DNG presents Online Job of the Month: Translator

DNG presents Online Job of the Month: Translator

 

In our blog series ‘Online Job of the Month,’ we share the most interesting online jobs with you. You might think only web developers and graphic designers can be digital nomads. But there are actually a wide variety of interesting (and profitable) jobs out there for aspiring Digital Nomad Girls. This month we will tell you all about working as a Translator. 

If you’re curious about other online jobs, check out our features on Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, Online English Teachers and Online Editors!

We talked to Federica Bruniera, Martina Russo and Maria Sokolova who are successfully working as Translators while travelling the world. So let’s get straight into it!

 

What exactly is a Translator? What do they do?

Maria says that as a Translator, “I translate websites, newsletters, documents for fashion and travel brands from English (sometimes Spanish) into my native language (Russian).” Alongside that, Maria says that she also edits (proofreads) other translations.

Federica clears up an important misconception. “There’s always a bit of confusion out there between the roles of translators and interpreters. Translators work with written texts, whereas the interpreters’ job is mainly spoken.”

Federica gets specific about the types of awesome hobbies that would not be possible without translators: “We are basically the ones that make possible for you to browse websites, watch your favourite Netflix show and read the Harry Potter books in your native language.”

digital nomad girls translator online jobs month

How awesome is that!

So how does translation work? Which languages do you translate from? Federica says, “we normally work from the foreign language(s) we know into our native one. So, as an Italian native speaker, I could know 10 foreign languages but I can only translate from those ten into Italian.

Translators usually work also as reviewers/proofreaders (revising someone else’s translations) and sometimes as transcribers, subtitlers, game testers, copywriters, depending on their specializations.”

 

What kind of skills do I need to become a Translator?

Both Federica and Maria agree that the most important skills are:

  • excellent command of at least two languages (your native and a second language)
  • good writing skills
  • Learner & researcher skills
  • knowledge of cultural backgrounds

Federica also adds that, “Specializing is also of paramount importance. Knowing another language doesn’t mean you can translate everything (I don’t understand legal jargon in my own language, imagine in a foreign one!).

digital nomad girls translator online jobs

It’s important to pick fields you are passionate about, that you know well or that you are willing to study. In my case, for example, I do:

  • (obviously) Travel related stuff because I love it and it’s something I have a good experience in,
  • Football/soccer for the same reason,
  • Mangas and Japanese fiction because it’s challenging and fun, and
  • the Medical sector because it seemed interesting, and I started taking online courses on the subject.”

That’s awesome! Specialization is one of those tips that carries across many different types of online jobs, for sure. Specialization allows you to become an expert in a topic and become well known for that specific field!

 

Do you need any qualifications or certificates?

Maria has a diploma in translation which comes in handy, but says that actually, “I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary if you have good command of both languages.”

Federica also has a translation degree but agrees with Maria that it’s not absolutely essential. She notes in particular though that “Some countries require certification to do official translations (for example, in Canada you need to be certified if you want to translate official documents for immigration purposes), but overall what you really need is expertise in a certain field and excellent linguistic skills.”

 

Where do you find jobs as a Translator?

Great question!

Martina has a few suggestions up her sleeve! Firstly, “You can go to industry specific conferences (another reason why it’s important to pick a niche), contact companies directly etc. but when starting out it’s probably easiest to get in touch with translation agencies.”

Maria says that she has been working with an agency for a few years, but that she also finds jobs through her personal network. Federica similarly suggests that when you are just getting started,  “it’s easier to work with agencies than with direct clients.”

digital nomad girls translator online job

Federica has more tips for you for finding jobs! “Translation portals have good visibility and a lot of jobs get posted on there every day. I would recommend using those portals to look up agencies that have good ratings and then check their websites and apply directly there.” Martina, Maria and Federica suggest the following websites for getting started:

Martina specifically says: “Use the directory at https://www.proz.com/business to filter agencies according to specific criteria, e.g. score (on a scale o 1 to 5, I wouldn’t touch an agency with less than 4.5 with a barge pole – double check every agency’s score here: https://www.proz.com/blueboard), location, language pairs, and once again niche.”

Okay… what about applying? How should you apply?

Martina says: “

Once you have a list of agencies (or companies), you want to reach out to them. You’re better off sending up to 10-15 highly personalised emails rather than blasting off 100s per day that all starts with DEAR SIR / MADAM.

An agency gets dozens of emails and CVs a day – even I do, and I’m not an agency – and most of them look like spam, and I promise no one is going to bother and open your email or read your CV if it’s not to the point and attention grabbing.

As with everything marketing related, make sure you speak to them and about them, how you can solve their issues etc rather dwelling on your skills and qualifications.”

Federica agrees with Martina and adds that, “CV spamming at the beginning is normal, but do your research first and make your CV and emails relevant and personalized to improve the chances to get the attention of the project managers. Then, of course, networking is a gold mine. I got my best jobs from colleagues, people I met at conferences and events, friends of friends. Never underestimate the power of networking!”

digital nomad girls translator online jobs pin

So key tips are: attend events, use translation portals, find agencies to work with and don’t forget to network!

 

How much can I earn as a Translator?

As with any job, it really depends!

Martina says: “The money you can charge will depend on your experience, your confidence, the market segment you’ve positioned yourself in, your client’s budget and willingness to pay / invest in translation and how efficient you are at communicating your value.

 Obviously, you can’t command 10K from a company that makes 30K gross per year. Hence the important of positioning and market segments.”

digital nomad girls translator online job

Federica says, “I would recommend asking at least 0.06 – 0.07 euros per word when starting out and then working your way up. The higher-end translators charge up to 0.50 euros per word in their fields, there’s really no rule. It’s totally up to you to study your market, decide where to position yourself, your value and charge whatever you’re comfortable charging.”

Martina specifies: “Specifically, To start out with agencies, I would recommend NOT going below 0.07- 0.08 € per source word, but would aim at 0.10 €. Always best to start higher to allow room for negotiation. From there, depending on your niche, you can go as high as you want to and your market allows.



What you charge is up to you and do not let anyone dictate what you should do or tell you you’re ruining the market, there is not such a thing as ONE market.

 To convert these amounts into hourly fees, you should know your productivity and output. Generally, unless you use MT and other technologies, you’ll translate around 300-350 words per hour.”

“Money is a big taboo among translators and I don’t know why, I feel that if we were all more open on the subject it’d be easier to help others navigate through what’s possible and out there.


” – Martina Russo

Maria says, you can make around $2,000-$2,500 on average, up to $5,000, and Federica knows translators who make 6-figures doing translation work!

So overall, Martina, Maria and Federica all agree that you can make great money doing translation!

 

How do Translators price their services? Hourly, per project, per word?

Long story short: “It’s usually hourly for proofreading, and per word or per page for translations” says Maria.

Federica says it really varies, but agrees that “most translation projects are priced per word (or per line like in Germany). Asian languages are often priced by character, since there’s no space between words and getting an actual word count would be extremely time-consuming.

digital nomad girls translator online jobs pin

There are many exceptions though and ultimately it’s up to the translator to choose the best format depending on the project. For example, in manga translation we define a price per page, in video game testing it’s mostly by the hour, subtitling is charged by minute of video.

When you are starting out and have less negotiation power, try to have a price per word and an hourly price ready. Then, as projects get more complicated, you can start considering other solutions. For multi-services or multilingual projects, a price per project is totally acceptable as well.”

 

Is it easy to work as a Translator while travelling?

So… what’s it actually like to work as a traveling Translator? Are you able to balance traveling and working set times?

Federica says absolutely! She says as long as you have your laptop and Wifi, you’re good to go. Additional things that might come in handy may be “two monitors, external keyboard and other equipment, but I’m extremely minimalist, so my laptop and electronic dictionary are enough.”

Do you need any specific tools or softwares?

Federica suggests: “In terms of tools and apps, the so-called CAT tools (translation software) can make the translation process faster and your texts more consistent, so investing in one can be a good idea (most agencies require one anyway).”

digital nomad girls translator online job

Federica suggests the following:

Maria gives one word of warning – be mindful of time zones! As with any nomad job, always be mindful of your clients’ time zones and delivering your work on time – aka. on the client’s time!

Woo! Looks like overall, being a Translator is officially a nomad approved job. 

 

What would you recommend to other nomad girls who’d like to get started working as a Translator?

Martina has tons of amazing advice for girls who are thinking about working as a translator.

Here is the step-by-step process that Martina recommends!

1. Pick a Niche

Martina says, “When you start out, it’s easy and normal to just go for general translations. However, the more you’re specialized, the less of a commodity you become and the higher of a rate you can command.

It’s not necessarily an easy step but it’s one you need to take at some point, so try to focus on one area or more you’d like to work with in the future and start from there. (legal, medical, marketing and so on).”

2. Think Carefully about Market Segment & Positioning

“Make sure you determine which market segment(s) you’re comfortable working with from the start, that will save you lots of frustration in the long-term. How do you position yourself? By putting yourself out there as the authority in your niche and by using specific language.

For starters, if you want to position yourself in a higher paying segment, I’d avoid using the word “freelancer”, which is widely associated with sites like Fiverr, and replace it with “professional” wherever possible. Which one sounds more authoritative to you – freelancer translator or translation professional / professional translator?

3. Don’t forget mindset!

Martina writes, “You do not work FOR anyone. You work WITH someone, as a partner, you add value and work with them to make them successful.

That’s crucial and it took me a few months to figure that out, coming from an employer when I started out. It might seem trivial now, but you’ll see these little details creeping up when you write your first 100s cover letters writing stuff like “I’d be honoured to work for your company…”

digital nomad girls translator online jobs

4. Build up your online presence

Martina says on this: “If you don’t want to be just anther translator, build up your online presence. Googling you is the first thing everyone does to make sure you’re legit these days, so you want to have social proof up and running…

  • CV / RESUME: use a template from a platform like Canva.com to make it visually appealing.
    • Generally, you want to include details such as the obvious ones (contact details, name, nationality etc), your language pairs, your experience and education, and so on. Refrain from mentioning anything that doesn’t have to do with translation, unless you have worked e.g. as a sommelier and now you translate about wines.
    • You’ll probably also want 1 CV for your agency clients and 1 for your direct clients, or 1 for each different niche.
  • PORTFOLIO:
    • If you’re starting out and have nothing to put in your portfolio, think of creative ways to assemble one. E.g. provide some free work (make sure you have clear conditions in place) or translate publicly available copy under CC (look it up on Google) to get samples for your ideal portfolio.
    • Creating a portfolio based on copy isn’t easy, look up the web for some inspo.
    • Martina’s look like this: www.movingwordstranslations.com/portfolio & www.theactionsportstranslator.com/portfolio.
  • WEBSITE
    • This doesn’t have to be fancy, you can put up a one page site from WP or Squarespace or the like. In fact, Martina built up www.theactionsportstranslator.com herself (with a few tweaks from a WP dev). Also, register a domain for your email address, @gmail domains and the like look fishy and end up in spam most of the time.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA:
    • You probably don’t need to be on EVERY platform out there, just pick the ones you think would work for you best (AKA where your clients would hang out) and stick with them.

Do not do the mistake most translators do: don’t talk exclusively about translation from a translator’s perspective for other translators, because the only ones who’ll be interested in you content will be – you guessed it – translators.

digital nomad girls translator online jobs

Federica adds to this and says, “Getting the first clients could take a bit of time, but that should not discourage you. Keep studying, hone your skills, build up experience in the fields you’re interested in and don’t give up.

Consider doing volunteer work at first for organizations like Translators without Borders or the TED Project (subtitling TED Talks can be pretty interesting). The most fascinating part of the translation world is that you learn something new every day. It’s hard to get bored!”

On a side note – subtitling Ted Talks sounds SO fun!

Maria gives you some extra advice as well, “I would recommend choosing a niche and building your portfolio around it, don’t take just any translation job.

If you never worked as a translator, check out other translators’ portfolios for your language pair to see what a good translation looks like — it’s not about translating the words, it’s about getting the message across. And don’t forget to read a lot in your native language.”

Martina leaves us with some amazing resources for getting started. Here they are:

Resources not specific to translation:

 

And… there you go! If you’re a persistent person who is fluent in at least 2 languages, translating might just be the perfect digital nomad job for you. I hope we answered all your questions, if you have any more, please leave them in the comments and our girls and I will try our best to answer them all.

If you’re curious about even more jobs that you can do online, check out our series on the 50+ digital nomad girl jobs to inspire you!

 

Are you an interested in becoming a Translator? Please share below!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others who might like it, too, and to find out more about the girls you can find their author bios below:

Maria Sokolova

Maria Sokolova is a Translator and Proofreader. Originally from Krasnodar, Russia, she has been travelling almost non-stop for the past 5 years. You can get in touch with her via her Facebook or her Instagram.

Federica Bruniera

Federica Bruniera is a Translator originally from Italy, and is currently in Colombia. You can connect with her on Instagram or her Website.

Martina Russo

Martina is an Italian professional translator, business owner, outdoor enthusiast, and true world citizen. She’s been making premium products and brands accessible to the Italian, Swiss Italian, and European markets for over 8 years. Her work can be found online on Linkedin, Website and theactionsportstranslator.com.

5 Reasons Why We Love Virtual Coworking – and Why You Will, Too!

5 Reasons Why We Love Virtual Coworking – and Why You Will, Too!

Today, let’s talk about coworking and why I love, love love virtual coworking (and what the hell it even is).

First off though, I want to say that I’m a huge fan of coworking. But I hardly ever use coworking spaces. Sounds a bit weird, right?

The truth is, I totally get why coworking spaces work for some people. And in the past, they’ve worked very well for me too.

women on laptop

But now my work is very heavy on live calls, and it’s hard to find a coworking space with private Skype rooms. Plus, I am really extroverted and often I end up chatting more than actually working. #counterproductive

But I also struggle with the same challenges that most Digital Nomads encounter: loneliness and lack of motivation or feeling really unproductive.

I simply miss having colleagues, people to bounce ideas around, vent when I’m having a crappy day at work or share my wins when I’m having a good one.

Thankfully, I found an awesome way to get all the benefits of coworking, without having to change out of my pyjamas or pay hundreds of dollars for a desk every month.

Enter: Virtual Coworking.

Virtual or online coworking is a new trend amongst remote workers and freelancers and I think it’s here to stay. In the DNG Inner Circle we virtually cowork together all the time and I get so many questions about it that I thought I’d share why it’s awesome.

Here are 5 reasons why we love virtual coworking – and you will, too!

First, what the heck is virtual coworking anyway?

Virtual coworking means meeting online with one or more other real people (no robots involved… yet) to get some work done, hold each other accountable, and ideally make some new friends and build a professional network.

In the Inner Circle, we meet via Zoom for 2 hours at a time, set our goals and then work in Pomodoros. It’s fun, it’s productive and it’s totally location independent.

And here’s why this is so awesome:

1. Accountability from anywhere

If you’re anything like me, you might have days where you feel super motivated and get lots done before it’s even lunch time.

But on other days, I end up binge watching the Gilmore Girls until 2 pm or meet friends for a 3-hour brunch. On a Tuesday.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this flexibility and it’s great to be able to do this once in a while. But when it gets a habit, it’s not productive anymore and I start to feel guilty.

woman working

The lack of structure and accountability we have a digital nomads is super exciting in the beginning, but after the novelty has worn off, it can actually be a huge burden.

If I’ve learned anything in the 5 years that I have been traveling, it’s that accountability matters.

Virtual coworking is a great way to add accountability to your life, no matter where you are, how long you’re staying or whether there’s a big nomad scene.

Knowing that there are other girls working at the same time, getting their work done, is extremely motivating. And by incorporating virtual coworking sessions into your days, you start creating a bit of a routine, which can help so much with feeling overwhelmed or unproductive.

2. Make new friends

This is definitely my favourite part of virtual coworking, it’s a fantastic way to make new friends.

When I say loneliness is one of the biggest challenges not only digital nomads face, but most people who are self-employed or business owners, I’m not exaggerating.

Working by yourself every day sucks a bit, but it’s not always avoidable.

Over the past year or so I have made so many new friends during our coworking sessions, I can’t even count them.

Girls from all around the world join in and they all understand each other’s struggles, help each other out, ask for feedback, hire each other and yes, make friends.

And the great part is, these friends travel with you virtually wherever you go.

3. Get feedback

When I used to work in a lab and hit a road block, the first thing I’d do was to share it with my lab mates. Sometimes they had faced the same problem already and could point me in the right direction, other times we tried to figure out a solution together.

It was fun to be able to bounce ideas around, get and give feedback and generally work together, even if we all had totally different projects we were working on. We still had each others’ backs.

women working together

When I started working online, I very quickly realised that I was pretty much alone with my questions. That’s why I started DNG in the first place. And virtual coworking spaces take this concept much further than a normal online community could.

During our coworking sessions, we see each other face to face but we can also share screens and links. We’ve audited each other’s websites, helped design workbooks, tweaked web copy and tonnes more.

It’s so great to have a space and bunch of women to ask these things in real time.

4. No more bye-bye’s

If you’ve been around the digital nomad block for a little while already, then you’ve probably tried out a few coworking spaces.

But they are really quite peculiar if you think about it. We want nothing more than escape the cubicle and once we have, we then pay good money to go work at an office.

Of course, I totally get the pros of coworking, I’ve had many a coworking session which was fun and productive.

digital nomad girls coworking

But the big problem is, as soon as you say goodbye to your current location and move on to new shores, you’re gonna have to start totally from scratch.

It can be quite disheartening and even take a while to feel settled again. You have to reintroduce not only yourself every time you move, but also your business.

I found it easy to lose momentum.

What I love about virtual coworking is that you never have to say your bye-byes anymore. Because you can work together from anywhere in the world, you can stay up to date on each others projects and challenges and help each other out.

5. Get sh*t done

And last but not least, you get lots done. Even though our sessions are just a few hours long, we get tonnes done because we set goals together, check in regularly and also get much better at judging how long certain tasks actually take.

The girls use the virtual coworking sessions for all sorts of tasks, from boring admin tasks that need to get ticked off, to creative work. Others have written whole online courses over multiple sessions, or used the time to pitch new clients.

It’s totally up to you what you work on and the focused time can be beneficial to all sorts of tasks.

woman coffee laptop digital nomad

For example, I love writing my newsletters during virtual coworking, but I also often do customer support, emails or batch social media content.

After a few sessions, you’ll get the hang of what tasks you like to tackle.

So, is it time to try out some virtual coworking yourself?

There you have it, virtual coworking is awesome and definitely a trend that’s here to stay.

So where can you try out virtual coworking? You can either make a virtual coworking date with a friend, of even better, join our virtual coworking community, the DNG Inner Circle!

Digital-Nomad-Girls-Homepage-Blurb-Inner-Circle

We have coworking sessions almost every day now, hosted either by myself or a member. Plus we do other fun ways to foster real community for us nomad girls, like live Q&As, Virtual Mixer Parties, our Book Club Meetups, Monthly Goal Setting and lots more fun stuff.

Check out the Inner Circle here and join us today! We’ll be coworking together in no time!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions about virtual coworking or the Inner Circle!

love virtual coworking digital nomad girls

DNG presents Online Job of the Month: Online English Teacher

DNG presents Online Job of the Month: Online English Teacher

 

In our new blog series ‘Online Job of the Month’ we share the most interesting online jobs with you. You might think only web developers and graphic designers can be digital nomads. But there are actually a wide variety of interesting (and profitable) jobs out there for aspiring Digital Nomad Girls. This month we will tell you all about working as an Online English Teacher. 

If you’re curious about other online jobs, check out our features on Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants and Online Editors

We talked to Emma Wolno, Laura Lee and Gery Ciftcioglu who are successfully working as Online English Teachers while travelling the world. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

 

What exactly is an Online English Teacher? What do they do?

Emma says that as an Online English Teacher, essentially”I teach children in China English lessons over a video conferencing platform. Because of the huge demand in China, there are lots of Online English Teaching companies.”

So what does Emma do? “My duties are teaching 25 minute lessons to 5-12 year olds. I teach them vocabulary, help them practice their speaking skills, and a little bit of grammar as well.”

online english teacher digital nomad girls job of the month

Gery does similar things in her job in that, “I conduct one on one lessons over the phone or Skype. There is little lesson preparation where I have to get familiar with student’s goals and previous lessons, and after the lesson, I have to write a short report of what we’ve done and what the homework is as well as what the student is supposed to do in the next lesson.”

Laura says that DaDa (the English teaching company she works for) makes things easy for her, in that “All the lessons are prepared so I can roll out of bed twenty minutes before classes start, put on my blue t-shirt and I’m ready to go! When I first started I’d spend a little time flicking through the lessons but after a while they become so familiar even that isn’t necessary anymore…

I spend a few hours teaching then head to a cafe to write my after class assessments. This usually takes around twenty to thirty minutes (longer if I get sucked into Facebook!)”

Laura also adds that, “With DaDa you get assigned regular students, most of mine I’ve been teaching for an entire year now. I love that I get to see them progress and you really do start to feel like part of the family! I’ve been introduced to my students’ families, friends, pets and I’ve even been taken on a holiday or two (via the webcam of course).”

That sounds so lovely!

 

What kind of skills do I need to become an Online English Teacher?

The most important skills are:

  • good command of the English language
  • being able to conceptualize a lesson, break things down, and explain ideas well
  • understanding what students need and want from you as a teacher
  • being friendly and enthusiastic!

Laura mentions that, “Don’t worry if you don’t have any teaching experience, it obviously doesn’t hurt, but it isn’t a requirement!”

All agree that you have to be warm, enthusiastic and have high energy. “The kids are often young and maybe haven’t interacted with foreigners that much, so they expect you to be very friendly and animated for the younger children. ” Emma added.

Laura believes that, “If you enjoy working with kids, have lots of energy and are able to adapt to different situations, you can teach online.”

In terms of working online, Gery adds that “you need to be skilled in planning your time and in working well independently.”

That is a job requirement for most online or remote-based jobs! I speak from experience. 🙂 If you need help with productivity while working online, check out our blog post on that here.

 

Do you need any qualifications or certificates?

Laura shares that mostly it depends on the company; some have requirements that others don’t. “Most companies, including DaDa, require a Bachelor’s degree in any subject, it doesn’t have to be in teaching. DaDa also usually accepts a TEFL certificate and teaching experience as an alternative,” she adds.

Gery agrees that “Most companies require you to have a CELTA or TEFL certificate in addition to a Bachelors degree, which could be in anything.” Emma adds that, “A TEFL or TESOL course will definitely help you get hired, but wasn’t required for my VIPKID.”

All three of the interviewed mention that your Bachelor’s degree does not have to in teaching or English language – you just need to have a degree in something!

online english teacher digital nomad girls job of the month

What about being a native English speaker? Gery mentions, “It also helps if you are a native speaker, but for many employers, that isn’t a necessity. Some companies are interested in hiring bilingual teachers as well.”

Laura suggests to those interested in becoming an Online English Teacher: “If you’re new to teaching it might be worth getting an online TEFL to improve your chance of being offered higher pay. You can get one on Groupon for a few dollars and they don’t usually take long to complete!”

Emma also recommends, “You could use mentoring, tutoring or even babysitting experience to show you can work with young kids. I had done a few months of teaching English in Cambodia, but I also used my two years as a Snowboarding instructor when I applied!”

 

Where do you find jobs as an Online English Teacher?

This is probably one of the first question you’d like answered before getting into any field, as a nomad or not. And the answers might surprise you.

The demand is apparently huge, which is great news for you!

Emma says, “You can find them online by researching the various companies and applying. The demand is so huge as more and more kids in China are learning English, so there are tons of companies that are almost always hiring. Some are better than others, so be sure to review them carefully and read a few blogs. There is also a lot of great information of YouTube!”

Laura recommends that “Social media and word of mouth are the way to go! There are plenty of Facebook groups, YouTube channels and blogs for online teachers. I recommend joining a few and seeing what people have to say about the different companies. You can find out a lot from speaking to current teachers.”

Gery echos the statements of the other two that doing your research is key, “I began by reading in the facebook group ‘Online ESL Reviews‘. Its members shared very valuable information about schools, conditions and personal experiences from the jobs. Then I went to the remote jobs websites. TEFL.com also publishes online job offers. Another one is teachaway.com but the best source of information are the people in the Facebook group.”

So in summary: do your research! Google for reviews, ask in Facebook groups, and make sure you apply to a company that you really love.

 

How much can I earn as an Online English Teacher?

It depends.

“If you are a native speaker willing to teach kids, you may be able to earn as much as 25-30 USD an hour. If you are experienced and have a good, clear accent but you aren’t native and you don’t want to work with young children or their parents, you may be able to make up to 16 USD or euros an hour” says Gery.

online english teacher digital nomad girls job of the month

Laura works with DaDa and says that there, “the maximum pay advertised is $25 per hour. Realistically though, starting rates are more likely to be between $15 and $20 depending on your qualifications, experience and performance in your demo class.”

Emma says, “If you do this job part-time or as a side-hustle such as I do, you can expect to take home an extra $400-$1000 per month. The hourly wage can be anywhere from $14-26 to USD an hour.”

So in general, the hourly rate for being an Online English Teacher seems to be around the range of $14 – $20, with the highs being at $25 – $30.

What about bonuses? Laura says, “A lot of companies also offer bonuses for various things! With DaDa, we get bonuses for converting trial students, retaining regular students and we can even collect points to exchange for Amazon vouchers.”

 

How do Online English Teachers price their services? Hourly, per project, per word?

“Most companies will give you a base rate determined on your experience and education. From there you can get small bonuses to increase your wage. It might be possible to charge higher rates if you worked directly with individuals to teach/tutor them English, but of course it’s harder to find clients and with a company it’s all sorted for you” Emma says.

Laura says that, “Generally companies pay by class. Some companies only pay for the classes you have scheduled, others such as DaDa, pay standby time. This means that if at any point during your contract hours a class is cancelled or a space isn’t filled you are still guaranteed to get half pay for that time.”

Gery says that for her it’s “usually per hour. This may vary from employer to employer but some companies let you negotiate your price and others are very rigid.”

 

Is it easy to work as an Online English Teacher while travelling?

So… what’s it actually like to work as a traveling Online English Teacher? Are you able to balance traveling and working set times?

“Absolutely! All you need is a laptop with a webcam, a headset, a decent wifi connection and maybe a puppet or two. A quiet space is definitely preferable but I know teachers who have taught in hostels, airports and even on a train through India, so anything is possible!

 

I’m currently travelling around Eastern Europe and this is my only job. I left the UK with zero savings and I have been able to support myself and even save a little money too! I travel slowly and stay in AirBnBs so working full time suits me.

If you want more flexibility, I’d recommend choosing just a few contract hours (four hours a week is the minimum) and adding extra hours to your schedule when you find places with great wifi” Laura suggests.

Gery agrees and says, “I’d say it is relatively easy. You need to have a good internet connection, a quiet environment, and a good set of headphones with a microphone.

Emma also agrees with the other two, saying “Definitely! The great thing about VIPKID is that they don’t mind if you take time off, and no one will really notice. It’s not like a traditional job where you ask for time off, you either open your schedule for classes or you don’t. So sometimes I’ll work a lot one week and then take some time off.

If I want to do the job while on the road, that’s possible, too. My only recommendation is to make sure you stay in an Airbnb or get a private room, hostels would not be ideal. VIPKID likes you to have props in the classroom, so I recommend buying a mini whiteboard and a few lightweight supplies to bring along. I’ve also started using a software called Manycam, which allows you to display graphics and rewards on your screen, which is perfect for traveling as you don’t need to bring anything really!”
So the consensus is yes! Being an Online English Teacher is a nomad approved job. 

 

What would you recommend to other nomad girls who’d like to get started working as an Online English Teacher?

Laura says: “Do your research.” There are hundreds of companies out there and some will suit you better than others. Decide what is important to you and go from there.

She suggests asking yourself:

  • Do you want to teach adults or children?
  • Would you prefer to teach one to one or groups?
  • Do you want to teach on a laptop or from your phone?
  • Do you want to use pre-prepared lessons or make your own?

Laura says, “Answering these questions will help you figure out what you’re looking for in a company and help you narrow down your search! Once you’ve found a company that suits you, find a recruiter or referrer who will help you through the process. Having someone to answer all your questions and give you advice can help take a lot of stress out of the process.

If you’re interested in working with DaDa and would like me to help you through the application process, feel free to send me an email or a message on Facebook! Working online can be lonely so I recommend finding a support network. Most companies have their own Facebook groups and these can be a place to meet other teachers, share student stories and ask questions.” If you’re thinking about working with DaDa, you can find Laura’s information below! 

online english teacher digital nomad girls job of the month

Emma also agrees that the first step should be to research. She says, “I would recommend doing some research about the different companies and seeing what would be a good fit for you. If you are concerned about your lack of teaching experience, you could start taking an online TEFL course to boost your confidence and get yourself classroom ready.

The application for VIPKID is the hardest part (it’s quite lengthly) so I would highly recommend reaching out to an experienced teacher for tips on the interview process. If you’d like to chat with me I would be happy to refer you and give you some tips on how to get hired,” so make sure to reach out to Emma if you need tips! Her info is below as well.

 

There you go future Online English Teacher. If you’re a friendly, enthusiastic person who likes teaching and has great English, teaching English online might just be the perfect digital nomad job for you. I hope we answered all your questions, if you have any more, please leave them in the comments and our girls and I will try our best to answer them all.

If you’re curious about even more jobs that you can do online, check out our series on the 50+ digital nomad girl jobs to inspire you!

 

Are you an interested in becoming an Online English Teacher? Please share below!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others who might like it too!

To find out more about the girls you can find their author bios below:

Emma Wolno

Emma Wolno is an Online English Teacher. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, she is currently based in Berlin! You can get in touch with her via her Website or her Instagram.

Laura Lee

Laura Lee is an online English teacher who runs a blog that share tips for teaching online and how to get started teaching with DaDa! She’s from Nottingham in the UK and is now travelling around Eastern Europe. You can connect with her on Facebook or her Website.

Gery Ciftcioglu

Gery is originally from Bulgaria, but currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey. You can find her on Facebook or her Website.

3 Signs That It’s Time To Scale Your Business

3 Signs That It’s Time To Scale Your Business

Are you getting more work than you can take on? Working crazy hours but feel like you can’t raise your rates anymore? Maybe it’s time to scale your business! Our featured expert in the Inner Circle this month is Esther Inman, who successfully scaled her freelance business to an agency over the last few years. This is such an important topic, so I’ve put together a blog post with 3 signs that it’s time to Scale Your Business.

As digital nomads we work hard to create as much freedom in our lives as possible. When you started out on your nomad journey you probably imagined yourself waking up in beautiful new cities or beach towns, getting a few hours of super productive work in and then exploring in the afternoons.

But chances are, a few years down the road, instead of working the elusive ‘4-Hour Workweek’ and having adventures every day, you feel like you’re always working, juggling too many clients who need you round the clock, and not making as much money ask you’d like.

You’ve tried ‘working smarter not harder’, increased your rates and tested all the productivity hacks under the sun, but somehow you’re still feeling overwhelmed and underpaid. Don’t worry, you’re not a ‘bad digital nomad’ (seriously, I’ve heard so many people say this about themselves!), but it might just be time for you to scale your business and take it to the next level.

Here are the 3 main signs that it’s time to scale, and a short overview of how to go about it:

 

Sign 1: You work too much

Do you have more clients wanting to hire you than you can take on? Maybe you’ve already taken on too many and now you’ve got so much work that you simply can’t juggle it all. You’ve missed some deadlines, or the quality of your work is starting to suffer because you’ve got too much on your plate.

 

You’re probably working all hours of the day, and even on weekends. And worst of all, you feel like your work-life balance is a total joke, as you can’t even remember the last time you took a full weekend off, or even *gasp* a vacation.

 

Sign 2: You can’t grow your income anymore

Do you feel like you’ve hit a ceiling with your earnings? You might have already increased your hourly rate and your package prices a few times and feel like there isn’t any room left to raise them. The market simply won’t allow for you to charge anymore.

 

But at the same time, you can only work so many hours, so your earnings are stagnating. You’ve completely maxed out the time you can work and the amount of money you can make with that time.

 

This is a really common situation, and every successful freelancer will reach this point.

 

3 Signs that it's time to Scale Your Business Image 1

Sign 3: You’re burning out

This is a really common sign and you might have mistaken it for being ‘too unproductive’ or just disorganised. While that’s also possible, burnout is a sign of being ready to scale up your business.

 

You might even feel like your work isn’t enjoyable anymore, that you’re overwhelmed and aren’t even enjoying this business you set up.

 

If you’ve nodded along while reading the signs above, then it’s time for you to level up your business! Yay!

 

Now what?

It probably sounds super daunting to scale up your business and take on even more work, right? But only by taking your biz to the next level will you be able to create more balance and freedom and make time for all the other important things in your life, like travel, family, friends, hobbies (remember those?), exercise and all the other good stuff.

 

You’ll also be able to build some extra income streams and finally increase your income, which will, in turn, give you even more freedom.

 

Now the big question is ‘how do I do that?’ and while this topic is waaay too big to dive into here, I’ll quickly highlight the steps you’ll have to take.

 

The most important thing is to define your core offer and know exactly what you’re offering your clients. This is crucial, as you’ll have to get clear on all the different roles that you’ve taken on so far. For example, if you’ve been offering web design and branding, you could be wearing the hats of designer, brand consultant, web designer, project manager, copywriter, accountant, marketer, UX expert…and the list goes on. You get the idea!

 

Get clear on all the different roles and then find contractors to bring onto your team. They can be on a retainer or project-based pay. Of course, there is a lot of work involved in vetting and hiring a whole bunch of contractors, which we won’t get into here.

 

Next, you’ll want to add some extra income streams to your business. These can be passive, but they don’t have to be, as you now have a team to help you.

 

And last, but not least, you’ll want to properly ramp up your marketing efforts by putting a client funnel into place. It will be your main job to get more clients, so freelance platforms and hanging out in Facebook groups won’t cut it anymore. A client funnel can be automated and help you bring in qualified leads for your business.

 

I know it sounds like a tonne of work, and it will definitely be a learning curve. But like our expert, Esther said in the Inner Circle, “Baby, it’s time to scale!”.

 

If you’d like to learn how to grow your freelance business step-by-step into an agency model, then come and join us in the DNG Inner Circle! Join the waitlist here.

 

A HUGE thank you to Esther Inman for being our featured expert and sharing her brilliance and experience with us! You can find out more about Esther and her businesses The Content Bank and Virtual Assistant Internship here or come and hang out with her inside the DNG Inner Circle.

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10 Digital Nomad Girls Share How they found their first online client

10 Digital Nomad Girls Share How they found their first online client

We asked and you answered! Find out how these girls got their first online client!

 

One of the goals of the Digital Nomad Girls Community is to educate and inspire other ladies to join us on our Digital Nomad journeys. We aim to provide you with relevant, useful and inspiring content about what jobs are available and how you can get them. That’s why I decided to ask the group how they got their first ever online clients!

 

Facebook posts can get totally lost so I wanted to then turn that into a blog post that can inspire others to put themselves out there and know where to look for those online jobs they dream of. It was interesting to hear the results and I am going to share a bunch of those with you today!

 

I will start with my own story, I got my first ever online freelance gig through friends I met in Chaing Mai. I was hanging out with a bunch of travel bloggers at the time and two of them ran their own media company. They hired me to write SEO articles (they were $7 a piece, but after a little while I could write 3-4 an hour). It was not the most glamorous, but I was so so happy!

We have a post about pricing yourself as a freelancer which you can read here.

 

Justyn got her first ever client through Upwork but was then able to grow her business from the many referrals of a girl she ended up living with and working for in Bali. She has since gotten over 20 clients from referrals of friends and family members and has been able to grow her own business this way!

 

Marielien got her client by asking around in her own network. “Do you know anyone who has XXX need and may need my help to achieve XXX.”

 

Esther got her first client face to face through a skillshare event.

Esther’s first online client reached out to her out of the blue after she read a post reply in a Facebook group.

 

However, Leah’s answer might have just been my favourite! She found her first ever client on Okcupid. “My first client was a guy I had previously dated. I met my business partner on OkCupid too, but we never actually dated.”

 

Mia told us that her first client was found through a Facebook ad. “I was just looking for something to do for couple of months until I move to Greece to do my Master. I wasn’t really passionate about it but I just wanted to move.  After I resigned from 9-5 job and two Skype interviews later I got a long term project which made me go to Asia. I never looked back”

 

Ina shared with us that she used the platform Meetup to find out about get-togethers and conventions that interested her. She looked for things like Sustainability in fashion and simply got chatting with people once she was there. She was just originally just looking to connect with likeminded people and find her tribe. Someone she met there later called her and explained that she was planning to set up an online shop for her fashion brand. She wanted to know if I knew anyone that could help her with that. Ina’s response was simply, “Oh sure, you’re talking to her”.

 

Lastly, Susan offered to share her story. She told us,In 2010, I was watching one of the morning talk shows on TV, and they were discussing this new “freelancing” movement, where people were working from home as independent contractors, rather than employees. They discussed various freelance websites and the different projects available – and Virtual Assistant was one of the careers mentioned. That perked my ears up, as at that point, I had over 25 years of office management/administrative experience.

I started looking at Elance (no longer exists, now part of Upwork, which I don’t use) and within a week of putting my profile out there and dropping some proposals, I had my first client – and then another, and another. My first project was simple web research, but it branched out from there. In January of 2011, I was laid off from my full-time job. Within 2 weeks, I had built my client list to a full-time level. I never went back to my job. Now, over 6 years later, I’m a full-time Virtual Assistant. I help coaches, authors, small biz owners and entrepreneurs find more time in their day. I take the social media, marketing and other admin tasks off their hands.”

 

Where else do ladies find their clients?!

 

While those are a few of the personal stories that we got from the ladies, the rest tallied up to be a mishmash of Referrals, platforms like Upwork and various other remote work platforms. Once you know what you want to do, all you have to do is put yourself out there. Create an ad, or even just let people know what you are doing now! You never know who could become your next contact! I know someone that once got a huge client just from going to a family Christmas party! There’s plenty of places to get your first online client!

 

If you have any questions, just comment below or add a post in the Facebook community!

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DNG Presents Online Job of the Month: Social Media Manager

DNG Presents Online Job of the Month: Social Media Manager

In our new blog series we want to share with you all the different and interesting jobs that you can do online. Many people think that only web developers and bloggers can work remotely, when actually there is a growing number of jobs that allow you to go remote.

This month we are going to be sharing with you how to work as a Social Media Manager from anywhere in the world.

We interviewed 3 girls that are currently rocking the digital nomad world as Social Media Managers, and here’s what they have to tell you…

What exactly does a social media manager do?

As a Social Media Manager, you can handle a lot of different tasks for your clients, and the job can vary depending on what different clients want and need. However, some of the tasks that you can expect to do include:

– Creating a social media strategy
– Community management & customer service
– Content creation & curation
– Content scheduling
– Research
– You might be responsible for influencer outreach, and forming strategic alliances
– Running campaigns
– Managing ads

 

What kind of skills do you need to become a Social Media Manager?

Lisa told us, “Knowledge of online marketing channels – there are so many platforms now people tend to specialize and become experts in a couple. Excellent copywriting skills and solid grammar. Ability to deliver creative content (text, image, and video). Solid knowledge of SEO, keyword research, and Google Analytics. A lot of places want familiarity with web design and at least basic HTML knowledge. Great communication skills are very important.”

Vicky added to that by telling us, “Of course, familiarity with each social media platform including targeting capabilities, ad types, and delivery options are important too!”

Jen also let us know what the most important skills for her are, “communication, multitasking, writing, project management, strategic thinking, and customer service skills.”

 

Do you need any qualifications or certificates?

All the girls agreed that no, you don’t need any qualifications or certificates to work as a Social Media Manager. However, they also agreed that it can be very helpful for you to have experience, and if it’s something you are really passionate about your, educate yourself using one of the many online courses out there.

 

Where do you find jobs as a social media manager?

Jen shared her secrets for where she finds jobs as a social media manager: “There are so many opportunities to find clients and jobs. There are websites like Upwork, Facebook groups, networking events, and just good ol’ conversation with a stranger. I’ve found most of my clients from Facebook groups, networking events, and referrals from these relationships. I’ve even gotten a client from a housesit!”

Lisa agreed that word of mouth is one of the best ways for you to find a job working as a Social Media Manager.

Vicky shared a slightly different opinion: “There are many ways to go about building a career in social media. I personally feel starting at an agency is the most effective way to learn both the soft and hard skills necessary for success, though this typically means working in-house. Ad agencies are often centered in tech hubs/larger cities. I found my first agency job on Craigslist. If I were looking for an entry-level agency today, aside from Craigslist/LinkedIn/Indeed, I would find out what agencies exist in cities I wanted to live in and keep tabs on their posted job opportunities. Once you have the foundation of your skill set and want to move to a remote position, you can find relevant positions on job boards dedicated to remote work (typically under the tag ‘marketing’). Conversely, you can work for yourself building your own clientele via your networks like DNG and LinkedIn.”

 

How much can I earn as a social media manager?

All the girls we talked to had differing opinions on how much you can make as a social media manager, but they all agreed that it can vary wildly based on the worker and employer. Much of it comes down to how much you are going to charge. Overcharge and you might get fewer clients; undercharge and you might find yourself working nonstop and making no money.

Vicky hit the nail on the head when she said, ‘Like most jobs, this varies on how many years of experience you have. It’s also highly dependent on whether you work for a larger organization/agency or for yourself. I feel the salary range for a strategist with at least three years experience working on larger accounts can earn $50k – $70k USD/year, excluding commission or bonuses at an agency.

Working for yourself is even more variable, but a consultant with the same level of experience as the above can earn $30-$60/hour or more depending on your negotiation skills!”

 

How do you price your services as a social media manager?

Both Jen and Lisa agreed that they found charging a flat monthly rate to be the best way to go. This way they felt like they didn’t have to write down everything everytime they hopped on Instagram just to do some engagement for a client. They just knew that everything they did for the whole month was already covered.

Vicky however, told us that she charges hourly for her work.

 

Is it easy to work as a social media manager while travelling?

Lisa said “For the most part it’s a very easy job to do while traveling. All you need is a great data plan and decent internet. I have clients all over the world, so one of my favorite apps is WorldTimeBuddy which helps me manage timezones. You will also need a system to help you manage content like Buffer, HootSuite, MeetEdgar, or Sprout Social to name a few.  A VPN can be important to keep client data safe. I work for a news organization that has a special tweet delivery system that is important I keep secure.”

Jen also shared with us her favorite things about being able to do this job while traveling, “You can structure your work hours around all your adventures. You can even create fun graphics on word swag by the pool or at the beach if you really want – I checked that one off my list for fun ;)”

 

What would you recommend to other nomad girls who’d like to get started working as a social media manager?

Jen wanted to share with everyone interested in becoming a social media manager that you shouldn’t wait to make your dreams come true! A true inspiration, she was able to start working while traveling before her own social profiles and website were ever set up. She encourages you to start right away if you think this is something that you want to do! She even says, “Whatever level you are at, there is someone who is a few steps behind you and is looking for some help, once you identify where that is you are in business!”

Vicky shared some great advice as well, she said that the best thing you can do is just start now, even if you are just doing some small things for yourself and your friends.

Lisa’s advice for all of you wanting to get started was to pick a niche! That way you can get specialized in your niche, which will make you able to charge more and get more people from that niche seeking you out to work with. She also suggested that you choose a few of the apps to become an expert in. She shared with us that she had to realize that Pinterest wasn’t really going to work for her niche, so she doesn’t bother with it, while, on the other hand, some entire businesses can be marketed just through Pinterest. It’s all about becoming an expert in your area!  

 

We really hope that this post has opened your eyes to all the possibilities out there for working online. There are so many things that you can do in the field of social media management alone. Take these girls advice and get started right away. The best thing for you is to get experience, which will enable you to gain momentum and grow in your field!

Don’t forget to share this post with other Digital Nomad Girls who might be looking to make the leap into the growing world of Social Media Management.

To learn more about the girls, check out their author bios below!

Jen Casano

 

Jen is originally from Vancouver BC Canada. She got started by just working off referrals and her side hobby has now turned into a full-time business. Because of this snowball effect, she is just now creating her own social channels and website. She’s a great reminder that you really can start from nothing!

Vicky Walker

Vicky Walker, a social media manager wearing a pretty outfit. Vicky Walker, a social media manager snaps a selfie in another colorful city.

Vicky is from Encinitas, CA, USA. She is currently located in London. She loves working as a Social Media Strategist as she chases her dreams around the world! You can connect with Vicky on LinkedIn.

Lisa Collard

Lisa Collard, a social media manager snaps a selfie in front of some really colorful buildings in Denmark! Lisa Collard, a social media manager sitting in a field of sunflowers. Lisa Collard, a social media manager takes this photo sitting on a camels back in the dessert.

Lisa is an American temporarily in Charlottesville, VA. She just returned from 2 years abroad (Thailand, Malaysia, Portugal, Morocco, Italy and more) and is spending time with family before making a permanent move abroad. Check out Lisa’s website and follow her on Instagram here.

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