Many people have asked me how I make money to travel as much as I do — usually noting that all it seems like I do is “blog”, and “blogging can’t be that lucrative, right?” Well, kind of, I actually only recently starting making (some) money from it, but the rest of the time, I write a crap load of content for other companies.
After doing it for a few years, I’ve mastered the ability to find and maintain multiple internet-based freelance jobs, which means you can too! And no, that doesn’t mean online-porn or anything else that’s morally-degrading or weird. In fact, the majority of freelance jobs I have or have had, have never even seen what I look like!
I simply spend a few hours per day writing content about things I have 0 interest in such as, but not limited to; golf, executive gifts, hair salon news, engagement rings, vintage rock apparel, and even men’s hair products. Then, I get a nice little paycheck each week that goes straight to my metaphorical travel piggy bank (after rent)!
If you’re not a writer, you can still find freelance jobs in social media, cyber-assistant work, teaching, and even proof-reading! It’s not glamorous, but it pays! Plus it allows you to make money either in addition to what you already make, or in my case, to support yourself while trying to accomplish your dream job and life goals. Plus, you can do it from your laptop, AKA anywhere in the world!!!
So how do you find this mysterious paid-online-freelance work? It takes some time and patience, but these are all the ways I’ve found freelance work in the past:
From ghost-writing a stock market blog and a young adult novel-series, to writing the featured articles for a print travel magazine, these types of sites have hundreds of freelance jobs to apply to. How it works is that people looking for one time hires, project based, part timers, or contributors will post a job with a price range, and freelancers pitch why they would be a fit for it. The perfect fit wins the job.
That being said, you might want to brush up on your job skill pitch and your resumé, and keep in mind you’re competing with people who do this for a living. Other categories besides writing and editing include; design & multimedia, sales & marketing, admin support, etc.
Yes, yes, I know. It sounds super sketchy. But for freelancers who don’t want to deal with big companies or corporations, it’s an odd-job goldmine. If you look in “PR/Marketing” or “Writing/Editing”, there are tons of freelance jobs and projects you can apply to.
Tip: your pitch is typically way more important than your resume. Ain’t nobody got time to read boring resumes, they read what they see first, so make it stand out, and make sure you sound appreciative for the opportunity.
OH and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS…a lot of ads have secret “tests” just to see if you can follow basic directions, which many people can’t….don’t be that person.
3. Peer Referrals on Facebook
Oh, you thought social media was only to keep track of everyone from your highschool or get as many “likes” on photos as possible? Wrong! Not only is social media a great self-marketing tool, but it can be used for freelance job referrals and postings as well. Join as many Facebook groups as possible within your interest-range (tip: try “traveler” or “backpacker” type groups” or even “PR/Marketing Groups”.
Many group members will post freelance job notifications in them rather than using a job-search site to help “friends”. Linkedin is also a great resource for peer job-referral postings, however it tends to be more corporate.
SO, I haven’t technically gotten a job this way, but I have paid a few people to do jobs for me from these sites! If there is anything that you are good at doing online (i.e. graphic design, writing, PR, social media, editing, drawing cartoons of people’s pets, etc.) you can create a profile on either site, and have people pay you per gig.
5. Teaching English
Do you have any idea how many children and adults around the world would love to know how to speak English? Coincidentally, you probably do speak English…and coincidentally again…you can get certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) on one of many online courses.
Once you’re certified, there are a ton of opportunities to teach abroad, but if you aren’t ready to commit to that yet, you can also use it to tutor from the U.S.
6. Sell Stuff
I’ll admit…there have been times where I really wanted to go somewhere but didn’t have enough money. So what did I do? Sold a bracelet an ex-boyfriend gave me (sorry), sold my old prom dresses, even sold a weird looking statue I bought from a street vendor in South Africa! Chances are if you wanted it once, someone else will want it now, so you might as well see what you can get by selling your old stuff! Ebay, Amazon, and a bunch of other new sites and apps can all help you sell your stuff for some extra cash!
I just recently started being an Air BNB host, and although I’m still slightly pissed that my landlord is totally ripping me off with rent, I did finally make enough from Air BNB to cover it this month! I completely re-decorated a 1 bedroom apartment in West Hollywood, and started renting it for $98 a night. Now I’m renting it for between $135-$150 which means it’s technically cheaper to travel than to stay home, so it’s a win win situation!
8. Blogging & Influencers
I saved this one for last because I wanted to be realistic first. It took me a long time to get to the point where I can actually profit from ad sales and sponsored posts, so I don’t want to make it seem like it’s easy and attainable over night.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, you need to get a good template (I like WordPress), find your niché (what makes you different, or stand out in your area of expertise), and start writing a ton of content that interests both you AND your audience. It might take a while, but just keep writing and posting your stuff, and eventually you can turn it into something that you can even profit from! (*Working on a more in-depth article on this that I will post later!)
Alyssa is a self-made, full time travel blogger who loves adventure and typically travels the world solo. She's been to 53 countries and 6 continents so far, and believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!