Location-independent income opportunities for Digital Nomads
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Location-independent income opportunities for Digital Nomads

What are the options for building a location-independent business? You might be surprised by the numerous options and wonder about one or two ways to make money.

When traveling and networking, you always encounter those AHA-moments when others tell you what they do for a living.

For many online businesses, it’s important to find the right niche where there is still little or no competition. Since the possibilities are not infinite here either, it is perfectly legitimate to build an online business where others are already operating. You just have to make sure that you are better than your competitors.

Personal charisma and sympathy are often decisive for the success of a business.

1. Online Business

Once you’ve found your niche, you can set up a web or video blog. Or start a podcast.

The goal is to make your content known and generate regular traffic. Once you’ve reached that, there are many ways to monetize it, such as advertising, promote other products in cooperation or advertise the purchase of third-party products to your visitors through affiliate links.

Entry barrier: Low
Risk: Low

2. Digital Products

Do you like writing books?

Then you can offer them on your website or other big platforms like Amazon. The same applies to all other products that you can distribute digitally, such as Online courses.

The big advantage of digital products is that they can be reproduced infinitely and for free. Once you have written a book or created an online course, it makes no difference in the cost of production whether you sell them 10 or 1 million times.

Your digital products sell 24/7 and can represent a significant part of your passive income.

Entry barrier: Low
Risk: Low

3. Online Marketing

Do you like marketing? Then you will find countless opportunities in this area.

Every business needs customers and sales. If you are good at convincing others of the value of a product and of generating sales, then as an Online Marketer you will find many customers who will pay you for your expertise.

Entry barrier: Medium (expert knowledge required)
Risk: Low

4. Physical products

Physical products are also easy to sell online. In the last few years online trade has experienced a real boom. A whole armada of service providers has built up around the online sale of physical products. The best known is certainly Amazon, which we will talk about shortly.

Are you good at drawing and creating designs? Then you can take a look at Spreadshirt. It gives you the opportunity to upload your own designs and to offer customized products, such as printed sweaters, t-shirts, mugs, etc.

The good thing about this model is that you don’t have to make any advance payments, because the products are only produced when an order has actually been placed. This way, you can extremely reduce the risk of not selling physical products that you have ordered and paid for in large quantities in China, for example.

Entry barrier: Low to medium
Risk: Low to medium

5. Dropshipping

With dropshipping you can offer products from third parties on your website. The complete order processing is done by a service provider. A well-known service provider, where you can also host your own webshop, is shopify.com.

If you manage to find enough buyers for certain products in a niche, this is certainly an elegant way to build an online business for yourself.

Entry barrier: Low to medium
Risk: Low to medium

6. FBA

Do you have a creative product idea that you would like to produce yourself? Then an FBA business could be interesting for you. FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. You take care of the production and you are responsible for the quality of your products. These are then listed on Amazon’s websites and you benefit from the huge stream of visitors who search for products on Amazon.com every day.

If someone buys your product, Amazon takes care of the entire process including shipping, returns and invoicing. It also takes care about the storage of your product stock. For this service Amazon charges a percentage of about 15% on your sales.

Entry barrier: Medium
Risk: Increased to very high (production or quality issues, duties, non-sales)

7. Coaching

Do you enjoy coaching and conveying content on a special topic? Or have you had a special experience in your life and would like to pass on your knowledge to others? Then you can position yourself as an Online coach and offer corresponding services.

Do you enjoy coaching – but still lack the in-depth specialized knowledge? Don’t worry, everyone started from scratch. Learn from others, aggregate and build your specialized knowledge of what you want to teach.

Entry barrier: Medium to high (expert knowledge required)
Risk: Medium (partly high training costs)

8. Freelancing/Remote Work

As a Freelancer, you often offer your expertise in a specific area on an hourly basis. Large and small companies often need (short-term and temporary) reinforcement for their teams and like to fill these positions with freelancers. In highly developed countries this type of work is often very well paid. However, the independent way of working often comes up short and you trade your time for money.

If you have already worked in IT, design or UX, then you have a very good chance of becoming self-employed from a permanent position.

Well-known platforms for finding contracting work are, for example, Upwork and Fiverr. In the design/UX area, 99designes and DesignCrowd are worth mentioning.

Remote work can also be found on the platform remote-worker.io which Nomad Radar cooperates with.

Copywriters who formulate emails, sales/product descriptions or advertising texts are also in great demand. This area also includes copywriters who write entire articles, e.g. for blogs, or complete papers in the scientific environment.

The most common form of payment is often based on the number of words.

Entry barrier: Medium to high (expert knowledge required)
Risk: Low to medium

9. Virtual assistance

Many companies, large and small, need assistants who can also do work online. Answer emails, take over social media communication, create and post social media posts.

With a little research and general knowledge, the entry barrier shouldn’t be particularly high.

Entry barrier: Low
Risk: Low

10. Influencer / Entertainer

Social media and the internet have made it possible for people to have a very large reach on their accounts.

Similar to the web, websites and blogs with a certain reach/traffic become interesting for advertising, positioning of offers or products of third parties. If you have already built up a large reach in a niche, you can start immediately and look for cooperation partners who want to advertise their products on your channel.

Entry barrier: Medium
Risk: Low

11. Language teacher

If you are good at languages and enjoy teaching, then you have an option to make money online. If your mother tongue is a language in demand, then you can start directly with it.

In the age of the Internet, you can offer complete language courses via video chats, provided your Internet connection is fast and stable enough.

In the beginning, it might be easiest to apply as a Language teacher at online language schools. Online language schools already have a large client base and you don’t have to worry about finding clients. Later, or in parallel, you can build your own web presence, create your own brand and possibly earn higher income.

Entry barrier: Low to medium (native vs. foreign languages)
Risk: Low

12. Expert / Consultant

If you have built up specialized knowledge that is of high interest to others, then you can offer expert knowledge as a Consultant.

Particularly interesting topics for Digital Nomads are taxes, residencies, international company formations, financial strategies, international insurances, international banking etc.

Entry barrier: High (expert knowledge required)
Risk: Low

13. Online Games

Are you passionate about playing chess, poker or similar games? Then you can do it anywhere via the Internet and earn money with it. On the Internet you can find appropriate providers where gamers worldwide come together and play against each other.

Before you start, you should be aware of the high risk of losing the money you have invested. Furthermore, you should research the legal requirements. In some countries gambling is forbidden by law and there are sometimes severe fines or even imprisonment. So always check whether the legal requirements are given in the country where you are staying.

Entry barrier: Low
Risk: Medium to high (loss of stakes)

14. Trading

Is the stock market and speculating with shares and other values your thing?

Then you can earn money as an Online trader regardless of location. In particular, trading in the crypto sector has become famous in recent years due to the very strong growth of Bitcoin. Quite a few have become millionaires within a few months.

But since crypto currencies in particular have very dynamic exchange rates, you have to be aware of the high risk of loss of value, similar to online gaming.

There are also many providers on the Internet that work with your money. Similar to equity funds, others trade with your money and you get the profits minus a commission. However, there are many scams on the Internet and extra vigilance is advised.

Entry barrier: Medium (money and special knowledge provided)
Risk: Medium to very high

15. Permanent position (100% remote)

Last but not least, permanent employment has experienced a small revolution, especially at startups. There are companies, especially in the Fintec and Crypto sectors, whose employees are completely distributed around the world and work completely remotely.

The current corona situation with its lockdowns and social restrictions has resulted in a further push towards remote work.

If you are lucky enough to be employed by such a company and you are not (yet) on your way to self-employment, this is certainly a great opportunity to plunge into the adventurers of this world as a digital nomad.

Entry barrier: Low
Risk: Low

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