I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details of my financial situation and what’s been going on behind the scenes, but I have had a lot of unexpected expenses in the past months and even with expenses being low and hospitality being high, finances are dire. It’s just been a bad patch and I finally had to ask for help.
A few generous sponsors stepped in and put a finger in the dike in a number of different ways (THANK YOU), but the fact is that there is way more going out than coming in right now and that I am heading into a country where my cost of living is fully twice what it is now, no exaggeration. So it’s all a little much.
Truth be told, I had issues like this earlier on in my RVing life and I wouldn’t say anything about it. I’d just get an increase on my credit card or go hungry for a few days or whatever. But it’s getting harder and harder to be that silent on the blog because my readers (and according to Google Analytics, there are 20,000 of you a month!!!) aren’t allowing me to stay quiet for long. I also feel an increasing need to correctly and realistically display what an unstable lifestyle is like with variable income.
There was a time when I was embarrassed to accept donations in any form, feeling that my financial situation is my own responsibility. But I met someone this winter who had a very different perspective.
How many hours do I spend updating this blog and doing research for it, my ebooks, and articles? How many hours do I spend answering emails from folks with questions? RVing is literally a full-time job for me. It’s also my passion and the only thing I want to do.
How much do I earn from it? It’s at best a minimum wage part-time job.
The amount of time I spend being a public RVer and the expectations people have for me is disproportionate to the amount of money I make from it. People don’t seem to realise that every hour I spend working on the blog and doing any other RVing-related activity is an hour that I am not earning income. Just about all the other really well-known RVers out there are retired and people lose sight of the fact that I’m not.
I’d much rather be a professional RVer than do any of the other stuff I do. I love this lifestyle, I love keeping on top of the market and the technical stuff, and I love to educate other people about it. I wish I could live and breathe RVing. I know folks who succeed at doing so. And the reason they do is because they treat it like a job and expect to be compensated for it.
So I no longer accept ‘donations’ because that makes me sound like a charity case. Instead, I accept sponsorships. They can be anonymous or public, and the public ones will be highlighted/advertised on both this blog and the new site I’ll be launching shortly.
Sponsorship doesn’t have to be in the form of a PayPal payment. It can be taking me out for a meal or offering me a driveway. How about sponsorship as an exchange of services? You could notice that I’m going by your cousin’s tire place and that he could use some advertising. So why not ask him to put some new tires on the rig? Cheaper than a billboard and a much wider audience reach. Or maybe you went to a small brake repair shop last year and you let them know that they could get some publicity in exchange for doing maintenance on my truck.
One of the earliest sponsorships I ever got was from someone who used rewards points on her credit card to get me a gift card to a store I frequent. And of course, there’s always my Amazon link. These are ‘free’ ways to sponsor that really help my bottom line.
Sponsorship is a win-win for everyone. I get paid to do the job I love, sponsors get advertising, and my readers get more information.
Something in my life has to give and I’d really rather it not be this lifestyle I love so much. I really am afraid that I will have to downgrade RVing to being a hobby that is last to everything else, especially with my rig getting older and needing more maintenance and repair.
Thank you again to everyone who has sponsored Travels With Miranda, and not just in the last month or so. You all know who you are and you have all made me a firm believer in both karma and the principle of paying things forward. I am so grateful to my tribe.
Here’s the link to the sponsorship page.Share on Facebook