Watch YouTube enough and you’ll eventually stumble upon van life channels. These involve people who have purchased a camper van or converted a van into one, then travel around making videos about their adventures. But how much money do such YouTubers make?
Van life YouTubers can make money with a combination of income streams that’ll likely add up to $1500 to over $10,000 a month. Working from a van means you have to do remote work or have a compatible career embracing telecommuting.
In this article, we’ll look at the many options available to make money for van life Youtubers and consider how much a van life Youtuber makes. We’ll also look at income streams and statements from prominent van life Youtubers to crunch some numbers and find out how much they make.
Van Life YouTuber Income Streams
Van life YouTubers are going to have a large variety of income streams. Due to being on the road, their choice of work has to revolve around what is possible for them to do from the van, which may have inconsistent internet.
Freelancing can take many forms, but writing jobs, virtual assistants, personal services, and editing are some of the more common.
Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and many others list various jobs you can bid for to earn extra cash. Sometimes you can bid for a job or take the listed price, but average earnings tend to be around $10 to $20 an hour (Upwork).
Your ability to make money freelancing is going to depend on many factors, mainly your skillset. With many years of experience, freelancers can make impressive amounts of money.
Other factors such as formal education, good reviews, and location will all push up the prices freelancers can charge (CNBC). However, in specific fields, particularly programming, an hourly rate of $60 is not impossible to achieve and can be done from a laptop (Green Van Go).
Other typical freelancing jobs involve writing. These may be blogs or other web content such as product reviews, guides, social media posts, and much more. Even positions such as administrative work or data entry can provide a steady income (Just Van Life).
Van life Youtubers are by definition going to have the ability to do video editing, build a following, and other social media skills.
These types of skills are highly sought after on freelancing websites (Indeed). Many companies are self-selecting their listing on freelancer websites because they are embracing technology and remote work, to begin with (Forbes).
Many personal services can be an excellent fit for van life. You can quickly do online lifestyle coaching, language tutoring, transcriptions, and many other jobs from a van and net superior returns. Lifestyle coaching has an average hourly rate of $31 (Payscale).
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The rise in massive eCommerce websites means there is a huge opportunity to make money in sales without worrying about the physical storage of stock. One of the most prominent players in the market is Amazon FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon.
The idea behind FBA is that you send products to Amazon’s warehouses. You create a listing on Amazon’s website. Then Amazon FBA will help the customers find the item and then fulfill the order by packaging, shipping, and dealing with other customer service issues like refunds.
One family runs an Amazon FBA business from an RV, claiming over $100,000 in revenue annually (The Roving Foleys). To build up an FBA business like this will take time, but many FBA sellers make between $25,000 a year on the low end to over $800,000 (Amazing).
Sometimes referred to as expediting, doing deliveries for various customers is one way to see new locations and earn money for driving. Some van life Youtubers, like Tim Xpedites, make it clear that this is their primary source of income, as seen in this video:
Some of the jobs he takes are quoted per mile, and a range of figures is given in his video. He points out that both the miles traveled and the cost per mile is going to vary significantly. This can mean his week-to-week earnings will also fluctuate.
Tim states that earning 90 or 85 cents a mile is not uncommon for specific routes. These journeys can total over 1000 miles (1609.34 km), bringing in $850. However, conditions such as increased urgency for the delivery or the delivery or pickup location can bump the price to $1.50.
Estimating youtube revenue can be done by looking at a channel and then applying formulas. This is generally best done through a website like Social Blade.
Van life YouTubers The Matneys have released a video where they mention their Youtube earnings, and so it’s an excellent comparison to Social Blade. Their video, published on 9 October 2017, notes their Youtube earnings at approximately $500 a month:
Social Blade estimates that they are making from $14 to a maximum of $222 per month. As stated on their page, the figures used for calculating a Youtuber’s income are called CPM, or cost per 1,000 impressions (Alan Spicer).
The CPM figure used by Social Blade is $0.25 to $4.00. CPM itself will vary depending on many factors, such as who the advertiser is, who the channel is, and many other factors kept secret by Youtube.
Given that The Matneys are making over double that as estimated from Social Blade, it’s likely that they’ve been able to leverage a higher CPM. They do mention that Youtube revenue will go up and down depending on how successful their videos are.
As a Youtube channel grows, channel owners are more likely to get contacted for brand deals or other income-generating opportunities.
With so many options for making money as a van life Youtuber, there’s a wide range of potential income. Some Youtubers aren’t interested in making big money and don’t put in the 60 hours a week it takes to earn six figures.
Others have amassed big followings or have built up a scalable business such as Amazon FBA and are making large amounts of passive income per month without needing to ever go into an office.
Based on Social Blade, statements from van life Youtubers, and other information, you can settle on a range of income that’s manageable for you.
Here are some of my favorite van life essentials:
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you’re experiencing your life on the road. Here are some tools and gadgets I use on a daily basis that made my van life a lot easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.
Kitchen: I’m cooking a lot and I’ve finally found my perfect cookware set: The Magma Cookware 10 Pcs that you can nests and store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space is really handy. Since I’m also spending a lot of time working at my desk, I use my favorite coffee mug from Yeti. For more, check my list of kitchen accessories I can’t live without.
Outdoor: Even though I’m spending a lot of time in my van working, I do enjoy getting out and explore my ever-changing neighborhood. This sometimes requires me to take my portable solar battery with me. And when I just want to chill outside and take a nap, I use the Winner Outfitters Hammock.
Clean/Tidy: Space is precious and therefore I used these heavy-duty storage bins from Homs to store my material. They’re robust and you can stack them together. Regarding showering, I like to use this portable solar shower from Advanced Elements when it’s hot outside.
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van life, check out this resource that I made for you!