Jobs for Nomads: Websites, Blogging and Making Videos for Youtube

This is the first of a series of posts about how to financially support your new life (in part or in whole) on the road by:

  1. writing a blog,
  2. having a website or,
  3. making videos for Youtube.

Some of you may be wondering if it’s even a realistic goal, and I want to assure you it is! I know for an absolute fact that it is entirely possible because I’ve done it and I’ve seen many others do it.  However, it is nowhere near as easy as most people think it is and my guess is that for every person who makes a true success of it there are many, many others who do not. I don’t know any statistics, but my guess is at least a 10 or 20 to 1 (or maybe much more, maybe a 100 or even 1000 to 1) of people who fail rather than succeed.

So I want to make you aware of just how difficult it generally is and also make you aware of all the work that is required to make it pay off. Most people are stunned to find out how hard it is and how long it takes to see any growth and to create an income, and therefore they soon get discouraged and drop out. I think it’s better if you know that up-front rather than find out the hard way.

This is a big topic, so it will be a series of posts (in the last one I’ll tell you all about my Youtube gear). It’s also a very complex topic and I can’t possibly tell you everything you need to know! That would require me to write a book, which I’m not really qualified to do. While I have done a lot of research on all these topics, basically everything I’m telling you here is based on my experience of having a website, ( for the last 12 years. Even though it is successful, that doesn’t make me an expert at all! Therefore, this will only be a general introduction to help you decide if you are interested and willing so do the work; if you decide you are, then you can read the books and watch the videos produced by true experts to learn the details.

My Youtube Channel grew very quickly. I like to think I make good videos, but the real reason is that I brought over a large audience from my website. The two together, are far greater than the sum of their parts!

Synergy of all the Mediums

Maybe you are thinking you only want to get involved with one medium, for example, writing a blog but not making videos, or just the opposite, being involved with Youtube and social media but not blogging. In my opinion, that’s a mistake because the market is so saturated with blogs and Youtube channels you must do something to differentiate yourself and bring your work to your audience’s attention.

By doing all the mediums, you make Google and other search engines pay a lot more attention to you–and they are the number one key to growing an audience!! There is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) synergy that is created by doing all three together, that is far greater than any one by itself–if it all possible you want to do all three, even if your main focus is on just one of them!

Be aware it’s hard work! One of the things I’m going to warn you about is the amount of time blogging and videos take and this is a primary example of that–it might very well take you 2-6 months (depending on how much you know to begin with and must learn along the way) to get everything set up just right so that when you finally launch, everything is perfect and you are most likely to succeed. In the long run, you’ll be very glad you did.

Above all else, I want to warn you to Have Realistic Expectations! We all hear about the overnight sensations that explode onto the scene and make a lot of money very fast, so we expect that to happen to us–but it probably won’t. Those folks were either just very lucky, or, much more likely, they first put in the time and hard work to make sure their “luck” would pay off. I’m one of them! My Youtube Channel grew very fast, but only because I put in 12 years of hard work on the website first!! They are the rare time the Hare wins the race, you want to have the attitude of the Tortoise who just keeps plugging away until he wins. Set realistic goals and keep working hard toward them

As saturated as the market is, there is still an insatiable desire for more blogs and videos about the nomadic life!! You can be a success!

As full as the market is, there is still room for you!! While I’m intentionally trying to scare you with all these warnings you need to be aware that as saturated as the market is, there is still an insatiable desire for more blogs and videos about the nomadic life!! There is a great dissatisfaction with the way our country is going out there, and many people are unhappy with their lives and searching for alternatives. If you do the work, you can still have tremendous success!! Be realistic, but know you can do extremely well as a blogger/Youtuber if you try hard at it. There is money to be made on Youtube! But it probably won’t be luck, it will be the sweat off your brow! If you’re ready to try, let’s get started!

These are going to be very long posts so I’m going to break them up into multiple shorter posts. So I’ll stop here. In my next post, I’ll give you “11 Requirements to Make Success as a Blogger/Youtuber Most Likely.” See you then!

Be sure and check out my YouTube Channel here:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.



I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

36 comments on “Jobs for Nomads: Websites, Blogging and Making Videos for Youtube
  1. Avatar Vanholio! says:

    This is an excellent topic! After almost a year, I’m starting to make money with, but it’s pocket change. For that micro return, I’ve put in hundreds of hours, maybe thousands. I’m optimistic I’ll make more money in future, but I don’t expect tons.

    What sustains me? First priority is having fun, which I do. It’s personally fulfilling. Second priority is to inform and entertain my readers, which is again fulfilling for me. Making cashola is only priority No. 3.

    This ordering of priorities matters for me because I can’t keep plugging away at something that isn’t fun and fulfilling. I’ve tried. I’ve let a few of my “respectable” and money-oriented blogs fall by the wayside because working for peanuts AND hating the work is just too much. Same with some other microbusinesses. Besides, I didn’t get into van life to become my own slave master.

    To the dreamers, let me recommend a blogging business site I get a lot out of: I love the podcasts. Problogger’s Darren Rowse has a podcast that’s as good a place as any to start, “Is it Really Possible to Make Money From Your Blog?” ( The answer is yes, but like Bob said, it ain’t a cakewalk.

    Darren polled his readers/listeners on what kind of money the make blogging, and here’s what they said:

    4% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make over $10,000 a month
    9% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $1,000 – $9,000 a month
    7% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $500 – $999 a month
    17% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $100 – $499 a month
    25% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $10 – $99
    28% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make made under $10 a month
    10% of bloggers who try to make money blogging say they don’t make anything

    Vanholio’s in that 25% making between $10 and $99 (MUCH closer to $10). But living cheap as I do, getting to the middle of that next 17% rung would be peachy and enough. I don’t need to be a bigshot.

  2. Avatar Wayne (Wirs) says:

    I’m glad you’re posting this. I’m on my way to Sedona to make some videos with rock formations in the background. I too have found videos attract an entirely new crowd to one’s blog/website.

    I’ll be shooting them for my new book (videos work particularly well for non-fiction), but I was telling Randy Vining the other day – – he should shoot some for his poetry: Recite a poem, then share some background on it, then recite it again to give the viewer a new take on it.

    Something similar could be done for painters/artists, etc.. Show the painting, give a little background on it, show it again, then maybe even sign it and tell the audience this one is for sale.

    I hope you cover HOW to add titles and upload the videos to YouTube. I get asked that a lot and it’s really not my thing. 🙂

  3. After blogging about my van life for almost four years, Google notified me last week I had enough traffic to qualify for their AdSense program. Since then, I’ve made $2.38. WOO! I’m in Fat City now. (Sarcasm.) I didn’t start the blog to make money. I just needed to express myself. In fact, I had been rejecting the idea of monetizing the blog. But I asked my readers and none seemed put off by the idea, so… If I’m going to be blogging anyway, I might as well make a little pocket change. I think you need to have something driving you besides the desire to make money. Otherwise, as Vanholio! wrote above, it can become drudgery really quickly. Now, go to my blog, linked below. (Shameless self-promotion.)

  4. Avatar Tom Swenson says:

    I agree with everything Bob is saying. I run a YouTube channel on outdoor cooking. After three years of hard work, I have about 6,200 subscribers and get around 30,000 views a month. I also maintain a companion website, an Email list and a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, etc.

    I publish a new video every week. This is considered the bare minimum if want to build an audience. Each video takes me between 10 and 20 hours to produce. It’s way more than just whipping out the camera and talking into it.

    You need to research and plan your video (pre-production). Then you need to shoot the video. For me this involves researching and testing new recipes. When I have my recipe, I sit down and write a script (Don’t skip this step! It makes a HUGE difference).

    Then I shoot my video (production). Since I am working both sides of the camera, this is a real juggling act. I have to deal with things like ambient noise (barking dogs, passing motorcycles, planes flying overhead, etc.) changing weather and light conditions.

    Once the video is shot, I have to edit it (post-production). Every minute of video requires about an hour of editing. This is more than just sticking the video clips together. It includes recording voice overs, color-correction, noise removal, adding titles, transitions and background music. Once my masterpiece is ready, I upload it to YouTube.

    But, I’m not done yet. I have to announce it to the World (promotion). I create and upload a thumbnail (very important), add titles, keywords and a description to make it show up in search (Remember, YouTube is the World’s second largest search-engine). Then, I build out a corresponding page on my website and embed the video on it. I also include additional photos and downloadable PDFs of the recipe. The I write my E-mail newsletter, linking it to the web page. Then on publication day, I update all my social media accounts announcing the new video.

    For all of this hard work, I make less than $100/month from all sources including YouTube advertising, the Amazon links on my site and merchandising (T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc). If I was doing this solely for the money, I would’ve quit a long time ago. For me, it truly is a labor of love. I really enjoy connecting with like-minded folks from around the World. It also provides an outlet for my creativity.

    Here are couple of good resources. I highly recommend the book “How to Make Video That Doesn’t Suck” by Steve Stockman. It’s a great guide on the basics of video production. I also recommend watching Tim Schmoyer’s Video Creators channel. He’s got a lot of great advice on growing your audience and the business side of YouTube

    I hope this provides some additional insight. And I’m really looking forward to hearing more from Bob on this topic

  5. I’ll add another caveat, or maybe say it a different way. I don’t see myself as “creative,” and the desire to express myself is not a major factor in my life. Why do I mention that? See above. This is not easy money. I’m certain some readers have that drive, and that will be what propels them through the great effort of learning all this, choosing, acquiring and using the equipment, and patiently working through the audience building process. The money will then sustain the work that is done for love of it, but I doubt that the money will ever create the fun or the love of the work.

    What I have, should I overcome my disability, is skill with language. I think that is far better directed to writing-based work, such as e-books. However, without that drive to creativity, I’d still be better off looking at other ways of supporting myself. (Writing and editing are work in their own right, and so are formatting, etc., for publication.) I already know I’ll do temporary or seasonal work if I can. It seems far easier to me than building enough of a creative market to make a living.

  6. Avatar Cae says:

    I once saw a show about what it took for a three person crew to put together a 30 minute TV show about traveling. They were all working constantly for a couple of weeks and then the editing took another week or so. 30 minutes of finished product took an amazing amount of effort.

  7. Avatar Wayne (Wirs) says:

    Obviously, as Bob related, there are going to be a lot of creative differences between video creators. 🙂

    My format: Press “Record”. Talk. Press “Stop Recording”. Then I follow this guys video to add titles and maybe some sound:

    For my audience, spiritual seekers of enlightenment, the quality of the videos isn’t as important as the message and the “down-to-earthiness” of my attitude. I think this is applicable to Bob’s message too. But for others (food presentation, artwork, a product), the quality probably should be much higher and you’ll probably have to put in a lot more time ala Tom’s comment above.

    For some examples of my low-quality, earthy videos (most are about 5-7 years old (but they still generate lots of interest from enlightenment seekers (a different crowd))):

  8. Avatar Gloria says:

    This is great stuff, Bob! You’re on a real roll with all this! I’m looking forward to the next posts!

  9. Avatar Cindy says:

    Interesting to read. I am not creative so probably would never do this but fun to learn about it. Thanks Bob

  10. Avatar Herb Baldwin says:

    Bob, thanks so much for starting this series .. and perfect timing as well! We started full-time RV’ing Sept ’16 and I started the blog then as well. When I write a post, I also link it to my FBook page where I’ve got 800+ “friends”, folks I know from having my own business in the town we left back in Ohio, along with family, old school buddies, etc. I get loads of comments on FB, but folks seem hesitant to write comments directly on my WordPress blog, (maybe because they are not bloggers?) I have just over 400 followers on the blog and growing (slowly).
    Now I want to monetize so I set up the appropriate accounts on Amazon and Google and was able to copy the html for the ads.
    But I can’t seem to get the widgets to appear as an ad on my site, they still look like html in the middle of my blog post.
    So, I’m anxious to see your lesson when you get that far.
    Thanks again

    • Avatar Tom Swenson says:

      Herb, The most likely cause is an incomplete code snippet. Make sure you are copying and pasting the entire code snippet from to or to . If you don’t grab the whole thing bad things happen. The characters at the start and end of the tags tell the browser the content between them is code and not text.

      If you’re still stuck please Email me some screen shots of the code in your widget and a screen shot showing how it is rendering on your site. I will take a look and help you troubleshoot – Tom [email protected]

      • Avatar Tom Swenson says:

        Well it looks like WordPress removed my code examples in my previous message. Let’s try the again. Make sure you copy and paste the entire code snippet from LESS THAN SIGN scrpt GREATER THAN SIGN to LESS THAN SIGN /scrpt GREATER THAN SIGN. Or from LESS THAN SIGN div GREATER THAN SIGN to LESS THAN SIGN /div GREATER THAN SIGN.

        The GREATER THAN and LESS THAN signs at the start and end of the tags tell the browser that the content between them is code and not text.

  11. Avatar Mike says:

    Sounds like a great start to a very indepth topic. Curious to hear your thoughts. Are the follow up posts coming soon or when can we expect the follow ups? I find this fascinating.

  12. Avatar Slipstream says:

    I used to think I wanted to blog about every place I camped as I traveled around the country, supported by the best pictures of the natural surroundings I could possibly capture in an effort to provide readers with an up close and personal experience of every single location so they could imagine being there. I thought it would really help them determine if it was a place they would like to see/stay. Alas, there are so many good blogs out there I’m not sure it would be worth the effort.

    What appeals more to me now is to be a resource within the nomadic community for people to count on for help with vehicle repairs/RV repairs, etc., eking out a living doing something like that – a useful service which is less expensive and more convenient than going to a shop, but of a professional quality. If/when I go on the road full time, I will have every single tool needed to take apart my entire truck and RV and repair it short of a complete engine/transmission overhaul which just isn’t practical without a shop.

    • Avatar Cae says:

      Interesting idea. Since repair is location defendant, a place like quartzite may be a good place to start? High concentration of traveling vehicles and not many close repair facilities? A floor jack and a really tough tarp may work in a lot of cases. Getting a repair for a breakdown in somewhat remote places can be really expensive and time consuming. Plus many times this is someone’s home and it being in the shop is a real problem.

  13. Avatar Susan says:

    This topic has been one that I have been trying to accomplish for some time now. There is so much information out there, it is daunting. I have taken web design and various classes over the years and I am ok with the technical aspect. What I cannot figure out is what company to utilize for a server. I would like to blog and i am also interested in monetizing. Word press boggles the mind and I have a hard time figuring it out. I have used servers such as Host Gator and I guess this is fine. I just don’t like seeing their logo or other company logos on other servers I have enrolled with. Is there a server you can suggest where I can get a good price while offering the bells and whistles of blogging, carts, forums, etc.?

  14. Avatar Bob G. says:

    I’m sure you are aware there’s a great big world of vandwelling out there. Here’s one from Great Britain. He’s been at it a year or two, and he’s sort of an engaging matter of fact character. So if you want to see another take on what you are doing, look here: .

  15. Avatar Mike says:

    Its quite frustrating for a retired veteran who paid taxes, worked hard, raised a family ect., to see all you range maggots pissin all over our public lands. They belong to everyone who earned them by paying taxes, fighting for our freedom, or worked there way into retirement, not drop outs who convince our youth to abandon their futures to sell shit on youtube. The easy way now, will you leave you little option but to live life the hard way when you get older, thats just the way it is.
    Let not work, be a curse upon your brow…Kahil Gibran

    • Avatar Dan Hoyt says:

      Our rights are not earned. We are born with them.

    • Avatar Tom Swenson says:


      Your assessment of the van dwelling community is overly harsh. Please, take a moment to let me tell you why I am seriously contemplating this lifestyle.

      Like you, I am a veteran who has worked hard, raised a family and paid my share of taxes. I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. I followed the rules and kept my nose to the grindstone. I’ve never been been in trouble with the law. I’ve paid my own way. I’ve done everything society expects of any responsible citizen.

      The entire time, I’ve dreamt of seeing this beautiful country of ours. Not just hurried visits on a tight time schedule. But really getting to travel and explore. Except for a few brief one or two week trips, I’ve deferred my dreams due to my responsibilities.

      Now, at 56 years of age, I find myself unemployed after spending 17 years at a job I once loved. The company I worked for was sold three times in 2 years. Some corporate vultures came in and utterly destroyed the place. Many friends and colleagues had their jobs outsourced. These dedicated and talented folk were tossed aside like yesterdays garbage. Others, simply quit in total disgust at what was happening.

      All of this forced me to undertake a very deep re-examination of my life. Although, I am still relatively healthy. I am now in my mid-fifties. I am starting to feel my age. I know, I only have so many healthy years left to live my dream. Do I really want to spend these remaining healthy years slaving away for greedy A-holes who view me as nothing more than a disposable commodity to be used and then discarded? The answer is clearly NO! I’ve been running on the hamster wheel for 40 years. It’s time get off.

      Bob Wells, Jamie Dimon, Randy Vining and several others are showing folks like me a better way. Stay debt free, live frugally, work temporary seasonal jobs, and ENJOY your life. It’s NOT about freeloading. It’s about CONSUMING LESS so you can LIVE MORE.

      I’ve got some resources that I’ve EARNED over the years, substantial equity in my condo and a healthy retirement account. I am on the very precipice of jumping into this life style. The only things holding me back are some personal relationships. I’m not going to get that aspect of my life here, except to say, I’ve got some VERY hard decisions to make.

      So Mike, I hope you will take some time to delve deeper in this topic before passing judgement. Also, if you read my earlier post on this thread, you will lean that “selling shit on YouTube” isn’t all that easy.

      Best wishes and thank your for your service.


      • Avatar Greg says:

        Very well said Tom. My advice is to take the leap and go for it! Who knows how many years we all have left to enjoy this planet and its wonders. Tell your close ones that you have decided to live your life to the fullest and send them postcards every now and then. Maybe they will decide to join you ?

      • Avatar Mike May Be Right says:

        The funny thing, for me, is the dissonance between the ‘message’ and the ‘medium’.

        If the message is ‘consume less and live simpler’, why is the medium such a whore?

        On this page alone, I count 39 ads and referral links plus a ‘search bar’ that claims to pay Bob as well.

        • Bob Bob says:

          I’m fighting the system from within the system, the system requires money.

          • Avatar Mike May Be Right says:

            Your ‘message’ is vastly outweighed by the code that delivers your advertising. Welcome to the system, channel 57.

            Your place is gross. Just being here makes me queasy.

    • Avatar Cae says:

      “Range maggots” I like it! It’s funny. And very similar to what many Indian people I know refer to the majority of European settlers that invaded their land here. It goes to show you how life is really mostly perspective.

    • Avatar Slipstream says:

      When all you have are insults, you’ve already lost the argument. “Range maggots?” Really?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Mike, you have learned the lessons well from your masters, you spit out their desires on command.

      But now it may be time to do something totally unique and think your own thoughts.

      It won’t be easy, you’ve been told what to think every moment of your life, but it will be worth the risk.

  16. Avatar Myddy says:

    I have been waiting for a post like this, am looking forward to reading the series!! (Also hello, long time no talk! I just got normal internet access again!)

  17. Avatar Andrew says:

    Thank you so much. Glad you benefited from the post!

  18. Avatar Kenny says:

    Great Post. I really enjoyed it and learned from it. Thanks

  19. Avatar John says:

    Very helpful, thanks a lot

  20. Avatar Dave says:

    To Mike who thinks we’re all
    Range Maggots: It sounds to me like most of the people on this site are not young people “dropping out”and trying to shrug off their responsibility to you and our society. It sounds like most of us are middle
    aged or older. I can tell you I’m 56 and have either worked full time or gone to school since I was 12. I also spent 30 years in the military, to include numerous combat deployments in 4 wars and even more numerous contingencies. I was awarded 6 air medals, among my 27 other decarations, most of which include multiple devices. Right now I just want to live my remaining years in an enjoyable and affordable way, and I think my age and desires are common to alot of people on this site. It must be a terrible burden to be in a position like yours, where you have to cast a broad net of judgement and negativity across a group of people you don’t even know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.