Having a side hustle is very common these days.
You can create your own money-making opportunity by turning a hobby into a business.
Virtually any hobby can be turned into a business.
It’s not just those with creative hobbies, like writers or photographers, who can create a business.
You can teach people how to play a musical instrument.
You can take your love of driving and turn it into a business thanks to Uber.
A love for golf could be turned into a business opportunity.
So think about your hobbies. Think about your passions.
Then think about how you could implement these useful tips to turn your hobby into a business so that you can create the profits you want… or need.
#1. Find a niche where you excel.
Let’s use blogging as an example for this key point.
There are tens of millions of blogs that are published on a regular basis right now.
Most bloggers will barely earn any cash if they try to monetize their blog.
Yet there are some bloggers that can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
Why can some people make tons of cash, but others barely see a dime?
It’s because time was taken to find the right niche.
When you can market the skills of your hobby to a specific sector of customers, you have a natural base of prospects that will be interested in what you provide.
So if you’re knowledgeable about interior design, you would wish to target a specific component of that industry when starting your side hustle.
Instead of talking about interior design in general terms, talk about one specific product or service.
Here’s one option using this example: how to create more useable space for those who take part in the tiny home movement.
Now apply that idea to what you do best.
If you’re a photographer, look at providing a specific service in your community that is not currently provided.
If you’re a baker, provide a product that isn’t offered.
When you find a niche, you automatically limit the competition.
This gives you a better opportunity to start making money right away.
#2. Don’t give up.
The goal of turning a hobby into a business usually takes some time to become a reality.
There are a lucky few who can become immediately and impressively profitable, but for most of us, the process is a slow and steady grind.
You must be persistent with what you do in order to create a profitable business.
This means being a little better every day.
Each action you take is one step closer to achieving your overall goals.
So keep dreaming, but be persistent in taking forward steps to achieving that dream at the same time.
Work on your hobby every day in some way.
Even if it is only for 15 minutes, you will be working toward the establishment of a routine that will let you funnel energy into your hobby.
As you grow more comfortable with what you’re doing, then you can begin to ramp up the amount of time you spend on your hobby.
With more time invested, you can provide yourself with more chances to achieve eventual profitability.
#3. Customers don’t just come to you. Go to your customers.
This is why most side hustles eventually fail.
You cannot create a sale if your potential customers don’t even know that you exist.
Hanging a sign that says you’re open for business isn’t going to provide you with sales or conversions.
Today’s savvy customer wants to know that they are getting the best value possible for their purchase.
Your job is to prove that your passions and skills within your hobby can provide that value.
There are numerous ways you can go to your customers.
If you’re running a local business, then get involved with your Chamber of Commerce.
Be present at farmer’s markets, county fairs, annual festivals, and other events where potential customers will gather.
Hand out samples. Approach people and give them your business card.
Online businesses can take the same approach, but from a digital standpoint.
Send out emails to people you know that might be interested in what you can provide with your hobby.
Start a Facebook page.
Create a specific domain instead of relying on a free blogging platform.
When you make the effort to reach out, your potential customers will begin to evaluate the value proposition you are offering.
#4. Take your feedback seriously.
You need to be really good at what you do in order to turn your hobby into a business.
The results of your work, however, are often tarnished with a personal bias.
It’s my hobby, so I’m obviously great at what I do.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always true.
You might be okay at what you do, but there might be dozens of other people near you that are better.
There’s only one way to determine where your hobby skills actually stand: by soliciting feedback from others and then taking that feedback seriously.
It can be very difficult to hear negative feedback.
Even when it is called “constructive criticism,” being told that you aren’t as good as you thought you were makes for a tough day.
This feedback is information you can apply to your hobby.
Even if it seems hurtful, asking for this feedback will help you to create professional results in your future.
It’s a chance to look at new ideas and incorporate them into your side hustle.
The goal here is to make money.
The goal isn’t to inflate the ego. So take your feedback seriously and set the ego aside.
Consider every remark so that your passion and enthusiasm can be funneled in the correct direction.
#5. Watch out for the over-complication monster.
Maybe you’ve heard of the KISS method of working. It stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
Setting aside the negative self-talk for a second, the fastest way to have your side hustle fail is to decide to “go big or go home.” You need to stick to what you do best.
So if you’re a writer, then write. If you’re a photographer, then take pictures.
Don’t try to mix writing and photography together and hope that something sticks.
If you look at the average freelancer that is on Fiverr right now, you’ll see them offering numerous gigs in multiple categories, hoping to create a sale.
They might get an order here or there, but that’s about it.
The most successful freelancers on Fiverr provide specific services.
Voiceover artists provide that service and nothing else.
SEO writers will provide targeted content and nothing else.
You must also take this approach.
It might seem like a good idea to add more potential services because it seems like that adds value to your hobby, but it actually does the opposite.
When you over-complicate what you do, it creates a monster that limits your chances of profitability.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Stick to what you do best and you’ll see better results.
#6. Find your voice.
Over time, you might find some customers are willing to provide you with some incredible opportunities.
Some of them can be quite tempting, especially if it could help you turn your hobby into something profitable right away.
You must find your voice and then stick to it in order to remain authentic to who you are.
Authenticity may not always offer instant gratification, but it will help you to build a brand and business over time that can be successful in the long run.
If you feel like you’ll need to compromise who you are in order to grab some short-term profits, then that is an opportunity that should be avoided.
When you make that compromise, the amount of joy that you take from your hobby will be much less than if you stay true to yourself.
The authenticity you provide will help others appreciate your side hustle and find value in it over time.
Your hobby needs to be a reflection of you. Your unique perspective is what will ultimately help you to earn profits. So find your voice and then keep talking.
#7. Get yourself structured properly.
You can earn money with a hobby in any situation.
How much of that money you get to keep will depend if you’ve structured your side hustle in the right away.
There are certain rules that must be followed if you’re trying to turn your hobby into a business.
For starters, in the United States, a hobby is classified as a business if it earns a profit in 3 out of the previous 5 years.
The current fiscal year is included in that calculation.
If you don’t file your taxes properly, like taking deductions for expenses that are needed to create the product or service you are offering, then your hobby could show a paper profit when it is actually losing money.
Then, when you are classified as a business, you will be asked to file estimated taxes quarterly.
In some states in the US, any actions that are taken to sell a product or service automatically qualifies you as a business.
Alaska and Washington are particularly stringent about their definition of what constitutes “doing business.”
If you bring in any money or attempt to create a sale, then your local jurisdiction may require you to have a local business license.
This may also require you to collect local sales taxes.
You may also be required to obtain an operator’s license for the city where you live, even if you are trying to run a digital business – like an Etsy or eBay store.
So get your hobby structured properly before you really pursue an opportunity.
That way you won’t find surprise costs waiting for you later on down the road.
#8. Buy insurance.
If you are turning a hobby into a business, then you need to protect yourself.
This is especially true for sole proprietors, who have business and personal income mixed together.
Having an insurance policy that protects your hobby and your current assets is an investment that is definitely worth making.
General liability insurance is a must-have for anyone selling information, a product, or a service right now.
Consider holding a policy that provides at least $250,000 in coverage.
Why is insurance important?
Imagine you are baking cookies and someone with a food allergy purchases one from you.
They’re allergic to peanuts and some peanut dust got into the cookie batter.
Since you probably don’t have an ingredient label on that cookie, the customer assumes it is fine for them to eat it.
Should an allergic reaction occur, the baker could be held responsible for that person’s medical bill.
Without insurance, that could be a hefty price to pay.
So before you start trying to make some profits, speak with your local insurance agent about what coverage will best protect you and your hobby.
How about turning your hobby into a business with a blog?
More and more people each year buy different things online, so why not take advantage of it and start selling your services or products on the Internet?
One of the best platforms for this purpose is your own blog.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to create a blog and then what to do next to monetize it.
Today you can build your own blog with a few clicks in under a minute.
Then you just need to gain the right skills to make money with it.
If you’re just starting out online one of the best places where you can learn to make money with your blog is an educational platform called Wealthy Affiliate.
You’ll find that Wealthy Affiliate is a friendly community for anyone who is trying to create their own side hustle.
You will receive a training on how to monetize your hobby or your passion through blogging.
Best of all, joining the Wealthy Affiliate community is free.
There is also a premium membership that will help your business opportunities grow so you can make some real money online.
Turning a hobby into a profitable business is a challenge.
It can also be the most rewarding experience of your life.