How To Become a Digital Nomad – An 8-Step Plan

digital nomad

Bored of cubicle life and wondering how to become a digital nomad, live anywhere, make money online and have a healthy work-life balance?

Becoming a digital nomad is a new dream for many people, and it is a perfect way to make money and have more freedom and flexibility.

You can travel the world while working remotely and doing what you love. There are so many job opportunities today that allow you to work and travel.

Yet how do you make the switch? How can you be set up for success? You can make it work with proper guidance and a detailed plan.

Let’s get started.

8-Step Plan To Become a Digital Nomad

Step 1: Understand The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Being a digital nomad involves using technology to work remotely, often while traveling. While this lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, you must understand how it works.

For starters, digital nomads are not always “on vacation.” Most of them work just as hard – if not harder – than those who have traditional jobs. The difference is that they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world as long as they have a reliable internet connection.

They can often work in coffee shops, coworking spaces, or even from home. Of course, this lifestyle is not for everyone. It can be challenging to stay disciplined in remote working when there are so many distractions. Staying connected with family and friends while living a different lifestyle can also be tricky. However, nomadic life can be an enriching experience for those who can make it work.

So, your first step should understand all nuances of a digital nomad lifestyle.

Step 2: Identify a Skill and Create a Plan

Your goal is to achieve location independence while you work anywhere, be it work-at-home or a coffee shop in another country.

Whether you are a software engineer, graphics designer, or into project management or consultancy services, there is a way to find freelance work or a company that hires remote workers.

That is why it is crucial to identify a skill you enjoy and use it to your advantage to find flexible work or a remote job. It could include website design, copywriting, graphic design, software development, or abilities like photography, sales, or tutoring.

If you are comfortable going independent, you can become a freelancer and work with clients. Some of your best options are to become a freelance writer, virtual assistant, graphic designer, web developer, or customer service representative or get into online teaching, bookkeeping, graphics design, web design, customer support, affiliate marketing, etc.

On the other side, if you want to be independent and become a digital creator, you can become a YouTuber or a blogger. So, start researching and looking into the different jobs available to you.

Step 3: Prepare to Launch and Start Freelancing

After identifying a skill or business idea, create a plan. Set goals, draw up a budget, research potential clients, and create a schedule.

After you have drawn a plan for your business, you can start freelancing and make money. Your primary focus should be finding clients and shifting to a consultancy model where you can build a remote team. If you are getting paid to do freelance writing, you can start seeing clients on Upwork and slowly move towards finding independent jobs and gigs. You can also look into job boards like Problogger.

Alternatively, pick up an online business like Amazon selling or blogging. In that case, you should start working on creating a website, marketing your products or services, and setting up systems like payment processing.

If going independent scares you, find fully remote jobs with companies like VIPKID, CheggIndia, Rev Transcription, etc., or find a job with companies that allow full-time remote work. Many companies with a fully distributed team are looking to hire remote workers. If this is what you want, check out Flexjobs, a job board, to find telecommuting and work-from-home jobs. They weed out scams which makes the task of any job-seeker easy.

It is also a great time to start building an online presence for yourself and your business. Launch a website, blog, and social media accounts. You will also need to work on setting up contracts and payment systems, ensuring you have all the required documents, and understanding the tax laws applicable to you.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you build a detailed plan which includes multiple revenue streams. It will ensure that you are not relying on one source of income and can always have a Plan B on the table in case something suddenly falls through the cracks.

Step 4: Get Your Business or Freelancing to a Sustainable Level

Now it’s time to reach a sustainable income level before you hit the road. You will need to focus on building your business, relationships with clients, honing your craft, and networking while you still work.

You must have at least twelve months of money if nothing works out. Not only will it give you confidence, but it will also give you a safety net should something go wrong.

Step 5: Reduce Your Location-specific Ties and Expenses

While you are building your online business and preparing to become a digital nomad, start reducing your location-specific ties and expenses.

Get rid of unnecessary items, and sell your vehicle and other large items. Move to a more affordable place for rent, cancel your subscriptions, pay off your credit card debts, etc. By reducing your overhead costs, you can quickly save up money and have a greater level of autonomy too.

Step 6: Join Digital Nomad Communities

Connecting with fellow digital nomads and freelancers is essential to the travel and work lifestyle. Joining online communities and attending meet-ups will keep you motivated and get you networking with nomads.

You never know who could be helpful for your business, and you may even find people that can help you with business deals. Connecting with others will set you up for success. 

Step 7: Explore Different Locations

Before you decide where to go, understand how much you earn per week, month and year so you can stick to a workable budget for the destination. For example, if you make $30/hr with your online business, you need to know whether you can easily cover your expenses with this income.

With that in mind, start finalizing your first location. You can always start by picking up a city in your own country, and one of the benefits of doing this is the availability of taking on part-time jobs that can pay weekly.

If not, look for cities or countries that offer a lower cost of living and the services you need to run your business (especially high-speed internet). Research different areas online, talk to people who have been there before, and get feedback on their thoughts about the location.

Also, explore whether or not different countries offer visas that allow digital nomads to stay for long periods. Researching before you move can ensure your transition into a digital nomad is as smooth and successful as possible.

Step 8: Just Go For It!

It’s all about taking a leap of faith and going for it. Digital nomad life is not easy, and there will be challenges. But with hard work and dedication, you can make your dreams come true!

Wrapping Up

Making money online has never been easier, but the digital nomad lifestyle requires planning and hard work.

Working from home or living anywhere and working is more challenging than it sounds. You must decide your skill set, build your online business or freelancing career, and be disciplined in your schedule.

Once you have a solid foundation, begin reducing your location-specific ties and focus on saving money for the road.

And finally, join digital nomad communities and explore different locations before you leap into the unknown.

With hard work and dedication, you can make your dreams of traveling the world and embracing nomadism in its true sense! Start planning your journey today and be anywhere around the world! Good luck and happy travels.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.

Last Updated on December 25, 2022 by Chhavi Agarwal