Top 3 ways to be a Digital Nomad and Make Money while working Remotely

by Oct 16, 2018Digital Nomad

Are you looking to be a future Laptop Warrior?  A Digital Nomad on the road travelling or simply in control of their own schedule and work from home.   As an adult, you have learned that to play hard you must work hard.

Digital Nomad

One who derives income remotely and online, rather than from commuting to an office. This enables the digital nomad to not need a permanent home base, and she/he can travel anywhere at any time.

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So this can take many forms.  Some Digital Nomads are travelling at the same time as working.  Some Digital Nomads are moving to a new country all together and setting a more permanent home in a new location of their choice.  This is a popular option for many digital nomads as you can take advantage of making revenue in USD, and living in rupees so your income can take you a lot farther, especially in the beginning of your business. To get an idea of this, find out how much it costs for us to live in Thailand.  And some Digital Nomads are simply working on their own schedule from their own home.

It is estimated by 2035 there are going to be 1 billion digital nomads working remotely (

That’s the location attributes of a Digital Nomad, but let’s discuss the revenue attributes of this trending title.  For Digital Nomads, making money while living a laptop lifestyle falls into 3 categories, a remote job, contracting work, or self employed Entrepreneur.

As Laptop Warriors, we get a lot of people who contact us interested in how we live our lifestyle and how they can do it too.

Let’s explore these 3 options, what they look like and how to get started.

Self Employed Digital Nomad

Remote Employee Digital Nomad

Sick of the daily commute to the office, the interoffice drama, and same schedule day after day but still need security in your job and income?  Digital Nomads, don’t always have to do a daring quitting of their job to start a new venture and “hopefully” make money.

There are a lot of companies that offer remote positions so that you can work from home with flexibility or from the country of your choice.

Here’s an introduction to what a remote position looks like with Buffer.  Buffer has been a company that has been spotlighted by the media for it’s unconventional operations.

Buffer hires employees from all over the world to run the popular social media company, in fact, Buffer doesn’t have an office at all.  Each employees received a set base salary based on their position and then a living allowance that is calculated based on the city that they reside in.  The living allowance calculations are based on numbers from numbeo, so a person living in Los Angelos will receive a higher living allowance than someone for example living in Thailand.

Remote job VS remote contractor

The skillset and positions for both the remote job category and contractor category we outline next are both similar but surprisingly finding a remote job might be easier than finding contract positions.  It is easier to find a job in customer service or language education that anyone could easily step into.

There are jobs for example that pay you per minute to have skype conversations in English to help teach people conversational skills.

In May 2017, Amazon just announced they are hiring for over 5,000 remote customer service jobs.  Here’s one thing you might notice from a lot of remote jobs, if they require less skill, they might garner less on the payscale, for example Amazon’s customer service positions are hiring at $10 per hour.  But hey your aren’t having to pay to for the car, gas and insurance to commute to the office each day as well as replace those boring pair of black dress pants.

The benefits of a job are that you skip the sales process, you are guaranteed the security of having regular income each month.  You won’t find yourself spending 20 percent of your week looking for your next job.  But with that does come job requirements from your employer.  Some remote jobs are more flexible than others.  Some employers for example, require a home office to be setup to be verified while other remote employers will send you a mac computer.

When fulfilling a job, you will generally be required to fill a position that encompasses a lot of skill sets.  If you are new to digital jobs, bidding on contracts in one particular niche that you are exceptional at might produce better results, less of a learning curve in order to acquire the job.

Self Employed Digital Nomad

Contractor Digital Nomad

Seeking out contract work is a balance of both having a remote job and being self employed.  At the end of the day, you are fulfilling contract positions that have a boss that you have to be accountable too.

But you also have more flexibility in that you can work on your own schedule. You will also have the flexibility to complete the job in the way you want, as long as the end result is what is desired. You can hire people to work on different parts of a job for contract positions too.

Making revenue on a contract basis, you can make more money per job than you might if you were a hired employee.  You can increase your profit if you are bidding on jobs for fixed rates as well and can work out to hire hourly wages.

With being a contractor, you must ensure that you have enough contracts in place to make your monthly revenue goals.  This means that you could find yourself spending up to 20 percent of your time per week on seeking out new positions.  Sending proposals, emailing backing and forth, answering questions and sending contracts can be a time consuming process.

The most common vehicles for people to find contract positions are on freelance websites. The most popular are Upwork and  Here you are competing on a global scale, so you will also have to create a salespitch for why your work is better than the lower wage bidders.  Remember, quality can definitely beat cheap.  You will have to work hard initially to establish a profile on these websites.  Each job you complete, the employer will review your work quality, communication, and timeliness that gets displayed on your profile.

As you build up a profile with great reviews and a portfolio of jobs, you will find it more likely that you land the next bid.  A lot of contractors report that employers on these platforms are not always one-time jobs but if they like you will continue to keep you hired on other projects too.

Self Employed Digital Nomad

Self Employed Digital Nomad

If you are an Entrepreneur at heart and willing to put in the time and risk into started your own business, there are a lot of different fields you can do this in online.  This might mean starting a business selling your own product, someone else’s products, selling digital marketing services, or making enough of your blog!

Our advice for business longevity and to give you the most flexibility in the future with your business and personal goals is to ask yourself.  Is this scalable and repeatable?   While building your business from the bottom, keep this in mind, the ideal way to build your business is not with the intent that you are always running it but that in the future you can teach and replicate the process.  That way you can work towards spending less time running your business while it continues to generate revenue.  Depending on your life mindset, with all your free time you might keep working and investing more into your business or other businesses or start ticking off some of those life bucket list items.

In all of the ideas to start your Online business below, we suggest creating them with outsourcing in mind.  No, this doesn’t mean hiring the cheapest person in India that you can’t communicate with.  This means created SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), training and hiring workers to work on different operational aspects of your business.  If you are a digital nomad, this might even mean hiring a fellow digital nomad.   Our favorite book, the 4 Hour Work Week (by Tim Ferris), shows a lot of ways that you can outsource your work to live the dream life.

10 remote businesses that you can start:

  1. Digital Marketing Services
  2. Travel Blog
  3. Develop a Training or Membership website
  4. Become an affiliate
  5. Create a product
  6. Build a dropship store
  7. Consulting or Training

Would love to hear your feedback on which way you took for working remotely and a hurdle that you faced, post a comment below!

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