Making Money With Your Hobbies
Making money with your hobbies. Doesn’t that sound fun? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE talking about heart passions!
Heart passions are those things you love to do. You’d do them even if you didn’t get paid. It’s those things you do that makes life so darn fun and you can’t wait to spend time doing them!
It’s my true belief that God created each of us with gifts, talents to use not only for our own enjoyment, but to enrich and bless the lives of others.
Having said that, I haven’t seen very many men and women thinking outside the box for ways to use their hobbies and interests to make extra money.
In fact, sadly enough, I found that most have long put away their hobbies because they’ve been replaced by TV, simply forgotten about, too expensive or they say they don’t have time. We all find time to do the things that we REALLY want to do.
I’d love to stir something up inside of you that gets your brain popping ideas. I hope to inspire and compel you to get back to your hobbies for not only the sheer pleasures they provide you, but to pad your pocket book as well. Enjoying your hobbies should help you relax, get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday stuff and put a skip back in your step.
Maybe you’ve just never stopped to think about ways you can take your hobby and make money either to support your hobby costs (yes, hobbies cost money) or to pad your pocketbook.
Making money with your hobbies are not as difficult as you may think. I’ve been making money in my hobby industry for years and I’m going to share with you exactly what I’ve done and continue to do to perhaps give you ideas.
Making Money With Your Hobbies – My Case Study
I’m going to share with you what my passion has been since I was 11 years old and use myself as a case study. This way it gives you real life examples of ways to generate income from a hobby and interest.
Like you perhaps, I grew up being trained for a specific job and it never crossed my mind to pursue that which I loved to do at home everyday to earn money; my hobby of scrapbooking. I’ll explain what that is in a moment.
Here’s the point I want to make. I assumed because it was a hobby, that it was well….. just a hobby. I assumed people pursued their hobby outside of their job and the two never crossed.
Therefore, I left my scrapbooking supplies sprawled all over my work area at home, to go to engage in my career. I worked as a legal secretary for years then pursued a real estate practice, both of which were very successful.
At the end of the day, I would get back to my hobby of scrapbooking and wish I could spend more time doing that.
While I was able to fully engage in my hobby financially, I found that some of my friends were always cutting back and denying themselves some of the delicious embellishments that enhance an album, or they would buy the cheaper album rather than the lifetime heirloom quality album because they were pricey.
It’s nothing to spend $15+ per page (not including film and developing) and my albums contained about 40 pages. I have dozens of scrapbooks because I’ve made volumes for each of my children documenting their lives up through high school graduation.
Okay, some of you are wondering…. what the heck is scrapbooking? I’m always amazed when people tell me they have never heard of that, so let me explain real quick in a nutshell.
People take pictures, they collect memorabilia like concert ticket stubs and programs, vacation brochures and postcards, and it all goes in a junk drawer or a shoebox under the bed, never to be preserved or shared with anyone. Can you relate?
Where’s your pictures and old concert tickets? What would it have meant to you to have your parents document their lives though stories, pictures, and preserved love notes and cards. Perhaps they’ve managed to preserve their old school records, military records and even their wedding invitation. Pretty cool, huh?
How would you feel if you had your life documented… you have all your school days pictures, samples of your school work, report cards and notes from teachers, special work you did that you were proud of, sports and scholar awards, newspapers clippings, football schedules and pictures at events, hanging out with your friends, your first car, your first job, etc.
How about a birthday album with pictures, the invitation and cards from every birthday through the years?
Or a sports album documenting your sports activities?
Or a Christmas album with all your Christmases growing up?
You get the idea.
Until you’re the recipient of such a one of kind love gift, it’s very difficult to imagine the impact and how much it means.
Scrapbooking is taking all that “stuff”, organizing the pictures and matching them up with the related memorabilia, journaling stories, documenting dates, names and places and preserving it all in archival heirloom albums. These albums are passed down from generation to generation.
I’ve been making my own family albums since I was 11. My children all have their own albums I made for them. Most people don’t give a thought to any of this until a parent dies, then they would have given anything to be handed an album like the ones I’ve described belonging to their parents or grandparents. Rather, they find old photos in a shoebox and nobody knows who anyone is.
Below are some snapshots I took of a couple of scrapbook pages from my kids’ albums to give you an idea.
Here’s a layout where I documented samples of my daughter’s 6th grade home school projects.
Below is another layout when she visited Santa “back in the day”
And here’s a one page layout of my sons and best friend
Here’s another layout documenting our day trip to The Biltmore Estate.
As an adult, I found myself drooling over all the archival papers, stickers, die cuts, fabrics and ribbons, metals, buttons and brads, and literally thousands of embellishments from which to choose from to enhance a page in your scrapbook.
Making Money With Your Hobbies
I was simply having fun in my hobby industry and ended up making money.
I gained national recognition and many doors for opportunity opened.
I will share my experience with you about your hobby so to give you ideas.
Making money with your hobbies will gives you a great reason to pull out those old tools, paints, sewing boxes, garden gloves or whatever the “tools of your hobbies” are and dust them off. It’s time to have fun again, yes?
Getting Started: Take Inventory of Your God Given Gifts, Talents and Hobbies
- So what are your hobbies?
- What would you enjoy spending hours doing? You know, the kind of hours where you look up at the clock and three hours have gone by, yet it felt like one?
- If money were not an option, what would you get up everyday and do in the field of hobbies?
- What do you do that comes naturally or you have developed through the years because you love it?
Make a list of all the things you LOVE DOING and are good at.
Everyone is good at something. Everyone has value to contribute to the lives of others.
Note: If you don’t have a hobby but have a great vast of knowledge in something you’re very interested in, these same concepts will apply. For example, parenting. Perhaps you’re figured out how to balance life while raising children. Don’t you think your knowledge and expertise will benefit other parents who are struggling with that? So, keep that door to ideas open.
Being able to make money in your hobby industry is multifaceted in terms of what you will offer and how far your reach will be. You may choose to pursue one or all of your ideas.
Regardless of what road you choose, you want to position yourself as an expert in your hobby or interest field. Here’s ways you can prove yourself and put your best foot forward. It starts with building trust and developing a relationship, just like any other business model.
Gain National Attention and Respect and Get a Name for Yourself as an Expert in your Hobby Industry
Buy a trade magazine for your hobby or interest. Read them and see what the discussions are, what contributions they are looking for or what problems and solutions they are solving.
If you feel you can contribute and have something to say, begin submitting articles, reviews, products use ideas or other correspondence to the publisher and let them know you are available for interviews or other contributions to their publications.
Send them a bio of your passion and knowledge expertise for the hobby (or interest) and ask them to keep your contact information on file should they wish to interview you. Let them hear from you over and over. Being persistent can be helpful.
Write to your hobby industry suppliers and include photos of finished projects using their materials, and tell them you’ll be glad to take any new product they have, create and design and send the finished project or photos of same to them for publication and idea pamphlets along with a positive review on their materials and supplies in exchange for the materials. That may be a good way to get your foot in the door.
I receive tons of free product from designing. Manufacturers love to send me samples to create with. And as a ‘thank you”, they send me gobs and gobs of stuff. I can take this and use it for my own books, to create and sell or donate as I wish (I often do so to foster children).
My Own Case Study:
Here’s where it all started.
I’m simply loving mixing and matching colors, textures and embellishments and thought it would just be a blast to share with others my ideas and designs. Money was nowhere on my mind. The prizes were mostly a basket of more supplies and product. So out of shear fun, I submitted design ideas and entered page contests that I saw advertised in industry magazines.
Well, my world was about to change.
Doing those activities lead to recognition of my work and opened the following doors and opportunities:
- Invited to be a designer for the most prestigious scrapbook manufacturer at the time, K&Company.
- Invited to attend national industry trade shows doing “make and takes” and demonstrating alternative uses for the scrapbook materials.
Doing those activities lead to my work being featured …
- On the cover of QVC’s schedule as well as on the show as an example of what to do with the materials.
- On Target Store product packaging.
- On in-store billboards such as Michael’s Crafts and everywhere the products were sold.
Doing those activities lead to…
- Being published in an exclusive hardcover scrapbook design book
- Having my scrapbook layouts and design work featured in many, many idea pamphlets.
Gain Local Attention Through Interacting with your Community
I make most of my money doing this. Pursuing ideas within your community can be very rewarding. Here are some ideas to kick around.
- Teach classes or workshops at your community college and at any store who carries your hobby supplies/materials and who offer these opportunities. If you can’t find any, host your own. Check with your library to see if you can use a room there.
- Contact your local newspapers, radio and TV stations via written letter and let them know your area of expertise. Tell them if they ever need an expert on the subject of (fill in the blank with your hobby), you’re available. Let them know you don’t charge for your time and expertise for the interview. Include a couple of paragraphs revealing what you know about the subject and how they can contact you. They do keep these on file by the way! Update it every 6 months or so, just to stay fresh on their minds. And yes, I said not charging for your time and knowledge for this purpose. Free exposure for to gain name and expert recognition is priceless. And it’s a win-win situation. Newspaper, magazine, radio and TV advertising can be expensive. They are doing you a favor by giving you exposure for free and you’re helping them by giving them content.
- Participate in craft and hobby shows.
- Volunteer to help kids who want to learn what you know.
- Run ads in papers for personal assistance, mentoring and coaching on how to improve the skills of those who want to learn more about your hobby. Charge for your time.
- Take orders and sell your finished hobby product if applicable.
My Own Case Study:
- I began teaching classes for the local scrapbook store.
- I did store sample designs for them to sell the product.
- I offered my own page designs for sale
- I offered special classes for foster parents and social workers to learn how to make lifebooks (scrapbooks) for children in foster care. (Why did I pick the foster parent and social worker niche? Because I was a foster parent for 13+ years and every child who came into my home left with a book I did for them. I saw the difference it made in their lives. Yes, fostering is another passion of mine)
Doing these activities lead to…
- Filling a need of offering custom design scrapbooks
- I was asked to be the spokesperson for the local scrapbook store for their TV commercials
- Being asked by other scrapbook stores to do their design work
- Teach classes for other stores (all travel expenses paid by the way)
- Writing a book and hands-on live training for foster parents and social workers which I took to the state and national levels.
Doing these activities lead to…
- Being asked to teach at scrapbook retreats and conventions
- Being invited as a guest on various craft TV shows
- Legislation in Kentucky that now mandates every child in foster care have a lifebook and training on the same.
Take your Expertise Online for the World to Enjoy
Here are some getting started steps utilizing the online world for your hobby income.
- Establish a blog about your hobby. Set one up yourself or outsource it.
- Create a free report or video, something, that would be of value in which you can give away on your blog to encourage people to “opt in” to your mailing list.
- You want to begin to build a list of people in your hobby industry that you can interact with and offer your products and services. Get your autoresponder here. This is where your list of names and emails will be safe and secure and where you can communicate through email with them.
- Create products and offer them for sale. This may be info products, design ideas, finished products, coaching or mentoring for those still learning, books, videos, audios, PDF’s or whatever else you can think of.
- Offer affiliate products in your hobby industry (check with Clickbank, Shareasale and others. Additionally, oftentimes stores that offer supplies for your hobby will have an affiliate program. Look at the bottom of their websites or contact them and inquire. Do a search on Google for “affiliate programs for (name your hobby)” and see if anything comes up.
- Join online forums in your hobby industry. Contribute and be helpful. The same attraction marketing you use in your network marketing business is the same attraction marketing you will use in your hobby business.
Start marketing to let others know you’re “in business” and to connect with you, build relationships and new friendships. Venues for marketing are the same for any other business. You can utilize paid or free methods of lead generation. Certainly I would incorporate videos and Facebook marketing.
So to wrap this up, what started out for me as just goofing off for fun, turned into the quick discovery that people would pay for my information and my ideas. This can happen for you too.
Overall, my streams of income just from this one hobby, comes from
- Selling my products
- Speaking and training
My resume’ continues to grow which continues to open up other opportunities. I pick and choose how many hours I want to design for others and therefore I choose my income. By this time next year, I will have more products being sold on automation through leveraged technology and that will just sweeten the deal.
TRANSITIONING HOBBY TO OTHER HOME BUSINESS STREAMS OF INCOME
Funding your Hobby with your Network Marketing Business
Most of my subscribers and visitors to my blog, have a network marketing background. So, let’s get VERY REAL HERE.
I don’t believe for a second that anyone gets up in the morning and does a dance to the tune of, “Oh Goodie, Goodie, Gumdrops, I get to sell a travel package today!” Or “I get to sell vitamins, lotions and potions today!” Or, “I get to sell xyz products today!”
We build our network marketing businesses because of the RESULT of what it brings. Our network marketing businesses provide the time and money that allow the full engagement of our hobbies, family activities and financial freedom we all want.
I have found a way to tie in my hobby of scrapbooking to my network marketing business and you can do the same in terms of just allowing your network marketing to bridge the gap to your passion. Allow it to give you the funds and time freedom to play in your hobby industry.
It’s even more terrific if you can be passionate about what your offering through your network marketing business.
For example, I happen to love travel and therefore I was extremely attracted to one of my direct sales products which is a lifetime travel club membership. Visit my travel club blog here.
If you’re a health nut, you may be attracted to a wellness network marketing company. It’s likely your hobbies and interests are in working out, sports, healthy lifestyle and these are the blogs you can set up for yourself. Help people get started with their good eating habits and exercise programs. Market affiliate products like blenders and sports equipment and tie it in to your network marketing company with your vitamins, shakes, or whatever.
Here’s an article I wrote you’ll want to read: Make Money Blogging Using Built In Products
Are you getting the bigger picture? I hope so!
I hope I’ve inspired you to see a much bigger platform for you to not only grow your network marketing business, but tie that into your hobbies and interests and have more fun in life.
- Create more streams of income
- Role model and teach your children how to capitalize in their hobbies and interests and help them to stay out of the box of only making money with a job.
Here are a few more scrapbook layouts from my albums. I love sharing. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post.
Thanks for reading and keep me posted on what you’re doing. I’d really love to hear from you!
I’m cheering you on my friend!
Have an awesome hobby doing – making money day!
PS: Leave me a comment if you found value and enjoyed the ideas I’ve shared. Retweet and Send to your Facebook friends 🙂 I really appreciate it!
PPS: Not interested in making money with your hobbies? Click here to see what I’m doing in the home based business arena outside of my hobby industry.