To get the most out of being a digital nomad, you have to have a successful source of income.
You probably know my thoughts on this topic if you have read the previous parts of this article series.
This means we can move on without talking about what you shouldn’t do and move on to actually building a successful source of income, that should cover all of your travel expenses.
The formula to follow is this:
Start with affiliate marketing and slowly move up to drop shipping after which you will be ready to launch your own e-commerce website or service.
This has proven to be the way to go for myself and many people I stay in touch with, who are also traveling and working online or simply good at building online businesses.
But why exactly is this the way to go?
Let’s take a look at each of these types of business in detail.
To start off, you want to look for something that doesn’t need a huge investment in order to get things going.
Also, at this point, you still have a lot to learn. I mean, a lot!
Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a commission from each item sold thru your marketing efforts.
Which means you don’t have to invest in a physical product, which would cost you even more if you are not able to sell the product.
Affiliate marketing is like the first step on the mountain of E-commerce!
While working as an affiliate marketer, you will have the chance to learn skills that are crucial not only for affiliate marketing success but also for the work you will be taking on in the future.
Some of the skills I am talking about here are: SEO, market research, guest post communication, content creation, social marketing, email marketing etc,
What is more, you will understand in what direction to look when choosing the best niche for your business!
This could be more important than you think, therefore it is good to make your first mistakes while working with a relatively small personal investment.
Keep in mind, you have plenty of opportunities while working as an affiliate marketer, so don’t think that you will be restricted to marketing only a certain range of products.
My personal favorite? Without a doubt, it has to be the Amazon Affiliate Program.
The downside to building an affiliate marking site?
The fact that you are only earning a set commission which is a commission from each sale that comes from your site. So when you are ready, it could be time to take the next step.
Great resources that I recommend if you want to read more about Amazon Affiliate and niche sites:
Drop shipping Business
Drop shipping is actually pretty similar to what affiliate marketing is all about, sort of.
The difference is that you market a product on your own site and sell to the customer but you don’t ever have the product yourself. In other words, you don’t have any logistics costs (no warehouse).
Customer thinks you are the manufacturer but in truth: you order from manufacturer (for example aliexpress) and manufacturer sends the product to customer directly on behalf of your brand (website).
This process has been made particularly easy with Shopify which allows you to link your customers to the manufacturers without too much hassle.
Plus, in this case, you get to set the price for the products you sell while you only have to cover the expenses that are set by the manufacturer. Of course, there’s the monthly payment for using such services as Shopify.
Everything else, as I said, is pretty similar. You have to work with SEO, content creation and different forms of marketing in order to sell the products.
Plus now you will learn everything about great user experience (UX), conversion optimization, branding, e-commerce and A/B testing.
Also, just as with affiliate marketing, drop shipping turns out to be a good enough source of income for many travelers. And there is a good chance that you will be able to make enough, to not take the next step.
However, if you are looking forward to building an actual business and sell branded goods, created by you, you will want to go even further.
Your own e-commerce site
As I have said before, my goal is to build a business that lasts.
This is something I knew early on, but I was willing to put in the work with affiliate marketing, in order to learn new skills and have a better experience.
Building an e-commerce site is the ultimate goal and of course, it asks for a lot of work to be done.
Starting from contacting manufacturers, creating a product, shipping and storing it, all the way to selling it in large enough quantities, to make it all profitable.
What you need to understand is that building a successful e-commerce website is not impossible.
And you can do it if you follow the right steps that can lead you to success.
Don’t get me wrong, there are always things that you have to do it your way. To make it unique and more appealing to new customers.
Just make sure to avoid making mistakes so many others have made before you.
Take one step at a time
One of the biggest mistakes people make when building an online business is going all in on an e-commerce site, before learning the basics.
This is why it is important to take one step at a time and start by working as an affiliate marketer and slowly moving forward.
If you follow this path, there is no doubt, that you will learn all of the skills you need, in order to make your site a success.
While working on smaller projects, you will also get a better idea of what niches are worth considering. I mean, it seems like a good idea to sell sneakers for example, just because there is a huge market.
But, you have to understand, that you won’t be able to beat Nike or Adidas in this game.
The same goes for different kinds of products.
So be smart about choosing a niche, that suits you well, that is profitable and within which, you are actually able to do your work without well-known brands putting you down on your back.
If you do that, success will come.
And the best thing about this is, that you’ll have a business, that is sustainable and provides an income for years to come.
My personal takeaway?
Almost all income (about 80%) that covers my travel expenses comes from affiliate marketing and different niche websites. If you just started and are looking for ways how to earn money online I would suggest going this path.
In the beginning, you can just forget about Google Adsense, owning an e-commerce website or selling eBooks. It’s not worth it if you’re new in the game.
If you are interested in a more detailed (really in-depth) guides about affiliate marketing, income reports, monetizing your site just leave a comment below that this would interest you.