One of the more exciting and satisfying ways we can maintain our sense of purpose after retiring from our day job is by taking our life-long hobbies and interests to a new level. Many of us will have neglected these hobbies, which for some of us will be the things we are most passionate about in our life.
Perhaps we could use the knowledge we have accumulated to create our own web-based business devoted to those interests? What a great life, doing what you love, sharing your knowledge with a worldwide audience and getting paid for it.
Hard to believe? Well, thousands of people are already doing it around the world, using the new, free-of-charge, communication channel – the internet.
It’s amazing what people are making a fortune doing on the internet. Don’t be afraid, just have a go, and even if you don’t make much money you will have some fun spending time and energy doing something you love. But please be prepared to be patient, it will probably take a while, as any new business does; but if you are really passionate and patient, chances are it will happen for you.
Things to Consider Before Deciding to Monetise Your Hobbies
The first things to consider are:
- Do I really want to spend a large proportion of my timeover the coming years doing this?
If this really is your passion and lifelong interest,
the answer to that should be “yes please” or words to that effect. If that’s not your answer, you need to think carefully about why you are planning to do this? Is it about doing something you love doing, or is it because you want to earn additional income and your hobby is the thing you feel most confident that you could turn into a money making business? If it’s mainly about additional income, then you may want to look at other options before going ahead.
- Is this something people will pay money for?
The reality is that if you are passionate about anything, you will almost certainly have knowledge that thousands of people all over the world would be interested in, and many would almost certainly be prepared to pay to get.
So do some research; look for magazines on your hobby – Go to amazon.com/magazines and see how many magazines there are devoted to your niche. That’s a good guide to whether people will pay money to learn about it; the more magazines the better. Also search for associations or Facebook groups.
Go to Google and enter your niche topic – see what comes up. If there’s very little you may need to reconsider the viability of your niche. If there are lots of links and even better, paid ads, then you know it’s something a lot of people will pay money for.
- Study the competition. Don’t be put off if there are a lot if existing competitors; that’s a sign of a healthy niche and if you are confident in your knowledge of your niche you will be able to get a share of the audience. There are a number of ways you can achieve that: Simply be better than you competitors, or narrow your chosen niche down to a more specific one eg, if you chose Exercise there’s huge competition in that niche, so be more specific e.g. Exercise-resistance training – men over 50. Chances are there will be much less competition at that level; but people who fit specifically into that sub-niche are more likely to choose you to follow, as you are talking directly to them.
- Are you considering creating a local business, or a business that will appeal to a much broader online community? That will depend to an extent on the nature of your niche and also what you want to do. If you want to have regular meetings face to face, you are probably going to build a local business, but with modern internet technology, face to face could be achieved in a number of different ways: Skype video calls (free to anywhere in the world), Google hangouts, a very simple way to hold one on one or small group meetings (also free), or use webinars to connect with a larger audience from a wide range of geographical locations.
- Another important consideration is – exactly what do you plan to do in your niche? This could be anything from teaching your customers-one on one, in small groups, or even large groups; either face to face or online, or by selling them training courses, which could be videos, written documents, podcasts (audio), or a combination of all 3. Do you want to sell them physical products? e.g. If your niche was jewellery making, you might want to sell a variety of your own designs, or kits for your followers to build themselves, then resell to them, just the raw materials so they can do their own thing – I am sure you get the idea.
Some real examples that are working
I thought the best way to give you some inspiration and confidence would be to show you some real-life examples of how hobbies can be successfully grown into a viable business. So here are a couple:
1. From the website of Pat Flynn, one of the top internet marketing bloggers, and one of my mentors. This story of how Lain Ehmann created a web-based business all about “Scrapbooking.” P.S. Listen to the podcast interview Pat had with her, it has some really useful ideas.
2. Sydney boat-fanatic Steven Mullie was forging a career in marketing and business management when he gave it all up to pursue a business in boating. See his story from the Sydney Morning Herald
These real success stories may even inspire some of you who are still working to start looking at your options; who knows it may even inspire you to “retire” sooner to pursue your dream. If it do, please be sure to let me know.
If you are serious about turning your passion or hobby into an income generating business, I hope you can now see that the internet has changed everything and given us all an almost infinitely bigger opportunity than we could have even dreamed of 15 years ago, with access to 93 English speaking countries and around 3 Billion people now online.
We are now in the midst of the Internet Revolution, which is completely changing the human life experience, and it is unstoppable. If you want to get the most out of your longer life, I highly recommend you embrace this new technology and find out how you can use it to improve your life experience and income earning opportunities.
You can find out more here
Finally, it is important that you understand there are no magic pills, no quick fortunes to be made. This is about building a high quality business with great products or services that fulfil a need that some people have, and that they are willing to pay someone to provide for them; and it comes with all the responsibilities and administrative functions that any “bricks and mortar” business has.
Once you make your decision to give it a go, remember that like any new business venture it will take time to become profitable and sustainable, so the sooner you start the better, even if you have not retired yet.
But please understand from the outset that whist many people do create a viable business based on their hobby or interest; far more people give up and never make a worthwhile income from it.
Copyright © 2015 designyournewlife.com, a division of DA Web Enterprises Pty Ltd
Resources for further research and information:
Some really good ideas here from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/10/07/six-tips-for-turning-your-hobby-into-your-job/
Amazon Magazines: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/599858
2 Great lists of Hobbies and Interests