5 Questions to Melissa Schumacher

Name and last name

Being a student is a huge chance for starting a digital nomad life, like you can read here at our series “30 Digital Nomad Stories: How to Work Remotely and Travel the World”: Besides her university life, Melissa Schumacher travels a lot to experience the world. She has her own niche blog and also works as a freelancer for a bigger Yoga Blog in Germany. Finding a niche is, in her eyes, the best thing to do to generate an expert knowledge.

Why did you decide to begin a nomadic life and what does it mean to you?

I’m probably still in the beginning of a nomadic lifestyle. Since 2010, I didn’t live longer than six month at one place. I was bored of one thing (place, work place, university etc.) quickly. When routine entered my life, I felt a need to change something. And mostly I did, because I could. I am still a student. I did four semesters and an internship abroad and used every holiday to travel and experience. This is easy, because I am a flexible and free student. But I know that there will be one day, when I need to find a job and settle. I met people who lived a digital nomad lifestyle. I was inspired. I started to attract more and more people who were location independent, freelancer, digital nomads. So I was infected. I created a niche blog about Indonesia and the plan of continuing a nomadic life after my university becomes more realistic every day.

How do you earn an income now?

I have a niche blog about Indonesia and I am freelancing for a big Yoga Blog in Germany. In my opinion, niche is king. You become an expert in one area. You can gather more knowledge about one specific place rather than providing basic knowledge about thousand random places. You have a huge and specialized network around. You are a good platform for the advertising industry since you have a specific target group. You don’t need to compete with the broad mass within the travel blog industry. It’s a huge competition between travel bloggers in the German market. There are only a few good ones that can earn money with their blogs.

So I felt not to compete with the established ones. Indonesia is a country with a big potential in tourism. And it’s a never ending travel. I lived around 1.5 years on the islands of Indonesia, learned the language and a lot about people and culture. I gathered enough knowledge to create a blog about it. Now I have more than 16.000 readers each month. I wrote one E-Book, and currently I am writing my first real book with my business partner Petra. Soon there are more books and E-Books planned (surf-guide, yoga-guide etc.).

In addition, I earn money with partner programs (amazon, DKB, babble etc.). And I am working as a freelancer for a Yoga Blog and Yoga Shop. All these works I can do online and location independent. Since I am still a student, I am not forced to earn lots of money, so I can concentrate on the quality of what I’m doing. Until summer 2016, I will finish university and I am definitely planning to live with my earnings of my blog, books and other projects.

What is your approximate travel budget for a year? Any tip to lower it down?

Usually, I travel with 600 Euros a month. I stay longer in one place rather than moving every week. So I save transport costs and I can make better deals with flats or motorbikes. You pay less if you pay on a monthly basis instead of daily or weekly basis. Usually you always get discounts. I travel in countries, where I can afford a good lifestyle with small money (Southeast Asia). I try to avoid tourist places and tourist prices. This is possible if you are interested in a country, if you are open to observe, understand and adapt. If I live in Indonesia I know where to eat cheap, where to stay free and I have a good network of people, so it’s easy to live very well with little money.

What would you consider to be one of the best tools for becoming a Digital Nomad?

  • Canva for Design works
  • Pixaby for free pictures
  • Maps.Me for Offline Maps

Do you have any advice for those starting a DN life?

Be an expert in one field. Create a network around this topic. Check the potential of the niche: Are there enough possibilities to gain money easily in the future (e-Books / books / Video-Tutorials etc.)? Is there a low competition within this field or can you do it better than the competitors? Do you think your passion for the topic will last for a longer time? Is the target group big enough to pay your salary at a certain time? Always consider a healthy Input-Output relation. Be patient! And most important: Do it – it’s better done, than perfect!