Internet entrepreneurs such as Tim Ferriss (of the 4-hour workweek) have popularized the idea of starting a business online and running it from anywhere in the world. The dream of travelling from country to country and only working whenever you want is certainly a seductive one. However, the question that is often asked by newbies is, what kind of internet-based businesses can they run?
As a digital nomad myself, I have personally tried several internet-only business models while travelling, with great success. Furthermore, I have met plenty of fellow entrepreneurs who have achieved amazing results in other areas. Best of all, these business models still work well today, and can be started with little to no upfront capital.
Here are 4 online businesses which you can use to generate a healthy income in 2018, just from your laptop, wherever you are in the world.
The rapid rise in online casinos in the past two decades means that professional gamblers can now relocate to more cost-effective corners of the world, while they grind out profits from games of skill such as poker. The golden years of the mid-2000’s when monthly incomes of $10,000 were commonplace seem to be over. However, if you hang around long enough at any beach bar in the Caribbean or Far East, you will eventually get chatting to a poker guy or gal. They all tell me that the game requires high levels of skill and insane levels of discipline, but it’s still definitely possible to make a decent income. One thing to bear in mind are the payment and withdrawal options, since many banks and credit card providers will block transactions made while you are abroad. This makes the use of paypal casinos a good idea for the travelling online poker pro, although we also recommend calling Paypal before you go and telling them which countries you might be visiting.
With millions of products and services available for sale on the internet, the businesses behind these products and services are willing to pay a hefty commission to third parties who will find them customers. If you have a website, a mailing list or even just a Facebook page, and enough targeted visitors, you can introduce these products and services to your audience, and any buyers will net you a commission of 5, 10, 20 and even 70%. There are plenty of places where you can browse offers, the biggest and easiest being Amazon’s affiliate program, which places targeted products automatically on your web site. Best of all, thanks to platforms such as WordPress, anyone can have a website now, with little technical skill required.
If you are going down the website route, have you considered opening your own ecommerce store? You can sell any kind of product online these days, and thanks to platforms such as Shopify, setting up your store and handling shipping costs, taxes and so on is much easier. To make things even more intriguing, you can now take advantage of dropshipping companies so that you don’t even need to worry about handling stock. Obviously, this will be rather important if you plan on travelling a lot. Services such as Fulfilled by Amazon, Aliexpress and Teespring all have varied and interesting dropshipping services which you should check out if you wan to become the next ecommerce millionaire.
Internet consultancy services (SEO, Copywriting, Virtual Assistant, etc.)
With so much business now being run online these days, there is a huge secondary market for professional services. From web development to SEO (making sure a website performs well in the search engines like Google) to writing the text for all these websites, there are literally millions of freelancers worldwide who sell their skills online. This is how I personally make money while living the dream of a digital nomad, as a copywriter for some of the biggest sites on the planet. That said, the big money is actually made working in the smaller, most profitable niches, and my advice is always to focus on a niche and learn it inside out, as this gives the best value to clients. As for these clients, you can find them on freelancing portals such as Behance, iWriter and Upwork.
All of the above business ideas are perfectly achievable for anyone with even average intelligence, a laptop and an internet connection. And I should know, since I am a copywriter of distinctly moderate talents, and I am writing this from my beach hut in Phuket.
However, being your own boss isn’t for everyone. Discipline, organization and a passion for your chosen business are all non-negotiable. Patience and cultural sensitivity are also important virtues for the globetrotting freelancer, since the internet in developing countries can often drop at the worst possible moment, normally just before the article is finis-