Have you ever thought of turning your hobby into an income stream? We are going to explore the topic of making extra money by starting a side gig this week. If you are not familiar with what a side gig is, it’s basically something you do outside of your full time job to earn extra money. This usually happens in the form of a hobby or something that you love doing and end up getting paid for it. This one really gets me excited because there is so much possibility here, some you’ve probably never even thought of!
Today is part 7 of the 10 part money making series. I love talking about the topic of making extra money with people and brainstorming ways this can be done. Oftentimes, making at least a little extra money is quite simple to do but for some reason does not come easy for people. Let’s change that!
The point of this series is to help you take small & incremental steps to start earning extra income. Earning extra income can come in many ways (some you might not expect) & some may surprise you! It can be hard to think outside of the box in your own situation, so that is where I come in. I’m doing this 10 part series on making extra money to help you think outside the box and bring some extra money in.
Once you do that, you’ll be able to use the extra money to build up your emergency fund, pay down debt, give back more or take a vacation (or anything else that excites you). So let’s have fun with this and work together to come up with ideas to make extra money! Let’s get started!
How I Turned My Hobby Into An Income Stream (in more than one way)
I want to start off by telling you a little about my story (I won’t go into all the details, you can read my about me page if you want to know more) and how this blog got started. 10 years ago I had been laid off 3 times and fired once over a two year period. In short, that time in my life sucked. However, I learned many valuable lessons (and also started this blog).
I had no idea what I was doing when I got started as a blogger. I actually did not even like writing back then. But I knew I had a lot to say & saw blogging as a way to get my message out. I do not have an IT degree (my undergrad degree is in Agriculture!) nor any formal training. However, what I did have was a lot of curiosity and quite a bit of time on my hands (since I was laid off/fired) so I dove in.
I would spend hours upon hours messing around with code on this website to see what would happen. Blogging wasn’t what it is today back then and there wasn’t a ton of blogs out there (especially not for single women which is why I started this site!). I got even more curious and I spent even more time on it and had so much fun doing it. It was like a big puzzle or mystery to me and I enjoyed fitting it all together. I read other blogs, learned more things and failed and succeeded at many things. All the while, I still really enjoyed “playing” with my blog (and I still do 10 years later).
So why am I telling you this? Because this natural curiosity I had about this blog is what lead me to a 7 year career as an IT consultant with no formal IT training or IT degree. That just tips the iceberg of things I’ve done as a result of my blog hobby. Here are some of the cool things I’ve done:
- I hosted a podcast for about a year called The Smart Girl’s Guide to Life & Money on iTunes
- I had a pilot for a reality TV show submitted
- I created a Budget Bootcamp & a few ebooks
- In addition to this blog, I’m also a career & lifestyle design coach (all while working a full time job!)
- I’ve been featured on numerous blogs, podcasts and around the internet over the past 10 years since I started my blog
I know there’s a lot more things that I’ve done over the past 10 years that I’m forgetting, but in addition to having my my source of income come from what I learned about this blog, I’ve also been able to make extra money from this site through various sponsorships, product sales, affiliate income & my coaching program.
How’s that for amazing? I took a hobby, learned some skills and used those skills to get a six -figure job! In addition, I also earn more money from the hobby, which is this website you are reading. The reason I’m telling you all of this is because you can do it to.
Do you have a hobby or something you enjoy doing outside your normal job? If you do and your not already getting paid from it, let’s change that! You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can make money from my hobby.” But let’s dream here and not limit ourselves. I can tell you that when I started 10 years ago, I never would have dreamed I would end up where I am today. And guess what, that’s part of the fun!
I just kept chasing what I enjoyed doing and what is fun for me! I love doing it so much, I couldn’t quit if I tried (and trust me I’ve tried over the years).
Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing that you actually choose to do when you have free time. What could possibly be better than that?
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How You Can Do It Too
You might not be able to fully replace your regular job right away with your side gig, and you might not even want to. And that’s ok! However, you could earn a few hundred dollars a month or more for something you would be doing anyway. And that can make a big difference.
The two basic routes to making money from your hobby are:
- Teach – You may be surprised to learn that what comes easy for you doesn’t come easy for everyone else. Someone out there would like to learn what you know in the simplest way possible. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you have to be one of the world’s top ten leading experts on something in order to make money at it. Nothing can be further from the truth! If you know more about something than anyone on your street, you can certainly make money teaching others. I’m creating a product right now that I’ll be launching end of December or early January 2017. I’ll be using the platform Teachable to deliver my content. It’s so easy to use and teaching is a great way to make extra money from your hobby. Some other ways to teach include:
- Giving seminars (online or in person) & charge for them
- One-on-one or small group coaching (which is what I do and love it!)
- Setting up a website that provides educational information and sells related products and services, sponsorships & affiliate links.
- Sell a product or your services – If teaching doesn’t appeal to you right now, think about what product or service you could offer to other people. One of the best questions you can ask when thinking about this is “What is one thing every person in the world needs?”. Or maybe you narrow it down based on your hobby “What is one thing every (insert person who does your hobby) needs?” It’s a great way to zero in & have some fun getting creative. Here are some other ideas to get you started:
- Sell articles related to your hobby as a freelance writer or author
- If you love animals, you could sell your services as a dog sitter
- If you create unique jewelry, you could create and sell your own jewelry line
- Writing and selling a book or e-book. You can sell through your own blog, Amazon or use Create Space to self-publish your own book
- Do you love to travel? Take lots of pictures and write about your adventures. Travel magazines and websites are always looking for good content. You could also start your own travel website.
- Bonus: Some combination of 1 & 2 – This is actually what ended up happening to me. I make extra money from coaching as well as selling products and services. Just like my career & this blog, you might be surprised at where your side gig will take you.
- Side note: Remember how I said I didn’t even like writing when I started my blog? Well I’ve kept at it and over the years I’ve gotten better at it. I’ve also been able to write extremely technical documentation as a Consultant because of the time I spent improving myself with my writing. How cool is that?!
Now It’s Your Turn
What will it be for you? What do you love to do that you just can’t help yourself from doing it because you love it so much? If you are not sure, take some time to think about what you enjoy doing. Don’t get hung up on the money or getting paid for it, just move towards what you enjoy and what is fun for you.
The hardest part of getting started for most people is marketing; you must market yourself and your business to get clients or customers. So be bold. Tell your neighbors and family members about your plans. Post on Facebook, make a website & talk to people about what you do. People have to know you’re out there so they can hire you or purchase from you and word travels fast when you are excited and enthusiastic about what you are doing!
Start today by making a list of all the ways you could possibly make extra money by starting a side gig. I’d love to hear what you come up with and what you are going to do to get started. Leave a comment below or post on my Facebook page so we can all share in the excitement!