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Become a Traveling Freelancer
Being a freelancer on the road and maintaining both lives can be both exciting and frustrating.
You are constantly going somewhere new and exploring the world, but at the same time, you have to keep your work in mind.
Some people work just so they can afford to travel in the first place, while others like the healthy balance of business and pleasure.
So how can someone start traveling around the world and earn some money in the process?
After all, everyone needs money to pay for food, shelter, and transportation along the way.
These tips will help you to be a successful digital nomad:
Create a Roadmap
One of the easiest and safest ways to start your nomad freelancing career is to create a literal and figurative roadmap of your future.
The truth is that being a nomad freelancer is difficult at first, and many people give up in the first couple of months. The uncertainty is just too much for many people to handle. That is why you should create a plan and jot down exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish by traveling and working at the same time.
Are you doing it because you can’t afford to travel otherwise or, are you doing it just for the sake of adrenaline? Every nomad freelancer has a different goal and mindset. That means that you should be completely clear about where your life is headed next.
Create a plan of where you want to travel and how much money you will need to make in order to do so – everything should be set in stone and as detailed as possible. It’s also not a bad idea to create an emergency fund before you start traveling just to make sure that nothing unexpected happens – it usually will.
Find Permanent Clients
An important step of the freelancing process on the move is finding permanent clients.
It’s far too dangerous to head out and start your nomad career without a safe income. This will not only make your life more difficult but potentially make you turn back and go home.
Try to communicate that you are starting your nomad freelancing career and that you could use a long-term contract with one or two clients. Some clients are willing to not only give you more work but also sponsor your travels as long as you promote them. Others won’t like your double life, however, and it’s up to you to find the ones who are willing to take the journey with you.
Permanent clients are a good way to make sure that you have constant work and income to pay for your travels. Some clients will be just as excited about your new way of life as you are, so don’t be afraid of sharing your stories and experiences with them.
Write a Personal Blog
There are multiple benefits to writing a personal blog as a nomad freelancer.
You can create a story narrative based on your experiences and attract a lot of like-minded people who want to back you up. The blog can also be a way for you to overcome stress and emotional obstacles of handling so many new things at once on the road.
Writing a blog will tell people how much of a great time you are having as a nomad and that anyone can do it as long as they have the patience and courage to live on the road. A personal blog is also a good way to earn some money on the side. You can have online sponsors who will pay ad revenue for posting their products or services on your blog. You can even set up a charity page for people to give you some money in support of your nomad lifestyle.
If however, you don’t have the time to write and edit your blog on a regular basis, you can always use outside help to do so. There are multiple professional custom writing services that will happily help you out in doing so.
Maintaining a blog on the road is an amazing way to stay in touch with the world and gain a couple of benefits on the side. There is no reason not to start blogging once you are on the road – you will experience too many great things not to tell anyone about them.
Schedule Your Work
The biggest problem that any freelancer has to overcome is scheduling their work. Even more so if they are nomad freelancers that always move around.
Creating a working schedule is an essential step in your freelance career since you will need to get some work done even when you are on the move.
Be prepared to work during the night, in coffee places, public parks and so on. Nomad freelancers have to work anywhere and anytime they can manage since you can’t really plan on what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after that. Having such a dynamic and exciting lifestyle is also a dangerous prospect for a freelancer.
Your clients will want to get as much work done as possible and sometimes you will have to compromise in order to do so. Make sure that you clearly negotiate your working hours and stay true to what you agreed on.
Monetize Your Travels
One of the ways to earn extra money on the side is to monetize your traveling.
You can do so by finding sponsors who are willing to fund your nomad experience in exchange for promotion. One of the examples of sponsorship is to have stickers of your sponsors all over your backpack or a laptop and show it online on a regular basis. Giving such exposure to your sponsors will make them pay you a nice sum in exchange. This is a great way to earn money just by moving around and doing what you love the most – being a nomad freelancer.
Your friends and family will want to know if you are doing okay. Keeping in touch with the world back home is an important part of being a nomad.
One day you will want to return home, and giving your family and friends and inside look into your new life is a great way to stay in touch. This will also help you alleviate any stress that you come across being so far away and isolated from everyone you love.
Another important part of staying connected is always having some sort of access back to the real world. Whether it’s a small internet dongle that you can always use or a satellite phone, it doesn’t matter. It’s dangerous for a nomad to stay off the grid and not tell anyone where they are or what they are doing.
Your clients will also want to make sure that their freelancer is safe and sound, ready for more work. Create a system for staying connected and make sure that you say “hello” to the people in your life every once in a while.
As a freelancer on the move, you will come across a lot of new and interesting experiences – not all of them will be pleasant.
You will have to get accustomed to different food, change beds constantly and always think about where and how to go next. This is why it’s important to stay motivated and not fall into the trap of depression.
The truth is that you will only have yourself to rely on most of the time, and that means that you should be as positive as possible.
Find ways to motivate yourself by always having a favorite snack handy, a way to communicate with someone you love or take a break for a day or two on the road. Downtime is just as important as being productive, and no one can stay active forever.
Keep your motivation up by doing what you truly love from time to time and everything will be okay with your nomad freelancing career.
See our pages on Self-Motivation and Positive Thinking for more.
As you can see, being a freelancer on the move is not easy – everyone would do it if it was.
If you are debating over starting a nomad freelancing career, then you are already halfway through the door. This career choice is unique and reserved for only the motivated and patient people out there. Even so, it’s one of the most beautiful choices you can make in life.
About the Author
Nelma Lumme was born in Tampere, Finland in 1990. After her graduation from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tampere, she moved to Chicago, IL where she used to work as HR manager.
Now she is starting a new career as a freelance blogger, writing mostly about education, self-improvement, and psychology.