Homesteaders look for independence and self sufficiency in every area of life so it only makes sense that when it comes to making an income they would look at every possible option. Modern homesteaders don’t only have to look at the conventional ways of making money such as farmer’s markets, and csa’s but can take advantage of some of the unconventional money making options.
Unconventional ways to make money as a homesteader would be those options that are out of the ordinary, most of which were not available just a couple decades ago. These ways are real options which take advantage of technology and perhaps special skills someone may have, but mostly anyone willing to learn and work hard can earn money in some of these ways.
Here are a few of the unconventional ways someone can make money as a homesteader.
1. Become a Homestead Blogger
Some say blogs are dead but try telling that to the folks who are making a significant amount of money blogging. To be sure not everyone who starts a blog makes money with it, blogs take hard work and a lot of time but can also be a lot of fun, build community and no doubt can possibly bring a little money into your household.
Blogs are also useful as a platform for some of the other unconventional money making options. Even if you don’t plan on making money with your blog I personally think it would be a great thing if most every homesteader had a blog and shared there experiences with the world.
How do you make money blogging?
- Affiliate links – You recommend a product or service to people (your followers or people you know). Some of those people purchase the product or service based on your recommendation. You get paid a commission for those purchases.
- Advertising – You can essentially use space on your blog to run ads. Some ads will pay you a little just for displaying the ads while others only pay or pay more when someone clicks on the ad.
- Sponsored Posts – Bloggers receive payment to publish an article provided by the sponsor or written by the blogger, but includes a link to a specific product or company.
How to start a blog.
Starting a blog sounds a lot harder than it is. Basically if you can use facebook with any sense of proficiency then you can build a blog. While there are free platforms out there to use I recommend spending a few bucks a month to build one, you will be able to do so much more with it and will have more control over the blog. I really only recommend two things when it comes to building your blog, use wordpress and use bluehost.
Bluehost will be the place where you “park” your files, they are the “host”. There are other good hosts out there but this is the one I use and the only one I can recommend. WordPress is the platform in which you will build the blog. There are many Youtube videos out there with step by step instructions on how to use it and most people have no trouble at all. If you choose bluehost as your host it has an option to install wordpress as the platform right from the beginning making it all that much easier.
- Bluehost Web Hosting (affiliate link – I get commissions for purchases made through this link)
Some best blogging practices.
- Be honest – What makes you special is that you are you. People can get information anywhere, they will come and read your blog because of who you are and your experiences.
- Be ethical – Only support what you believe in and would do or use yourself. While you can make money blogging don’t let money control your blog. Don’t be a sellout. Also make your content original, don’t “borrow” word for word paragraphs from other bloggers.
- Write with some consistency – Try your best to hold some sort of writing schedule. If you only write when you feel like it you might find it will take a long time to build a significant amount of content on your blog.
- Post an abundance of original pictures – A picture really is worth a thousand words. People love to see what’s going on at your homestead and not just read about it. Again don’t “borrow” other folks pictures without permission.
2. Put Your Homesteading Experiences on YouTube
It’s true, if you can put up enough videos and get enough subscribers that will watch your videos you can make a significant amount of money from YouTube. This works by monetizing your videos through ad placements. It’s really hard to pin down a specific formula for how many views it takes to get paid and how much it pays because it depends on how viewers interact with the ads.
For some folks being on camera seems to come natural and they can show the simplest of things and make it entertaining but for the rest of us we have to work at it a bit. To be sure the more you do the better you get at it, being on video and video editing will get easier and less painful for others to watch. 🙂
3. Share Your Homesteading Knowledge Through E-Courses
Many homesteaders are teaching the world their knowledge and skills through e-courses they put together and sell. This is a win-win money making option for both the homesteader and the person purchasing the course. There are many ways to go about making and selling an e-course, some are easier than others and some cost money up front to design the course but they all have the potential to provide a generous unconventional income to the homesteader who does it well.
Here are some e-course building options.
4. Teach and Inspire Others Through Books and EBooks
Writing a book can be a time consuming task to take on but can have a good payoff if it has value to the audience you market it to. There was a time when getting a book published was a major task but not so much nowadays with self-publishing being a real and viable option. Many homesteaders are writing about what they know and their experiences in order to make the world a better place, help others change their life for the better and yes, make a little money.
Here are a few options for self-publishing in whatever book format you choose.
5. Sell Designs, Patterns and Plans For Homestead Projects
This can take a little work but if you have a good idea and a good design then selling the plans for such a design can have a great payoff. You can pay someone else to put the blueprints together or you can learn to do it yourself with CAD software. The best software programs are really expensive but there are some decent free options out there as well. Selling designs aren’t limited to building projects however, you can sell patterns for sewing projects, meal plans and any other designs, patterns and plans that can add value to another person.
Use a program like FreeCAD to put together a sellable product.
6. Homestead Consulting
Maybe helping people one-on-one is a gift you possess and being a consultant to someone on homestead projects is within your wheelhouse of skills, then being a consultant is a real option for you. Your advice can be worth a lot in the right situation, it could possibly prevent someone from making a mistake in their homesteading plans that could cost them many thousands of dollars. Many people who have taken a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) are taking this path as a way to make an income. Maybe you know a lot about raising a certain livestock or are a master gardener, whatever your specialty there is a possible market for your knowledge.
The article I mentioned in the podcast from TenthAcreFarm.com – https://www.tenthacrefarm.com/2015/02/3-reasons-to-hire-a-permaculture-designer-for-your-landscape/
7. Teach Homesteading Skills Classes
I recently asked a question in our Facebook Group about what what homesteading skills folks would most like to learn and it quickly became a long list. People are eager to learn and many are willing to pay to learn basic homesteading skills such as canning, livestock butchering, gardening and foraging. Holding classes at your homestead can be a great way for folks to learn and a way to put a little cash in your pocket.
8. Host Farm Tour Dinners
I’ve seen a few farms doing these lately, they hire a chef and waiters, set up a long table or several tables and introduce people to the wonderful culinary delights of farm fresh food by hosting an event where folks dine right on the farm. This does a lot to promote fresh organic food but can also generate a fair income if you do a few of them a year. Events like this can be a lot of work though as there are quite a few things on the checklist to make sure are taken care of but what a great time it could be for both the homesteader and the folks who come to dine.
Here is a pdf document to check out put together by the University of Vermont with some great information on hosting one of these events. Regulations will vary depending on where you live but this document is a great starting place. https://www.uvm.edu/vtagritourism/files/agritourism-guide/howto-host-farm-dinners.pdf
There you have it, 8 unconventional ways modern homesteaders can make money. Don’t be limited by the ordinary ways people have always done it, take advantage of every way you can think of and become more self-sufficient because of it. Happy Homesteading.
The shownotes for this podcast can be found at http://smalltownhomestead.com/35