Here is a guest post from Camille Attell of More Than A’ Wheelin‘, who’s been finding remote jobs after quitting her corporate job to head out on an RV adventure. In this post, she tells us six ways she’s worked remotely while traveling and living in an RV.
I worked at a “real job” for 20 years before I decided to quit the corporate life and work remotely and live in an RV. I was a corporate trainer, coach and manager in various industries. I’ve helped people get off of welfare and back into the workforce. I’ve coached people on how to ask for raises and promotions, and I’ve led hundreds of workshops on everything from personal empowerment to effective leadership.
It was a really good run actually, and I’m proud to say that I’ve positively impacted thousands of people.
But over time my corporate life became stale and routine, and my excitement for a traditional professional life had run dry.
I walked away from my long corporate career and hit the road to explore other income possibilities and remote jobs –something that truly scared me. The transition hasn’t been easy, but worth it. I’m growing in ways that were never possible in a cubicle.
While I’m still figuring things out, here are six ways I’ve earned income with remote work.
I hope these ideas help you if you’re exploring new work opportunities.
Remote job #1: An acting gig
Eight weeks into becoming full-time RVers, I found our first “remote job”. You can read the whole story here–-or here’s the summary: while grounded in Oregon due to storms, I found four short-term remote work possibilities by searching on Craigslist. I followed up on an acting gig for both me and Bryce, in an educational video about being foster parents.
I’m not saying you should be an actor. I’m trying to show how simply searching on Craigslist can lead to job opportunities if you’re willing to stay in one place for a while. You can even find remote jobs on Craigslist if you want to keep traveling.
Income earned: We earned $100 for 1-hour of work, and then spent it on a fancy steak dinner– something we hadn’t done in a long time.
Pros: It was relatively easy and fun, and didn’t require a long-term commitment.
Cons: One-time jobs are a great way to supplement income, but not a long-term solution.
*Side note: neither of us is an actor, although I’ve done some bit parts for charity, and Bryce is shockingly hilarious at improv!
Remote work #2: Writing blog posts
I often find remote job opportunities on Facebook–like when I found a blogging job with an RV company. At the time, I had written only five blog posts on our very sparse blog. Luckily, they liked at least two of the articles.
Then I formed a relationship with another RV company, and found that I was more aligned with them in a number of ways–and they paid more! I wasn’t able to keep both jobs since they are competitors.
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*Side note: I was barely a “real” blogger at this point. It proves that you don’t have have to have all of the skill sets to land a job–just enough along with some determination.
Amount: Company #1 – $75 per article; Company #2 – $200 per article
Pros: There are many benefits to blogging for someone else for remote work. First, I get paid for skills I want to develop anyway–woohoo! Additionally, you have an opportunity to be featured as a blogger and link your blog to theirs, often resulting in increased traffic.
Cons: I have to turn in one blog article each week. If I’m not feeling creative, the writing can be difficult. Also, if you’re building your own brand, any work you do for others is time away from your own business.
Working remotely job#3: Pinterest assistant
Many people think that Pinterest isn’t a “thing” anymore. But it is THE thing if you’re running a business, or selling products and services.
Pinterest is NOT a social media platform. It’s a search engine like Google, and a critical platform to grow a business. A ‘“pin” is linked to a URL that leads people back to your website, blog, or other business. Business owners and entrepreneurs often outsource Pinterest management to an expert. A Pinterest VA can do everything from creating and “pinning” pins, and analyzing client accounts to improve them.
When an RV friend of mine asked if I knew anyone who would be interested in being a Pinterest virtual assistant, I nominated myself.
By then I learned that Pinterest was critical to building a business, so I jumped at the chance to learn it.
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Income earned: $15 per account, per week (1-hour average per account). Earnings can be as high as $250 per month, per client, depending on the level of service you offer to Pinterest clients.
Pros: It’s fairly easy to do once you get the hang of it, but there’s a bit of a learning curve to start.
Cons: Can be tedious (at least for more–some people love it!). As a nomad, you have to have great internet connectivity for this type of remote work because the platform is image heavy and download speeds are critical.
Remote work #4A: Online Training – Course Development
When I left my job, I really wanted a break from training to explore other things. But because I know training really well it was hard to resist chasing a training development contract that I learned about through another Facebook Group.
Income earned: $1,500 one-time plus $75 per month for course email management.
Pros: Reasonable pay for a 30-minute(ish) course and I love the organization. If I do good work, they might hire me for more work.
Cons: This was my first major deliverable outside of a corporate structure, so I have to be self-motivated.
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30 minutes of training might sound light, but that’s a 20-30 hour job. Do the math on that and you’ll see I’m not going to get rich. Lastly, again any work I do for others is time I’m not spending on my own business.
*Side note: Do you see a trend that Facebook is a great place to network and find remote jobs?
Remote Job #4B: Online Training – Course Consulting
I met Bryanna Royal, an RVer, wife, and mom of four and who runs Virtual Power House, a social media strategy company. She has a Pinterest training for VA’s that she hires. I saw potential in packaging and selling it to help others grow their Pinterest accounts, so I helped her redesign it and test it with a small group of bloggers. We charged hardly any money since it was a beta test, but we plan to sell it as an on-demand course in the future.
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Income earned: $62.50 and $25.00 for a customer referral fee.
Pros: I loved seeing the potential in her training and helping her take it to the next level. We co-created a product that added huge value to the group we trained–they are getting triple the growth rate in their subscribers! She’s now working on developing it into a recorded session and adding an affiliate link for me–yasss!
Remote work: #5: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product or service and earn a percentage of the sale.
I have barely dipped my toe into affiliate marketing, therefore the income is hardly worth sharing. I bring it up though because it has so much potential, and I plan to grow this income stream this year.
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Pros: Even though it’s small, seeing some money come in is exciting! The potential is huge. And if you align with products and services that solve problems for the people, you’ll increase credibility and brand loyalty.
Cons: Not a lot of cons other than choosing good affiliates, learning how to do it, and marketing it well. Also be careful not to slap any old product on your website, or push it onto your readers–you’ll lose credibility and potential subscribers.
Remote Income #6A: Creating and selling my own digital products
I lead a mastermind group with some blogger friends. We meet twice a month and hold each other accountable for goals. It’s been a fantastic support system.
One of the members, Liz Wilcox, who runs the Virtual Campground, suggested we put together an RV Holiday Bundle of products to sell.
Awesome idea–except for one problem–I didn’t have a product to sell!
I thought I had busted my butt before, but it was child’s play compared to the frenetic pace I worked to produce an online training course, called How To Transition To Remote Work, in record time. It was exhausting yet rewarding when we actually made something that people wanted to buy!
The best part is that I got to talk to several people who bought our products, and heard how it helped them with their current problems. How amazing is that?
Income: $426.40 (total made was just over $4,000, but we split it eight ways with other product contributors).
Pros: Creating your own products as a blogger/online business is one of the coolest things ever! Nothing beats being your own boss, creating your own products, and setting your own hours as a way to work remotely.
Cons: Being your own boss, creating your own products, and setting your own hours is a myth if you do it 24-7. Work-life balance gets pretty skewed and boundaries get blurry when you work for yourself. I’m working on this.
Remote job 6B: Creating and selling my own physical products
This almost didn’t make the cut because I’m NOT doing a great job of selling my art as a way to make money remotely. However, I did sell two pieces–on a fluke–at an art auction in Bend, Oregon.
Let me explain what I make. I collect random objects from our travels–pieces of wire, springs, plastic thingies, and toys/parts from thrift stores–then I deconstruct them and reconstruct them into new forms. It’s such a fun art form because I never know what’s going to emerge.
I was thumbing through the local paper and saw that an art show fundraiser was happening the next day. Luckily, I was able to enter two pieces just before the deadline.
Shockingly, there were exactly two people who wanted my art and I sold both pieces!
Income: $55 total ($110 total, but I split the proceeds with the organization).
Pros: Holy cow, people like my art and want to pay me for it! Crazy! Both people told me they would have paid double if the auction prices had gone up.
Cons: I’m producing more than I’m selling, and while I know I can sell more, that would require another investment of time for a new remote work job. I would like to get something going, except I think you can see a theme in this blog post–right?
I am doing too much and it’s not all sustainable.
What are my plans with remote jobs moving forward?
This past year I wanted to experiment with different ways of earning income with remote jobs, and I accomplished that.
Now I’m evaluating what I should actually spend my time on and what will lead to both income AND satisfaction.
So far here’s my plan:
- Consistent income from our More Than A Wheelin’ blog–currently redesigning our site to improve user experience, add more valuable content, and increase affiliate sales
- Relaunch and sell my How To Transition To Remote Work online course.
- Keep blogging for one other company – for consistent income–but want to phase that out later this year.
- Two stretch goals for later in the year:
Conduct workshops and/or public speaking. Not sure about the topic yet, but I love in-person trainings. It’s what I enjoy most and a way to of value to people
Develop a second product- More to come on that.
Additionally, I’d like phase out working for others this year, if possible. And I’d like to keep creating art, and possibly selling it (more for fun).
It’s still a year of exploring, but with more focus than last year. It’s unstable and scary at times trying to find working remotely jobs, but that’s part of the journey, too.
I hope I’ve provided some ideas for you, and places to search for remote work.
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Kristin Hanes is a journalist who founded The Wayward Home as a place to learn about alternative living. She currently lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van, and has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire and SF Gate. Read more about Kristin here.