Hobbies are those activities we’re so passionate about that, not only do we do them without getting paid, we often pay to do them.
Think of woodworking, gaming, reading, languages, arts and crafts, and browsing the internet. And, in my case, eating pizza and drinking whiskey!
We’re here to tell you that you can flip that around. You can actually get paid to do the same activities you already love to do in your spare time.
These five quick steps below will help you monetize your hobby so you start earning extra money as soon as possible.
Monetize Your Hobby: Pick the Right Hobby
Some hobbies are much easier to monetize than others. A few of the best include photography, writing, music, crafts, and pet care.
Each of these activities has a huge market of people willing to pay for them. For example, you can sell photos on Shutterstock, find writing gigs on Upwork, give local music lessons with TakeLessons, sell your crafts on Etsy, and find local dog walking and pet sitting gigs through Rover.com.
If your hobby falls outside these suggestions, be sure to do adequate research to make sure there’s actually a paying market before dedicating time to monetizing it.
Monetize Your Hobby: Start Small with Freelancing
You don’t have to instantly transform your hobby into a full-time job. A much better approach is to dedicate a few hours per week to freelancing gigs.
Freelancing is a great way to test the waters when you first monetize your hobby. You can get your feet wet without making a full-on commitment. Freelancing lets you grow your new business over time at your own pace.
And more and more people are starting to do this. Why? Because freelance is an awesome idea! Work your own schedule, no jerk boss, and sometimes you can work with no pants on. Well, wait until your spouse goes to work!
But seriously, a recent study found that by 2020, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will be a freelancer. One in two! Imagine that.
Monetize Your Hobby: Make Marketing a Priority
The sharing economy makes picking up a side hustle and monetizing your hobby easier than ever before. You can just head online, or on an app, and a list of great gigs is readily available.
Yet none of this means you should slack on marketing. Getting the word out about your new business is the key to earning money when you monetize your hobby.
Of particular importance is asking all your new clients to pass on referrals to friends, family, coworkers, etc., if they’re happy with your service.
According to Forbes, word of mouth is the best form of marketing.
Monetize Your Hobby: Treat it Like a Business
Just because you monetize your hobby doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun anymore. A hobby is supposed to be fun.
But that also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat your hobby like a job. If you really want to boost your earning potential, you need to get serious.
Establish the hours that you’ll spend on your hobby and stick to them. Dedicate yourself to your new business during these hours and refrain from slacking off.
Many people find it effective to set aside a separate space in their home, such as an office, that will solely be used for their hobby.
Consider Alternative Business Ideas
Doing your hobby isn’t the only way to make money from it.
For example, the only option for a photographer isn’t just to take photos. You can also make money by giving others photography lessons or giving talks about photography.
Another great idea is to teach the business behind your hobby. For our photography example from above, you could teach others how to make money from photography for themselves.
Darren Rouse made a fortune blogging about photography!
Final Thoughts on Monetizing Your Hobby
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your hobby solely for the love of it.
Yet it’s very likely you can make money doing what you already love. Utilizing the five steps outlined above is the best way to see if you can successfully monetize your hobby.
I am still trying to figure out how to monetize my love of pizza and whiskey. I’m going to need another bottle!