January is National Hobby Month, and rightfully so. It’s a brand new year and people are ready to learn and try new things, change their habits, and finally start that side hustle to make some extra money.
What is that side hustle going to be? You might try to extend your knowledge of marketing or coding into a freelance position. It’s possible you take extended hours or pick up a second job in a different position. Or maybe you decide the hobby you’ve always loved to do on the side can actually be a profitable one.
Turning your hobby into some extra money is appealing to many, and it doesn’t have to be your entire livelihood, but maybe you can put that hobby to use and get some extra income along the way.
Teach others about your craft
Most of us are writers, and there’s a million new writers out there who are looking to learn from the best. If you have the expertise and skill, think about creating it into a course, ebook, or teach it live once a month or so. This can be developed with any hobby you choose. Think about the best way you can teach your hobby and create a system for getting that information out.
Write about your craft
If you aren’t exactly an expert on your hobby, or haven’t put in the time, create a blog around your craft. Study other people who participate in that hobby and continue to learn out loud. Share your story. The longer you can work on your hobby and build a following, the more people you have that might be interested in your products later. You can also monetize your blog.
Monetize your hobby blog
With a following, you can get support from affiliate links or serve ads on your page. Money from ads and affiliate links aren’t a huge chunk of money, but it is something. You can also consider sponsored content where others pay you to write or promote an item. And the bigger your audience grows, the better chance you have of converting.
Sell what you make
Some hobbies create tangible products you can sell. Think about listing them on Etsy, market on Pinterest, create ebooks or books to sell on Amazon, or create a website where you can collect payments for items. There are a lot of sites where you can set up a store and sell your product.
Find sustainable ways to continue your hobby
I get it. Supplies are expensive. I started crocheting a blanket and $60 of yarn later, I can cover 2/3 of my six foot body. Maybe instead of going to a big store, you can buy your yarn from a local seller or thrift shop for cheaper. If you like designing clothes, see what you can make by going to a Goodwill to pick out your items. Think of ways you can save money or time so you can put that to use elsewhere.
Create a tiered subscription system
If you have a lot to offer, consider adopting a tiered subscription system. Not only can you have consistent money coming in, you can provide people with what they want at a level they are willing to pay.
Patreon is great for creatives who think in terms of subscription. At one level, individuals pay for access to exclusive content. At the next, they get that content plus access to a podcast. At the last level, they get all that plus another article and maybe a personalized item once a year. It varies, so structure it toward your hobby.
Freelance your hobby
Not all hobbies are conducive for freelancing, but in the writing community, we know there are many opportunities to sell your skills. People will pay for your skills. Marketers and coders do this, writers do this, creatives do this… get paid commission for your work. And don’t sell yourself short here. There are people out there who will water down the market by freelancing for next to nothing. Know your skills and make sure you get paid fairly for your abilities.
Think about the next steps for your hobby if you’re interested in turning it into something more. A little cash here and there is good for date nights, little gifts, and could eventually turn into big moments. You don’t have to turn a hobby into a job, but you might be interested in building the framework for a successful business from it. Think about how you want to build your hobby.