Category Archives: Remote Work

Remote working and digital nomad productivity tips

What to do when faced with energy draining distractions? Work hard and play hard with these;

Don't bang your head, use these Digital Nomad Productivity Tips. Photo from Flickr
Don’t bang your head, use these Digital Nomad Productivity Tips. Photo from Flickr

Top 10 digital nomad productivity tips.

If you don’t already have an ambitious, rigidly organized, proactive, and time-management centered Type A personality, then this list is for you! From dealing with distractions to maintaining your creativity, Nomadic You has this advice:

1.    Plan the night before

Avoid those mornings umming and ahing in front of your laptop, by planning the night before. Jot down a couple of tasks at the end of your work day that need your attention in the morning. This will free your mind from dwelling on outstanding tasks and you will be able to have a relaxing eve. Although, some people just use alcohol for this?

2.    Start early, but have an end-time

With your list of task in hand, you’re bound to get tons done in the morning. All those “early bird” sayings can’t be wrong; or it could just be the power of caffeine.

As useful is to decide on closing-time for your day’s work. Maintaining a work-life balance is tough for the workaholics out there. Also, having a closing-time will help you stay focused.

3.    Silence your mobile everything

You’ll be far less distracted if you don’t get a twitter notification every time someone likes one of your tweets. Go to your “Profile and Settings” and disable your email and web notifications.

The same goes for Facebook; turn off the email notifications and the App requests and activity under “Notification Settings”. You won’t know when friends log onto Angry Birds, but you will survive.

4.    Avoiding distractions from your laptop

While on Facebook also remember to turn off those Chrome notifications in the corner of your computer screen. You can take things a step further by only having one tab open at a time. Of course, there is an App for that!

  • Freedom for blocking distracting websites.
  • Cold Turkey for blocking distraction free periods.
  • StayFocusd to allocate yourself a maximum number of minutes per day for distracting sites.

5.    Stay out of the kitchen

Apparently, the Jamie Oliver’s out there can get carried away whipping up a meal or baking away for hours. If this sounds like you, then try to prepare some snacks before you get started.  Preparing the night before, will be optimal if you are at your most productive in the morning.

6.    Take breaks and naps

The Pomodoro technique suggests you set a timer to work in 25 minute bursts, then have a short break. Taking frequent breaks can keep your energy levels up during the day.

For some, the best medicine for that post-lunch slump is a guilt free afternoon siesta. The joy of remote working is not being too far from your comfortable bed.

7.    Creative surroundings

If you are remote working from home, try to change things up by working from a coffee shop or library. This should boost your creativity. Digital nomads will experience a lot of change in scenery, but not all venues will work well.

I love this tip by Hailley Griffis @hailleymari

“When I’m landing in a new city and looking for a great spot to work from, with power, wifi, coffee and great vibes, I usually send out a Tweet or message local friends for suggestions.”

8.    Keep your sanity with some human interaction

Loneliness is one of the biggest draw-backs of working from home. And digital nomads often don’t stay put in one place long enough to build friendships. Your wellbeing will suffer if you are on your laptop for long-periods of time. Be sure to interact with those around you.

9.    Be flexibile and move around

You’ll know when you’ve hit a wall with your project. The benefit of not having a boss watching you across the room, is that you don’t need to push forth. Alternate the mental exertion of your project with some physical exertion. Do some laundry, go for a run or just move around a bit.

10. Leave calls (and social media) for the afternoon

Make no mistake, our obsession with Facebook has made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire. But, poking and liking won’t get you to your goals. Assuming you are more productive in the mornings, this time is best reserved for work rather than calls or social media.

@NomadicYou How do you find balance between work and play? Which of these digital nomad productivity tips are you already using?

The Basics on Being a Digital Nomad Author

Writing and travelling is a winning combination. Now with the growth in self-publishing it is easier than ever before to;

digital-nomad-author
Digital Nomad Author finding inspiration in a Cafe.

Be a Wanderlust Digital Nomad Author.

Authors have been travelling the world for inspiration long before it was trendy to be a digital nomad. Increasingly authors are choosing to go the self-publishing route; The latest Bowker Report finds that more than 700,000 books were self-published in the U.S. in 2015.

If you are considering becoming a digital nomad author, Nomadic You has this quick checklist explaining the path to publishing success:

e-Book Publishing Steps

#1 Decide on a Genre

#2 Write your Book

#3 Have your manuscript edited

#4 Format your manuscript for e-publishing

#5 Design an eye-catching e-book cover

#6 Create a copyright page

#7 Decide whether you will use a pen name

#8 Price your e-book and open a PayPal account

#9 Place your e-book for sale on Amazon and Smashwords

#10 Have an Author (headshot) photo taken

#11 Create an author page on Amazon and Smashwords

e-Book Marketing Steps

#12 Creating a sales blurb for (400 character/80 word)

#13 Write a 4000 character/800 word long description

#14 Create a website (WordPress) sales page

#15 Advertise on a Facebook page

#16 Request reader reviews to boost sales

#17 Promote your e-book on Goodreads

What Income can I make from an e-book?

Amazon represents roughly 70% of the e-book market and you will earn more royalties (i.e. 70%) if you price your e-book between $2.99 and $9.99. If you price your e-book outside this range, you will only earn 35% royalties.

In the U.S. adult fiction e-books represents 21% of the market versus 23% for fiction print books. For non-fiction; adult e-books make up 6% of the market vs 42% for non-fiction print books.

Going to print for more sales

If you market your e-book well and get good reviews, a successful self-published e-book could help you convince a publisher to put your book into print.

According to Berrett-Koehler Publishers, the average U.S. nonfiction book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 2,000 copies over its lifetime. However, you can beat the average by researching a trending topic and leveraging your digital channels for sales, marketing, and community building.

@NomadicYou What would you write about as a digital nomad author? Fiction or non-fiction?

The easiest WordPress blog Social Media Plan

Don’t have a hot sex video to drive traffic to your blog? Or much time or money?

Then this WordPress blog social media plan is for you.

Worpress blog Social Media Plan Trailer Screenshot Tippi Hedren
Trailer Screenshot Tippi Hedren in A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)

If you are testing the blogging waters before leaving your desk job, then time is at a premium. You’ll need to find enough hours in a day to master WordPress and write blog posts too. By the time it comes to marketing your blog on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll be too pooped.

But alas, as witty as the writing may be, very few people will view your posts unless you make the time to market it on social media. The question then is; How little social media can you get away with?

The good news is that I have just helped an editing freelancer at www.catandkeyboard.com with this exact dilemma. Here are my Top 8 tips on creating the most social media impact for your WordPress blog with the littlest time:

#1 Publicize with Jetpack

Publicize makes it easy to share your site’s posts on several social media networks automatically when you publish a new post. At the very least select Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. What a time saver when each blog posts automatically updates on multiple social media networks.

#2 Speak a thousand words with images

You’ll be able to find images that you can use for free, even commercially, under the Advanced Settings Tab in Google Images. Be sure to select something emotive that will excite your readers. Save time by using less text and more imagery.

#3 Sharing buttons and controversial content

Download the AddThis, ShareThis or Simple Share button plugins for wordpress and show the buttons everywhere you can. You can get away with less blog posts if your readers are eager to share your existing posts on Reddit, Pinterest and Facebook. Have a strong opinion and flirt with controversy if you can, to get easy social media exposure.

#4 Add connections and friends

With Jetpack publicize you will already have blog updates publishing to LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. What a great reminder for your friends and connections to go view your blog. Be sure to spend some of your time inviting friends and adding connections.

#5 Finding followers with images

Jetpack publicize won’t publish to Pinterest. But don’t ignore this useful platform. Think of fun and relevant boards to create for your blog and pin your blog images into useful groupings. You’ll be able to pin your Twitter images too. But, don’t look to spammy on Pinterest. Re-pin some related content too from other pinners.

#6 If it doesn’t move hashtag it

Building a Twitter following is hard and your message may get lost between all the thousands of tweets. Be sure to use hashtags smartly to make your tweets searchable. The hashtags you use should be relevant to the followers you are seeking to grow. Try to use three or four at most so that each tweet is still readable.

#7 Share, Re-pin and Re-tweet

I created a wonderful original twitter post of a woman kissing a seal and including some lyrics by Seal. I ended up losing followers for my time and effort. Better lyrics next time please Mr Seal… Strangely, you can spend a fraction of the time with a good re-pin on Pinterest or Re-tweet on Twitter that will gain you a following.

#8 Follow and you may be followed in return

It doesn’t take much time to follow someone on Twitter or Pinterest and you may be followed in return. Try to add someone who matches the demographic that you are targeting with your blog. You are more likely to be rewarded with a like for your tweet or pin.

@NomadicYou Have you devised your WordPress blog social media plan? What has taken little time but had huge impact?

The best freelancing gigs list

Get your remote work on with Fiverr and five others. The largest websites for remote work and best freelancing gigs listed for you

Best Freelancing Gigs
Best Freelancing Gigs

Did you know, the largest freelancer marketplace Upwork has three million jobs posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion USD? Fiverr and Freelancer can’t be too far off the $1 billion mark either.

To get started with your own slice of freelancing in the gig economy, all you need is a computer, internet connection, and some marketable skills.

Your next step is creating a profile of your proven skills and building a solid reputation with your clients. Your hourly rate may start of low, but Upwork finds that, on average, freelancers increase their hourly rate almost 60% in the first year and close to 190% over 3 years. Feeling inspired? Check out these most popular freelancing gigs:

#1 Gigs at Upwork

How big? With an Alexa rank of 336, Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients.

1.       Web Developers 2.       Virtual Assistants
3.       Mobile Developers 4.       Customer Service Agents
5.       Designers and Creatives 6.       Sales and Marketing Experts
7.       Writers 8.       Accountants and Consultants

#2 Gigs at Fiverr

A close second is Fiverr, with an Alexa Rank of #347 and 25 million completed projects.

1.       Graphics and Design 2.       Digital Marketing
3.       Writing and Translation 4.       Video and Animation
5.       Music and Audio 6.       Programming and Tech
7.       Advertising 8.       Business

#3 Gigs at Freelancer

The number three has an Alexa rank of #827 and over 21 million registered users.

1.       Website Development 2.       Web Design
3.       SEO Marketing 4.       Mobile App
5.       Article Writing 6.       Business Card
7.       Logo Design 8.       Data Entry
9.       Graphic Design 10.   Internet Marketing

 #4 Gigs at Peopleperhour

In number four with an Alexa rank of #4,112, Peopleperhour has 250,000 active users, of whom 180,000 are freelancers.

1.       Design 2.       Web Development
3.       Writing and Translation 4.       Sales and Marketing
5.       Video, Photo and Audio 6.       Social Media
7.       Business Support 8.       Software development and mobile

 #5 Gigs at 99designs

At a creative five, 99 Designs has an Alexa rank of #4,973, 1.34 million talented designers and 364,571 happy customers.

1.       Logo Design 2.       Packaging Design
3.       Logo and Brand Identity 4.       Logo and Website
5.       T-Shirt Design 6.       Car Wrap Design
7.       Logo and Business Card  

 #6 Gigs at Guru

Wrapping up the top 6, Guru has an Alexa rank of #7136, 1.5 million members worldwide and 1 million completed jobs.

1.       Web, Software and IT 2.       Writing & Translation
3.       Management & Finance 4.       Engineering & Architecture
5.       Design, Art & Multimedia 6.       Admin Support
7.       Sales & Marketing 8.       Legal

@NomadicYou #fiverr or #upwork? What is the best freelancing #gig for you?

Off to the beach with remote working

How are netrepreneurs remote working to finance their exotic lifestyles? Is e-commerce, passive income or residual income best?

Remote working from the beach www.nomadicyou.com
Remote working from the beach www.nomadicyou.com

If you already have a hit single that will earn you royalties for the rest of your days and conveniently even more after death, then no need to read any further. For the rest of us who dream of being digital nomads, the most obvious concern is: How to finance this new exotic lifestyle? After all, opting to be nomadic likely means leaving that cozy desk job. And if you don’t yet have a thriving online business, then the leap from desk to Davao is intimidating indeed.

#netrepreneur

The good news is that, according to eMarketer, worldwide e-commerce growth is expected to more than double from $1,915 trillion in 2016 to $4.058 trillion in 2020. That is a lot of money, with plenty of opportunities to find your niche. You may choose to be a netrepreneur selling one of the following:

Products; Something non-perishable and not too heavy and bulky works best. From gadgets to garments, internet consumers love the convenience of shopping in their pajamas.

Services; Make your web design skills available on Elance, fiverr or Upwork. Other skills that are in demand include logo design, infographics, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and setting up WordPress websites.

Information; Got a unique outlook on the world that others are keen to hear about? Then have the masses come and read your content and use Google AdWords and affiliate income to get some funds into that PayPal account.

#passiveincome

Those freelancing gigs will keep you quite busy; although the advertisements on your website will earn you money whilst you sleep. There is much to be said for passive income, like Google AdWords, that gives you more time to enjoy life on the road.  It is well worth then looking at some old-school sources of passive income too.

Since you won’t be using your apartment while travelling the world, homeowners can consider making income from rent. Sadly, screening tenants is not an exact science. So, best to have a buffer fund for late payments or emergency repairs. Not the most fun, this landlord gig. But having some bricks and mortar will be worth the hassle in the end; especially if property prices in your city are on the up.

#residualincome

Better than online gigs and being a landlord by far, is residual income. Where you create an asset like a book, a patent or a song and collect royalties for many happy years thereafter. That will leave lots of time for play. Try as I might, I still haven’t discovered my inner Beyoncé. Besides all the good lyrics are already taken; Wuh uh oh uh uh oh. All taken, oh no.

Publishing your own ebook is probably the easier of the options. Writing skills, unlike rhythm, can be taught. Plus, a life of travel should spark many a creative idea. Try self-publishing your ebook on Amazon with help from an editor or two. Then, once your ebook has garnered some decent interest, a publisher could be persuaded to put it in print.

#numbeo

The mind boggles with all these income options on the road. “But how much money is enough?” Numbeo.com is a great place to get some answers on budgeting. Numbeo relies on user submitted data to calculate the cost of living for hundreds of cities across the globe. Try checking the cost of accommodation, transport and food in your city. Like me, I’m sure you’ll find their data is quite accurate.

For all the data nerds, the cost of living index is worth a look. Cheapest of all the global cities is Bangalore in India. Amazingly, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can be had for S1.79 and a 1-bedroom apartment outside the city center costs a silly $126.32 per month. Who would have thought that there is a vibrant city in the world where a single person can live on $308.13 per month?

#slowtravel

Sure, Bangalore is an extreme example of cheap travel. But other affordable cities can be found too with a bit of research. Your largest travel expenditure is likely to be transport, accommodation, markets and restaurants. Slow-travel will give you the best shot at keeping your monthly costs down. Take fewer flights by staying in a country as long as your visa allows. Look out for 28-days discounts on AirBnB, thereby allowing you to stay in one city long enough to get a monthly transit pass. Depending on the city (I hear dining in Chiang Mai is dirt cheap) having accommodation with some cooking facilities can help the budget too. How much luxury can you live without?

Now, how does one resist the urge to be a digital nomad, when confronted with facts like that? Earning enough money on the road is achievable. The smartest digital nomads have multiple income streams and dabble in residual income to have more time for play. But I have a hunch that income might not be the largest deterrent to choosing this lifestyle after all.

Habit may be a larger foe still: Many are used to that air-conditioned cubicle and predictability. It’s comforting to be surrounded by an apartment full of familiar objects. Your routine. The way first-world drivers can drive a hundred yards without hooting. It’s easier to dismiss being a digital nomad as financially unachievable, even though not true.

@nomadicyou What are the best ways to earn money on the road; e-commerce, blogging, vlogging or publishing? #nomadincome