Those times I just want to relax and do nothing while traveling are the times I’ve made my closest friends. Whether it was on a boat in Thailand, or walking into a hostel in Spain, when I least expected (or wanted) to meet people was when I met the best. And even though you may not see them for years, you still end up at their wedding, Christmas dinner, or family celebration. Distance and time cannot break the bonds you form on the road.
Whether you're looking to emulate from the success of Kepnes, or you're simply looking to set out for an extended stay to see how you enjoy living as a digital nomad, there are 5 distinct steps that you need to take before embarking upon your journey. The more attention you pay to the details before you leave, the less headache you'll have overall in your experience of the nomadic lifestyle.
Before you say it – no, true guest blogging isn’t dead, despite what you may have heard. Securing a guest post on a reputable site can increase blog traffic to your website and help build your brand into the bargain. Be warned, though – standards for guest blogging have changed radically during the past eighteen months, and spammy tactics could result in stiff penalties. Proceed with caution.
All you need to do is type your desired profession and job type into your internet machine’s search bar and BAM – hundreds of search results pop up for you to choose from. This is largely thanks to the websites of gig economy heavyweights like Upwork, Remote.co and Freelancer.com. These websites are places where businesses seeking part-time, ad hoc work post adverts for freelancers to apply. It’s like a Craigslist for work.
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This one is not really possible right off the bat – you’ll need to have a decent amount of traffic first if you want to get paid by someone to put their brand or site in front of your readers. However, you should always be on the lookout for other bloggers or brands that you want to collaborate with, and brainstorm on how you can add value to their business first. You can start building a community of people that others will want to be a part of.
Once you’ve figured out what skills you have that will enable you to work remotely, you need to find a job. Arguably the easiest way to do this is to scour remote specific job sites. Luckily, there are now tons of sites online like We Work Remotely and RemoteOk that post only jobs that are remote or location independent. Check out UpWork, formerly known as ODesk, to find freelance gigs for everything from virtual assistants and photographers to accountants and consultants.
You might think that the best route to becoming a digital nomad is by taking the entrepreneurial road and starting your own online business. This will undoubtedly give you the most freedom but it’s very difficult to succeed – especially if you have don’t have a lot of experience. And in fact most digital nomads don’t start out like this, instead they get started with remote work or freelancing. This means they are getting paid to gain more experience and skills. Plus it’s usually quite quick and easy.
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For this, the most important thing is finding a publication with an established base of readers. It doesn’t have to be a big name like Forbes or Entrepreneur–which will be impossible to land in the beginning anyway–what you should focus on is finding something that fits with your style and niche. It’ll help you build your brand, get more recognition for the name of your blog, connect with interested readers, and look great for networking possibilities.
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As explained above there’s a big difference between location independence and being a digital nomad. However, becoming a digital nomad can be a great step towards building a location independent business. That’s one reason why many people move to digital nomad hubs with a low cost of living like Bali or Chiang Mai. These are great places meet other digital nomads, collaborate, and learn from each other. Being in an environment like this will mean that you’ll have a much better chance of building a location independent business or start-up than trying to do it alone from home.
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Thanks for sharing these great tips last August! I’ve recently adopted them and I have a question (that’s kind of connected to the last post): how important would promoting content be when using this strategy? For example, through Google Adwords. As I guess that would depend on the circumstances, but I am trying to discover if there’s a ‘formula’ here. Thanks in advance!
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If you go for depth in your content, instead of breadth, promotion will become so much easier. Look at what everyone in your arena is providing – show up to the 500-word advice post party with a 5,000-word step-by-step guide post that actually helps people, and your readers will notice. You’ll not only have a much greater chance of selling people on the quality of your content, it’ll be more likely to go viral AND Google will rank it higher in the organic search because it’ll be longer and more in-depth.
The characteristic that all digital nomads have in common is that they usually spend several months abroad each year, are constantly on the move, and earn an income while working online. A digital nomad can easily make an income of $12,000 per year and live a nice, cushy lifestyle in countries like Thailand or Bali in South East Asia. Take that same digital nomad to London, Paris, or Sydney, and that’s not going to work out so well. Location independence means nomads have true freedom thanks to healthy incomes that allow them to run their business from any city on the planet, even from the most expensive ones.
Because your site likely has a really low score, you’ll want to start targeting relevant keywords and phrases—but don’t go for the big ones like “business ideas” because you’ll have an incredibly hard time ranking for those top-level keyword phrases. Instead, aim for long-tail keyword phrases, like “monthly web hosting plans” and you'll have a better chance at ranking—fun fact: that’s a real example of a long-tail keyword I use for my blog.