House sitting offers a perfect opportunity for cost-conscious travelers to visit and explore new places. Nowadays it is possible to, literally, travel the world while living for free in other people’s homes. But accommodation costs are only a part of the expense of travel and, unless you are the beneficiary under a trust fund or the like, you are going to need an income if you plan to travel indefinitely. So, how are you going to achieve that income if you are, by definition, constantly on the move?
Fortunately, there is an easy solution because, when you are actually house sitting, the one thing you are likely to have plenty of is time. And with time comes the opportunity to make some money. In this article, I am going to show you a great way to make money online, while house sitting, so that you can indeed pursue your dreams and travel the world indefinitely.
But first, a little more about house sitting, particularly for anyone reading this who is not familiar with the concept.
What is House Sitting and Why is it Growing in Popularity?
House sitting arises when a homeowner leaves their home, and frequently their pet(s), in the care of another (the house sitter) for a defined period of time and which can be anything from a single night to a year or more. During that time the house sitter will live in the home and take care of any pets in accordance with rules agreed between the homeowner and pet sitter beforehand.
House sitting can be paid or unpaid. While there is no hard and fast rule, paid house sitters tend to operate on a more localized basis where they can quickly gain a reputation and get clients who give them lots of repeat business. It is almost exclusively pet driven and those who do this are more commonly described as “Pet Sitters” rather than “House Sitters”. For those who do it, the primary goal is less to travel and more to earn a living, albeit, in most cases, a relatively modest one. Even when paid, house sitting does not, typically, pay very much.
The unpaid variety is the type that is most common among those whose primary motive is travel, and particularly where international travel is involved. Today, there are countless individuals, couples and even families with kids who have adopted that wanderlust lifestyle and are spending all their time moving from place to place, and country to country, while accommodating themselves for free through house sitting. And judging by the recent explosion in the number of websites, FaceBook groups, etc, that focus solely on House Sitting, the popularity of house sitting is set to grow even more dramatically over the next few years.
How to Get Started With House Sitting
Getting started with house sitting is relatively easy. No special qualifications are required although because around 80% of all house sits involve looking after the homeowner’s pet(s), you really should be comfortable being around animals and have some knowledge of how to look after them.
The easiest way to find a pet sitting assignment, particularly if you are just starting out, is through a house sitting website or Facebook group.
There are many house sitting websites to choose from. Some are worldwide while others focus on particular countries or continents/areas. Colette and I are moving from Ecuador, where we currently live, to Mexico and we are planning to use house sitting as a means of exploring Mexico before we settle on a permanent location. So we joined two house-sitting websites, one that operates worldwide and the other that operates solely in Mexico. To get an idea of how a house-sitting website typically operates take a look at my articles HouseSitMexico Review and What is Housecarers.com?
There are also a huge number of Facebook groups devoted entirely house-sitting and, again, some are focused on particular countries while others are worldwide. Just log in to Facebook and in the search bar type in “house sitting [name of country]” or “house sitting international” or other appropriate keywords.
All of the house-sitting websites involve fees, typically, between $20.00 and $120.00 per annum whereas the Facebook groups are free to join. However, the websites (at least the better ones) offer far greater support in the form of safe and secure communication (through the website), automatic notification of newly available assignments, and customizable documents such as house-sitting contracts.
So far, Colette and I have arranged house sits in Playa Del Carmen, Mérida and Cozumel and which will provide us with free accommodation for more than the first three months we are in Mexico. We are working on more right now.
What Income Options are Available to You as a House Sitter?
So you have your house-sits lined up and an exciting itinerary of international travel beckons. Now, how are you going to make some money while you are doing all that?
Regular, temporary, jobs are a possibility but can be difficult to obtain, particularly for shorter periods, and there may be language and work permit considerations as well, particularly if you are traveling internationally. Also, although most house-sitting arrangements don’t involve a huge commitment in time, you will have some chores to perform, particularly if pets are involved (as they usually are).
Wouldn’t it be much more logical to work from home, i.e. your house-sit location? And if you are working from home what better option could there be to working online? All you need is an internet connection (practically guaranteed on virtually every house-sit you will ever do) and a laptop and a whole world of opportunity opens up for you.
Nowadays there is a seemingly endless list of totally legitimate things you can do online to earn an income including freelance writing, transcription, proofreading, voicework, tutoring, paid surveys and data entry to name but a few. For a more comprehensive list as well as advice on how to get started in any of those areas, see Colette’s article, Money Making Ideas For Retirees.
There are just so many options to choose from but my favorite, and the one that I believe best lends itself to the house-sitting lifestyle is Affiliate Marketing. This also what Colette and I do.
The Best Option – Affiliate Marketing
For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, an affiliate marketer promotes the products or services of an online merchant (typically through a website, YouTube video, or email campaign) and when someone purchases one of those products or services the affiliate marketer earns a commission from the online merchant. You can read a more detailed explanation of affiliate marketing here.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is that the only physical tools you need to do it are a laptop computer and an internet connection. Everything else that you need, and there’s not much, is available online. This makes it the perfect income-producing option for anyone who enjoys a nomadic lifestyle.
Also, as an affiliate marketer, and because you are your own boss, you are not tied to regular working hours and can set your own schedule. The internet never sleeps, which means you can work any hours of the day or night as you please. This means you can easily fit your work hours around your house and pet-sitting duties as well as your travel plans.
In addition to a laptop and internet connection, there are a few more things you are going to need to be an effective affiliate marketer:
- a website (even if you will be marketing principally through YouTube and/or email)
- website hosting (where your website lives)
- technical support for your website
- keyword research tools
- training and/or online support
Fortunately, there is a place you can get all these things, and a whole lot more, and for a surprisingly modest price, and that is Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate – Your Best Option for Affiliate Marketing
Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform created by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers. Established in 2005 by Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim, and now boasting over 1.5 million members, it has clearly stood the test of time and through constant development and innovation has made itself the industry leader in its field.
You can read my in-depth review of Wealthy Affiliate HERE but here is a summary of what you get as a member:
- Guidance to help you come up with your initial idea for your online business (your niche)
- Website construction tools
- Website hosting and technical support for up to 50 websites
- Two comprehensive affiliate marketing training programs
- Thousands of ongoing training videos and tutorials
- Writing tools and over 1,000,000 free images for your website
- Weekly live seminars
- Support from the community of members
- Niche and keyword research tools
- Affiliate programs research tool (to help you find online merchants with products you can promote)
- Social media support
The program contains literally everything you could possibly need to achieve success as an affiliate marketer. It guides you methodically through the entire process, starting with choosing your business niche, through creating your website and adding content to it, and, finally, monetizing your website.
The regular monthly membership fee for Wealthy Affiliate is $49.00 and this can be canceled at any time and without prior notice. There is a six-monthly option that equates to $39.00 per month and a twelve-monthly option that equates to $29.92 per month. There are no upsells with this program and the only additional cost you will need to incur is the domain registration fee for your website and which is typically in the range of $10 – $20.00 per annum.
There is a free membership available and which gives you access to part of the training as well as the ability to create and host up to two websites. Its purpose is to allow you access to the program, and to play with the various tools that are available, in order that you can determine, entirely free of charge, whether the program is for you. No credit card is required and you are not in any way pressured to upgrade to the paid (Premium) membership.
Colette and I are members of Wealthy Affiliate and if you decide to join, even as a free member, we will be there to guide you through the entire process.
If you do, I recommend you let me know through our Contact Us page, that way I can be on the lookout for you joining and it will give us an additional line of communication.
House-sitting is a wonderful way to explore the world on a budget but you will still need some form of income to keep you going. Affiliate marketing is a great way of making that income and Wealthy Affiliate is the perfect vehicle to get you started.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any comments or questions on house sitting, affiliate marketing or Wealthy Affiliate you can leave them in the comments box below and I will get back to you as quickly as possible. If you prefer privacy please email me through the Contact Us page.
The greatest years of your life are still ahead!