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Which Wins For Anonymity & Security in 2023?

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Which Wins For Anonymity & Security in 2023?

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN. Two of the best VPN providers on the market right now. But which one fits you best? It basically comes down to your top VPN requirements and price.

This article will discuss Surfshark and ExpressVPN’s key features. How they stack up against each other will guide you in choosing the one that works best for your anonymity and security.

Surfshark VPN has really upped its game over the past couple of years. It gives exceptional service, is the fastest VPN overall, and offers highly tempting pricing plans. I would go for Surfshark, no question about it.

Get Surfshark right here!

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN was always my top pick on the market, even if it was pricey. But now, I’ve lost faith.

Recent ExpressVPN developments have raised some potential privacy problems. In particular, they were purchased by the somewhat questionable Kape Technologies. The CIO of ExpressVPN was also fined for his participation in Project Raven in the United Arab Emirates. The fines were for hacking and spying on US residents on behalf of the UAE government.

Having said that, you won’t go wrong with either ExpressVPN or Surfshark because they are both great options. Both are compatible with popular streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, and many more.

Although both VPNs perform well in speed testing and provide solid security, Surfshark VPN wins out in both areas. And the title of being the best-value VPN provider on the market is one that it has more than earned. For just $2.30 a month, you can get a top-notch VPN service provider. It can compete with the finest, making it a great choice for people trying to save money.

ExpressVPN also provides a comprehensive set of VPN capabilities. It offers top-notch speeds and unparalleled access to your selected streaming service. Unfortunately, it ranks among the most expensive VPNs available.

Where ExpressVPN falters, Surfshark excels as one of the most economical VPNs. You also get an unlimited simultaneous connection, quick speed, and strong security. Thus solidifying its place in the top tier of VPN services.

No time to read the rest of this article? No problem. Get Surfshark right here!

Let’s break down the best features of both VPNs.

Speed

Besides cost, the connection speed is one of the main considerations when choosing a VPN. Fast-speed testing a VPN can be a challenging task. The servers used, the protocols at play, and what you’re doing online affect speed. Your location might also be a factor.

A VPN protocol is a collection of instructions. These are for establishing a safe and secure connection for data transmission between your device and a VPN server. Both VPN services deliver respectable speeds thanks to many top-notch protocols and many servers.

Smartphone with 256 MBPS indicator - for VPN speed

Surfshark VPN uses WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. ExpressVPN supports its Lightway protocol, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec.

The quickest protocols are usually WireGuard and Lightway. ExpressVPN is still one of the faster alternatives available. But it is a touch slower than Surfshark. This is because the WireGuard protocol is a little more refined than Lightway.

Both are dependably fast and excellent picks when downloading files or streaming content. Despite the slight reductions, you won’t notice any differences from your typical ISP speeds.

Surfshark provides specific specialized servers for torrenting. These may increase speeds, and both providers support torrenting across all servers.

Server Locations

You should really become familiar with the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes alliance. It will help you understand the significance of selecting the best VPN server location for maintaining your privacy. The alliances form groups of countries committed to sharing information about their own citizens. The shared data includes military intelligence. The following countries form part of this alliance.

  1. Five Eyes: US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  2. Nine Eyes: Five Eyes + Denmark, France, Holland, Norway
  3. Fourteen Eyes: Nine Eyes + Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain

These countries are notorious for attempting to incorporate monitoring technologies on many websites. This is particularly true in the US and the UK.

If you live in one of these alliance nations, or any other country with extensive surveillance, you should pick a virtual private network with servers elsewhere. And using VPNs with AES 256-bit encryption will shield your privacy better from government monitoring.

Flattened linear map of the world with white curves connecting countries - image for VPN servers

ExpressVPN has roughly 3,000 servers with 160 VPN server locations spread over 94 countries.

Surfshark provides more than 3,200 servers spread throughout 65 nations.

Both VPNs service the prime areas you are most likely to use. But as always, double-check that the country you need is supported before clicking the subscribe button.

Security and Privacy Features

Internet users access the internet through private networks using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These are extremely well-designed and powerful Internet Security Solutions.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN? Both offer excellent security and privacy features.

Hooded faceless figure behind code - for vpn security

Surfshark offers all the features you’ll need in a safe VPN: updated protocols, 100% RAM-only servers, and military-grade encryption.

Your email address and billing information are among the data that Surfshark collects. If privacy is really important to you, be aware of this. You can use Surfshark Search, the true incognito mode, for searches you don’t want other people to see. It’s an excellent, minimal, zero-log private search service.

Unfortunately, Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands. That country is part of the 5-Eyes Intelligence Alliance. Surfshark’s no-logs policy has not been independently audited. Then again, the German Security Organization, Cure53, successfully audited its browser extensions and server infrastructure. Surfshark also shut down its Indian servers in response to the new logging laws currently in effect in India.

ExpressVPN offers robust privacy features made up of four separate protocols. It also offers split tunneling and Perfect Forward Secrecy. This security feature changes your key on the connection once every 60 minutes. You can send some traffic from your devices through the secure VPN tunnel with VPN split tunneling. The remaining traffic gets sent over a different tunnel on the open network. It also runs on RAM-only servers. However, it logs the date and server when you access it.

Both block access to VPN connection time, IP address, and traffic.

Graphic of the back of an appliance with VPN Security label - for device compatability

Device compatibility

Nowadays, the average digital consumer owns a minimum of three connected devices. Cross-platform support for VPNs is more crucial than ever. If you want a secure and unrestricted internet experience, running a VPN on your home computer is no longer enough.

Surfshark and ExpressVPN support the following popular desktop and mobile operating systems: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can also set them up on routers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs like Apple TV and Android TV.

Streaming

This one is definitely a critical use case for VPN since so many people are choosing to stream their favorite TV and movies. One of the essential functions of a decent VPN is that it gives you access to blocked streaming content.

Green abstarct globe with wavy o and 1 streaming in - for streaming

So Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: which one is better? When it comes to unblocking Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix US and other territories, BBC iPlayer, etc., ExpressVPN excels. There is no need to delve deeper to discover what it can and can’t unblock because it is upfront about it.

Surfshark offers a similar service. It includes 10 Netflix regions, Prime Video, Disney+, and iPlayer on its list. But, Surfshark is a little more covert about informing you of what it allows.

Both also offer apps that allow you to use the Amazon Fire TV stick (a smart tv device that allows you to stream videos, install apps, play music, and more on your TV).

Torrenting and P2P (Peer to Peer)

Protection when torrenting is one of the most common reasons to get a VPN. Once more, both services offer excellent options. (Not that we, in any way, recommend torrenting.)

Both services include:

  • Split tunneling to segregate traffic 
  • Reasonable connection speeds
  • A kill switch (great if you intend to download large files and don’t want to risk a dropped connection)

You can torrent safely with Surfshark. All its servers have high AES-256 encryption and support P2P traffic, with reasonable torrent speeds. The VPN’s privacy-focused logging policy, kill switch, and Double VPN shields your P2P activity from your ISP. All this means that anonymous torrenting using qBittorrent, BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Vuze is quite safe.

All of ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers are optimized for P2P. It has as many features for safe torrenting as Surfshark, but it’s much faster. ExpressVPN definitely wins this round.

Bypassing Internet Access Restrictions

Many countries impose restrictions on access to particular websites. For instance, China has some of the world’s most sophisticated internet filtering technologies. These are collectively known as the Great Firewall. Because of this, most VPNs are simply inoperable on the mainland.

Illustraion of an arrow pointing to a cloud with unrestricted upload

ExpressVPN and Surfshark handle internet censorship in China and other territories with heavy censorship policies pretty easily.

A Surfshark VPN user might first need to set the NoBorders mode. (Settings > Advanced > NoBorders).

ExpressVPN does all this automatically!

Customer Support

ExpressVPN and Surfshark provide excellent 24/7 customer support through email and live chat. But Surfshark’s response time is much faster than ExpressVPN. Both services urge clients to contact them again if they encounter new problems.

Surfshark Academy

Additionally, there are substantial, searchable databases addressing the most typical queries. You can also find video instructions on the Surfshark and ExpressVPN official YouTube channels.

ExpressVPN YouTube channel

Pricing

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: which one wins when it comes to pricing? Surfshark’s aggressive pricing strategy certainly gets in front of the competition. Right now, ExpressVPN doesn’t even come close to those costs.

Surfshark

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all Surfshark plans.

  • Pay monthly at $12.95/month.
  • Pay $3.99/month billed at $59.76 every 12 months. Additional taxes may apply depending on your jurisdiction.
  • Pay $2.30/per month (billed annually) if you sign up for 24 months. You’ll pay $59.76 immediately, which lasts for 26 months (2 months usage free). After that, you get billed every 12 months. Again, additional taxes may apply depending on your jurisdiction.
Surfshark Pricing Page

ExpressVPN

There’s a slight annoyance here. You have to look for ExpressVPN pricing; the links are not on the site’s landing page. You’ll need to type ‘ExpressVPN Pricing’ in your search engine search bar. For such a good VPN, this kind of thing feels unnecessary!

All ExpressVPN plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Select the monthly plan at $12.95/month
  • Choose the six-month plan, and pay $9.99/month billed every six months. 
  • Sign up for the 12-month plan and pay $6.67/month. Billed once for 15 months (3 months free), then every 12 months.
ExpressVPN Pricing Page

There are, of course, other products you could consider. Read our article about nine ExpressVPN alternatives.

And if you are just looking to keep your login information safe and sound, I recommend you read about 23 LastPass alternatives.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN – Which is Better?

Finally, whether you choose Surfshark or ExpressVPN, they offer great features. Both VPN services provide a wealth of privacy-conscious capabilities. They make it easy to use more complicated functions like split tunneling or rapid file downloads.

You should always be able to locate a connection that works for you because both offer various servers and protocols.

Although ExpressVPN has the advantage of third-party audits, it does have a few security concerns for some users.

Both offer good customer support options, but Surfshark customer support agents reply faster.

The price difference between ExpressVPN and Surfshark is the critical point of differentiation. Surfshark is more affordable than ExpressVPN on all plans besides the rolling monthly contract.

Users save a ton with Surfshark because two years of service costs just $60 instead of $100 for ExpressVPN. Even if you only need a VPN for a year, Surfshark is still less expensive than ExpressVPN.

It’s hard to find reasons not to use Surfshark, given the generally faster speeds and a few extra features like a double VPN. (Surfshark calls it MultiHop. This allows users to connect via two different VPN servers.) It has a significant enough competitive advantage to make the service more tempting. In our comparison, Surfshark VPN wins by a landslide!



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Can Travel Blogs Make Money?

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travel blogging

Travel blogging has surged in popularity, enticing globetrotters and storytellers to share their adventures with the world. From beautiful landscapes to cultural insights, travel blogs offer readers a window into different corners of the globe. However, amidst the appeal of wanderlust and the promise of digital nomadism, a crucial question looms: can travel blogs make money?

Understanding the Landscape

Before delving into profitability, it’s essential to grasp the dynamics of the travel blogging landscape. With the rise of social media platforms and accessible website hosting, anyone passionate about travel can start a blog relatively quickly. This has led to a market saturation, with countless travel blogs vying for attention.

Pros of Profitability

Monetization Opportunities: While success isn’t guaranteed, profitable avenues exist within travel blogging. Many travel bloggers monetize their platforms through various channels, including affiliate marketing, sponsored content, brand partnerships, ad networks, and selling digital products like e-books or courses.

Passive Income Potential: Once established, travel blogs have the potential to generate passive income streams. High-quality content remains accessible to readers long after publication, attracting organic traffic and generating revenue through advertisements or affiliate links without ongoing effort.

Travel Perks and Opportunities: Successful travel bloggers often receive complimentary travel accommodations, tours, and experiences in exchange for exposure on their platforms. This not only reduces the financial burden of travel but also enriches the blogger’s content with unique experiences and destinations.

Personal Branding and Influence: Building a successful travel blog can elevate your brand and establish you as an authority in the travel niche. This can open doors to speaking engagements, freelance writing opportunities, and collaborations beyond blogging, further diversifying your income streams.

Cons and Challenges

Initial Investment and Time: Contrary to popular belief, achieving profitability in travel blogging requires significant investment and time commitment. From domain registration and website hosting fees to content creation and marketing efforts, building a successful travel blog demands upfront investment and perseverance.

Competition and Saturation: With the proliferation of travel blogs, standing out amidst the competition is increasingly challenging. Navigating the saturated market requires unique content, consistent engagement with your audience, and strategic marketing efforts to attract and retain readers.

Income Volatility: Income generated from travel blogging can be volatile and unpredictable. Relying solely on revenue streams such as ad networks, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content leaves bloggers vulnerable to fluctuations in market trends, advertiser preferences, and algorithm changes.

Work-Life Balance and Burnout: Maintaining a travel blog involves juggling multiple responsibilities, from content creation and website management to networking and monetization strategies. Without careful time management and boundaries, travel bloggers risk burnout and sacrificing the freedom and flexibility they seek to achieve.

Can Travel Blogs Make Money?

The profitability of travel blogging hinges on various factors, including niche selection, content quality, marketing strategies, and resilience in the face of challenges. While opportunities for monetization and personal fulfillment abound, aspiring travel bloggers must approach the endeavor with realistic expectations and a long-term perspective.

Ultimately, success in travel blogging requires passion, perseverance, and adaptability in an ever-evolving digital landscape. By understanding the complexities and nuances of the industry, aspiring travel bloggers can embark on their journey with clarity and purpose, pursuing profitability while sharing their love for travel with the world.



Alexandrea Sumuel

Alexandrea Sumuel is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. With 16 years of online marketing and SEO experience, a business management and information technology degree, and a profitable travel blog, she can help you start a travel blog or accelerate your existing blog with one-on-one coaching.

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3,066 victims lose over $45m in job scams between Oct 2023 and Jan 2024

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3,066 victims lose over $45m in job scams between Oct 2023 and Jan 2024

SINGAPORE – At least 3,066 victims lost $45.7 million or more after they were targeted in job scams between Oct 1, 2023, and Jan 31, 2024, the police said on Feb 20.

Scammers approached their victims through dating apps, messaging platforms or social media to befriend them or offer jobs, before asking them to perform tasks for a commission.

In the case of job scams involving tasks to generate traction on social media, the victims were added to WhatsApp or Telegram chat groups by scammers who promised them easy and profitable online jobs.

The scammers claimed that they represented online communications companies, marketing companies or even TikTok.

The victims were asked to follow TikTok or Instagram accounts, subscribe to channels, or like videos on YouTube, posts on Trip.com or songs on Spotify.

After completing these tasks, they were given a small commission.

Convinced they could earn more, the scam victims accepted further tasks and, in some cases, were given fake employment contracts.

In another scam variant, those targeted received WhatsApp or Telegram messages offering small commissions for completing surveys.

The victims were asked to contact other WhatsApp or Telegram users, or join chat groups where tasks including those to generate traction on social media or transfer money for fake investments would be discussed.

To perform these new tasks, the victims had to open accounts on scam websites and transfer money to bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets provided by the scammers.

They realised they had been scammed when their website accounts showed a negative balance, and they were told to pay additional funds to upgrade their accounts, or when they could not withdraw their earnings.

People were also scammed in a variant involving affiliate marketing, with scammers approaching and befriending victims on messaging platforms, dating apps or social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Those targeted were offered a commission to help boost products on e-commerce platforms.

Subsequently, they were referred to other WhatsApp or Telegram users, who instructed them to take screenshots of certain products on e-commerce websites and make payments to specified bank accounts or PayNow numbers before they could get their refunds and commissions.

This process was repeated, beginning with low-cost items before progressing to expensive ones.

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Farmers Growing Their Wealth: Harvesting Free Time To Grow More Than Crops

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Chicken laying eggs on farm

People associate land ownership and working the land with farming and agriculture. Although this isn’t inaccurate, there’s a lot more to owning land than farming.

Some ranchers work with cattle and horses. Some host events with picturesque venues. Others farm part of their land and offer Airbnb experiences — a daytime activity or extended stay in an old train or cozy cabin. Zoning and owners set the bar for profit.

Some assume farmers only want to farm, yet agriculture only yields so much profit. Even though many landowners don’t look at farming as a profit mill, most can’t work the land at 80 years of age.

Self-sufficient living appeals to many, but many people consider it overwhelming. Independence appeals to many, yet “giving it all up” isn’t realistic for those wanting to become more self-reliant. Is farming even possible for those who don’t own tons of land, say, only an acre?

Even if it is, farming on that small land would not benefit more than self-sufficiency, right? One lifelong farmer learned to maximize media while still working with his hands. A freelancer turned farm-preneur took the phrase “Grab life by the reins” literally.

Tilling the Fields for Maximum Yield: Derek Lancaster, the Build Wealth Farmer

Shutterstock 2164281549
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Derek works on his family farm, Lancaster Farms, in North Carolina. He works well past full-time, with many weeks averaging 80 to 90 hours. Those are entrepreneurial levels, for sure! He explains his and his wife’s mindset on his website and Instagram.

“Being a full-time farmer working 90-hour weeks with a wife who’s a full-time teacher, inflation hit us hard. We went from a life of stable comfort to one of paycheck-to-paycheck stress, hoping to live the ‘American Dream.’”

Imagine working that much only to experience this level of financial strain. Unfortunately, inflation impacts most Americans. 21% of families and 67% of single adults lived paycheck to paycheck, according to LendingClub’s 2023 report. Lancaster doesn’t disclose debt. Living with no safety net is stressful, especially with two full-time providers, children, and significant assets to maintain (e.g., the family farm).

Most folks would find a new job, but that won’t be an option for Lancaster. Without selling land and moving closer to a city, there was no “finding a new job.” He chose to take a personal risk by trying a new, alternative income stream.

Don’t Be Passive About Growing Wealth

Focused young couple calculating bills, discussing planning budget together, serious wife and husband looking at laptop screen, using online banking services and calculator, checking financesFocused young couple calculating bills, discussing planning budget together, serious wife and husband looking at laptop screen, using online banking services and calculator, checking finances
Image Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

Although wannabe financial influencers use phrases like passive income, it’s often a scam. In reality, earning income is never passive. Even with leverage income goods (e.g., ebooks, courses), setup and maintenance are often required. For folks with work weeks like Lancaster, these tempting scams rely on desperation.

Yet passive income, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), only includes:

  • Dividends, interest, and annuities
  • Royalties
  • Rents from real property and personal property leased with real property
  • Gains from sales, exchanges, or other dispositions of property (with some exceptions)
  • Sale of goods income without production, delivery, or inventory

These categories fall into the more reputable passive income programs sold online. Most of these programs and micro-influencers need to share how much time and energy it takes to build a business, even with passive income.

Fortunately, Lancaster is realistic — although initially doubtful.

“Being someone who works outside all day, I was skeptical that I could do this. But [affiliate marketing] was one of the most beginner-friendly routes I could take. So now I am here, sharing it with as many people as possible to show everyone that you can do this, no matter your background.”

For anyone versed in digital marketing, sound, profitable affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and effort. To Lancaster’s credit, he’s used to a long workweek and is quite the workhorse, so taking on more work seems simple enough.

Harvesting Free Time To Build Wealth

Businessman hand writing and signing white empty bank checkbook with modern computer notebook and wireless mouse on the desk at office. Payment by check paycheck payroll cheque sign conceptualBusinessman hand writing and signing white empty bank checkbook with modern computer notebook and wireless mouse on the desk at office. Payment by check paycheck payroll cheque sign conceptual
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Living paycheck to paycheck, working 90 hours weekly, most would break under the stress. Lancaster felt differently. 

“DONE with stressing over any financial obligations that we came across daily… [and] wanted the freedom to earn income online without the hassle of creating products, fulfilling orders, and handling customer service requests.”

Knowing what he had time for and what he didn’t want to do narrowed down his options. Extra time constraints of operating a farm and spending time with family clarified his options. For Lancaster, affiliate marketing stood out.

He converts a few hours into moneymakers with his skills and dedicated training and learning. On Instagram, he’s forthright with his profits. He’s also very upfront about how much work it takes to start and operate a business like this. Lancaster mentions that this is not passive income but requires dedicated attention.

It is effective, too; his account is manageable. He’s not out here trying to microinfluence with his farm. Instead, he uses affiliate marketing as a supplement to his primary income. The goal is to build up enough wealth that when he does want to retire, he has the option. Instead of being forced to work the land until he’s well into his twilight years, he’s giving himself and his wife a bigger future.

Building wealth during free time is the best use of that time. Instead of escaping from your 9-to-5 grind, use it to explore things that move you. As personal finance expert Michael Dinich suggests, “You gotta try junk.” That’s what free time is for, right?

Increasing profitability requires discipline and clarity. Lancaster’s other commitments limited him and laser-focused his priorities. This focus made it easier for him. To leverage free time and develop a side hustle into something profitable, others might have more work ahead of them.

There’s still hope for those who aren’t currently farmers or landowners! Self-sufficiency can be attained by achieving the work-life balance that comes with it.

Brand Building to Land Owning: Freelancer Turned Farm-preneur, Alexandra Fasulo

FarmlandFarmland
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Ronald E Grafe.

Social media makes it easy to find plenty of aesthetic content. Successful content creators play to their viewers’ visual appetites. Much content uses beautiful natural backgrounds and scenery, including vacation footage, rented space that was traveled to, or, in rarer cases, land owned by the creator.

Digital nomads work and love to feature the beautiful spaces they work from. Alexandra Fasulo did this. She taught others how to freelance and thrived off side gigs for a long time. She eventually tired of the digital nomad life and wanted to settle down. On one of her trips, she found a piece of property she fell in love with in upstate New York.

Although some discount her casual buy of 6.74 acres of land, it makes sense when you learn more about her reasoning. She purchased the land using capital, research, and the right loan. Why buy farmland with no prior experience?

Fasulo explains, “We all need to step up and start buying the land in this country before Wall Street does (it’s alarming). I know buying undeveloped land sounds scary. So, I will become the case study in my experiment of how you can turn even less than one acre into YOUR own money-making business.”

Although she’s coming from the reverse end of Lancaster’s experience, their goals are similar. She wanted to remain unfettered from financial stress and build a future that gave her flexibility. Many millennials and zoomers are tired of the 9-to-5 grind, even those who switch to self-employment.

Leveraging Freelancing Skills To Profit Off Farmland

Typing using computer planningTyping using computer planning
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com.

It’s easy to judge the casualness with which Fasulo bought her land. Yet, she outlines her intention and ideas for purchasing it. Despite the haters, her purchasing process was well-researched.

She details how she found the land on Zillow. She also explains the various loan options available to her. Fasulo clarifies why she didn’t go with a USDA loan over a Farm Credit loan. She also provides alternative suggestions, knowing her financial background differs from others. She clarifies in one of her posts:

“I am using a Farm CREDIT loan, an offshoot of the USDA, NOT a traditional USDA loan. That’s why mine is 25% down, and other loans are NOT. I also DID NOT need to provide a business plan. There are a variety of ways to secure farmland if you want it. If you have $0, that’s ok. There’s $0 down USDA loans for lower-income households, communal farm purchasing, investing, etc.”

With my history as a freelance writer and my dream of owning land, her transparency about the process is refreshing. She doesn’t imitate a real estate, finance, or agriculture expert. Instead, she explains her motivation and goals and the process she’s taking to get there. She’s also fully aware of the mistakes she will make along the way.

Sharing her experience on social media gets her views and potential sponsorships. She leverages her former experience as a content writer to generate newsletters and maintain income, building up everything she has planned for the farmland.

Cultivating More Than Crops

Gardening CommunityGardening Community
Image Credit: Yuri A/Shutterstock.

Although a business plan was not required for her loan, many folks will not follow Fasulo’s route. Farm Credit required a much higher credit score and a 30% down payment, at least in her region. It’s important to look into regional differences because farmland is more valuable for different kinds of agriculture. Loan accommodations for lower income may be more forgiving depending on the demographics and economics in your area.

So far, Fasulo has yet to do much to the property. She closed on the land back in August of 2023. She’s discussed her land plans and made local connections to ease the construction. Although she focuses on sustainably profiting off her land, she still has to develop a lot of infrastructure and knowledge.

One smart move: connecting with local Amish people, whom she hired to build the road to access the back of the property. She also shopped their barn builds for the first structure on her property. They poured the pad for the barn as well.

Aside from a certified land surveyor, most of the physical labor on her land has been done by the Amish.

Knowing she needs to gain the physical skill and practical knowledge to do much of the work, Fasulo leverages her network. In this case, her network was her neighbors. That’s one of the beautiful things about landownership and working in agriculture. Farming communities trend towards interdependence. The mutual exchange of goods and services naturally occurs.

Becoming Financially and Agriculturally Self-Sufficient

Seed PropagationSeed Propagation
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like many farm owners, Fasulo aims to profit off the land. She wants to set “an example of protecting the environment while making great money. I don’t see many people pursuing the same thing right now!”

After checking that it meets city zoning laws, she’s included a quick list of everything she plans to include on her land.

  • Social media brand deals with green-forward companies
  • Twitch streaming farm animals
  • Plant sales from microgreens, mushrooms, and vertical farming
  • Subscription boxes
  • Event space for weddings, community, etc.
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Email newsletter with ad space
  • Monetized YouTube posts of her process
  • Quarterly courses for locals and visitors

All of the infrastructure needs to be built out. That will take a lot of time, and many mistakes will be made.

Fasulo is open to learning and growing, however. Making a big personal shift like this involves staying open-minded despite adversity. At the end of the day, as Lancaster showcases his lifestyle, working the land takes work. It’s simple, but it requires dedicated and consistent focus.

I look forward to seeing where Fasulo goes with this process and hope she sets a trend for those interested in self-sufficiency.

The Benefits of Self-Sufficient Living

GardeningGardening
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As Lancaster shows, not everyone can hack the 90-hour work week plus side hustle. Only some people are built for the entrepreneur’s life. However, there is a way to incorporate your existing skills and acquire farmland. Fasulo addresses this a few times by highlighting how little space you need to farm. She’s not experienced like Lancaster, but accessible farming trends like hydroponics and vertical farming simplify growing.

Purchasing grow lights and building hydroponic towers for indoor farming is tough but still doable. Most farmers are independent and need help maintaining the cost of living, maintaining the land, and expanding their farms into a specific, profitable niche. It’s hard when all your working time focuses on caring for your crops or animals.

Work-life balance and self-sufficiency are critical for farmers. Those who have found a way, like Lancaster or Fasulo, are approaching income generation based on their values and necessities.

Leveraging the community can cut costs for any farmer, as Fasulo shows by turning to her local Amish. She can’t build the structures herself, but she can begin to invest more time and infrastructure and expand her ideas for profit.

Although Lancaster focused on affiliate marketing, Fasulo will work through different side hustles to determine the best income generators. Although she’s got a side gig as a marketing liaison for the Amish, I’m sure there’s more hustling she’s doing using her freelancer experience.

Farmers and freelancers can grow wealth by prioritizing work/life balance and embracing self-sufficiency. Explore the possibilities of achieving financial stability and free time through growing crops and building a life based on your values.



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