11 Rockstar Tips
To Become A Digital Nomad
And Make Money Online
11 Rockstar Steps to Become a Digital Nomad and Make Money Online
What Is A Digital Nomad Exactly, You Ask?
Real quick before we start, you might ask what is a digital nomad? Well now let’s define what being a digital nomad really means. TiNK and I like to say that a digital nomad, simply put, is someone who is working online remotely + travels = digital nomad.
The term digital nomad is also used as a description for many different types of location independent workers from people who have passive income streams to those who work in the local short-term gig economy as they move about. Would you believe it that some people pursue this awesome life change without truly knowing the digital nomad meaning? We have a blog post that goes into detail about What a digital nomad is and should you be one? here.
Whichever route taken and income level you can make from remote work, most people’s goal is to become a digital nomad so you can have the freedom to work and travel across the globe. We are entrepreneurs, so we may be bias, but we happen to think that being an entrepreneur is the coolest way to be a digital nomad as well as the best way to make the most income and keep that passive income flowing.
Here is our latest YouTube video of this blog post explaining how to become a digital nomad in 11 steps!
Location Independence…What What!
We often hear questions on “How to become a digital nomad?” People often see pictures on social media with the romantic idea of working remotely and traveling to the most exotic places that Mother Earth has to offer while making an income. So, we created our idea/ a general guideline to help you find ways to be location tie-down FREE!
Remote online work isn’t as simple as just sitting by the beach with a laptop while you tan. But you can do it in Yuca- tan! Ha! Sorry I couldn’t help myself. But really, I can’t see the screen in the direct sunlight, my laptop overheats and doesn’t like sand inside its USB ports so it’s not likely I’ll be sitting directly on the beach working. Seriously, sandy electronics aren’t fun.
And Reality…Womp, womp!
Being a Digital Nomad requires hard work to get the right income stream and pipeline to give way for any kind of sustainable income. It’s one thing to start and another to keep the income going. It’s also tempting to skip out on work to go explore instead, so you’ll need a massive amount of self discipline to stay on track.
Take it from us and our experiences, you may find yourself staying in remote areas or countries without a strong infrastructure. So planning around that and work projects is an art within itself. There is a thin fine line between the romantic fantasy and the truthful reality that comes with the Digital Nomad life. However, when the good gets good, it is extremely rewarding! Even when you are wondering the island for any kind of Internet signal vs the prettiest waterfall.
How To Be A Digital Nomad: 11 Steps
There isn’t one specific path to becoming a digital nomad and in that everyone reading this post will be in a slightly different position, so the following steps are designed as loose guidelines to help you along the way. We also give ideas for other skills that you can venture into supporting the nomadic lifestyle.
There also isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach in how you should consider making this career decision. You may find that you can skip a few steps or have to start over a few times. But, we hope this will give you a few new ideas and help you to decide on the next steps you’re going to need to take. OK, Let’s Rock these steps!!!!
Table of Contents: 11 Steps
- Research- Digital Nomad Community Support
- How Do You Want to Live? RV or AirBNB or …Brainstorm ways to make money online to supplement your income
- Have A Plan for Your New Life
- Plan and Build Your Online Business
- Pick Your 1st Digital Nomad “Home
- Fight Fear
- Cut financial commitment
- Expect the Unexpected
- Explore the World
Heads up: My posts, courses, and resource lists may contain affiliate links. If you buy something from any of the links, you won’t pay a penny more but we may receive a small commission (which helps allow us to keep creating great content for you). We also only suggest the best tools and resources we have personally used, tried and tested for our Rockstar Tribe! You can read more in the disclaimer here.
1. Research & Digital Nomad Community Support
Becoming a Digital Nomad is a life-altering event. You are naturally going to do a whole bunch of research before making a big decision like this. The best way to get your questions answered is to get out there and ask people who have been there and done it. Google can only take you so far without confusing you before you even start. Using Facebook Groups, Forums, Mentors/ Coaches, Meet-UPs, Facebook, and YouTube Lives make sit easy to contact other nomads to get advice or feedback.
With Traveling Rockstars, our Digital Nomad Entrepreneur Facebook Group is a great resource for getting started as a digital nomad as well as starting and growing your own online business. Having a sense of support and community in this vast world is important. This can really carry you the Extra Mile when you get access to like-minded individuals who are ready to Rock and take the world by storm just like you!
Joining a community of like-minded people means you’ll have a group of support and a great wealth of knowledge while you explore being a digital nomad. You can get tips for working online, help to select a new home base camp or even learning new skills from other community members.
2. Choose How Do You Want to Live? RV or VRBO or …
Once you have done your research you’ll need to figure out what type of digital nomad you will be. What we mean by this is what kind of accommodations you will want to live in while you travel from place to place. This is important because it gives you a place to start with how to calculate how much money you will need to be able to live. That and you can determine all other factors based on this, such as where to go to work, if you can get a local remote job or not, internet solutions, food budget (cooking or going out to eat), gas money or transportation fees, and so on.
Here are the most popular digital nomad living options
If you like the comfort of people and want to immerse in close culture or you are worried about being lonely, you can start by living in a hostel. This is also an easy way to make new friends. They usually have the best and most personable staff to tell you all about the location you are staying at and all the local hot spots. They also have cook outs, game nights, and social events.
Or maybe you prefer having solitude or a quiet place to retreat to. In that case, Vrbo is a great option since you can rent an entire home or apartment for a set period of time and feel like you have your own place. You also can rent out your own house to Vrbo, Airbnb as well as some other Digital nomad community sites and get paid for renting your house out while you are traveling. This helps with paying your mortgage and keeping your house and could possibly fund all of your travel expenses.
Alternatively, RVSHARE, is a way to hit the road today and start your digital nomad journey by renting out someone’s unused RV. Or, you could do what we did, buy a 1989 Bounder motorhome, completely gut it, throw a mural on the ugly as sin “Breaking Bad” model and hit the road running.
Hotels and homestays are also a great way to go if you want to have the VIP benefits of added accommodations and services. Hotels usually offer laundry and meal services. We found that having discussions with locals can help guide you with tips and tricks on your new home.
Whichever route you decide to go, definitely make sure to secure housing. The good news is that you will have the true freedom so you can mix it up and change your accommodations whenever you need a change.
3. Brainstorm Ways to Make Money Online-aka: Supplement Your Income
When it comes to the professional side of things, you should initially figure out what skills you currently possess which can help you monetize online. Just a hint to get the gears to start grinding, you may need to be able to type and use a computer (Nodd, Nodd, Wink,Wink). To prepare or increase your chances for higher pay remote work, build on knowledge and skills from things you’ve studied or worked on in the past. Brush off the dust a little and work on becoming a better version of yourself, professionally speaking. But we bet you’re awesome already:)
Your situation will probably vary depending on your knowledge, skillset and also on how willing you are to take risks and put yourself out there. And if you make mistakes and fail here and there, remember that we all learn and grow from our failures, so it isn’t always a bad thing:)
For developers, the market is strong and flexible with jobs building out the front or back end of websites. If you are interested in learning to code, you don’t have to go to a traditional school to learn to get a good job. There are various online “schools” for coding, such as Udemy, that you can learn at your own pace and craft your skills while you are still learning how to become a digital nomad. You won’t ever have to worry about work if you choose this option because the developer world is always growing and need is high.
Here’s an article with, 12 Sites That Will Teach You Coding at a Low Cost, Even Free, from Entrpreneur.com that has ways to learn code cheap or free.
For other digital nomad jobs, you may need skills like writing, marketing, computer design or engineering. The freelancer World is a vast one! You can even post random skills like logo making or social media manager to places like Fiverr and sell your services for $5 with backend upgrades to really mak some easy money.
Some digital nomads start off with freelance gigs or by finding remote work for digital nomad jobs that allow them to start earning an income. This is a great way to start while you build your own online business. Or you can do what we did and earn while you learn how to build your business by using this home based business program and being an affiliate.
There are also websites like Flippa that make it easy to find online businesses that are for sale and how much revenue they generate. We actually bought a website from Flippa, but then TiNK got her hands on it and…well, let’s just say it never fully recovered. First attempts at doing anything isn’t really anyone’s strong point- and that goes without saying for your first website. Or two. Or three…we have been doing this for a minute and have had some practice.
Start a BLOG or VLOG Selling Digital or Affiliate Products
Once you’ve figured out what skills you have that will enable you to work remotely, you need to find a job or CREATE your own destiny like we did! There are tons of digital nomad websites out there that support the blogger and vlogger at heart. We will be have an Email challenge coming out in a few weeks on how to build a Blog from scratch and we will be giving away prizes for the winners. If you would like to sign up for that challenge, you can sign up for our Newsletter here and get notified when the challenge starts!
Blogging and Vlogging gives you the ability to talk about what you know and make money teaching people how they can be like you. If you have something that you are good at, a secret talent, or a learned skill that people already pay to learn, you have a niche that you could very easily make money writing or vlogging about. People are information hungry and begging to learn how to do things online and if you can find your audience that you don’t mind talking to about your topic all day everyday, you will easily build yourself a passive income money stream
Examples of things to Blog and Vlog about:
- Something you are good at- growing huge red tomatoes, playing a musical instrument, making kids not wet the bed, etc…
- A secret talent- Russel Brunson from Clickfunnels started his million dollar empire by selling a potato gun ebook on how to make one, lol!
- A skill that you possess that other people need help learning- something you went to school for or even bartending is a skill you can write about
The way you make money with a Blog or Vlog is to sell Digital or Affiliate products. Digital products are usually informational products that consist of courses and eBooks that solve somebody’s problem. These are either part of a membership site or downloaded digital products. Affiliate products are other companies products that you suggest and promote through your website, vlog, landing page or paid ads and make a commission from. Affiliate products are good becuase the comapany’s products that you are promoting handles all the customer service and all aspects of the product itself.
The only bad part about choosing this route is that it takes 6-12 months of regular consistent weekly, biweekly (or as much as you can handle) releasing content to start to see results using this method. Most people fail because they don’t like to work for that long without the benefit of seeing results (aka money in their bank account), so they quit. But for those who stick it out, learn marketing, stay consistent as well as engage with your audience, well needless to say, they won’t be worrying about how to get paid while they travel the world.
Selling Products- Drop shipping, E-commerce, Amazon or Etsy
One business model is selling products. A couple that you can start pretty easily with very little start-up fee for a start-up business is an eCommerce store, dropshipping, eBay, and Etsy. You can start when you are getting ready to sell all of your belongings by setting up a seller account on eBay and Etsy by posting your things for sale. This will help you get acquainted with the platforms and is a really good place to start.
Amazon, however, is a beast within itself. I don’t suggest taking this route unless you have time and money to spare as well as a mentor that has been there and been successful. Either that or you can become 50% partner of my Amazon Trademarked STEM toy store and run it while I will personally mentor you on how to run an Amazon store. BTW, Amazon sold 11.5 billion in toy sales in 2018….so….
Dropshipping and eCommerce have become the most popular way for people to start working online. Shopify is one of the biggest most well-known platforms and is super user-friendly for newbies. There are tons of options of how to set up an eCommerce store, dropshipping options as well as other eCommerce platforms. For the first 2-3 years we worked online we had several stores, so we have a lot of knowledge in this department. If you need help starting an online store and want a mentor, feel free to get your free 30-minute consultation to see if you would like our help.
I’m not going to go into more detail here because I literally could talk about this all day. We will definitely have a blog post coming out soon going into further detail on selling products online very soon. So, stay Tuned!
Alternatively, Get Paid for other Online Gigs
As an alternate back up, you can start by finding a location-based job or enroll at a university abroad. Taking this path offers more structure and gives you a safety net to feel out these life-changing adjustments. If you decide digital nomadism isn’t right for you, you can bounce back to a more standard way of living too. Be aware that your road to becoming a digital nomad may take longer if you choose this route. There will be some more complexities that you may run into as you’ll need to secure a visa or resident permit. Do your research as some Countries offer working holiday visas too.
If you think you currently have the right type of job, try convincing your boss to let you take your current job on the road. This may be a little easier than looking for other Digital Nomad jobs. But you should do some planning and prepare by drafting a proposal that covers all of the major responsibilities of your job. Then, game plan on how you’ll transition everything into a remote position without losing work progress and momentum.
Like we said in our previous post, What is a Digital Nomad and Should You Be One, it is projected that by 2035 there will be One BILLION Digital Nomads!! So, people working remotely is projected to be very high in the near future for workforces within the digital era. It is no surprise that many office jobs, today, can be performed remotely with communication, the right planning, and trust between managers, teams and employees.
Finding less tech jobs like general support jobs and customer service roles is fairly easy as you can filter by industry or skill. You will, however, see more common technology-focused jobs like design and programming. But there is a good share of transcribing, writing and editing positions.
4. Have A Plan for Your New Life
Within multiple aspects of your life, it is important to set goals, plans and take action. You need to be very clear on where you want to go, what you want in general from this life, how long you may want to stay and what you need to do to make it happen for the digital nomad lifestyle to work. Planning the fine details in your new life is important.
Things to consider such as, knowing that your pay dates may fluctuate each month. We use Freshbooks and PayPal to manage all of our finances, receipts payments and paychecks from coaching and from all the different affiliate companies that we work with. It makes it easy to keep track of taxes and to get paid on time no matter where we are.
Obviously, internet service when traveling internationally is a REAL issue to think about. If you have ever traveled out of your country, you know that your cell phone does not work in most other countries. If it does, you most likely have a cap on data as well as Roaming fees. No worries, there are solutions. You can use things like Skyroam that has service in over 100 countries and unlimited data. These little hotspots are super cool and small and even double as a charger base for all of your electronics (super useful for airports!)
Be sure to take a deep breath and make sure you have what it takes to plan for your new life. Make a plan and stick to it. Get organized and have a running to-do list. Also, routines are essential to get-’er-done! We have a 3 Step Freedom Plan free ebook that we use to set our goals, stay on track and make REAL progress with and we would love for you to be able to get results from it, too.
Create and choose your own routine. Want to go for a little hike? No prob! Take a long lunch? Rock on! You can still check things off your list when you run your own show!
5. Plan and Build Your Business / Get Your Job Secured
If you are working hard starting your own online business venture like us, then stay the course and adapt, build and grow. As another popular trend we have seen (and dabbled in)- in the “plan and build your business step”, you can consider buying an established online business and get a jump-start.
For those that have landed other roles but want to transition into their own digital nomad business, you can start building out your business simultaneously and off to the side. If you balance all aspects of your new lifestyle and do a Rockin’ good job, it’ll be easy to eventually get referrals for new clients and your own income streams/ pipelines can grow. You can also consider creating your own website to help market your business. This will increase your reach and reputation while you are making the necessary professional adjustments to run your own show!
Here are a couple of ideas when matching skillset with which route to plan and build your business infrastructure around:
- If you have expertise on social media, you can build a marketing business that helps other businesses and blogs. Learning algorithms and social media platforms is a major plus in today’s global market. Just pay attention to which social media platforms and which country your clients may reside in as there are international social media regulations to be aware of.
- If you are a writer, you can use your skills with the power of influence through writing objectives to get larger audiences and more customers. Copywriter jobs are prevalent online and can be a great place to start as you create content for blog posts.
As your refine, grow and develop your skillsets, you can turn your skills into a full-service marketing business by creating content, promoting it online through social media channels and driving advertising revenue. You would not have to worry about work in the global market if you have this arsenal of knowledge.
No matter where you are when planning and building your business, the successful digital nomads are a unique mixed group consisting of both people who seek out potential clients online or work random jobs on the road as they move around. They may own their own companies such as we do, too. The options are open for you. Make it YOUR own world!
6. Pick Your 1st Digital Nomad “Home”
Ok Rockstars, here’s the big one! Now that you have a financial pipeline and income stream set up, you are ready to set sail to your first destination. Almost anywhere on the Globe is now within your reach and the possibilities are endless! Enough with the fluff, it can also become a little overwhelming.
Take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what you will need from any location to be happy. Be real with yourself about your essentials and needed income. If you are, we have no doubt you’ll find a Rockin’ new place to live to be your first Digital Nomad “home”. If you aren’t happy with your first choice when everything is said and done, remember that you are a digital nomad. You have the freedom to change your mind and scenery. Another awesome perk of the good life!
The first thing we did is narrowed down the cost of living in each place we were considering to stay. You’ll need to break it down a little so that you know you will be able to afford everything from rent to food and entertainment.
Obviously, the lower cost locations mean you can live a little better and longer than in higher cost areas. Also it is a good idea to financially plan out what adventures and activities that you want to explore as a digital nomad.
7. Fight Fear
Most people fear change. They will sit where they are even when in terrible situations because the thought of having to start over or fear of the unknown. These are valid fears. But fear is nothing but a little tiny voice in your head that holds you back from greatness. I mean, I guess sometimes it protects you. But for the most part it is the only thing that stands between you and the you that you could be if you flicked that little guy off of your shoulder and said …”SHUT UP!”
You may have a fear of separating with your stuff, losing your luggage / your only belongings, traveling to countries and getting mugged, people thinking you’ve lost your damn mind (this one happens a lot, lol), things not going exactly to plan… These are also all valid fears…if you let them be. If you let them be the thing that holds you back from the greatest experience of your life. The greatest experience of your life happens if you decided not to listen to that little shoulder devil, flick him back to hell where he came from, and walk directly into the unknown.
And if you are yelling at me right now saying,
“Why did you say all of those horrible things for me to fear, that I didn’t even think about before reading this?”
“What does being rich have anything to do fears and being a digital nomad?”
Think and Grow Rich, is really just a book about life and the way peoplethink. And… it has a secret within it that has the ability to forever change your life and the way you look at life. I can’t recommend this book enough. In fact, TiNK and I attend a mastermind call every morning at 6am Mon-Fri that is based on the book. I highly suggest that if you haven’t read this book, then to do it. You will have the ability to conquer all fear in your life and put that little guy on your shoulder to rest forever!
Question… Was the GREATEST experience of YOUR life, so far, something that was a thing you do everyday with no fear and nothing unexpected involved?…Or was it something something unexpected or something that you had fear of some or any kind before it occurred? I have no more questions your honor….
8. Consolidate, Cut ties and Get Ready to be Mobile
The first mile on the road to becoming a Digital Nomad is to take a long inventory in recognizing which things in your life are keeping you in one place and tying you down. Based on the type of digital nomad path you decide to take will determine how consolidated you will have to be. Regardless, part of being a digital nomad means you’ll want to travel light.
Get rid of the material things and junk that serve no more purpose in your life. Or do as we did and consolidate a 3,000 sq ft home into a small storage unit and the rest strategically packed into our RV. Sorry, I couldn’t part with some of my recording studio equipment and amplifiers (they still serve a purpose) too big for our RV:)
Relationships are also things we hear that could tie you down and prevent you from taking the plunge…not marriage…becoming a digital nomad, silly. And if you have children, coming up with a game plan on how they will be schooled should be addressed. Yes, you can become a digital nomad with kids. Haven’t you ever heard of Keep your DayDream? Well you should check them out if you have kids and this is a dream you have!
We soon will also be going international to start doing Digital Nomad MasterMind Group Travel Tours- I know, it’s a mouth full! Our goal is to hook up with a travel company and host a monthly week-long travel tours. Going to places like:
Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, The Carribean, Hawaii, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Chile, Thailand, Philippines, Africa, and more.-
to host several Digital Nomad Mastermind meetings, dinners and socials at night time. We wanted to see if this is something you would like to do? If so, we would love to hear from you and get your feedback! Let us know if this is something you think we could get 10-20 people to do monthly and if you would join us?-and yes there will be Wifi/ Internet. Click here to reach out to us and give us your input!
9. Cut financial commitments
When getting ready to finally put everything “digital nomad” into action, you will lastly need to start cutting all your financial ties. Long-term leases, mortgages or vehicles are often the major factors that need to be addressed. You will want to keep most of these things right before departure, but having a plan of attack will keep you from ruining your credit, breaking leases or scrambling to get things sold.
If you have a mortgage, you can rent out your house. You can use the services that take care of everything such as rental company or use vacation rental services with a cleaning service such as VRBO and many times you can make double what you pay for your mortgage.
Make your efforts to eliminate other expenses like non-business related subscription services and gym memberships ( if you aren’t living the van life and taking showers with your membership). This will free up your income for things that you really may need when you’re mobile.
If you have a vehicle, think about selling it. You’ll immediately save more money by not having to pay for gas, maintenance, registration or insurance. That is if you are not doing the RV route. With an RV, we highly suggest keeping your car. We only have a scooter and if it’s cold or rainy and we are out of groceries…well, we either freeze to death or starve.
10. Expect the Unexpected
You know what it is like, life throws you curveballs and you sometimes just have to roll with the punches. It’s like listening to a song that you’ve heard a million times before and then suddenly you’re at a live show and the band makes an awesome alternate version that turns out to be better than the original.
You can always plan alternate options in a stationary life and with the nomadic lifestyle. But the only consistency that you will see which is inevitable, is change. It is something you cannot avoid. Change will happen being in one place or when being a Globe-trotter.
Just in case, having backup plans and alternative passive income streams is a good idea. If you fail at one path, you can somewhat restrategize and reset your plans. Be reasonable and flexible as different cultures go through political changes, Mother Nature marches to her own beat, global economies sway like the ocean waves and personal situations just simply occur. Communicate regularly with folks back at home, get Insurance, and most importantly of all, know that sometimes.. life’s a beach 🙂
And also…expect the unexpected injury, illness, or lost luggage. You’ll want to look into healthcare and insurance for the local laws and regulations. Since you’ll be living in foreign countries, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you understand any new rules and ensure you have the right support if you lose your wallet, wreck your rental, (or RV), get sick or injured while exploring. We use World Nomads when we travel internationally and they really help to take a lot of the worry away for us nomadic people.
You can always plan alternate options in a stationary life and with the nomadic lifestyle. But the only consistency that you will see which is inevitable, is change. It is something you cannot avoid. Change will happen being in one place or when being a Globe-trotter.
11. Explore the World
Time to enjoy all the fruits of your labor- i think that’s how that goes… We are all human after all and you can have the FREEDOM to experience the Whole Wide Wonderful World and enjoy life. You chose this lifestyle. Make sure to automate and outsource business processes where applicable and have a balanced disciplined schedule to keep up with all of the previous hard work it took to get here.
But also make sure to enjoy every present moment in life because you earned it and it goes with the perks. Some, if not most, people never get to experience this type of life. Cherish it. Consider doing what we do and share with others your journey and what it took to get there. You can and will know what living life is really like once you make the world a little smaller by connecting with people, cultures and all the Wonders of our wonderful planet.
Don’t think too hard and waste time trying to figure everything out. Nothing that is going to be worth it in life works out as planned for the most part, anyhow. As well as nothing is truly learned until jumping in and taking action.
So, start with your goals and then start taking small actionable steps towards being able to downsize and pack up to hit the road. Start small and build your freedom path. Things will start to unfold once you start to take action. We promise if you take action, and have faith as well as a good attitude, magical things will happen and you will be so happy you did!
And remember if you ever get lonely or need help figuring everything out, we are here to help in any way we can. Whether it be joining us on our Facebook and YouTube Live Q & A’s, watching some of our YouTube shows for inspiration, or joining us in a one on one coaching session, your success is our passion. So, let’s ROCK THIS THING! You can do it! We believe in you!
Rock On, Rockstars!
We are TiNK and Kris
We help people like you to become a “Digital Nomad” Entrepreneur by helping you to build a thriving online business that you can do anywhere in the world!
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