There are literally hundreds of ways you can use the Internet to make money but as digital nomads we will confine our search to ways that allow us to travel. So this requirement will rule out many types of eCommerce that require you to physically ship a product.
You can also rule out anything that requires you to be available at certain times of the day. Digital nomads cross time zones so your availability is flexible.
The most basic requirement for any online income is that you bring people to an offer and provide a means for them to accept it.
So the first, and I guess only, absolute requirements are that you have a way of reaching people with your offer and a way to link you to a form of payment.
Providing an affiliate link in a forum or social group would satisfy this hypothetical example but I would not recommend it.
I will go into detail about the various options available to the digital nomad in future posts but for now I will just mention a few examples.
What If I Don’t Want To Be A Digital Nomad?
That’s fine, not everyone wants to travel. It might be something you’re not interested in doing or maybe it’s just not right for your current stage of life.
Regardless of why you want to pursue an online income, the basics apply to pretty much all methods. I can still help you to build a solid foundation without running up huge credit card bills chasing shiny-things offered by the trolls inhabiting the online world.
The Basics of Online Income
Advertising, being an affiliate, work for hire, training and eCom sales are the basics of most ways of making money online.
If you have an online website you can get paid to show advertisements. More accurately you get paid when a visitor clicks on one of your ads. Only a small percentage of your visitors will click an ad and you don’t generally get paid very much for the click but whatever you make is better than nothing. The CPC (Cost Per Click) varies depending on how much an advertiser is willing to bid. There is also CPA (Cost Per Action) which is when you are paid if a visitor performs a particular task such as requesting a product sample or answering a questionnaire.
In many situations it’s a good idea to include advertising as part of your online income strategy but don’t expect to make much money unless you have a huge following. It used to be more lucrative but users have developed ad blindness and mostly ignore ads on web pages and social media posts.
Affiliate income is probably the most simple way to make decent money online and should be part of every digital nomad’s strategy.
There are people that make very respectable incomes just by displaying Amazon Affiliate ads but your income will be dependent on the number of visitors to your site and the niche you are targeting. Amazon (and Walmart, AliExpress, Best Buy, etc) pay a small percentage of any sale made to someone sent to their store from your website.
This is an Amazon Ad for one of our books. If you click the link and buy the book we get paid as authors of the book and we also get a few cents for sending you to the Amazon website. Best of all we also get paid if you buy anything during your Amazon visit. So please, go ahead and order whatever expensive item you have been planning to buy.
These sort of affiliate ads usually pay something in the 3 to 8% range with some special promotions paying a little more or a bonus.
There are also hundreds of affiliate offers where you can get paid from 50% – 100% of the purchase price – but first, you have to apply to become an affiliate of whatever the product is.
There are several organizations that manage affiliate offers from all kinds of diverse companies. They track sales, manage payments, returns, and affiliate commissions. You can join these organizations for free and then you apply to the companies they represent to become an affiliate.
In later posts, I’ll go into more detail about places like Clickbank, Commission Junction and JVZoo
Freelancing – Work For Hire
You may be familiar with websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, Guru and dozens of others. If you can perform some digital task go ahead and market your skills at one of these sites.
Although I have not tried getting work at any of these sites I did work for many years as a freelance programmer. It was what allowed us to buy our house in the Bahamas while working for companies mostly in California.
This is probably our favorite way of making a reliable online income. We have several books available on Amazon and run a couple of web sites devoted to training courses. If you would like to find some of the books we have written click these links – GEOFF – VICKY
I will have lots more to say about this great way to make an online income in future posts.
I doubt that I will have much to say about eCommerce because this is a blog about ways to make money as a digital nomad.
Even the drop shipping model requires, in my opinion, too much hands on activity to work well while you are traveling.
How and How Much Does It Cost to Start?
Surprizingly, very little. You can actually start with nothing, (except a computer or cell phone) but then I wouldn’t have nearly as much to blog about so I’ll stick with a more traditional situation.
This blog series is focused on people that want to make a living while travelling around the world, so if you want to start on a shoestring you should probably rethink your travel plans until you’re making some income.
Considering how cheap it is and how many options it gives you, I think the first step is to get yourself a website. With your own domain name this will cost you less than $40 for a year. What other bussiness could you start for so little.
I’ll go into detail in part 4 but before then you need to think about what your passions are which I cover in the next post.
But before then I have another freebie for you.
This is parts 2,3,4 and 5 of the lecture you started in the previous post.
Just click the image on the left or click HERE.