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.
If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.
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For example, if you’re selling an eBook, you could offer a free chapter in exchange for their email address. Submitting their email is a low barrier to entry, and they’ll receive a lot of value in return. From there, you can use their email to push them deeper into the sales funnel, especially since they have already shown interest in your product.
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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.
No, Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, wasn't living off passive income when he set off on a one-year journey that morphed into an 18-month trek in faraway lands. However, upon his return in 2008, and two weeks after the warm glow of being back home in Boston had worn off, he realized that traveling was his passion and that being back home wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.
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Now is also the time to pay down or set up payment plans for any debts you may have. Credit card debt should be eliminated as soon as possible because of the high interest rates. If you have student loan debt, you can set up a payment plan or open a special account for your payments so you don’t have to stress if you start digging into savings when you’re travelling. If you have a car, think about selling it. Remember, you won’t be using it in the long term, and you’ll also save more money in the short term by not having to pay for gas, maintenance, registration or insurance.
Most digital nomads start off by finding remote work jobs or freelance gigs that allow them to start earning a small income. Once you secure your first source of income, you’ll need to decide whether you will develop that income stream into a larger business or if you will simply find several similar jobs to cobble together to make more money. Again, since there is no specific path to digital nomadism, your situation will vary depending on your skills, knowledge, and also on how willing you are to put yourself out there, take risks, and even maybe fail.
“In conclusion, this research illuminates how content characteristics shape whether it becomes viral. When attempting to generate word of mouth, marketers often try targeting “influentials,” or opinion leaders (i.e., some small set of special people who, whether through having more social ties or being more persuasive, theoretically have more influence than others). Although this approach is pervasive,recent research has cast doubt on its value (Bakshy et al. 2011; Watts 2007) and suggests that it is far from cost effective. Rather than targeting “special” people, the current research suggests that it may be more beneficial to focus on crafting contagious content. By considering how psychological processes shape social transmission, it is possible to gain deeper insight into collective outcomes, such as what becomes viral.”
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Most want to break free of that. Most want to set out on an adventure and explore the world, soaring their wild oats across one continent or the next. They want to bask in the glory of white-sugary-sanded beaches replete with coconut groves and distant horizons filled with shimmering turquoise waters. They want to throw caution to the wind, pack their bags and set out to traverse the planet, taking the ultimate expedition.
It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Here's more advice on making the most of social media marketing.
I spent 3 weeks in Belgrade (July 2019) to visit a friend who relocated. To be honest, while i've traveled somewhat extensively, and leave the USA on average three times per year, I had no idea what to expect in Serbia (Belgrade). I'd never been to Eastern Europe, let alone the Balkans. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how incredibly friendly just about everyone was. Everyone spoke english everywhere I went: cafes, restaurants, supermarket, taxis, shops, etc. My friend has very small children, and Belgrade is FULL of parks. The parks are routinely teeming with parents, as it seems there's some sort of a baby boom going on there. I was able to easily strike up friendly conversation with locals, who were extremely cordial. Even though I was there to visit friends, I spent the majority of my time alone exploring. I stayed in the city center, close to Republic Square. From there I could walk just about anywhere; the river, the mall on the other side of the river, waterfront, the old fort, etc. Taxis were extremely cheap, but often I just preferred to walk, even to Vracar from where I was in Venac , which is about a 30 minute walk, just because it was nice to experience Belgrade and people watch along the way. The AirBnb I rented had a functioning kitchen, and food in the supermarket is pretty cheap, but so is eating out (by American standards). I routinely had lunch or dinner with a drink, coffee and desert for anywhere from $11-18USD on average. I chose mostly to sit at any one of the countless open air cafe/restaurants twice a day, because it was so worth it. Is Belgrade the most exciting place on the planet? Probably not. At the same time, it's not boring either. I ended up loving the place. Between the people, the fact that I felt completely safe walking around by myself past midnight on many occasions, the great food, and typically European feel, I would definitely recommend Belgrade. Especially if you're not on a London/Paris budget, but want to experience Europe. People are much nicer also.
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Creativity happens when you mash seemingly unrelated concepts together to form a new idea. Neuroscientists call this synaptic play, and the more incongruent the concepts are, the more synapses occur in your brain. Working in a different place everyday gives you a lot of diverse experiences that you call pull from to make these creative connections. And when your brain is chock full of these diverse inputs, your ideas are much more inventive.
I think airfare and other travel expenses will cost me around 3k total if I buy now so that leaves me with 12k to stretch over 11 months. I would prefer to stay in the same location as long as possible as to limit traveling expenses and keep my focus on web development. My hope is that by the end of 2020 I will have built an online presence that will allow me to sustain this lifestyle. Or maybe I will have developed either my coding or graphic design skills enough to land a remote job and continue traveling. At the very least hopefully I will have enough skills to get a job back in the US and return to the rat race.
Digital nomads tend to travel while they continue to work with clients or employers. This sort of lifestyle may present challenges such as maintaining international health insurance with coverage globally, abiding by different local laws and sometimes obtaining work visas, and maintaining long-distance relationships with friends and family back home. In some cases, the digital nomad lifestyle leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication between digital nomads and their clients or employers. Other challenges may also include time zone differences, the difficulty of finding a reliable connection to the internet, and the absence of delineation between work and leisure time. Services such as PayPal are popular among digital nomads. Skype is also a common tool for people to use to communicate through voice, text, and video chat across long distances. YouTube has also been used by digital nomads as a means by which to earn revenue without having to have a central workplace or living space. An important step in being a digital nomad is ensuring that all relevant documentation (such as visas and passports) is kept up to date. If you do not, it can lead to legal difficulties when traveling abroad. A solid grasp of any official languages of the countries you are visiting is also important, as a lack thereof can prevent a person from engaging with the locals. It also creates the risk of complication if you have to go to the hospital.
Another great way to get your foot in the door of the freelance world is proofreading. There is so much written content being produced and released daily which means the pool for work is only increasing, which is great. You’ll be primarily looking out for spelling and grammar issues and sometimes content. It’s not for everyone but if you enjoy reading up on loads of different and interesting things you might as well get paid for it.
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The first step on the road to digital nomadism is to start recognizing which things in your life are tying you to one specific location. Long-term leases on apartments or vehicles are often the first things that need to be addressed. You’ll also want to start eliminating expenses like gym memberships and subscription services to free up your income for the things you really need when you’re on the road. Being a digital nomad usually means travelling light so you’ll want to get rid of junk and material things that don’t serve an important purpose in your life.
#6 Go on podcasts! In 13 years of SEO and digital marketing, I’ve never had as much bang for the buck. You go on for 20 minutes, get access to a new audience and great natural links on high dwell time sites (hosts do all the work!). Thanks for including this tip Brian, I still don’t think the SEO community has caught on to the benefits of podcast guesting campaigns for SEO and more…it’s changed my business for sure.
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Brian, great post as always! Question: Do you consider authority sites (industry portals) a form of “influencer marketing?” e.g. guest blogging, etc? In some niches there are not so many individuals who are influencers (outside of journalists) but there are sites that those in the industry respect. I am in the digital video space and for me one site is actually a magazine that is building a very strong digital presence. Thanks, keep up the good work!
Yep and sometimes it’s just being a little creative. I’ve started a little blog on seo/wordpress just for fun actually… no great content on it like here though… but because the competition is so tough in these niches I decided to take another approach. I created a few WordPress plugins that users can download for free from wordpress.org… and of course these link to my site so this gets me visitors each day.
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In the beginning, it’s nice to think that a committed and engaged audience will just fall into your lap if you reach out to the right people and follow the right steps, but it’s just not that easy. You need to make sure your website is set up the right way and is designed to resonate well with your target market. More on that in my guide to growing a blog.
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People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community to ensure that minimum standards of decorum are met, however.
Brian hello! First off I want to THANK YOU for this fantastic post. I can’t emphasize that enough. I have this bookmarked and keep going through it to help boost our blog. I totally nerded out on this, especially the LSI keywords which made my day. I know, pathetic, right? But when so much changes in SEO all the time, these kinds of posts are so helpful. So thanks for this. So no question – just praise, hope that’s ok 😁
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Great article as always. My wife is about to start a business about teaching (mainly) Mums how to film and edit little movies of their loved ones for posterity (www.lovethelittlethings.com launching soon). We have always struggled with thinking of and targeting relevant keywords because keywords like ‘videography’ and ‘family movies’ don’t really some up what she is about. Your article ties in with other learnings we have come across where we obviously need to reach out to right people and get them to share to get her product out there because purely focusing on keywords I don’t think will get us anywhere.
In marketing automation, Ryan Deiss, co-founder of Digital Marketer, often describes the sales funnel as a multi-step, multi-modality process that moves prospective browsers into buyers. It's multi-stepped because lots must occur between the time that a prospect is aware enough to enter your funnel, to the time when they take action and successfully complete a purchase.