Digital nomadism / Online Income

10 online income ideas to inspire your location independence

10 digital nomad income ideas to inspire your location independence

Working online is a great way of earning location independent income! Either you just prefer working from home or want to travel the world – here are 10 online income ideas to get started with.


I became a self-taught freelance graphic designer when I was 19. Through years, I learned how to monetize my blog, earn affiliate income, as well as create and sell online courses.

With these online income ideas, I want to inspire your location independence and show how there are plenty of different ways to earn money online! 

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.


The best online income ideas - digital nomad inc


10 online income ideas

IDEA #1 Freelancing

Great for you if:
– you have any skills you can sell online
– you’re interested in learning new skills
– you’re comfortable in front of your laptop (and you have one)

I started digital nomadism while being a freelance graphic designer. I’ve talked a lot about freelancing, including several of my previous articles:

If you’re interested in freelancing, it’s important to spot the skills you could sell online. Most of us already have some! For example, you might be s tech-savvy, inspirational writer or digital marketing guru. Whatever is your field (or dream) – it’s not as hard to get it going as you might think.

The fastest and easiest way to get started as a freelancer is to search online job boards. Here you can learn more about Upwork, find a remote job or find a job in Facebook groups.

The baseline is – find a profitable skill you have or you’d like to learn and just get it going.


IDEA #2 Affiliate marketing

Great for you if:
– you love writing
– you’re interested in more passive income
– you’re ready to sell
– you have some marketing skills (or interest to learn them)

Affiliate marketing is one of the most passive digital nomad income ideas.

It’s an amazing way to monetize your blog. At the same time… Blog monetization definitely is a hard way to earn income as a digital nomad in a steady and consistent manner. But if you find the willpower to invest your time and ideas, your blog CAN be your full-time income source.

It’s fun but it’s also a long-term deal you’re signing up for. No blog has grown within a day. It takes a lot of writing, strategical thinking and patience to monetize your blog effectively.

The most important part of blog monetization would be the traffic. Therefore, it’s important to write compelling, creative and very informative blog posts people will be interested in. Then, you have to find a trustworthy source of income and make sure to improve your content and traffic each day.

If you’ve started blogging, one of the most important things is to STAY CONSISTENT. Decide on one or several topics tailored to your audience interest, write weekly, share on social media, use unusual ways to promote your blog and KEEP GOING. It’s a matter of time and dedication!


Blog Creation Simplified 2020


IDEA #3 Online courses

Great for you if:
– you have a lot of knowledge you’d love to share
– you’re interested in building connections online
– you’re ready to work on a long-term business plan

Online course creation is one of the most effective ways to earn income as a digital nomad, besides that – it’s a rather passive way to do that, once the hard part of the job is done! If you have any skills someone might find useful, creating an online course could be one of the best ideas to grow your income on the road.

When thinking about the topic of your course – be brave! Your skills don’t have to be online based only! It can be cooking, photography, editing, fast reading, painting or couch design…

But, first, you should note – online course creation doesn’t stop once your course is ready. In this process, you should also include all the related marketing: how people will get to know about it? How will people trust you and your knowledge? This can include blogging, email marketing, social media, videos, Facebook group creation and so much more!

Create your first course with Course Creation Lab! 

Course Creation Lab: Turn Your Offline Experience into Online Income

IDEA #4 E-commerce

Great for you if:
– you have a product to sell online or the idea for it
– you’re a hands-on person with the interest to take charge
– you’re a rather slow traveler

A thing to note before getting attached to this idea: this definitely is not one of the most efficient digital nomad income ideas if you’re planning to sell physical products.

Let’s be honest, very often it’s easier to run an e-commerce shop if you’re located in one place. For example, if you’re sewing bags for millennials, it might be hard to travel while doing that. But I have decided to include this option because everything is possible!

There are many people who ARE traveling AND have an e-commerce business. So don’t give up on this idea if you have it.

That’s also one of the most important things to consider: is your e-commerce idea flexible enough to get with you on the road? Will you be able to travel with all you might need?

Also, keep in mind the other part of the story: how much you actually want to travel? Maybe you’d prefer being a digital nomad in one spot for several years? If so, having an e-commerce shop wouldn’t be a problem at all!

Etsy is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for new, small or rather home-made businesses but it doesn’t really matter what is your field – e-commerce is an option as long as you create (mostly) physical products. There’s also an amazing group of Etsy sellers where you can get some motivation and inspiration.

  • You can just as well open up a shop on Shopify. This would mean that you don’t need an actual website – everything is right there!
  • For cheaper options, look into Gumroad. You can publish any digital products and sell without a website!
  • You can also build your own shop. It’s not as hard as it might seem! For that, you’d need Siteground hosting, WordPress website and WooCommerce plugin. Voila! Of course, the whole setup asks for a bit more time than this… But it’s so worth it!

If you decide to go this path, you also should keep in mind the marketing aspect of the business.

Creating a product and having a shop is one thing while getting is SOLD is another. I’m not into e-commerce myself so I don’t have much of practical marketing advice here but I know that there are many different ways to go.

The first can be a beautiful Instagram profile for the shop!

IDEA #5 Video making

Great for you if:
– you’re into video making
– you feel good in front of the camera
– you have another income stream and time to build your audience

Video making is another fun and rather a creative way of building your income as a digital nomad.

Here are just a few examples you can take the inspiration from:

  • travel vloggers sharing their adventures
  • how-to videos for… well… literally anything! Including, for example, How To Photoshop a Photo, How To Cook Pasta, How To Choose the Best Dress…
  • DIY videos
  • alternative news videos, sharing your thoughts and insights
  • fitness, food, joke videos…

Once you’ve started creating videos and you’ve got some audience who are interested in them, you can start getting money from ads, selling products on your videos or monetize them any other way.

It’s definitely one of the hardest digital nomad income ideas. But if you are into video making and might do it anyway, why not to monetize it?

There are many huge vloggers and video makers online who are really getting all of their
revenue from their videos. It’s definitely possible! As long as you have the editing
skills, creativity to make these videos and skills to be in front of the camera.

Besides that, don’t limit yourself to the obvious options only. These days having a stunning video is a great asset for almost any social media platform! 

If having a blog scares you but video making feels like your jam – give it a go.


IDEA #6 Dropshipping

Great for you if:
– you’re interested in sales and marketing
– you’re a rather slow traveler
– you’re reading to invest

Dropshipping is something that’s becoming really, really popular. I have never been a part of this so I can’t give you a great insight into this business but you can definitely read this book to get the idea: Delivering Happiness.

Simply said, dropshipping means that you’re buying from someone and selling further. One
sample would be people who sell $50 watches that are bought for $5 on eBay. While this might not seem like a fair deal, there are many other, way more karma-friendlier options.

Very often drop shipping business offers some wholesale items that are hard to get any other way or offer any kind of service that makes it more appealing to a person than purchasing this item elsewhere.

Once again I have to say that this is not always the best way to go if you’re a digital nomad
but there are ways to make it work. For example, if you’ve established a working drop shipping business and you don’t have to be on spot, you can definitely be a digital nomad with some decent passive income, managing your business from abroad! Besides that, you can travel with this kind of business as well. Just be mindful of your options.

IDEA #7 Social media monetization / Influencers

Great for you if:
– You looove social media
– You already have a bit more following than your friends
– You’re ready to see your currently “personal” life as your business opportunity

Well, here’s something you might’ve expected all along. Social media monetization is THE method these days to get the passive income in somewhat an easy way. Okay, don’t get me wrong. It’s still TONS of work and it’s never crazy easy. But it is a bit easier than some of the other methods I’ve talked about.

Social media monetization means that you have a following huge enough to sell something for them in a very effective and easy manner. That’d mean tagging companies in your Instagram posts, providing affiliate links in your Twitter and selling products in Facebook live videos.

I just have to warn you in advance that the market for this currently is CROWDED. There are SO many people who are striving to monetize their social media that you really have to be a BOMB to stand out. Making pretty photos and following-unfollowing is so 2000s. Now, if you really want to grow your social media and monetize them in a way that’ll let you be location independent, you should provide unique value, fun point of view or anything similar that will make people remember you.

So the best bet to start social media monetization fast and easy is if you already have at least 10K followers on your preferred social media. It’s a decent start! But you can always do better. So start working.


IDEA #8 E-books

Great for you if:
– Writing is your jam
– Writing like REALLY is your jam
– You have an interesting, creative or anyhow unique idea to put into an ebook

A while ago I documented my experiment of e-book writing as a starter, sharing some tips and ideas for those who are interested in this kind of thing. My main conclusion from this experience was that anyone CAN write an e-book, as long as you have the idea and the willingness to make it happen.

It’s important to understand that the e-book writing can make you crazy rich only if you have crazy good ideas or a huge crowd of existing fans.

At the same time, it’s an amazing way to get some additional income rolling each in a very passive way because once your book is written, there’s not much more to do.

Let’s say you write an e-book, price it at $8.99, put it on Amazon and share it with your audience. Depending on the topic of the book and a dose of your luck, you can get a decent few hundreds per month for this book. Of course, it also depends on your marketing skills and how good the book really is.


IDEA #9 Ads

Great for you if:
– you already have a well-known blog, Youtube or any similar account
– you’re interested in starting and growing a blog
– you’re not into product creation

Using ads for additional income is another great way to do it without much of your own effort, as long as you have a blog or you’re interested in starting one!

There are many different online ad providers that give you the revenue either per click or per view. One of the biggest players in the game is Google AdSense but there are many other options to choose from.

Using ads on a new blog can be a very tricky move. Very often, ads annoy people and as a new blogger, you really want them to stay for longer instead of rushing away.

Normally, you’d need at least 10K monthly traffic to earn a few hundred per month. Also, most of the bigger and better ad networks request at least 20K monthly views to join.

Once you’ve gained consistent traffic and trustful audience – that’s when ads can pay off!


IDEA #10 Work remotely

How about working remotely for the last of digital nomad income ideas?

Many people confuse freelancing with remote work although they are slightly different and really can offer you various options.

Working remotely means working for one company at a time for a full or half-time under a consistent contract, with additional benefits, just like it would be for your usually 9-to-5 contract but… better – because remote work includes location independence.

The main difference between freelancing and working remotely is a trustful source of income. There are all kinds of remote positions and they’re becoming more and more popular in many different positions. If you currently have a 9-to-5 job that could be a remote position – give it a shot!

If you’re planning to quit anyway or would like to change something, sooner or later, make sure to suggest your boss this option to work remotely. This would mean taking your tasks on the road. You’d still be by your computer (if we assume that it’s your current position), you’d still be getting things done but on your own terms regarding when and where they get done (as long as you meet all the deadlines, of course).

It can be a lot easier with companies who are already practicing working remotely and maybe even the whole company is remote. The good news is – there are many of them! For example, check out this page.

Course Creation Lab: Turn Your Offline Experience into Online Income

Have you tried or plan to try any of these digital nomad income ideas? Let me know in the comments!


  • Sarah
    October 17, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I’m working on a couple of these. I’ll check out your recommended links. Thanks!

    • Ieva Laicane
      October 17, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Best of luck in your journey, Sarah!

  • Theresa Marie Daily
    October 17, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Wow these are awesome tips! & I’m loving the word ‘digital nomad.’ I’ve honestly never heard it before! These tips are super helpful and I’m definitely going to save this and also share it with others! (:

    • Ieva Laicane
      October 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Yay! I’m happy you found them useful and inspiring 🙂

  • Stephanie
    October 17, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    These are some good ideas. I love how flexible the internet has made working for those who want to take advantage of it.

    • Ieva Laicane
      October 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      That’s so true! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  • Nicole
    October 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Ieva! Do I have to download the freebie to get the rest of the 10 methods? (Only 4 shown here).
    Also, regarding e-commerce: since creating/producing your own product can be difficult and time-consuming, you can always create an e-commerce store in which the fulfillment is taken care of by drop-shippers or a fulfillment center (re-sell items that you buy wholesale). Then, you just have to manage the web-hosting/design, marketing, and customer service.

    • Ieva Laicane
      October 23, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hi, Nicole,

      Sorry for my delayed response. Yes, the full guide is downloadable and dropshipping is another way of getting income I’ve mentioned there 🙂

  • Dwi
    July 31, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Wow that’s so a lot to do.. It’s so nice info to get what I desire

  • Maya
    April 24, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Hi Leva

    These are awesome tips! I am interested in some of the ideas that you have mentioned. I am considering blogging as one of the options that could fit into my skills and lifestyle but I have one question: In 2020, would you recommend starting a blog? Is it really worth it? I feel like there are tons of Vloggers on Youtube especially, as well as bloggers. I am aware that anyone could do it and has something to share but isn’t that “overcrowded”? I would just like to have your views on that. 🙂

    • ievalaicane
      April 25, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      Hey, Maya!

      Great question indeed and I’m excited to give you my insights on this!

      I’ve been blogging since 2015 and ever since the day I got into full-time blogging I’ve been reading and hearing questions like yours.
      All starters have the same concerns… If everybody is going it, how can I stand out?! And is it really worth it?!!?

      It’s been 5 years and blogging sphere hasn’t changed much, honestly. It’s just as saturated and just as full with starters coming in and doubting themselves.

      No matter the time, I think blogging is SUPER viable. It’s a great source of content marketing. Yes, there are more and more blogs made every day but there are also more and more Google searches! More and more people getting on social media… It might be overwhelming but it’s the reality, we do seek info online. And we trust fellow bloggers! Even ones without huge following or big names.

      The baseline is, as long as you gather YOUR tribe and people who want to hear YOUR opinion, blogging is an amazing way to sell your skills, products, knowledge or just grow a tribe! So yes, I absolutely stand by the idea that starting a blog in 2020 STILL is an amazing idea, even more than ever.


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