Income On The Road – Ways To Earn A Living
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Income And Earning Money
Money and a steady income are the most pressing considerations when planning any type of nomadic life. I struggled to find relevant information during my 3-year planning process and the information I did find was less than helpful.
I have made several missteps and outright mistakes. Hopefully, this post will help you avoid those same negative (albeit educational) experiences.
While this is not intended as an exhaustive list, it was exhausting to put together (haha). Just kidding of course! Lucky for you, one of my top 3 superpowers is research. I was able to use that power to put this remote income information together for anyone who may need it.
This is not just for nomads! Even If you never plan to become nomadic, earning a remote income (or working from home) could offer you more freedom and flexibility.
In this post, you’ll find 5 work and income categories: Remote Work * Virtual Assistant * Writer * Entrepreneur * Location Based
Not all information out there is credible or worthy of your time and energy. To the best of my ability, I’ve tried to assure the information and links I provide here are. Not every option works for every personality, but there should be something here to get nearly everyone started.
In Case You Were Curious…
*No links, within this post, are affiliates. My genuine desire is for this information to help people more easily follow their dream. Please feel confident the only bias here is simply from my experience, not because I am getting anything from it.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you find a broken link and I will get it fixed. 🙂 The best way to contact me is through the Xsyntrik Nomad Facebook page.
Remote Work experts like Hannah Dixon and Taylor Lane do not recommend using Upwork. They agree most people can find better options with a little coaching, education, resume tweaking, and effort. Whether you want a permanent job, freelance work, long-term or short-term work, there are better options.
Those who have been using Upwork for a long time are having success, perhaps because they got in early. They have built ratings, have work reviews, and tend to get the good work before it reaches the rest of us. When coming into Upwork now, you’ll find lots of scams and if you do find work, the pay is sadly lacking.
I spent 5-8 hours a day for a week trying to make Upwork work for me. I gave up. I’m not saying it won’t work as a remote income option for some, but be cautious of scams and be aware there are better opportunities available.
Customer Service Work
This is one of my areas of expertise, so it was one of the first I looked in to. I discovered work from home customer service jobs easy to find, but remote customer service jobs very rare. Especially customer service by phone.
Most of these opportunities require a high-speed internet connection and specifically mention they will not accept mobile data connections or public unsecured WiFi. This leaves those who work using hotspots, Starbucks or the library, ineligible for the jobs.
Considering the software they may use, and privacy concerns for their customers, I get it. Regrettably, this presents a pretty serious obstacle for a nomad wanting to do this kind of work.
All is not lost though. Customer Service jobs do exist in a remote capacity, but often you have to know the verbiage to search. Many are more management level positions too. Try searching for ‘remote customer success agent’ or ‘remote customer success manager’.
Asking Your Boss
This was not successful for me. When I asked my boss about the possibility of working from home I was laughed at. This is not the case for everyone and it never hurts to ask.
I wouldn’t give up your dream of becoming a nomad over it, but I do strongly recommend finding a remote job before giving up the one you have. I quit my job and lived on savings, believing I would find my dream remote job well before the money ran out. It didn’t quite work out that way.
There are several options for performing this kind of work, most are freelance. You can also set up a Fiverr account to offer transcription services. Most people doing transcription I spoke to only used Fiverr to gain experience and speed, before moving on to something that paid better.
I spoke to a few people who work for Rev and are happy with the work through them. Most share that they were rejected by Rev at first, but after getting the experience and speed mentioned before, they were accepted.
A friend and I tried Rev for a couple of weeks and consulted after. We weren't pleased with the income and found the work tedious. We both though it might be a good supplemental but not something to rely on financially.
Another person I spoke to worked through Hire My Mom and did other work there in addition to transcription.
*Remote Work Advice
Hire A Remote Work Coach
This has been the best investment I’ve made in myself for years. Taylor Lane was my coach and is the reason I am able to share this information today. She has introduced me to ideas for finding remote work I never imagined.
I didn’t have a lot of faith in her at first. How could a 20 something help me?! I even sent her a message clarifying my age, my skills (or lack of) and my doubts.
This was her reply: “Oh my gosh, of COURSE, I can help you! There are tons of jobs available for that kind of experience. And age is NOT an issue. Anyone who tells you it is doesn’t know a thing about the remote world.” I took her help and haven’t looked back.
Learn a New Skill
The most important thing I’ve discovered is networking. As an introvert, I’m not a fan of networking, but every single valid and valuable opportunity I’ve found has come into my life as a result of someone I know. There’s just no way to argue with that reality. If you aren’t an introvert networking may come easily to you. If it does not, here is my magic formula for networking: Facebook Groups. Really.
Join Facebook Groups
The first group that tipped the scales in a better direction for me is Remote Like Me. Within 2 weeks of joining, the gates opened and information continues to pour through.
So much information is shared in these groups. Check out the information in this post from the Remote like Me group. Other groups to look into: Digital Nomad Jobs, Work From Home Without Selling Anything, and a new one I like called NomadWork.
Links to Job Sites and Job Boards Featuring Remote Work
NoDesk, Job Boards Hack Video, We Work Remotely, Remote Work Hub, 25 Best Sites For Finding Remote Work. You can also have job listings sent right to your email box with Rat Race Rebellion, Working Nomads, Indeed
The Changing Workplace
I spent a lot of time at Starbucks in the 2 weeks it took to write this post. I approached several people who appeared to be working remotely.
The most interesting was a 20 something who was working for a national tutoring company that has offices in 3 US states and one in Canada. She was an employee of the company but their tutors are contractors.
During our conversation, she explained she was required to put in her 40 hours at the office, but overtime was being allowed in a ‘work from home’ capacity through December. She believed they were testing its viability as a permanent option.
She explained that her job was to match tutors with clients and she often communicated by phone. She didn’t understand the technology, but when she got a call it came up on a browser, which would seemingly indicate a VoIP system. This is promising! Earning an income without being tied to a location-based office is the future baby!
Virtual Assistant (VA)
While researching remote income opportunities, I found so many VA jobs available, I decided to make it a topic of its own. Becoming a Virtual Assistant can provide a stable income while offering extraordinary flexibility. This is a fantastic option for travelers, whether you’re looking for full time or part-time work. Nearly everyone who has worked in an office has at least a few skills they can tap into to get VA work.
90 Day VA is THE go to VA training course. The lovely woman who runs the program offers tons of freebies as well. Her Facebook page is How To Work From Home (without selling anything). I recommend starting there. This is a no fail course if you put the work in. Esther will guide you step by step.
Writers And Aspiring Writers
If you’re already making money as a writer there isn’t much I can offer that you don’t already know. 🙂 If you aren’t, this is the info I wish I had years ago.
My first tip came from several well-paid writers, including the founder of the Content Castle – WRITE FOR FREE! Everyone seems to agree that getting your work out into the world is more important than making money at first.
If you’re a new writer or struggling to get published, the recommendation is to get at least 3 strong pieces published free. Then use them as references for paid work.
I’m not a fan of Craigslist for most jobs, but several writers have mentioned it’s a good place to find writing work. Be mindful of possible scams, but check it out. If nothing else, it might be a great way to start earning income as a writer. Here is an example of the most current writing jobs listed on the Phoenix area Craigslist.
List of Free Courses on Writing, Blogging, Social Media, and more
Blogging Courses at Skillshare – Skillshare is currently offering a 30-day free trial and is $15 a month or $99 a year after. If money is an issue, take advantage of the free trial and maybe a month more. Soak up as much knowledge as you can and proceed with membership only if it continues to benefit you.
*Please always read the group description and rules before joining or posting in any Facebook Group or Community.
Tropical Writers’ Club – For writers who travel abroad.
There are several ways to make money drop shipping. You can create your own product site, create product funnels and sell via Facebook ads or through Pinterest, etc. Alibaba and AliExpress are mentioned by many drop shippers as their product source of choice.
Browsing the available products on those sites may be a good place to start researching.
A Google search on ‘how to start a drop shipping business‘ turns up pages of information. I’ve also seen several YouTube videos on the topic.
Be cautious of exaggerated claims, but if this method interests you, I recommend networking with other entrepreneurs. You may find more niche drop shippers and learn better ways to sell your product.
There are people who make a great living featuring individual products, via Facebook ads, using Shopify. This seems like a profitable income option when combined with drop shipping. The brief training I had on this looks promising, but getting the right product is the key to success. Shopify offers training on their site.
If you’re crafty or creative this might be your answer. You can set up an Etsy store to sell your crafts, jewelry, handmade clothing or household items, artwork and so much more. I know two nomads who have earned a nice income with Etsy in the last few years.
Sell Your Craft/Art Direct
My friend LaVonne supplements her income by crocheting custom shawls. She takes orders by word of mouth and through her Facebook page. She’s also the author of a few Kindle books! If you have an audience, know how to create an audience, or have the best product created by anyone ever, self-selling might be an option.
T-shirt/Graphic Design Store
If you have a fun logo or are good at creating designs that are sellable, this might work for you. You can put your designs on anything from stickers, to T-shirts, to mugs, and more. If you’re a clever designer, you can create a pretty good income.
This link shares 21 websites you could use, with information on each. The site links are probably affiliates benefiting the blog owner, but the information is still helpful if you want to browse through it.
You need traffic to your website to make this work. Many bloggers are great at this! (I have included links to some of them under the ‘Writing’ header further down the page.) This post offers an easy description of affiliate marketing for the beginner.
Two years ago a friend recommended I invest in Bitcoin. Via Coinbase, I invested a small amount automatically for 3 months. I stopped investing when I lost a large chunk of money in another investment. In retrospect, that was a mistake.
I invested a total of $250, which bought 1/3 of a single Bitcoin. Today’s value for one bitcoin is around $7,550. While I have no immediate plan to buy more, I also have no intention of selling what I have. Sure, I could lose it all if BitCoin crashes, but what if it continues to grow?
Other Sites I Use And Recommend:
Side Hustle Nation – Run by Nick Loper, this site encourages people to find a side hustle income in their spare time. He has a Facebook Group and Podcast in addition to his site.
Penny Hoarder – Mostly has tips on saving money but also offers some suggestions on earning a little extra here and there.
Location Based Work
This is a great option for RV-ers and some Vandwellers. One of the most reputable and best places to find these jobs is Workamper News. While couples seem preferred at private campgrounds, both singles and couples are often hired at State and National Parks. Also check Work-Camping, Camp Host Jobs, and WorkampingJobs.
The pay is ok, but the free campsite is the biggest perk for those interested in this option. In addition to finding opportunities online and through park service websites, many campgrounds seek workampers at the Big Tent event every January in Quartzsite AZ.
If you can make it to the Arizona desert for this event, you’re sure to find something if you want it.
This is a great flexible income option for anyone who can do physical work and enjoys it. When you roll into a new town just search for agencies online. For example, a Google search of ‘Mesa AZ day labor’ brought up a list of hiring offices in the area.
You can find work here by looking at both ‘Jobs’ and ‘Gigs’ but be hyper-aware of scammers. It’s a great option if you just need work now and then, although there are long-term jobs listed too. You won’t likely find your dream job through Craigslist, but you can usually find something quick and easy!
I recommend sticking with larger, nationwide agencies so you don’t have to go through the application process repeatedly. However, if you prefer, you can find local agencies using your favorite search engine.
I found several sites offering a list of agencies, including this one, that separates their favorites by category (office, medical, IT, etc.).
$ Good Luck Everyone! Now Go Make Money! $
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