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Since we have been traveling full time for almost three years now, we get asked this question over and over: how do we make money on the road? In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the ways that we make money on the road, as well as some other ways to make money remotely to sustain your own travels.
BECOME A BUSINESS CONSULTANT
Let’s jump right in with how I (Steph) make money on the road. We’re starting this post this way because it’s pertinent to the advice that we’ll give later in this post. I’ve been a business consultant for about eight years now, consulting businesses in dozens of different industries. I’ve seen a lot, and I’ve helped a bunch of businesses become successful; some of my clients are even nomadic now, too!
My business currently is in small business financial consulting. What that means is that I help business owners straighten out their finances, learn how their profit margins stack up against the competition, and stop them from bleeding money unnecessarily from their business. I have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in Accounting and have been doing accounting and taxes for several years. I run this business fully remotely and haven’t stepped foot in an office in years. I currently have one employee who works remotely as well.
BECOME A VIDEOGRAPHER
Nate makes a living on the road doing videography work. While his education and career were previously in firefighting, he learned videography online and with practice in the field. As his skills improved, he began marketing his talents to brands to do videography. Today, he is successful with his business and works with brands and clients during our travels to create some rad videos on the road.
INVEST IN YOUR EDUCATION:
START AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE
If you have a product that you have invented or designed, or if you are passionate about a particular type of product and want to drop-ship, e-commerce is a great option to consider. Building an e-commerce store takes time, effort, and knowledge, but it can pay off very well and allow you to have the freedom lifestyle that you desire. And honestly, what business doesn’t take time, effort, and knowledge to start?!
BECOME A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Being an expert in social media marketing sets you apart and makes you highly desirable to many different companies. Social media marketing also allows you to work from anywhere that you have cell signal, Wi-Fi, and your laptop. We’ve met many digital nomads who earn a living by creating awesome social media marketing campaigns for companies and manage business social media sites professionally. This is a great way to make money on the road.
While social media marketing as a career is a great opportunity to work from anywhere, it does take some time to learn.
Check out the society from Social Media Examiner to learn the ins and outs of the most current social media marketing practices and learn how to start your own business in social media marketing.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Social Media Marketing with Lindsay Adler
BECOME A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Virtual assistants are a HUGE help to any business and can help with many different tasks. From simple tasks such as answering emails and managing appointments to more complex tasks such as creating marketing campaigns and posting content, virtual assistants make the lives of business owners more efficient.
If you are someone who is very organized and can take direction well, consider making a business out of virtual assistance (and let me know because I’m looking for an awesome one). Virtual assistants are, by definition, able to work virtually from anywhere, making it a great job for digital nomads.
BECOME A GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Some folks just have a knack for design (unfortunately I am not one of those folks), and can design awesome graphics with minimal effort. If this is you, start a business in this ASAP! Graphic design can be done from pretty much anywhere, so it’s a great opportunity to make money on the road. Graphic design can be anything from creating fun social media graphics for brands to designing logos and icons. There are some great opportunities to work with companies long term in this field, so don’t be afraid to put your skills to use.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Learn Graphic Design – Learning Path by Creative Live
BECOME A BOOKKEEPER
Because my business is in financial consulting and I’m an accountant, I see the demand for this service every day. Good bookkeepers are hard to come by, and many businesses tend to try to get by with a friend or family member handling the bookkeeping for far too long. Becoming a knowledgeable bookkeeper will set you apart and make you highly marketable to businesses across many industries.
With the prevalence of cloud-based accounting software and remote capabilities, the option to work virtually is becoming more and more common in bookkeeping and accounting. Small businesses turn toward outsourced solutions for bookkeeping to keep costs down while still getting knowledge and expertise over an in-house data entry clerk who isn’t familiar with bookkeeping.
Some of the most inspiring and interesting nomads we’ve ever met simply love to create things. Through their creations and craft work, they are able to earn a living while traveling. Things like homemade candles to woodwork to handmade jewelry, the possibilities are endless of the amazing things people create. Learn to sell on Etsy or create your own e-commerce website to sell your creations and make a living doing the things you love in the places you love!
FIND A SEASONAL SERVICE JOB
If working online isn’t for you, consider seasonal service work as a way to make a living while traveling. Season-specific companies and regions, such as ski resorts, campgrounds, and national parks, need service help for only the seasons they are in operations. Because of this seasonality, it’s harder for them to attract local workers who need more consistency to their schedules. Seasonal work is a great opportunity for nomads to earn a living on the road as well as get to know a particular area very well for the time they are working.
WOOFing (Working On Organic Farms) is another manual labor type job than can allow you to travel from area to area based on seasonal work. WOOFers sometimes get paid a wage for their services and other times receive accommodations and meals. Check out this website for more information on WOOFing to travel the world.
START A BLOG
We left this one for last for a very specific reason: we think it is over-recommended and over-glorified as a source of potential income on the road. Is it easy to start a blog? Yes! Is it easy to make money on a blog? Absolutely not! While we do make money from our blog, it has taken us years and a lot of hard work before it started earning income. And while it can be a great way to supplement your income on the road, we would never recommend you relying on that income until it is well proven to be a success consistently.
If you are interested in starting a blog, we recommend you check out this site to learn the basics of blogging and how blogs make money.
DIVERSIFY YOUR INCOME
No matter which one of these options you choose to pursue, we encourage you to diversify your potential income sources until something starts working well. Unless you have a specific skill that you know you can market, it’s a good idea to keep a couple of options on the table and not put all your eggs in one basket right in the beginning.
There are ebbs and flows in every industry, and it’s a great idea to diversify until you really understand the industry you are working in (which can take a few years). As you can tell, we do this with videography, consulting, as well as our website so we aren’t always relying on one source of income.