How to Monetize Your Hobby
It has been said that you should "choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." While some people are able to attain such happiness, that's not always a possibility for others. Most of us wind up turning our passions into a hobby or a simple pasttime. Conversely, we also end up looking for additional ways to bring in money. So why not marry the two? It has probably crossed your mind at one point or another that you could make money off of your hobby, but maybe you didn't know where to start. Whether you're adept at planning exceptional events or you just enjoy crocheting because of how relaxing it is. Make no mistake that it is possible to make your hobby lucrative. Here are a few tips on how to monetize your hobby.
Create a Plan
You won't be able to get to your destination without first knowing the way. This is true for most aspects of life. Without a plan, you have no idea what you're setting yourself up for, what your goals are, how you want to reach those goals--the list goes on. No matter what your hobby is, you will need to create a plan. Perhaps this will be more of a parttime job for you. You can put in about 20 or so hours, which will encourage you to keep up with your hobby and earn a little bit of extra cash. Would you like to eventually turn your hobby into a business? Then there's more planning involved with that. Are there any start up costs associated with turning it into a business or are you already pretty good on that part? Do you need licensing? Will you need to ship anything? Will you need to travel?
These are all questions that you'll need to ask yourself when making your plan and assessing your goals. If you're considering turning your hobby into a fully fledged business, then your planning is going to have to go deeper than if you just wanted to do it as a parttime jobs. More of your effort and more hours are going to go into this. How are you going to manage doing both your hobby and your actual job? Will you be able to do that at all? Of course you can, you just have to plan for it.
Have an Online Presence
This point goes without saying. If you have any hope of monetizing your business, you need to have a solid online presence. How will anyone ever see what you have to offer? Whether it's social media, YouTube, or having your own website, you need to be able to advertise and market yourself somewhere. If you have your own website, it goes further than just having a domain name and an IP address. It's important to make sure that your site is visible on the web. We've discussed ways that Google will help you. We've also talked about how influencers can help your brand as well. Putting all of these things together will give you a shot at being able to make money off of your hobby. If you build it, they will come.
Sell a Product
This point might seem a little obvious and it may have been the first thing you thought of when trying to monetize your hobby. If you're someone who loves to crochet, maybe you can make scarves or hats. If you love to bake, you can make cakes and other delectable treats. Or you could sell your recipes in a cookbook. Everyone loves homemade items so you couldn't go wrong with something like this. But what if you aren't making blankets or cookies? What if you have something more abstract, such as your love for playing guitar? It doesn't matter. Sell something. If you're a musician, you can sell original compositions or sheet music.
This is why, when trying to sell these products, it's important to have an online presence. If you're a musician, you can post your music on YouTube and garner a following that way. Sell your handmade scarves and blankets on a site like Etsy. Word of mouth is always a surefire way to get your hobby sold, but you're guaranteed to reach a larger population by having an online presence. This will allow you to sell more of your product.
Selling a product is not the only way to monetize your hobby. We live in a societty that allows us to monetize virtually anything and there are so many ways available to help people with something. Let's say you've always been adept at event planning. This might not be something you could necessarily make a product out of, but you could provide a service. There are always going to be events--weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, bar/bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras--the list goes on. If you've always been good at putting together an event, you should make it a point to charge for these services. You can plan one event here and there, or you can become a fulltime event planner. Perhaps you could perform at these events if you're musically inclined. There are so many ways to render services from a hobby. Do research on what is typically charged for the service you plan on rendering--you don't want to shortchange yourself.
"Those Who Can't Do, Teach"
So maybe you don't want to sell your cookies, but maybe you can teach someone how to bake. Teaching music lessons would be a good way to go as well. Or perhaps you absolutely love dancing, but are unsure how to monetize it. Teach someone how to dance! Charging for lessons is a great way to monetize your hobby. You're still doing something you love. The best part is that now you're passing on that love to someone else who may in turn pass it on from there. You're continuing the cycle, so to speak.
Again, with any of these things, you should have an online presence. You can provide free pointers on YouTube. You can have some of your dance routines on social media. You can have your bookings for your lessons on your website. Because you'll ultimately enjoy your hobby, you'll be able to make it fun for those you teach.
It almost sounds too easy. Your hobby is something that you enjoy doing, of course, but you have to be mindful not to let the prospect of money kill the joy of your hooby. At that point it stops being a hobby and starts being a job. It will become hard to be motivated. You'll have to allow yourself to think that making money off of your hobby is just another added bonus. If you want to eventually turn it into a business, you will have to be as motivated as you would be with your day job, but you still shouldn't let that kill the joy. Ultimately, if you doesn't work out, you still have something you enjoy doing.