The dude who we rented our motorbike from here in Chiang Mai has a 70% digital nomad client base.
Our neighbors have met ample digital nomads during the years they’ve lived in CM.
From hearing some harrowing horror stories with my ear focused on local scuttlebutt – and to the cyber ground – to observing common blogging and digital nomad errors over the past 6 years I want to help you identify, embrace and correct these big time boo boo’s.
Note; of course I made all these errors in the past. You know how we roll. And trust me, it was Pure Dingbat during some lean ass days.
I righted my blogging – and digital nomad – ship. So now I’m sharing practical tips to help you dissolve your struggles and enjoy a prospering, fun life as a digital nomad blogger.
1: Being a Digital Nomad for the Wrong Reasons
I have met enough folks here in Chiang Mai who have observed the digital nomad scene for the past 5 years. This is kinda the digital nomad capital of Planet Earth.
Failing digital nomads – and digital nomad bloggers – became digital nomads for the wrong reasons. Some desired just to live cheaply. Others attempted to sprint from problems in their home lands. Others greedily just wanted to make a bunch of money and sit in front of a pool every day.
If you choose a shitty driver you will live an unfulfilled, unhappy life. And you will struggle with your blog. And you will struggle to become a digital nomad.
As a guy who has circled the globe through blogging for 6 years, I can say that blogging predominantly for fun, with love, helps you build a freeing lifestyle anywhere on earth.
Blog mainly to have fun. Blog with love, helping and serving others.
Blogging is an energy game. Having fun and blogging with love magnetizes you to fun outcomes.
That fun energy will bleed through your blog, brand and life, magnetizing you to fun, happy, loving, successful outcomes.
2: Not Telling the Rest of the Story
Scrap the same old played out Instagram photo of your home office for the day (usually beside a pool or tropical beach), then asking your followers “Wanna know how I live this life? Email me!”
You can never accuse me of being full of shit; namely, because I left my lumpy dumps beside cow paddies somewhere on the road between Bagan and Inle Lake, Myanmar (I owe Aung San Suu Kyi a letter of apology for that one).
Tell….the REST of the digital nomad story.
Sharing the ups and downs, dreams and nightmares, wins and losses, successes and failures of being a digital nomad makes you:
Sure you can post images of living in – and working from – tropical paradises. Goodness knows I’ve enough selfies in stunning locales to make you either want to worship me or slap me silly, depending on your happiness level. But I also share how I nearly danced with death in India, how I REALLY danced with death while helping slay a spitting cobra in Bali, and how cultural differences and language blocks have created…..interesting….situations on the road.
Be real. Blog real. Entertain, educate, inform, and let folks know what to expect if they intend to be digital nomads.
3: No Diverse Monetizing
Some digital nomads expect to earn a full time, steady income via 1 income stream. Dangerous strategy. Because it ain’t abundant.
They see Rob Cubbon killing it on Udemy, create 1 course, and expect to net a fortune with this 1 course. Or even with a single strategy/income stream.
Meanwhile, as far as I know, Rob has opened these income streams:
- selling courses on Udemy
- selling courses on Teachable
- selling eBooks on Amazon Kindle
- selling T Shirts
Pretty sure he’s opened more income streams than that. Because he is smart. He thinks and acts abundantly. Which is why he’s an established, successful digital nomad.
I opened these income streams:
- selling courses through Selz, Teachable and Send Owl
- selling eBooks through Amazon
- selling eBooks through Selz
- sponsored posts
- paid links
- freelance writing
- blog coaching
- paid tweets
- affiliate marketing
- selling audio books through iTunes, Amazon and Audible
- paid guest posting
If you’re going to up and move to some far off locale….please don’t attach to 1 product or 1 income stream to build a steady income while you acclimate to your international hot spot.
Open multiple streams of income. Add one income stream every 3-6 months after you learned the in’s and out’s of the prior stream.
4: No Planning
Some digital nomad bloggers all but show up in Bangkok with a stick and knapsack over their shoulder, holding a “Digital Nomading It” sign.
This lack of planning is not only delusional; it’s outright insanity. This coming from a guy who does things more intuitively than any digital nomad on earth!
- research your intended digital nomad location; do due diligence (Double D’s not enough for me) on the culture, climate, visa requirements and currency exchange rates….and do some research on internet connection speed too in your intended apartment or hotel or house
- research and establish 2 to 3 online income streams; if you want to travel with a set of balls, start traveling before you build a steady income (not for the feint of heart, personal experience talking)….or build a full time income before you become a digital nomad…..all depends upon your tolerance for being uncomfortable (my tolerance in this area is kinda high)
Do some light prep work. See what you’re diving into.
5: Building Your Blog and Brand Around Slumming it
I love sharing images of my $1 USD lunch at a local Buddhist vegetarian restaurant in a Thai neighborhood. Way cool.
I also love having the option of paying $15 or $20 USD if I want to eat out at a “snazzier” restaurant in Chiang Mai. I like being able to take road trips. I dig spending money on extending our visa, on flying versus taking 12 hour bus rides (this AFTER the nauseating Burmese bus ride) and on NOT having to live on 100 Baht a day.
Guys; you can enjoy a low cost of living without being a POS Slumming Digital Nomad who has an intimate relationship with their latest tape worm, said tape worm acquired by eating $2 seafood platters at less than hygienic street stalls.
Build your digital nomad lifestyle, blog and brand on being abundant. Help people. Open income streams. Brag about eating lunch for $2 a day – for 2 – but also drop $100 freaking bucks on a motorbike for the month. Go to the movies. Shop at nice grocery stores. Drop a hundred bucks to fly for 45 minutes versus paying a few bucks for an excruciating bus ride.
Ever since the Thai coup of 2014 and more stringent visa restrictions, the Dirt Bag Trail of Tears has slowly migrated to Cambodia but a healthy number of slumming ex-pats, tourists and digital nomads still slink around Thailand….especially in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Let’s give our Thai hosts the creme of the digital nomad crop. Aspire to live on more than 100 Baht a day. Meaning, more than $2.89 USD a day. Set up your life, your blog and brand on an abundant, prospering vibe. Sure you can do house sits and save a crap load of money as a digital nomad but you’ll enjoy life more – and convey a better image to locals – by spending more dough, by making ample money and by choosing this life to have fun, to free yourself and to bring the world together.
Fellow digital nomads, have you made these mistakes?
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