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Have you ever dreamed of working from anywhere in the world, without being tied to a specific location or a fixed schedule?
Do you want to explore new cultures, learn new skills, and enjoy more freedom and flexibility in your life? If so, you might be interested in becoming a digital nomad like me.
Who is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely while travelling or living in different places. Digital nomads can work from home, co-working spaces, cafes, hotels, or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. They can choose their hours, projects, and clients if they deliver quality work and meet deadlines.
What does it take to become a digital nomad?
But how do you become a digital nomad with no experience? Is it possible to start from scratch and build a successful career as a location-independent professional?
The answer is yes, but it requires some planning, preparation, and perseverance.
In this digital nomad guide, I will share with you my journey of becoming a digital nomad and give you some tips and advice on how you can do the same. Don’t worry, anyone can achieve this!
My Digital Nomad Story: How I Became a Digital Nomad and a Digital Marketer
I have always loved travelling and learning new things. I studied education at university and later journalism and blogging in my free time while I worked as a teacher and a content writer and translator for several years.
I talk about my journey in more depth here:
However, at some point, I felt that something was missing in my life. I wanted more freedom, flexibility, ownership, and challenge in my work. I wanted to be able to work from anywhere in the world, without being limited by geography or time zones.
That’s when I discovered the concept of digital nomadism. I was fascinated by the idea of combining work and travel and being able to earn money online while pursuing my passions. I decided to take the plunge and quit my teaching job to become a full-time digital marketer with ClickDo.
This was only possible because I’d worked part-time for ClickDo previously, learning the SEO and digital marketing skills that would eventually get me the job of a full-time senior marketer at the agency.
Digital marketing is one of the most popular and lucrative fields for digital nomads. I had some basic skills in writing, editing, blogging and social media when I started to work for ClickDo, but I knew that was not enough to land me a decent full-time job online with the salary I wanted. I needed to learn more about SEO, content marketing, email marketing, web design, analytics, and other aspects of digital marketing.
I achieved this through learning by doing basically. I learned all about WordPress, SEO, blogging and digital marketing through the guidance of ClickDo’s CEO Fernando Raymond along with online tutorials and SeekaHost University courses.
The courses are taught by ClickDo marketing and SEO experts who have years of experience in the industry, and who are also digital nomads themselves. They gave me valuable insights into how to find and manage clients and projects and grow my portfolio online.
The journalism course I did for one summer holiday when I was off from teaching also gave me access to a supportive community of fellow students and mentors who helped me improve my writing, research, and journalistic skills. They gave me feedback on my assignments, answered my questions, and shared their own experiences and tips on working as writers, journalists, and even digital nomads. All these experiences encouraged me to start my blog, manuelawillbold.com, where I could showcase my work and build my brand online.
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After completing different courses and working successfully part-time for ClickDo, I felt confident enough to ask to work full-time as a digital marketer. Fortunately, this was possible as I could also work for the sister company SeekaHost. And that kickstarted my life as a digital nomad.
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On top of my basic pay, I get paid commissions, so I gradually built up a growing stream of income from making additional sales for ClickDo. I built blogs and magazines for ClickDo that would offer guest posting and PR services, which would serve as additional income sources besides client work.
Here’s more about my life as a digital marketer and nomad in London:
I also started to hire more freelancers as my workload increased. I now work with content creators and publishers, email and social media marketers, salespeople, and web designers to delegate tasks so that we can scale our operations in digital marketing and website monetisation.
Nowadays, I earn enough money online and remotely to support myself and fund my travels around the world. I have visited over 30 countries and plan to visit many more while working remotely from anywhere I want as a digital nomad.
How you can become a digital nomad with no experience
As a digital nomad, you can work from home, cafes, co-working spaces, hotels, or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. You can also travel as much or as little as you want if you’re self-employed or depending on your and your employer’s preferences and budget.
But is it possible to start this lifestyle without having any prior skills, work, or education in the online world?
Yes, you can, and I will guide you through the steps you need to take to become a digital nomad with no experience. I will also highlight some of the necessary skills, work and education options, and possible career paths that can enable you to live and work as a digital nomad.
Check out my highlights of living as a digital nomad here:
Step 1: Assess Your Current Situation
The first step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to assess your current situation and determine what you need to change or improve. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:
- What are your goals and motivations for becoming a digital nomad?
- What are your current skills and strengths?
- What are your current weaknesses and gaps?
- What are your current income sources and expenses?
- How much savings do you have and how long can they last?
- How much debt do you have and how can you pay it off?
- How flexible are you in terms of time, location, and lifestyle?
By answering these questions honestly, you will have a clearer picture of where you are now and where you want to go. You will also be able to identify the areas that you need to work on or learn more about before you can start your digital nomad journey.
Check out my tips for working as a digital nomad in this video:
Step 2: Learn New Skills or Improve Existing Ones
The next step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to learn new skills or improve existing ones that can help you find online work or create your own online business.
Many skills are in high demand in the online world, such as:
- Web development
- Graphic design
- Content writing
- Social media marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Online teaching
- Virtual assistance
- Data entry
You don't need to master all these skills, but you should choose one or a few that match your interests, talents, and goals. You should also consider the level of difficulty, competition, and income potential of each skill.
Check out this ClickDo Guide to get an idea of remote working jobs that pay well while aligning with your expectations and goals:
There are many ways to learn new skills or improve existing ones, such as:
- Taking online courses or tutorials
- Reading books or blogs
- Watching videos or podcasts
- Joining online communities or forums
- Practising on your projects or portfolios
- Offering your services for free or at a low rate to gain experience and feedback
The key is to be consistent, curious, and committed to learning and improving every day. You should also seek out mentors, peers, or clients who can help you grow and challenge yourself.
Step 3: Find Online Work or Create Your Own Online Business
The third step to becoming a digital nomad with no experience is to find online work or create your own online business that can generate enough income to sustain your lifestyle.
There are two main ways to do this
Working as a freelancer
This means offering your skills or services to clients on a project-by-project basis. You can find freelance work on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer.com, etc., or by networking with other freelancers, digital nomads, or potential clients. The advantages of freelancing are that you have more control over your schedule, rates, and projects. The disadvantages are that you have less stability, security, and benefits.
Working as an employee
This means working for a company or organization that allows remote work. You can find remote work on platforms like FlexJobs, and Remote.co, We Work Remotely, etc., or by applying directly to companies that offer remote positions. The advantages of working as an employee are that you have more stability, security, and benefits. The disadvantages are that you have less control over your schedule, rates, and projects.
Starting your own Business
You can also create your own online business by selling products or services that solve a problem or meet a need for a specific audience, I share tips for freelance copywriting businesses for example. You can create your website or blog, e-commerce store, online course, podcast etc., and monetize it through various methods such as advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, subscriptions, etc.
Step 4: Making money online
If you dream of travelling the world and working from anywhere, you might be interested in becoming a digital nomad. A digital nomad is someone who uses the internet to earn money and live a location-independent lifestyle. But how do you make money online to support this kind of lifestyle or to even retire early?
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I will share some of the most popular and profitable ways to make money online as a digital nomad but you can also check out my previous popular guides on making money online in Germany and earning online in the UK.
Freelancing is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to make money online. You can offer your skills and services to clients around the world, such as writing, graphic design, web development, marketing, translation, and more. You can find freelance gigs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, or create your own website and portfolio. Freelancing allows you to set your rates, hours, and projects, but it also requires discipline, communication, and time management skills.
Blogging is another way to make money online by creating and sharing valuable content with your audience. You can blog about anything you are passionate about, such as travel, lifestyle, fitness, fashion, or personal development. You can monetize your blog by displaying ads, selling products or services, promoting affiliate offers, or creating sponsored posts. Blogging takes time and effort to grow your traffic and income, but it can also be very rewarding and fun.
E-commerce is the process of selling products or services online. You can create your online store using platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy, or sell on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress. You can sell physical products, digital products, or dropship products from other suppliers. E-commerce requires some upfront investment, inventory management, and customer service skills, but it can also generate passive income and scale easily.
4. Online courses
Online courses are another way to make money online by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others. You can create and sell online courses on e-course platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, Teachable, or Podia, or host them on your website. You can teach anything you are good at or interested in, such as languages, business, photography, music, or personal development. Online courses can be a great source of passive income and authority building.
Podcasting is the art of creating and distributing audio content online. You can start a podcast on any topic you are passionate about or have an audience for, such as travel, entrepreneurship, sports, comedy, or education. You can monetize your podcast by attracting sponsors, selling products or services, accepting donations, or creating premium content.
Podcasting requires some equipment, editing skills, and marketing strategies, but it can also be a great way to connect with your audience and grow your brand.
I’m just getting started as you can see here:
These are just some of the ways to make money online as a digital nomad. There are many more options and opportunities out there for you to explore and experiment with. The key is to find something that suits your skills, interests, goals, and lifestyle preferences.
Remember that making money online consistently is not easy or quick; it takes hard work, dedication, and patience. But if you are willing to learn and adapt along the way, you can achieve your dream of living as a digital nomad, especially if you understand how to scale and automate operations.
Step 5: Planning your digital nomad lifestyle
Digital nomad dream of working from anywhere in the world, exploring new cultures, and having more freedom and flexibility in their life, so utilising technology effectively to work remotely and live a location-independent lifestyle is key to achieving this dream.
Becoming a digital nomad is not as easy as it sounds. It requires careful planning, preparation, and adaptation. I will share some tips on how to plan and master the digital nomad lifestyle, based on my own experience and research.
1. Define your goals and expectations
Before you embark on your digital nomad journey, you need to have a clear idea of why you want to do it, what you hope to achieve, and what challenges you might face. For example, do you want to travel the world, learn new skills, or start your own business? How long do you plan to be a digital nomad? How will you balance work and leisure? How will you deal with loneliness, culture shock, or visa issues? Having realistic goals and expectations will help you stay motivated and focused.
2. Choose your destination(s) wisely
One of the perks of being a digital nomad is that you can choose where to live and work. However, not all destinations are equally suitable for digital nomads. You need to consider factors such as cost of living, internet speed, safety, climate, culture, language, and time zone. You also need to research the visa requirements and regulations for each country you want to visit.
Some popular destinations for digital nomads include Thailand, Bali, Portugal, Mexico, and Estonia, but I personally love Greece, Spain, Germany, the UK and most of Europe. I share some travel tips for digital nomads here:
3. Secure a reliable source of income
Unless you have a lot of savings or passive income, you will need to find a way to make money online as a digital nomad. There are many options for remote work, such as freelancing, consulting, blogging, podcasting, teaching, or running an e-commerce store as explained in more detail above and in some of my other guides. You can also look for remote jobs on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Remote.co, or FlexJobs. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a stable and diversified income stream that can cover your expenses and allow you to save for emergencies and future investments.
4. Pack light and smart
As a digital nomad, you will be moving around a lot, so you don't want to carry too much luggage with you. Ideally, you should be able to fit everything in a carry-on backpack or suitcase. You should only pack the essentials, such as clothes, toiletries, documents, and electronics. You can always buy or rent anything else you need locally. You should also invest in some quality travel gear, such as a laptop stand, a portable charger, a travel adapter, and a VPN service.
5. Build a network and community
One of the biggest challenges of being a digital nomad is loneliness and isolation. You will be leaving behind your friends and family, and constantly meeting new people who may not share your lifestyle or values. That's why it's important to build a network and community of like-minded people who can support you, inspire you, and collaborate with you. You can join online groups and forums for digital nomads, such as Nomad List, Digital Nomad Network, or Reddit. You can also attend local events and meetups for digital nomads or expats in your destination.
6. Keep learning and growing
Being a digital nomad is not only about working and travelling; it's also about learning and growing as a person. You will have the opportunity to experience different cultures, languages, cuisines, and perspectives that will enrich your life and broaden your horizons. You will also face various challenges and difficulties that will test your resilience and adaptability. To make the most of your digital nomad journey, you should always keep an open mind and a curious attitude. You should also seek feedback and improve your skills and knowledge.
Fernando and I share our digital nomad journeys in this video for more inspiration:
Becoming a digital nomad is not for everyone; it requires a lot of planning, creativity, discipline, and courage. But if you are willing to take the leap and follow the above tips and ideas, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle that many people only dream of. If you think it’s for you, test it and see how you get on. You’ve got nothing to lose after all.
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.