1001
8 min 51 sec

RV Nomads Help Fellow Travelers Get Online

When a couple turns its back on the big city in favor of a nomadic lifestyle, they stumble across an intriguing business idea.
Blog Marketing Membership Niche Ideas RV Social Media Writing

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What It's About

On the road for over 13 years, this nomadic couple teaches others how to start their own adventure.

Business Model
Blog
Skills Required
Writing & Marketing
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Really assess what your unique 'thing' is. What do you enjoy doing that could be turned into an income earning pursuit? In our case, we had stumbled into a niche - all we needed to do was decide to make it a priority. We tapped into an existing and proven demand out of something we were already doing for free.

Fun Fact

It’s estimated that 1 million Americans now live in RVs and call the highways and byways of the USA home. This number should only grow higher as more people turn their back on conventional society for a more simple life. There will be plenty of opportunities for those wanting to enter this market in the coming years.

This nomadic couple are proof that you never know where the road will take you. If you follow it, you might just end up somewhere great that you never expected.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1001
When Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard packed up an RV in 2006, they traded their homebound lifestyle for the open road. They both worked remotely, and without ties to a traditional office they figured it could be a fun way to live … at least for a while. It turned out that they were embarking on what would become at least a thirteen year adventure.

They took to the lifestyle right away. Without the constraints of a daily commute or office politics, they found themselves with extra time and headspace … so they decided to start a travel blog. They called it Technomadia and they wrote about their road trippin’ ways across the country while working full time. Much of the content centered around RV specific items like solar power, batteries and accessing the internet while on the go.

Over time, Chris and Cherie built up some solid traffic and with it, an audience. That audience loved to ask questions, especially about that last topic, mobile internet. How to access it? Which plans were best? What did they do when something went wrong? The questions often came in so rapidly that responding to them all was a part-time, unpaid job!

This went on for several years until, in 2013 they received some terrible news. Cherie’s father—and business partner—had passed away. It was a trying time for the couple. Cherie found the best recovery was to keep herself busy, so she took on a side project.

She went through their existing blog posts, as well as all the questions they’d received from their visitors, and compiled them into a guide entitled The Mobile Internet Handbook.

Taken on as a pet project, neither Chris nor Cherie expected much from it. They listed it for sale on their site and continued life as RV nomads on the open road. A few sales rolled in … but then their RV stopped rolling shortly thereafter courtesy of an engine break down.

Interestingly, during that time their book began to take on a life of its own and sales revved up. Simultaneously, the questions they received from readers only increased. Many of the questions were the same—which sometimes felt like driving around in circles.

In response, they opened a Facebook group targeting RV nomads who were interested in mobile internet and working from anywhere. The idea being, with a community behind things, it might take the pressure off them to answer questions. The community as a whole could help each other out. But, this plan turned out to be a dead end. The questions kept coming, even faster than before.

Expressing this dismay with members of the group led one of them to make a suggestion. Their idea was for Cherie and Chris to consider a premium membership. Members could pay in exchange for more content and advice. At least then they’d be getting paid for all their efforts.

It seemed like a ridiculous idea, but they decided to give it a try. By now, the handbook needed updating so they put up a crowdsourcing campaign to fund a rewrite. One of the reward tiers included this premium membership. To their surprise, one hundred people signed up and prepaid for The Mobile Internet Resource Center.

At first, they had a modest goal to make a hundred dollars per day. Three thousand per month would be plenty of cash for them to stay afloat, especially with their frugal lifestyle… but they drove past that goal in two months flat! They kept adding content, and memberships kept increasing.

That resource now pays the couple an equivalent salary to working in a major tech hub like San Francisco or New York—but instead of living in those high cost cities, they’re able to earn it while travelling the country in their RV.

 
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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Really assess what your unique 'thing' is. What do you enjoy doing that could be turned into an income earning pursuit?"
—Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau