Being a digital nomad is becoming ever more popular. It’s a lifestyle that many people are adopting for various reasons. It gives you the freedom to choose exactly where in the world you want to live.
Now more than ever, it’s becoming increasingly clear how important it is to work far away from an office. All you need is a computer and a good wifi connection to start working and making money.
For many people, being a digital nomad doesn’t end up working out. Even some people who choose this lifestyle can’t always figure out how to make it work. They see it more as an ideal than something that can really happen in our lives. And sometimes, when this comes up, we get frustrated and give up without even trying.
So to give you a more concrete idea about the alternatives available to work without depending on an office, here we’re going to explore 7 jobs you can do from home or while traveling as a digital nomad.
It may take a while, and it doesn’t just happen overnight. But everyone (yes, everyone) has their own strengths, the things that make them unique. Identifying these will really help us to live this kind of nomadic lifestyle.
Content creation can be a pretty difficult one to explain, but it’s definitely one of the most common jobs among digital nomads. But of course, many people call themselves “content creators” without even knowing what that means.
Content creation requires a lot of discipline, effort, and a fair share of imagination. Everything we create must constantly be adapted to what we’re experiencing. And we also have to find the ideal angle so that what we create makes an impact.
But before we continue talking about content creation, let’s discuss what it means for a bit. To do so, we’ll divide content creation into two domains: personal and professional.
Personal content creation
Creating personal content can be something like writing a blog where we capture our travel experiences. Or starting a YouTube channel where we share our daily lives, or talk about topics like “how to pack a suitcase before hitting the road”. It could also involve creating art for our Instagram or Behance accounts.
Basically, creating personal content means investing in ourselves, gradually positioning ourselves in the world of the internet. It requires a lot of patience, and you won’t see the results right away. But without even realizing it, you’ll find yourself with a ton of material online, all of it created by and for you.
For example, my blog Una Vuelta por el Universo was started more than 5 years ago. I’ve already lost count of how many posts I’ve written and how many times I sat down in front of the computer to share how I felt or what I experienced in this or that place. But now I sit down to look at my blog and I can’t believe how much material I have.
When we create content for ourselves—and this is very important to know—it won’t generate any income at the moment. As I said before, we’re making an investment. In the future, probably after a few years, we’ll be able to contact different companies and show them what we’ve written on our blog, the art we’ve created over time, or all of our YouTube videos and the audience they’ve reached.
And even if this content that you created for yourself doesn’t successfully attract the attention of companies and start generating income, don’t stop creating it! We’ll always need this outlet for ourselves, where we can be honest and express ourselves the way we feel in our heart and soul.
Professional content creation
You may be contacted by certain sites asking you to write articles for their blog, for example. Or to create specific flyers to promote different events. Or even to do illustrations for a book or magazine.
When this happens, you’re creating content for a third party. So it’s a good idea to understand the fundamentals of the company you’re creating content for. You need to understand their thought process, their mission, and what angle we should take when creating content for them.
First of all, because it’s important that their business values align with yours. It doesn’t make sense, for example, to write something that you don’t believe in or feel to be true. In the long haul, your words will be weak and not make sense, and your writing will be meaningless.
And secondly, because understanding the values of companies you work for will allow you to streamline things. For example, the first or second version of an illustration you submit will be accepted, instead of you having to redo it multiple times because it wasn’t aligned with the company’s style.
Paying attention to these details will help you to improve your reputation and gain more clients. When you make an effort and do good work, the rest comes on its own.
2. Travel Writer
Travel writers are people who dedicate themselves to writing while traveling. For yourself and for various websites, organizations, news sites, or any others that require our services. Yes, you read that right. We also write for ourselves, as I mentioned before. Because it’s really important to know exactly where we are, what’s going through our heads, how we feel at certain points in our lives. And all of these revelations often come to us when we sit ourselves down and start writing.
You can also write a blog and capture your travel experiences there. Don’t believe what they say – having a blog (and keeping it up-to-date) takes a lot of time and effort. And above all else, earning money with it won’t just happen overnight. It’s important to understand these things so you don’t get frustrated with the pace. Patience and perseverance are key.
A word of advice: Always write for yourself. Always write as a hobby and as a way to share what’s going through your head with the world. Time takes care of everything, and if what you write is genuine, it won’t be long before some company values your content.
How to become a travel writer
I don’t think there’s a specific process to become a travel writer. There’s no tutorial or step-by-step guide. It’s something you have to feel. At a certain point, you’ll find yourself writing pages and pages without stopping, with a passion you’ve never felt before. At that moment, you become a travel writer.
It’s really important to make yourself stand out and be unique, to bring a different perspective without forcing things. First we decide to write, to translate what we feel onto paper (or screen), and not the other way around. We don’t decide to be a Travel Writer first, without ever having written anything before. Things won’t go well if you try that. Like I said before, finding the unique voice within you is the most important thing.
3. Community Manager
Being a Community Manager is a job that we hear a lot about. Many people do it, but not everyone does it well.
Community Managers handle social media accounts and the various digital channels of one or more companies. They deal with uploading content, writing descriptions for photos or videos, generating internet traffic, and interacting with readers or users who visit their pages.
Many people believe that being a CM involves uploading three photos per week and nothing else. But it’s not as easy as it seems, and to really stand out you have to be very intelligent, patient, and create a great strategy.
To be a good community manager, you have to constantly be actively listening (aware of what’s going on in and around your client’s company), engage the community, investigate before giving responses, master the lingo of the fields you’re working in, and above all, do it consistently every day.
Are you good with a camera? Are you really passionate about capturing what you see in photos? So why not dedicate yourself to photography?
Even though this does require an initial investment in equipment and maybe taking a course, it’s a very valuable skill when it comes to finding a job to travel as a digital nomad.
Many places such as hostels need good photos to upload to their various channels and show off their facilities.
If you have a good eye and know how to capture details, word of mouth will spread fast and clients will come to you in droves.
Or why not sell postcards? You can capture particular scenes you encounter during your travels and try setting up in a park where you’re staying to exhibit your work. You could sell photos, postcards, or even little photo albums with collections of your best work.
Being a graphic designer isn’t an easy job, but if you’re good at it you can do it for a very, very long time.
Without getting too far into it, I’m writing these words with a friend of mine in front of me who came to visit. While I’m writing, he’s designing a brochure for a company. Sitting in the living room of my house, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Next week he’s going to Portugal, and the week after that to Barcelona. As long as he has good wifi, he can go wherever he wants.
Graphic designers are people who dedicate themselves to making creative designs to communicate messages or ideas in a unique way, which attracts the attention of those who see them.
But being a graphic designer isn’t just about knowing how to illustrate. It’s a much more complex task. It requires various skills and knowledge to be done very well.
A graphic designer needs to be skilled with all kinds of design software (which is not easy, believe me). They must express themselves well in written form, and understand colors, shapes, and patterns. Not only understand them, but also combine them in such a way that gives viewers a unique feeling.
I have to emphasize that being a graphic designer is not an easy job, but if you enjoy it and are patient, you can go very far.
6. Web designer
This work is similar to Graphic Design, but Web Design requires a strong base of existing knowledge. But with information being so easy to access nowadays, educating yourself is anything but mission impossible.
Web designers take on projects like creating websites for various companies. This is what I do in addition to writing my travel blog.
I get in contact with different people to understand their needs. I listen to their requirements, make them an offer, and if they accept then I get to work.
Designing a website is unfortunately not just installing Wordpress and dragging and dropping sections around. It requires more knowledge and often, we find ourselves in complex situations that take multiple days to resolve.
But with patience and perseverance, like with everything, you can get very far and acquire high levels of knowledge.
If you’re good with languages and especially if you have a degree in translation, this could be a job that interests you.
More and more companies are hiring freelance translators to translate all kinds of documents for them. From legal papers to rental agreements, there’s everything you could imagine and more.
And like all of the work that digital nomads are involved in, you can do this from anywhere in the world. You don’t even need a constant wifi connection! As long as you have wifi when you need to download the document to be translated and when you submit it for revision, you’re good.
And don’t think that translation only includes English and Spanish – it can be between any language pair. German, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin, etc. And obviously, the less common the language you’re translating to, the more the work will pay.
There are many jobs to work and travel as a digital nomad, not only the seven that I just shared with you. You can be an online teacher, run an online store, invest in stocks, and much more. It’s only a question of being creative and especially, recognizing our strengths. This is what makes us unique. This is what makes us stand out from the rest.
By believing in your abilities, there’s no limit to how far you can go.
And don’t forget that through Worldpackers, you can find hundreds of opportunities around the world to volunteer in exchange for accommodation and more benefits.
Also, travel, produce content, and earn money by inspiring others: get to know all the Worldpackers programs to travel and volunteer into a sustainable lifestyle. Check out and keep reading about digital nomadism:
My name is Luciano, I am from Argentina and I ve been travelling for more than 6 years. I actually live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and my blog, Una Vuelta por el Universo, is the result of my journeys around the world.
Come and travel with me!