We all have hobbies, but few of us are lucky enough to be able to earn a living doing the thing that we love.
Nonetheless, it is more than possible to turn your hobby into a viable business. Doing this is a great idea, for a number of reasons. You are likely already spending significant amounts of time on your hobby, and so you might as well make a bit of extra cash whilst doing it. In the best case scenario, of course, it is possible to make a lot more than that.
For most people, turning their hobby into a business doesn’t seem like a viable option, simply because they don’t realize the skills and expertise that they have built up over the years. A lot of articles will tell you about how to market your business online, or how to do your accounts, but my aim here is a bit different—I’m going to try and convince you that you already have all the skills you need to turn your hobby into a business!
To do so, however, you need to keep in mind four important things:
Realize That You Already Have Skills
If you’ve been involved in your hobby—any hobby—for a few years, it’s likely that you’ve already built up an impressive bank of skills and knowledge. You may not even realize this until you think back to the early days of your hobby, and think about how much you’ve learnt since then. If you are taking your hobby seriously, you also already probably have a good understanding of the business environment that surround it, which is a great start.
Just have a look at outdoormoviehq.com. This site was started by a guy who liked nothing more than watching movies outside with his family. After a few years of finding the perfect set-up, and building outdoor cinemas for his friends, he suddenly realized that many more people might appreciate his skills. The site has now grown into something of an empire, and has become the go-to resource for people who want to set up their own cinema.
Use Your Community
If you’ve been into your hobby for a while, you probably know a ton of people who are into the same thing. These people could be your neighbors, of course, but even knowing people online can be a huge advantage when turning your hobby into a business. No one knows everything about their hobby, and by drawing on the expertise of your community—who, in general, will be happy to help you—you can quickly build a large, successful business.
A good example here is Gun News Daily. This is a site that allows users to review hunting products, and also carries a lot of related news. Critically, the owner of the site realized that by drawing on the large and enthusiastic community of hunting enthusiasts, he could significantly improve the reach of the site. Each review involves talking to plenty of people who are serious about their firearms, and by using their knowledge the site has grown into a successful business.
Find a Niche
A very important factor when turning your hobby into a business is to decide precisely which niche you are going to cover. To do this, you need to sit down and seriously think about where your skills lie. As an example, plenty of people are into fishing, and starting a business based on just “fishing” is going to be difficult due to the large amounts of competition. However, it might be that you have loads of experience fishing for say, carp in the mountains. Now you’re talking.
A good example of finding a niche is Corpina.com. This is a business started by a former neuroscience student who got interested in brain chemistry and nootropics. This might sound like a pretty niche hobby, and it is! However, no matter how specific your hobby seems, you can rest assured that there are plenty of people like you out there, and that the internet will allow you to connect with them pretty easily.
Of course, the hardest part of turning your hobby into a business is the courage required to take that first step. It may seem like a big and scary process to start on, but nowadays it is possible to start a very small business and build up from there.
And don’t be worried that turning your hobby into a business will wreck it for you. Trust me, as someone who has done this, your passion for your hobby will only increase once you are making money from it.
Author: Sia Mohajer is the founder of Online Resume Builders and the founder of several online business ventures.