If we received a dollar for every time we were asked how we make money on the road, that would be at the top of this list.....Not really but it definitely is one of the most asked questions we get.
We were asking the same questions when we started our trip, so now 12 months in we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the ways we have been earning money so it can allow us to travel that little bit longer.
Before the trip started, I (Riley) remember sitting at home, watching all the veteran travellers go around Australia with such ease and there I was stumped but also impressed at how they could afford to do this while being completely mobile. I'm not going to lie it took us a few months to figure out how we were going to make money, but in a way that didn't keep us stagnant. (Unless we planned on staying in a town for a while).
Our income journey started in Mudgee while waiting for our car to get fixed, bored and staring at the camera I was carrying like a newborn baby (I love my camera gear). We both nervously and reluctantly agreed to try and make some money with the camera, walking through town and going face to face to businesses seeing if they needed photos of their shop or products for social media or their website. with each shop our nervous leg shakes and fumbled words were becoming less and less. We started off offering 10 photos for $100 with same day delivery, I would edit after the shoot and give them 10 photos or more if they asked for them. Quick turn around, quick cash. Ever since that point we have been trying to find ways of generating income while mobile.
On that note, I'll get into the ways we make money so we can buy more car stuff and camera gear (Don't tell Denya).
Money Maker #1
FACEBOOK GROUPS -
It may seem obvious but I don't hear of a lot of people talking about it. Whenever I know we are going to a town for a couple days and we need a little top up of the good ol dollarydoos, I jump on Facebook and join all the community pages of that town. I like to think of it as 'infiltrating the locals secret chat group' but all it really is is clicking a button. BUT what we normally do, is join these community groups and create a post saying who we are and what we can offer or that we are looking for work to fill our time for a day or two. You'd be surprised at how many people are looking for those extra hands to get things done. So next time before you make it into a town, put your hand up and see if anyone has a days work for you to cover your next fuel tank and groceries.
Money Maker #2
FARM WORK -
Now I know this one gets played on repeat to every traveller about to take off on their trip or even while on their trip. There is a good reason for that though. It's because there is an absolute abundance of farm work out there right now. 99.5% of the time, if you go into a town that has any farming within it and you start asking around for some casual work, you will end up with a job. Whether that be picking fruit, driving tractors, reception work for farms or even whipper snipping grapevines (In our experience accompanied with free wine).
We have worked on three wineries whipper snipping and doing general maintenance on the property and our most recent farm work experience was at a paw paw/avocado farm.
Now this can be hard work but it is rewarding. We got to meet some amazing families working on these farms and they have definitely given us some long lasting memories. So if you're ever short of cash and don't mind working for your money definitely try your hand at a farm of some sort. The people you meet on these farms always seem to have the craziest stories as well.
Money Maker #3
Now this is our main source of income. Mainly because it is something we both love doing, who doesn't love getting paid for doing what they love?
There are so many avenues that can be taken with photography and even we are still scratching the surface of how far we can take it. Here are some of the ways we have used photography to keep us travelling:
Commercial photography -
Taking photos for companies that will help them to sell or promote a product or service.
This is how we make most of our money and it all started with that walk through Mudgee asking businesses if they needed photos. Now we email or message companies through Instagram, showing them our portfolio and what we can provide. One thing people get confused about this is that you need insanely good camera gear to do this, which is mostly false. The gear can help you but knowing how to make things look good is where most of the work is. Research the types of shoots you want to do whether that be Brewery/Pub photoshoots, gym shoots, lifestyle brand shoots, cafes/restaurants etc. The list is endless with the industries that need photography.
A good way to get into this is either doing a couple free jobs to build up a portfolio or use things that you already own until you're comfortable enough to do it for someone's brand.
Selling Prints -
What to do with those pretty photos you have that are just sitting on your hard drive collecting digital dust? Make a little store or post about selling prints. What's the worst that could happen?
This was my thought when on Magnetic Island. I woke up real early 3 or 4 times to take some sunrise photos, posted the results on the community page offering prints. I sold 4 prints while on Magnetic Island through a company that is able to dropship prints so we don't have to worry about the postage at all, just order and wait for your photo to be up on someone's wall. Now that is a good feeling.
This one is new to me and also a massive goal that I'm able to tick off. Having some of my photos in a magazine, on show to everyone who gets their hands on it.
There's 2 ways to go about getting a photo in a magazine, either submitting your photos to be reviewed by the publisher or having a photo you've already posted come across the right eyes and now they've asked you to be in their magazine.
Getting paid for photos you've already taken and then gaining exposure for more potential jobs in the future.
*Also a good thing to remember is that sometimes its the most unexpected people who will want the most photos.
Money Maker #4
No, I'm just kidding, but I mean if you consider it modelling when we put ourselves in photos for commercial jobs then WE ARE MODELS.
Money Maker #4 (The real one)
INSTAGRAM POSTS -
This is the one we were most excited about when our page started to gain traction. Being able to work with brands and put our creativity to work. At first it felt extremely strange posting a photo and getting paid for it but as time went on we realised that this could end being one of our main sources of income as long as we keep consistent and keep growing on social media.
There's a lot of potential for sponsored posts on social media these days so definitely something we will be looking at taking full advantage of.
Money Maker #5
Another one that is relatively new to us. No we aren't making money from our blogs because they're is only 2 of them.... (So far) We have been approached by a company to write a couple blogs about destinations we have been to and the journey to get there.
This is one I never even really considered to be honest. I didn't see myself writing blogs but on one of the slow days while travelling I decided to write some stuff down and I found myself getting lost in what I was writing. Time was passing so quickly just like now with this blog.
So for those who like writing and you really do have to like writing because it can be a lot of work and very time consuming. Message a few companies and let them know you'd be willing to write a few words for them.
Money Maker #6
WORKING AT FESTIVALS -
This one is for those that love a boogie after making some cash. We have now worked at two festivals and most of the time you get a free ticket as well as paid work.
We try to catch festivals early, right after they have announced and then call up to see if they're are any jobs going. We don't mind what we do cause we know we will have some fun after.
That's about it for us, we haven't got too many streams of income going on but that is something we will be working on this year.
It has been fun figuring out where we can make money and now slowly making our way up in the photography world. Exciting times ahead.
We will keep on sharing our experiences in hope to make it easier for others travelling. Less time figuring out things you don't have to means more time adventuring and experiencing things you want to.
If you are travelling, how are you making money on the road?
If you aren't travelling, how would you make money on the road?