Human beings love to have fun. I have noticed time and time again that we love to spend money on things we enjoy.
But unfortunately, it seems like the majority of people are stuck “working” a job they don’t particularly care for, and if they could spend all their time doing fun leisurely things instead, they would. In today’s world, we all gotta work. There’s almost no way around that.
But what if we could figure out a way to combine work and leisurely fun? Is it possible to create a consistent income stream doing something you love? Well, it is!
Today I want to share with you an incredibly powerful way to build a successful business around something you truly love doing.
I’ve broken it down into four major steps that you’ll go through in picking great hobbies that you can build a business on.
4 Steps to picking great hobbies that make money
1. Think about what you are truly passionate about
The first thing you need to do is to think about what you are passionate about. Consider what makes you excited to wake up in the morning? What things do you spend a lot of money on because you love doing it? What things that you would normally be paid for would you do for free just because you love it so much?
If you have any great hobbies that tick any of the questions above, that is a potential hobby topic to build a business around.
For me, I love traveling and have spent tens of thousands of dollars traveling around the world. Building a business around being a travel influencer is 100% a fantastic potential idea for me. I also love cooking and writing. Out of all my passions, I decided to go with my hobby of “writing” and built a business around that in the form of a personal blog.
The most important thing to consider when choosing great hobbies ideas is that you truly love it. It will be a lot easier to work on your business and stick with it the going gets tough. And the whole point of this article is to make money from doing something you love.
2. Determine if your hobby ideas can make money
You’ll want to quickly validate if your hobby topic has the potential to make money. This is a very important step because you want to build a business around a subject matter that will build your bank account up.
The great thing about hobbies is that virtually all of them have the potential to make money – but don’t skip this step! The easiest way to figure out if your hobby topic has monetization potential is to see if people are spending money around your topic.
- If your hobby is photography, people spend money on editing software, camera equipment, traveling, and courses on photography.
- Maybe your hobby is dancing, people pay money to learn how to dance, watch performers perform, watch youtube videos and tv shows related to dancing, etc.
- If your hobby is watching the sunset on the beach, it likely will not be a great choice. There is very little money flowing around this hobby idea, which will make it incredibly difficult to turn it into a money making business.
Again, the golden question to ask yourself is: Are people spending money around this hobby idea? The more they are, the more potential for you to profit as well.
Once you have validated your hobby has the potential to make money, you’re ready to move on to the next step which is to see what your potential competitors are doing.
Note: I highly recommend thinking about how you can create a work at home lifestyle or work from a laptop type gig with your hobby. This will give you the most flexibility in building your brand and business in your spare time.
3. Start researching what your competitors are already doing
Your competitors are people who are already in the industry of your hobby of choice, and are already “doing it.”
You’ll want to pay special attention to those who are already making money. They are the successful ones and the people whom you’ll most likely be competing with later on.
The main reason you need to pay close attention to them is two-fold:
- You want to figure out what they are doing to make money
- You want to figure out how you can fit in and make money (by being different or filling a gap)
Let’s use the example of photography again:
You’re a veteran of photography in your spare time, but you want to turn it into a business.
You research what other landscape photographers are doing and find out that many of them make their money selling prints and teaching workshops. But you also learn that very few offer online courses on landscape photography.
Ah ha! That’s potentially where you could “fill the gap” and be different. And this leads right to the next step.
4. Think about how you can build a business around your hobby idea
When you research what other people are already doing to make money, you learn what is currently working, but just as important, you learn what “gaps” exist in the market place.
These gaps are important because they are potential areas you could fill and profit from. The last thing you want to do is jump into a saturated market and do “what everyone else is doing.” The chances of you succeeding will be very low because the competition is already high and you’re just going to be like all the other eggs in the basket.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s very important to stand out from the crowd. You do this by offering something “new” or offer something very few people, if anyone, can offer. In the marketing world, this is called a “unique selling proposition” (which means “what makes you unique?”)
For example, if you were Tiger Wood’s caddie, and you wrote an ebook about what you learned about golfing from being Tigers caddie for five years, that is something unique that no one else can offer, and it could *potentially* sell very well. Golfers are incredibly passionate about their hobby, and may very well pay you for your unique insights.
Figuring out where you “fit in” goes hand in hand with what you will be creating/offering to make money. In the golfing example above, the product is an ebook. And in the landscape photographer example, the product is an online course.
I highly recommend creating a product/service that you can promote and sell online. The startup costs are much lower than setting up a physical store, and you can reach a much larger audience online. This works for most hobbies.
How you promote your hobby business is tied into what type of business you’ve created
There are many places to promote your products via free and paid methods. The best thing to do is to figure out where your potential audience spends most of their time.
Social media is an incredibly vital place to let everyone know about your business. Facebook and Instagram are the two most popular networks. Virtually everyone is on one or both of them. Other places to promote your business is on your website using content marketing or blogging as the main driver of traffic. Where you promote your business and how you promote it will be very dependent on where your audience “hangs out.” Your blog can also be used in many other ways to make money.
At the same time, how you build your business will be determined by who your audience is. If you’re someone who wants to teach online courses on photography, then a blog about photography makes sense. Your blog posts on photography will attract people to your website, and you can expose your courses to them as they get to know you.
If your passion is to help seniors get in shape, a blog about may not be the best choice. You may want to explore renting space in a gym to teach your classes and advertise your business by going to places where seniors “hang out”. But at the same time, creating DVD courses where seniors can get in better shape from home could also be the right move. Again, how you build your business will be determined by filling gaps in the marketplace.
With that said, there is a lot of thought and work that goes into building a business. You’ve probably heard the advice of “just get started today” – and I couldn’t agree more. Your journey began with this article. Keep it rolling!
Jason is a blogger at minthabits.com where he talks mostly about personal finance and blogging! You can see more of his writing and teachings on his blog if you want to learn more about him.