Working from home naturally comes with the benefits of freedom and flexibility. If you are a parent, live in a rural area, want to travel – or just want to work in your PJs, then remote work is the way to go.
So how do you start your remote job search that would lead to your dream remote job?
There are several freelancer sites where you can quickly create a profile, showcase your skills, and start applying to promising remote job listings in minutes.
However, remote employees would be the first to tell you that finding the perfect remote job isn’t easy.
If anything, remote candidates and remote job seekers find it more challenging at times to land a remote job interview compared to facing hiring managers handling traditional job boards in a typical office environment.
All’s not lost though. There are ways to conquer the challenges you might encounter in your remote job application process, such as how to understand a remote job board and how to find a remote job that’s open to aspiring remote employees without any previous experience.
The key is to learn how to seize remote opportunities and find remote job postings offering full time positions or even just part-time remote work.
Today, one of the most popular job boards for remote workers is Upwork. In this post, I’ll be sharing some strategies on how to get noticed on one of the world’s largest freelance sites that offer remote positions.
Your first remote position
If you’re new to freelancing or working from anywhere / working remotely, you don’t always know the best way to get started with remote work.
First, you need to determine what kind of remote job or remote role will work for you. Even if this will be your first remote job as you have no experience working online, I believe anyone can transfer the offline real-world skills and experience from your regular job into a remote job.
It’s also good to know more about who you are and what type of remote work will be rewarding and geared specifically for your skill set and remote job personality. That way, you can find ways to thrive working remotely.
Once you’ve identified your ideal remote career path, including the type of remote work culture you’re looking for in remote companies and a remote team, whether you prefer flexible jobs or you’re the type of remote employee who wants a fully remote role, and all the companies hiring in your field or, at least the best remote jobs that fit the remote roles you think you can handle, the next step is to create your freelancer profile on Upwork — arguably the most daunting task for most job seekers when finding remote jobs, especially the perfect remote job.
What is Upwork?
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a freelancing platform headquartered in California. The company was formed after a merger of two top freelancing platforms, Elance and oDesk, and rebranded to Upwork in 2015.
Upwork is a marketplace for remote talent from all over the globe. Employers and remote companies seeking to build a remote team or create in house roles, such as project management, virtual assistants, customer success agents, and tech jobs, can post on the job board and freelancers looking for remote positions can create a profile, essentially a resume, online and apply to the remote job postings.
Employers can also search for remote job applicants with your skills based on the job description and invite you to apply for the role.
Upwork has millions of freelancers enjoying the benefits of remote jobs. Finding a remote job on very crowded remote job boards can feel like a needle in the haystack.
But there are ways to find your way to the top remote job that doesn’t involve winging it. With thousands (or even millions) of remote job applications sent out to seize the same remote job opportunities, it can be easy to simply give up the dream of working remotely.
Applying to several remote jobs without a strategy, hoping to get noticed, will only lead to frustration. Worse, your job search would lead to wasted efforts and no remote job landed at all.
So, how do you land that work from anywhere remote job on Upwork?
Setting up your profile on Upwork: A step-by-step guide to getting noticed
First, let’s start with creating a profile. Then, we’ll dive into the strategy behind getting the first job.
To prepare, you’ll want to have a good headshot photo for your profile. The headshot photo should have good lighting and look professional. In other words, copying over a picture from Facebook with friends at a party is not likely going to appear professional.
You’ll want to have a photo of your face with nothing distracting in the background and no torn or too-casual attire.
Step 1: Go to Upwork.com and click the Sign Up button on the top right. Or, go to https://www.upwork.com/signup/
Step 2: Select the option “I am a freelancer looking for work” and Apply as a Freelancer.
Step 3: Follow the steps in the signup form to get started. Enter your full name and email address, select a password and click Create my Account.
Step 4: Enter your country of residence and fill out the fields to get started creating your profile. You will need to agree to terms of service, create a user name and verify your email.
Step 5: Select your main field of work. Click the drop-down menu under the “What are the main services you offer to clients?” heading, and select your area of expertise.
Note: You can select up to 4 different sub-fields after selecting your main field.
Step 6: Enter your professional skills. Click the text field under the “What skills do you offer clients?” heading, and enter your skills related to the type of work you want to do. A drop-down list will show matching skills as you type. You can click a skill to add it.
Step 7: Select your level of experience. Select Entry Level if you’re just starting out with the skills you selected; Intermediate if you have some experience already with those skills; Expert if you have substantial work experience in your field.
Step 8: Did you get your headshot photo ready? Next you’ll want to upload your professional profile photo. Be sure to smile!
This is where we start getting into strategy… but first, let’s define the steps and then we can go back.
Step 9: Enter a professional title for your profile that describes the work you do. Then, write a summary of your skills, experience, and interests.
Step 10: Enter your education and employment history.
Step 11: Select your proficiency level in English. If you don’t know your English level, there are free tests online.
Step 12: Enter your hourly rate and your availability or the hours per week that you can work. See below for setting your rate.
Step 13: Enter your address and click submit. Upwork has a verification process to make sure you are who you say you are, but now you’re ready to get rolling!
Strategies for landing your first work from anywhere job on Upwork
Now that your profile has been created, as promised, we will get into the strategies landing that first job on Upwork.
First it’s important to know how it works from the employer’s perspective.
When an employer posts a job, they get dozens of applications within 1-2 days. Typically, the employer wants to find someone for short-term work, and quickly.
They need help with graphic design, market research, data entry, and so on. There are also cases in which they may be looking for an admin part or full time and long term.
Employers can search for talent based on: location, English level, time on platform, number of jobs completed successfully, hourly rate, reviews, and rankings.
This can feel like a disadvantage when you’re just starting out. The trick is to build out your profile and your work experience history with good reviews on Upwork.
There are a few key strategies that will help you get started and to stick out from the rest of the pack.
Be quick to apply
Upwork is a platform with millions of freelancers all competing for the same jobs. So, timing can be a factor.
Strike when the iron is hot. Employers will review candidate submissions typically in the first couple of days and make a decision to interview or hire. Try to be one of the first in their inbox.
Don’t apply to all jobs
Decide what you want to focus on. If you choose accounting, for example, but you apply to marketing jobs (because you have marketing on your resume), your chances of getting hired are lowered.
Also, don’t aim for the big salary jobs first if you’re looking to build your profile. You can also start out with short term projects to build your profile, then apply for longer term higher paying jobs.
Freelancing can lead you to a long term career, but think of yourself as a business owner marketing yourself.
Setting the right rate
You should get paid what you’re worth. However, remember that this is a platform with millions of freelancers.
If you go up against someone with the same rate and years of experience, but they have 10 reviews and you have none, they will likely be chosen over you.
Employers rely on Upwork’s rating system to give good feedback from the community about the performance of the freelancer.
If, however, you set your rate to 20%, for example, below your value, and say on your profile that you are starting out to build your ratings, you increase your chances.
As an employer 1) you can spend less money upfront for a short project or to test someone out 2) this person could potentially grow with your company.
If you’re willing to do the work for less to get your foot in the door, you can grow your reviews and increase your rate over time.
That being said, if you lower your rate, don’t let that affect your motivation. Work extra hard to get those first 5 star reviews. It will pay off.
Always work hard, of course, and be a rockstar and serve your clients and give your fullest to these jobs. But, in the first few gigs, this is crucial.
Unique cover letter
Some employers ask for a cover letter. This is to weed out people who have human bots applying to every job, spraying and praying to see what lands.
Even so, many people have just created cover letter templates to copy/paste.
Here’s one example:
Dear sir/madam, I’ve studied your requirements and I’m confident I can do the job.
I see this a lot and just ignore them. What this means is that the applicant didn’t take any time at all to review your job. It shows they are not serious about working with my company and tells me about how they would perform on the job. Don’t do this!
Again, don’t apply for all jobs. Take a minute to review the job requirements and whether a letter is required or not, send a quick cover letter. In this cover letter, really let the person know that you read their job description and why you are qualified. Not just qualified, but you can completely wow them.
Hi Mike, I see you want to create an ad on facebook and that you’re in healthcare. I’ve been in marketing for 4 years and i have created 50 successful ads, 20 of those were focused on healthcare. i know your industry well and I know facebook ads marketing. I’d love to talk about how I can help you guys out. I’m new to Upwork and creating my profile so I’m happy to do a lower rate to prove myself. I have between 2-5 pm EST this week for a call. does that fit your availability?
This shows that you not only took the time to know the industry they are in, but also what they are aiming to accomplish, specifically why YOU can do it, and, you called the hiring manager by name.
Notice you aren’t begging for work here either. You’re positioning yourself like a busy professional by telling him your schedule, while also being flexible to adjust for a call.
Getting your first work from anywhere job / remote job / work from home job etc – working online – takes a bit of work.
However, millions are doing it and it’s very possible – and the ultimate rewarding lifestyle. From 2014 to 15, I worked with Upwork (Elance then Elance-oDesk) to help startups and other companies inside of WeWork to hire remote talent to grow their businesses.
Employers want to get straight to the best talent, and quickly (which is why fullstackremote was created).
Knowing how the employer thinks and being willing to put yourself out there and work your way up, while this takes time, it is well worth it to start your career freelancing or just generally working from anywhere. If you are just starting out, or want to increase your skills in a particular area, check out Courses for remote jobs.
I believe that anyone who wants to work remotely should be able to do so, and you can!
A laptop is a digital nomad’s best friend. Most remote workers can get by with virtually any type of laptop, but that’s not the case for digital nomads. Finding the best laptops for digital nomads is a top priority if you want to have a smooth sailing remote work experience. Besides, it’s called a “laptop lifestyle” for a reason!
It’s your office, your library, your entertainment center, and your lifeline to the rest of the world. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you.
Not only do you need a working lightweight laptop, but you need the right kind of laptop for your digital nomad lifestyle.
The best laptops for remote workers who are also digital nomads have some unique characteristics, so budget laptops that suit work-from-home needs may not be enough.
What to Look for in a Digital Nomad Laptop
Every digital nomad has different requirements when it comes to remote work. Some digital nomads prefer Windows laptops while others want Apple laptops.
There are those who want to limit their search to the best budget laptops and lightest laptop lists while others want to look for powerful laptop and performance laptop options.
Most digital nomads prefer an ultraportable laptop, weighing under 3.5 pounds. The best laptop is compact and won’t weigh you down (or break your back) when you’re on the move.
Ideally, the best lightweight laptop for a digital nomad on the road would be something you can easily and conveniently use in tight spaces such as airplanes.
When you’re working from anywhere, you need a laptop with long battery life. Look for laptops with at least 8 hours of battery life. This digital nomad laptop will give you enough power to get through a full day of work, even if you’re not near an outlet.
When checking this detail on a performance laptop or a budget laptop, make sure to look at third-party reviews because manufacturers tend to exaggerate details in terms of battery power.
Another important factor to consider is connectivity. If you’re going to be working from different places, the best laptop for working can connect to the internet no matter where you are.
Look for digital nomad laptops with built-in LTE or at least have the option to add an external modem. This way, you won’t have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot when you’re on the go.
The processor is the heart of the best digital nomad laptops, so you need to make sure it’s powerful enough to handle all your work needs.
For digital nomad laptops, an Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processor should be more than enough. Anything less may lead to a laggy remote working laptop that can’t keep up with you.
You also need to think about storage capacity when choosing the best laptops for digital nomads.
If you plan to work with large files or store a lot of data, the best digital nomad laptop options have at least a 256GB solid-state drive. This will ensure your laptop’s storage space can keep up with you, no matter where you are.
Replacing a laptop while on the go is not fun. You want a thin laptop that’s durable enough that it won’t snap in half when you’re lugging it around in your backpack exploring a remote tropical island.
Outstanding laptops not only have amazing battery life and cool features but also have a long-lasting build. This includes an aluminum chassis, reinforced corners, and a sturdy hinge. You’ll thank me later.
Of course, price is always a factor to consider when choosing a reliable laptop. The good news is that there are plenty of light laptop and quality laptop options on the market that won’t break the bank.
However, if you plan on using your laptop for more demanding tasks, you may need to invest in a more expensive top performance laptop and splurge on higher specs than a normal laptop like a full HD monitor display, more powerful Intel core processor, laptop accessories, and even additional USB C ports.
The Best Laptops for Digital Nomads
Now that you know what to look for in a digital nomad laptop, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the best options on the market.
Keep in mind, though, that a particular laptop that I consider the best laptop for working as a digital nomad might not be the best option for you.
So, I’ll break up each laptop recommendation based on the type of remote worker you are and what you will use the laptop for as a digital nomad.
Whether you’re searching for a budget laptop, a more versatile laptop, the most lightweight and ultraportable, or the one with the most high-end specs, this guide got you covered.
Overall Best Laptop for Digital Nomads: MacBook Air
You’re probably not at all shocked to see the new MacBook Air at the top of the list of best laptops for digital nomads. After all, it is a fan favorite among remote workers. And for good reason, too.
The MacBook Air is one of the most well-rounded laptops on the market.
This affordable laptop won’t blow you away with incredibly high-tech specs, but it’s more than enough for a digital nomad to do practically everything you need it to–and do it well.
It’s lightweight and ultraportable at just 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg), making it easy to carry with you wherever you go.
Offering a fantastic battery life, the Apple MacBook Air has a new M1 chip that can guarantee up to 18 hours of power on a single charge. The long hours of battery life are clutch for digital nomads who are working remotely in areas with no or limited outlets.
The build quality is second to none, as you would expect from a MacBook, making it a durable laptop.
Unlike most laptops, the aluminum chassis is sturdy and the keyboard can withstand some serious abuse. In other words, it’s the perfect laptop for those who are constantly on the go and need a machine that can keep up with them.
The base model is offered at 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, which is already extensive for an average user. You can customize it if you need more, but at that point, it might be a better idea to simply buy a MacBook Pro.
If you’re someone who does graphics-intensive work, such as photo editing or editing 4K videos, then you’ll most likely want to buy something more powerful.
Overall, if you’re simply looking for an all-around great laptop that won’t break the bank, the MacBook Air is one of the best options out there for digital nomads.
Best Laptop for Digital Nomads in Tech: Huawei Matebook 13
It might be heartbreaking to pry yourself away from your state-of-the-art machine at home, something you’ve built to be so fast and powerful it could easily fly you to Mars and back.
But, the digital nomad life is beckoning. That means you need to downsize and streamline.
Huawei has been slowly breaking into the laptop world and is becoming one of the most reliable names when it comes to building high-tech, reliable machines.
The Huawei Matebook 13 is an excellent representation of that reputation.
This is one of the more distinctive laptops on the market thanks to its 3:2 aspect-ratio touchscreen, which is a feature that only a handful of devices offer.
The Huawei Matebook 13 also has one of the best HD camera features on the market, which is something that’s often overlooked but can be incredibly important for digital nomads who rely on video conferencing for work.
It’s great for light gaming and can even handle some more intensive games if you’re willing to lower the graphics settings.
Moreover, the MateBook 13 is compact and surprisingly portable despite being described as a flagship laptop powered like a gaming laptop. Plus, it has an incredible battery life of almost 9 hours.
Weighing only about 2.87 pounds (1.3 kg) and measuring roughly half an inch thin, this lightweight laptop barely takes up space in your backpack but still manages to deliver a powerful performance.
Basically, this laptop can do almost everything–a jack of all trades among the best laptops for digital nomads.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Digital Nomads: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible is one of the best laptops for digital nomads who aren’t big fans of Apple. In fact, others would claim that it outshines the MacBook in some areas.
For one, the Dell XPS 13 is lighter and even more compact compared to the already very lightweight MacBook Air.
It comes with a 14+ hour battery life, which is a bit longer than the 15-hour battery life of a MacBook with Intel chips.
Unfortunately, it cannot compete with the battery life offered by the new Apple M1 chip.
With that in mind, how often do you actually require over 15 hours of battery life without charging anyway?
Its InfinityEdge HDR is one of the very few laptop screens that can go head-to-head against Mac’s retina display. Plus, the Dell XPS 13 comes with convenient anti-reflective technology.
This is a great feature for digital nomads looking to complete some remote work tasks while lounging around on the beach.
The 2-in-1 feature turns this version of Dell XPS 13 into a transformer-esque gadget that can change from a laptop to a tablet in seconds, offering you a dual-computer solution.
The tablet configuration of the Dell XPS 13 lets you use the attached stylus to drag, draw, and tap to your heart’s content.
And, there’s no need to worry about the screen since Dell secured it by using Corning Gorilla Glass that would most likely survive a coconut falling on it (don’t test this at home!).
Best Laptop for Digital Nomad Creatives: MacBook Pro
If you want to ramp things up a notch, go for the MacBook Air’s big brother: the MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Pro is arguably the most powerful option among the Apple laptops and it comes with an impressively strong processor, heaps of RAM, and all the shiny bells and whistles that you’d ever want from a brand new laptop…and then some.
When you buy a MacBook Pro, you can choose between the Intel core processors or the new Apple M1 chip.
Between the two, the M1 chip comes at a lower price tag and practically double the battery life. So, I recommend this option for digital nomads.
In terms of size, the MacBook Pro is just about the same size as the Air. It’s a bit heavier at 3 pounds (1.3 kg), but the performance it delivers is well worth the extra weight.
For most people, the MacBook Air is enough. But digital nomads who are into intensive video editing and photo editing might want the power of the MacBook Pro.
The downside of the MacBook Pro is obvious: it’s more expensive than the other laptops for digital nomads.
Given its price point, you might get a bit more paranoid about getting it damaged to stolen while traveling. That said, if you’re a remote worker who needs the power of the MacBook Pro to get things done, then you’ll thank yourself for opting for quality.
Basically, the Pro is like the MacBook Air on steroids. It has a better display, more customization alternatives, louder speakers, a larger trackpad, and, of course, more processing power. On top of these, it gives you 20 hours of long battery life!
Ultimately, it all boils down to how crucial are these extra features to your life as a digital nomad.
If they’re vital to your remote work, then don’t hesitate to go for the MacBook Pro. You won’t be disappointed.
If you can live without them, then save your cash and opt for the MacBook Air (or the other non-Apple options here on the list).
Best Laptop for Digital Nomads on a Budget: Lenovo Flex 5 14″
If you want a quality portable laptop but are on a tight budget, then you can’t go wrong in choosing the Lenovo Flex 5 14.
While it’s not as powerful as the other laptops on this list, you can still complete day-to-day tasks. You may not want to edit videos or even photos on this bad boy, but it can work perfectly fine for most remote work projects.
Actually, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 comes with a flip-around screen and a stylus. While it’s not as small and portable as the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, the tablet mode still makes this model convenient to use on flights and in cramped spaces.
While it’s chunkier than the other ultraslim laptops listed above, Lenovo Flex 5 14 boasts a dongle-free experience thanks to its two USB-A ports, USB-C port, HDMI port, and SD card reader. That’s actually an edge it has against the likes of the MacBook Air.
All in all, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 is a starter laptop for remote workers and digital nomads.
Although it is a bit heavier, has a slightly less bright screen, and has unimpressive battery life, this is still a good laptop for digital nomads on a tight budget.
What’s the best laptop for digital nomads?
The best laptop for digital nomads ultimately comes down to your remote work requirements, budget, and preferred features.
If you’re a remote worker who’s only starting out and still don’t have the extra cash to splurge on one of the best laptops for digital nomads, then budget laptops with decent to long battery life can be great starter devices.
But, if your budget allows you to spend on a more powerful machine, go for one of the best laptops for digital nomads on the market. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.
Not only will it make your life easier, but you’ll also be able to work more efficiently and enjoy better results.
After all, your livelihood depends on it. So choose wisely and enjoy the journey!
Being on a beach and making money from a laptop is the dream of thousands of aspiring digital nomads. With just a laptop and an internet connection, digital nomads can work from anywhere in the world – whether they’re exploring Europe, soaking up the sun in Southeast Asia, or enjoying a coffee in a local cafe.
Of course, becoming a digital nomad is not as simple as packing your bags and saying goodbye to your cubicle. There are a few things you need to do before you can start living a digital nomad life.
What is a digital nomad?
The best way to become a digital nomad is to first understand what it is and what it isn’t. Contrary to popular belief, being a digital nomad doesn’t mean working from a laptop on a beach somewhere and sipping cocktails (though that is certainly part of it). It’s actually a lot more than that.
A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to make a living, whether that’s through freelance work, online businesses, or some other form of income. The key defining factor is that they’re location independent, which means they can work from anywhere in the world.
Basically, a digital nomad is a term used for people who travel the world with a laptop and a backpack. It used to primarily mean young professionals and entrepreneurs who could up and leave, travel somewhere warm and inexpensive, and play geographical arbitrage with where to live/work.
But the truth is that anyone can become a digital nomad, even with no prior experience or skills. I started LiveWorkAnywhere in 2007 with the goal of figuring out how to become a digital nomad. I bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica in 2009 and never looked back.
I learned the hard way, on low-bandwidth, shared Internet, and before smartphones existed. I want to help you navigate the hurdles I experienced and get you living the digital nomad lifestyle now.
We’ve come a very long way to 2022. Really, with high-speed Internet being abundant and everyone having a laptop and smartphone, there’s no excuse not to become a digital nomad. The only obstacles typically are planning and preparation, and taking the leap.
I still have the same mission – for every single person to be able to become a digital nomad and be location independent if they choose.
So if you’re curious about digital nomadism or want to become a digital nomad, here’s everything you need to know.
First things first – let’s start with the basics.
Who is a digital nomad?
The term “digital nomad” conjures images of 20-somethings working on their laptops from exotic beaches, but the reality is that anyone can become a digital nomad. As of 2022, almost half of digital nomads across the globe are in their 30s, with roughly 35% being in the 40-59 age group.
A digital nomad is simply someone who works remotely, without being tied to a specific location. This can be done by working for a remote company, or by running a location-independent business.
A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely, often from different locations around the world. This can mean anything from working on your laptop at a coffee shop in Paris to running a business from your RV as you travel across America. There are many benefits to being a digital nomad, including the ability to work from anywhere in the world and the freedom to create your own schedule.
The key defining factor of a digital nomad is that they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.
Simply, it’s a person with a laptop who works online and has the freedom to be anywhere, anytime.
Digital nomadism is a rapidly growing lifestyle with more and more people looking to escape the traditional workforce and live a laptop lifestyle.
Before learning how to become a digital nomad, it’s important to understand the two types of digital nomads:
Type One: The digital nomad who wants to live the laptop lifestyle but also maintains a home base. They often have an apartment or condo in a city they frequently return to.
Type Two: The digital nomad who wants to travel the world and work from anywhere. They often have no permanent home base, living out of a suitcase most of the time.
The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone – it takes a lot of planning, self-discipline, and motivation. But if you’re looking for freedom, flexibility, and adventure, digital nomadism might be for you.
Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about digital nomads:
What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
I’d love to tell you that being a digital nomad is all rainbows and butterflies. But, as with everything, you have to balance the good and the bad. Before you decide if you truly want to become a digital nomad, it’s crucial to know the pros and cons of the nomad life.
Pros of becoming a digital nomad
The digital nomad lifestyle is often romanticized as a life of constant travel and adventure. While it’s true that digital nomads do enjoy a great deal of freedom, there are also some very practical benefits to this lifestyle.
One of the biggest advantages is that it allows you to be with your family when they need you and without having to sacrifice your career. With traditional jobs, it can be difficult to take time off for family emergencies or even just for quality time together.
But with a digital nomad lifestyle, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. That means that if your family needs you, you can be there for them without having to worry about work because of your location independence.
As for those with young children, you can even homeschool them while you travel the world and work remotely. So if you’re looking for a way to balance your career and your family life, the digital nomad lifestyle is an excellent option.
Another major advantage of being a digital nomad is the ability to make money from anywhere across the globe online – and, never have to stop exploring the planet. The digital nomad life is the perfect way to see the world and have amazing adventures while getting paid to do it.
Being a digital nomad means having a remote job, which allows you to live a nomadic lifestyle. That means you can move around and travel as you please.
Plus, you have the freedom and flexibility to work on your own schedule. You’re your own boss, so you can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.
One more benefit for digital nomads is that there’s no such thing as office politics. No more water cooler gossip, no more backstabbing colleagues, and no more worrying about what your boss thinks of you. No more having to tiptoe around the delicate egos of your co-workers or kiss up to the boss in hopes of getting a raise.
Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t any politics in the digital world – after all, there are still plenty of people vying for attention and clients. But digital nomads are quick to point out that politics are very different when you’re not dealing with people face-to-face.
When you work online, though, it’s easier to focus on improving productivity, becoming more efficient remote workers, and honing their digital nomad skills to land highly coveted remote jobs.
Finally, the digital nomad life is often one of increased motivation and effectiveness their remote jobs. Whether it’s the stunning beaches of Bali or the rolling hills of Tuscany, there’s no doubt that working surrounded by natural beauty can be a huge boost to creativity and productivity.
Being able to work remotely means that nomads are not tied to one location and can choose to work from wherever they desire. This flexibility often leads to nomads seeking locations that offer stunning natural beauty, as the peaceful surroundings can help boost their innovative spirit and ingenuity.
After all, there’s nothing quite like working from a sun-drenched beach or a snowy mountain cabin to get the creative juices flowing.
Cons of becoming a digital nomad
The nomadic life isn’t for everyone. It isn’t all Instagrammable avocado toast and #wanderlust. In fact, most digital nomads eventually crumble under pressure and give up on their nomadic dream. For those who manage to stick it out, there are a few disadvantages to contend with.
First, there’s the matter of constantly being on the move. Remote work may be freeing in some respects, but it can also be exhausting. You never really get to put down roots anywhere, and you’re always saying goodbye to friends and colleagues.
Second, there’s the issue of isolation. Most digital nomads work remotely, which means they don’t have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers or meet new people on a regular basis. When you’re living out of a suitcase, it can be difficult to connect with people on a deeper level.
Third, it can be really tough to stay focused when you’re constantly on the move. There’s no such thing as a “normal” day when you’re a nomad, which can make it hard to stick to a routine or get into a productive flow state to quickly fulfill your remote job responsibilities.
Fourth, let’s not forget about all the logistical challenges that come with living a nomadic life – think finding a place to live and work that has good stable internet connection. Whether you’re working from a co-working space in Bali or your van parked in a campsite in Joshua Tree, reliable internet access is not always guaranteed.
This can make it difficult to stay in touch with family and friends back home, as well as stay on top of work deadlines. Living a nomad life often means having to deal with unreliable internet connections and a lack of reliable infrastructure.
Fifth, the nomadic lifestyle has a few hidden costs that can add up quickly, such as health insurance and travel expenses. You’ll need to find a way to pay for your own health insurance. This can be a challenge, as most traditional health insurance plans don’t cover nomads who are constantly on the move.
There are a few options available, such as nomadic insurance plans or international health insurance, but they can be expensive. Make sure to do your research before choosing a plan.
Finally, there’s the question of financial stability. For most digital nomads, being financial unstable is just a part of the package. Remote work gives us the freedom to pick up and move to wherever we want, but it also means saying goodbye to the stability of a regular paycheck.
Because when your income is derived from remote work, there’s always the possibility that you could lose your job or clients at any time. And even if you do have a steady stream of work, the nomadic lifestyle can be expensive, since you’re always on the move and often have to pay for things like accommodation and transport in advance.
So, if you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad, just know that it’s not all glamping and yoga retreats. There’s a lot of hard work and uncertainty involved. For those who live nomadically, financial insecurity is just a fact of life. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Sure, it can be scary not knowing how much money you’ll have coming in each month. But it also teaches us to be resourceful and budget carefully.
Path One: Quit your job and travel the world. This is the path I took and it’s not for everyone. It requires a high-risk tolerance. I tend to leap and then figure out the steps.
Path Two: Transition into digital nomadism gradually. If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can start by working remotely a few days a week. Once you’re comfortable with that, transition into working remotely full-time. You can kick off with a side hustle then move into that or ask your boss for a few days per week to prove you can be productive.
Requesting that arrangement from your boss shouldn’t be a problem. After all, the remote working trend is not new, and it appears to be taking off due to the changes caused by COVID-19.
In 2021, many companies are beginning to offer their employees a chance at permanently being able to do their jobs from home. In 2021, 42% of US employers report that their staff have to work from home. While we have yet to see permanent changes, 66% of the respondents are optimistic that remote work will become a fixture in time.
Path Three: Start a digital nomad business. This is the path most digital nomads prefer as it gives them the most flexibility and freedom. Actually, over 53% of remote workers point out that flexibility is the most highly appreciated perk they enjoy in being a digital nomad. You can work from anywhere, anytime, and don’t have to quit your job.
If you’re ready to take the leap and become a digital nomad, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started and give you an idea on how to become a digital nomad.
Step One: Plan Your Escape
The first step is to plan your escape. For the remote worker, the appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is obvious: freedom. But with that freedom comes a great responsibility: choosing the right destination.
After all, not all remote-friendly destinations are created equal. Some offer access to fast internet and a vibrant community of other remote workers, while others are nothing more than a remote wasteland where you’ll be lucky to find a decent cup of coffee, let alone a strong Wi-Fi signal.
So how do you choose the right destination for your digital nomad adventure?
Some popular digital nomad destinations include:
For starters, there’s Bali. This Indonesian island is a mecca for remote workers, thanks to its laid-back vibes and idyllic setting. Bali has everything a digital nomad could want, from beautiful beaches to jungle trekking and amazing food. Plus, it’s relatively budget-friendly and easy to get around.
If you’re looking for a more urban experience, Taipei is quickly becoming one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in the world. There are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes where remote workers can set up shop, and the city is incredibly easy to navigate. And, thanks to its convenient location and relatively affordable cost of living, Taipei is an ideal base for exploring Asia.
Another popular digital nomad destination is Thailand, and it’s not hard to see why. The country has a great climate, friendly people, and plenty of remote work opportunities. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to live here, which is important for location-independent workers who need to watch their bottom line.
Meanwhile, remote workers who are looking for a change of scenery will find Puerto Rico appealing with its mix of sun, surf, and culture. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to become a digital nomad in Puerto Rico. There are no special visas or permits required, and the cost of living is relatively low.
Mexico is also a convenient destination for digital nomads who want to be close to the United States. With its close proximity, it’s easy to hop on a plane and head back to the States for a quick work trip or visit with family and friends. And, of course, Mexico is also a popular tourist destination, so you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a beautiful country with plenty of things to do and see.
Barcelona is another great destination for digital nomads. The city has a lively atmosphere and is packed with bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also a number of coworking spaces that offer reliable internet connection, which makes it easy to find a place to work. In addition, Barcelona is well-connected, with excellent public transportation and an airport that offers direct flights to many European cities.
If you have no specific country in mind, you can start your search with the kind of accommodation you envision living in.
For example, what better way to achieve location independence than by living on a boat? While it may sound like a lifestyle reserved for the rich and famous, there are a number of affordable options for would-be digital nomads.
Houseboats, for instance, can often be rented for a fraction of the cost of an apartment, and many marinas offer special rates for long-term tenants.
If you’re a remote worker who wants to take the show on the road, there’s no better option than a yurt. These circular dwellings have been used by nomadic peoples for centuries, and they offer all the comforts of home while still providing a sense of adventure. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to set up and take down, making them the perfect option for the digital nomad who likes to move around frequently.
Most importantly, yurts can be easily adapted to any climate, whether you’re looking to escape the winter cold or enjoy a summer in the mountains. So if you’ve ever dreamed of living a life of location Independence, a yurt just might be the perfect option for you.
Step Two: Quit Your Job (or transition into digital nomadism gradually)
If you’re ready to quit your job and become a digital nomad, here are the steps to take:
Talk to your boss about working remotely. This is becoming more and more common as technology allows us to work from anywhere.
Give notice and start transitioning into working remote a few days a week.
Transition into working remotely full-time.
If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can transition gradually into digital nomadism by:
Working remotely a few days a week.
Taking vacation time to travel and work from different locations.
Starting a digital nomad business.
Step Three: Earn income online
The next step is to generate revenue. There are a few ways digital nomads earn income:
Assess your skillset. What kind of work can you do online? Are you a web developer? A graphic designer? A writer? Once you know what kind of work you can do, start reaching out to clients and employers in your field. Many companies are now open to hiring remote workers, so don’t be afraid to ask around.
Find something you’re good at and start offering your services online. Once you have a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.
Step Four: Get Organized
The next step is to get organized and start planning your travels. Where do you want to go? How long do you want to stay there? What are your accommodation and transport options? Once you have all the logistics sorted, it’s time to hit the road and begin your digital nomad life.
If you choose to become a digital nomad gradually instead of jumping right into it, make sure to set up a workstation in your house with a good internet connection, power outlets, and a comfortable chair.
Step Five: Hit the Road
Now it’s time to hit the road! Start by booking your flight and accommodation. Once you’re in your destination, start looking for co-working spaces, cafes with good WiFi, and places to stay.
How do I make money as a digital nomad?
The digital nomad lifestyle offers a lot of freedom, but it also requires you to be more organized and self-disciplined than the average person. If you can master those two things, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful digital nomad!
There are many ways digital nomads make money while they travel. The most popular include freelancing, consulting, online courses, blogging, and affiliate marketing.
Freelancing is a great way to make money as a digital nomad. You can work in a variety of industries and fields, from writing and editing to web design and development.
To get started, create a profile on a freelancing platform like Upwork or Fiverr. Then, start bidding on projects that interest you. Once you land a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.
Consulting is another great way to make money as a digital nomad. If you have expertise in a particular field, you can offer your services to companies and individuals all over the world.
Another excellent way to generate income as a digital income is through starting a blog. You can monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products like e-books and courses.
Affiliate marketing is also a wonderful way to make money as a digital nomad. It involves promoting other people’s products or services and earning a commission for every sale you make.
To get started, sign up for an affiliate marketing program like Amazon Associates or CJ Affiliate. Then, find products or services that you believe in and start promoting them on your blog or social media channels.
How to earn passive income as a digital nomad
Passive income is the dream, particularly for a digital nomad – you never have to stop traveling. However, setting up passive income takes work.
As a digital nomad, an ideal way to continue funding this lifestyle is to generate passive income. This way, even when you’re not working, you can still earn money.
Investing in real estate as a digital nomad can be a terrific way to generate passive income. It’s the best way that I’ve found over the years to travel and have income. You can buy properties in desirable locations and rent them out to short-term tenants.
Or, you can purchase dividend-paying stocks and bonds or online real estate investment funds that will provide you with regular income payments.
Starting your own online business is also a fantastic way to earn passive income, as digital nomads often have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they can do. A survey among digital nomads worldwide in 2022 revealed that most are self-employed, with more than 65% owning their own business.
For example, you could start an online store that sells products related to your niche. Or, you could launch a blog and sell digital products like e-books and online courses.
There are many different ways digital nomads can generate passive income. By choosing a couple of methods that interest you, you can create a reliable stream of revenue that will help fund your travels for years to come!
If you’re interested in generating passive income as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best ways to do it.
How to find digital nomad jobs?
What are the best digital nomad jobs? Where can you find them?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. The internet has opened up a whole world of opportunities for remote workers. With a little ingenuity and some hard work, it’s possible to find digital nomad jobs that offer the ideal blend of location independence, remote work, and decent income.
The best way to find these jobs is to start by looking at the skills that you already have. That is, the best digital nomad job for you will depend on your skillset, interests, and goals. Wondering where to begin?
To find remote job openings, start by searching job boards and websitesthat specialize in this sector. In the past, remote jobs were mostly reserved for highly skilled professionals with in-demand skills, such as software developers and designers. However, with the rise of the internet and the growing popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle, there are now a number of job boards that target digital nomad communities.
These job boards offer a wide range of remote jobs, from customer service and administrative positions to online marketing and social media jobs. Because they cater to remote workers, they often have a number of free resources online and tips for landing a remote job. If you’re interested in working online, be sure to check out one of these remote job boards.
Once you’ve found a few promising leads, it’s time to start applying. When applying for remote jobs, be sure that your profile matches the job description and highlight your digital nomad skills, such as the ability to work independently and manage your time effectively. With patience and effort, you can land the perfect remote job and start enjoying the freedom of working online.
While this digital nomad lifestyle has a lot of benefits, it can also be difficult to find steady work. That’s why I put together this guide on how to find digital nomad jobs. It features a list of skills, courses, and even personality traits to help you with your digital nomad journey.
The courses include suggestions for those just starting out, or you are already mid-career. You can choose a niche and become highly proficient in that niche.
What kinds of online businesses are best to start for digital nomads?
Digital nomads are a growing breed of entrepreneur. These remote workers are not tethered to a traditional office, and they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. If you’re a digital nomad, or if you’re thinking about becoming one, you might be wondering what kind of online business is best to start. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
There are many different types of businesses digital nomads can start.
A business you can jumpstart immediately is freelancing. If you have skills in writing, web design, social media marketing, or any other area, you can start offering your services to clients online. However, remote work is not for everyone.
If you’re the type of person who needs structure and support in order to get work done, then freelance remote work is probably not for you. You need to be able to motivate and organize yourself in order to be successful in this remote profession.
However, if you’re the type of person who thrives on independence and enjoys being your own boss, then remote work can be an excellent option.
You can offer your services as a virtual assistant. Also known as a VA, a virtual assistant is a remote worker who provides administrative, creative, or technical support to clients from a remote location.
Depending on the freelance clients’ needs, virtual assistants could oversee everything from social media management to graphic design to customer service. Versatility is key when it comes to being a VA. This is a great option if you’re organized, detail-oriented, and good at managing your time.
Another option is to launch a remote job board. This can be a great way to help businesses connect with talented workers from around the globe. To succeed in this business, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the market. You’ll also need to put together an effective marketing strategy to reach your target audience.
One more excellent track for digital nomads is starting an online store. The internet has made it possible for anyone to become an online entrepreneur, and there are a number of platforms that make it easy to get started. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you launch your e-commerce empire.
First, you need to choose a niche. What are you going to sell? For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you could leverage your own blog to sell travel guides or e-books on your website. Second, you need to decide how you’re going to fulfill orders. Are you going to dropship? Finally, you need to establish a remote work schedule and lifestyle that will allow you to run your business effectively.
Fortunately, there are a number of free resources online available to help you get started as a digital nomad. Once you have the basics down, you can start selling your products and services online with relative ease. You can sell physical or digital products related to your niche.
If you’re interested in becoming an online entrepreneur as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best businesses to start.
Where can I find digital nomad communities?
A full-time digital nomad can go anywhere. But, one of the biggest challenges digital nomads face is loneliness.
There’s no shortage of digital nomad communities out there. Digital nomad communities can be found all over the world, from the beaches of Bali to the streets of Berlin. You might say that there are too many of them!
There’s no one digital nomad community – they’re spread all across the globe. You can find digital nomads in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between. There are even digital nomad communities in remote locations, like deserts and mountains. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the perfect one for you.
The first step is to decide what kind of community you’re looking for. Do you want a large, active community with tons of events and activities, or a smaller, more intimate group? There are pros and cons to both choices, so it’s important to decide what’s most important to you.
Once you’ve got a general idea of the kind of community you’re looking for, the next step is to start your search. The best way to find a digital nomad community is to search online. There are a number of online forums and groups dedicated to digital nomads, and many of them are very active.
You can also find digital nomad meetups in most major cities, and these are a great way to meet other digital nomads, gain new friends, and learn about the lifestyle.
Finally, if you’re traveling to a popular digital nomad destination, such as Bali or Chiang Mai, there are likely to be a number of digital nomad communities already established there.
For those who feel chained to their desk by the digital world, digital nomad communities may seem like a far-off dream. However, these digital oases are more common than you might think. Just a few of the most popular include:
NomadBase: A digital nomad community located in Thailand that is open to digital nomads from all over the world.
Nomad House: A digital nomad community located in Spain that offers temporary co-working space and lodging for digital nomads.
The Dojo: A digital nomad community located in Bali that offers a variety of amenities for digital nomads.
So, whether you’re looking for online or in-person digital nomad communities, you should have no trouble finding what you’re looking for.
Digital Nomad Checklist: Guide to Freedom
The digital nomad lifestyle is one of freedom and flexibility, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. There’s more to it than just packing your laptop and heading off into the sunset.
In order to be a successful digital nomad, you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need to stay productive (and sane) while working remotely.
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into the world of remote work, there are a few things you’ll need to check off your list first. Here’s a digital nomad checklist to help you get started:
A good laptop
This is pretty much essential for any digital nomad, so it’s non-negotiable. To find the best laptop for your digital nomad needs, it’s important to do your research.
Remember, not all laptops are created equal. While there are many great laptops on the market, some are better suited for digital nomads than others.
In general, digital nomads should look for laptops that can handle the demands of remote work, such as video conferencing and multitasking, and promise long battery life and a good selection of ports.
If you’re constantly on the go, you’ll want a laptop that’s lightweight and portable. But if you’re mainly working from coffee shops and co-working spaces, you might prefer something with a little more horsepower. And of course, price is always a factor.
It’s vital that you look for a machine that can handle all your work needs whether you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, or web developer, there’s a laptop out there that will suit your needs. You’ll need something reliable to work on, after all!
A good internet connection
Digital nomads are a growing tribe of people who have embraced the freedom of working remotely. Whether it’s for a short-term project or an extended period of travel, digital nomads rely on portable wifi to stay connected and productive.
While the digital nomad lifestyle has its perks, it can also be fraught with challenges, particularly when it comes to finding reliable internet.
Fortunately, there are now some great portable wifi options available for digital nomads, making it easier than ever to stay connected while on the go. Portable wifi hotspots offer a fast, reliable way to get online, whether you’re working from a coffee shop in Bangkok or a hostel in Rio de Janeiro.
Since they rely on cellular data networks instead of wifi hotspots, they’re much more reliable than relying on public wifi. Moreover, the fact that they’re small and lightweight makes them easy to take with you wherever you are in the world.
A place to live
For digital nomads, the world is their oyster – but finding a place to stay can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few great resources that can help digital nomads find housing in their next destination.
First, there are websites specifically devoted to digital nomad housing, like NomadBase and Roam. These sites offer a variety of options, from co-living spaces to private apartments, and they make it easy to find housing that fits your budget and lifestyle.
You can also try search engines like Booking, VRBO, and Airbnb, which often have an extensive selection of digital nomad rentals available for a few weeks or months at a time. Most digital nomads choose co-living spaces specifically designed for the digital nomad lifestyle.
Finally, don’t forget about good old-fashioned networking – tell your friends and family you’re looking for somewhere to stay, and they might be able to show you the ideal place to suit your needs.
A comfortable place to work
You’ll need to be comfortable working remotely. That means being able to stay focused and motivated without an office environment or set hours. You’ll need to find some remote work-friendly spots.
Coffee shops and libraries are always good bets. Some even enjoy working in hotel lobbies. But, co-working spaces are overall the best option for most digital nomads when it comes to remote work.
With the growing number of digital nomads, it comes as no surprise that there are also a growing number of coworking spaces that cater specifically to this group. These coworking spaces often offer features like fast Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, and comfortable seating. In addition, some digital nomad coworking spaces provide amenities like bike storage, showers, and on-site cafes.
One great option is to search for digital nomad coworking spaces that offer a variety of seating options, like standing desks, lounge areas, and private meeting rooms. This way, you can mix up your workday and avoid sitting in the same spot for hours on end.
Another tip is to look for coworking spaces that have lots of natural light and plenty of outlets for charging your devices. And finally, be sure to check out the amenities offered and ensure they offer everything (or at least most things) you need.
Noise canceling headphones / earbuds
You’ll be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and trust me, you don’t want to hear your seatmate’s phone conversations. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones will come in handy, both for blocking out distractions and for making video calls in public places.
In picking what’s right for you, keep in mind that digital nomads need headphones that are durable and portable. We often work in coffee shops and other public places, so we need headphones that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Since the digital nomad lifestyle means being always on the go, we need headphones that are easy to pack and carry with us.
A sturdy backpack
For the digital nomad, a backpack is not just a fashion statement – it’s an essential piece of gear. After all, when you’re constantly on the move, you need to be able to pack light and stay organized. That means your backpack serves as your office, your bedroom, and your home away from home. So it’s important to choose the right backpack for the job.
First and foremost, it should be spacious and well-designed, with plenty of compartments for all your digital devices and cables. Second, it should be comfortable to wear, with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt that distribute the weight evenly. Finally, it should be stylish – because let’s face it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and you want to look good while doing it.
A travel adapter
As a digital nomad, I’ve come to rely on my travel adapter to keep me connected while I’m on the road. Whether I’m working from a remote location or simply keeping in touch with friends and family, my travel adapter is an essential part of my kit.
If you’re going to be working from all over the world, you’ll need an adapter that can handle multiple types of plugs. After all, you can’t exactly do your work from a cafe if you can’t plug in your laptop!
Some adapters are designed to work with a variety of different electrical outlets, making them ideal for use in countries with diverse power standards. Some also usually come equipped with multiple USB ports, so digital nomads can charge all their devices at once. Many models even come with built-in surge protection, ensuring that delicate electronics are protected from power spikes.
A virtual mailbox
As a digital nomad, I often find myself on the move, with no permanent mailing address. And if you rely on friends or family to hold onto your mail for you, they might eventually get tired of playing postal worker.
Even if you have a forwarding address, it’s not always convenient to get to your mail in a timely manner. That can be a problem when it comes to things like bills, packages, and other mail. Fortunately, there’s a solution: virtual mailboxes.
A virtual mailbox is a digital service that provides you with a physical mailing address. This can be particularly helpful if you need to receive mail while you’re travelling.
Whenever you receive mail at that address, the virtual mailbox provider will scan it and send you a digital copy. You can then view and manage your mail online, and even have it forwarded to your current location.
Virtual mailboxes are perfect for digital nomads who need a reliable way to stay on top of their mail.
If you’re a digital nomad, chances are you’ve got a pretty good handle on remote work. But what about remote communication? Just because you’re not in the same physical space as your team doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch and stay productive.
There are a number of great communication apps out there that can help digital nomads stay connected not only with their teams but with their family and friends back home as well.
Slack is a great all-in-one communication tool that can be used for everything from real-time chat to video calls. Zoom is another great option for video calls, and it’s especially handy if you need to share your screen or record a meeting. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, consider using WhatsApp or FaceTime. If you need to collaborate on documents, Google Drive is an essential tool for digital nomads.
In today’s increasingly connected world, more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads, working remotely from wherever they happen to be. While this lifestyle comes with many advantages, it can also present some challenges, especially when it comes to communication.
Fortunately, there are a number of apps that can make it easy for digital nomads to stay in touch with colleagues, clients, and friends. If you need more help in choosing the best communication apps for your digital nomad lifestyle, you can check out this article.
Local sim card
Getting a local sim card is now less important if you have an iPhone or Samsung that has a T-Mobile plan. You can get off the plane, turn on your phone in 152+ countries, and it will work seamlessly.
However, there are still some great local sim cards if you want to save on rates and get a local number. Getting a local number is great for long-term travelers who don’t want higher phone bills, less data, and don’t want to rely on Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and other apps to communicate while abroad.
If you do go the route of using your phone, there’s a trick I’ve used for years that still works to get a local US number while abroad.
If you’re a digital nomad, Google Voice can be a lifesaver. It’s a US-based phone number that you can use while living abroad, and it’s perfect for keeping in touch with clients, family, and friends.
Here’s how to set it up:
First, create a google account if you don’t already have one. Then, go to Google Voice and click on “Create a new account.” Follow the prompts to choose your Google Voice number. You can select a number from any area code in the US.
Now that you have your Google Voice number, you can start using it right away. Simply give out your Google Voice number when someone asks for your phone number.
Prepare a Pre-Travel Checklist
For a digital nomad looking to go on a next adventure, it’s important to check out this pre-travel checklist before you hit the road. From ensuring that your laptop is backed up to packing your nomad essentials, this checklist will help you make sure that you’re prepared for anything.
First and foremost, be sure to back up all of your important files before you leave. Whether you’re working on a new website or just have some photos that you don’t want to lose, backing up your files will give you peace of mind while you’re traveling. You can use an external hard drive or cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
You should also make sure your passport is up to date and that you have all the necessary visas for your destination. Don’t forget to make copies of all your important documents, organize your finances, and set up a budget for your trip. This will help you avoid any unwanted surprises later on. Look into travel insurance to protect yourself from any potential risks as well.
For the longest time, the traditional 9-5 office job was the only way to make a living. But in recent years, that’s started to change. Thanks to the internet, more and more people are finding ways to make money online – and that’s led to the rise of the digital nomad.
So what is a digital nomad? In short, it’s someone who uses technology to work remotely, usually from a different location each day. That might mean working from a coffee shop in Madrid one day, and then from a beach in Bali the next.
These days, more and more people are opting to pursue the digital nomad lifestyle. There’s no doubt that the digital nomad lifestyle is alluring.
And who wouldn’t want to trade in their stuffy office and soul-sucking commute for a life of sunny beaches, tropical drinks, and working from wherever the wifi is strong? But is this idyllic lifestyle really all it’s cracked up to be? Is being a digital nomad worth it? That’s a tough question to answer.
If you value freedom and flexibility, then the answer is probably yes.
If you’re looking for stability and security, then you might want to stick to the traditional 9-5 lifestyle.
If you thrive in adventures, you will be forever altered.
If you’re open to immersing yourself in new cultures and learning about how the rest of the world works, it’s absolutely worth it.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be away from family and home, then this isn’t the best option for you.
If my family has a medical emergency, I get to go there right away with no questions asked and no restrictions to consider. Is that worth it? What’s the price or value of not being able to take care of your parents?
Being a digital nomad is the ultimate flexibility. To me, it’s worth it!
Conducting online business means staking out a domain name and then finding a service to host it. Everything on the internet has to physically exist on a server somewhere, and unless you have thousands of dollars’ worth of high-end computer equipment in your basement, you’ll need to look for external hosting from a third-party company. Don’t fly into this decision blind, though. Take some time to decide which hosting options is best for your online business.
What are hosting services?
A website is really a collection of files, images, buttons, forms, etc that communicate with servers.
All the data it takes to run a website has to be stored on a server somewhere. If you’re like most small business owners, you don’t have these mighty servers hiding in your basement, and so you’ll need a company to host your site for you.
A good web hosting service will have strong customer support, trustworthy security, the ability to scale with your business and guaranteed uptime for your site, meaning it never crashes.
Types of Online Businesses
First, you’ll want to identify just what kind of business you’re running. Are you going to be selling things in an eCommerce store? Making money off affiliate links on your blog? Or something else? If you’re still looking for inspiration in this area, see our guide to all the different online businesses you can start.
Each business has unique needs, and you’ll want to keep yours in mind as you pick out a hosting service.
What kind of site do I need for my online business?
Depending on the type of business you plan to launch is how you’ll select your host.
If you’re looking to start a blog, you’ll want a WordPress site. My favorite hosts for WordPress are Bluehost, WP Engine, and Kinsta. See how Bluehost and WP Engine match up. Also, see why I’m switching to Kinsta for one of my sites.
First, just a quick overview on the types of hosting.
Types of hosting services
Hosting has four main flavors: shared, dedicated, managed, and all-in-one. There is some overlap between these terms, so let’s dig into them one at a time to clear things up.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You and a number of other sites are hosted on the same server. Think of it like having a bunch of roommates all on the same wifi. You can save a lot of money by splitting costs, but if one of your friends starts downloading and entire library, it can slow down whatever you’re trying to do.
For just getting started and a low budget, shared hosting is the best way to start, and you can upgrade as you grow.
What are the best shared hosting options for my online business?
Bluehost offers hosting starting at $2.95/month if you sign up through this link.
If you start with Bluehost on a shared plan, through this link, you also get a WordPress installation.
Another good option is HostGator, which offers only budget options. That doesn’t mean the hosting is sub-par, though. They have similar uptime to other providers and offer solid performance. Where HostGator shines is in their customer support, which is very good, especially for a budget option. Hostgator offers multiple real-time ways to communicate with customer support like live-chat or phone in addition to the traditional ticketing system and email options.
HostGator does not offer the same scalability as Bluehost, however. If your company grows, you’ll have to switch hosting providers at some point.
What is dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting is the other side of the coin from shared. The entire server is dedicated to your business. This type of hosting is typically going to run you hundreds of dollars a month, making it not a very good choice for a business starting up on a smaller budget. Dedicated is when you run a large scale operation.
However, more popular are cloud hosting services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) that allow you to quickly scale up, or scale down, based on the amount of traffic you have.
You probably won’t be in the market for dedicated hosting until your business is much larger, if ever. For the purposes of getting your online business off the ground, we’ll stick with the basics: managed and shared hosting.
What is managed hosting?
Managed hosting is an all-in-one package for a company to manage your site for you. This takes a massive load off of you and can be the difference between going strong and burning out, especially if you’re working alone or with a very small team. Delegating the management of your site to a trusted hosting service frees up your time to focus on growing your business.
Security – SSL certificates – making sure my site is secure
You won’t have to think about what you need or install anything extra, it’s all … well, managed.
What are the best managed hosting options for my online business?
If you have a larger budget, there’s no reason not to get started with managed hosting. As your business grows, you will want to get a managed solution eventually to free up your time and energy for other things.
Site Ground has the cheapest managed hosting option on this list, however, their $6.99 tier lacks a staging site, an important hosting feature.
Does my WordPress site need hosting?
Yes! As we’ve established, hosting is one of the two key components of a functional website, along with a domain name. When you set up your website via WordPress, you will still need hosting. Now, whether or not you get that hosting externally is up to you.
First, is your website on WordPress.com or WordPress.org? This is a big difference.
Setting up a site on WordPress.com is like renting or borrowing a website of your very own. You don’t have to worry about the hosting. You’ll be stuck using a WordPress subdomain, and there’s no plug-in integration, which severely limits your options. This is a setup that may work well enough for someone running a personal blog with limited advertising needs, but it won’t be able to keep up with the demands of a scalable eCommerce store or other business.
WordPress.org on the other hand allows you to buy your own domain and get outside hosting. So unlike the .com option where WordPress was hosting everything for you, with a WordPress.org site you’ll need to get that hosting on your own via Bluehost, WP Engine or another option.
I don’t have WordPress, do I have to use a hosting provider?
The answer is no. There are many all-in-one site builders that act as a sort of “complete package”, eliminating the need for separate hosting. So instead of creating a WordPress site and then looking for a hosting site like Bluehost, you can commit to an all-in-one package.
Companies like Weebly function much like WordPress.com, allowing you to build your site with user-friendly tools and then doing the hosting for you via a shared platform. The biggest difference is that while WordPress uses open-source templates and themes, sites like Weebly may use proprietary ones, which can limit your design options.
The best hosting option for your online business may be a site builder
You may want to choose an all-in-one package from the start, before you have even designed your website. Using a comprehensive site builder can help keep things simple and get your site up and running even sooner.
What sets Wix apart from Squarespace is that it is unstructured. This means you can drag and drop elements anywhere on the page, while with Squarespace they “snap” into place, limiting your options.
Wix can be chaotic at times and a little bit harder to get to grips with than Squarespace, but it remains one of the most common website builders for a reason. Wix also has more templates to choose from, though Squarespace’s templates are a bit more polished.
Weebly’s biggest advantage is its lower price (Weebly also has a free plan which Squarespace does not). Weebly’s other major selling point is that it is incredibly easy to use. If you’re not tech-savvy and the idea of designing your website seems daunting, it may be worth giving Weebly a try.
If you have advanced technical skills you can build full scale web applications and apps on some of these no-code builders like Webflow and Bubble.
Disadvantages of comprehensive site builders
So if Squarespace or Wix will do it all, why would you ever choose anything different? Well there are some disadvantages to the all-in-one platform.
With complete site builders, you have less control. Your choice of themes, while broad, is still limited to pre-built options. Ultimately, a site created with these tools won’t be as scalable as one you create using a hosting site. Remember, the best hosting option for your online business is one that grows as you do.
Should I use an all-in-one site builder or a separate hosting service?
If you’re just starting out, you want to choose a website option that won’t overcomplicate things. You want to focus on getting your business off the ground, finding your audience and starting to make sales. A website builder that comes with hosting can definitely save you some time.
However, you will have more control and customization options with separate hosting. So there’s no right or wrong answer. You just need to know your business and your own comfort level.
Conclusion: What is the best hosting option for my online business?
You want to keep it simple when you’re just starting out. Getting too tangled up in expensive hosting options can hamper your new online business. If you need to get off the ground really quickly, choose an all-in-one site builder with built-in hosting like Squarespace.
If you need a little more flexibility but still don’t want to be overwhelmed, then Bluehost is your best option. Through them you can get managed or shared hosting and can get hosting for non-Wordpress sites, as well.
And remember, you’re not locked in to a hosting service for life. If your business grows or changes, you can adapt along the way. So don’t panic too much over what your hosting needs might become, and instead focus on getting your site off the ground and running today.
Disclaimer – affiliate links are used on this site as a way to pay for hosting and occasional snacks.
Your website is your business’s home, its virtual place on the Internet. Having a well constructed and user-friendly website lends you credibility. Setting up your website is a chance to build your own unique brand, as well as earn revenue.
You’ll need two basic building blocks to get your own website up and running: a domain and a host. Once you have this setup and out of the way, you’ll be able to focus on designing and promoting your site.
Setting up your site and getting it hosted doesn’t have to be confusing or expensive. Even if you’re completely new to the game, you can get up and running in a single business day. In fact, the trickiest part about setting up your website is just choosing which site and hosting options are best for your business and budget.
Does my Amazon store need a website?
Yes! A lot of eCommerce sellers get started on large third party seller sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others because of how easy it is to get started there. However, once you’re comfortable with your third party storefront, you’ll still want to set up your own site. There are numerous benefits to selling on your own site including a more professional image, no listing or selling fees, and more control over your layout.
Setting up a website for your online business
You can set up your website and get started growing your business with four steps:
Acquire a domain
Get hosting for your site
Design your site
Promote your site
When setting up a website for your online business, you’ll want to first pick a domain name. As long as you choose one no one else is using, you can buy it and get your website off the ground.
How to pick the perfect domain name
Until someone knows your brand, they will have to remember how to type it in, how to spell it, etc. Remember, the point of setting up a website for your online business is to make it easier for people to find you, not harder. So in terms of easier searching, you may want to choose something that represents what your brand will offer or even the exact name of your business. If you already have a name for your business, this will be easier. If you’re starting from scratch, try to think of something unique but uncomplicated. This is what people will type into their browsers to find you, so make it easy for them to do so!
Also think about the long term. If your domain name is too specific, it can limit your business’s potential. For example, you may start off selling dog food, and so registering dogfood.com seems like a good idea. But then what will you do when a few years down the line you start offering leashes, toys and dog beds, too? Your name will no longer be accurate. For this example, something like allthingsdog.com or dogsandmore.com would have been better choices.
You can also use your name (i.e. johndoe.com) but if you want to sell your business someday, you won’t want your name to go with it.
Try first for a .com domain name, but consider other options, as well. While .com is the biggest player right now, other endings have become more popular, like .co, .net, and .io. So if you don’t find the perfect domain on a .com these domain extensions are other viable options. Just remember to stick with something that people will find easier to remember and also that google and other search engines will find friendly for searches. If you’re interested in learning more about SEO or ranking your site a great blog to start with is neil patel’s marketing blog, neilpatel.com
Buying your domain
Getting a unique domain name isn’t free, you’ll have to buy it. But don’t worry about digging into your savings, because you can typically license a domain for around $10-15/year, and with many hosting providers, the domain is free.
There are many different domain options, but .com is the most common and you should try to get a .com domain if you can. Right now, nearly 50 percent of all websites end in .com. This means most people will assume .com and use it automatically when looking up a website.
Does my domain name affect SEO?
Don’t stress too much over perfecting your domain name for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In the past, search engines like Google used to prioritize domain names when loading results for people’s search queries, but that isn’t the case anymore. While having an important keyword in your domain name can certainly help, content is the name of the game now, and populating your site with SEO-friendly content is what’s going to get you seen on search engines.
Other factors like how often your site is updated and how user-friendly it is are also much bigger influences on your search rankings. So pick a domain name that’s catchy, memorable and tied to your brand.
How to find a domain
Before you get too attached to a domain name, you’ll want to make sure it’s available for purchase. I prefer Bluehost’s domain checker for this.
It’s incredibly simple. Type in the url and the search will tell you if it’s available. You will get a list of potential domain names. If your domain name is already taken, there will be suggestions which may help get your creative juices flowing.
Many hosting companies will also allow you to register a domain with them, and also host your website.
After you’ve secured your awesome domain, the next step is hosting. Hosting simply refers to the servers that store all your site’s data.
This can sound complicated, but it’s really very simple. There are a wide variety of hosting options, ranging from a few dollars each month to a few hundred. When you go looking for a hosting company, you might be overwhelmed with options.
Shared or dedicated hosting
You will have the choice to opt for shared hosting or pay extra for dedicated hosting. Shared hosting means you are literally sharing a server with a bunch of other websites.
The price difference between the two options can be quite extreme. Shared hosting may run you less than ten bucks a month while dedicated hosting is usually closer to a hundred dollars or more.
There is nothing wrong with choosing shared hosting to get your site off the ground. As you grow, just know that you can change your hosting later if you need to.
Another option you’ll see is managed hosting. Managed hosting just means that there’s a team at the hosting company that has your back. Managed hosting plans have extra security and support. Each plan is different, but you’ll probably get backups and extra marketing tools. Managed hosting can be shared or dedicated, and this will affect the price.
Below are Bluehost’s prices for shared managed hosting:
Compared to their dedicated hosting prices:
Site-specific hosting options
You may also come across hosting services that cater towards a specific type of business. Some hosting providers tailor their services towards specific kinds of sites like e-Commerce sites, WordPress sites, online courses, etc.
Setting up a website for your online business using Site-Builders
All-in-one site builders like Wix and Squarespace can also offer you a quick, drag-and-drop site builder with hosting included. These effectively bypass the need for the two-step process of creating a site and paying for separate hosting. The trade off is that you have much less control and fewer customization options.
Which hosting is best for my online business?
So are the more expensive options better? And do you need one of these specialized hosting services? Not necessarily. The best online hosting is whichever option is best for your business. Depending on the type of website and business you’re running, you may have specific needs. For example, an eCommerce site may be best served by Shopify or another hosting provider that caters towards online storefronts. With an online blog, you will probably want to start out on WordPress.
However, if you’re looking for a good starting place for almost any online business, I’d recommend Bluehost. While other hosting options may have more specialized benefits, Bluehost is a great way to get your site up and running with minimal costs. They’re easy to use, secure and you can always upgrade to another host provider later if your traffic grows and your needs change.
If you want to learn more about your options for upgrading, you can check out our in-depth hosting comparison. But for now, just know that Bluehost is a good place to start.
Design: Setting up a good-looking website
There is more to setting up a website for your online business than just the technical elements. You’ll need to design your site, as well. If you went with an all-in-one site builder, then you’ll be limited to drag and drop design elements. If you’ve decided to design your own site from scratch and pair it with Bluehost or another hosting provider, you’ll have a lot more options.
The easiest way to design your own site is to pick a strong theme and build within that. There are several sites where you can find themes, such as
Some themes are free while others might cost some money. Again, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a free theme for your new site.
What should I include in my online business website?
This will vary depending on your brand. However, most themes will provide you with a pretty standard set of pages and building blocks. So you’ll be able to effortlessly create a main page, contact page, and pages for your blog or products, as well.
Good video and written content is essential for your site. You want high-quality, SEO-rich writing and solidly produced images or videos. Remember, the more professional your site looks, the more trustworthy your business will seem to potential customers. Consider colors and fonts carefully.
Focus on making your site easily navigable and streamlined. A cluttered or confusing design is one of the top reasons why people leave a website.
If content creation and web design isn’t your thing, don’t panic. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr offer a way to commission website content from freelance professionals for a reasonable cost. These sites can also set you up with professionals who know how to create branded colors and fonts, logos and marketing content.
Promoting your site
Now that you’re done setting up a website for your online business, it’s time to make sure people see it! There are almost 400 million active websites out there. How do you make sure yours stands out?
Promoting your website is an ongoing task, but here are a few quick ideas to get you started:
Use webinars to your advantage
Webinars are a great way to connect with others in your industry and to help get your name out there.
Produce traditional ads
Google and Facebook ads can be very useful if you can get them in front of your target audience. Ads are another thing you can commission from professionals online.
Create organic content
For long-term site promotion, you’ll want to fill your site with a robust amount of online content that encourages search engines to show your website to people. This can also help you build brand authority. So consider starting a blog, writing eBooks or white papers, or creating infographics.
Sell on a third party website
If you run an eCommerce business, it’s worth selling on multiple platforms. So once you have your own site, you should consider starting an Amazon store (or eBay, Etsy, etc.) if you haven’t already.
These third party sites are where many people first look for products, and they can work as effective marketing efforts. If someone finds your product on Amazon, they will be led directly to your website. You may consider offering special deals to people who choose to purchase directly from your website.
Promote on social media
You should have a social media presence for your website. Choose platforms that your audience is likely to use. For example, don’t waste all your resources managing a Twitter account if your target audience hangs out on Instagram.
Setting up a website for your online business can seem like a monumental task, but if you break it down, it’s very simple.
Enlist freelancers to help you design your site and business brand
Promote your business
Grow your business!
Don’t forget to enjoy your business as it grows. Running an online business lets you take your job wherever you go. So whether you need to be close to family, or you’re just eager to abate your wanderlust, your online business will help you live and work from anywhere.
Bluehost vs WP Engine: which is best for your WordPress site?
A website is essential if you’re conducting business online. If you’ve created your website through WordPress, you’ll want to use WordPress-optimized hosting. Both Bluehost and WP Engine can get you the hosting you need, but which is the best web host for online business? Let’s compare Bluehost vs WP Engine
Bluehost vs WP Engine: which is the best web host for online business?
Bluehost has been around longer than WP Engine, and has garnered a positive reputation over the years. Originally just providing regular hosting, Bluehost began to branch out into WordPress hosting options as WordPress began to surge in popularity. (WordPress now accounts for over 455 million websites, which equates to approximately 37% of all websites and 63% of all content management system (CMS) sites. WordPress is no longer just a blogging platform, but is now a viable option for those considering serious online business.
WP Engine, on the other hand, was built from the ground up for WordPress hosting. As WordPress began to grow, companies like WP Engine recognized the need for managed WordPress hosting that could address all the specific needs of WordPress sites.
WP Engine is the higher-end option here, completely optimized for WordPress. It’s one of the most well-known managed WordPress hosting options. Bluehost, on the other hand, has garnered much of its business by offering more flexible and affordable hosting plans and a new WordPress-specific managed plan.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
There are a lot of hosting options out there. Managed WordPress hosting is an all-in-one hosting service where the hosting company handles your SSL installation, sets you up with a domain and manages backups as well as your CDN and any security needs.
These are all features that you can handle yourself if you go with regular site hosting, but for those without an IT team or the time to devote to balancing all these site needs, managed hosting can take a huge load off your shoulders.
While WP Engine offers exclusively WordPress managed hosting options, Bluehost has a whole catalog of hosting options, one of which is managed.
There’s no clear “best” between WP Engine and Bluehost. However, there is definitely a “best” for your particular website needs. It’s not about finding the hosting option that is objectively better, it’s about finding the option that’s best for your business.
Let’s see how Bluehost and WP Engine stack up against each other in the following areas:
Is Bluehost Cheaper than WP Engine?
In short, yes, but not so much if you do a true one-to-one comparison. WP Engine offers managed WordPress hosting while Bluehost has plans that are managed as well as plans that are not. Bluehost’s shared hosting is significantly cheaper, but their managed hosting is much closer to WP Engine’s lower-cost package price. The best web hosting for online business is not just which has the most features, but which gives you the most bang for your buck.
So if you want managed WordPress hosting, the cost points are similar and the difference boils down to available features. However, if you are interested in shared hosting, Bluehost is a very cost-effective option.
With WP Engine, you do get greater load speeds and a generally sleeker performance. The difference isn’t a deal breaker, and you’ll still get a sturdy site using Bluehost, but if you’re able to afford the extra speed and performance, there’s no reason not to.
How much faster is WP Engine?
Some of your load time is going to depend on how you’ve set up your site, however, WP Engine’s baseline performance is stronger here than Bluehost’s.
Image credit: Winning WP
Load time may be the single most important stat on your site. There are a lot of factors that impact load time, including what content you’re hosting and whether or not you’ve optimized your website code. WP Engine has a clear advantage for speed when it comes to loading WordPress sites, loading almost twice as fast as Bluehost’s shared hosting.
A slow loading website can affect how much a user trusts your site or business. Ideally your site should load in under three seconds, and for every additional second it takes, you could be losing up to 7 percent of your potential traffic.
If speed is your utmost priority, you may want to look at some of the newer hosting options available that may perform even better than WP Engine.
Which hosting service has more solid uptime, Bluehost vs WP Engine?
Uptime measures the time your website is online and functional. If your site goes down, you’re not making any money off it, and users may not return after experiencing problems. So it’s vital that your site has little, if any, downtime.
Image source: Theme Isle
Both Bluehost and WP Engine have comparable uptime performance. As you can see on this chart above, their uptime performance is identical. The difference between the two really comes down to load times.
Security issues are part of what prompted hosting providers to start offering WordPress-specific hosting options in the first place. It’s vital that your information as well as your users’ data is protected when they visit your site.
Comparing security features: Bluehost vs WP Engine
Both Bluehost and WP Engine provide secure hosting for your site. However, WP Engine definitely makes security one of their main priorities, and they offer additional security features that Bluehost does not.
Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting provides malware protection and removal.
Web application firewall
WP Engine has Global Edge Security, which includes:
Enterprise-grade threat detection and prevention via managed a managed web application firewall.
High network capacity to protect against distributed DDoS attacks
Global performance via Cloudfare’s CDN
This is in addition to the security features on WP Engine’s platform, which include:
Managed core updates
Automatic deactivation of non-secure plugins
As you can see, security is important to both providers, and you won’t be signing up for un-secure hosting with either option. However, WP Engine has put a lot of emphasis on security. If security is a big concern for your site, then WP Engine may be worth the investment. For example, an eCommerce site where you process a lot of personal payment information may benefit from WP Engine’s extra security measures.
Choosing the best web host for online business means more than just comparing raw stats. You’ll want to look for a service that’s user-friendly, as well. Customer support is vital to smoothly running your site. There are going to be problems that come up with any website and being able to quickly and easily get them resolved is so important. With poor customer service, you could end up wasting hours of your time on fixes that should only take a minute. And every hour you waste waiting on support is another hour your site isn’t working at its best.
Both Bluehost and WP Engine offer customer support, but WP Engine’s options are a bit more robust. Their starter plan has 24/7 chat support and higher tiered plans ($95/month and up) get phone support as well. While Bluehost also offers chat and phone support, they have discontinued their email-based support, making it difficult to solve more in-depth issues.
Half the battle is getting a hold of customer support in the first place, followed closely by making sure you’re talking to someone who knows what they’re doing.
As we’ve discussed, the managed hosting plan for Bluehost isn’t much less expensive than the lower tier options from WP Engine. So if you’ve decided on managed WordPress hosting, which provider you go with is going to depend on what features are most important to you.
Here are the most prominent features that differ between the two companies.
WP Engine supports site migration
While I migrating your website to a new hosting service can get tricky, it is more than doable with the right tools. And as a general rule, migrating from Bluehost to WP Engine is going to be easier than the other way around. This is because WP Engine subscriptions come with a plugin option that automates nearly all of the migration process for you.
So if you’re not starting from scratch, but are instead updating the online business you’ve already started, then WP Engine will offer you a smoother experience. You can pay extra at Bluehost to have their employees run a complete migration for you, and the price tag is $149.99 for up to 5 websites. So it’s up to you if you’d rather spend that money on a one-time migration or several months’ worth of a premium hosting service.
Note: Bluehost also offers a one-time free site migration with each hosting package, however, only some websites qualify for this feature.
WP Engine has daily backups
WP Engine creates a backup for your site nightly. This is extremely important so you don’t risk losing data or progress. Bluehost also backs up your site daily, weekly and monthly. The difference is that Bluehost does not guarantee these backups and you should not rely on them.
WP Engine offers a dedicated content delivery network (CDN)
Having a CDN means a static copy of your site is held on multiple servers within a diverse network. This basically means that people all around the world can access your website faster, and this is one of the ways WP Engine gets a leg up over Bluehost in site performance, speed and access.
However, if your site is small, does not have a large amount of media files or you are only targeting an audience within a single country, having a CDN may be a bit like paying a limo driver to take your child to school every morning.
WP Engine has a customizable plan
While Bluehost offers more pre-packaged plan options than WP Engine, that doesn’t mean WP WP Engine isn’t flexible. They do have a custom plan option where you can speak with a specialist about your site’s specific needs. This option is targeted towards web teams working for larger companies rather than a small one-person operation.
Bluehost has options for shared hosting
If your site is low-traffic, then shared hosting is a reasonable way to save a lot of money. With shared hosting, you can expect slightly slower load times and a bigger risk of downtime as you’re sharing the server with many other websites. However, you can still get decent hosting services through Bluehost using this method, and you’ll be free to use your choice of plugins and you can even host sites that aren’t WordPress.
Bluehost offers free domain registration
You get your domain name for free even with the lowest tier Bluehost subscription. While domain names are usually not very expensive, the hassle of navigating a site like domain.com or godaddy.com and avoiding all their upsells can be a hassle. Think of this as a nice little perk, like the coupons that you find at the bottom of a fast food receipt.
Bluehost offers site staging
While WP Engine offers this service, as well, it’s worth noting that most shared hosting options don’t usually offer staging. On your staging site, you can give all changes to your website a sort of dry run, hopefully spotting any mistakes before your customers have a chance to see them. Getting this feature from a lower-cost hosting service like Bluehost is a great deal.
What sites should use Bluehost?
Bluehost is the clear winner for low budget projects. If your site is lower traffic, then there’s no need for an expensive WP Engine plan or even one of the pricier Bluehost options.
Because Bluehost offers cheaper shared hosting options for both WordPress sites and other site types, it gives you the option of starting cheaply with them and then upgrading later if your site begins to grow. Bluehost can take good care of you if you run one of the following sites:
That said, if you have the budget for WP Engine, there’s no reason not to start off with managed WordPress hosting. If you can afford it, then I highly recommend going the managed route as it will save you a lot of time and headache down the road.
What sites should use WP Engine?
WP Engine can get pricey, and while it is powerful, a lot of its bells and whistles may be largely unnecessary for someone looking to start an online business without the backing of a whole dev team. WP Engine is a great hosting service for enterprise-level websites and high-traffic blogs or eCommerce stores. You should strongly consider WP Engine if you:
Run a large business
Are starting a business you expect to scale exponentially and quickly
Need a unique customized plan
Conclusion: Choosing the best web host for online business
Both Bluehost and WP Engine offer great WP hosting options for blogs, eCommerce stores and general websites. The difference really does come down to size, scalability and budget. What are your long term needs?
WP Engine is going to give you more room to scale right off the bat and offers no budget options for a smaller site just starting out. Bluehost has more options, many of which are cheaper, but does not offer quite as many bells and whistles as the higher-end WP Engine plans.
Go with Bluehost (shared hosting) if you:
Have a small budget
Do not need managed hosting
Want to install and manage your own themes and tools
If you don’t mind installing themes and other website tools on your own and doing a lot of extra legwork, then you can save a significant amount of money with Bluehost. But again, if you’ve got the funds then managed hosting from WP Engine is the better bet.
A more mature business, for example, would definitely want to go with WP Engine. A small business just starting out on a shoestring budget should probably sign up with Bluehost. Bluehost is also a viable option if you want to get your hands dirty in the nitty gritty of running a website. And remember, Bluehost does offer managed WordPress hosting services, which you can migrate up to later on down the road.
Choosing Bluehost Managed
Go with Bluehost (managed hosting) if you:
Site that your business doesn’t doesn’t depend on
Additional security options aren’t necessary to run your site
Managed Bluehost hosting works really well if you run a coaching or consulting website or if your business is blogging. Bluehost is a very friendly option with a high level of usability.
Choosing WP Engine
Go with WP Engine if you:
Have a larger budget
Own a business that is
Need faster speeds
Need more robust support services
Want a completely managed hosting experience right away
Need a customized plan
WP Engine, on the other hand, may be the smarter choice for more advanced businesses with greater bandwidth needs and slightly higher budget. If you want speed, security, and backups all baked in from the start, WP Engine has more of the bells and whistles that make things run seamlessly.
WP Engine is the best web hosting for an online business if you’re starting out with a web development team and you have the need and time for WP Engine’s more robust features list. WP Engine is a slightly safer choice if your business’s livelihood is directly tied to your website’s functionality, security and uptime. You can sign up for WP Engine here.
Remember, your website is the face of your online business, so take your time and choose the hosting option that’s right for you. You can check out our hosting comparison piece to learn more about hosting options and all-in-one site builders.
Learning how to make passive income online can help free you from the traditional daily grind of 9 to 5 work. Passive income is a wide topic that encompasses everything from selling a few eBooks to managing real estate.
The Internet makes passive income even more accessible to those looking to break free of regular paychecks. With 90 percent of adults online regularly, it’s no wonder that people find online passive income ventures to be so tempting.
Setting up and maintaining avenues of passive income can seem daunting, but there are a lot of options out there to fit with any lifestyle or background. Here we’ll go over some of the most helpful types of passive income for those looking for reliable sources of income that aren’t tied to a 9 to 5 time sheet. You can experiment with these different options until you find the passive income path that’s perfect for you.
What is passive income?
A great way to get started with earning passive income is to define just exactly what it is.
Passive income technically refers to money made from real estate or a business that you are not directly involved in. For the purposes of this article, we’ll broaden the definition just a bit to include any income you make without being directly involved on a daily basis. This means side gigs / side hustles and online businesses where you’re getting paid without having to clock in every morning after a grueling commute.
Of course you always need to be involved to some extent. People over-glorify passive income to make it sound like you can just sit back and collect checks from the beach. But the truth is no business or venture is completely hands off. There’s always some level of management.
Just how “passive” is passive income?
Let’s say you have a property management company running your house, but that doesn’t mean you can throw your phone away and disappear to a jungle without ever checking back in. You would still need to be actively involved in managerial jobs like:
Managing repairs and remodels
Managing employees and contractors
Keeping up with legal requirements
Online passive income can come from two different sources. You may be earning money online in an online business or simply working in an online industry. We’ll go over both options here. Some ways of earning passive income online are side gigs, while others are fully-fledged online businesses.
What are the most common ways to make passive income online?
The world is your oyster here, and you can make passive income on just about any corner of the Internet. You can rake in some extra cash from online ventures. Or you can start taking in a regular paycheck from an online business that you start and run yourself from the comfort of your own home office. Don’t worry if it sounds daunting, there are scalable options for every skill set and budget.
Ways to earn passive income
Here are some of the most common passive income ventures and what you can do to earn passive income online.
Sell informational products
Sell digital goods
Build an affiliate marketing niche site
Ads on your targeted niche website
Sell informational products
You’ve spent most of your life accruing unique knowledge and skills. Now it’s time to put that information to work for you! This can mean writing and publishing eBooks, creating online courses or selling other informational materials. You can sell your online classes via sites like Coursera or Skillshare, or you can run them through your own website.
Teaching isn’t just for university professors. People from all industries and walks of life can make money online by helping others hone their craft. As long as you can deliver solid information in a professional manner, you can sell a course on just about any topic.
Tip: Some informational products, like eBooks and white papers can double as marketing tools for your online business. You may even consider giving them away for free to qualified leads. This eliminates their use as passive income but turns them into high quality marketing tools, instead.
Sell digital goods
You can sell more than just eBooks digitally. A digital product is anything that exists virtually, with no physical components that need to be assembled or shipped. Examples run the gambit from media like podcasts and eBooks to web software.
The advantage of digital goods is that once you’ve created the product, you can sell as many as you want without increasing your costs, unlike traditional products which require raw materials for each copy made.
You can always choose to sell your digital goods through your own personal website, or you can opt into an established sales platform like Etsy.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passive income online. It is especially great for those who already have an established online presence with traffic and an audience. By linking to products in your blog or on social media sites, you will get dividends from the sales those links attract. However, you don’t have to have a site with a ton of traffic to get started in affiliate marketing. There are several niche sites you can create to promote others products.
Amazon is known for its affiliate program and other sites like eBay and several online brands. You can also select products from an affiliate network like Commission Junction, ShareASale, and so on.
The rule for affiliate marketing overall is simple: be honest with your audience and sell a product you genuinely care about and is useful to your audience.
Build An Affiliate Marketing Niche Site
Your website can take in money from multiple avenues, not just traditional ads. If you’re curious to try your hand at affiliate marketing, you’ll be pleased to know it’s incredibly easy to sign up for most affiliate programs.
Typically affiliate programs are free and you simply click to receive the special link for use on your site. The hard work comes into the picture when you have to actually design and maintain your site.
Going niche is ideal. Picking a niche topic will help you establish brand authority and give you more room to rank highly for keywords. What defines a niche site? Specificity.
Let’s say you’re crafty. Instead of trying to start up a website or blog about all things arts and crafts, focus instead on something more specific. For example, crafts that can be made from used clothing. Then you can pump up your content with targeted keywords related to recycling clothing. You’ll also be in a prime spot to use affiliate links for crafting tools or sites that let people sell their finished creations.
REITs (Real Estate Investments)
If you want to get into the real estate game but don’t have the capital or the desire to start buying and managing properties, you can look into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These are companies that manage real estate ventures and you can buy into them much like how you might purchase dividend stocks. To further simplify the process and lower the barrier to entry, you can try eREITs, or online funds, that are crowdfunded.
I invest in Fundrise, an online investment option that you can buy into for lower minimums (typically 500-1,000 dollars). I have seen returns between 3-15% (and that 3% was during the height of COVID!). A much better investment than the bank and a one of the most passive ways to invest and watch your money increase.
I am a fan of investing in the real estate market over stocks due to real estate always increasing on average 3%, even with the upcycles and crashes. Stocks have much more volatility and are not asset-backed so if you lose money, you lose money. Also companies can go out of business or lose market share, whereas housing never loses its position as a necessity.
That being said, a lot of people are able to earn great passive full time or side income by trading stocks online. Sites like Forex.com allow you to try your hand at day trading.
Getting into the Forex market can be intimidating, but fortunately there are demo accounts for beginners. It’s advisable that you start with one of these limited demo accounts to get the hang of properly closing deals and managing leverage.
Not everyone’s a big risk taker, and that’s okay! There are still opportunities to put your money to work for you and you can earn passive income online without risking your whole savings. A less risky venture than stocks or REITs is a simple savings account.
You have a ton of options in this area, so take some time to shop around for the best deals and lowest fees. Betterment Cash Reserve is one option that offers a competitive APY with no fees.
You can earn passive income online by selling through Amazon or a similar site, such as eBay or Walmart.com. You have a lot of room to play around on these sites and design a custom online store that matches your lifestyle.
Some people pair with wholesalers and retailers to sell a consistent inventory of products while others use their Amazon stores to sell secondhand goods. To truly earn passive income with your Amazon store, digital goods are your best bet, because you can sell multiple copies quite literally in your sleep. So while you’re doing what you love, people are buying your goods and you don’t even have to bother with packing or shipping!
For digital goods like eBooks and online courses, you may also want to try sites like Payhip, which offers a set of promotional tools different to Amazon’s. Most sites do not have rules about exclusivity, so offering your goods on different platforms can help you cast a wider net for potential customers.
There are many types of online businesses that you can start, but one of the easiest to slide into without a lot of startup capital is dropshipping. When you operate a dropshipping ecommerce store, you don’t have to worry about buying and stocking inventory. When a customer orders a product, you will then order it from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. This way you bypass the traditional model where you store goods at your place of business or in a warehouse somewhere.
The most obvious benefit of dropshipping is that you don’t run the risk of losing money on unsold inventory. You’ll get to run your own store with none of the traditional overhead like renting out warehouse space or worrying over which products to stock the most.
How to start dropshipping
Your first order of business is to pick a niche. Dropshipping ventures are most successful when they don’t spread themselves too thin. You don’t want to try and be the Walmart of dropshipping. Instead, focus on a niche product to sell. Remember, you won’t be stocking inventory, which mitigates some of financial risk.
Next you will need to partner with a supplier. In order to keep your prices competitive, you’ll need to get in touch with a manufacturer or wholesaler directly. You won’t make much money by buying things at retail price and trying to resell them for even more.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Amazon’s advanced fulfillment options is another way of dropshipping to earn passive income online. With FBA, you are responsible for procuring your products and sending them to an Amazon fulfillment center. Then, when you sell the products on Amazon, they will be shipped directly to your customers without any additional work on your part.
This is just another way of managing a digital storefront without having to turn your garage into a product warehouse.
Ads on your targeted niche website
It doesn’t get much more passive than traditional ads. If you’ve got a website, there’s no reason you can’t make some money off of it! And you don’t need any expertise or special business skills to do it. Here are just two of your options:
PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)
Signing up for Google AdSense means that relevant advertisements will be placed on your site. Then when people click on these ads, you get cash! Your profits on Pay Per Click advertising could be anywhere from $.05 to $5 for every person who clicks on the ad.
Directly selling ad space
Google AdSense is very intuitive, but it’s not the only way to put ads on your site. If you’d rather, you can cut out the middleman entirely and sell banner ads or other ad space on your site directly to companies. In doing this, you have more control over your pricing.
There are two ways to charge for ad space. The direct route is an upfront monthly fee that you negotiate with the advertiser based on your site’s average traffic. Alternatively, you can charge a CPM rate. This second option means you are paid a certain amount per every 1,000 monthly visitors to your site, and your paycheck goes up or down depending on your traffic.
How much money you make from posting ads on your site is going to depend on the kind of traffic your website generates. Obviously, the more eyeballs you get on your site each month, the more money you can make from your ads.
Establishing and managing a real estate portfolio takes a lot of time and a huge amount of investment capital. But you’ll be glad to know that it’s not a zero sum game. You don’t have to be the next Sam Zell to make passive income off of real estate.
The answer is renting the property you already own, or subletting your rental. This will provide you with extra income for your travels. If you’ve embraced the idea of living and working anywhere, you don’t have to don’t have to give up your traditional “home”. If you rent out your place while you’re fulfilling your workplace wanderlust, your property can essentially pay for itself. It may even earn a little extra!
This eliminates the worry of “what do I do about my house while I’m living or working abroad?”.
Why should I invest in earning passive income online?
Establishing and maintaining passive income still takes work. It’s not completely set-it-and-forget-it. But when you earn passive income, your paycheck is not strictly tied to your productivity for that day. With passive income, you’re typically reaping the rewards of hard work laid down in the past. This gives you much more flexibility over your work schedule.
For some people, passive income makes up the majority of their salary, but for most passive income earners, this money is used to supplement a more structured job. Passive income has a lot of perks!
What are the Benefits of passive income?
Earn extra cash
The biggest appeal of passive income is that it provides extra money without compromising your regular job.
Create a “buffer” of income between job changes
That dead zone in between quitting one job and starting the next can be frightening, but passive income offers you a safety net to carry you through transitional periods.
Be your own boss
Most passive income opportunities are solo acts, meaning the only supervisor you’ll be answering to is yourself. It can be a nice change of pace for many people.
Create financial security
Passive income can tide you over on a rainy day. If you lose your job or an unexpected large bill arrives, your passive income may be what makes the difference.
Passive income allows you to unshackle yourself from the traditional work environment. Earning enough passive income lets you have peace of mind that your finances are taken care of. You can spend less time punching the clock and more time being with your friends and family.
Best Passive Income Opportunities: Conclusion
Passive income is a great way to make extra money without overloading your daily work schedule. With most passive income plans, you can choose when you put in the work to create the passive income-generating product and then continue to make money off of it even after you’ve “clocked out”.
There is still maintenance work to be done, though. So I recommend investing in passive income that you won’t mind maintaining. For example, if you go with the eBook example, write about topics you’re genuinely interested in rather than just chasing trends.
You can also delegate and outsource. You may start off as a one-person show, but soon your passive income avenues will grow. Then you will be able to create a business structure that allows you the freedom to work where you want, when you want.
There’s a whole wide world of passive income out there, find your slice of it and take it!
LiveWorkAnywhere connects you with resources including articles, products and courses that help you build an online business or find a remote job, allowing you to live and work from anywhere.
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LiveWorkAnywhere connects you with resources including articles, products and courses that help you build an online business or find a remote job, allowing you to live and work from anywhere.