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How To Make Money Homesteading [ultimate guide to treating it like a business]

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There are tons of posts out there that give you a huge list of income ideas to help you know how to make money homesteading.

Buuut that’s not enough. To have a successful homestead that makes money you have to take it to the next level. You have to treat it like a business and make choices accordingly.

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Trust me I would loooove to have all the money in the world and keep every single animal that tickles my fancy but that is just not possible. It is very likely that you have so many ideas you feel like you have a fire under your butt bigger than Texas. You don’t need me to throw more fuel on the fire.

I want to walk you through the key things you have to do in order to turn your ideas into reality.

So if you are ready to learn how to make money on your homestead. Lets get to it shall we?

To Make Money Homesteading You Need To Set Boundaries To Be Successful

This is honestly the key thing I want you to take home with you today if you get nothing else. 

You HAVE TO set boundaries around the animals you will keep and the money you will spend on them to be successful. This is what will separate the men from the boys and ladies from the girls. 

If you don’t set clear lines that you live by in your homestead you will not make money.

Here are the main areas you need to have figured out.

  • How much you will spend on an animal if it gets sick or injured.
  • How much time you will let each project or income stream take out of your overall day
  • How much time you will allow customers to take of your time. (This is more likely to happen with people who buy animals. They tend to come back even years later to ask questions. Which is fine. But this can really eat into your time off. You have to set clear boundaries of when you will answer questions or respond back. )
  • When will you stop trying to raise an animal, start a project, or income stream that isn’t working out like you had hoped? 

Read More Here about Why Setting Boundaries Will Help You Be A Successful Homesteader

rabbits sitting by each other

Research What People Want To Buy

This is a two-fold point but you need to make sure you are using the right words to sell what you offer.

And second, you need to make sure that the people who will come to buy what you have actually want what it is. I know I know this sounds confusing. Hang with me. 

Use The Right Words To Tell Them What You Offer

You might be surprised how different two people will say or search for the exact same thing. The key is knowing how people are looking for that thing you want to raise and promote it in that same way. 

Make Sure They REALLY Want It

You also need to make sure that people ACTUALLY want what you have to offer. If you live in an area like I do where you will find chickens on every other property between here and town. Raising chickens to sell eggs isn’t the best business move. But if you live close to a city that gets a lot of traffic from people going to hand from work. You will be better off. 

To get more detailed info about this topic make sure to read – How To Find Your Ideal Customer And Go Deep On What Matters

Be Online To Make Money Homesteading

It’s starting to become more normal to be online whether it’s for homesteaders sharing what they are doing or grandmas and grandpas scrolling to keep in touch with their grandkids. 

A few years back, homesteaders and farmers used to drag their feet when it came to the internet or flat-out refuse. Like it or not you can’t do that in the world we live in if you want to make money. 

If you are security conches I totally get that and there are ways to be careful about the things you put out online. Buuuut you need people to know you exist in order to make money homesteading. 

Think about it this way. When you think “I would like to buy X” where do you go to find it? Nine times out of ten you reach for that small device in your pocket and hit up the search bar. It’s very rare that you go somewhere that doesn’t require the internet.

tablet on a desk with a note pad and writing u-tunicle

You Need A Promotion Plan To Make Money Homesteading

You need to have a plan to get the word out about your products or resources. A plan to promote your homestead. 

There are tons of ways to do this. Some cost money and some cost time. You have to decide which you are willing to give. 

Now the reason I say you need a plan instead of going at it willy nilly is that you will get burnt out and or stretched too thin and you will want to quit. I don’t want that for you. 

Choose 2 platforms to start with and get really comfortable with those before you add another. 

Here are 2 examples of what I mean. 

Promotion Plan 1

  • Core Platform: Website
  • Why? – To have a home base and to not build my business on someone else’s land. 
  • Secondary platform: Instagram
  • Why? To promote my business and bring eyes to my website in a non-salesy way.

Promotion Plan 2

  • Core Platform: Website
  • Why? – To have a home base and produce content to get found in search engines.
  • Secondary platform: Instagram
  • Why? To promote my business and bring eyes to my website in a non-salesy way.
  • Add On Platform: Pinterest
  • Why? To promote my blog/website content to get eyes on my site while I am waiting for google to pick up my site in search.

I want you to realize that there are no right platforms you have to use. Each person is different and you have to use the tools that feel the most comfortable and assessable to you. 

HOWEVER, I do think everyone should have a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy but you need somewhere to send people that is NOT social media. If you do that you are building your business on someone else’s land.

Social platforms come and go and the platform you have built your business on goes way. So does your business. 

Chose your platforms and write down your why for using them. So your message and the actions you have to take are clear.

If you want more help with social media this post will help you out. If you are ready to start a blog and create content that way this post is going to help you out.

Plan Out Your Projects To Make Money Homesteading And Not Get Overwhelmed 

Start slow when you are building your homestead and trying to make money. It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed by everything that has to be done that you don’t feel like you are making progress fast enough. I have been there. But the truth is you have to start slow to build momentum. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true. 

Write down EVERYTHING you want to start doing on your homestead and put them in order of importance.

pppssst, a key factor should be how quickly you will make money from that project or goal.

Chose your top 2 big goals you want to accomplish in the next 3 months. Focus on those goals or tasks first. 

Here is a post that will help you go into detail about planning projects around your calendar.

Have Multiple Income Streams From Your Homestead

Don’t depend on one thing to bring you the income your homestead needs. Once you feel comfortable with the one stream of income and you don’t feel like you have to push too hard to keep up with it. You can add another stream of income. 

Now I don’t mean something that is so different from what you are already doing it feels like a whole other business. No, no, keep them similar or even in the same niche. 

  • For example, let’s say you raise angora rabbits. You can raise the babies and sell those. You can shear or pluck them and turn their wool into yarn. What about crocheting that yarn and turning it into another product. 
  • What about goats… You could raise the kids and sell those, use the milk to make cheese or beauty products. You could even sell the milk to people who need milk for animals that have lost their moms or need hand feeding. 

Chickens are one income stream that you will have to track closely if you decide to start with because they are not an expensive animal to get started with and people can have a lot in a small space. It can be difficult to make a profit with chickens or the margins are not very wide.

  • Raise meat chicks and sell per pound.
  • Sell the meat birds live and ready to take to the butcher.
  • Keep one specific breed (so you don’t have to keep the different breeds separated) and let the broody hens hatch out chicks and sell purebred chicks.
  • Buy Chicks and raise till they can be on their own without a heat lamp.
  • Sell fertilized eggs for people to hatch out in an incubator.
  • Eggs for consumption.

I haven’t even gone into the ways you can make money online with digital products. 

Do you see what I mean though? Try to get multiple income streams out of the same niche or species. 

Have A Budget Planned Out For Your Homestead

POST TO LINK – How to build a budget for your homestead

This one is nowhere near as fun but it is soooooo needed. I will be the first to admit that I don’t like to do bookkeeping and tend to let things go about mid-July until the new year comes around and it’s time to get the papers together for our tax preparer. 

BUT You Need To Have A Budget For Your Homestead

If you don’t you will spend way more than you make without realizing it. Knowing your numbers will help you make smarter business decisions AND give you the confidence to make a purchase without the guilt because you know you can afford it.

It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed or hard to use. Normally I would say I am a paper person but things change and sometimes you have to cut expenses which is a good thing. But that sets you up for a lot of erasing, scribbling out, or re-writing a list. Which I can’t stand to do. 

So a spreadsheet in google docs is the next best thing and it’s free. Here is an example of what mine looks like. What I would recommend you do is pin the sheet to your bookmarks bar so you can have it at your fingertips. You won’t reference it often if you don’t have it in front of your face.

Income Ideas

Most income is made by simply being creative. If you look around you will see income ideas all around you. The one word of caution I would give you is to start with one idea.

Validate it and get it working well before you add another one. It is so easy to want the money now. But building a business just doesn’t work like that. It is a slow burn and you need to be willing to do the work or it won’t last.

Here are some income ideas to get you started. If you want more where that comes from read this post.

  • Flip items you find at yard sales or second-hand.
  • Raise worms, sell their “poo” or castings. It is the dirt that they have processed as fertilizer. You can also sell extras for composting or warms as bait.
  • Raise fish, such as tilapia or catfish.
  • Grow mushroom logs and sell homegrown mushrooms.
  • Allow photographers to use parts of your property for photoshoots.
  • Have a few different livestock options for people to rent the animals for photoshoots. (chicks and bunnies at Easter time and so on)
  • Rent out farm space for weddings, receptions, etc
  • Teach classes. (In-person or online)
  • Take pre-orders for Holiday pies, cakes, and candies, people can pick them up at your home.
  • Make and sell preserves.
  • Beekeeping and sell the honey and beeswax.
  • If you have a lot of trees, cut and sell firewood.
  • Make and sell compost using your animal’s manure.
  • Sell wool/fiber from animals such as sheep, alpacas, angora goats, angora rabbits…
  • Cut down trees for people or offer to take away the wood for payment.
  • House sit for someone. If you have experience with animals other then dogs this is gold.
  • Animal training.

Here are some other awesome ideas from fellow bloggers and some excellent business advice.

Selling Baked Goods at Farmers Markets

The trick to making money with baked goods is planning. You need to know your input costs, how long it takes to produce and the top retail price. (practicalselfreliance.com)Here’s a good example. (practicalselfreliance.com)Baking a homemade raspberry pie with local raspberries and real butter may be tasty, but it’s not particularly profitable. Raspberries are expensive, and even if they’re home picked they’re time-consuming to pick. A pie crust takes time to make properly and uses a lot of expensive butter. A pie that can sell for $12 to $15 dollars cost $8 to $20 to make, plus literally hours of your time. (practicalselfreliance.com)

baked goods someone is selling to make money homesteading

The same amount of ingredients can make a full dozen personal pan pies, each sold at $5 a piece! We sold personal pan pies made in these pans for a premium, and always sold out because market patrons are looking for food they can out of hand while walking around. Mini quiche are even better since they’re savory and an actual portable meal. (practicalselfreliance.com)

Brownies are also really profitable, even if sold at a low price. There are quick to make and use up eggs from your backyard hens. A full sheet pan of brownies takes minutes to prepare for the oven, and can bring in as much as $40 in net profit. Play up the fact that you’re using real butter and home harvested eggs, and try making them unique by adding local flavor like lavender from your backyard herb garden. (practicalselfreliance.com)

Selling Hatching Eggs

Many homesteaders try to make an extra buck selling eggs from their backyard hens. We sold duck eggs to the local food coop, and even at $6 a dozen wholesale, we still lost money. Feed is expensive, and ducks eat twice as much as chickens to produce an egg. Even with backyard chickens, most small operations can only just barely break even and don’t pay the homesteader for their time spent tending the flock. (practicalselfreliance.com)

Hatching eggs, on the other hand, are different. They command a much higher price and all it takes is good genetics, and ideally a rare and desirable breed. If you’d like the details, this is a great article on making money with hatching eggs . They manage to make an extra $1000 a month from their small backyard flock of 15 chickens. (practicalselfreliance.com)

Here are some other questions people had about making money homesteading. Maybe you will find them helpful as well.

Can homesteading be profitable?

Homesteading can 1000% be profitable if you are smart with your choices. So many times people start raising a growing all the things too fast. Have no reputation built up and no way to sell anything. Which takes time. 

How do people afford homesteading

Start slow and with the most affordable thing to get started. This is often why people start with a garden. It typically only costs you the price of seeds to get started. Set aside a certain amount each month for homesteading whether or not you can be growing or raising anything. You can save that money for something more expensive or start small. It’s totally up to you. But calculated action is what it takes. 

How many acres do you need for homesteading?

Homesteading is a mindset. If you can grow a few things on your back patio in containers you care a homesteader. But If you are looking for a specific number 1/2 to 1 acre is a great small space to start with to where you don’t feel like you are stacked on top of yourself to raise your animals and grow your garden. Here are my favorite books that help you plot out your homestead on a small piece of land.

What is needed for a homestead?

If you want the homestead life. Here is what I would say you can start with. Choose one animal that you get some return on investment. And start a small garden if that is your thing. Gardens are NOT easy. So start small and build out as you go if you like it. 

Building a profitable homestead or hobby farm is lots of work but it is so worth it once you have that snow ball of momentum rolling down hill. If you have other questions you would like to see me answer drop them in the comments bellow.

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