If you read my recent soul-baring post about leaving my job as a vet to grow tomatoes, then you are probably like everyone else and wondering how in the world I think I can make money without a job!
How is it possible that I could even begin to replace my income as a part-time vet without a job? With this blog! I know what you are thinking, it sounds totally crazy!
But I can totally do it. And you can, too!
Look for resources for non-blogging ways to make money on the homestead at the bottom of this post.
First of all, it’s important to note that I expect to make this money without a job. But that is not the same thing as not having to work. I can’t be successful if I don’t keep working at it. So don’t confuse those two things.
Farmer’s Market Sales
One part of my income will come from selling produce and plants at our farmer’s market. Since I’m already growing food for the family, taking some to market will add some extra work per week, but should make us a steady income for at least the summer months.
Read my article about the 5 unique veggies we grow that sell really well at our farmer’s market.
Selling Digital Products
Most bloggers learn pretty quickly that if they want to make money, they need to be selling their own products on their website. But creating a product can be a lot of work.
That should not intimidate you, though. Once it’s done, it’s done.
And every time it sells you make some money for as long as you keep selling it. Digital products are especially attractive since they don’t require any inventory or shipping and handling, and they don’t have expiration dates.
Currently, I have two products available for sale: Seed Starting For Beginners ebook and The Ultimate Garden Planning Spreadsheets. Even though they are not expensive products, by marketing and sharing them with friends, I’ve been very happy with my sales.
Update for 2018, I’m adding a new course for growing tomatoes…since that’s my new job! 🙂
Check it out and get on the waiting list for enrollment here: Tomato.Academy
Since I’ve been putting in at least 20 hours of work per week on this blog, I’ve been able to increase my pageviews from 4000 per month to over 75,000 per month!
I learned about the best ad networks from a blogger friend of mine in her book, How To Make Money Blogging At Any Level.
I have a blogging friend who put in place some of the same techniques that I used. Like me, she saw explosive growth on her pageviews. Her new book, Zero To 10,000 Pageviews In Less Than 30 Says, details everything you need to know to get there, too.
My current ad network is Mediavine. They are a very respectable network with a dedication to their publishers and generous pay rates. If you meet their minimum session requirements, I strongly recommend them.
Affiliate sales are sales of products that I recommend on my website. That means if you purchase something after clicking on one of my links, the seller pays me a portion of the income they make from that sale. The price remains the same to the purchaser.
As a blogger, it is important that I only recommend products that I know and love. I would never want to betray the trust of my readers by recommending a product that is not worth their money.
For example, I’m an affiliate for Victoria’s book about making money blogging. I know that her product is full of valuable information.
Her book is so much more in depth than what I’m covering here. Plus she covers everything about how to get your own blog started and making money right away.
I wish I had read it a year ago when I started blogging. Here’s the link to her book again.
I am also an affiliate for Amazon.com which is one of the easiest programs to get started with. They sell pretty much everything and generating links is amazingly simple.
Their program is not the highest paying affiliate program, but they are a company that I know and trust for my own purchases, so I don’t have any reservations about sending my readers their way.
Sign up with Awin.com for access to a world of affiliate opportunities.
Many companies will pay bloggers to write a post about their products or company. Just like with affiliate sales, I would never write a post promoting a product that I don’t love.
This is an area where I have not put in a lot of energy yet. Getting sponsored posts is not a passive process. Unless you are getting millions of page views per month, companies usually won’t approach you about sponsored posts.
Fortunately, though, many companies are very responsive when you ask them about writing a sponsored post. Sometimes bloggers are paid in product instead of getting a check.
Read my post about the Stand ‘n Plant planter for an example. I received the planter and seeder, a $150 value, at no cost to me. Because I already knew that I would love using the planter, and the time it will save me in the garden this year will greatly increase my productivity, I was happy to write a post and create a video praising the product in exchange.
Payment for sponsored posts depends largely on the exposure you can offer to the sponsor.
Total income goal from all sources:
$5050 per month
Meeting my goals
Like I mentioned above, even though I don’t have a job, I can’t expect to make money if I’m not willing to do a lot of work.
Keeping up with this blog, for example, requires a lot of time at the computer. Writing and promoting posts, scheduling social media, that’s in addition to all the chores for keeping up with the kids, gardens, and homestead plans.
It’s a lot of work!
More than enough to keep me busy! And it doesn’t come without expenses.
My blog expenses include:
Domain name fees: Anywhere from $.99 to 14.99 per year.
Website design: I’m running the Wellness Pro Theme on the Genesis framework.
Web hosting: I’m very happy with my web host SiteGround. They have plans under $4 per month, excellent customer service, and great speed.
WordPress plug-in fees: building a website using WordPress is really easy. You can use things called plug-ins to add functionality to your site without having to learn or know coding. Many plug-ins are free, but some have single or monthly recurring fees.
And as the page grows, those costs also increase.
One of the biggest factors in my blogging success has been networking with other bloggers. Joining these groups has made ALL the difference between getting random hits on my site and really driving traffic to my page.
Non-blogging ways to make money on your homestead:
How to sell your produce at farmer’s markets by Country Living in a Caribou Valley
15 homestead money making ideas by Mr. Animal Farm
Homesteading with no money by A Life Of Heritage
How we make money homesteading by Boots and Hooves Homestead
52 ways to make money on a small homestead by Salt in my Coffee
If you’ve enjoyed this post, let’s stay in touch. I’ll send you a copy of my free ebook so you can get an idea of what an e-book looks like, and you’ll get my super awesome newsletters about gardening and stuff.