If you have yet to experience the remote work lifestyle, you may think that it is reserved for only a select few ‘lucky ones’. Or maybe you think that the only people that can work remotely are those who have worked for many years to gain the relevant experience.
However, you may be surprised to find that, in fact, there are tons of remote jobs available for all levels of experienced worker. Almost any job can be outsourced nowadays; it’s just a case of finding your niche, sourcing the job and applying! Here at Surf Office we want to make this process a little easier for you, and have put together a handy list of 14 jobs that you can do remotely to help inspire you to become a location independent professional:
#1 Web Designer & UX Design
With the reach and accessibility the internet now has, more and more people are setting up online businesses. A large part of this is also down to the rise of open-source platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Gone are the days when you need to empty your bank accounts to pay a web developer for a bespoke website, you can now have this done through open-source website developers for a fraction of the price. Before having your website set up on one of these websites, you must choose a theme, which you’ll need to pay for if you want your site to look appealing (unfortunately the free themes aren’t quite up to scratch!). This is exactly where Thomas Ehrig has capitalised, travelling the world by selling a WordPress theme that he developed.
Design is an area that has multiple job routes within it, including UX design, the process of making a user’s experience on a website easier. This is exactly what three nomads that we spoke to do.
#2 Community Manager
Community management has become an increasingly more popular role in recent years as it has become necessary for companies to not only have an online presence but also to be interacting with their community online too. Community management, as different to social media management, is focused on the community of your brand rather than your brand’s image itself. It may be about managing your existing community through a help desk, reaching out to existing customers or trying to expand your community further. Jacqueline, a community evangelist at Piktochart, knows more on this.
#3 Digital Marketing
Alongside this is digital marketing which is used with the aim of promoting and expanding your company’s image. Digital marketing is comprised of many different areas, including social media marketing, SEO, and email marketing. With this in mind, there are several different roads that you can take when it comes to marketing. Plus, there are professionals such as a PPC Company out there who could give you and your business a helping hand when it comes to SEO. If this is something that's new to you, you may not understand it just yet, but there is no harm in asking for some help. and Simon Lewis, who started his own marketing agency, talks about this on our blog.
Blogging is a great place to start as it’s easy and inexpensive to get into with helpful (and free!) blogging platforms such as WordPress. For many, these blogs start as hobbies but can develop into profitable ventures with routes such as paid advertising or even selling your own products. It can take a while to build up your user base, but once you do it can be an easy and enjoyable way to keep your cash coming in, sometimes requiring no further action from you.
Some highly successful blogs include this one from Tim Ferris, author of the famous The 4-Hour Workweek, which is obviously a personal favourite for many remote workers! What better way to get started in the world of blogging than writing about your travels and remote working experiences? This is exactly what two of our guest bloggers, Marcus & Feli do with their German backpacking and adventure travel blog Travelicia. While they have multiple projects on the go, their blog is one of their sources of income.
Following on nicely from blogging is copywriting, another job requiring a way with words. Well-written and carefully thought out copy is a highly desired skill by any company wishing to expand their online brand, enhance their Google page ranking and to deliver eye-catching and memory-sticking adverts. Because of this, it is a skill some companies will pay highly for. Of course, it takes time to work up to this level, but this is also what Marina from our friends Made in Moments does.
#6 App Development
With roughly 50,000 new apps added to the App Store each month, app development is a huge market. It can also be a lucrative one; the highly addictive Candy Crush app makes roughly $313,633 per day! App development can be a way of building a product or service, and then once live on an app store allow for a constant stream of revenue for little or no extra work. Pablo Villalba did something similar with his fitness app 8fit.
#7 Operations Director
There is no role too senior to be done remotely, as we found speaking to Stuart Gardner, an Operations Director, who works remotely almost all of the time. Operations Directors, as the name might suggest, have to ensure that all of the operations within a business are running smoothly, and so essentially have their hand in every aspect of the business. It’s a vital role to any company, but it just shows that if you have the desire and motivation to work remotely, then you can still keep a business running efficiently from anywhere in the world!
If you’ve been doing a job for long enough, the chances are that you’re pretty good at it by now. And with this extra knowledge and skill comes the ability to offer your services to other companies in need of some help. There are consultants for all walks of life, including financial, business, marketing, management and law. Within each of these general areas, there may be a specific area where you are highly specialised and in a great position to be paid by another company for your wealth of knowledge. We had a chat with Joe Goerbert, who runs a business plan consultancy BrainHive Business Planning, about his life as a digital nomad and his experience with Surf Office.
This career path is the perfect example of turning a passion and a hobby into a stream of revenue; if you can make this click for you then your job will never feel like work again (at least not all the time!). Sanda had previously a career in IT but decided she wanted a better, more balanced life, so she began to learn photography. She then turned it into a career by selling her work and organising photography workshops. Of course, if you aren’t interested in photography then you could look at turning one of your other hobbies into a job; perhaps writing, drawing, singing or cooking to name just a few. Thanks to the internet, specifically social media, these careers are more viable than ever. You could start by simply creating an Instagram profile and showcasing your work, while growing your following with a tool like socialfollow. Ditching Corporate Career to Pursue a Dream.
#10 Human Resources
HR is another vital business operation and involves the management of all the employees within an organization. Much like the Operations Director role, this vital role can still be performed remotely. Ana & Catalina enjoyed HR but didn’t enjoy the 9-5 corporate world, so they became location independent.
#11 Setup Your Own Company
If you don’t want to work for someone else, either in an office or remotely, then setting up your own online company can be a great way to ensure you can live and work location independently. With platforms like WordPress, as well as handy integrations with plugins like WooCommerce, it’s now easier than ever to establish your own eCommerce site for a minimal cost. This is exactly what Adam Bromby did when he set up DriftFish, an online surf shop selling eco-surf gear. If you are interested in opening your own eCommerce store you may want to look into how to bring customers in, luckily there are companies such as Victorious that can cater to the WooCommerce and bigcommerce seo businesses.
If you’re struggling to think of an idea for an online business, take a leaf out of Adam’s book and set one up around your passion! If not this, a good way to start your own company is to find a solution to a problem in your own life, which is just what Fred Perrotta did with popular Tortuga Backpacks.
#12 Renting Out Properties & Writing Ebooks
There are limitless ways that you can make money while on the road, and Jasper Ribbers taught us this with his interview. His main source of income is from renting out a property on Airbnb, meaning there is very little work required for a constant stream of income. Perhaps you too could rent out your property while working remotely? Or perhaps you aren’t in a position to do this, but take a look at your assets and commodities and consider whether you could sell or lease any of them out for some revenue?
Jasper also wrote an ebook on the process of Airbnb, which provides another source of income for himself. An ebook can be as little as 3000 words in length, so there’s no reason why you couldn’t put one together on an area you’re knowledgeable in or have a passion in and sell this on.
#13 Sell Products Online
Matteo Lombardi is a great example how you can develop a successful remote lifestyle by selling products on Amazon rather than his own eCommerce website. Stores such as Amazon already have a much better-established base and so can be easier for getting your products out to market quickly.
#14 Remote Internship
These roles may be initially unpaid, but they can lead to permanent roles. Remote internships can be a great way of building up your skill set, getting connected with remote companies and building up your confidence to go out and do it yourself.
This list has just scratched the surface of the hundreds of jobs available to allow you to become a remote worker. It doesn’t require years of experience or having a certain number of qualifications on your CV, most of the time you simply need a laptop and the desire for a life outside of an office! Everyone is looking for something when it comes to a particular skill, so what you may consider just a hobby could be a money-making venture for you. We hope this list provided the inspiration you were after and we look forward to seeing you at Surf Office as a soon-to-be remote worker!