Digital Nomad Guide

How Do Digital Nomads Make Money Online?

If you want to become a digital nomad with the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you want, then you are going to need a way to make money that doesn’t tie you to one specific location.

By definition, digital nomads make money by working online, but just because digital nomads work online doesn’t mean that they are all doing the same thing. 

There is a common misunderstanding that all digital nomads are computer programmers or social media influencers.

In reality, there are many different ways to make money online and types of jobs that you can do as a digital nomad.


One way to make money as a digital nomad is to by running your own business. I have started a few businesses myself and also worked with many business owners over the years. In fact, I’ve spent most of my career so far working with startups and small businesses to grow their businesses, and I encourage anyone who wants to start a business to go for it… 

But I also caution them (and you) that starting a business is a lot of work and it comes with certain risks. It’s rare for a business to make money in the beginning. Most businesses take time and money to get going. Make sure you factor that in, especially if your goal is to find a way to become a digital nomad as soon as possible.


Another way to make money as a digital nomad is by doing freelance work for clients. Many of the digital nomads that I have met are freelancers. They do things like software and mobile app development, UX / design, social media marketing and management, online advertising, copywriting, search engine optimization, accounting, and writing. In fact, for just about any type of job that can be done from a computer, you can find digital nomads that are doing it as freelancers. 

Freelancers have more freedom than employees. They can set their own rates and usually their own hours too. But that freedom comes with more responsibility — freelancers have to find work. Some digital nomad freelancers act more like employees, doing all of their work for one or two main clients. Others sell their services to many clients, often on freelance marketplaces online. 


The third option, and one that I think is often overlooked by people who want to become digital nomads, is to find a job that lets you work remotely as an employee. More and more companies are embracing remote work and allowing their employees to work from wherever they want to. Some companies are fully remote and have no office at all. 

There are definite advantages that come with being an employee. Once you have the job, you usually don’t have to “sell yourself” over and over again. As an employee, you get to wake up in the morning knowing who you work for, what kind of work you need to do, and how much money you will make for doing it. The same cannot always be said for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Depending on the job, you may get additional benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and parental leave too.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, then check out my free guide: How to Find a Remote Job.