Guest post contributed by Victoria Lim
Today all we need is the Internet and we are connected to the rest of the world. That’s one of the things that make this digital era great – the possibility to exchange experiences and opinions. So, there’s no better time than now to start sharing your hobbies and interests, and even make some money out of it… or a lot. As with every business, this one also requires planning and strategizing but this time you’re not only your own boss but your most trustworthy employee. If you’re up for the challenge to turn something you love into a monetary venture and valuable experience, follow these tips.
1. Give it a good thought
We all have more than one interest, and some talents we are not aware of that much. Finding your true talent, the one that will turn you into a viral success, is not that hard. Selling it to your audience is a challenge though, but not an unreachable goal. Spend some time researching your ideas, and see how your hobby is already present on the Internet and what you can contribute to distinguish yourself from others and how you can turn it into the desired product.
2. Choose a hobby
If you’re good at makeup you can start YouTube tutorials. It’s true that there are quite a few of them out there, but find something that will make you different. Make your own eyeshadow brush, or start a new style, or show the best way to hide imperfections or use only cheap products. Whatever you do, you must have that one thing that either separates you from the others or you do it better than they do. The more you’re into your hobby, the more believable you’ll be.
3. Channel your interests
Finding the appropriate media to present yourself and your business may seem easy, but actually it requires a lot of thought and patience. The first and most common mistake is that people tend to go overboard and choose all, thinking that will bring them faster success and a greater audience. But it doesn’t work that way. Choose the media that can provide the best presentation of your hobby. For example, if you love to travel, you should try Instagram because it is picture- and short video-oriented. When it comes to travel, the visual aspects are the most important and you’ll want to emphasize that.
Also, if you’re a decent writer you might think about blogging since besides pictures and videos you can write about your personal experiences through reviews and advice for your audience.
4. Create your identity and brand
Every product should be recognizable and unique in some way. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling something tangible or are an honest reviewer and adventurer – you yourself are also a brand. Even if you use your real name, you should separate the private and business self from one another. As an entrepreneur and someone who’s turning your hobby into a product, you should start thinking as a professional and business owner, meaning that now you do the things you love not just for personal satisfaction but also to satisfy your clients.
5. Monetise your hobby
Dedication and love for your hobby is financially immeasurable, but the resources we invest in it are what lie at the core of it. Think about what you could offer your audience, and how that can bring you gain. For instance, if you love hiking and camping, you can write reviews in exchange for hiking gear from the companies specialised in making and selling them. Or, if you’re good at sewing and designing dresses, you can start making your own clothing line and selling it.
Both of these examples are the basic ways one can earn money or further finance their hobby, and once you start the research you’ll see that there are a plethora of ideas there ranging from the simple to the most inventive ones. Whichever the case might be, you should concentrate on what aspect of your hobby is the one most suitable to be monetised.
6. Technical and valuable details
This part is usually the one that gives us a headache, but without it it’s practically pointless to try and run an Internet-based business. Tasks such as search engine optimisation or SEO for short is one of the most important features for your blog or website since it will help you reach not only your target audience and clients but also those who will become that when they see your offer.
If you’re not good with technical details regarding web development, design, programming and the like, you should hire professionals to do it for you. It may be an expense, but consider it a good investment, since it will be cost-effective in the long run.
Starting your own business from a hobby is a challenge and can test your nerves to extremes. But the benefits can be numerous and fruitful if you give it time and patience, and above all your creativity, enthusiasm and persistence. So, don’t think about what you can do for your hobby, but what your hobby can do for you and go for it.