Imagine this: You wake up in the morning when you feel like it, not because an alarm clock went off, but because you’re ready to start your day. You roll out of bed and make a nice cup of coffee. You lazily read the newspaper or enjoy the view from your villa before finally, in your own time, you sit down on your computer to plug away for a few hours and make some serious money – while still wearing your pyjamas.
For the best online entrepreneurs, money is being deposited into their bank accounts while they’re sleeping. For travellers, the opportunity to make good money from anywhere in the world is the ultimate dream job.
Call it what you want – remote work, digital nomadism, location independence – they all mean one thing: You earn money online so that your job no longer ties you to a particular place. You no longer have to wake up early, get overly dressed up, get stuck in traffic, work too many hours, and earn too little.
The internet has opened a floodgate of opportunity that simply wasn’t there for the “pre .com” generations. These online jobs are never “get rich quick”, despite what some sleazy internet marketers will tell you. The truth is, you’ll have to work and put in the effort.
At the very least, you’ll have to work hard to set something up in order to reap the benefits later, eventually living the 4-Hour Workweek type lifestyle. This is called a passive income strategy, or (more accurately) a deferred income strategy.
In this post, I’m going to list the best online jobs that we’ve found. These are perfect jobs for travellers and some of them can earn a lot of money. Not all of them are passive or deffered income by nature, but they all have the potential to earn you $1,000 or more per month. The best ones can earn upwards of $500,000 per year with little or no prior experience.
Let’s get started.
Okay, no surprise here. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that we are huge proponents of blogging. We believe that everyone should have a blog. Whether you’re writing about parenting, construction, cooking, travelling or driving UBER, you should have a blog and write about it.
Why Start a Blog?
When created properly, blogs can earn a great living. We decided we wanted to learn how to start a travel blog after reading a blog post written by another travel blogger. In that post, the blogger stated that he earned $2,500 per month from blogging. We were blown away! That specific number completely inspired us to start our own blog which now earns us over $10,000 every month working less than 20 hours per week.
We’re now always honest about our blogging business and its earnings because we were so inspired by that blog post, and in particular, how transparent that blogger was about his income.
Travel blogging is, in our opinion, the absolute best way to earn money for travel. The best part is that it comes with incredible perks like free first class flights, free hotels, all-expenses paid trips & comped gear.
It’s not easy though. There are many things you need to know about travel blogging in order to turn it into a business. There’s a huge difference between writing a blog for your friends and family, and creating an online resource that can one day earn you money in your sleep.
How do blogs earn money?
Blogs earn money in many different ways. The first money you’ll likely earn from your new blog could come in just a few months. Advertisers will find your website online and contact you via email asking you if they can advertise on your site.
Typically this comes in the form of an article or review of their product. These posts can pay new bloggers anywhere between $50 – $200 and established blogs upwards of $800.
Another way blogs earn money is through content ads. These little ads that you see within the content of this blog currently pay out around $2,500 / month. Companies spent over $534 billion on advertising in 2017 and a nice sized chunk of that was travel-related. There’s enough to go around.
In our opinion, the best way to earn money from a blog is through affiliate marketing. Basically, you recommend a product or service on your blog that you use and love. You link to said product / service with an affiliate tracking link which means if one of your readers clicks that link and makes a purchase (on Amazon for example), you’ll automatically get paid a commission.
Another bonus of travel blogging (or any sort of blogging), are the sponsorships and partnerships you can create. You’ll be asked to review products, hotels, tours, vehicles, brands, destinations, etc. on your website. In exchange, you’ll receive the service for free, and once you become more established, you’ll also get paid.
Basically, you’ll have to diversify your blog income into 5 or 6 separate streams in order to turn it into a full-time, scalable business.
Most blogs take at least 6 months to start earning income and around a year to earn enough to pay for travel entirely. However, many fast-growing blogs have been able to get free hotel stays, flights and trips in as little as 3 months, while some others have started earning a full-time income after just 6 months.
Starting a blog isn’t difficult, but growing it into a travel-supporting, money-making machine takes time and effort. Growing a blog is like a formula and it can be repeated, but you need to know how to do it properly. Similar to the Google Algorithms that govern how much traffic your blog will see, growth hacks and passive income strategies can be copied and pasted into any new blog plan in order to help them grow quickly.
That’s why we’ve created our 200 page ebook to help new bloggers navigate the initial steps of blogging. If you’re interested in starting a blog any time soon, simply Click Here and you can get the book for free. Now sure about a travel blog name? Doesn’t matter. You can still start a blog and come up with a name later on.
Of course, travel blogging isn’t for everyone. While you don’t need any prior internet experience (we had never even heard of WordPress before starting our blog), if you don’t enjoy writing about your travels and taking photos, then this job obviously isn’t for you. In that case, we’ve included many other jobs in this post to help you earn money remotely.
We know that this job earns enough to pay for travel because Goats On The Road has had numerous virtual assistants (VAs) over the years and we’ve paid them anywhere from $500 – $2000 / month for their services. Some larger websites pay as much as double this amount for a good VA.
To become a Virtual Assistant, you’ll have to be skilled at some aspect of online work. If you’re good at Facebook marketing, growing Twitter, web development, logo design, engaging with Instagram followers, editing blog posts or translating articles, you should be able to find work.
If you possess skills that could be useful to online businesses, I recommend first reaching out to them directly. Head to 10 of your favourite websites and find areas they could improve upon. Maybe their Facebook page isn’t engaged, maybe they take horrible photos, or their are grammar errors in their articles.
Once you’ve located a few points that need improvement, send the owner of the website an email. Be certain that you don’t come across as being condescending and tell them that you could help them improve these aspects of their business.
If this doesn’t work, you can also join websites such as Upwork and Fiverr and add your profile to those databases and hope to find jobs through there. Another option is to search Facebook groups in the niche you want to work in. For travel, you might run a Google search that looks like this:
“facebook group community travel bloggers business”
Some of the groups you find may be closed groups, which means you’ll have to request access. Once you’re in, if the admins allow you to “advertise” in the group, you could put a post in saying that you’re a VA. List all of your skills and most likely you’ll get some interested parties.
Companies are willing to pay you to watch their ads and there are even services out there that group these opportunities together so that you can earn a real living from it. How much? There are people online claiming to earn $80,000 USD / year just from watching ads!
So, how does it work? You head to one of the higher paying PTC (Pay To Click) sites like ClixSense, NeoBux & PaidAdverts, sign up and then start earning money online by watching advertising videos, clicking on ads and sending user feedback.
Spending just a few hours per day, you can earn a couple of hundred dollars per month from these sites. We aren’t recommending a specific company to go with, but if you do your research and find a reputable ad share company, watching ads can be a great way to earn money and we’ve known a few people successfully using this as an income strategy.
Similar to watching ads, many companies will pay internet users to complete their surveys. Internet surveys offer businesses and advertisers useful data to help them understand their potential clientele.
If you Google: “get paid to complete surveys”, you’ll probably get a thousand results. Unfortunately, many of these results are complete scams, so you do have to be careful.
Some of the best online survey websites include SwagBucks, PrizeRebel, Survey Downline and Global Test Market. As surveys take a bit more time than watching ads, it’s more difficult to make a lot of money from this strategy, but there are reports of people earning over $1,000 per month by completing surveys.
Drop shipping started generating a huge buzz in 2016 and 2017. People were all over the internet claiming to have made thousands of dollars overnight. For the most part, these were just clickbait titles and advertisements, but there are definitely ways to earn money from drop shipping.
What is drop shipping?
Basically drop shipping is a very low risk way to start up a business selling products online. Traditionally if you wanted to do this, you would have to create a product, market it, store it in a warehouse and ship it out yourself, while having to deal with refunds, returns, etc.
Drop shipping basically hands most of the responsibility off to someone else. This entity is known as a manufacturer, drop shipping supplier or warehouse outlet. Your job as a drop shipping entrepreneur would be to find a wholesale manufacturer who would manufacture, store and ship your product, and you would then create an online store (website / blog) or an Amazon Storefront in order to promote and market the product.
Finding a manufacturer will be one of the hardest things to do. Simply typing “drop shippers” into Google won’t give you very good results because only big drop shipping manufacurers that do business with big drop shippers will have the money to invest in SEO (search engine optimization), which allows their website to be seen first in Google.
You want the smaller drop shipping manufacturers that will be willing to deal with your new, small/medium sized drop shipping business. To get the best results, try expanding your Google search to include various drop shipping terms like: “distributor”, “wholesale”, “bulk”, “reseller”, “warehouse”, and “supplier”.
You can also combine those terms with the particular goods or types of goods you wish to sell. For example: “Drop shipping distributor warehouse backpacks luggage” might be a good term if you’d like to start up a drop shipping business that sells backpacks and luggage.
Next you’ll need to promote your products. In a nutshell, without going into too much depth here, you could easily spend some money on Facebook ads to lead people to your Amazon Store or your website.
Preferably, your web page would have a lead magnet (a free product to give away in exchange for an email) so that you could then communicate with your would-be customers over email, even after they’ve left your site. You would want to give them a lot of value and information about the niche of your product and then offer them a purchase option within the email.
If you don’t have money to bootstrap your drop shipping business to get it started, you’ll have to spend time. Building a drop shipping business with sweat equity will be a lot like building a blog. You’ll need to market your products, create a website and learn SEO and social strategies to grow traffic to your sales pages. That’s why it’s good to have some advertising money to start with.
Like building a travel blog, drop shipping isn’t going to earn you 6-figures in 6 weeks, but over time it can be a great way to earn a lot of money online.
Create an Online Course
No matter what your skill may be, there are people out there who would be happy to pay for you to teach them. From passing exams and creating podcasts, to baking cakes and mastering photography, there are courses out there for pretty much every niche.
The fact is, knowledge is power. We all want to soak up as many skills as possible and the internet has created a breeding ground for this.
There are people out there who are earning 6-figures per month (7 figures per year) from selling online courses. You’ll have to ensure that your courses are useful, easy to follow and actually lead to a beneficial result for your students, but it’s possible to thrive in this arena.
Websites like Teachable, Skillshare and Udemy are great resources for those who want to sell courses online. Once you’ve figured out what knowledge you’d like to sell to the world, you can visit one of these websites and go through the motions of turning your skills into a step-by-step course that others can purchase and follow.
The websites include curriculum, video, take home notes and tasks to complete, making it easier for your students to get the results they want. They also have a marketplace where you can list and advertise your course to the world.
If you’re going to sell courses, I recommend also creating a website or blog where you can sell the courses from. Once you’ve done that, open up a Facebook Ads account and start paying for some traffic to your website and A/B test different landing pages to see where you get the best results.
If you think the market for online learning is too flooded, think again. People are drawn towards courses for the teacher. Your potential students may not like the people behind the courses currently available, but they might like you.
Becoming an online teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do on the internet. Most likely you’ll be a language teacher, but you can find jobs teaching many different things online. Websites like Italki allow you to create your own teacher profile and set your own rates.
This differs from creating an online course and selling it online, because you’ll have to actively teach students one on one, rather than creating all of the curriculum up front and then selling it afterwards as a prerecorded package. But for teachers without any internet / course-building experience, this could be a better option. If you’re an expert English teacher, you could earn upwards of $30 / hour for your time online!
Another great option (if you’re from North America and if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in any subject) is to join VIP Kid and teach English online through their platform. After you’ve been through the interview and are hired, you’ll be given lesson plans to choose from and can start teaching eager Chinese students. You’ll earn between $14 – $22 / hour and you pick your own hours. Click here to learn more.
Bloggers and website owners spend enough time growing their SEO, social media and brand, so few of us have time to really learn how to create successful ads. Whether it be Google Ads or Facebook Ads, once you have a profit positive campaign, you’re winning.
Many people these days are learning all about Facebook Ads and figuring out ways to create ads that sell. They then pitch their services to large brands with the idea that they’ll create an ad on Facebook that will increase revenue for that company.
Because the company knows they’ll be earning money, these jobs typically pay pretty high and can be set up on monthly retainers anywhere from $500 – $5,000 per month, per client. There are thousands of people earning tons of money online by managing ads for companies. It’s a growing fad and it’s not going anywhere.
Again, this is no get rich quick scheme. If you’re new to Facebook Advertising and Google Ads, it could take you months to learn the ins and outs of the ad platforms.
There are some great free videos available online to teach you how to create successful ad campaigns and once you can get a client or two on board, you could be making a lot of money.
For some reason, freelance writing comes with a stigma that it’s difficult to earn real money from it. Traditionally yes, aspiring writers, authors and freelancers didn’t make that much money before the internet came along, but these days there are a lot more opportunities.
We have made upwards of $3,500 USD / month from freelancing alone and we think it’s a great way to earn a living online. The pay really depends on who you write for. Some jobs we’ve had only pay $35 per article to start, while others pay upwards of $350 for a 700 word post.
The best way we’ve found jobs is by looking at freelance listings on websites like FreelanceWritingGigs.com that constantly update their lists of websites that pay you to write. At first you might only make $20 – $50 per article, but as you grow your portfolio, you may be able to land higher paying jobs.
Once you have a couple of client websites that are paying you to write an article, I recommend asking them if you can write a certain number per month. Offering them a discount for multiple articles will help you accomplish this.
After you have a few clients on monthly retainers, you can really start earning money from freelance writing. Plus you can use those posts to pitch other websites and get more gigs.
Despite the fact that there is more opportunity online than in print, print publications still tend to pay more. Try contacting your local newspapers and magazine editors to see if you can get paid writing jobs there. We were featured in our local newspaper The Vancouver Sun on a couple of occasions and not only was the pay good, but it was really cool to see our names in print!
Thanks to Amazon, it’s never been easier to become a successful author. First, you’ll have to create an awesome book, then upload it to Amazon. Next you’ll need to get people to review it so that it appears higher in search queries for your topic and in related shopping boxes on the website.
To create an ebook, first type it out on your computer’s word processor (typically anything over 10,000 words could qualify as a useful ebook). The best ebooks help people to solve a problem. Try to help people to get from point A to point B and write step-by-step so that they can follow your recommendations towards a desired result.
Once you have the basic text for your ebook, head over to Canva. Here you can sign-up for a free account and use the free online software to choose an ebook template to start designing your book.
Use sites like Pixabay to find high-quality, royalty free images (for free) and begin putting together your masterpiece one page at a time. Once you’re done, export it as a PDF and upload it to Amazon. If you’re not an Amazon seller yet, you’ll have to set up an account.
When you’re creating your listing for your new ebook, make sure to be very specific. Tell potential customers a few pain points, then explain to them how your book will help them to solve their problem(s).
Once your book is live, you can promote it on social media, on your blog and using Facebook ads. Some of the top independent ebook sellers in the world have earned millions of dollars from their Amazon bookstores.
You might not make millions, but if you can create 10 great ebook resources and market them properly, you could earn enough to pay for travel. The best part is that once your books are completed and on Amazon, you won’t have to do much work and you’ll likely see sales coming in while you’re sleeping.
People always ask us how we managed to save money for travel and how we earn money to stay on the road. When we tell them that we earn more from travel blogging than we ever did on the oil fields or in law firms in Canada, they are often blown away.
But travel blogging may not be for everyone (although it’s probably perfect for you if you’re reading this blog), which is why we’re constantly researching jobs and interviewing travellers who have worked all over the world.
Remote work is the ultimate goal and with so much opportunity on the web, it seems like a waste if you’re not getting in now.
These jobs are some of the best ones to get your foot in the door of location independence. I hope you found this article useful. If you or someone you know is hoping to quit the 9-5, escape the office and work from a laptop while travelling the world, please share this post!
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