Getting caught in the 9-5 grind leaves many people feeling as though they’ve chosen the wrong career path.
In fact, a recent study reported that 47% of millennials feel as though they should have chosen a different career. If you feel similarly, it's important to note that it is never too late to explore an alternative option.
After all, finding a job you love could not only help you to better your financial situation, but it will also work wonders for your mental health.
Of course, deciding which career path to pursue next can leave you in something of a predicament – whether you’re relying on transferable skills or willing to retrain. In any case, it's best to start by identifying what you enjoy doing (your hobbies) and then finding career or money-making opportunities that relate to this.
Can you make money for your hobbies?
The short answer to this question is yes.
However, it's not as easy as you’d like to believe, especially if you have a niche hobby. Furthermore, as with any job, you need to be willing to put the work in to succeed.
This article will break down some of how you can begin to monetize your hobbies.
What hobbies can be monetized?
A wide range of hobbies can be monetized or turned into careers, even when your main goal is to earn from home. This includes:
- Gaming (Game developer, writer, or professional player)
- Writing (Blogger, copywriter, script editor)
- Content Creation (Youtuber, influencer, reviewer)
- Photography (Event photography, selling stock photos)
- Driving (Rideshare or Uber driver)
How to earn through your hobbies.
Refine your craft.
The first step towards making a hobby profitable is to refine your skills as much as possible. After all, the more practiced you are within your hobby, the easier it will be to turn your passion into a profession. For example, if you want to pursue a career within the poker industry (such as playing professionally or being a dealer), then you should be sure you play as much poker as possible.
Playing free poker online is a great place to start, as it provides you with a low-stakes way to really get to grips with the game. This way, you understand all of the necessary rules and gameplay and can use this to your advantage moving forward.
Consider additional training.
Sometimes, additional training is necessary to land a job that is related to your hobby. For example, if you want to write for a gaming magazine or website, you may want to sign up for some kind of journalism or writing course. This way, you can curate a portfolio of high-quality work that will impress editors and help you find your dream job. However, it's also worthwhile to run your own blog during this time so that you can begin to build a following and learn more about the art of writing through practical experience.
Additional training is also necessary if you’re planning on starting your own business related to your hobby. For example, you may need to learn more about the fundamentals of business management to really hit your stride and ensure that you can earn money through your work. Alternatively, you may want to learn more about customer service and customer relationship management. Either way, the more educated you are, the better!
Once you’ve completed the above steps, it's time to actually monetize your hobby. In some cases, this could launch a business; in others, it could mean that you start selling your products at local craft markets. Either way, you need to start treating your hobby like a business.
This means that you should dedicate a set amount of hours to your hobby each week – generally outside of your current job if you’ve not quit yet. The more time you invest, the easier it will be to grow.
You should also make sure that you follow the proper legal procedures when you begin to earn money through your hobby. For example, you may need to register a business or ensure that this income is reflected in tax payments. Otherwise, you could land yourself in legal trouble further down the line.
Work on your online presence.
Whether you’re trying to become a professional streamer/gamer or sell your artwork, your online presence will play a key role in monetizing your hobby. As such, you should set up a few social media channels and ensure that you update them regularly. You don’t have to spam your followers with multiple posts per day, but you should be posting consistently to keep them in the loop and build an engaged community.
You should also set up a website or blog that you run alongside your social channels – and, if you’re selling a product, an e-commerce page. If you aren’t an experienced coder or have never built a website before, you may want to pay a web developer or designer to do this task for you. This saves you a lot of energy (and confusion) and means that your website will look great and function as desired.
Find as many ways to monetize your hobby as possible.
There’s no singular way to monetize a hobby, and trying out different options will allow you to find the best fit or diversify your income stream. For example, if you’re a keen photographer, you could earn money through:
- Event Photography
- Portrait Photography
- Teaching Photography classes/masterclasses
- Editing photos
- Selling stock photos online
- Selling prints/digital copies of photos
Over time, you may choose to specialize in just one of the options listed above, but it's good to keep your options open when you are first starting out. For example, this could help you to determine which option is the most profitable or which will provide you with the most steady stream of income.
Networking with other professionals within your chosen industry can also come in handy, as they’ll be able to provide you with tailored advice and guidance on how to progress.
Believe in yourself.
Turning your hobby into your career may sound like fun – but you must be aware of the fact that when it becomes your job, you may lose a little of the joy. After all, it stops being something you partake in when you have free time and becomes something you do every day. It could also be relatively stressful to get started, which could sour your opinion slightly.
However, you must believe in yourself and your vision if you’re going to succeed. Putting in the hard work now means that in a few months, you’ll see the rewards. Furthermore, if you are pursuing something that you have a genuine passion for, it will all be worth it in the end.
In short, it's possible to earn money through your hobbies – but that does not mean it's possible to earn money without hard work. No matter your choice of hobby, if you’re turning passion into profit, you’re going to have to work for it.
You should ensure that you spend a certain amount of hours a week working, and while this does allow for flexibility around your schedule, you must be also disciplined.
When things get tough, remember why you decided to switch to this career and use this as motivation to work harder and reach all of your goals. After all, a bad day doing something you love is better than a bad day doing something you hate!