6 Simple Steps To Turning Your Hobby Into 5 Figure Income
Anyone can do it. Most people don’t want to because they are worried what other people will think. I’m a book nerd, I love books, I re-bind books, I collect first editions, and I go to estate sales hunting for them. Most people don’t like being called a nerd. In 2016, not only did I make 5 figures off buying and selling books. I made 5 figures from ONE book alone! Most people would say I got lucky, and they’re wrong. Knowing your hobby and turning into a profitable side income takes knowledge and hustle. Here’s how to turn your hobby into money.
1. Know What You’re Doing
The fastest way to burn out and hate the hobby you love is by trying to making money from it when you don’t know what you’re doing. Spending enough time to know what you are looking for is critical. When selling your art make sure people want to buy the style you are into. Making mid-century modern abstract neo-classical with a tribute to impressionism may sound cool to say but it is undoubtedly a small market. Make sure what you are looking for is worth something to others WHEN you’re trying to monetize it.
I collect a lot of books. Many are valuable and many are not. Some are written on vellum, some on cheap paper. Some are worth tens of thousands of dollars some are priceless, to me and me alone. My favorite book from 3rd grade isn’t exactly a best seller. But if you want a signed first edition of Redwall I’ve got it. I know that and don’t go around trying to sell something for more than its market value. You can still do what you love while making money from it.
2. Find Your Market
Finding your make is the hardest and the easiest part of monetizing your hobby. Where do you start? Fortunately for us, millennials know how to properly use the internet. Looking online is a great a way to find WHO is buying your product. Music, art, books, jewelry whatever it is. Now that you’ve found who is buying your hobby, start local. You wouldn’t believe what they sell at farmer’s markets. Unless you’ve been, then you know that they sell more than fresh produce. An acquaintance of mine makes $30,000 a year selling naturally scented candles. CANDLES! Farmer’s markets, conventions, or specific fairs for your hobby are a great way to branch out and learn more about your hobby. Finding and meeting people who are also in the business is a great way to get connected and pointed in the right direction.
3. Talk To Those Who Know Your Hobby
When I first started collecting books “seriously” I talked to every single person who worked at every bookstore I went to. They all had interesting tid bits about books I didn’t know. I have yet to run into someone who works at a bookstore that didn’t love books. Start going to art galleries if you’re into art and see whats being bought. After about 6 months of meeting new people and calling and reaching out. I’ve talked to 6 out of the top 10 book experts in the world. Do I sound nerdy enough yet? They not only were all wonderful people but were passionate and had no problem sharing some experience and advice for me on where to get started as well as what to look for.
4. Have A Great Supply
Once you find where you are going to sell your product, whether that be a convention, market, or online. Have a supply of your product. Having two necklaces or paintings isn’t going to be enough. The candle girl doesn’t just take 5 vanilla candles. She’s got about 5-10 different scents depending on the weekend and she makes sure to have enough supply for each. The WORST thing that can happen is people loving one product and you sell out early. All those dollars down the drain!
5. Stay consistent
The perfect first page of a book is no good without the next 300. Make sure that when you do decide to market your hobby to continue and stick with it. Building your brand and making sure people see your face consistently is key to being trustworthy and someone they want to buy from. Showing up once a month when they meet once a week isn’t going to win you any loyal fans. Stay consistent and stick to a schedule.
6. Make sure you have fun
You enjoy your hobby for a reason. You like doing it and want to continue doing it into the future. Don’t ruin something you love by going overkill and making it all about money. If you aren’t enjoying it you should stop and start following your dreams.
Have you ever turned a hobby into a money-making business? Let me know in the comments below!