During uncertain times when the unemployment rate is rising at unprecedented rates, it’s no wonder that so many Americans are thinking about low-cost ways to generate income for their households. Those that have creative talents are in a unique position because they have a potential to monetize their talents and benefit from the growing number of consumers who are much happier to support local talent and local businesses.
But if you have a hobby, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, here are a few steps you can to get you in the right direction and turn your passion into profit:
Find Your Starting Platform
Fortunately, there are many different platforms you can choose from when it comes to making money from your craft. For example, if you enjoy writing, you can sell it as a craft on freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Or, you could create a blog built around your niche and grow an audience; from here, you can focus on monetizing that blog. Artists that focus on handmade crafts, on the other hand, might use a platform like Etsy.
Outline Your Income Potential
One of the first things you’ll have to think about is the different ways you can earn income from your hobby. In many cases, you’ll find that there are several potential revenue streams. For example, as a photographer, you might sell your art prints on Etsy. But you also might maintain your own website, where you have an area designated for potential clients to hire you personally for custom projects and photo shoots. You might also earn income from YouTube by creating videos that teach others the craft of photography.
Create a Book
Depending on the hobby, you may be able to create a book centered around your craft. For example, as a photographer, you might create a book of photography. Even as a hobbyist that creates handmade products, you can create a visually appealing product catalog (studies have shown that product catalogs are making a major comeback). Either way, having a book to sell or catalog to mail can help you legitimize your hobby and make you feel proud of having something to show for your efforts.
“Your print creation will be a representation of your business, so it’s important to pay close attention to design and detail,” says Soloprinting.com, a commercial printing company in Florida.” Talk to several digital printing providers to take a look at some of their examples to guide you in the right direction. Then start thinking about the marketing steps you should be taking to promote your digital printing efforts.
Build a Website
No matter what type of hobby you have, a website lends an air of legitimacy and professionalism to your business and is a good way to reach new people. Fortunately, you can get a website up and running with very little experience using a platform like WordPress or Wix, both of which offer plenty of pre-made themes for you to take advantage of. Using WordPress also comes with the added benefit of many wonderful open-source plugins that allow you to increase the visibility and functionality of your website.
Keep Your Hobby In Tact
One of the biggest cons of building a business around a hobby is that it can drain the fun and excitement you have towards that hobby—but only if you let it. You’ll have to be honest with yourself at the start. Think about your relationship with your hobby and whether your hobby will still be exciting for you after you start using it as a part time or even full-time job. Doing so can inherently make many of the tasks you used to love to do suddenly turn into stressors.
When you have deadlines to meet and orders to fill, it’s easy to understand how perception can change. Knowing these warning signs early on can help prevent you from experiencing burnout and isolating yourself from a hobby you love. It’s also important to understand that this comes with the territory and often, feeling like you aren’t enjoying your hobby since it became your business is a rite of passage.
Reach Out to Family & Friends
Your family and friends are among the first group of people who are prepared to support your business in any way. Once you decide how you want to pivot your hobby into a full-time business and have created a website, you can start sharing with immediate friends and family, and then share across your social channels and encourage them to do the same.