Are you looking for ways to get a little bit of extra cash in your pockets?
As we are ALL TOO AWARE we are in the midst of a pandemic and for some of us, it has changed our lives in subtle and not so subtle ways; especially financially. For some of us, it means that we have completely lost our jobs and are very dependent on government assistance. For some of us, it’s a dramatic drop in income. And for some of us, it has not changed a darn thing. (Lucky you!) Regardless, we can always use some extra money in our pockets, whether it’s to help ourselves or assist others; it never hurts.
So I have spent some time brain-bombing a ton of different ideas that you could explore to possibly bring in some extra income for yourself and your household. Keep in mind, this blog is focusing specifically on people that have acreage with access to nature, but with that being said, there’s a lot of information here for those of you that don’t. If you have access to nature, or even if you don’t, there’s information here that can hopefully be useful for you. Here we go!
START WITH YOUR SKILLS
We’ve all got one, even if we think we don’t, and most of those skills can make you a profit! Can you:
- use computer editing software
These are just a small example of the different skills that show up on social media ALL.THE.TIME. And it does not take much to get things going. (And you can basically learn anything in the world via YouTube.) There is a market for every single thing in the world; they are called “niche markets“. Basically, you pick one thing that you’re really, really good at (or even kind of) and you make that one thing consistently with slight variations over time. For example, perhaps I knit red mittens, then I knit red mittens with white designs, then I knit red mittens with the Canada flag on it, then I knit a matching scarf, and so on.
I am not kidding you, there is a HUGE market right now for STICKERS! Yup. Stickers. There are people sitting at home pumping out sticker designs and selling them like hot cakes. There is a catch though; you need to be a bit savvy with social media, but I will get to that a bit later in the blog. For now, just start ruminating about the skills you possess. Don’t worry. You don’t have to make stickers. Let’s move on.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF NATURE’S OFFERINGS
….Ethically, of course….you don’t want to harvest everything to the point of being obsolete or taking away from other humans, animals, or the environment in a detrimental way. But there is a lot that can be harvested from nature, and advertised on local “buy and sell” pages or bulletin boards. Here’s just a few examples of what can be extracted from nature to sell:
- blueberries are always a big hit, sold by the “ice cream bucket”
- other berries such as wild raspberries or saskatoons
- chaga (*being sure to only harvest a little bit, and not going on other’s land to do so)
- mushrooms such as morels and chanterelles (these are a special annual treat in our neck of the woods)
- dried weeds and flowers such as pineapple weed, clover or goldenrod for various uses
- ethically harvested birch bark for arts and crafts
- harvesting trees for larger companies (we had our larger poplars harvested for cash. It got rid of a lot of the older trees that would rot and fall, it helped clear a new path, and we made a bit of money.)
- rocks for polishing such as quartz, or agates
- pinecone harvesting
- diamond willow
- wood burls
MAKING GOODS WITH NATURE’S OFFERINGS
Even though those natural items can be sold on their own, if you have a bit of creative know-how, you can actually turn these items into other goods that can be sold as well. Here’s some examples:
- salves (you are welcome to use my salve recipe that I have saved in the resource library for you)
- tinctures and essential oils made with harvested items
- jams (mmmmm….we made blueberry jam from local wild blueberries as our wedding favours) I’ve also made jellies out of fireweed and even mountain ash berries. Yup! We ate it. lol
- syrups such as maple and birch syrup
- teas with naturally harvested flowers and weeds (check out my blog all about it!)
- baking with harvested ingredients (who’s going to say no to a wild raspberry scone?)
- dried flowers and other natural items for wreathes and other crafts
- honey and other by products from bees such as their wax
- nature inspired art (basically most of my art is nature inspired! You can see it here on my Redbubble page.)
- home decor such as macramé with natural items embedded in it
- diamond willow walking sticks
- wild berry wines or liquor (Is that legal to sell? I am not sure.)
Maybe this isn’t your jam. Get it? Jam! insert eye roll here haha There are other options for taking advantage of the land that does not have you heading out into the wilderness to pick pinecones or whittle sticks! Let the land do the work for you!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SPACE
Perhaps you have a lot of extra land that just kind of sits there, looking pretty. That land could be used in a plethora of ways that can help bring in some income such as:
- renting/leasing acreage for others to build or live on *but please, please, check out the regulations for your province or state to ensure you don’t end up losing your rights to that land! It happens. Here’s a link to the Ministry of Agriculture, food, and rural affairs to keep your up to snuff with that stuff.
- winter parking space rental for rv’s or boats, etc. This one is a win if you have lots of empty space and don’t mind seeing a bunch of vehicles for 6 months a year. All you pretty well have to do is keep the snow off the vehicles and you’re good. At $100 a vehicle per month, you can easily get through the winter on this alone depending on your space.
- set up outdoor markets on your land where each vendor pays a daily table fee for use of the space.
- set up community garage sales. Don’t ask your neighbours for money, but make sure you have a lot to sell and you’ll make some income for sure.
- set up a pristine tenting spot or get a yurt. People are always looking for nature experiences and this is a low cost option.
- or up the ante and erect a small cabin/tiny house and do the Air B n B type of thing. But please be careful of the regulations connected to Air B n B’s so you don’t end up with a gaggle of hooligans partying on your land because you didn’t read the fine print.
- Rent your land for outdoor weddings. This will take a bit of maintenance such as mowed lawns and not having a lot of crap laying around the yard. Speaking of crap, you don’t want a bride stepping in a cow patty, but outdoor weddings are awesome, and covid friendly (kind of….don’t quote me on that.)
- The land can be rented for nature tours with schools.
- Allow yoga classes or photography classes to be taken on your land for a small fee per person.
- give guided tours of the land pointing out local flora and fauna to tourists
- Set up walking/hiking trails and ask for donations for upkeep of the trails and/or to pay someone to upkeep the trails.
- Offer mini-classes on how to milk a cow, how to harvest wild flowers or mushrooms, how to call a moose, bird watching classes and so forth
THEN THERE’S THE OBVIOUS
If you have land, animals, and a lot of equipment available, then you’re probably already doing some of the following, if not all of them. But for those that might be starting out, here are some ways of supplementing your income:
- selling eggs (the more unique the better: quail or duck for example)
- selling animals such as chickens or rabbits (to eat or have as “pets” or make more eggs, etc)
- selling meat (please make sure you’re following the standards for your province or state)
- growing and selling your own garden veggies or fruit/berries
- selling your canned goods such as pickles or beets (ensuring your are following impeccable canning practices!)
- setting up “pick your own” services for things such as pumpkins or strawberry patches
- going to weekend markets with your goods
- making, harvesting and selling hay
- selling garden seedlings and seeds
- take advantage of your equipment to dig, plow, grade other people’s landscapes for an hourly rate
- become a landscaper with mowing/whipper snipping services
- set up a wood mill and sell rough lumber
OTHER SIDE HUSTLES
If you have computer experience and a lot of extra time, (things slow down a bit for us in the winters) you can start to explore the world of affiliate marketing. I am going to warn you right off the hop though, it’s not as easy as it looks. It is INCREDIBLE how many marketers are out there on the interwebs touting how easy it is to get a blog up and running and start to do affiliate marketing with companies such as Amazon. It’s not easy and it’s not cheap (if you pay for how-to workshops to get started).
BUT I do think it is possible to have what is called “passive income” as a very lucrative full time income IF you put in a lot of time every single day into it. I do have some of my blogs associated with Amazon. And do you want to know how much money I made in 2020?
Yup. $2.25. haha So if you’re the person that thinks I am blogging for the money, you are dead wrong. I blog because I like to write. I wrote for the local newspaper for years. I loved it. When I asked people on various Facebook groups what they do for passive income, one person said they have Amazon associate sales, and that it is only about $1000 extra a year for them, AND THEY PUT WORK INTO IT! So I have tried it, and will probably continue to do it, but it is just there. It’s not my thing. (I almost said “it’s not my jam” but I already used the jam joke.)
BTW, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. 😉
The person I took the workshop with says that in order for it to work, you need to blog every day. It’s the same with using YouTube. If you want it to work and make revenue from ads, you have to “vlog” every day. I would rather be outside in nature than inside with a computer. I think I pump out a blog about once a month, if that, and that’s fine by me, but it’s definitely not going to make me any money. Blogs take time. By the time you read this, I’ll have put about two days into it, at least. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love to write and share with you. But it does have potential so something for you to consider.
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT DO THIS!
Whatever you do, please, please, please do not consider getting involved with any MLM’s. MLM’s are multi-level marketing businesses. The old term was “pyramid scheme” and now it’s not even called MLM’s because the industry is slippery and always trying to manipulate so they have changed what it is called again (and I can’t remember what it is called).
We are all completely bombarded with MLM’s. I am not going to name any companies but you know exactly the companies I am talking about. The ones that sell a $19 rubber spatula or a certain food package or clothing item that you just can’t live without. There’s oils and shampoos, creams and shakes, cleaners and pills and you name it, there’s an MLM company that wants you to buy it, and ALSO wants you to sell it. You feel obligated to buy because it’s someone you know and you are making your body, your face, your hair, your guts, the environment, everything better! (Apparently. Until you’re not.)
Supposedly 94% of MLM’s fail. You are left with a lot of products that nobody wants to buy and are usually out thousands and thousands of dollars in start up costs. On top of it, you lose friends as you depend on them to not only buy your products but sell them for you too so that you get a portion of their sales. Yuck. Don’t do it.
I am going to recommend if you’re even slightly considering getting involved with a pyramid scheme, I mean, an online marketing “venture” that you listen thoroughly to every episode of the podcast The Dream; Season 1, episodes 1 to 11 AND their bonus episodes. Trust me, not only will you not get involved in an MLM, you will stop buying the stuff too ’cause you’re not helping anyone but the big guy at the top. You know what I’m saying?
If you’re one of my friends and you’re reading this AND you sell for a MLM company, please know that I am not judging. I am just worried and I hope you don’t get swindled. Many people that get caught in MLM debacles do not want to tell anyone they have been swindled, so they keep it to themselves. I have heard numerous stories of people not telling their partners they are thousands in debt. Just be careful of how deep you go with it all. And if you can get out while you can, try to.
And if you are considering getting involved in an MLM, even after all of the warnings, take note that obviously you already have an entrepreneurial spirit and you have it in you to sell something of your own that you can be proud of. Go back to my original skills list at the top of the blog and see where you fit in. Skip the MLM and do it on your own. It will cost you less and you will profit more.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Finally, if you are ready to get out there and make some extra income, it means you’ve got to do the social media hustle too. Word of mouth is awesome, but it does not cut it in today’s day and age. We truly are part of a global market any time we post something to our page on Facebook or Instagram or TikTok (which are all platforms you’ll want to familiarize yourself with). This is where I invest time posting every single day, on at least one of these platforms, and it works. I am able to share links to my art page, to my website, to my Redbubble page, and so forth.
It may all seem strange and frustrating to start with, but I have noticed a huge amount of “gen x’ers” on TikTok and it’s comforting to know that we’re all bumbling along together with these social platforms. I know that you may be worried that your identity will be “hacked” or that “they’re” stealing your photos, etc, but if you’re on the computer in any way, shape or form, that has always been an option. I just tell myself that I can’t live in fear because of it and ensure that I have as much virus protection as I can.
For example, today I learned how to use “linktree”. Now all of my social media is literally available at the click of a button. It’s been around forever and I always thought it would be really difficult to do but nope! Super easy.
Just try one new platform. Just one. You can even have everything on private settings so that only you can see what you post! It’s a great way to learn without sharing your mistakes literally with the world.
So there you have it, a variety of ways to take advantage of the land and space that you have so that others can be included in that space, and you have a little bit of extra money coming your way. As I say this, please always be conscious of how you are “taking advantage of the land” so that you are not exploiting the land. She only has so much to give, so make sure you’re taking only what you need. If you are also comfortable with it, consider offerings or re-habilitation of the land you harvest from.
If you have any examples of extra income that you’d like to share with me through photos or posts, feel free to head over to one of my social media links and tell me your story. Good luck on your journey to extra fortune. I am rooting for ya!
Oh, and by the way, I have included a free colouring page in the resource library for you; a hand drawn picture of a great grey owl. We have one swooping around the farm gobbling up all of the mice! Yahoo!