Top 18 Ways to Make Money as a Digital Nomad in 2024

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These days, the digital nomad lifestyle is getting super popular. More and more folks are ditching the 9-to-5 grind for the freedom to work and travel wherever they want.

As an Indian travel blogger living the nomadic life since 2015, I can say from personal experience it unlocks a world of opportunities for those yearning to work and travel.

But how do digital nomads make money?

These are just a few of the many questions that I have been asked time and again by so many people.

Turns out there are tons of creative ways for nomads to earn money remotely using skills they already have. With just a laptop and decent WiFi, they can make a living through online gigs and businesses.

In this post, I’ve discussed 18 of the most common (and lucrative) methods nomads make money. Whether you wanna become a digital nomad or just wonder how they afford endless travel, read on to learn how wanderers earn income away from home.

For each idea, we’ll look at:

  • What the work involves
  • Skills, tools and gear needed
  • How to find jobs or clients
  • Pay rates and income potential
  • Pros and cons

Whether you wanna be a nomad full-time or just make extra cash remotely, there are so many ways to get paid for your skills and passions online.

Let’s check out the 18 best ways digital nomads are making money while seeing the world!

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a typical method of income generation for digital nomads. Freelance writing is mainly the creation of various types of content for publishers, websites, companies and personal clients.

Some examples of freelance writing gigs include:

  • Blog posts – Topics can range from travel tips to slang wisdom to product reviews. Rates typically range from 5 to 25 cents per word.
  • Web content – Writing informational website copy, product descriptions, taglines, and more.
  • Ebooks and whitepapers – Producing long-form guides, reports, and books for brands.
  • Newsletters – Writing engaging email newsletters for companies.
  • Travel stories – Creating travel narratives and destination guides for publications.
  • Marketing/advertising materials – Crafting brochures, scripts, taglines, ad copy, and other promotional content.

Pay for freelance writers is typically per project, per word, per hour, or per page depending on the client and scope of work. Rates can vary widely but often average 10 to 25 cents per word for blog posts and web content and $30 to $75 per hour for other projects. High-end placements may pay more.

Getting started as a freelance writer doesn’t necessarily require a journalism degree or portfolio. Here are some tips:

  • Build writing samples on a blog or personal website to showcase your skills.
  • Register on freelance platforms like Upwork and Flexjobs to access remote writing jobs.
  • Check job boards and apply for open freelance gigs that match your interests.
  • Reach out to publications and websites and pitch relevant article ideas.
  • Leverage social media to network and connect with potential clients.
  • Take on small writing assignments for little or no pay at first to build experience.
  • Consider taking classes on writing skills, SEO, and other related topics.

The pros of freelance writing include:

  • Freedom to set your own schedule and choose your projects
  • Ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Unlimited income potential based on your productivity and demand
  • Wide variety of writing opportunities in different niches

Potential cons:

  • Inconsistent or fluctuating income based on availability of clients
  • Pitching and networking is required to land the best assignments
  • Can take time to build a steady client base and portfolio
  • Writing and editing work requires discipline and focus

For nomads who enjoy writing and have strong skills, freelancing provides flexible location independent income.

Top 18 Ways to Make Money as a Digital Nomad in 2024 1

Freelance Editing

Besides writing, digital nomads can also earn money by freelancing as editors – reviewing and improving written content from anywhere.

Freelance editors provide services like:

  • Copyediting – Fixing spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc.
  • Proofreading – Catching typos, inconsistencies, formatting issues.
  • Fact-checking – Verifying factual accuracy.
  • Citations – Checking or formatting citations and references.
  • Formatting – Ensuring content adheres to style guidelines.
  • Developmental editing – Providing high-level feedback on structure, flow, and messaging.
  • Substantive editing – Reworking content for clarity and readability.

Strong skills in grammar, language usage, attention to detail, and editing styles are important. Familiarity with major style guides like AP, Chicago, and MLA is useful.

Many freelance editors start out doing proofreading and copyediting before progressing to higher-level editing. Building a portfolio of edited samples demonstrates your abilities to prospective clients.

Common places to find remote editing jobs include:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Flexjobs
  • SolidGigs
  • Mediabistro
  • The Balance Careers
  • ProBlogger

Freelance editing rates vary depending on the complexity of the material but often range from $25 to $50 per hour. Editors may also charge by the page or project.

Pros of freelance editing include the ability to work from anywhere and choose your own schedule. However, finding steady work and competing with other editors takes effort.

Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistants work remotely completing administrative, technical, and clerical tasks for clients. Common duties include:

  • Calendar management – Scheduling appointments and managing calendars.
  • Email management – Handling email correspondence.
  • Travel planning – Booking travel and preparing itineraries.
  • Data entry – Inputting data.
  • Transcription – Transcribing audio and video recordings into text documents.
  • Research – Conducting online research.
  • Social media management – Posting on social media accounts and engaging with followers.
  • Customer service – Addressing client and customer questions and issues.

Most clients are small business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives who need additional administrative help. Virtual assistants are hired for overflow work or specific projects.

The role requires skills like time management, organization, communication, and problem-solving. Technical abilities like bookkeeping, web research, social media, and Microsoft Office are often needed as well.

Virtual assistants set their own rates, which commonly range from $15 to $25 per hour based on experience and services offered. Those with legal, technical, or other specialized skills can charge more.

Platforms like Zirtual, Fancy Hands, and Upwork connect virtual assistants with clients. Assistants can also market directly to potential clients through networking, referrals, and social media.

The pros of virtual assistance work include flexibility, expanding your skills, and steady demand.

Cons can be the somewhat tedious administrative nature of some tasks.

Social Media Management

With so many businesses wanting to improve their online presence, social media management is an in-demand remote career for digital nomads.

As a social media manager, typical responsibilities include:

  • Creating engaging social content to build followers and traffic.
  • Developing and implementing social media strategies.
  • Monitoring social platforms and engaging with users.
  • Running social media campaigns and promotions.
  • Creating graphics and visual assets.
  • Analyzing social media metrics and preparing reports.
  • Keeping up with the latest social media trends and tools.

The role requires both creativity and analytical skills. Experience using major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest is key. Many companies look for a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or a related field.

Freelance social media managers charge hourly rates ranging from $30 to $75+ or monthly retainer fees between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on services and experience level.

Finding remote clients can be done through platforms like Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Upwork, and networking. With quality services, earned media, referrals, and reviews, managers can build steady client rosters.

Pros include gaining marketing experience, flexible schedule, and creative work.

Cons can be dealing with ever-changing platforms and some demanding client expectations.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a popular way for bloggers and content creators to earn income passively and fund their nomadic lifestyle.

It works by promoting and linking to relevant products within your content and earning a commission when readers make purchases through those links. For example:

  • A travel blogger who reviews luggage includes links to buy the suitcases and bags featured. When readers click and buy, the blogger gets a percentage.
  • A food blogger writing recipes links to kitchen tools and ingredients. Commissions are earned on resulting sales.
  • A tech reviewer links to electronics in their write-ups. Affiliate earnings are generated from reader purchases.

The top affiliate programs are:

  • Amazon Associates – Offers up to 10% commission on Amazon purchases.
  • ShareASale – Thousands of affiliate products with average 8.5% commissions.
  • Rakuten – Large program with average commission rates of 4%.
  • CJ Affiliate – Pays average commissions of 7% across many niches.
  • Clickbank – Digital and informational products with 50-75% commissions.

How much can you earn? Income potential correlates with your website traffic and engagement. Top affiliate marketers generate 5-6 figures in passive earnings per month. But when starting out, aim for benchmark earnings of $500 to $2,000 monthly.

Keys to success with affiliate marketing:

  • Create engaging, helpful content that builds a loyal audience.
  • Only promote relevant products you trust, with transparent disclosures.
  • Provide affiliate links smoothly within content – not just text links.
  • Build traffic through SEO, social media, paid ads, and influencer marketing.
  • Track clicks and sales to optimize efforts.

The pros of affiliate marketing are passive income scalability and global reach. But it takes time to build an audience and unpaid work upfront.

Selling Online Courses

Creative digital nomads are monetizing their skills and expertise through online courses sold directly to students around the world.

With platforms like Udemy, Teachable, Podia, and Skillshare, anyone can create a course around their knowledge and interests. For example:

  • Photographers can offer online classes on using gear or developing skills.
  • Coders can create courses on programming languages.
  • Yoga instructors can teach virtual classes on meditation, poses, etc.
  • Chefs can demonstrate cooking techniques and recipe development.
  • Writers can provide courses on business writing, copywriting, etc.

The process includes:

  • Filming videos lectures explaining concepts and demonstrating processes.
  • Making slides, worksheets, diagrams, and other learning resources.
  • Composing course curriculum with modules and lessons.
  • Adding quizzes, assignments, and assessments.
  • Publishing and promoting through ads, affiliates, email lists and social media.

Online course creators earn a commission on each enrollment, typically between 30% to 75% depending on the platform. Income potential scales with course popularity and promotion. Top instructors earn 6 figures annually.

Pros of selling online courses for digital nomads:

  • Passive income potential after initial course creation.
  • Leverage skills and knowledge into profit.
  • Location-independent business model.

Cons can include high production time investment and ongoing marketing to attract students.

Freelance Programming

Freelance programmers and developers are in high demand around the world. With in-demand skills, digital nomads can easily find remote freelance work.

Some of the most sought after programming skills include:

  • Web development – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, WordPress, UI design
  • Mobile development – Swift, Kotlin, React Native
  • Back-end development – Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, C#
  • Game development – C++, C#, Unity
  • Blockchain – Solidity, Web3, Rust

Freelancers should be proficient in one or more common programming languages. Though a computer science degree isn’t always required, proven coding ability is key.

Rates for freelance programmers range widely based on skill level and project complexity, but often start between $50 to $150 per hour. Developers can find freelance opportunities through sites like:

  • Upwork
  • Toptal
  • Guru
  • Freelancer
  • PeoplePerHour

Pros of freelance programming include high-income potential, flexible schedule, remote work, and huge market demand. Cons can be skill training time and potentially complex client projects.

Transcription

Transcription involves accurately converting audio and video recordings into text documents. With some basic equipment, digital nomads can easily find transcription work online.

Common types of transcription projects include:

  • Interviews – Individual or group interviews, often for market research purposes.
  • Meetings – Corporate, academic, or organizational meetings and events.
  • Speeches/Talks – Public speeches, sermons, conference presentations.
  • Focus groups – Moderated discussions with consumers.
  • Phone calls – Customer service recordings and sales calls.
  • Media – Transcribing audio and video files for production.
  • Legal – Courtroom proceedings, investigations, attorney recordings.

Transcriptionists charge per audio minute, audio hour, word count or project. Rates range from $10 to $25+ per hour depending on speed, accuracy and technicality. Most platforms and clients require 96-98% accuracy.

Getting started is relatively easy. Sign up for sites like Rev, GoTranscript and TranscribeMe, take assessment tests, then start working on available jobs. Other platforms like Scribie allow quick registration.

Pros include flexible work from anywhere. Cons can be repetitive tasks and tight turnarounds.

Teaching English Online

For digital nomads abroad in (or willing to travel to) non-English speaking countries, teaching English online is a highly viable remote career option.

Popular companies like VIPKid, Magic Ears, and Qkids connect English speakers with students in China and elsewhere for conversational video lessons.

The requirements are fairly minimal:

  • Fluency in English – Native level ideally. Some programs require citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree – Any discipline, from accredited university.
  • ESL certification – TEFL or TESOL programs from sites like International TEFL Academy.
  • Minimum 1 year commitment – Most platforms require signing at least a 6 month or 1 year contract.
  • Teaching experience – Not strictly required but preferred. Some experience working with children looks good.

The lessons center around activities like reading books, playing educational games, learning vocabulary, and conversational practice. Teachers guide students to become confident English speakers.

Pay ranges from $14 to $25 per hour depending on program, incentives, experience, and student engagement. Teachers can work as much or as little as desired, creating a flexible schedule.

Pros include reliable income, gaining teaching experience, and cultural exchange. Cons can be the required early morning hours to teach Chinese peak times.

Pranav Das in Bali

Graphic Design

Digital nomads with creative flair and design skills can provide a wide range of graphic design services to clients remotely. Typical projects include:

  • Logo design – Creating unique brand identities and logos.
  • Marketing materials – Designing brochures, flyers, signage, banners, business cards and more.
  • Presentations – Slide deck design for sales, conferences, corporates presentations.
  • Advertisements – Crafting magazine, web, and social media ad designs.
  • Illustrations – Developing custom book, editorial, product and other illustrations.
  • Packaging – Designing retail product packaging and labels.
  • Web/App design – Coding and designing websites, web apps, and mobile apps.
  • Social media – Creating social posts, banners, graphics and visuals.

Skills needed include graphic design software expertise (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), knowledge of typography, color theory, layouts, and composition. A design degree or portfolio showcasing work often required.

Nomadic designers can find freelance clients through platforms like Dribbble, 99Designs, Upwork and Fiverr. Rates range from $20 to $100+ per hour depending on project and experience level.

Pros include flexible schedule and location, creative work, and strong income potential. Cons can be handling client revisions and preferences.

Freelance Photography/Videography

Photographers and videographers can sell their work stock media sites while traveling. Top sites like Shutterstock, Getty Images, Adobe Stock, Pixabay, and Pond5 provide huge visibility.

How it works:

  • Nomadic creatives build portfolios of high-quality photos and footage shot during travels. Varied content sells best.
  • Images and videos are uploaded to stock sites and tagged with keywords. Releases for models may be required.
  • When media is licensed for commercial use, creators earn royalties – typically 20% to 60% of the sale price.
  • Top stock contributors can earn hundreds of dollars per photo or clip licensed at premium pricing tiers.

Pros for nomads include passive earning potential, licensing creative work, and global market reach.

Cons can be long portfolio development and very high competition on stock sites.

Dropshipping

Nomadic entrepreneurs are leveraging dropshipping to run ecommerce businesses from abroad. Dropshipping allows selling products online without holding inventory or shipping orders.

How it works:

  • A virtual storefront is set up through platforms like Shopify or Wix. Products are listed at a markup.
  • Suppliers and manufacturers ship orders directly to customers after purchase.
  • The store owner handles marketing and processes payments, keeping the markup as profit.

Benefits for digital nomads:

  • Location independence – The business can be run from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Low startup costs – Avoid costs of purchasing inventory upfront.
  • Scalability – Add and test new product offerings quickly based on demand.
  • Passive income – Run mostly on autopilot once set up properly.

Key factors for success with dropshipping:

  • Choosing profitable niche and high-margin products
  • Setting up an attractive, optimized online store
  • Effective marketing outreach through ads, SEO, email, and social media
  • Building a strong reputation through customer service and satisfaction

A major downside is extensive competition in the dropshipping space. But focusing on niche markets and providing a great customer experience helps overcome this.

Blogging

While it takes serious effort, blogging can provide digital nomads with a sustainable passive income stream.

Some ways travel bloggers typically earn:

  • Display advertising – Placing ads on your site that pay per impression or click.
  • Affiliate marketing – Earning commissions promoting relevant products and services.
  • Sponsored posts and campaigns – Getting paid by brands to review products or create custom content.
  • Digital products – Selling ebooks, courses, photography, Lightroom presets, etc.
  • Memberships and subscriptions – Gated “premium” content and communities.
  • Brand partnerships – Getting paid to showcase brands through social media.

By consistently creating valuable content that attracts and engages readers, bloggers can eventually monetize their audience. But it takes time and effort to build traffic – around 6-12 months typically before earning potential.

Utilizing strategies like SEO optimization, social media engagement, email lists, and paid promotions will speed up growth.

Pros include potential passive income and freedom.

Cons are the unpaid upfront time investment and continually creating content.

Renting Out Your Home

Renting your home while traveling can earn thousands in passive income each month. Platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com make it easy.

Ways nomads can get started renting their space:

  • Research typical rental rates for your area to competitively price your space. Factor in expenses.
  • Write an attractive listing with great photos showing your space in the best light. Highlight amenities.
  • Be responsive to booking inquiries and provide great guest communication.
  • Arrange for self check-in options so you don’t need to be present. Share comprehensive arrival instructions.
  • Have a plan to handle cleaning and maintenance – Consider hiring a property management service.

Properly vetting guests, setting rules, and taking security precautions helps minimize risks. Start by only renting when you’ll be away, then potentially expand if all goes well.

Pros include generating thousands in passive income to offset living costs abroad.

Cons are the responsibilities of hosting and occasional headaches dealing with tenants.

Consulting/Freelance Professional Services

Knowledge workers like consultants, accountants, lawyers, programmers, and other professionals can readily monetize their expertise through freelance services and consulting to clients worldwide.

Some examples:

  • Business consultants providing strategic planning, operations, HR, marketing, financial, and growth advisory services.
  • Accountants and bookkeepers offering financial statement prep, budgeting, payroll, tax compliance, and other services.
  • Lawyers providing legal consultation and document/contract review.
  • Programmers and developers building custom applications, websites, scripts, plugins, and tech solutions.
  • Writers/marketing consultants providing copywriting, branding, SEO, ad campaigns, and content creation.

Experienced professionals can command hourly rates from $50 to $500+ depending on niche, skill level, and demand. Specialists with advanced degrees or certifications in high value fields tend to earn top dollar.

Platforms like FlexJobs, SolidGigs, and LinkedIn Pro Finder make it easier to connect with clients remotely. Consultants can also market themselves through networking, referrals, credentials, and thought leadership.

Pros include leveraging expertise for lucrative flexible work. Cons can include inconsistent income streams and ongoing client acquisition. But it has high earning potential.

Teaching Online Lessons

Digital nomads can teach a huge range of online lessons utilizing platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Outschool, and SuperProf. Potential topics include:

  • Music – Instruments, theory, composition, production
  • Arts – Painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, design
  • Writing – Fiction, poetry, copywriting, content writing
  • Technology – Coding, web development, software use
  • Business – Marketing, finance, project management
  • Wellness – Yoga, meditation, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle design
  • Academics – Test prep, homework help, essay writing, specific subjects

Instructors set their own prices for classes, typically $10 to $200+ depending on length and depth. Sites facilitate marketing and enrollment while taking a commission on sales.

Pros include location independence, passive income potential, and teaching what you know. Cons can be student acquisition and inconsistent demand.

Top 18 Ways to Make Money as a Digital Nomad in 2024 3

Selling Handmade Products Online

Crafty digital nomads can sell handmade products through online stores and marketplaces:

  • Etsy – Popular for handmade crafts, vintage, art, and crafting supplies
  • Shopify – Robust ecommerce platform for setting up a personalized online storefront.
  • Amazon Handmade – Amazon’s marketplace for artisanal, handcrafted products.
  • eBay – Global online auction site great for unique and collectible items.

Types of handmade products that sell well include:

  • Jewelry – Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings
  • Pottery – Mugs, plates, bowls, vases
  • Textiles – Quilts, pillows, bags
  • Paper goods – Cards, prints, postcards
  • Candles, soaps, lotions
  • Clothing – T-shirts, hats, accessories

Pros include passive selling and creativity. Cons can be time investment per piece and shipping/logistics.

Digital Marketing Services

Every business needs help improving their online presence – capitalize on this demand by offering digital marketing services as a nomad.

Examples of in-demand digital marketing skills:

  • SEO – Optimizing websites/content to rank better in search engines through keywords, site architecture, technical factors, and building quality links.
  • PPC – Setting up and managing paid search campaigns through platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.
  • Social media marketing – Creating social posts and campaigns, engaging followers, driving growth and traffic from social platforms.
  • Email marketing – Building email lists, creating engaging campaigns and newsletters, coordinating promotions.
  • Web analytics – Analyzing site traffic, user engagement, conversions to provide actionable insights.
  • Content marketing – Creating blog posts, guides, videos, and other content that attracts and engages audiences.

Freelance marketers can charge $50-$150+ per hour for these skills depending on expertise and specialty.

Use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn to connect with clients remotely. Established freelancers can also get inbound leads through professional brand building.

Pros include lucrative skills, flexible schedule, and location independence. Cons can include ongoing client acquisition and context switching between projects.

Even I started my journey by offering SEO Services on Fiverr,My Fiverr profile is still there but Since Now I have multiple income streams so I do not focus on my Fiverr Profile anymore.

Final Words

In my experience as a digital nomad since 2015,, I’ve definitely seen some major changes in the remote work scene. Back in the day, teaching English online & Freelancing were the go-to gig for most digital nomads to make money. But nowadays, things have really opened up, and there are so many more ways to earn income using specialized skills like programming, marketing, and business consulting. It’s been awesome to see the rise of passive income streams through affiliate marketing and e-commerce too.

Of course, being a digital nomad still takes dedication and effort, but thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to create income sources that let you work from anywhere. With remote work becoming more and more popular, I could definitely see a future where the nomadic lifestyle is even more accessible and mainstream. The opportunities are truly endless for those interested in living, exploring and working remotely. Exciting times ahead!

FAQ

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who earns a living working remotely, allowing them to travel frequently and live a location independent lifestyle.

What skills do you need to become a digital nomad?

Some useful skills include writing, graphic design, social media marketing, programming, virtual assistance, and more – leverage what you already know. Eagerness to learn new digital skills goes a long way too.

What are the main ways digital nomads make money?

Freelancing, blogging, online teaching, affiliate marketing, selling digital products, and providing professional remote services are some of the most common ways.

How much money can you make as a digital nomad?

Income potential varies widely depending on experience level and workload. But many digital nomads earn at least $2,000 per month up to $6,000+ depending on their niche.

What are the best jobs for digital nomads?

Great options include writing, editing, social media management, graphic design, online teaching, programming and development. Roles aligned with your talents and skills you can market.

Is it hard to get freelance clients as a digital nomad?

It takes consistency – create a strong portfolio, network and pitch relentlessly, leverage freelance marketplaces. But with hustle you can build a steady client base.

How do you find remote work opportunities?

Check freelance platforms like Upwork and Flexjobs. Search remote job boards and company sites. Network, pitch, and leverage LinkedIn. Ask for referrals from other digital nomads.

What are the benefits of being a digital nomad?

Freedom to live and work anywhere, flexible schedule, new experiences and cultures, less material possessions, community of like-minded digital nomads.

What are the challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle?

Finding reliable WiFi, loneliness/isolation, staying productive and disciplined, finances and taxes, healthcare and insurance, obtaining visas. But the benefits outweigh the struggles for most digital nomads.

How much can you earn from blogging as a digital nomad?

It varies based on traffic volume and monetization strategies. On average, around $500 to $2,000+ monthly for intermediate bloggers. Some top travel bloggers even make 6-figures.

Can you make money by renting out your home when traveling?

Yes, thousands per month via sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Great passive income but requires good property management and tenant screening.

Pranav Das
Pranav Das

I’m Pranav Das, Indian Travel blogger & Reputation Management Expert by profession and lover of world cultures, languages, souls, mountains, oceans, and wild spaces.

Articles: 127

2 Comments

  1. Amazing post,You showed legit make money online methods…Wanted to know why you didn’t include Crypto in Earning methods??

    • I do know that many Digital nomads having success with Crypto trading but thing is it’s very rare plus Crypto trading still remains a high risk business,Thats why I didn’t include it. Also I can’t mention all methods in single blog post cause there are hundred different ways digital nomads earn money

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