Making Money on the Road Experiment #1- Affiliate Marketing

This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.

This is the first making money on the road experiment I’ve published! Stay tuned for results in the coming weeks!

One of the biggest goals we’ve had since we started living in our RV and traveling was to be able to earn a full-time income from anywhere. Last year we hit the road with around $10,000 in savings, a 7 month sponsorship, and a huge hope that we would somehow learn to make money from anywhere. While most people who watched or read about what we were doing assumed that we were just “getting travel out of our system”, what they didn’t know was this:

We were being intentional on building up an income so we could continue to travel and work from anywhere in the United States (or world).

Our goal wasn’t just to go on a seven month honeymoon, but to be able to transition out of that seven months of full-time travel and not have to immediately jump back into an office job. That was a pretty crazy goal, considering we were traveling 3-4 days a week and I was attempting to work a job in all 50 states. But somehow, we managed to do exactly that. We finished up our Hourly America tour, I landed a gig with an author, we started doing some freelance film work, and before we knew it it’s been 18 months of working and living independent.

The only thing that scares me more than spiders is having to go and work for somebody else full-time. Seriously. It terrifies me.

That is why I’m working on different experiments over the coming months to figure out other ways to supplement our income. Up until now, here are a few ways we’ve made income while on the road:

The most substantial and scalable income we’ve found is online course building. It’s niche work, but we’ve found ourselves very good at it (as we bring film experience, content creation, and marketing all to the mix). However, my goal in the coming months is to generate some kind of product or more passive income.

Specifically, I’ll be working to generate some affiliate income & launch an ebook to sell on Amazon.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it’s essentially marketing a service you are using and getting paid for it. For example, we use Passport America while traveling around the country. A couple weeks back, I wrote a blog about how much I liked Passport America and I used affiliate links in that article. When someone clicks through and buys a membership to Passport America using my affiliate link, I get a small $10 commission from that sale.

A standard rule of thumb when affiliate marketing is to only market products you use or believe in. I will definitely stick to this rule, as I’m not going to use affiliate links to market some company that has a terrible product.

My goal with affiliate marketing is to start generating at least $500/month from affiliate marketing by February.

This will be largely passive. As of now, I have only published one blog using affiliate links and one person purchased (so I made my first $10, woohoo!).

That is why I’m calling this an experiment. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out yet. My hope is that this will create another income stream for us as we continue to travel.

Why don’t I just keep writing, doing film work, and building online courses? I could continue to stick with freelancing, but ultimately I like the idea of having products to sell (i.e books or physical products). The reason being, I can create a business that is working when I’m not there. In a service based business you might “be your own boss”, but essentially you still have a lot of people you answer to.

If we really want to be able to travel and see more of the world, there is no question that creating more passive income streams will be the way to do it.

I’m thinking about putting together a complete list of all the travel/RV related companies who have affiliate programs and sharing them on an upcoming blog. If you would be interested in that, leave a comment below. If I get at least five comments from people interested in seeing all of those affiliates links—I’ll publish that article next week!

12 Responses

  • Great post and ideas! There are tons of affiliate programs out there, so a list would be awesome. Good job Heath.

  • Heath… I really appreciate all the tips and information you share about the full-time RV lifestyle… A list of affiliate marketing programs would be VERY helpful. Thank you sooo much!

    • Awesome, appreciate the encouragement Debra! Also, glad you guys tuned into the call last night! That was a lot of fun.

  • Heath, I would be very interested in learning more about the affiliate marketing programs and how to get started. Also, in your article you mentioned crowdfunding, I’ve not heard of that. Can you please provide more information on this too. Thanks!

    • Will do Susan. In brief, crowdfunding is a general term for websites like Kickstarter (which you might have heard of) where you can create campaigns in which you ask people to help fund for your. For instance, right before Alyssa and I hit the road last year we created a little crowdfunding campaign where we asked family and friends to donate to our trip vs. giving us a wedding gift. It helped us raise close to $5k for our travels!

  • Heath I would also be interested in the list of affiliate marketing programs. Thanks for all you do.

  • Heath, I would love to see how you get started with affiliate programs. This is something that I would like to do eventually with my own blog. My husband and I are starting the full time life at the end of this month. Right now we are staying close to work for the winter so that we can save up some money, then who knows? I would like to be able to feel safe saying that we will be able to travel and still have income coming in regularly. I love reading your blogs and hope to see this one come out next!

    • Awesome Stephanie, that’s super encouraging and glad to hear you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing. You were the fifth comment so I will be making that list this week to send out! 🙂 When I publish it, let me know if you have any specific questions.

  • Just found your blog from a Technomadia link I believe. Nice site and great backstory. Glad to see such a young couple going at it and living life with big balls. I’ve been reading a lot of these RV / live free blogs lately as we (wife, 1 yo baby) are transitioning from our 4 bedroom house (a bit more space than we need) into a 30 ft RV. We are living at a nice campground in San Diego starting on Jan 15, 2015, trying out the RV lifestyle and continuing to work at my location based self-employed job until June, and then we set off on a 2 month trip. If it goes well, we plan on working to transition to fulltime traveling mode.

    I wanted to stop by to tell you that I like your site and writing style. I “think” I signed up for your blog by clicking the free course link, but I wasn’t sure. If you had a more clear link to subscribe to your blog, that would be nice.

    Good luck with your plans in 2016.

  • Heath –

    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge! Power to you and your wife for your motivation and persistence. I am inspired! I would love to see a list of affiliate marketing programs. Thanks 🙂

    ~ Sandy

Comments are closed.