Month: May 2019

Extended: How positive thinking can lead to self-sabotage.

Listen Below:

What you’ll find:

How thinking positively can be a trap. 

  • Instead of positive thinking do positive self talk to help change your mindset. 

How to overcome overthinking and the fears you may face in your life. 

  • we have a compulsion to know everything before we start. 
  • We have to accept that we do not always see what is ahead of us. 
  • It is only by taking the first step that we can see the next step, even when we do not know where it will lead us. 

Get the full interview with Christy where she shares how to go from sick and overweight to become an abundance life coach.

Extended: How to discover new perspectives while studying abroad.

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What you’ll find:

When you were studying abroad what were the lessons you learned that were crucial to your growth?

Learning humility and becoming more open to what the world is outside of her own home town. 

Learning to respect other peoples views and getting out of your own comfort zone. 

How can you get international education?

Find the opportunity in your school to study abroad because it will create more opportunities for you in the future. 

Reach out to institutions to share your stories. 

Get the full interview with Adriana where she shares how to create more opportunities for minority travelers to see the world.

How to Travel for Free by Finding Housesitter Jobs

Being a digital nomad will provide you with a lot of freedom. Traveling to new locations whenever you want, moving to new cities in the blink of an eye, switching job positions to whatever role suits you at the time are only some of the perks of digital nomading. However, there are always downsides to what seems like the perfect lifestyle.

You’ll most likely worry about money since paychecks aren’t consistent in the beginning and hours could be spent making plans to figure out how you can create more income. Despite these setbacks, a lot of nomads find that it is worth the effort and will do twice the amount of work in order to maintain their lifestyles. Because of this, they often get creative by diversifying how they create income and how they budget their travel expenses.

With money being a major issue for many digital nomads, homesitting has become a majorly popular alternative to those looking to find cheaper rent and unique experiences.

For those of you not in the know, house and pet sitting is the practice of watching a home, and sometimes pets and plants, while the homeowner is away on vacation or for work. This idea isn’t new but has become popular enough that it is thought of as a way for travelers to find a cheaper place to stay in exchange for a workspace and a budget-friendly alternative in finding accommodations.

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Housesitter Jobs is Perfect for the Digital Nomad

Finding a homesitting gig is perfect for digital nomads since it provides free office space, great internet, a quiet area to work and most importantly, it will allow you to save money on accommodations. Most homesitters jobs will ask the sitter to be there for a long period of time and will often ask you to take care of family pets. This longer period of stay will provide the sitter with the opportunity to create a long term “office time.”

This is a great opportunity for digital nomads to be able to afford to live in many expensive cities that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. Another perk of some homesitting positions is the availability of vehicles use in order to take a little time off and explore. It may not be a vacation in a hotel room, but you do have access to a lot of amenities in unique locations!

Getting to Live Like a Local as a Long Term House Sitter

Another great perk of homesitting is that you get to see the local side of life. Most hotels and rentals will put you in the touristy areas, but housesitting could land you in the quieter countryside or suburban neighborhoods. When getting some free time, you can either ask the homeowners the local favorite diners, take a walk around or simply go to meet the neighbors. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite location from local recommendations.

For those looking to minimize the moving and get a fully immersive experience, finding long term house sitting is a very real possibility. Winter homestays are extremely popular and are easy to secure if a solid resume is established.

The good news is, it isn’t that hard to find your perfect sit and there are hundreds of sites out there catered specifically to those looking for their next home away from home. Here is a list of 11 sites that have available housesitter jobs. Start by deciding which location is best suited to you and your goals and then create your profile. You may have a lot of competition, so be diligent, professional and persistent while trying to find your first homesitting gig. 

1. TrustedHousesitters.com

Cost: $96/year

Location: Worldwide

Pros: Popular and has a lot of house sitter jobs always available. It also offers vet support over the phone and has a lot of references for new homesitters and professional housesitter.

Cons: Popularity leads to a lot more competition. It is also on the more expensive end making it important to ensure you have an established profile with reviews.

2. Rover.com

Cost: Depends on what the pet sitter charges.

Location: United States

Pros: This site is a little different and is geared towards pet sitters. It is also a great way for animal lovers to make a little extra cash while home sitting! When creating a profile the sitter lists their price and specific skills. The homeowners can then reach out to those who fit their needs.

Cons: Not always long term and maybe more of a local weekend type opportunity. You must be an animal lover and be prepared to take care of very specific pet needs.

3. SabbaticalHomes.com

Cost: $45-65/year

Location: Worldwide

Pros: Geared towards finding a place to either sit, or even rent, specifically for academics.

Cons: More expensive if you are not going to school.

4. Housesitter.com

Cost: $90/year for an upgraded profile

Location: United States and Canada

Pros: Offers full support if there are any issues as well as a highly user-friendly platform that allows both sitters and homeowners a number of features.

Cons: You have to upgrade to get a better-positioned profile and to allow for unlimited messaging.

5. MindMyHouse.com

Cost: $20/year

Location: Worldwide

Pros: A good number of house sits available and it sends out email alerts when new sits open up.

Cons: Not a whole lot of cons to this site! There is a little bit of something for everyone and the price is in the lower range. Some homeowners do tend to list last minute, so it is best to keep up with it on a regular basis if you are trying to land one.

6. HousesittingWorld.com

Cost: Free, $99 to upgrade

Location: Worldwide

Pros: This platform actually partners with other house sitting platforms to help you navigate multiple sites at once and then organize them with their tools such as document scanning, storage, and a detailed house caretaker calendar.

Cons: The upgrade is relatively expensive and the site is best for those who house sit on a regular basis, perhaps even full time.

7. TownandCountryHomesit.co.nz

Cost: $19+/year

Location: New Zealand

Pros: Everyone is given a thorough check to deter any problems like vandalism.

Cons: It is only within New Zealand and is best if you are looking for sits here or in a surrounding country.

8. Nomador.com

Cost: $89/year

Location: Worldwide, most popular in France

Pros: You only pay once you confirm a homesitter job and it has a well laid out platform and thorough checks for vetting both sitters and homeowners.

Cons: A newer site and may only have a few positions available at a time.

9. WorkingCouples.com

Cost: $5/month

Location: United States

Pros: A site made specifically for working couples to find places to stay and work together! This is geared towards finding seasonal or long term workers to fill positions such as camp managers.

Cons: Not great for the single homesitter looking for accommodation.

10. HouseCarers.com

Cost: $50/year

Location: Worldwide

Pros: A great number of sits available and has a free profile option that lets you list yourself and contact info.

Cons: The free option does not allow you to reach out to homeowners and you will probably want to upgrade.

11. LuxuryHouseSitting.com

Cost: $25/year

Location: Everywhere, but most popular in United States.

Pros: Luxury house sitting jobs will offer you a ton of benefits. Not only are the homes unique but they are also in beautiful locations that you may not find elsewhere.

Cons: Many homeowners do not list that they are available but instead rely on homesitters to message them to ask about availability. Homesitters are also expected to have a great profile and possibly reviews. There can be a fair amount of competition for the more popular houses too.

Creating the Perfect Homesitting Profile

A profile is very important to finding and nailing your dream home sitting jobs. It should reference you, your background, why you are qualified, and why you are the perfect fit for that particular position. Although housesitting is popular, many people need last-minute house sitting services and the number of applicants can range from hundreds to only a few. Whatever the case, to get the job you should look legitimate and know what you are doing.

A profile should have your recent photos as well as up to date info. Suspicious activity, such as partying pictures may not be the best option to list on your homesitter profile.

Try and add a photo of you with a pet or in another household or similar activity. It may help to add more information about yourself as a homesitter in your social profiles as well. Unless it is private, the homeowner will most likely look you up on Facebook.

Another great option once you get more established is to create your own quick website. This isn’t necessary but does show your dedication to your preferred homesitting resume.

Getting Homesitter References as a Beginner

As a beginner housesitter, the hardest thing to acquire is great references and recommendations. You may have created the most perfect profile, but if three other applicants did as well, and one has one or more 5-star references, then they will most likely get the job instead of you. Because of this, it is crucial to establish reviews or references you may have from past housesitting gigs in case you get asked. If you have them, then always be sure to mention it.

Whether you ask your family and friends to write you a quick review or to give you a phone number and email to call, this is a major step towards convincing potential homeowners that you are worth their time. Always include the references or a note to let them know that they are available to give the homeowners more information about their experiences with you. After finishing your first house sit, always ask the homeowner for an immediate review as well!  

Finding and Applying to short and long term house sitting jobs

Finding the best house sitting websites when looking for homesitting positions is critical. Not all platforms are equal, and most make you pay a fee. While there are some that are free, they are few and are not vetted quite as well. Your best bet would be to read peer reviews and maybe ask advice from other housesitters you may know.

It is especially important when searching for the best house sitting sites, to know the area in which you wish to housesit. Once you have narrowed down your dream locations, it will be easier for you to do your research and figure out which site has the most available homes in the location of your choice.

When you have found the right housesitting position, know the ins and outs. Ask about amenities like wifi, transportation, distance to town and so much more. Some house sitting jobs abroad can be very unique and might be eco-friendly or off the grid. This could be great for some people, or it could mean losing basic luxuries for others. Always check the photos closely and once you get in touch with the homeowner, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Leave no stone unturned because you don’t want to be stuck in a location that you will be miserable in!

What’s Next After Landing Your First Home Sitting Job

Not all house sitting positions are equal and you never know what you might encounter. The best route to take even before accepting a house sit is to ask as many questions to homeowners as possible, make sure all of your bases are covered, and even then, it is recommended to get yourself a checklist rulebook.

You can find basic checklists on many house sitting sites and forums. Always be sure to ask for emergency numbers, permission to invite people over and so forth.

Handling Issues with a Checklist and well Thought-out Plan

There are a number of unforeseen circumstances you may encounter while staying at someone’s home, especially long term. The best way to prepare for possible problems is to have a plan.

  • Always have a ready checklist with emergency numbers
  • Know how, where, and when is the best time to contact the homeowners
  • Know the location of the hospitals and vet clinics
  • Know whether you can use their vehicle in case of emergency
  • Know which neighbor or friends to contact if you have to leave for any reason

Homesitting Shouldn’t be Taken Lightly, Treat Each House and Pet as Your Own

Pet and home sitting is a serious responsibility. You are in charge of someone else’s property, and if pets are involved, you are in charge of live animals that are part of the family. Treat each house and pet sitting job as if it is your own. Just because you are staying there for free, does not mean that it is a vacation getaway.

Leaving a mess or a sick pet can mean a bad review and the end of your homesitting days, not to mention possible legal action in the worst-case scenario. If you aren’t up for the task in exchange for unique experiences and cheap travel, then maybe homesitting isn’t for you.


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Extended: How to turn a parenting blog into a successful business with Katie Crenshaw.

Listen Below:

What you’ll find:

What’s the secret sauce to making a parenting blog work?

  • Create content that you are passionate about and use the skills that you already have.

Is there is a specific number that a blogger should strive for in order to start reaching out to companies and create income?

  • It depends on what the brands are looking for- more brands are willing to work with micro influencers.
  • Brands want engagement and that is the most important thing.

How can you create a community that will be engaged?

  • Make sure that you stick to who you are and be your authentic self.
  • Do not be everything, it is not consistent and will confuse your audience.
  • You have to provide your audience with what they need.

Get the full interview with Katie where she shares how to embrace your imperfections and share your authentic self as a mom blogger.

Extended: How to stand out as a content creator on social media with Julianna Veza.

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What you’ll find:

How can you stand out as a content creator on social media?

  • Find and create a unique niche for your brand.

How do you create beautiful content that will be noticed by brands?

  • Create a style for your work- using presets for your images.

Why is styling so important to create a unique content?

  • Details can make or break your work.
  • Lighting is crucial to your images.
  • Establish a setting and work on a composition.

How do you start pitching to brands?

  • Make sure you are familiar with the brands before you pitch.
  • Show sample work, and don’t be afraid to reach out.

Listen to the full interview where Julianna shares how to travel the world as a food stylist.

5 Hidden Hikes in Jordan (Outside of Petra)

Hey there! I am so excited to have an incredible guest post today by April Blaszak who is the travel blogger behind The Unending Journey. April will be sharing a monthly travel post that will highlight offbeat journeys around the world, so stay tuned for more!

April started traveling when she was 19 and hasn’t looked back since. 26 countries later she’s as excited as ever to journey to a new place (be it 20 miles from me or half way around the world) and discover what she can. Passionate about solo travel, she hopes to inspire others to get out, leave their fear behind, and experience the world. 

Jordan. When you hear that country, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? It’s probably, Petra, right? And I mean, why not? Petra is amazing. Epic. Breathtaking. It’s a place that’s well worth taking 2-3 days to explore. But too many people rush through the country on their trip to Jordan. Or they tack on a few days to visit Petra on a longer visit to Israel. And maybe throw in a day to explore the red desert of Wadi Rum.

Please don’t be one of those people. Jordan has so much more to offer to make for an incredible vacation in its own right. Jordan is a country full of unexpected beauty in the landscape and genuinely friendly people. Recently, I spent 16 days exploring and getting to know this amazing country. For those who want to get away from the crowds and see parts of Jordan that many tourists either skip over or don’t know about, check out these incredible off the beaten path sights that should be added to any Jordan itinerary.

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The Desert Castles of the East

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is usually where people start on their trip to Jordan. Using it as a base, visitors will venture north for day trips to the Roman ruins of Jerash and Umm Qaison. Or to the castle and forests of Ajloun. But venturing off the beaten path in Jordan to the eastern desert is something not many do. Maybe a desert sounds boring. But trust me, there are some Jordan’s more fascinating attractions to visit giving glimpses into Jordan’s rich history.

jordan itinerary
Qasr Al-Kharaneh

Less than an hour outside of Amman lies the first stop, Qasr al-Kharaneh. This stunning piece of architecture stands isolated in a barren landscape. Though its purpose is still being debated, that doesn’t take away from the fun of exploring the two floors of maze-like rooms surrounding a large, central courtyard. Though it’s crumbling in places, you can’t help but be impressed.

Close by is the incredible Qusayr Amara, a World Heritage Site. Don’t let its size fool you into thinking it’s not worth your time. Once a bathhouse, its beauty is fully revealed once you step inside. All around you are vivid frescoes from the floor to the ceiling. The best preserved of their type and time. Luckily, a guide is always inside to give you more insight and stories from the frescoes. From the main vaulted room are several smaller rooms that you cannot miss.

jordan itinerary
Azraq Castle

Heading further east you enter the town of Azraq. Here is Azraq Castle. Yes, finally a proper castle. The grounds date back to 300 AD when Romans controlled the area. The castle has played a part in every epoch of Jordan history – from stronghold against the Crusaders to the Arab Revolt of the early 1900s. TE Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) even lived here for several months. Though the grounds are sparse now, it’s still an intriguing site to walk around.

If you’re looking to take a break from the barren wasteland of the eastern desert, while in Azraq you can stop at the Azraq Wetland Reserve. It’s hard to imagine, but once the whole area was a green oasis. It served as a watering hole for migrating birds. Once there was talk of turning the area into a national park. Alas, that never happened and much of the water was drained as a resource for Amman. What’s left is a small fraction of what the area used to be.

And, if you’re looking for someplace really off the beaten path in Jordan, look no further than Umm al-Jimal, the black gem of the desert. Very few visitors venture to this site, even though its less than a two-hour drive from Azraq (and just over an hour from Amman, making it the perfect last stop on a day loop through the castles). On first glance, it may just look like a massive site of piles of rocks.

jordan itinerary
Um Al-Jimal

Trust me, it’s so much more. Yes, there are a lot of rock piles, but there are many foundations of houses and churches. Paths follow the old street layouts. Existing courtyards and arched windows are exciting finds. And, locals love to use the area as a park for walking or taking in their own history. As they love to speak with visitors, it’s a great way to interact with the locals. Spending a day touring the desert castles will be a unique day in your Jordan itinerary.

Helpful Information: entry to each of the desert castles is free with the Jordan Pass or 1-2 JD per site. Make sure you fill up on gas before setting out as the only gas station on the route is at Azraq. All sites except Umm al-Jimal have toilets on the premises.

Mukawir – Machaerus Fortress

The Dead Sea is a place nearly everyone wants to go to when in Jordan. It’s one of Jordan’s premiere attractions. Floating in unsinkable waters at the lowest spot on the planet…how could one refuse? But there’s much more to do in the Dead Sea area than float. You can take in where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at Bethany Beyond Jordan. Behold stunning views of the holy land at Mt. Nebo. Marvel at the intricate mosaics in Madaba. All of these are on the popular tourist route on most Jordan itineraries.

But, what about Mukawir? Probably never heard of it, right? But you may have heard the biblical story of Salome doing the Dance of the Seven Veils for King Herod to get John the Baptist’s head. Well, this is where that happened! When I read that, visiting was a must.

jordan itinerary
Views of dead sea from Mukawir ruins.

Located approximately 40 minutes from Madaba, the remains of the great palace stand atop a hill with the Dead Sea as its backdrop. From the parking lot, it’s about a 10-minute walk up the hill to the ruins. Truthfully, the ruins are on the skimpy side with zero information about what you’re looking at. But the views of the surrounding landscape are stunning. And to say you stood where Salome did her famous dance, well, just priceless.

Helpful Information: entry is 1 JD to the ruins (Jordan Pass is not accepted here). Restrooms are just off the parking lot.

And, if you want to give back to the community, right before you see the ruins, there’s the Bani Hamida Weaving Centre and Gallery. This women’s cooperative features all handmade rugs of varying sizes, baskets, bracelets, and pillow covers. The work is exquisite, and the prices reflect that. But it’s a rare opportunity to ensure your money goes straight to supporting the local community.

Hiking Mecca of Dana Biosphere Reserve

Did you know that Jordan offers a plethora of premier hiking trails? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either! There’s even the Jordan Trail which runs the entire length of the country! But, if you don’t have 40 days to do that, you can find awesome hiking trails at the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Unfortunately, many people speed past on their way to Petra from Amman. If you’re an outdoor lover or hiking enthusiast, the Dana Nature Reserve must be on your Jordan itinerary.

jordan itinerary
Wadi Dana trail in Dana Biosphere

Located between the Kings Way and the Dead Sea Highway, Dana is the largest nature reserve in Jordan combining several ecosystems into one protected area. And the area is stunning. If you picture Jordan as being a dry, desolate country filled with nothing but desert and sand, a visit to Dana will have you rethinking that image. Over 800 species of plants can be found here. And, going in spring after the heavy winter rains means everything is lush and in bloom. If you love hiking, this is a place you’ll want to spend at least several days.

The main hiking trail is the Wadi Dana Trail. This easy 14km hike goes from the small village of Dana to the Feynan Ecolodge (an incredible ecolodge in the middle of the Dana Reserve the provides you with an experience you’ll never forget. For more information, go here). Traversing through a canyon, you’ll start in a green landscape with towering red canyon walls and end in the dry, harsh environment of Wadi Araba. It’s one of the best hikes I’ve done anywhere in the world. 

Jordan Itinerary
Wadi Dana Trail for Dana Biosphere

The other popular trail is the Wadi Ghwayr trek, which is 16km through a stunning canyon (siq). This trail begins near Shoubak Castle and ends near the Feynan Ecolodge. A guide is required. But there are shorter trails you can enjoy around Dana, too. Most of those can be found at the Rummana Camp Grounds located about a 25-minute drive north of Dana Village. Four easy trails can be done in a day and all without a guide. Though easy, the scenery and views are killer!

You can read about more about the many hiking trails available at the Dana Biosphere Reserve here.

Shoubak Castle

Many people stop at Kerak Castle on the way to Petra from the north. But very few make the short side trip to Shoubak Castle. Both are Crusader Castles, and both are fantastic in their own way. So, a visit to only one doesn’t forgive you for not seeing the other one. And, it’s easy to make time for both in your Jordan itinerary. Built in the 1100s, the castle held a strategic point along a popular trade route. In its heyday, the castle was said to be a well-fortified and quite beautiful.

jordan itinerary
Views from Shoubak Castle

Nowadays, some of the exterior walls have been rebuilt. However, the interior is all ruins. But they’re wonderful! Tons of arches to admire. Churches to venture into. Towers to enjoy the sweeping views from. Though the scenery around the castle may be brown, it’s certainly not boring. Shoubak may be not be the largest castle, but that just means its easy to get around to see it all and not get lost.

jordan itinerary
Inside Shoubak Castle

And, as a bonus, on the road to Shoubak Castle, you pass the world’s smallest hotel! Yes, officially the smallest hotel is in Germany. But this unofficial one is inside a Volkswagen Beetle. The owner is extremely friendly and doesn’t mind anyone stopping by to look. But you can only visit the hotel on the way TO Shoubak Castle as you go out a different way from it. Bet you didn’t know about this Jordan attraction.

Helpful Information: entry to Shoubak Castle is free with Jordan Pass or 1 JD. Toilets are available at the visitor center.

Umm Ar-Rasas

When you think Roman ruins in Jordan, immediately you jump to Jerash. These stunning ruins are known as the Pompeii of the Middle East. And, they should be on any Jordan itinerary. But, Jerash is not the only Roman ruins to see. Off the beaten path in Jordan to the south of Amman between the Desert Highway and Kings Way are the ruins of Umm ar-Rasas.

jordan itinerary
Um Ar-Rasas

Um ar-Rasas began life as a military camp. But it quickly grew into a thriving town. Although you may not gather that from the rubble that remains. The site contains several impressive churches. Though much smaller than Jerash, these ruins have several things that you won’t find there making it a must stop on your trip to Jordan.

One is the stunning mosaics found in St. Stephens Church. Well protected from the elements, the mosaics found here are some of the largest and most detailed you’ll find in Jordan (in fact, the museum at St. John the Baptist’s church in Madaba has a small replica of this mosaic). It details the daily life of the time as well as highlights the main cities in the area of the time (one side are cities in Jordan, the other Israel). It’s magnificent.

jordan itinerary
Umm Ar-Rasas

One of the more fascinating finds in Umm ar-Rasas is something that is overlooked by many visitors. And that’s because you need to drive less than 2 minutes down the road to get to it form the main ruins. But, it’s worth it (in my humble opinion). And that’s the monk tower. Devout men would spend days atop this tower. It’s fascinating.

Helpful Information: entry is free with the Jordan Pass or 2 JD. Toilets are available at the visitor center.

What’s the Jordan Pass?

The Jordan Pass is a program run by the Ministry of Tourism in Jordan. Visitors heading to Jordan purchase the pass online (must purchase before you get to Jordan). With it, the entry visa fee is waived (40 JD), and it allows for free entry to 36 sites and museums in Jordan, including Petra. Costs start at 70 JD and goes to 80 JD. Which pass level you purchase depends on how many days you want to spend in Petra (1 – 3 days). So its best to know your Jordan itinerary before you purchase.

The Jordan Pass is only worth getting if you’re going to spend more than 4 days in the country and are going to Petra. A day ticket to Petra is 50 JD. Combined with the visa fee, you’re already ahead 20 JD with the pass. I used it during my time in Jordan and it was super easy to use. All you need to do is present the pass at the ticket office where it’ll get stamped or scanned at each Jordan attraction.

Is Jordan Safe?

Yes. Yes. YES!!

With having Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and Israel among its neighbors, it’s no wonder people’s first question about Jordan is about safety. It’s completely safe. Traveling solo throughout the country, never for one moment did I feel like I was in any danger. Yes, you’ll encounter police checks on the roads now and then. But that’s only to help keep the peace. In the 16 days I was there, I encountered no incidents.

Female Solo Travel in Jordan

Traveling as a solo female, again, I felt completely fine. Jordanians are among the genuinely friendliest people you’ll ever meet. There’s a reason that they’re known for their hospitality. But I will say, that men will do what they can to talk to you. To stave off any unwanted attention, I wore a ring on my left hand to give the appearance of being married. And boy did they notice! Many times, I was asked about it (so have a story prepared). But if you’re not into slight deceit, a firm no will work for them to respectfully back off.

Best Way to Travel in Jordan

Unfortunately, public transportation in Jordan is lacking. Buses are far and few in between and don’t go everywhere, especially to sights off the beaten path in Jordan. Taxis are always an option, but that can quickly add up. The best way to explore Jordan is to drive. If the thought of driving in the middle east makes you nervous, don’t be. Yes, there are a few quirks to driving in Jordan but once you’ve mastered them, you’ll find it a joy. The first day is the hardest.

But afterward, you’ll soon discover how wonderful the freedom of the road is in Jordan. And, you’ll be able to easily visit all the attractions on your Jordan itinerary you want to without the headache of figuring out how to get there.

Many of the big-name rental car companies are found at Queen Alia International Airport near Amman. It’s super easy to rent a car there. But I don’t recommend driving into Amman itself as the traffic is crazy and there are endless one-way roads that will drive you crazy. If you’re looking for a bargain, local companies are found throughout Amman. And it’s with these companies that you can negotiate for better pricing.

Staying Connected in Jordan

If you want to stay connected at all time on your trip to Jordan without depending on Wifi, the best thing to do is to purchase a SIM card. Luckily, at the Queen Alia International Airport, there’s an Orange Jordan stand located by the rental car agencies. Here you can pick up a SIM card before you hit the road to start on your Jordan itinerary.

Now hopefully you know that Jordan is more than Petra and Wadi Rum. Are those two places incredible? Yes, don’t miss them on your trip to Jordan. But, Jordan has so much more to offer with its long history and endless outdoor activities. And this is just a start to the wonderful things you can experience on any Jordan itinerary. But these are also places off the beaten path in Jordan that you can explore without massive crowds. You’ll leave Jordan with a deeper appreciation. So, prepare yourself for an adventure going off the beaten path in Jordan.

If you want to keep following April’s journey you can find her at The Unending Journey or say hi on Instagram.


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A comprehensive guide to Finding Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

When starting out as a digital nomad, a lot of people get overwhelmed by the possibilities. You can teach English online, make social media content, become a virtual assistant, the options are endless.

But there’s one skill that almost everyone has some experience in, which is writing. Whether you’ve done essays in school or an amateur writer in your own right, you have been a writer in one form or another.

That’s why it does not come as a surprise that so many people automatically look for freelance writing gigs when they are first diving into becoming a digital nomad.

With the internet and job search being so easily accessible, even in the comfort of your pajamas, it is now so easy for people to start pursuing and learning about remote writer jobs at their own pace. Let’s take a more in-depth look at these growingly popular online writing jobs for beginners and how to find them.

What you need to become a Freelance Content Writer

First, let’s make this clear – not everyone can be a professional writer. While anyone who writes technically has the skills, you do need to be self-driven and control to make it work. A degree may not be necessary to start a career, although it does help you jumpstart your career by having this credential.

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Experience is also one of those things that aren’t always required but could come in handy. Many beginner freelancers underestimate their actual “experience.” Have you ever written a report? Long-form email? Sales letter? All of these are technically your writing samples and could be considered “freelance” writing work. It is the art of refining how you write them that keeps you ahead of the game. Continued education and learning how to research will be your best assets throughout your career, writing or otherwise.

Acquiring Experience as a Freelance Content Writer

Creating your own blog or website is the most obvious point to start, though there are several sites out there that also allow freelancers to post with guest blogs if you do not want to create your own site. However, you should always be wary of where you are posting and ensuring that the sites are legitimate so that it does not harm your future career with unhelpful guest posting.

Working towards your own blog would be your best option! Think of it as your resume, and every time you create a new article for other publications you can also add it to your site to show your future clients what you are capable of.

When you are first starting out in the industry you will find that some of the fees you are being offered are far below what you’ve been told to expect. New freelancer writers will get lower wages, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle. Look at your first job as an opportunity to build your portfolio.

Ask your employer beforehand if you can add your byline or at least reference the article like yours. Sometimes, the experience may be worth it even without proper credit, but that is completely up to you and what you decide to accept. 

Finding Your Specialty as a Freelance Writer

Once you’ve moved on from the standard beginner freelance gigs, you may be thinking about honing your craft.

The next step for you is to figure out where your interests lie.

What is it that you are genuinely passionate about? Interestingly enough, a niche topic, no matter how small, is actually better than no topic at all.

Being a specialist in an area means that you know what you are doing, can target your potential audience directly, and you are more likely to get future referrals.

Starting your own website and adding a blog to your resume is a great way to showcase your skills while at the same time practicing building a portfolio.

Bluehost is an excellent platform to utilize in order to host your blog. We recommend using Bluehost especially if you are planning to use a WordPress template – one of the world’s largest blogging platforms.

In order to set up your hosting account on Bluehost, you have to purchase a domain name first.  

Start brainstorming what you want your blog to be known as. It can be as simple as your name, or you can get creative and use a domain name that will stand out from the crowd.

A pro tip to choosing a domain name: make sure that it is easy to remember and your name clearly states what your blog is about. For example, you do not want to name your blog “I like potatoes” when you are writing about tomatoes. Ok, bad example, but you get me (I hope).

Once you have chosen your domain name you can start choosing a hosting package plan from Bluehost that will best suit your needs and you can move on to choose a WordPress template that will allow you to showcase your work.  

Another essential tool for writers is Grammarly. It will help to ensure that you will not have to worry about small spelling mistakes on and off the assignment and will continuously help with improving your grammar and other skills.

Trust me, Grammarly will be your new best friend!

Figuring Out How to Price Work for Remote Writer Jobs

Every area of writing pays differently. A medical writer, for example, will earn much more than the typical lifestyle bogger, unless they have a huge following. But someone in a very obscure niche, like baseboard building, may have absolutely no competition and will be the only person available to write an article with expertise.

If you find a niche without a lot of competition that is in high demand (good for you), you could charge an exorbitant amount for an article.

Freelance writing jobs for beginners

The truth is – you need to know what you want, where you want to be, and set your prices that you are comfortable with. There will always be someone who will be willing to pay for your work, but the trick is knowing whether or not you can wait until you reach that price point.

Start lower and raise your rates until you are at a price you are comfortable with. Always let clients (current and future) know beforehand that you are raising prices so that they are not surprised by the sudden change and to give them ample time to find another writer if necessary.

Offer Specials to Entice New Clients

Other options for getting higher-paying clients when starting out is to offer deals or packages. For example, an agreement of five blog posts for the price of four (per month) is a pretty good deal. Or let loyal customers know that each post earns them points to an extra few words.

Once you have provided your clients with services that they are happy with, you can ask for referrals. Remember, the type of best marketing is through word of mouth, so take advantage of the opportunity to get referrals from your happy clients, so that you won’t be hustling to find new customers in the future!

Applying to Remote Writer Jobs

The very first thing you should keep in mind is that the sooner you apply, the more likely you are to be at the top of the list. Even if there may be a more qualified candidate towards the bottom of the applications, most employers don’t have the time to search through the hundreds of applications and will start at the top and work their way down. That is your opportunity to impress.

Below is a list of 25 different places to apply or search for remote writer jobs. Each one is different and not all will be a fit for you, but knowing what is out there is critical to new writers. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! 

WriterAccess

A platform that may or may not be for you, but it is a great place to start. To apply you are given a test and your writing samples are evaluated with a star system. If accepted, each job you write for is also rated which can help to increase your stars. The higher the score, the higher paying the job! 

Freelance Writing Gigs

This site has been around for a long time and has undergone a lot of changes, but the main draw now is their daily job listings. This isn’t a bad list to look at even if you don’t find a daily fit for your niche, but you never know what may pop up.

The other unique part of this site is that they have been around forever and have a great writing community who share their thoughts and knowledge freely with other writers. Anyone can apply to guest post and get their voices heard. If published, you can get valuable feedback!

For new writers, this is a great way to get your work out there without feeling like you’ve wasted your time.

Hireable

Sign up for this site and get personalized job alerts based on location, skills, and other set preferences.

Twitter

Twitter is a platform that we have a love/hate relationship with but is excellent for fostering relationships. A way to get jobs through Twitter is either by referral or simple connections.

Follow the right people, comment with valuable information, and post relevant content to be well on your way to getting noticed, though you do have to put some time in to stay active. 

Freelance writing jobs for beginners

Referrals

This is a great website to use for both new and seasoned writers.

The reason a lot of people don’t hire freelancers is that they have no credibility. A referral is a direct recommendation from a happy client and shouldn’t be taken lightly. These will eventually come regularly, but until then you can start by dropping hints to current clients.

Add in each email tagline that you accept referrals and maybe even give a finders fee to existing clients that recommend your services.  

Craigslist

Craigslist is often avoided because of the number of scams that come through there, but these could honestly happen on any platform if you aren’t looking out. The biggest rule to remember is that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. 

Freelancer.com

A handy platform for the beginning freelancer. Much like Upwork and other content platforms, profiles are created and jobs are posted. With Freelancer.com you can add your own writing samples and actually submit a bid.

This can go one of two ways in that it makes for lower job prices, but also allows for competition to be greater since there are a lot of applicants. Work your way up there, and you can eventually get long-term gigs. 

Salesfolk.com

Ok, this one isn’t necessarily a site for the beginner writer, nor is it your typical job board, but it gives a different example of the type of work out there.

Salesfolk is a company that exclusively writes cold emails for its clients. They hire writers based on experience, but also their personality. Known for being gurus and having a great sense of humor, this group isn’t easy to get into but could teach you a lot and open up a world of opportunities.

While they aren’t always accepting writers, they do offer job openings and have a scholarship for their cold emailing academy. The reason this could be acceptable for beginners is that they aren’t looking for the typical professional.

If you are transitioning from any form of management position, desk job, etc., then you will most likely qualify to be one of their future writers! If accepted, you get paid and receive a large amount of education that you won’t find elsewhere.

BloggingPro.com

BloggingPro is your typical job listing board like Indeed.com, but on a smaller scale and focused on writing. The difference between this type of site and a larger one is that you get more specific jobs.

You can find those on Indeed as well, but they tend to fade as a new job gets posted by the minute. This one may only have a few openings a day, but that gives you a better chance of landing it due to less competition from other job boards! 

Problogger

Problogger is the number one resource as it actually allows you to start blogging. On top of that, they offer jobs and thousands of articles with other career growing resources. 

Family and Friends

When first starting out, it is more than likely that your first jobs will be from family or friends. Which will be good for your learning curve.

You always want to put your best efforts, but be very careful to set boundaries and let others realize your worth, many won’t know they are taking advantage of you by asking for extra small tasks. Treat family and friend’s referrals as if they are your portfolio and use those for landing future jobs. 

Facebook Groups

Never underestimate the power of connections. Join as many as possible and, while it is beneficial to interact and become a little better well known, always scan for potential future jobs. Save them for later and apply all at once with a standard response to make the process faster.

Pro tip: there are secret Facebook groups for writers. Make friends with a seasoned writer and I am sure they will invite you to these groups!

ServiceScape

A unique one for any multitalented writers out there. While they do have jobs for blogging and copywriting, they also offer services such as editing and translation. A platform that combines multiple skills could be extremely beneficial and timesaving if you are looking to go that route! 

FlexJobs.com

Advertised as a leading resource for remote and flexible jobs, hence the name, Flexjobs is an invaluable resource with tons of job opportunities. They also have a very comprehensive list of resources to help writers new and old. 

Freelance writing jobs for beginners

College Recruiter

For, you guessed it- recent college grads. Specifically meant to help find jobs based on your degree, this is a great opportunity for newer writers to see what might be out there. 

Guru.com

Another job posting platform that will make your job search a little easier. Dashboards and tracking are available for the freelancer and employer to ensure everyone is fulfilling their duties.

With this platform, the job poster can pay a premium fee to get to the top of the list. As a freelancer, this is important to recognize as these top jobs will be very saturated, but also most likely well paying. It can pay to check back on job boards once a day and get in on the first round.

Upwork

Available for everything from designs to writing, most freelancers are accepted to add a profile to this platform but with hundreds of others, it is much better to reach out and apply to specific jobs you’d like that to wait for them to contact you. Be sure to set your rates immediately as they have been known to offer very cheap work. 

PeoplePerHour 

Another freelance job platform like Upwork, but older. Add an hourly rate and skillset. Always ensure your profile is concise and up to par before applying to any jobs. 

CloudPeeps

A job board on the higher end. Add your profile and skills and let employers know you’re available. As jobs are posted, submit personal proposals. Once accepted, enjoy the convenience of their messaging and payment dashboards.

LinkedIn

A professional profile here is critical. You can search through job posting and applying feature that can be a great opportunity to nail a high paying gig or two.

Scanning through jobs is simple and even location-specific. Treat this platform as your resume and give as much detail as possible.

Pitching

Pitching is the oldest practice in the trade. Have an idea? Then let someone know!

It’s probably a great idea, but only if you tell someone about it, and in a comprehensive way. Look up publications and their work that would fit your potential story.

Once you have a possible fit, be sure to read the guidelines thoroughly before submitting your idea. This actually pays the most but can be highly competitive.

Indeed 

Indeed is one platform that most people have seen and used. It’s been around for a long time and has everything from bartending to housesitting jobs. You can find some great gigs on there if you search and filter though. Try signing up for specific job alerts to get notified first!   

SolidGigs

A platform that posts weekly jobs that they have been personally vetted to be worthwhile. Even better, they also have resources like courses for writers to improve their skills.

SimplyHired

SimplyHired is a U.S. based platform that lets you search easily by your location, but offers other remote opportunities as well. They also have tools such as salary calculators that can come in handy when trying to apply. 

JournalismJobs

Relatively self-explanatory, this isn’t necessarily for the beginner, but could be your big break! Journalism isn’t easy to get into and is a skill utterly separate from blog and article writing. However, for individuals with certain investigatory personalities, it may just be the perfect fit.

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