Last Updated on November 3, 2020 by Max
Imagine the following scenario:
You work extremely hard every day throughout the year. After all, the expensive rent has to be paid, and unfortunately, you did not win your car in the lottery.
Your boss yelled at you again this morning because you didn’t meet your targets, and on the way to work, you burned your tongue at the obligatory take away coffee.
Everything seems to be going against you, but there is a ray of hope. The two-week summer vacation is just around the corner.
For weeks, you’ve been spending every spare minute on travel blogs, gathering inspiration.
Where are the best restaurants? Which beaches are the most beautiful and where are the most interesting sights?
Of course, your holiday will be a complete success with everything that goes with it.
But it comes as it must come. Day 14 has begun. You are standing at the airport with your shoulders drooping. On Monday you will return to everyday life. For another year.
I have developed the Flying Fish technique for all those who want to break out of their everyday life.
If you go through the individual phases of the framework, the ultimate freedom stands at the end, and you can set out to discover the world as a digital nomad.
Why is now, during the coronavirus pandemic, a very good time to apply this technique?
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Maybe the pandemic has also shown you that your job is not as safe as you thought, and you want to start over as a digital nomad. The Flying Fish technique is also ideal for this.
Table of Contents
Become a digital nomad with the flying fish technique
The individual steps in this guide can be summarized in a framework that I named the Flying Fish Technique.
Why Flying Fish? Flying fish can fly a certain distance, but after that, they have to return to the water. Otherwise, they cannot survive.
That is why Phase 5, the re-evaluation, is particularly important.
This plan is focused on the goal of freedom, not fame and fortune.
If you get stuck in Phase 4, you will most likely end up back in Phase 0, and that is what we wanted to change.
After all, you want to break out of your everyday life and lead a life of freedom and adventure as a digital nomad.
Phase 0: Lack
Phase 0 is the lack. Even if you are entirely satisfied with your life, you often have the feeling that you are missing something.
Perhaps you have not traveled much yet, but you have the urge to discover more of the world. Maybe you traveled for a whole year after high school, and now you miss this time very much.
Perhaps it’s not so much the traveling but the lack of freedom that you miss in your life.
Instead of escaping into dreams or continually telling yourself that you can catch up on everything in a few years, you should act now, and with that, we will jump directly into
Phase 1: Evaluate
To change your position, you first need to know what exactly is holding you back. The reasons are often varied, but can ultimately be summarized in three main topics:
I admit that without money it will be difficult to just go out and travel the world as a digital nomad.
The keyword “How to travel for free” has a considerable number of search queries.
Several travel bloggers claim that you need little or no money to travel the world. I think this is the wrong approach.
After all, how do you think that should be possible? Hitchhiking, couch-surfing, and helping out on a farm with the harvest every now and then is the answer.
This is then often sold as the ultimate freedom.
It may work for a particular type of person, but to be honest, this approach always leaves you dependent on others.
I also want to enable everyone to travel the world with my framework. Not only young backpackers.
Another aspect that prevents many from implementing their travel plans is fear.
Those who set out to explore the world enter new and unfamiliar terrain.
What about travel insurance, etc.?
With which credit card can I get money anywhere in the world?
What if I am in a country where no one understands my language?
Is the destination safe?
What do I have to consider regarding the cultural situation so that I am not perceived negatively?
Another point that should not be underestimated and that can keep us from our plans is the family.
Are there certain expectations that must be met? Does the family resent a more unconventional lifestyle as a digital nomad?
How can I stay in touch with my family and close friends while traveling? And maybe, can I convince my partner/children to accompany me?
You should deal with all these questions. Otherwise, they might catch up with you later and prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Phase 2: Plan
Now you know what is holding you back, and you can start to work out a plan.
The plan should be feasible and based on your strengths, but at the same time, you should keep in mind that there must be some interest in the market for your idea.
We start with the money.
If you want to turn travel into your lifestyle and become a digital nomad, you should find a way to make money on the road.
There is a lot of talk about passive income. Of course, passive income is the supreme discipline. Still,
Of course, there are thousands of ways to make money online.
In this post, I will limit myself to two ideas that everyone can implement.
The first option is somewhat active, the second is much more passive, but therefore usually requires longer lead time.
Of course, you can combine both strategies.
Online remote freelancing
Freelancing is probably the easiest way to start making money online. All you need is a laptop and a good Internet connection.
Why is it so easy to get started?
With online freelancing, you don’t have to be a marketing or SEO specialist to find clients.
Instead, you can simply use a platform where thousands of clients are already registered.
I have started making money online with freelancing myself, and I recommend the Upwork platform.
Many people think that online freelancers are underpaid, monotonous crowd workers, but that is absolutely not the reality as you can see in the screenshot above.
After only 3 months on the platform I had managed to raise my rate to $45/hr. There are many serious clients on Upwork who do not hesitate to pay well for good work.
You probably think now, sounds good, but what kind of freelance services should I offer?
Ideally, you should be guided by what you already do or what you have learned. But I go so far as to say that really everyone has a skill that is in demand in the market.
Here are three examples:
Do you speak another language than your mother tongue?
Then you can work as a translator. Translations for websites, blog posts, and the like are always needed, and if you do your job well, you will quickly win many clients.
If you like writing, you can start as a content writer and write blog posts or other content for your clients.
If you keep at it and improve over time, you can even make the transition to becoming a copywriter.
Copywriters write texts for products and brands to generate conversions. The earning potential here is very high, and you can earn over $100 per hour.
- Virtual Assistant
If you are organized and reliable, working as a virtual assistant might be suitable for you.
Often you start out as a virtual assistant and then work your way up to a higher paid remote position in your clients company.
You will have to work long hours in the beginning to achieve a decent salary, but it can be done from anywhere in the world.
It is therefore a decent opportunity if you want to become a digital nomad.
Start a blog
For a detailed guide on how to start and successfully scale a blog, I would need an additional post. I will only list the basic steps here, so you can get some first instructions.
I also try to provide you with essential resources that will help you to go deeper into the topic.
- Find your niche
There are many opinions about what the perfect niche for a blog is. As so often, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
If you choose a topic you are passionate about, but you are pretty much the only one who is interested in that topic, it will be difficult to scale the blog.
But if you focus only on market demand, you might end up with a topic that you really don’t know anything about or even feel uncomfortable with.
The best thing is a topic you can identify with and for which there are keywords with sufficient search volume.
- Select a domain
A good domain is important because it is the figurehead for your blog. I would play it safe and only search for domains with the .com extension.
With a little creativity, you can still find great domains without having to pay resale prices.
For the hunt, I recommend the Beast Mode from Namecheap and the tool Lean Domain Search.
For hosting, I recommend using a trustworthy provider with whom the integration of WordPress works without problems.
Two of the best and most popular hosting providers on the market are Siteground and Bluehost. You can find several reviews online.
- Choose a WordPress Theme
There are many free WordPress themes available, but I recommend that you buy a Premium Theme.
Premium Themes offer advantages in terms of usability and design. I recommend Generate Press, a very clean and fast theme that is optimized for SEO.
With Generate Press Premium, you can choose a theme from the site library and then easily customize it to your needs. Of course, you can also design your site from scratch.
- Keyword research
Keyword research is a critical topic.
Instead of just starting to write, you should do detailed keyword research.
This is the only way to find out what the readers are interested in and whether you have a chance to rank for a specific keyword by looking at the difficulty.
I won’t go into detail here, but I recommend that everyone familiarizes themselves with keyword research and uses a professional SEO tool. I can recommend Ahrefs and MOZ.
- Write the first post
It is best to write helpful, detailed articles. If you want to rank on Google, you need to create outstanding content and then promote it accordingly.
Always adhere to the principle of quality over quantity.
- Link Building
To get to the first page of the Google SERPs for your target keyword, you need backlinks. Backlink means that another page links to your post.
There are different strategies for this. Examples are broken link building, the skyscraper technique and guest blogging.
Link building should be an elementary part of your strategy because, without backlinks, you will never be able to generate much organic traffic. And organic traffic should be the goal.
To learn more about SEO and link building, I recommend Brian Dean’s blog Backlinko.
The monetization of your blog should depend on how many page views you get.
In the beginning, it can be a good idea to offer consulting services. You will have little reach in the beginning, but only 1-2 high paying consulting clients can provide you with a good income.
With growing page views, I recommend affiliate marketing. You advertise products of others, and if someone buys the product through your link, you will receive a commission.
You can often see ads on new blogs from day one.
I generally advise against this, because the income from it is simply not worth it with low traffic numbers, and the user-friendliness of your blog is severely impaired.
Many of the most successful bloggers do not advertise on their blogs at all.
Phase 3: Implementation
Let’s summarize briefly. So far, you have realized that something is missing in your life, that you want to go out and discover the world as a digital nomad.
You have evaluated what is holding you back and made a plan for how to reach your goal.
Now you have reached Phase 3, the implementation. In my opinion, this is the most challenging phase.
During the implementation, you have to leave your comfort zone. You have to work harder than all your friends, and you will encounter new difficulties every day.
It is precisely this phase that is so often withheld from you when talking about building a passive income.
Follow these tips to get through this phase:
- Step by Step
If you start something new and only have the ultimate goal in mind, the task can quickly be perceived as impossible.
Jeff Bezos didn’t have the initial idea for Amazon and hired a few thousand people the next day to start a global super company. It was a long process.
So the best thing is to just start and do what you have to do every day. Small successes automatically lead to bigger ones. It is important to keep at it every day.
- Never give up
Why do you think so many bloggers fail? Right, they give up the minute things get tough.
And so it is with every project that you start independently.
No one keeps a strict eye on you to see if you are fulfilling your workload today. And there are no consequences if you just quit.
Only you can ensure that you continue and make your project a success.
My advice is that you give it your all for at least six months. If you do not see any positive developments after this period, you can return to the planning phase.
Do you remember that during the evaluation phase, I mentioned two other aspects that might be holding you back? Namely, fear and family.
Something that almost always helps against fear is knowledge. To free yourself from your fears, you have to inform yourself.
Make a plan of which countries you want to travel to. Look at possible travel warnings and inform yourself about the culture.
What language do the people speak? Is English enough to get by? If not, an app like Duolingo can help you acquire the necessary language skills. It always helps to get in better contact with the locals too.
On our blog, you will also find many useful travel tips that will help you on the road.
Once you have found answers to your uncertainties, everything will seem much more doable.
As for the family, you can start telling everyone about your plans of becoming a digital nomad during the implementation phase.
Of course, not everyone will be happy about it, but in the end, it is your life and your decision.
Furthermore, the flying fish framework is designed for freedom and not to roam the world as a vagabond without money.
Freedom means that you can fly home at any time to see your family and friends and not just leave them behind for several years.
With today’s technology, there are also many fun things to do with friends virtually.
Phase 4: Flying
You have made plans, started to implement these plans, and achieved initial successes.
Probably the hardest part is already behind you, now it is time to collect the rewards.
The phase when the fish is flying is the most beautiful, but probably also the most dangerous.
It’s time to scale your business.
During this phase, you have to work a lot, but the work is fun and easy to do. You no longer have to constantly approach other people, but others come to you.
If you have decided to become an online freelancer, you will now receive several requests every day from clients who want to work with you.
Increase your hourly rate and productivity to get the most out of it.
With a blog, at this stage, you can increase the number of affiliate partnerships, create your own online course and sell it on your blog.
In addition to that, you should build valuable connections with other people from your niche.
But be careful:
Many people have crashed during this phase.
Burnouts, resentment, distrust, hubris. All these are the side effects of flying too high and too long.
Of course, this does not apply to everyone, and you may find that you are more of an entrepreneur than a traveler during this phase. Even then, of course, the effort was more than worth it.
But when you go back to the beginning, you remember why you started everything.
Your goal at the beginning of this framework was freedom, not fame, and fortune (although a little of that can never hurt).
Phase 5: Evaluate
The implementation of the plan and especially the flying phase have now put you in the pleasant situation of being truly free and able to realize your travel plans as a digital nomad.
You can live where you want how you want.
This requires only a few minor adjustments.
With a blog, you can now switch your income from active to more passive.
Less consulting, more affiliate sales, and sales of your own products, such as online courses that you have created during the flying phase.
As an online freelancer, you can now take such an hourly wage that you can meet all your needs with little work.
Only in this way can the 80-hour week become the 8-hour week.
Finally, you can dedicate yourself to the things you missed in your life and travel around the world, or just relax at your favorite beach.
Phase 6: Freedom
It is done, you are free! It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it.
You can start your journey as a digital nomad.
However, freedom should not be equated with irresponsibility.
Instead, freedom gives you the chance to be a better person and be happy.
Think about how you can use your freedom wisely, and don’t forget to help others who may not have gotten this far!
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