For many who jump into the tiny house community, the dream involves driving your tiny house on wheels around the country, being in one state one day and another state the next day, and just enjoying the endless road for as long as you can.
But for those of us without huge savings on-hand, your newfound tiny house freedom is drastically limited by how much you have saved up. Even if you have the perfect house on wheels, you might not have the income source to live as flexibly as you want.
This is why successful tiny house homeowners without tons of savings find ways to make money even while living in their tiny house. For the most part, this means remote online work, although there are a few exceptions. Here are some of the best tiny house location independent jobs:
- Writing, blogging, editing
- Coding, programming
- Video and audio editing
- Coaching and consulting
- Remote work for established companies (work from home)
In this article we talk about how you can earn money on the road from your tiny house wherever you might be, and ways this can actually be more profitable than a regular job in one place.
Location Independent Work in a Tiny House: Not Just Possible, but Profitable
No matter how much freedom your tiny home gives you, you are still tied to the reality that you need money and savings to get around – your gas, your groceries, your bills. And that means figuring out how you can keep your income stream coming in despite moving from place to place on a regular basis.
Here’s the good news – the year is 2020, not 2000, not even 2010. Making an income online isn’t just limited to a few bucks here and there anymore. Millions of people build their entire careers over the internet, establishing businesses, skills, clients, all without leaving their computer screen.
So how exactly do you do that? Here are some questions you need to think about while you discover the best way for you to make an income online:
1) What are your skills? What can you offer the world? – What are you good at? Can you write? Code? Edit movies? Voice act? Do you have any specialized expertise in any certain field? Are you business minded? Online work isn’t limited to freelancing and writing blogs – it’s as flexible as you make it. What would you like to do, and how can you improve your capacity to provide that as a service?
2) How can you translate those skills over the internet? – If your skill is in writing, video editing, or anything else that can easily be done over email and shared documents, great. But if you have specialized skills – are you a doctor, engineer, architect, or something else? – then you have to figure out how you can continue to provide your knowledge as a service without interacting with your clients/customers in person.
3) If you have no skills or specialized expertise, what are you interested in? – We don’t all have unique skills or education that we can sell, and this is when making money online can start to feel hopeless; you might be tempted to get the worst projects that barely pay a dollar per hour. You don’t want to fall for that. Instead, ask yourself – what are your interests? Do you enjoy nature? Maybe you can get into natural photography during your tiny house travels. Do you like gaming? Maybe you can figure out a dropshipping business. We all have certain knowledge and expertise; it’s up to us to figure out how to market them.
4) What are your goals? – Understanding your goals is the best way to efficiently plan for what you want. Do you want to earn just enough to pay the bills and buy groceries, or do you want to build a growing business and/or career? The sooner you acknowledge your financial goals, the sooner you can start building towards it and making the right choices.
And finally, we get to the most important question that you need to answer truthfully:
Are You Willing to Put In the Work?
Making money online takes tons of work, and one of the hardest steps is getting that first dollar. Here’s why online money isn’t as easy as you might think:
- Tons of competition: According to top freelancing platform Upwork, nearly 60 million people are freelancing on the internet. Most people will be online freelancing by 2027, meaning no matter what your skill might be, there are always at least a dozen other people offering the same thing. The top platforms are also fully booked, meaning it might be impossible just to sign up if you don’t have a unique skill.
- Buyers’ market: With so much more competition than there are potential employers, this means that it’s up to buyers or employers to decide how much they want to pay you. Some people are happy to work for a dollar or two an hour, and you might fall into the same cycle if you don’t build your profile properly.
- Profile barrier: Putting your name in the hat isn’t enough; getting clients or customers isn’t a lottery. To succeed with online work, you need to build before you can even start. Build your profile, your brand, your portfolio, your platform, whatever you need to sell and advertise yourself or your product. Most people crash and burn with online work because they don’t put the time into building their online presence; meanwhile, all your best competitors are stacked with online presence.
Check out this infographic from Upwork that explains the freelancing situation in the US.
Best Location Independent Jobs for Tiny House Living
Ready to jump into the online job market? Here are some of the best online, remote, location independent work you can look at for home income as a tiny house homeowner:
1) Writing, Blogging, Editing
This one’s a no-brainer, but competition might be tougher than ever before. If you’re a halfway decent writer and you have a professional grasp of the English language, you should have little difficulty finding the projects out there for writing and editing. The problem lies in actually winning those projects.
You need to have past experience and a portfolio to show potential clients. If you don’t have one, then start building it today. Pitch articles to sites accepting open submissions, start getting your name published. It doesn’t matter how big or small the site might be – you just need articles you can show to your clients to prove that you are a master of the written word.
Sites like Upwork, Problogger, Flexjobs, Blogging Pro, and other writing job forums can help connect you with your first gig, and the snowball will just keep rolling from there. And if you can write in multiple languages? Even better. The more niche your expertise, the more marketable you can be.
2) Coding, Programming
For the techy tiny house homeowners out there, you will be happy to hear that coding and programming is an increasingly growing market of remote jobs. All the work can be done without any in-person interaction; the client just needs to send their instructions and the programmer or developer does the work from their own home computer.
Here’s the typical online job you might find as a freelance coder/programmer:
- Entrepreneur Work: Entrepreneurs and business owners looking for freelance programmers to help set up a proof of concept for a startup idea or proposal they might have.
- Small-Medium Businesses: Small-medium businesses are always in need of freelancers to help them out with their programming needs. Unlike large enterprises which can afford to keep an IT department in-house, small-medium businesses prefer to hand out their work on a per-project basis.
- Individuals: Not everyone looking for a programmer is a business or business owner. There are always individuals searching for a bit of programming for personal projects here and there. Sometimes senior programmers hire freelancer programmers just to help them out with small problems they might not have time to fix themselves.
3) Video and Audio Editing
The video and audio market is absolutely huge. Here’s a statistic you won’t believe: these days, more video content is created and uploaded online than the entire amount of television content created over the last three decades. Every single month, more video is shot, produced, animated, edited, and uploaded than all of the TV that has been made since the 90s.
Why? Because platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and social media make it easier than ever before. Everyone is chasing after the dream of a YouTube career for true location independence, from teenage bloggers to scientists animating informative cartoons. And all of these would-be creators need video and audio editors they can trust.
Build your portfolio and start finding the creators you can edit for on a regular basis. And if you want something with less commitment, you can also look into selling stock videos to stock libraries. While this might not be as lucrative as freelance video editing, it does give you more freedom to work on your own terms. Some popular stock video sites include Stocky, iStock, Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Fotolia.
Do you find yourself lacking the all-important skill that translates to a digital world? Then you might want to consider thinking about earning money online as an entrepreneur, with dropshipping.
So what exactly is dropshipping? Dropshipping is essentially selling products online without keeping inventory or shipping the products yourself. You basically act as the online storefront for products that need help moving their inventory.
It’s up to you to set up your platform, advertise your chosen products, and help connect shoppers with products they might want. They buy it off your store, and then you forward those orders to the original product supplier who then fulfills and ships the order. By selling the product over the original price, you get a cut off every item sold.
Sounds like easy money, right? Not exactly. It requires a good sense of marketing and business acumen, and investing your time and money in advertising products that people will be willing to buy if you just put it in front of them. If that sounds like something you can do, then dropshipping might be exactly what you’re looking for.
5) Coaching and Consulting
Do you have a graduate or post-graduate degree in a certain field, and you don’t want that specialized education to go to waste? Are you great at talking with people, sharing your ideas, and inspiring others? Then you might be able to open your own coaching and/or consulting platform.
Coaching and consulting has grown over the last few years, and you don’t need to have a huge platform to do it. While coaching might have been limited to the biggest names like Tony Robbins a decade ago, these days just about anyone can build their personal brand and become a professional coach.
The most important step? Building your brand. As a tiny home enthusiast, you might be interested in sharing your experiences and learnings of the tiny house movement, and helping people with their personal tiny home journeys.
Building your brand requires the time and investment in building a professional website and growing the audience around that website with high-quality content.
6) Remote Work for Established Companies
Many people make the mistake of hearing about online work and thinking that it’s all freelancing or being-your-own-boss. But the fact is that there are tons of work-from-home options at established, legitimate businesses these days. As we’ve seen with the coronavirus crisis, more and more companies are opening up to the idea that not all employees and team members need to come into the office.
And this is great news. You don’t have to choose between living tiny or building your career. The idea of freelancing can be scary to many people because there is no guarantee of a paycheck every month – so don’t freelance at all. Find companies that will allow you to work remotely, and send in your application.
What does it mean to be an influencer, and what does an influencer actually do? There are many types of influencers, although you might only be familiar with the most common one: young, pretty, Instagram influencers who post selfies every day and product promotions.
But there are many types of influencers, and almost every market has their own influencers. Being an influencer just means being a face and voice in a certain community. If you have a great interest and store of knowledge in one of your hobbies, then you might be able to convert your love for that hobby into an influencer position. Whether it’s computers, fishing, make up, or even growing plants, there is a market for everything.
Why? Because companies are always looking for influencers to help connect their products to the most relevant demographics. If you can build your personal brand and develop a social media following in whatever your favorite home hobby might be, then you might be able to be the next top influencer in whatever market you choose.
Earning Money Online: A Marathon, Not a Sprint
Years ago, the idea of relying entirely on your internet connection to work remotely anywhere in the world was unheard of. But business has changed, and so has the nature of remote jobs that allows you to work remotely. The best advice we can give those seeking complete location independence is this: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The internet isn’t something you can conquer overnight, despite the few success stories you may have heard. For most of us, just to get started with online work requires tons of preparation and build-up.
As a digital nomad seeking true location independence, you need to be ready to build this home income source long-term. You may not get immediate results, but once you find yourself able to work anywhere in the world, you’ll realize it was all worth it.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.