How I Accidentally Became A Digital Nomad

Digital Nomad, 数码游民

Giza, Egypt

 

 

I have never heard of the term digital nomad before but after having one leg stepped into it, I find it a good source of income for long term traveler.

 

 

I understand it by breaking up the two words, Digital means online I suppose and Nomad means to move around. Therefore Digital Nomad means to be able to get a job that allows you to move around and work remotely.

 

So it also means that you can travel to some countries, stay there for a while, at the same time working and get paid. Sounds good right wahahaha.

 

This is something that I wanted and looking for, but the problem is where and how should I start?

 

 

Freelancing is never my cup of tea when I am in my cubicle job or even after traveling for the past few years.

 

I always have the stereotype thought that freelancing are more for designers or programmers where they can have the advantage of location freedom and takes on private projects.

 

In October when I came up with the idea of writing an ebook, I started to look for information on how to write and design. I stumbled upon some freelancing websites where they have freelancer from all over the world providing different services.

 

On the same month, due to some miscalculation and lack of research, my travel in Israel and Egypt cost more than what I budgeted and I was running low on my life point (MONEY!).

 

After feeling sad for a few days, I decided to search the freelancing websites again and try to dig out some skills I had, luckily there is a section where I can write travel articles and provide language translation.

 

 

I was thinking should I advertise on forums like Gumtree or Craigslist for my services but then I decided to use a freelancing platform, as I have ZERO experience.

 

So I picked and sign up with one of them, I chose Fiverr.com

 

No special reason why I chose Fiverr.com, just that after browsing the website, I am able to understand how it function without even signing up for it.

 

The services that you can provide are clearly listed in the menu like Graphic Design, Online Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Music & Audio, Programming, Advertising, Business, lifestyle and many more.

 

 

After signing up you need to create gigs, these are the services that you can provide, each service calls a minimum price of $5USD, so if a customer orders your gig it will be $5USD or above, nothing lower than that, maybe this is also the main reason why I sign up with the platform.

 

For newbies like me it is not easy to get an order, so the gig needs to include more benefits than those who are on the same site. So how to make a stand for your services?

 

You can view other people’s gig to make a gauge and offer your service based on that.

 

I am pretty lucky because after a few days I got my first gig ordered, and gigs start to come in once every few days.

 

 

After the first month, I managed to earn $120 from the services I provide and I also realize that most people that ordered my gig are urgent cases.

 

1st Month Earning

1st Month Earning

 

Therefore it is advisable to keep yourself connected online.

 

Unfortunately Fiverr will show you as offline after few minutes of inactivity, so you need to always log into the account once a while to make your status online.

 

2nd month in December is better as compared to the 1st, I got orders for $10, $25 and sometime tips for the work I do, so I managed to make $184.

 

2nd Month

2nd Month

 

You must be curious how the $4 comes about…

 

Fiverr earns 20% commission on what the customer ordered, this means that for every $5 you earned, $1 goes to Fiverr, including TIPS!

 

Despite that I am still happy with December because I clinched a travel related writing gig outside the platform that earns me additional $150.

 

 

These 2 months I did not travel much and I found out a section called Buyer’s Request in that platform.

 

A place where customers post what they need and we offer accordingly.

 

I was able to get a few good deals and since I am traveling less, I have more time to spend in front of the computer (not so healthy thou). So the 3rd month I manage to earn 4 times more than the first month.

 

The 4th month, in addition to translation, a customer wanted to create videos but I do not have such skills under my sleeve.

 

I quickly went to Youtube and learnt that skill.

 

Fortunately I was able to provide my new skillset and it boosts my 4th month’s income to $1k+ which can cover my next few trips /: )

 

4th Month Balance

4th Month Balance

 

 

#1. Stay Online So People Can Reach You.

Usually customer will send request to multiple freelancers and if you are online you can make the first communication with the client.

 

#2. Be Responsive And Response Within An Hour To Ensure A Deal.

If you are the first 1 or 2 to respond and give a good impression and professional advice to you customer, you will be likely to get the job.

 

#3. Good Customer Service And Be Easy To Work With.

Always reply with the intention to help the customer and also bullet point their request so as to make them feel that working and communicating with you is easy and organised.

 

#4. Always Thank Customer After The Service.

Be grateful to every customer even if you didn't get the job, because some of them may come back to you. This is also a good way to build repeating customer.

 

#5. You Can Use A Template For Replies But Be Personal With Each Reply.

This is just my personal feeling, as I don't like to be presented with standard or general answers and replies. So I will tweak every of my message if I am using a template too.

 

#6. Under Promise But Over Deliver

By just over deliver a little makes a big difference, especially if it is a new customer and you want to make a good impression.

 

#7. Give Customer Time To Check Through Before Completing The Order.

It is always advisable to give them time to check through or advice what to check and look out for.

 

#8. Do Not Push Customer To Complete An Order Or Leave A Review.

Never rush the customer to complete an order so that you can get your money sooner, nobody like to be rushed.

 

I had 2-3 cases that I rushed them and got backfired, even if you provide a good customer service, you will still get poor reviews wahahaha.

 

#9. Don't Take The Job When You Do Not Have The Time Or The Competency.

If you are traveling on the road, don't take the job, tell you customer nicely or ask for a later delivery date.

 

Do not take the job if it is too big (split into phrases) or you do not have the competency, finding other freelancer to help might be a solution but it is not always a good solution, it doesn't pays for all the trouble you go through.

 

#10. Deliver On Time And Be Professional In Your Work.

Especially if it is an urgent service, don't be late! This also shows your work attitude towards the job and your customer. If you need extension, ask few days before the dateline.

 

 

If you need some translation from English to Simplified/Traditional Mandarin or vice versa, writing travel related articles or blog post in English or Mandarin or both, you can visit my Freelance Services page to get further details on it.

 

Else you can also find me on Fiverr.com

 

There are other sites where you can get freelance services or provide your services; examples are elance.com, upwork.com and 99designs.com.

 

If you want to join Fiverr.com, you can leave me with your email address in the comment and I can send a referral to you, both you and me gets a free gig each, thanks /:)

 

 Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small amount of affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to you as my readers.

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