How much money did you save before leaving?! It's the number one heard question when we tell people, we are traveling the world for the upcoming years. Well, to be honest we didn't save more than a €1000. We had a much better plan, we created a Digital Income.
" Digital nomads are people who are location independent and use technology to perform their job. Digital nomads work remotely (telecommute), which is now economically possible due to cheap internet access, smartphones and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to keep in contact with clients and employers.
Digital nomads are usually young people and can be found working in most industries in the knowledge economy: marketing, design, IT, writing, media, tutoring and consulting, among others. They may either be remote employees or knowledge process outsourcing employees.
Digital nomads tend to travel, while they continue to work with clients or employers."
Digital income can be created in many different ways. It's important to find the way that fit you best. We broke out of the 9-5 life, became our own boss, so to us the worst thing that could happen was again falling in a trap of work you don't really like doing. Find something you are passionate about, something that makes you enthusiastic. This new 'job' is gonna take a lot of time and effort, so you'd better like it much.
Our strengths are the creative skills of Henriette and the marketing skills of Elmer. With keeping that in mind we started looking for opportunities. Off course this is a proces that takes time. Some things are making money faster than others. It took us about 1,5 year to be fully independent. Some months we still struggle, some months we do fine:) It's all part of the journey. Our Digital Income can be divided in 5 focus points:
- Passive Income
Ubuntu-Style: Urban Hippies On A Journey
This blog is our showpiece for sure. We started it about 2 months before we left and started our Traveling Digital Nomad lifestyle. On this blog we share our stories & daily life impressions. As we thought there would be enough people that like to 'travel along' with us. Lots of people were telling us, they loved our new travel- and lifestyle plans. So by this blog we hope to enjoy you, or maybe even inspire you to also start chasing your dreams.
We try to post 2 or 3 times a week a new blog. In these blogs we tell more about our travels, our daily life, the things we like etc. Most blogs we'll have a video intro, as vlogging is the new 'big thing' right;) Together with text and photo's we tell our story. If you are starting a blog, we would advise you to just find your own style. There are lots of travel blogs around, so the only way to stand out is to be you. We also use Social Media to push the blog. Make sure every Social Media chanel has it's own focus. As for example Instagram is better for 'visual impressions' and Facebook is better for sharing 'Information'. Make sure to have a strategy and just continue that.
How is this making the money?
Well, getting money out of an blog takes time. As viewers are increasing, you will receive collaboration proposals. This can be from brands that want you to write a blog about their product and pay you for that. A brand can offer you their product for free, in exchange you write a positive review about the product on your blog. Off course only do so when you are enthusiastic about the product yourself as well. Don't ever fake it for the money. As that is not how the universe works;)
You can put Affiliate links to products and hotels you are enthusiastic about. When a customer is buying through this link, you'll get a small percentage of this sell. When you are really liking the video editing and vlogging, try to get loads of views on You-Tube and they will pay you for it.
Ubuntu-Wear: United We Are
Culture Inspired Fashion & Lifestyle
We are much inspired by different cultures and tribes around the world. With our brand Ubuntu-Wear we want to share the thinking of unity and sharing. 'Ubuntu' is an African philosophy which litterly means "I Am Because You Are'. All products are designed and produced by ourselves. We produce eco-friendly and fair trade, as we believe we have to take care of each other and the world.
We sell our products in our webshop and in different shops in the Netherlands. We teamed up with a fulfillment company in the Netherlands, which is managing our stock. When we receive orders, they'll pack and ship out these orders worldwide. This is a perfect way for us in continuing our business, as off course we can not travel with all the products ourselves. It also saves a lot of time, so we now can focus on new designs and customer service. When ordering a product in our webshop, it will be shipped out within the same day! So for the Duchies, your items will be delivered almost the next day. For the worldwide orders, it only takes around 10 business days to arrive.
One of the reasons we wanted to travel was also to create new business opportunities. Asia is great for finding new collaborations. We already have seen many new inspiring fabrics and production techniques. The sketching and planning already started. So new collections will be created along the way.
How is this making the money?
We started Ubuntu-Wear about 2 years ago, with spending €100 of savings in fabrics and created a few designs out of it. We invested the profit of our first sales in new materials and so on. We never got ourselves a big loan, so it took time to involve into a profitable brand. Since about 6 months we no longer have to invest all money in new designs. We can pay ourselves a modest monthly salary out of it.
Before we left the Netherlands, we created enough stock for at least 6 months of sales. So there wouldn't be an immediately urge to create new designs. Now, in the meanwhile, we are looking for new opportunities and will invest a part of our profit into new designs. We produce in small orders, so our products will always have an exclusive vibe. You will see our collection flow together with the cultures we meet along the way. Curious now? Have a look at our webshop and check it out yourself.
Freelancing is a great way to create Digital Income along the way. We combine the marketing and website design skills of Elmer with the creative and visual strengths of Henriette. Together we created websites for different companies and brands. From basic websites to more extensive websites with a blog and webshop. We worked for businesses in Finance, in Fashion or even business in the Construction Industry.
We helped brands with writing them a Social Media Strategy or with a Marketing Consults. Through Skype or email it's easy to communicate. Nowadays the physical distance doesn't need to be a problem at all. Just make sure you know what time it is, your principal is staying in. Otherwise you'll call them when they are sleeping;) True digital nomad struggles.
Usually we work in coffee bars or at open work spaces. At the moment of writing this blog we are staying in Chiang Mai. We love the trendy coffee bar Local Cafe. In here they have the best coffees. The bar is decorated with trendy art, nineties r&b/hip hop is playing. Love the vibes.
At the Maya shopping mall they have this great place named "Camp" which has super fast Wifi and nice desks to work on. You can use the area for free, just buy a coffee and get your 2-hours wifi password. For a small amount of money they even have a private room you can use, when having important Skype calls or meetings
How is this making the money?
Just start and you will see there's a lot of work. Make sure when you get that job, do the best you can. So you can create a strong portfolio and show new principals what you can do for them. Listen, work smart and grow some confident. When we started is was quite challenging to us to get jobs. And this was mostly our own fault, as we thought we were just beginners and weren't 'skilled enough'. Now we realize, there are many businesses out there that appreciate your skills. For lots of them it not that easy to write a strong Marketing Strategy or design a website themselves. So they are more than happy to pay you for that. So again.. grow some confident and start hustling!
Want to have your own website or need marketing advise? Check out:
Want to start freelancing yourself? Check Out:
4. Passive Income
Affiliate Marketing: 'A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies ("affiliates") who market the company's products for a commission.'
Perhaps the simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site. There are a number of forms of these types of promotions but in most cases they involve you as a publisher earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then buy something.
Other variations on this are where you earn an amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action – for example when they sign up for something and give an email address, where they complete a survey, where they leave a name and address etc.
Again with affiliate marketing it's also about finding a product you believe in and are enthusiastic about. A product you can relate to, so it makes all the hard work way more easier.
At the moment we are working on a affiliate website. It's bit to soon now to tell you more about it already. But when it's up and running we will let you know and show you guys more.
There can be times when money is slow or you just simply want to do something different for a while. A great thing to do than is volunteering. Help some people with building their eco village, teach children art classes, help out a hotel in their household or babysit a dog. Mostly you work around 20 hours a week and for that in exchange you'll get a place to sleep and your daily food. Great deal right?!
Check out Workaway, as they are having worldwide programs to volunteer in!
How is this making the money?
Well it's volunteering, so it's not making money but saving money. It's all about sharing and receivingYou gather much more than the saved money as a volunteer. You receive knowledge, gather experience and you give somebody a helping hand, which is always a good thing. We will be volunteering very soon and of course we keep you updated about it.
So, as you can see there are many ways of making Digital Income. This are just a few, that work for us. We are sure, when you are dedicated to make a Digital Income you will succeed. Just keep in mind, it takes some time. Work on it with an open mind set, be flexible and try to see the opportunities. Stay determined and you will hustle your way through it. Don't let the money be an excuses not to travel. As this quote on the windows of Camp is saying 'You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.'