What Skills Do I Need To Become A Digital Nomad?

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done. Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.

Switching up your lifestyle and becoming a digital nomad, traveling the world and working online, has never been as enticing as it is right now. After the lockdowns of the pandemic and the normalization of remote working, it has never been easier to become a digital nomad. But before you sell your possessions and jump on that plane you might be wondering what skills do I need to be a digital nomad?

Before we get into the complete list here are the top 3 skills you need to become a digital nomad.

  1. Writing
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Language Teaching

If you want to know how you can learn these skills or what other skills you need to become a digital nomad, keep reading!

This post is the last digital nomad skills list you will ever need, the ultimate resource for digital nomad skills. In this post I’ll discuss:

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

But first let me outline the difference between hard skills and soft skills. A hard skill is something that produces something objective, something that you can see. A line of code is objective, a blog post or a language that you can speak are all objective and so they are classified as hard skills.

A soft skill might not produce something objective and so it’s value is more subjective. Team working skills, communication skills or sales skills are examples of soft skills. They don’t usually result in something you can hold in your hands but that doesn’t make them any less important.

In this post I am going to be concentrating on hard skills. Look out for part 2 where I’ll dive into digital nomad soft skills.


Even with the rise of video sharing apps like tik-tok and behemoth websites like YouTube, the written word is still the number form of communication online. This is the reason that everything you do online can be improved with better writing skills, even if it’s just writing emails to colleagues.

Blog Writing

Building your own blog needs much more than good writing skills but you can always find work writing blog posts for other sites. The non-stop flow of work writing blog posts makes blog writing one of the top digital nomad skills to become proficient in.

Writing good blog posts require

  • Research skills
  • Writing ability
  • SEO skills

There are tons of courses you can take to learn these skills, most of which are made by bloggers who have already become successful. But you can also learn everything you need just by searching on YouTube.


Copywriting is the writing with the purpose of making someone take action. It might be clicking on a link, giving an email or purchasing a product. A good copywriter knows how to craft words in such a way to get people to do what they want.

Sounds pretty niche eh? Well not really, every website you visit has copywriting on it of some form or another.

Copywriting is a great skill to have not only because there are always people looking for good copywriters but also

  • every blog post you write,
  • every website you build,
  • every social media post you make

will be improved if you have good copywriting skills. You’ll get more likes, more shares, more clicks and more purchases!


Blogging Skills to Become a Digital Nomad

I mentioned writing blog posts above but here I’m talking about building your own website with a blog that you actually own.

The great thing about writing blog posts for other people is that you just have to write. You don’t need to worry about marketing, hosting, online security, google analytics, WordPress themes etc etc.

Building your own blog however is really building a business. You really need a combination of different skills to be a successful blogger.

  • Blog Writing
  • SEO
  • Research
  • Website Design
  • Copywriting
  • Digital Marketing


Coders were some of the first real digital nomads before the blog scene really kicked off. Still today you can easily write code and have meetings with team members online. This makes coding a great skills for any potential digital nomad to learn.

Even if you aren’t planning on becoming a software developer, being comfortable writing code will come in helpful whether you are building a website or SSHing into your server.

If you want to get into coding, why not start by installing a Linux Distro for Content Creators and learning some Bash scripting? Here are some other languages sorted by what you might use them for.

IOS AppsSwift
Android AppsKotlin
WebsitesHTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP
Desktop ApplicationsC++, Java, C#, Python
ScriptsBash, Python, Pearl

Digital Marketing

I know, not all digital nomads are content creators. But for those that are, digital marketing is an invaluable skills to have. If you want people to see whatever it is you create, you’re going to need these skills.

  • Data Analysis
  • Content Creation
  • SEO
  • Social Media


You Need Photography Skills to Become a Digital Nomad

Photography skills can be one of the best skills to learn regardless of what kind of digital nomad you are. If you’re writing blog posts you need to have pictures to break up that text and nothing beats tailor made photos.

If you are creating courses, eBooks or any other kind of content a good picture is going to help you get shared on social media platforms more than anything else.

Even if you don’t need photography skills to earn a living, if you have decided to travel as a digital nomad why wouldn’t you want to take some pictures of the places you visit?

Image Editing

Photography is about more than simply taking photos. To get the best images from whatever camera you are using takes good editing skills.

  • Photoshop
  • Lightroom
  • Gimp
  • Darktable

Resizing images to keep web pages loading quickly or just removing the trash from that perfect beach shot they all come together to create a great photographer.

Music Production

As video production quality rose, the expectation that videos have high quality music accompanying them has risen too. It’s almost unheard of now for a YouTube video to be without backing music of some kind. Someone has to make (and get paid for) all that music!

Which means that if you have skills in music production you can could be using it to get paid while being location independent.

There are plenty of sites you start selling your music on too.

If you’re just getting started, here are some awesome DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that are completely free.


Getting into videography is easier then ever and most people are walking around with a camera capable of shooting 4k video in their pockets. and with all the free tutorials available online there is absolutely no excuse if you want to learn videography.

If you don’t want to shell out for Premiere Pro or Final Cut these free video editing software are more than enough to get you started.

  • Kdenlive
  • OpenShot
  • Blender
  • iMovie


Take a look at any online marketplace such as Fiverr and you can find thousands of people selling custom illustrations.

  • Children’s Book Illustrations
  • Caricatures
  • Manga
  • Tattoo Design

If you’re artistically inclined, developing your illustration skills might be the thing you need to make your digital nomad dreams come true!


Whether its animating a title page for a YouTube video or creating a whole animated movie, Animation skills are in demand right now!

Designing animation can be the perfect way to make money as a digital nomad and so it’s a skill you should think about developing.

If you can afford it, Adobe After Effects is the number one piece of software used by professional animators but there are free alternatives, here are three of the best.

  • Blender
  • Wax
  • ButtleOFX

Of the three, Blender is by far the most professional, being used to create many full length feature films, such as Next Gen on Netflix.

UI Design

The design of interactive online platforms such as apps, programs and websites is in constant demand right now. Everyone wants to create the next big thing and whether it’s a blog, a mobile app or a company website they want it to look unique.

User interface design is the solution to this demand. Find some tutorials online and get learning with one of the tools below.

  • Adobe XD
  • Wondershare Mockitt
  • Sketch
  • Figma

Foreign Language Skills

Foreign language skills can help you in many different ways as a digital nomad. To start with they will help you speak to the locals! If you’re wondering Should I Learn the Language? Why not?

Another benefit of speaking a foreign language is translation work. Sites like Flexjobs offer a constant stream of translation work to remote workers. Translation, much like writing, can be done anywhere which makes it ideal for a digital nomad.

Teaching is another thing many with foreign language skills do, below I also discuss teaching your native language which there is usually more demand for (as most want to learn from a native speaker.)

Language Teaching

Aside from writing blog posts, language teaching is one of the staples of the digital nomad crowd. For many places, it requires little more than being a native speaker. The more professional language schools may require a teaching certificate but even these are easy to get online with a few hours study.

I’ve known many English teachers who have hopped around China, Thailand, Japan and Bali with little more than a suitcase a smile.

But as language tuition becomes more competitive and as China reduces the number of Foreign teachers employed in language schools, having some language teaching skills will make you stand above the crowd.

  • Grammar – Do you know the perfect participle or the present active indicative?
  • Lesson Planning
  • Public Speaking

Other Skills

You may have other skills that you hope you can use as a digital nomad. The trick is to find the demand for them. Seek out the people who have a problem and use your skills to solve it.

Over the years I’ve taught martial arts when I found parents in need of clubs for their kids. And even found a gap in the market for crumpets that I was able to fill.

You may already have the skills that people would be willing to pay for. Even something as simple as Frisbee skills can be turned into a kids club to play Frisbee and have fun.

  • Martial Arts
  • Baking
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • DIY
  • Sports
  • Juggling
  • Magic
  • Dance

Can I still Become A Digital Nomad Without These Skills?

Yes, even if you don’t have any of the skills listed above, there are other ways to make a living as a digital nomad. If you have a job already, the simplest thing is to ask your boss if you could work remotely. If your boss agrees you could be nomadding in no time.

For other ideas on making the transition, I wrote this post on How to Become a Digital Nomad.

Whatever you decide to do on your digital nomad journey, learning any of the skills in this list can be of benefit. It never hurts to have some extra strings to your bow because we never know what the future may hold!