Side Hustles For Digital Nomads: The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, with more people looking to work remotely while traveling the world. However, exclusively relying on freelance work or a remote job can be risky. Having additional side hustles is a great way for digital nomads to diversify their income streams and maximize their earning potential.
In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 most profitable side hustles for digital nomads in 2023-24. These gigs can provide a steady source of additional income, while allowing the flexibility to work from anywhere.
1. Affiliate Marketing Side Hustles for Digital Nomads
Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services on your website or social platforms and earning a commission for each sale made through your affiliate link. This online business model is highly profitable if done right and aligns perfectly with the digital nomad lifestyle.
You can become an affiliate for brands and products you already use and recommend. Or research high-converting affiliate programs through networks like ShareASale and FlexOffers. Top affiliate niches include software, travel gear, VPNs, and more.
The average commission rate is 4-8% per sale but can be as high as 75-90% with digital products. As you build your audience and traffic, your earning potential has no limit making it a one of the best side hustles for digital nomads.
2. Dropshipping Side Hustles for Digital Nomads
Dropshipping allows you to set up an online store and sell products without actually storing inventory. When an order is received, you forward it to your supplier who then ships the product directly to the customer.
This is a great side hustle for digital nomads, as it allows you to run your business from anywhere without requiring large capital or storage space for inventory. You can source trending products, build a brand around them, and scale your store through paid ads and influencer marketing.
The profit margin varies hugely based on your niche, marketing costs, and sales volume. But expect to make $100-500 per month initially, scaling up to thousands as you grow.
3. Freelance Writing Side Hustles for Digital Nomads
Freelance writing is a location-independent side hustle that leverages your writing skills. As a digital nomad, you can take on clients across niches like travel, tech, business, and more.
Popular platforms to find freelance writing gigs include Contena, Flexjobs, Upwork, and Fiverr. The pay ranges from 10-50 cents per word based on your niche and experience level. At a rate of 20 cents per word and writing 5,000 words per week, you can earn around $2,000 per month.
4. Social Media Management
Every business today needs a social media presence. As a digital nomad, you can leverage your social media skills to help businesses manage their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
Based on your experience and niche, you can charge anywhere from $500 to $5,000+ per month per client. Use platforms like Upwork or reach out directly to businesses in your network. For tips on how to start and scale this side hustle, check out this social media manager’s monthly earnings report.
5. Virtual Assistant Services
Virtual assistants provide administrative and business support services to clients remotely and can be used as the side hustles for digital nomads. As a digital nomad, you can offer services like calendar management, email handling, data entry, research, scheduling calls and meetings, and more.
Virtual assistant rates range from $15 to $50 per hour based on your skillset and experience. You can make $1,000 to $5,000 per month working part-time hours. Sign up on sites like Belay or Upwork to start getting clients immediately.
6. Teaching English Online
Teaching English online is a rewarding and well-paying side hustle for digital nomads. Platforms like VIPKid connect you with students from China and Korea for live video English classes.
The classes are 15 to 45 minutes long and pay $14-25 per hour. You set your own schedule and get paid monthly. All you need is a laptop, internet, and a passion for teaching. Based on your schedule and experience, you can make $1,000 to $3,000 per month.
7. Selling Online Courses
Creating and selling online courses is a lucrative way for digital nomads to monetize their skills and expertise. Platforms like Teachable, Thinkific and Podia make it easy to create, market and sell courses on your own website.
You can create courses on topics like copywriting, web design, photography, marketing, languages, yoga, cooking, and more. Price each course above $100 and sell to your email subscribers and social media following. Top course creators easily make over $10,000 per month.
8. Tutoring Online
As an expert in subjects like English, Math, Science, Programming or Test Prep, you can work as an online tutor for students as a one of the side hustles for digital nomads and travel around the world. Platforms like Tutor.com, Chegg Tutors and Varsity Tutors connect you with students needing help.
Online tutors are paid between $15 to $40 per hour, based on your qualifications and tutoring platform. You can tutor as much or as little as you like, fitting it into your travel schedule. A few hours per week can help you earn $500 to $2,000 per month.
9. Freelance Graphic Design
Digital nomads with graphic design skills can easily find remote freelance work. Sites like Dribbble and Behance allow you to display your portfolio to attract new clients.
Freelance graphic designers typically charge $20 to $100 per hour. You can make $2,000 to $8,000+ per month working part-time by lining up recurring clients. Services like logos, social media posts, banners, web assets, and more are always in demand.
10. Coding & Web Development
As a freelance coder or dev, you can make $50 to $150+ per hour. Even working 10-15 hours per week, you can easily make an extra $2,000 to $5,000 per month. List your services on platforms like Toptal, Gun.io or Leverage LinkedIn to find clients.
Getting Started With Side Hustles as a Digital Nomad
If you’re excited about boosting your digital nomad income with a side hustle, here are a few tips to get started:
- Research your niche – Find a profitable side hustle that matches your interests and skills. Review top side hustles digital nomads have success with.
- Start building your portfolio – Create samples and case studies for the services you plan to offer. A portfolio shows proof of your skills.
- Outsource tasks if needed – Consider outsourcing parts of your service like content creation, web development etc. initially while you focus on sales.
- Leverage freelance platforms – Sign up on popular freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork etc. to kickstart your profile and get initial clients faster.
- Offer discounts initially – Offer the first few clients discounted rates in exchange for testimonials and referrals to build your reputation.
- Promote your services – Actively promote your side hustle services on LinkedIn, Twitter, niche forums, your website, and directly pitch to potential clients.
- Deliver amazing value – Go above and beyond for your first few clients to get stellar reviews that will win you more clients.
- Stay productive while traveling – Block time in your calendar to work on your side hustle each week, even while on the move.
Common Questions about Side Hustles for Digital Nomads
Q1. How much can I earn from side hustles as a digital nomad?
Most of the side hustles listed can earn you $1,000 to $5,000 per month working part-time hours. With multiple income streams and increasing your rates over time, you can earn anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000+ per month.
Q2. What skills do I need to get started?
Leverage skills you already have like writing, graphic design, coding, social media marketing etc. Learn high-income skills like freelance writing, affiliate marketing, social media management if you don’t have them already.
Q3. Do I need to register a business?
If you operate under your own name, you may not need an official business registration initially. But if you want a business name, accept payments via PayPal/Stripe, have legal protections, then yes, consider registering an LLC or sole proprietorship.
Q4. How do I find clients as a digital nomad?
Use freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to find clients without contacts initially. Reach out to businesses directly pitching your services. Promote affiliate links/products on your own website and social media accounts. Offer services to contacts in your network.
Q5. Should I focus on one side hustle or multiple?
It’s best to start with one side hustle initially while testing to see if you enjoy it and if it’s profitable. Once you have one stream setup, you can diversify your income by adding another side hustle using other skills you have. Multiple income sources provide more security.
Q6. Can this replace my full-time job income?
For many digital nomads, side hustle income often surpasses their regular job earnings over time, allowing them to switch to side hustles full time. But don’t quit your job until your side hustles reliably deliver at least 50% of your current income.
Q7. Do I need any special tools or software?
You may need website hosting, email services, content creation tools, graphic design software, communication tools etc. depending on your side hustle model. However, you can get started with just your laptop and internet in most cases.
Q8. Can I automate parts of my side hustle?
Yes, you can and should automate repetitive tasks. For example, use Zapier to automate Lead collection, or IFTTT to auto-post on social media. Learn productivity hacks to save time and focus on high-value tasks only.
Q9. How much time does this require per week?
Most side hustles on our list only require 10-20 hours per week initially. So you’ll still have plenty of time to explore your travel destinations. As your income grows, scale your hours up if needed.
Q10. Should I create a website for my side hustle?
Having your own website elevates your brand and allows you to advertise services directly. But you can also use freelance platforms to find clients initially. Build a basic website on WordPress to showcase your portfolio later.
Wrapping It Up
Side hustles provide the perfect opportunity for digital nomads to supplement freelance or remote work with additional revenue streams. They allow you to build skills, test ideas, follow passions projects, and expand your income – all while maintaining a flexible lifestyle.
Focus on high-income skills that are in demand like affiliate marketing, social media marketing, freelance writing, coding, web development etc. Use freelance platforms combined with direct outreach to find clients. Start with one side hustle and expand to multiple income sources over time.
With these profitable and flexible side hustles for digital nomads, you can fulfil your dreams of long-term travel without worrying about irregular freelance income. So what are you waiting for? Choose an idea from this list to start planning your first digital nomad side hustle today!