

Choose something that interests you and that many people need – other remote industries such as digital marketing are great!

4 – Copywriter

Like many of the digital nomad careers on this list, copywriting could be a list of its own. The one thing all types of copywriting have in common is that they involve writing! (Who would have guessed?)

How to get started:

You’re going to get sick of hearing me say this: the best way to break into the industry is to find a niche. Your niche could be a type of copywriting, such as advertising copy, SEO copywriting or blogging. But it could also be an industry such as automotive, travel or fashion.

As a general rule of thumb, the more specialised an industry is, the more you can charge. Technical writers are hard to come by, so choose something like medical, insurance or financial copywriting if earning big bucks is your goal.

canon m50 cheap vlogging camera with flip screen

5 – Blogger

Spoiler: this blog you’re reading right now is one my income streams. It’s not the only way I earn money online, but it does make me enough to live on if I decided to quit everything else.

Blogging can be a long, hard slog and there’s no guarantee you’ll make a profit for a long time – if at all. But with dedication, strategy and a little bit of luck, blogging can be the ultimate freedom career, especially when the passive income starts rolling in.

How to get started:

Before you name your blog, make sure you’re prepared for what’s ahead. After all, you wouldn’t have a baby without thinking about the next 18+ years.

Got that? Great. Now you’re ready to buy a domain name, set up your hosting (you can see the ones I trust here) and get down to business. Just make sure you have a niche – or super-niche. For example, instead of starting a travel blog, start a hiking travel blog. And if you want to go the extra mile, make it a hiking blog for under 30s. Knowing your audience is key for success in blogging.

6 – Photographer

This one isn’t going to be easy, but it’s not impossible. Most importantly of all, being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you have to be a travel photographer. Other types of photography might be harder to sell why travelling, but it’s not impossible.

How to get started:

You’re going to need to be one of the best if you want to make a reliable income from photography. The best way to create a stable income is to have clients on retainer, so focus on getting the first retainer contract if you’re serious about becoming a photographer.

blogger digital nomad job

7 – Tour Operator/Organiser

If you’re already well-travelled, organising or designing tours could be a money-maker for you. Whether it’s an Instagram city walk or a self-guided hiking trip, there are loads of opportunities to help others have the experiences you love – and make money from it.

How to get started:

Do your research! As well as researching every step of the tours you’re going to sell, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the industry. Organising a tour is no easy feat, so make sure you think about the details as well as the big picture.

If you’re completely new to tour guiding or organising, it might make sense to team up with someone who’s already done it for the first one.

8 – Course Creator

If you know something about anything, you can probably create a course. That means pretty much anyone can make money online by selling courses and, if you’re really good, make a solid income too.

How to get started:

Course creation is one of the easiest digital nomad careers to break into. There are next to no entry requirements, other than a good idea, valuable knowledge you can share and a way to record and upload it.

If you want to invest in one thing, make it a good microphone. Audio is crucial on some of the bigger course-selling sites like Udemy and Teachable.

Start-up costs: Check out this post to decide when and where to invest in your new business.

9 – Brand/Strategy Consultant

A brand consultant is basically someone who helps other people grow their business. You can be a general consultant, or you can specialise in a particular industry or part of the business growth process. I’m sure you can guess what I would recommend… (if you can, specialise!).

How to get started:

It’ll be hard to advise brands if you’ve never owned or worked for one. Experience will help you find clients, increase your prices and help you generally be a star at your job. Other than that, though, there is little to stop you getting started.

10 – Lawyer

This was a surprising one for me! Apparently even lawyers can work remotely, but I do believe it depends on the type of law you specialise in. The first nomadic lawyer I met specialises in contract law, meaning he spends all day reading over contracts – something he can do anywhere. Other branches may not be so flexible (or introverted!).

How to get started:

You’re almost definitely going to need a law degree, I’m afraid. But once you’ve secured a job, it might be easier to convince your boss to let you take your work on the road with you. If you need a little help with that, I recommend picking up a copy of The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. This book may benefit you more than most other aspiring digital nomads.

Become a digital nomad11 – Graphic Designer/Illustrator

The beauty of the internet is that pretty much any freelance job can be done from anywhere now. That means project-based careers traditionally held by freelancers are some of the easiest jobs to do as a digital nomad.

Graphic design has always been a freelance-heavy career, and now it’s working in your favour. With the possibility to build your own portfolio and source clients online, it also means it’s no longer restricted to those with a degree.

How to get started:

Yes, you’re going to need a talent – or be prepared to practice until you do. But you no longer need a design degree to sell your illustrations online while your travel the world full-time.

Websites such as Etsy and Fiverr mean it’s now easier than ever to sell your art and pick up clients, but you may also want to pitch start-ups if you need to build up a portfolio.

12 – Yoga Instructor

Yoga classes are no longer confined to the studio. In fact, many people now take their yoga classes using an online service in the comfort of their own home (temporary or otherwise). That means there are more opportunities than ever for yoga instructors to run their classes online – from anywhere in the world.

How to get started:

You’re going to need some basic qualifications to get started, but they’re accessible. Best of all, you could incorporate your training into your travels and take a course in Bali, Ibiza or any other yoga hotspot.

13 – Foreign Language Teacher

Teaching a foreign language used to mean jetting off to a foreign country, but that’s no longer the case. Yet another knock-on affect of the internet, apps and mobile phones is that you can learn from anywhere – and that mean you can teach from anywhere.

You also no longer have to stick to a class schedule laid out for you by the headteacher. You can now schedule in one-to-one classes whenever you know you’ll free.

How to get started:

If you don’t have any teaching experience, it’s well worth investing in a TEFL qualification (or equivalent for your mother tongue). It’s affordable, easy to get and will help you loads when you get your first students.

Once you’re ready, you can find ad-hoc work on apps or websites such as VIPKID.

14 – Social Media Manager

Social media manager is one of the most popular digital nomad jobs around. The beauty of it is that the work has to be done online and there are no qualifications needed.

How to get started:

Again, niching down is going to benefit you with this one. You could choose an industry to specialise in (e.g. natural beauty brands) or you could master a particular network (e.g. Pinterest). If you want to find clients easily, do both.

When searching for your first clients, look for small brands that don’t have the budget – or the need – for a full-time social media manager in-house. This is where you can swoop in and offer them a package they can’t resist.

One bag living: My digital nomad packing list

15 – Translator

If you’re fluent in more than one language, translation could be a great area for you. It’ll be easier to find work if you can speak an in-demand language, but translators are needed all over. A degree in translation will help, but it’s not necessary if you’re going to work as a freelance translator.

How to get started:

It may be worth starting your digital nomad journey in a country that speaks the language you want to translate from. You’ll be surrounded by small businesses and individuals who may benefit from your services.

16 – Therapist

Therapist is another job I had no idea you could do online, but one that makes a lot of sense. With the possibility to meet clients virtually – either online or over the phone – travelling as a therapist has never been easier.

How to get started:

This is another one you’re going to need qualifications for. If you don’t want to do a full degree, you could also consider a short course or diploma in counselling. You might not make as much money (at first) but it will still give you a stable career you can travel with.

17 – HR

Human resources might not be an obvious industry for a digital nomad career. But while that may be the case, it’s very possible to work an HR job remotely. I’ve met at least two people doing so – one of whom has been doing it for over seven years!

How to get started:

If you’re new to HR, you might want to look for an in-office job first. If you already working in HR, ask your boss if you can perform your duties remotely. When you can show that you don’t need to be in the office to get the job done, you might be surprised at how open they’ll be to your working elsewhere.

Again, I recommend working from home to begin with and picking up a copy of The Four-Hour Work Week to guide you through.

18 – Real Estate/Rentals

Many digital nomads stay in Airbnb’s while travelling – and others rent them out. Investing in property is (nearly) always a great way to make the most of your money, and renting it out can be a seriously profitable business.

How to get started:

You’re going to need a fair amount of cash to get started, but there’s no other barrier to entry. Once you have a property, you may even be able to fund your travels AND your mortgage by renting it out… and still have savings left over. Read up on marketing tips and create a flawless profile to maximise your profits – and then enjoy them by travelling the world.

19 – Coaching (Life/Dating/Career)

If you’re good at motivating others to get results, a coaching career might be for you. Since you don’t have a product to sell as such, all you need is an internet connection or a phone to get started. As well as one-to-one coaching, you may also be able to create digital downloads that you can sell for a more passive income stream.

How to get started:

Even though it’s not essential, a qualification in your field will help. More important than anything, though, are testimonials and success stories. Testimonials are also key to getting new clients to put their trust in you when you’re selling an intangible product such as coaching.

20 – IT and Cybersecurity

Another industry that’s grown with the digital revolution is IT and cybersecurity. There are a whole host of careers that fall into this category, so do your research. The sweet spot will be something that interests you but is also easy to do on the road.

How to get started:

You guessed it: you’re going to need some qualifications for this one. But if you get those qualifications, it’s a relatively industry to find work in. I’ve met a real mix of people who work remotely for employers and self-employed freelancers, so you’ll be able to choose.

Nomad essentials: What’s in my remote office?

21 – eCommerce

Whenever something is being sold online, it falls under the broad category of eCommerce. Many digital nomads have set-up successful online stores that fund both their travels and their retirement fund. Some have even made their eCommerce business almost entirely passive!

How to get started:

If you don’t have any qualifications or struggling to find a digital nomad career that you could do, you’re in luck. The eCommerce industry is growing quickly and you don’t need any qualifications to get started. All you need is a little bit of money to invest to get your store off the ground. Then, you can sell products on Amazon, Etsy or on your own store using a service such as Shopify.

22 – Nurse/Medical Services

The remote jobs that have surprised me the most have been in the medical field. From nurses and online pharmacists to medical coders and admins, it seems even a traditionally location dependent field such as medicine isn’t lacking in location independent careers!

How to get started:

You don’t necessarily need a degree to work in the medical field, but it will certainly help. The exact qualifications you will need will depend on the type of work you’ll be doing, so it’s best to start with figuring out what you want to do.

Digital nomad FAQ23 – Accountant

Another job you’d normally associate with an office, but really don’t need to. A lot of accounting work can be done from anywhere – and accountants are beginning to make the most of it.

How to get started:

You’re going to need some basic accountancy qualifications if you want people to trust you with your money. If you don’t already have them, it’s possible to complete your training online and get started as a freelance accountant. Alternatively, you may be able to find a finance position with a remote company.

24 – Personal Trainer

Staying fit while travelling is hard, but it may be just a little bit easier if you’re getting paid for it. If you’re happy to train digitally, it’s a career that’s easy to take on the road. And if you want to make more of a passive income, there’s always the option to create downloadable workout plans and programmes.

How to get started:

If you’re not already qualified, it’s possible to become a personal trainer in a month. You can take a course before you leave or learn online while you’re on the road.

Travel and fitness: 9 tips for staying fit while travelling

25 – Recruiter

You don’t need to be stuck in an office to work in recruitment. After all, you’ll spend most of your time communicating with people outside of the office anyway. Whether you’re a freelance head-hunter or in-house recruitment manager, it might be easier than you think to take your recruitment career remote.

How to get started:

If you have some experience in recruitment, a freelance career could be your best ticket to travel. It’s also possible to work for a company, but it will be harder to find. Someone I met works as a recruiter for remote companies – a genius move if you can find an opening.

26 – SEO

Can you believe I completely missed this one off the video I made about digital nomad jobs? It really is easy to overlook what’s right in front of you!

SEO is a large part of my income and I make enough from it now as I did when I worked in SEO full-time in London. The difference now is that I work less and save more while helping smaller brands make their way to the front page of Google.

How to get started:

You don’t need any qualifications for a career in SEO – and I’m proof of that. What you will need is at least a mild interest in the subject. If not, you’re going to get bored real quickly.

Jokes aside, my advice for building a career in SEO is the same as many of the above: find a niche and dominate it. That and read up on industry news constantly. The SEO landscape is a pretty volatile one, so you always need to be on top of industry developments.

Got a job to add? Get in touch and let me know what how you make money online. Don’t forget to sign up to the digital nomad network newsletter for updates, advice and more handy resources on building a location independent lifestyle.

Alajode UK travel blog and vlog by a female digital nomad
Jodie Marie Dewberry

Jodie has been travelling the world full time since 2017, sharing the most unique places in the world along with tips for living as a digital nomad. She is a passionate wildlife photographer and has worked with a number of prominent travel brands, including airlines, tourism boards, hotels and tour operators.

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