September 2, 2016
You’ve done it! You’re now in charge of your own life and career. No more bosses, tight schedules, or awkward cooler conversations with coworkers. As a novice digital nomad, you’re starting to spread your wings. Plus, you have a fledgling online enterprise that you’re feeling positive about.
It’s a huge risk. After all, you’re not the only one taking a chance on the Web (with barely enough resources to support your once ‘stable and safe’ lifestyle). But it couldn’t be better. You’re an entrepreneur now: one who not only takes risks but also has the freedom to work anywhere.
As much as the world is your oyster though, life can be tough during the early years of becoming a digital nomad with a business. This is especially true if you’ve spent money as an investment for your startup. So before your company can make profit, how do you pay the bills?
Try these five tips done by successful digital nomads.
1. Affiliate Programs
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to support yourself as you embark on the uncertain world of online entrepreneurship.
Affiliate programs allow you to earn through commission, based on the reward system you joined. The basic premise is this: if online users finish an action (i.e. click, download, signup, etc.) on the merchant’s link on a publisher’s content or web page, then the publisher gets an agreed upon amount.
There are dozens of affiliate programs from legitimate businesses that makes it easy for anyone to join. Aside from Amazon and eBay, there’s Rakuten, iTunes, even Microsoft. But you will need a working website and good content before getting started.
Having decent traffic on your site helps as well. According to marketing communications expert, Melissa Culbertson, you can earn as much as $20,000 – if you DO IT RIGHT.
Mike Orozco from Hostt uses HostGator’s affiliate program to help augment profits for the site. He stresses the importance of creating trust to attract people to the affiliate link. This means ensuring your content is credible, informative, and of high-quality. Make sure you provide solutions to problems. If you offer value, users will pick up on it and perform the desired action on the merchant link naturally.
2. Coaching/Consulting Courses
Have you amassed relevant skills on a certain field? Are you confident in your abilities and willing to share your nuggets of wisdom with the world?
Then a gig in coaching or consulting may be for you. Many digital nomads who have loads of knowledge under their belt typically offer these services to all kinds of clients. From ambitious individuals to problematic companies, coaching or consulting programs can benefit you two ways.
First: you establish yourself – along with your startup – as an authority in your chosen industry. This is your chance to become someone’s mentor; to help a business or individual rise to their true potential. Second: you get to earn enough to support your business.
Blogger and entrepreneur, Cody McKibben for instance, offers his coaching services to help determined folks build their own online enterprises. This, along with other sources of income, has helped him gain success as a digital nomad today.
If you think you have what it takes to offer consulting or coaching courses, check out freelance digital consultant Ben Matthews’ blog on how to work out your rates.
3. Accepting Freelance Work
Can you code? Are you a good writer? Do you do illustrations or edit videos?
Then start promoting your freelance services to potential clients! Unlike years past, freelancing is not only an alternative nowadays; it’s become a choice by many. As more and more people rethink the way they work, they begin seeing freelancing as a good way to support their business in its early stages.
If you plan it well and grow your presence online, there’s NO reason for you not to earn what you deserve. According to a survey by global payment platform Payoneer, freelancers in some countries even earn more than average workers.
With a standard pay rate of $21 per hour on a 36-hour per week basis, it’s not a bad deal at all. As long as you have the skills and you’re ready to negotiate for pay, nothing’s impossible.
When freelancing to support your business as a digital nomad, don’t forget to set aside money for a contingency plan. Although this setup is exciting, you don’t want to jeopardize your fledgling online startup when a client suddenly pulls out.
4. Speaking Engagements
Another amazing opportunity for you and your business is to be invited as a speaker at various events or seminars.
Think of it as passing on valuable knowledge to like-minded individuals in your industry. If you’re not prone to stage fright, this might even become a lucrative income stream for you. Imagine speaking at a group in Morocco today, then flying off to Paris to inspire digital nomads like yourself. How cool is that!
Speaking engagements as a means to support your business can also help strengthen your brand. Think of it as hitting two birds with one stone. On one hand, you get to share valuable lessons to folks from all walks of life. On the other hand, your business gets noticed by the right people.
Lawyer, writer, and food lover Jodi Ettenberg of LegalNomads.com is a pro at this and has since been invited to various events all over the world, including the 2015 World Food Tourism Summit.
5. Sell Goodies
Don’t know how to code but you’re good at crafts? You can sell goodies (digital or not) to augment your income streams while your enterprise is still young. For those who like to create art, crafts, and anything in between, try Etsy or Shopify to sell your goods.
For digital nomads who love to write, ebooks are always a good idea.
Author, speaker, and traveler, Colin Wright, gets most of his income from sales of his books, essays, and other projects. He covers all kinds of topics: from nonfiction, travel, to short stories. His works are available on all kinds of platforms like Kindle, as well as on paperback.
His success comes not only comes from the variety of goodies he sells, but also from quantity. With more than a dozen books available, his audiences have plenty to choose from.
Digital Nomad Novice? Don’t Give Up!
Supporting your business as a digital nomad is not easy. If building a business in your home base is challenging
enough, the drawbacks to being a traveling worker makes it even more difficult! But don’t give up. Remember: you’re an entrepreneur now; someone who not only takes risks but also has the freedom to work anywhere.
With your talent and drive – coupled with these income ideas – supporting your business should be less stressful.
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