I can't count how many times I've been asked 'How do you earn enough money to travel all the time?' I've written articles myself that answer this question, but not everyone has the same set of skills and abilities. This article helps you get started.
One of the big challenges of the traveling lifestyle is finding a way to earn money while regularly indulging your insatiable wanderlust.
If you’re not lucky enough to own a golden egg dispenser, you’re most likely stuck in a merry-go-round of working to fund travel, taking time off work to travel, then skulking back to the grindstone to start all over again.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
If you have the requisite gumption, determination and commitment, you can start up a travel-friendly business—one that will let you earn money while giving you the freedom to galavant off to whatever corner of the globe you fancy.
Here’s a list of 5 of the most inexpensive and accessible options for travel-friendly businesses which will let you have your cake and eat it too.
Build Up A Freelance Writing Biz
This has to be number one on the list because, for better or worse, “going the full Joan Wilder” has become the classic go-to of the digital nomad.
I mean you have to admit, it’s a pretty romantic image—sipping awesome coffee in a downtown Morocco cafe, rushing to meet that deadline, before trundling off for a bit of romance and intrigue.
While the reality isn’t quite that cool, provided you’re a quick study and good with words, a thriving freelance writing business is actually very achievable.
The key is to start small. Set up on account on a freelancing site like Fiverr or People Per Hour and allow yourself to be utterly exploited for a little while. That’s right, work for chicken feed. Have no shame! At least at first.
Once you’ve got some good articles and reviews under your belt though, start migrating to higher paid and more demanding sites (one of my favs is problogger.com) and charge what you’re worth.
With hard work and a good business mind, you’ll hopefully be able to transition to a decent wage in around three to six months. Then Bon Voyage, baby.
2. Get On Board With A Multi-level Marketing Company (But…)
Some people are just born with the ability to sell stuff. You know who you are!
If you’re one of those lucky, golden-tongued devils who could sell ice to an Eskimo, getting on the ground floor with a legit multi-level-marketing (MLM) company may well be a great move for you.
Notice there’s a “but” in brackets up there in the heading?
Here’s the thing. MLMs can sell high-quality products and have a compensation plan which genuinely works if you’re good at sales. But the devil is in the details.
There are all too many shady MLMs out there which, quite frankly, aren’t worth your time.
So, do your research. Find an MLM which:
- provides a product or service you genuinely understand, believe in and don’t mind putting your name against; and
- gets decent reviews from industry-insiders. You need to know it’s trustworthy and built around a decent business model.
A great place to start is The Economic Secretariat website. You can save yourself hours of time by reading through their reviews.
3. Start A Successful YouTube Channel
Of all the options we’re looking at here, I’m going to come right out and say this is probably your highest risk endeavor. This is not the business basket you’re going to wanna put all your eggs in.
That said, making good ad money out of a YouTube channel is achievable if you’re capable of producing one thing really well.
Content. EPIC content.
It might be that you’re insanely funny. It could be that you’re a walking encyclopedia on iguana obedience training. It doesn’t matter what it is, provided you can build an audience around it and you’re not boring.
Reaching the point of building a reliable revenue flow will take time, there’s no doubt about that. However, your overheads can be minimal and it’s relatively easy to make a start.
This guide (predictably enough, on YouTube) is a great primer on starting a channel, building a brand and attaining the hallowed status of “influencer.”
4. Embrace The Noble Pursuit Of Online English Tutoring
If your ideal scenario is earning money remotely while doing a bit of good for others, you could do far worse than setting yourself up as an online English tutor.
The beauty of online tutoring over traditional face-to-face teaching is that it’s completely flexible.
If you have a solid Internet connection and a quiet place to work, you simply log in and make your services available. Your clients may range from kindergarteners right through to college students.
There is a stack of online tutoring services to which you can apply.
Verbling has a great reputation as a good entry-level tutoring service, whereas Wyzant offers a more exclusive tutoring experience and may be a good place to apply once you’ve built up a bit of experience.
5. Become Excellent In One Highly Specific Thing And Write A Book About It. Repeat.
Back in the day (i.e. about 10-15 years ago) if you wanted an authoritative reference book on a given subject, you’d probably purchase a “reputable” title released by a scholastic publishing house.
“Going indie” wasn’t really a thing when it came to non-fiction materials.
These days, finding material written by an expert with deep knowledge is doing a complete about face. Ebooks are now recognized as a great way to get hold of solid, technical information about highly niche topics.
Write a 20,000 word ebook on a useful topic, release it through Amazon or Clickbank, and you could well be sitting on what digital nomads like to call “a quiet little earner.”
Repeat that process for as many topics as your giant brain can safely absorb and ebook technical manual writing may eventually enlarge from a side-hustle to your primary source of income.
As these ideas show, finding a way to inexpensively build a travel-friendly business does take time. For most of us, it’s not something that is going to just fall in our laps. But goals worth achieving rarely do!
If you work hard and smart, before too long you may well have the best of both worlds — money coming in and the opportunity to travel. Good luck out there!