79 Best Online Popular Digital Nomad Business Ideas in 2023 (And for Introverts And HSPs)
If you’ve caught the travel bug, that’s it. You’re doomed.
You’re destined to become a digital nomad and wander until it works its way out of your system- if it ever does! No matter whether you’re introverted, extroverted, highly-sensitive, or high sensation-seeking, once you’ve got that itch, you’ve got to travel. But no matter how cheaply you travel, no matter how introverted or sensitive you are, if you want to live the digital nomad lifestyle, you have to find some way to fund it. When you get low on cash, you’ll have to find some way to earn money.
Many digital nomads find ways to make money online (hence the reason they’re called digital nomads instead of just nomads), but the product or service they offer differs from person to person. For introverts and HSPs, this can be ideal, too, because being able to work as a digital nomad also means being able to work outside of an office, away from environments and people that can make you feel overstimulated and overwhelmed. It often allows for a more relaxed pace of life than you would have if you were commuting to an office every day.
Starting an online business isn’t necessarily easy, but business opportunities abound on the internet, and digital business owners often have the flexibility to travel- or stay home in your pajamas!
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There are three criteria that I’ve used to measure these profitable online business ideas for digital nomad entrepreneurs, introverts, and HSPs:
- Must use an online business model.
- Must require only a computer and an internet connection to start or do. (Advanced education optional in most cases.)
- Must allow you to work remotely for a company and/or travel, give freelance opportunities, or have potential for passive income.
Interested, yet? Then read on to get great ideas for launching an online business in 2023 and beyond.
Ideal Online Business Ideas in 2023:
79 best online business ideas for digital nomads, introverts, and highly sensitive people in 2023
From selling digital products, affiliate marketing, online courses, freelance work, consulting businesses, online stores, and more, these digital nomad business ideas let you work from anywhere, including popular digital nomad hotspots like Bali and Madeira.
Start a blogging business.
If you start a blogging business, you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Blogging can be a lucrative business, with opportunities for affiliate marketing, selling online courses, consulting, coaching, and more, depending on your niche. The possibilities are endless.
Start an online consulting business.
Do you have a specialization or expertise? Are you a great problem solver? Consulting is a great online business where you get paid to give advice to other people.
Start an online shop or e-commerce business.
If you can sell products online, you can also automate the business entirely from manufacturing to the sales and shipping process. You can even sell things like photographs and artwork.
Start a bookkeeping business.
This business is one where you’ll hardly ever have trouble finding clients. Businesses and individuals alike have a need for financial organization, and as a freelance bookkeeper, you can often do your work without even having to pick up a phone. Your starting fees can be as low as $60 per hour, or as high as $100 per hour, but you do need to carry professional liability insurance and use software tools like QuickBooks to do this job, so it can be expensive.
Create online courses.
If you have a knack for teaching, this is a great business idea for aspiring digital nomads. This also gives you a second passive income stream, so if your main 9-5 remote job that you love fails you, you’ll at least have this to fall back on or make your primary source of income.
Offer online coaching.
Coaching is one of the best online businesses that you can start because all you need is an internet connection and something to teach.
Find a remote job.
Not ready to start your own online business? No worries! Since 2020, many companies are shifting to a work from home model. All you need to do is find a job position where you have the option to work from home or work from a beach- whichever you choose to do.
Become a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants are getting more in-demand as people realize they can get more done by outsourcing time-consuming tasks. This is a popular business model with people who like research and organization.
Start a digital marketing agency.
Every company needs eyeballs on it in order to make money. If you have skills in search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting, keyword research, and more, this is an ideal business idea for someone who loves to sell without selling. These are all skills you’ll need to drive traffic to your website, too, so this potentially offers one source of income, as well as anything else you may offer on your own page!
Whether you’re writing blog articles, ad copy, or even ghostwriting a novel for a famous author, you can make money if you can write. Put your work out there! Bonus: This can be done from anywhere and can be very lucrative.
Become a translator. (Not an interpreter, there’s a big difference.)
Translation is interpretation, but in writing. This means you can translate remotely and on your own time. If you know another language, many online businesses (especially international ones) need people who can translate documents, ad copy, and more from one language into another. You can charge by the word, which means the longer the document, the more you get paid!
Do some affiliate marketing.
Do you have a blog, YouTube channel, Instagram feed, or Facebook page? Affiliate marketing is one way to make money online without having to write sales copy, keep any inventory, set up an online store, or even do any active selling at all. This is a very profitable business if you have an audience to sell to. You can even build it into a passive income stream to replace your day job, if you’re good enough!
If you have a background or talent in art, this is one of those popular online business ideas that many introverts and digital nomads find appealing. You can design logos, graphics, websites, and more, and/or sell your art or services on an online marketplace.
This one takes a little more capital to get started, but if you can spot trends in markets and capitalize on them, then this is one business venture that can take very little work to keep going. That being said, it is one of the riskier options.
Copywriting is the art of selling with the written word. If you have a talent for writing, knowledge of sales principles, and an interest in behavioral psychology, this makes an ideal online business right now.
Do you have an eye for detail and computers? Offering your coding skills is one of the most lucrative ways for digital nomads to make some extra cash.
SEO or marketing consultant.
If you already have a successful business or client base, you’re probably already well-versed in getting attention. Offer consulting for other businesses who need help with search engine optimization or marketing, and watch the dough roll in.
Write and sell a book or other digital product.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, if you can create it and market it, then you can sell it. Profit margins for digital products are ridiculously high- up to 90% depending on where you host and sell it- and if you leverage a place like Amazon.com’s Kindle Marketplace, you can take advantage of that platform’s existing user base.
Kids all over the world need tutors- and so do some adults! Offer tutoring services online, and you can make good money to fund your travels.
This may sound weird, but when you think about it, the law profession is a lot of research, research, research. If that can be done online, then you can take it with you- and then hand off your finished research to a more extroverted lawyer colleague to present in court.
Going off the previous point, there are tons of authors, journalists, and professors out there who need to outsource research into various topics. If you put yourself out there, you can do what you do best- learn- and get paid for what you find!
As long as you have a steady internet connection, you can analyze data anywhere. Just make sure you don’t get sand- or that piña colada- in your keyboard while you’re on the beach. 😉
If you’re good at people, understanding their motivations and how to help them with mental health, then counseling may be a good route for you. With the rise of tele-visits, this is a great way to make money in a location-free way.
This career is heavy on both math and art, but with digital drafting software such as AutoCAD coming up strong, there’s no reason you can’t do your work from Bali instead of Los Angeles.
You’d think this one would be more in-person than online, but really, if you’re coordinating things online, then you don’t have to be on location until the day-of… if you don’t delegate the on-site work to your assistant.
With a laptop, a word processor, and a strong grasp of language and grammar, you can become an editor as long as you also have the ability to find the plot-holes and help people polish up their stories.
This is definitely on-site, but it’s the kind of on-site work you can take with you all over the world. This is no dreaded remote job where you’re trying to finagle everything to get it all to work; just be in the location you want to be in, let the locals and tourists know how long you plan on being there, and sell your skills in the local area for the duration of your stay. Wedding photographers can really make a killing.
If you have some skill with Photoshop, there are always travel magazines that need photo editors to retouch things and spruce them up.
Do you have fine art skills? Leverage those and illustrate some children’s books, graphic novels, or dustjackets. You don’t have to sit in an office to do that.
Financial advisor or accountant.
This is a little more education- and research-heavy than bookkeeping is, but you also get a bigger paycheck, too. As long as you carry professional liability insurance and have the right software, you don’t have to be at a firm to do this job.
If you have a good head for technology or mechanics, then use writing skills to write manuals describing how something works. (Maybe get that cute illustrator nomad to draw some diagrams to go with it!)
Takes research, research, and more research, most of which can be done online these days, or by your paralegal. And when you go to present a case in court, that’s usually only for a few days, and then it’s back off to Budapest.
If you’re a great listener and have a lot of empathy, then you can have remote visits with your patients, nowadays, and they don’t have to be any wiser about you being in Cancún while you’re helping them work through their problems.
Customer service representative.
This one isn’t ideal due to the fact that many public-facing positions require you to give 8 hours or more each day to the job, but it is one that is largely portable, these days, as long as you have a stable, strong network to connect to.
Managing a team of employees on a project doesn’t sound like something you could do remotely, but it’s something people have been doing since 2020 tossed all of us on our heads. Besides, your underlings are grown-ups, right? They don’t need you there to micro-manage them. You can do that from your laptop. 😉
This may sound a little out there, but there are entire psychic hotlines where people pay good money to have their fortunes told. Tarot is kind of like the online version of that.
Just like with tarot, there are a lot of people who believe in astrology. If you have some background or passion for it, you can monetize it.
To be a voice actor would require a high-quality microphone and a studio setup, so not quite as portable as some other jobs on this list, but it’s doable.
Even if you don’t write your own books, you can read them for authors who want to add audiobooks to their catalogue.
Got a story to tell? Tell it on the radio! Or, the modern equivalent of it, anyway.
English language teacher.
There are a lot of people out there who want to learn English as a second language.
Instagram and YouTube are great channels for some stand-up comedy, as long as you can monetize them.
If you have a subject to talk about, you can find an audience to talk about it to. It’ll take some time to build an audience, but once you’ve got a video library and a large enough audience, you can monetize your channel using ads, sponsors, and more.
Social media marketer.
You can leverage your skills with copywriting and graphic design to make ads for companies to run on Facebook, Google, YouTube, and more.
Are you intimately familiar with the academic world? There are families who will pay good money for you to coach them on how to get their kids admitted into their dream university.
Online fitness trainer.
From yoga to HIIT to resistance training, there’s a market for any kind of fitness training you can think of. The weight loss and fitness industry is one of the biggest and most lucrative out there.
Nutritional and dietary consultant.
Just like with online fitness trainers, people are looking for folks who can tell them how to eat to lose weight, improve nutrition, and improve their overall quality of life.
Internet domain reseller.
Internet domains are like virtual real estate, and you can buy, flip, and sell them just like you would a house or physical property. Some domains are worth thousands of dollars.
Great at typing? Do some data entry work. Businesses need documents digitized all the time, from medical records to meeting minutes and more.
Stock or foreign currency trading.
If you have a head for stocks and currency, you can make a mint trading those.
To be honest, I’m really, really not a fan of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, but if you’re interested in doing that, it’s something you can do remotely and make good money at.
Listen to people and type what they say. It’s that simple, and you can often do it at your own pace and work your own hours.
If you love travel, have been all over the place, have a good global social network, and are good at coordinating flights, hotels, and more, you can become an online travel agent and make a killing.
Businesses need people who can manage their public image. Manage away.
If you have good life experience, then as a life coach you can offer guidance and advice without having to be a medical professional to do it.
Love editing video but don’t want to shoot it yourself? Companies will pay you to make their ads, commercials, and informational videos look spiffy and professional.
This comes back to copywriting. Most people aren’t so great at selling their skills, and will pay you to do it for them.
With an HR background, you can recruit employees from anywhere. Work with agencies such as Robert Half, Reed, and more to connect employees with the right jobs.
Sometimes people don’t know how to move forward. Use your career experience to steer them in the right direction.
To put it simply, you sell products online, but sell someone else’s products and don’t worry about inventory. Someone orders an item from your website, and your fulfilment center takes care of the rest.
Are you good at talking people out of their money for a good cause? Well, guess what? You can do that remotely, too. Charities and organizations need funding, and you know how to get it to them.
Another version of fundraising, but for nonprofits, academic institutions, and other types of research.
Online cooking lessons.
With your talent for cooking or baking, and your passion for exploring the world, why not roam the earth and give lessons centered on whichever country you’re in? Lots of people want to learn how to cook.
This comes back to voice acting, but voiceovers are more in line with informational and instructional videos, and with ads and commercials.
Don’t want to go it alone? Find a team of like-minded people with different skills and experiences to offer, and put together an online consulting agency.
Online art store.
Got a DeviantArt account? Have a talent for creating artwork that people like? Then sell it! You can sell prints of your artwork to interested parties for them to use in their residences or business locations.
Remember those singing lessons your parents paid for when you were a kid? Yeah, you can totally do that, too.
Online music lessons.
Teach someone how to play an instrument online.
There are a lot of smaller musical artists on YouTube and Spotify who are looking for talented musicians and vocalists to collaborate with. Put yourself out there and see what they need!
Do you have an ear for accents? There are actors, voiceover artists, voice actors, and even immigrants and normal people who want to improve their foreign accents. Offer your skills for a price!
Develop a subscription product.
If you sell a subscription, then your one-time sales may be lower, but you’ll make those sales month after month after month, for as long as the buyer is subscribed. Good examples of these are newsletters, magazines, and apps or software.
A lot of authors don’t know how to navigate the publishing process. If you’re familiar with the publishing industry, are good at copywriting and marketing, and aren’t afraid of doing some social media marketing or PR, then why not have an author pay you to get their book out there?
Printed materials freelancer.
There are a lot of opportunities out there if you know Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Microsoft Word, and more. You can assist authors and business owners with developing print materials, with anything from layout to color choice to bleed and margins.
What better way to learn about history than to be in the countries where it happened? You can pass on your acquired knowledge and research in online classes and blogs.
Custom Etsy shop.
Are you a knitter? Do you make custom journals? Do you carve wooden figurines? Then make them on the road using local materials and sell the products on Etsy! It’ll add a special, custom touch if you can honestly say something is handcrafted using exotic materials.
Foreign language teacher.
Now that the 2020 lockdowns and restrictions are starting to ease off, people are starting to travel more. If you are bilingual, offer your services teaching people how to speak the language of the country they’re going to!
International business coach.
Know how trading works between the US and Mexico? Did a business contact you wanting to know about how to set up a branch in Ukraine? It’s a valuable skill to have if you know the international trade laws and customs.
Foreign culture coach.
In Japan, you say hello formally by bowing at the hips with your arms at your sides. In the Middle-East, it’s taboo to eat with your left hand. Professionals moving to foreign countries need to learn these little things in order to make a good impression!
Not as glamorous as Indiana Jones, but there are archaeological excavations all over the world. It’s not necessarily online, but you can compile research from anywhere, and be on site sometimes, too.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How much does it cost to build a digital business?
A: Depending on the type of business it is and how much experience you have, the cost can be anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Q: Can I really use one of these business models to work from any location in the world?
A: As long as you have an internet connection, yes. These are all business ideas that don’t require you to be physically present in any one place.
Q: I’m a new entrepreneur. How do I get clients and make money with these ideas?
A: If you don’t have your name out there, yet, don’t worry. The biggest challenge is getting eyeballs on your service or product. You can get started on sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com, offer your services through your local Chamber of Commerce, market yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and more. The possibilities are out there if you’re willing and able to spot them.
Q: I don’t want to build my own business. Will this work for me?
A: Of course! The only challenge you’ll face is finding an employer who will let you work 100% remotely. If you’re already employed, I recommend you read Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek for ideas on how to fight for your time and location freedom so you don’t have to go into an office for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Q: I don’t have any high-paying skills. How will this make me enough money to travel?
A: Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the most beautiful countries in the world are also the ones with the lowest costs of living. You can take three months to visit Mexico, Indonesia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and more for half of what you pay just in rent on a monthly basis in New York City. Check out books like Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes, and A Better Life for Half the Price by Tim Leffel for more ideas.
Q: Wouldn’t it be noisy and distracting to work from home or from a coffee shop?
A: It can be, but there are ways you can block out sound. You could get a pair of noise-blocking earmuffs like these, which block out a vast amount of noise, or you could check out my post about the Top 5 Noise-Canceling Headphones here.
Wrapping it all up
These are only some of the ways you can set about starting a business online. I’ll add to this list as more ideas come up, but regardless of what you decide to do, if you’re set on starting your digital nomad life or starting a digital nomad business, then these are all business ideas you could monetize easily. A remote business may be a popular way to work (or not), and it’ll definitely take some effort up front, but the first time you can say no to a week at work in favor of letting the business you’ve built earn money without you having to lift a finger, you’ll find that it’s well worth it.