By running our own businesses on our own terms, we’ve been able to maximize our freedom and we hope to help others do the same.
by Kerry Mann
10-year business report.
We decided to become homesteaders six years ago to have more freedom and be more self sufficient. We wanted to spend more time with our family and we wanted to work on our own terms. We’ve been very blessed to do just that over the last six years and we’ve never had to leave our homestead to work for someone else. It hasn’t been easy, but by running our own businesses on our own terms, we’ve been able to maximize our freedom and we hope to help others do the same. We did a video version outlining our 10 homestead businesses and how much money each one of them makes.
My first job out of high school was working in a warehouse. I did that for five years and although I recognize I am blessed to live in the USA and have any job, that job was a soul crusher and I hated every minute of it. I have empathy for people who work at jobs they hate and who feel stuck. My goal is to help others regain their freedom and start their own business.
My best advice for this is to start with baby steps, start a side hustle. Turn your passion into a side business while you are still working at your main source of income. Build it up and if it’s your goal and you work hard, someday, maybe you can turn your side hustle into your main income stream.
Below I will share each of our 10 homestead businesses and side hustles. These are not specific to homesteading like selling eggs or produce. but these are all businesses we run entirely from our homestead. I will also share how much money we make from each of these. My purpose isn’t to brag my purpose is to inspire and educate others. If I was learning about various small business ideas I would want to know the realistic income each makes. Please keep in mind the numbers I share below are gross income and don’t include the expenses for each.
1. Start an Airbnb Rental
We specifically sought out a homestead that was a two family home. Our initial plan was to rent it out to a tenant on a 1 year lease, but since AirBnB was so popular and growing we decided to test it out and we haven’t looked back. We’ve met so many cool people from all around the world and so many that are excited to visit and vacation on a working homestead with goats and chickens. We’ve been superhosts on Airbnb for several years now and we average $24,000 per year from our AirBnB rental. Not only is this great income but imagine if we decided to sell our homestead how much additional we could sell it for because it would include a profitable AirBnB business! The business is also great because it helps pay for homestead expenses like our high speed internet , streaming services and home improvement upgrades. We have several luxuries that we would not have had otherwise.
2. Dog Kennel, Pet Sitting, Dog Walker
We started the AirBnB because of how popular AirBnB was. When considering a small business or side hustle consider focusing on something that is popular. Also consider focusing on a business that you will be passionate about. Our family love’s dogs. So we decided to build a small 4 stall dog kennel on our homestead. We already had some AirBnB guests who would like to bring their dogs, so it was a good fit. Our dog guests get treated better than most humans get treated on vacation. It’s easy to grow a business when you under promise and over deliver and over-delivering is natural if it’s something you are really passionate about. We charge $35 per dog per night. We have a few regular dogs. Summer is our busy season and with the 4 stalls rented out that’s $140/day most days of summer.
3. Be a Freelancer
Another side business we have is doing freelance website marketing and search engine optimization. We help websites businesses improve their rankings and drive more business. There are many freelancer websites like upwork.com and fivver.com where you can list your skill set and hourly wage and have folks hire you. From website marketing to logo design, business consulting, proofreading, writing and more, there are countless ways you can work from home as a freelancer. Over the course of a year, we average $214 per day with our freelancing work.
4. Start a Youtube Channel
I really enjoy photography and video editing. When we started homesteading six years ago we recorded many of our homestead projects and posted them to our YouTube channel, HomesteadHow Learn With Us. Now we produce videos about Ice Harvesting with the Amish, Homestead Business Ideas and much more. YouTube is a tough business and very competitive but since I am passionate about videos and editing (and in retrospect we love having all of these home videos and progress videos) we stuck with it. We recently surpassed 11 million views on YouTube. Last year YouTube accounted for $37,000 in revenue or over $100 average per day. YouTube can be a competitive business but once you are monetized the passive income can be very nice. We have some videos we published 4 years ago which are still making us money every single day.
5. YouTube Document Your Hobby or Craft
Do you have a hobby or craft? Maybe you love woodworking? Consider starting a YouTube channel about that. My wife Jen loves crafting with her Cricut machine and so she started a YouTube channel, ICreateCrafts showing her projects from start to finish. She is still in the early stages but averages $10 per day or an extra $300 per month from YouTube income for her ICreateCrafts YouTube channel.
6. Make Stuff (Crafts) Sell on Consignment
Do you like to make stuff? I like to do woodwork on our homestead and Jen like’s to make crafts. She makes wood signs, coffee mugs, custom shirts with her Cricut machine and she always makes extra and sells them at local consignment shops. It’s a fun little side business. Last year I made some wooden American Flag signs and sold them. Jen regularly sells her crafts. The consignment store we work with charges 20%. This is a great deal considering we don’t have to start a brick and mortar store and pay for a lease and heat and spend all working hours there. Jen averages about $250 per month (December is peak season) selling her crafts on consignment. And we live in the middle of nowhere. She is now in 2 stores and growing. If we could do this in the middle of nowhere, most should be able to do it!
7. Become an Amazon Affiliate
We use a ton of Amazon products on our homestead. From seeds to a meat grinder to camera equipment, we shop a lot on Amazon. Amazon has an Associate or Affiliate program that anyone can sign up for. When we do a YouTube video we can mention the product we used in our video by putting our custom affiliate link in the description of that video. If someone clicks our link and makes a purchase we get a very small percentage of that sale (and it doesn’t cost the purchase a penny more). For example, last year we did a video of all of our firewood gadgets and gizmos. From a simple firewood carrier to fireplace tools to our little heat powered wood stove fan, we listed affiliate links for each of those in our videos. A lot of people were interested and bought the wood stove fan. We are still getting commissions for that every day. Jen is also an affiliate for her craft videos. We average $80 per month in revenue for affiliate sales. Not a huge cash flow but really easy and passive income. Each little side hustle adds up!
8. Garage Sale, Auction Flips
This is so much fun! We go to rummage sales and auctions and we treasure hunt for cheap purchases. We then flip the items on Facebook marketplace for a profit. Anyone can do this business! Before our Wisconsin winter, Jen and I went rummaging for half a day. We scored a huge lot of books, a 3 seat wagon, a flat screen TV and some free patio chairs. We paid $100 total and sold it all within 5 days for $300. A nice $200 profit for about 4 hours worth of work! Plus we kept several of the books on top. Over the years we’ve done this many times. We had a huge score at a farm auction earlier last year.
9. Put Your Camera To Work
Did you know there are tons of websites that will pay you for stock photography and video. The stock video market is really growing,. Simply Google places to sell my photos/video. We love camera work and we always have a ton of footage and photos from our homestead, of the milky way and from all of our projects. Besides stock photos we have also partnered with several companies directly. For example the company that makes our greenhouse panels, we reached out to them and negotiated a deal for $1200 for us to take dozens of photos of their product, the installation. We also took drone shots and then provided them all of the photos and video for $1200 for them to use in their own marketing. We’ve since done this with other companies including the company that makes the specialty shingles on our dog kennel. Last year we made over $2,000 from this side business alone.
10. Become an Amazon Influencer
This is our newest business and we are having so much fun with it! Not to be confused with the Amazon Affiliate account I mentioned above, the Amazon Influencer program is very different. If you have somewhat of a following on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram you can become an Amazon Influencer. Then you can make a short video for any product sold on Amazon. Amazon places that video on the respective product page. If someone watches your video and later buys that product you get a commission around 4% or so. I tested the waters 2 months ago. We did 5 videos each about 1 minute long. I spent about 3 hours on this total. Then I nearly forgot about it. I logged in 1 month later to $350 in commissions in my account! On just those 5 short videos. Recently we started doing many more videos like this. We just checked and yesterday we made $81 in one day from this new side hustle. If we can keep that up that would be $2400/month!
In conclusion our side hustle businesses averaged $512/ day in February. The purpose of sharing all of this information is not to brag but hopefully to inspire you and show you what is possible. We did a video version outlining our 10 homestead businesses and how much money each one of them makes here- https://youtu.be/AGkdZVSWhQw
Kerry W. Mann, Jr. moved to a 20-acre homestead in 2015, where he and his family use modern technology, including YouTube and Instructables.com, to learn new skills and teach homestead projects. Connect with Kerry on hi sHomestead How YouTube page, Instructables, Pinterest, Facebook, and at My Evergreen Homestead.
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Updated on Feb 25, 2022 | Originally Published on Feb 23, 2022
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