If you are an expat spouse or just live away from your home country, it can sometimes be difficult to find a job and an income.
However, that is where the internet provides a lot of opportunities that makes it possible to earn from anywhere.
In this article, I will give you some expat spouse employment ideas for using the internet to create an income. These ideas will of course also be applicable, if you just live abroad and are looking for a way to create an income as an expat.
Working online makes it possible to earn no matter where you live, so even if you have to move around, you are not depended on finding a new income.
However, when earning online it is also important to know how to avoid the scams, as there unfortunately are many of these. This article will also show you how to spot these, so you only go for the legit ways that can actually make you an income.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means at no cost to you, I may receive an affiliate commission if you purchase something through one of these links.
The challenge of finding a job as an expat spouse or foreigner
If you are an expat spouse, a military spouse, or just live abroad or move around a lot, you are probably already aware of the challenges this can give when it comes to employment.
Personally, I am married to a woman that is not from the same country as me, and we have lived in several countries to find the best setup for us. This can give some big challenges when it comes to creating an income.
It is, first of all, difficult to find a country where both of our educations are accepted, and secondly it can be difficult to find a country where we both can speak the official languages fluently enough to get a job.
These are just a few of the challenges there are when not working in your home country. When living abroad I have met a lot of people with the same challenges. Often people really want to find a job, but if you do not know the local language, you can only get low paid jobs, and you do not get to do what you are passionate about.
Some challenges can be the same, if you are an expat spouse or military spouse. In addition to this, some expats or military personal are moving around regularly, which means it can be even harder for you as a spouse to find employment, as it takes time to get to know the area and opportunities (and sometimes also the language).
Also, employers of course prefer hiring people that is likely to stay for several years, and they know this is sometimes not realistic, if you are married to somebody who is just hired on a temporary contract.
So there are plenty of challenges – but the reality is also that most of us need to find a soltuion to create an income to be able to live.
The importance of finding a flexible job
I know from experience how challenging the situations I mentioned above can be. That is also why I started looking into creating a more flexible job and income.
If you are an expat spouse, or if you just like to travel or move around a lot, finding an income where you do not have to start over every time you move can give a lot of peace and stability (and something meaningful to do).
As I have a background in online communication, I wanted to look into the possibility of creating an online income. The great thing about working online is the freedom it gives.
You can earn no matter where you live, you can do it in your own language, you do not have to start over just because you move, and you are not dependent on having to wait several years to integrate before somebody will hire you.
After some searching (and some failure) I did find a way to create an online income, and found that it is actually something anybody can learn no matter your previous experience, which I will explain more about later.
In my search I did however also find that most ways that are presented as a way to create an online income are scams that will end up costing you money instead of making you money. So before getting to the online job ideas, I just want to give a few tips about what to avoid.
The scams to avoid
The online world is full of opportunities, but is also full of scams. There are however a few things that can help you easily spot the scams to stay away from.
Below I will show you the most important signs to look for:
#1 – Be realistic:
The first thing to be aware of is expectation management, when it comes to creating an online income.
It is definitely possible to make really good money online, but do not believe the myths about online marketing that tell us it is super easy and that you will become rich overnight without any effort.
Like any other kind of job and income, it takes effort and time to build an online income. So do not go for the programs that promise you will become rich on autopilot – they will most likely end up costing you money instead.
#2 – Are they clear about what they are offering?:
A clear warning sign when you look for ways to make money online as an expat spouse or someone who just want the freedom to work online, is when you cannot really figure out what a program is offering. There are for example many “learning” platforms that just say they will teach you the trick to become rich online in no time.
No matter how hard you look on the website, you will however not be able to find any real information about what you will actually learn. You can only see this after paying. If you cannot get in-depth information about what a program is offering before you have to pay, it is a big red flag.
This part is a bit tricky, as you of course do not know if there are hidden costs, before you join. But you can in most cases find out, if you look for reviews about the specific learning platform or program you are considering joining.
Also, if you decide to join, be aware that if you are continuously pushed to keep buying new products/services, this might never stop. There are some platforms that get you in with a low joining fee, but before you get through the “training”, you will have invested thousands of dollars – do not let this happen to you and get out, if you find out this is about to happen.
Let me just make it clear that there is nothing wrong with investing in building an online income. Depending on the route you decide to take, it can be necessary to invest a bit.
And the great thing is that the costs of starting an online business are VERY low compared to starting a more traditional business, if you avoid the scams that will try to take thousands of dollars from you.
What opportunities are there to earn online?
If you are aware of the above warning signs, you have a great chance of avoiding the online scams.
So let’s now look into how you can learn to earn online, and thereby earn no matter where you live, and take your income with you, if you move around.
Let me first say that there are many legit ways to earn online. Some of the most obvious ways are to work as a freelancer. There are freelancers needed for many different things, so there is a great chance your skills can be used on some of the many freelance portals that exist.
Some ideas for freelance jobs are design, writing, animation, audio production, admin support, virtual assistant, customer service, translation, legal counseling, and accounting.
These are just a few of the possible freelance jobs you can find online. A couple of portals you can find these opportunities on are Upwork and Fiverr.
However, in my opinion this does not give the ultimate freedom. It gives you the freedom to work as a foreigner in any country, or to take your income with you, if you are an expat spouse and are moving around.
But when I started looking for an online income, I was looking for a way to create an income that was not dependent on having to sell my services, as you are then still dependent on others and what they need.
This can definitely be fine, and some online freelancers thrive, love what they are doing, and make good money. For me there is, however, a better solution.
Best way to earn no matter where you live
My own favorite way to earn online is through what is called affiliate marketing.
In short, it means you, for example, create a website about a topic you are passionate about, you then create content for that website, you get traffic for the website, and then there are many ways to monetize that traffic.
It might sound scary to build a website or make content for it, if you have never done it before, but it is actually something anybody can learn.
The amazing thing about making money like this is that you can work with something you are really passionate about and share it with others – and it can be anything from cooking, traveling, home improvements, fitness, football, dance, singing, or anything else you can are interested in.
Personally, I have several websites about topics I love sharing with other people about – one of them being this website about online marketing, since it is a topic I have worked with for years, and love sharing it with others. And at the same time the website can make me some money – great combination, right?:-)
The potential of an income like this is huge. It can not only give you the freedom to create an income that is not dependent on your location, or if people want to hire you or not – it can also create an income based on your passion, which means it will never really feel like work.
It is truly something anybody can learn no matter your previous experience. But let me also be honest with you – it can eventually make you a really good income, but it will not happen overnight, and it takes effort. If you are willing to make an effort, affiliate marketing is an amazing way to create an online income.
So let’s look into how you can get started, if you are interested.
How to get started?
When I first started with affiliate marketing, I must admit I failed. Even though I had already worked with online communication for years at that time, I did not understand the full process of creating a successful affiliate marketing website and make money on it.
I did however not want to give up, as I could see the potential of it, so I started looking for a place, where I could learn everything from scratch step-by-step.
After much research and after running into many scams, I found the learning platform Wealthy Affiliate. I was of course skeptical in the beginning, but it sounded like a good option, and I gave it a try – I quickly saw the high value of the training, support, and tools there, and I have now been a member since (I joined in 2016).
So what makes this platform a great place to learn to build an online income?
There are many reasons for that. I will not go into all the details, as you can read my full review of Wealthy Affiliate to see more about all it has to offer.
But some of the important aspects are:
- It provides step-by-step training for all levels so anybody can learn the process
- It has some amazing tools that makes it very effective to create a website and traffic compared to any other platform I have tried
- You are never alone – there is a very helpful community that are always ready to help, if you need any help
- You can directly contact the owners, and they are very active within the community themselves
- The platform constantly evolves
- There are no hidden costs
- You get a personal mentor
- It is free to try (you get your first 10 lesson 100% for free to test what it is all about)
This is the platform where I have learned to create an online income myself. I have tested many different approaches and programs, and this is without a doubt my number one recommendation, if you want to learn to create an online income.
If it sounds like something for you, just click the button below and you will get access to your free starter membership. Once you join, I will see you there and be more than happy to help you out, whenever you need it.
I will be happy to answer any questions, and would love to hear about your experiences.
Finding a job these days is a difficult thing, all over the world I guess. Even for those who play sport, it is tough, for only the best gets called up. Persons at home also find it difficult to get a job in their own country. It’s no surprise then that expats are having difficulty too. The internet gives hope and when you have an online job, no matter where you live, the income continues rolling in.
Exactly Russell. The online world gives a lot of opportunities, where we are not depended on our location. We just need to stay clear of the scams as there unfortunately also are many of these, where they promise you all kind of unrealistic results without any work just to make money themselves.
Great post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on expat spouse employment options. Certainly sounds like you speak from the experience of living it which of course is the best source of knowledge.
It’s really interesting to me how many ways to “make money” you see online. Thankfully I’ve read enough reviews to stay away from most of the noise.
Like you I feel affiliate marketing is a good place to put your stake in the ground and being building an income online. It’s important for folks to know that it is not a “get rich quick” type deal, it takes lots of patience and lots of work. Like building any successful business you have to put in the work up front.
Thanks for the great post!
Thank you for the feedback and for sharing your thoughts on this topic Mat A.
I agree that it is very important for people to know that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, but that it is not a get-rich-quick thing. In general people need to know that any program that promise you to become rich online in a matter of days and without any work are just trying to lure money out of them without providing any value.
It is a trap, and a shame so many are falling for it and never realize the potential of something like affiliate marketing, if they did not go for the shiny objects but put in some effort instead.
All the best,
There are different situations that can happen if you are constantly moving or you are in a foreign country looking for jobs.
Depending on the country economic situation they can be either friendly or hostile. They are only hostile only in an economic crisis because they think that their job will be stolen even if you do have the proper qualification.
Instead of having an online business will make you even more flexible if you move like a nomad.
Your business is secure and in control; wherever you go. This is the beauty of having an online business.
Thanks for your comment Sheikave.
I completely agree. One of the big advantages of having an online income is that you are in charge, and are not dependent on your location, the local economic situation, etc. It can give a lot of freedom in many different areas of life.
All the best,
Very interesting post. Lot’s of useful info. but not too much to deal with.
Thanks for the feedback Les.
Can you elaborate a little on what you mean when saying there is not much to deal with? I have tried to make it clear what the next step should be, if you are interesting in starting an online business and what my recommended method is, but maybe it is not clear enough? Would appreciate your thoughts.
This information about jobs is not scatterd in every country because of corruption problems encounted every where in this world. So how can we remove this negative attitude considering that? give me an answer please
Sorry but I do not understand your question. Can you try to explain in different words what it is you would like to know?
All the best,