The question is asked so frequently of tiny housers be they vanlifers, RVers, tiny house on wheels people, skoolies, etc. How do you make money? Of course, it is assumed that those that live on the road, so to speak, are independently wealthy or have access to a trust fund thereby allowing their vagabond ways. Truth is, most full-time travelers have some sort of legit employment. But what is it? Does it involve a computer? Do you sell your blood at blood banks across the country? Perhaps the following 5 ways to make money are a little more practical and lot more helpful.
FREELANCE CLIENT WORK
This is perhaps the most common form of employment for those traveling in a tiny house. Whether it be in photojournalism, fine art photography, writing, voice-over acting, web development, book editing, etc., freelance client work is the most popular method of making money. It can be done from anywhere at any time by almost anyone with a marketable skill. The hardest part is developing a reputation and gaining the clients. From there it is about having a solid word-of-mouth marketing plan and continuing to refine your craft so that you are sought after for client projects.
Seems a bit like the magical years of blogging are over, right? Truth is, they are still very much present. Blogging is just different now. Blogs are more about dialogue than monologue and they are shorter in length but richer in content. Companies use them to build brand recognition. Individuals use them to express themselves or develop an online presence. It is still a pretty large market and for every blog there has to be a blog author. A number of companies and brands set aside a budget for said contributors. This is probably not the easiest way to make money on the road or the one that requires the least amount of time. Developing a voice, honing your craft, gaining relevancy in the space, etc. all take time. The money may not flow at first but after time it can become a great form of income.
Sure everyone is a photographer now. With the number of affordable DSLRs on the market and the incredible quality of smartphone cameras, almost anyone can take a good photo. But clients are looking for people with specialties. A real estate agent wants a photographer who understands what details buyers will want to see. A doctor will want a photographer who can make his/her office look as friendly as Disneyworld. A startup company wants photos of the team to show investors just who they are dealing with. Each of these scenarios requires a certain skillset and with a little bit of photography knowledge, the person with that skill set could be you!
Ever hang sheetrock? Have you painted a fence before? Maybe you have dog sat or babysat. Maybe you just have some muscles that need a workout loading a Uhaul. Whatever the case, day labor in the city/town you are in at the time is probably more available than you know. Sites like Craiglist have a whole section for labor gigs. Many are one or two day jobs and pay cash on the barrel. What could be better than that when traveling from state to state?
Whether you develop your own course or you teach for a site like Udemy or Coursera, online teaching a fast-growing market. Students can take a variety of courses at their pace, online, and with instructors who have experience in the field and teach with a sense of practicality and authority. What is also cool is that you can increase your class size through grassroots marketing and social media sharing. It is as if your pay fluctuates with your class popularity.
What way have you found to make money when living on the road? Did you find it to be rewarding or not quite worth the effort? Do you have any tips to share with other nomads? If so, leave them in the comments section below or follow us on Facebook to continue the conversation!