Living in a van can be a great way to travel and see the world. It can also be a great way to make money. Here are some tips on how to make money while living in a van.
(1) Youtube Ad Revenue
One of the best ways to make money while living in a van is to do youtube travel vlogging. There is more than one way to make money here as well.
Monetize Your Youtube Channel: When you reach 1000 subscribers, along with 4000 hours of watch time (others watching Youtube after starting on your video), then you can apply to Youtube’s partner program.
Once approved, you will begin earning money for views. You’ll earn between 58% and 61% of the total revenue, as Youtube keeps the rest.
The average Youtuber gets $18 per 1000 views.
In his video about building An Electric Tesla Powered Classic VW Bus, Louis from FunForLouis has 1,311,189 views. If Louis got the average earnings at $18 per 1000 views, he would have $23,601 in earnings from that single video. After Youtube’s take, he’s walking away with around $14,000 for that video.
And since it’s an Evergreen video, meaning the content can live forever, as it’s not time or event sensitive, it will continue earning.
Patreon is a crowdfunding platform, which can be used to fund all kinds of content. You have two options for this method.
Become A Patreon Creator: Creators are people who produce things to share with their audience. This includes travel bloggers.
Abigail King of the Travel Lab uses Patreon to post thought-provoking stories, in-depth travel advice, and special behind-the-scenes content.
(3) Channels Sponsorships
Another way to make money from your van is through sponsorships on your various channels. A brand will pay you to do a shout-out, ad an intro to your video, or use their product in your video.
Most brands will be interested in working with a blogger generating at least 10,000 monthly views.
(4) Article Sponsorships
In addition to writing a travel blog, you can monetize your travels by soliciting paid sponsorships from companies interested in having you feature their products or services.
The key here is working to get readership and views on your site. With that established, then getting sponsorship becomes easier. But make sure what you write meets the needs of your readership.
Some brands are willing to pay for a written article that includes information about their product. I’ve seen affiliate offers as low as $20, and others report $750 per article.
(5) Written Travel Blog Ad Revenue
Jeremy from Living The Dream reports an average earning of $9,000 per month on ad revenue on his written blog. Writing blogs about adventures, best places to visit, where to stay, and what to see, in your own unique voice and style, will garner you an audience and advertisers interested in your readers.
Rather than featuring only big money makers, it’s important to point out that everyone starts small and works their way up.
Johnny Africa, shared in his stats that his blog received about 1000-1200 unique visitors a day in 2021, and roughly 1,300 – 1,500 page views per day, translating to roughly 40,000 to 45,000 page views a month.
Johnny uses Ezoic as his ad publisher and earns $25-30 EMPV which earns him around $700 per month. He also writes sponsored articles where he charges $50-$200.
I originally found Amy Fillinger on Google where she posted a video about how much travel bloggers make. I clicked through to her blog and found her income reports. Amy reports an average of $2,000 in ad revenue income. (I estimated based on her October and November 2021 reports).
(6) Travel Planning
Some travel bloggers make money from their van by helping plan travel. Johnny Africa reported that he planned 12 honeymoons in 2021. He used Booking.com as an affiliate partner and earned a 4% commission.
Travel planning can encompass working for booking agencies, planning trips for people, planning itineraries.
If you become a travel agent, you can earn a commission from places like Disney, Cruise lines, and Sandals.
(7) Affiliate Income
Travel bloggers who have influence over buying decisions can earn money as affiliate marketers.
If you have an engaged audience, can drive traffic to a website or product, and place affiliate links on your site in the right way, then it’s possible to earn commissions.
Brands will offer a commission to influencers with blogs, youtube channels, and a strong social following (can be one or the other), when they refer a qualifying purchase through a link.
There are many brands with travel affiliate programs such as hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, and many more.
Amy Fillinger shared in an income report, that has affiliate partnerships where she makes money from brands like Discount Rental Cars, Amazon Associates, and Viator. She is, however, quick to point out that she makes more money as a travel agent.
from Two Wandering Soles reported a $53,000 quarterly earnings promoting affiliate brands like: Amazon, Booking.com, Agoda, RentalCars.com, World Nomads, CityPASS, and Allianz Travel.
(8) TikTok Income
TikTok is a mobile app that allows you to create short videos with fun effects and music. The app creates a network of influencers from all over the world creating quality content, including travel videos.
Users engage with TikTok by liking, commenting on, and sharing videos. Creators can earn money for these engagements in a number of ways.
TikTok offers a way to monetize content on the app through ads that play before videos and branded content that pays creators a percentage of sales made from their video content.
In a recent article by Business Insider, it was reported that some Instagram influencers are charging $5000 for a post or story. As a travel blogger, Instagram can be a great way to share your travel experiences with the world.
Brands like Airbnb and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines are paying Instagram influencers for sponsored content on their feeds.
Social media platforms offer managers, agencies, and bloggers the opportunity to earn money through brand sponsorships.
With Pinterest, you can earn money by driving traffic to your channel that is monetized with ads, affiliate income, sponsorships, and product sales.
You build an email list by offering lead magnets related to travel. The Makepeace family of Y Travel Blog does a great job of this. Their Pinterest account has 4.1 million followers and 3.3 million monthly views.
Caroline & Craig Makepeace have various Pinterest boards consisting of categories such as Top Travel Tips, Family Travel Tips, and National Parks. When you click on a pin that takes you to their website, the article is monetized with ads. In addition, they make various offers using lead magnets such as their 5 USA DESTINATIONS to KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF lead magnet.
(11) Brand Ambassador
As of Jan 16, 2022, the average annual pay for a Travel Ambassador in the United States is $59,959 a year. (ZipRecruiter).
The average yearly income for this profession is $59.95K, earning about $29.84 per hour. (Simply Hired).
A brand chooses a “face” for the business to be its ambassador. The ideal person should be a trendsetter in their communities and intend to utilize established ties and relationships to advertise the company through word-of-mouth marketing (e.g., recommending friends, blogging about it on social media).
A brand ambassador gets paid to represent a company for a certain period. In addition, or in lieu of compensation, they sometimes provide them with free travel experiences.
(12) Teaching Travelers
Some bloggers make a full-time living teaching travelers how to travel. One way this is done is by teaching travel classes at a local business or in front of a live audience.
The second is by teaching online through webinars and Skype sessions. Teaching travelers can be done by emailing existing contacts, creating a course on Udemy, Thinkific, Skillshare, etc., and putting out ads to target the right people.
I once made $20,000 selling a 2-hour webinar teaching a specific skill set to those that were eager to learn.
The key to selling webinars or digital courses is in having the audience first. I built my audience through a combination of Youtube videos, free webinars, live speaking engagements, and social media.
(13) Freelance Writing
Becoming a freelance writer for travel brands is another way to monetize your blog. There are many benefits of becoming a paid writer, including getting free trips and invitations to exclusive events around the world.
If you have built up an audience, then you can pitch yourself as a guest blogger on various travel websites. This is where you pitch your ideas to the editor and they approve or disapprove it. Another way of getting paid as a writer is by pitching articles to other travel bloggers for cross-promotion.
(14) Selling Digital Products
Mike Hudson lives in a van that he made into my full-time home. He lives nomadically, all over Europe. He sells a step-by-step guide to van life in his book: How to Live in a Van and Travel: Live Everywhere, beFree and Have Adventures in a Campervan or Motorhome – Your Home on Wheels which he sells on Amazon.
(15) Pet Sitting
TrustedHousesitters allows animal-loving visitors to stay at homes all around the world free of charge.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.