Assessing 5 Ways For Digital Nomads To Make Money Online

If there’s something remote work has made tempting, it is the idea of becoming a digital nomad. The idea of moving about, and working from a coffee shop in Germany one month and a beach in the Caribbean a few months later, is very appealing to many. At the same time however, a lot of the content out there about digital nomadism winds up giving the impression that this lifestyle is easy to establish.

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In reality, achieving this level of independence is not easy. It may require years of hard work, overcoming financial obstacles, and sometimes relying on a relatively uncertain source of income. And it’s due to that last reason that a lot of digital nomads ultimately look to develop multiple streams of revenue online, so as to supplement core income and make the lifestyle more viable. This is a perfectly reasonable idea in theory, but it’s also led to some bizarre or misunderstood ideas about how to make money on the internet.

To address this topic a little more specifically, we want to look at some of the pros and cons of common ways people look to make money online. So let’s get after it!

1. Video Game Streaming

We have all seen videos of famous gamers sharing their reactions to Elden Ring, or simply playing Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto Online with friends. You may have also seen them accepting donations from loyal fans. This can make streaming look like a great option for digital nomads.

However, it should also be considered that playing the most recent titles requires expensive equipment, which might not always be easy to pack and carry around the world. Plus, to get good (and relevant) enough to earn meaningful sums, you need to dedicate a lot of time to perfecting your skill and growing a fan base.

Verdict: No

Too much time, energy, and equipment is required. And even then, big payouts on the Twitch streaming service only go to the top 0.01% of streamers.


2. Online Poker

Poker exploded in popularity in the 2000s, when the World Series of Poker was regularly broadcasted around the world, and amateurs flocked to the tables. Today, there’s an enormous variety of ways to play poker for money online –– from games that include RPG mechanics, to fast-paced “sit-and-go” titles that allow you to switch tables as soon as you fold, and even VR titles. However, making a profit consistently in any of these environments requires a lot of hours of study and practice. There is skill in poker, but it doesn’t guarantee wins so much as increase the likelihood that you’ll win just enough to earn net gains. You can also buy bitcoin as a way to enter an online poker game.

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Verdict: Maybe

It’s possible to figure out a traveling career in poker, but it’s a demanding option, and it always carries potential for losses. Never play with more money than you can afford to lose.


3. Casino Games

Most casino games outside of poker are pure chance. However, sites with more diverse game offerings give you some chance of maximizing your potential for winnings. It’s often the bingo-centric sites that fit this description, as they tend to augment their core bingo games with a variety of other casino arcades. The Gala Bingo platform gives you a clear sense of what this looks like, with bingo games surrounded by various jackpot and slot options, table games like blackjack and roulette, and even live game shows. That’s not to say games like these make for easy earnings. But with games like blackjack (which offers better odds to players) on hand, it’s at least possible to play with some strategy at online casinos.

Verdict: No

Casino games can be fun, and some give better odds than others. But they can’t be figured out, and should be reserved for fun (and expendable earnings).


4. Online Courses

If there’s a skill you have, chances are there’s someone willing to pay you to teach it. There are also platforms out there like Udemy and Skillshare that can help you create, promote and sell courses. The bad news is that this field is highly competitive. It’s almost impossible to come up with an idea for which there aren’t successful courses online. Taking that into consideration, if you manage to find a niche topic with a lot of potential, this can be a worthwhile option. But you should be ready to do some marketing on your own.

Verdict: Yes

There’s always demand for new courses, but you have to find a way to stand out.


5. Investing

Investment markets follow a very simple principle: If people believe an asset is going to do well in the future, then they will pay good money to own a percentage of that asset. For someone who already understands international markets, and follows financial news closely, this can be a very profitable endeavor even while traveling. Nevertheless, investment markets can sometimes be volatile and unpredictable –– which is why it’s necessary to prepare diligently and establish a way of monitoring your portfolio regularly.

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Verdict: Yes

Investing can be a profitable activity, but it requires thorough preparation and a reliable means of tracking investments while abroad.

Athens rooftop view of acropolis airbnb

The view from the rooftop of my Airbnb! Talk about a digital nomad’s dream view

Making extra money as a digital nomad is possible, but it’s not easy. There are pros and cons to popular options, and it’s important to consider them all before you try establishing an extra stream of revenue.

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