Quit Work & Scuba Dive… Forever! Diving Enters the Digital Age.
Who doesn’t like the idea of being able to travel and scuba dive non-stop and still be able to pay the bills? Many of us do, but just as many of us think of this as an unattainable goal far beyond our wildest, ocean-loving dreams. Unfortunately for many passionate scuba divers there have only been a few possible options to pursue a career in the diving industry – become a travelling divemaster and work for the accommodation, food and free diving this kind of lifestyle provides or open your own business such as a dive centre. Whilst these are still viable options for some, there are now new ways to make a living out of your passion for diving. Divers, step this way to enter the digital age of diving, an exciting new time where it is possible to expand your diving and earning horizons through digital, diving-focused marketing efforts:
First, we’ll need some goals to understand what we are trying to achieve. Whether your aim is to simply earn money while you travel and dive, or if you aim to become a professional in this line of work, many of us will have some of these goals in common. Of course, depending on your personal requirements and current situation, not all of these may apply to you.
- To be able to dive as much as possible
- To earn money from anywhere in the world
- To generate sales for a business, whether this is your business or not
- To become a specialist in any or all aspects of online marketing
Earn Money from Anywhere in the World? How?
Many jobs in this digital age can be done remotely, and many of them do not even require highly specialized skills that take a great deal of time to learn. In fact, many of these jobs are quite easy, enjoyable and allow you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Combine these jobs together and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged digital marketer, independent of location and able to add value to any business. Let’s take a look at some of the most common jobs that can be done remotely:
- Ghost/anonymous writer
- Webdesigner/Webmaster/Content manager
- SEO content manager
- Link builder
- Social media manager
- PR & Outreach
How Does It All Fit Together?
As previously mentioned, combining these roles successfully can be the key to your new nomadic lifestyle. Learning the importance of how it all fits together presents an enormous opportunity to be successful by directing sales (and therefore, success) towards any particular business or operator.
A website is made up of its content – text and images relating to a certain idea or business. The content needs to be unique, useful and well-written in order to encourage or convert the user. However, none of this valuable content is any good if it is never published or if it never finds the correct reader, which is where Webdesign and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) come in. Luckily for the technically-challenged amongst us, creating a website no longer requires you to know difficult coding practices or anything of the sort. In fact, working with an existing setup is quite simple and the rest can be picked up along the way. With SEO, identifying the correct key words that will attract users to your content is of paramount importance, especially in the current digital ‘Google It’ age.
Promotion and Link Building come in next, aiming to get the newly created content promoted enough that it is seen by the target user. This also includes Social Media possibilities which are endless. Pages in your website will not rank in search engines unless they have inbound links, so link building is definitely important.
The best part about the above – albeit brief – digital marketing campaign is that it does not require any major technical skill at all. Most of the above can be picked up easily from online tutorials or articles, and as long as your writing is up to par, you’ll be on your way in no time.
How to Begin: A Step by Step Guide
Step 1 – Create Your Space Online
The best way to learn many of the skills above is to practice them on a blog of your own. In fact, there aren’t many dedicated digital marketers who don’t have at least one of their own blogs. There are many benefits associated with creating your own blog – not only do you get to practice the writing, social media, link building, SEO and PR practices, but if you put enough time and effort into your blog it might even become your sole business and could contribute greatly to your new digital nomadic lifestyle.
You have a number of options available to you to set up your online space. The quickest and easiest way is to use a website such as squarespace.com which requires zero technical ability but unfortunately does not give you a thorough understanding of the actual processes involved in setting up the blog, which is something that might be valuable to know in the long run. Another easy way out is to pay WordPress an annual fee and hey presto – you’ll have a blog ready to go.
If you want to understand the process a bit more, there is another option that requires a bit of effort but also offers plenty rewards. This option includes setting up an inexpensive hosting account, buying your own domain name and linking the blogging platform of your choice to the newly purchased domain. Websites that may help you along each of these steps include bluehost.com, namecheap.com, wordpress.com and themeforest.net. By the time you’ve done this process once, you’ll have a much better understanding and will be able to whip blogs up in next to no time.
Once your blog is set up, don’t panic too much about what you’re going to write or even if there’s little or no attention coming your way in the beginning, just get writing. Write about your interests, your passions and your unique experiences. If your writing is enjoyable to read, readers will read it.
Step 2 – Start Guest Blogging
Guest blogging will get your writing out there on already-established blogs, providing you with exposure and getting you a fair amount of PR and back link experience that will be helpful down the line. However, many bloggers try to guest post simply to get the backlinks. While this may work, it’s not the best way of going about things as you’ll want your guest pieces to be featured on substantial, meaningful blogs rather than as many insignificant blogs as you’re able to get in touch with. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to successful guest blogging in no time:
- Find an online publication that genuinely interests you, one that you would choose to read in your spare time
- Spend some time understanding the types of articles the publication usually publishes – the tone, the topics, the target audience. As you’re doing this, you should be coming up with your own creative ideas for articles. If the idea of the article doesn’t get you excited to write about it, don’t write that idea down.
- Get in touch with the editor of the publication. Limit your introduction to a maximum of 2 sentences and provide some of your best topic ideas that you feel would be well-suited to the particular publication. Hopefully that will get the ball rolling and get you on your way to guest blogging on your first publication.
Step 3 – Secure a Client or Two
This may seem like a big step, but it’s the best and quickest way to learn and get yourself established. Whether you find a business involved in scuba diving or any other industry, ensure that you find at least one client and follow steps 1 and 2 for this client – create their online space and create content to contribute to their online space – even if you have to do it for free at first.
Now, measure your success. The simplest way to measure your success in this line of work is noting whether the revenue increases as a direct result of your efforts. Once your marketing campaign is up and running and successfully bringing in a successful income, you’re pretty much a digital marketing machine and you’re ready to start spreading the word about your fantastic services.
Step 4 – Time to Freelance
If you’re not really interested in becoming an entrepreneur, freelancing could be a viable option for you.
The first step requires a bit of concentration as you’ll need to sign up to one (or more) of the many freelance platforms out there. Elance.com, guru.com and freelancer.com are some of the big players, but unfortunately all of these freelancing websites have two things in common: it can be difficult to get started and you’ll need to pay a portion of your earnings to the website. These websites usually work using a bidding system – jobs are advertised by clients and freelancers are able to bid to complete the job. Clients are able to see each freelancer’s rating from previous clients and the amount the freelancer has previously earned, making it quite difficult to get started if you have zero ratings and zero previous earnings.
As a first-timer, it’s important to go above and beyond expectations when bidding to separate yourself from the hundreds of other bidders out there. For example, if a client is interested in hiring dedicated blog writers for a specific topic, don’t just send links to previous articles you’ve had published – spend some time by writing 100 or 200 words specifically for their project. Impressing during the bidding phase will increase the chances of a client awarding the project to an unrated bidder. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope. All it takes is one client to take a chance on an unrated freelancer such as yourself and you’ll be on your way to securing multiple freelance jobs in no time. Once you’ve got 5 or 6 regular clients, you could be earning a decent income and will essentially be starting your digital nomadic life.
Step 5 – Remain Patient & Keep Learning
The more you learn, the more you can earn. Especially in the digital age, things change consistently and rapidly, and it’s important to keep your skills up to date.
Whether you choose to make it on your own as a digital marketer or freelance full-time, the pay will increase as your experience increases.
For digital entrepreneurs, the more income your digital efforts generate, the more income you should receive. A good marker to aim for would be above 10-15% of sales, making you a very valuable and important contributor to the business, whether it is your own or somebody else’s. If the business is not your own and you manage to get sales up to within this range, hopefully your compensation will increase accordingly.
For freelancers, once your profile starts to reveal higher ratings from clients and reflects adequate online earnings, you are more likely to land the big jobs on these freelancing websites.
The most important step, and one that you’ll need to repeat over and over again is to be patient. Instant results are unlikely, but in 2 or 3 years your efforts should most certainly start paying off, and you’ll be able to really sit back, relax and enjoy your free time to work, dive and live in any corner of the globe that you choose.