The Challenges and Opportunities
Today’s world is filled with more challenges and opportunities than ever. Making money has never been harder in one context and easier in another. The challenges we face today are enormous and can fill the average person with uncertainty and anxiety. Globalization, outsourcing, downsizing, foreclosures, Ponzi schemes, Wall Street fiascoes, recession and now the Coronavirus Pandemic have brought a steady dose of bad news and anxiety. The unemployment rate is also increasing. Employees are being laid off as organizations experience downturns in the market. And many of those still with jobs are unsatisfied and wish for a way out.
But as the challenges have increased, so has the opportunities. The present Connected Economy has brought in good news in the midst of bad news. According to a 2016 Harvard Business Review webinar, in the Connected Economy, value is created through the technology-enabled links between people, machines, and organizations. The Information Age and the Connected Economy has made it easy for us to connect with others around the globe and transact business with people far away—people we might never meet.
There also been a steady proliferation of various internet technologies that can now give the average person a voice in a crowded world; something that only the media houses could pull off in the time past. The sad reality however, is that many are unaware that opportunities for financial freedom exist, away from the regular 9-5 jobs.
In fact, in this Connected Economy, these worse times can be the best times; but only if you are armed with the right knowledge and take action. In this blog post, I will be showing you how to make money from your hobby.
What Does It Mean?
A hobby is any activity you undertake for leisure; that is, during your free time. By understanding how to make money with your hobby, you can break free from the rat-race and live life on your terms. This blog, triplyfree.com is here to make time, health and financial freedom a reality for you. Monetizing your hobby online will give you the shock absorber to weather the rough times in our economy by helping you create another source of income called passive income (also called residual income). I love this quote by Amah Lambert: “There is no true freedom without time freedom. And there is no time freedom without financial freedom.” This subject is therefore of utmost importance in these crucial times. I urge you to keep reading.
One particularly interesting story I came across is that of Lain Ehmann of layoutaday.com who built a six-figure income online with her scrapbook blog. For those who don’t know what a scrapbook is, a scrapbook is a method of preserving personal memories by sticking photographs, printed media, artwork, etc. on blank pages of a book along with journal entries or descriptions. One might consider such a hobby too trivial to become a source of livelihood; but the beauty of this Internet Age is that we can make money from hobbies that are even considered trivial like Lain did.
How To Monetize Your Hobby On The Internet
Here are the steps taken by those who have successfully made a living out of their hobbies on the internet.
- Be clear on your ‘Why’
It is important to clarify the reason(s) you want to monetize your hobby. Different people have different reasons. These reasons will serve as your motivators. For some persons, the prospect of not being under a boss might be a motivator. For some others, the dream of spending more time with your family might be a motivator. Or making more money. Any one of these reasons or a combination of any of these can be a source of motivation to build a business around a hobby. What is important is to get clear on your why so that you can have a strong motivation.
The truth is there will be downtimes and uptimes when building a business online around your hobby. In fact, it is important to know that making money from your hobby is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. It takes time and patience. It takes some amount of hard work. It is very important you get this straight. It is not a get-rich-quick-scheme! But it is far worth more than working for a boss in the long-run. In fact, the worth long-term cannot be compared with working at a paid employment.
You need to concretize your ‘Why’ by writing it down for future reference. When your motivation is flagging at some undetermined time in the future, you can pull the sheet out and get yourself back on track.
You should have a five-year plan. Five years is ideal because it is neither too short-term nor long-term. Write down what you hope to accomplish in the next five years. What kind of life do you intend to have in the next five years? Write it down. This will serve to motivate you towards building your online business.
- Build trust
There are ways you can show your potential audience or fans that you are to be taken seriously. One way is to join a network of those who are already successful doing what you intend doing. You could offer to contribute free articles or content to the blog, website or podcast of those already successful. Your association with those who are already established in your niche will give you credibility in the eyes of your potential audience and make them want to do business with you. By associating with those already established in the niche you are trying to break through, you are networking and building social proof.
People like to associate with the person behind a brand. It is for this reason people tend to become disenchanted with the corporate image which usually come across as soulless and detached. You want to build trust with your audience? Let the unique thing about you—your personality—come shining through whatever you do. For example, if you have love ice creams, tell your audience in your content that you love ice creams. If you have a challenge you are currently facing in your personal life, feel free to share with your audience. I’m not saying you should overshare. Share according to the level you are comfortable with. The most important thing is to let your personality, or call it your humanity shine through whatever you do.
- Maintain connection with your audience
It is important to use various platforms to keep in touch with your audience. Today, there are several platforms that can help you do that: blogging, emails, social media, and podcasting. Use them to your advantage. You want to show your audience that you care. Ask them about the challenges facing their life or work. Use the encounters with your audience to ask about what they need. Go out and meet that need. Put your audience’s interest first and then the money will follow. Be committed to helping them solve their problems and they will be grateful to be your loyal fan, bring others to you and so on you will make enough to be financially free.
People like to feel that they are part of a community. They want to connect with others who share the same vision and values. Every once in a while, bring your followers together for a live event. You could do that with the available internet technologies like ZOOM or some other ones. Discuss, answer their questions, ask your questions, give them a challenge, etc. Come up with innovative ways to make them feel part of a community. Create magic moments for your audience and they will stick with you like velcro!
- Extend Your Reach
In today’s Information Age, there are several ways you can reach your audience. You could create online courses about topics in your hobby niche or create e-books, audio books etc. If you have already done well in the previous steps, you know what your audience need. Your digital products will be geared towards meeting those needs and they will be more than happy to buy your solutions.
You are also not limited to internet technologies when building a business around your hobby. You can develop your speaking and become a sought-after paid speaker on your hobby. You could also develop your coaching practice and have one-on-one mentorship physically with your customers. You could also ask for referrals for those customers satisfied with your service delivery.
- Keep learning
We are the Information Age. Knowledge grows at an amazing pace. What is relevant today may become outdated tomorrow. It is important you keep up to date. Know more about your niche. Know about digital marketing. Know about building a business online. Be flexible in your approach so that when a new wave of disruption hits, you can be prepared to take advantage. Read books, listen to podcasts, go for courses and stay relevant in your niche.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help with taking your hobby online and monetizing it, I (Peter) am available to render help. You reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and enquiries. Note: I could charge you some fee if what you are request will require much resources. Lol! Remember, I’m in business too!
This is an amazing time to be alive. It is a time filled with great opportunities. There are several people who have built a business online around their hobby. They are not a special breed. You too can learn how to make money from your hobby.