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How To Monetize Your Passion: Stop Being An Underpaid Wage Slave

How To Monetize Your Passion: Stop Being An Underpaid Wage Slave
Norm Tedford Jan 5, 2020
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Your vocation is what you do for a living.

And your avocation is what gets your pulse racing—the thing you do that exhilarates you like nothing else in the entire world.

Oprah Winfrey said it best: “Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural.”

If you aren’t regularly experiencing the exquisite joy that comes with doing the things you love, you’re not really living.

Be an exceedingly, passionate individual—the kind of person who throws himself headlong into doing the things he loves.

Life’s too short to do anything else.

If you began your life not choosing your avocation as your vocation, it’s not too late to do so now.

So many people dream of a life free of corporate drudgery.

That’s because most people realize that it’s incredibly difficult to monetize their passions when their full-time jobs consume all their energy.

This leaves little left over to pursue that which they truly love.

But not many people have the courage it’s going to take to walk away from being an underpaid wage slave.

But if they could somehow unshackle the golden handcuffs that keep them in joyless servitude, they could create a life that’s awe-inspiring in both its design and its execution.

The tragedy is that most workers will never experience the intoxicating freedom in doing what Robert Frost suggests.

 He said, “My goal in life is to unite my avocation with my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight.”

Figure out a way to sever that which bind you to a job that suffocates your spirit.

And then, you’ll no longer be merely existing.

Then, you can lead a life chock full of wonder, excitement, and delight!

Our passions aren’t frivolous whims.

They’re as essential to us as breathing or eating nourishing food every day.

Every time we don’t give ourselves permission to indulge in them, we lose a little more of that inner effervescence that is our birthright.

We start to feel defeated, totally succumbing to apathy and listlessness.

 There’s tremendous satisfaction in earning income from something you used to do for free.

Monetizing a hobby is a great way to make a living because when you already enjoy doing something, you’re going to stay motivated.

So, figure out what activities you’re crazy about and find ways to make boatloads of cash from it.

Making money from a hobby might sound too good to be true, but let me assure you it’s not.

Hundreds of thousands of people all over the planet are discovering for themselves the joy of following their bliss.

Maybe you’ve been reveling in your passion for quite some time.

And if you want to now make it your career, I say go for it! 

But first, spend some time evaluating whether turning a labor of love into work is a good idea.

Sometimes, it’s best to keep the two parts of our lives separate.

When you transform your passion into a business, you have to worry about marketing, business insurance, tax records, and a myriad of other details.

 For some, this is enough to suck all the joy out of what used to be a hobby.

Pick Something You’re Passionate About

Most of us have at least one hobby that’s easily monetizable.

However, don’t make the mistake of choosing to monetize something based only on its income potential.

Pick a hobby that you actually do and are crazy for.

And then (to quote my idol Thoreau) you’ll “meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

If you have an intense passion for something, you’ll be powerfully motivated to find ways to make money from that activity.

Virtually any hobby under the sun has immense income potential!

Ways to Monetize Your Passion

The only thing better than having a hobby you love is making money from it.

Some hobbies are difficult to monetize, but you usually can find a way if you put your mind to it.

To give you an example from my own life, I always had a passion for writing.

However, most of my life, I never had the discipline to monetize that love.

That all changed when I lost my job and couldn’t get another one.

That fueled my determination to finally make a living at doing what I adored doing.

And guess what?

I’m finally doing it!

I also am more than a little obsessive about cinema.

If I wanted to turn that mania into cold, hard cash, I could take some of my savings and buy movie memorabilia to resell.

There are so many ways to turn an activity that has snowballed into a colossal obsession into cold, hard cash.

Here are just a few to get you started:

Teach People

Your passion might be playing the piano, frugal vegan cookery, or unicycling.

It could also be something so unusual, and off the beaten path, you could round up ten random strangers and find out that not one of them has heard of it.

Whatever it is, you can find a way to make money by teaching others how to do it.

There are a lot of ways to make this happen.

You could teach a college class, create an online course, or teach in an adult education program.

You could also tutor.

For example, you might be the kind of person who wakes up in the morning with an overpowering desire to play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor on the piano.

If so, you should consider giving lessons to others, because we can use all the music we can possibly get our hands on.

This broken world of ours is chaotic and frightening, and music always soothes a troubled soul.

What better way of getting more music on the planet than by inspiring the next generation of musicians?

If you teach what you know, you can be that inspiration.

If you need to find students, use Wyzant.

Wyzant is an easy way to line up eager pupils.

So, it’s well worth giving them a percentage of what you earn.

But you’re not only limited to teaching pupils in person, because you can share your adoration for music in an virtual classroom.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, consider using Lessonface.

To apply to be a teacher, click the “Sign Up” button on the right-hand side of the page.

Use your email address to register and choose the “I’m a teacher” option to start the application ball rolling.

Read on for a really inspiring way someone was actually able to convert their passion into a teaching opportunity…

Chuck Vosganian’s Story

Chuck Vosganian has an intense passion for 70s albums.

That’s always been a hobby of his.

One of his greatest pleasures in life is discovering performers of the era he’s never heard of before.

So, he channels that passion in an unusual and highly intriguing way: he has listening parties each month.

For each session of what he calls the Rochman Listening Club, he shines a spotlight on one ground-breaking rock or pop album.

Then, he digs deep into his encyclopedic knowledge of music to create a program that never fails to enthrall everyone who attends.

In his former life, he was a sound engineer.

He gave up that career when his wife was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach in Europe.

 He felt it was time to retire, so he decided to go with her.

He started the podcasts because while he was having a blast immersing himself in all the fascinating history and culture of Europe, he still needed something to do besides that.

So, he came up with the brilliant idea of doing a podcast on that which he loved to do more than anything else in the whole world.

With his extensive background as a sound engineer, recording and producing an hour-long show would be a breeze.

He has such adoration for music that for his inaugural podcast, he ended up with more than 165 pages of material for the album he was going to talk about.

He absolutely loved doing the podcasts.

However, he soon found himself with the desire to share his knowledge with people in real time.

This was when the idea for listening parties came to him.

And when he returned to the States, he started doing them.

They were a smash hit from the get-go!

He designs his journeys through musical history to deepen the understanding of the artistic geniuses behind the ground-breaking albums.

But he doesn’t just pick any old one.

Chuck takes what he considers to be the seminal album in an artist’s career and weaves a compelling story around that record.

That is his genius.

His presentations include what it was like to be a fly on the wall at the recording studio the day the album was born

If you have the pleasure of attending an experience, he’ll take you on an intriguing aural adventure and puts it all into a historical context for you.

This makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

I hope Chuck’s story inspires you to do something similar!

Teach an Online Class

You can also impart your compendious knowledge about your particular passion by creating an online course.

Online education is huge right now.

And, there’s no reason to believe that its exponential growth won’t continue.

There are classes in cyberspace for virtually any subject matter you can think of.

This means that the chances are excellent that you too can turn what you love to do into a course and make money from it!

You don’t need to be the greatest expert in the multiverse to create a course.

But you will need to have some proficiency in your subject matter.

You might be scared out of your gourd at the thought of appearing on camera.

But you won’t have to necessarily do this.

If you’re too frightened to appear in front of the camera, there are ways to lead your students through the course materials using only your voice.

So essentially, you’ll be an unseen narrator.

Although to be honest, it’s probably better if they can actually see you.

When they can see your face, they feel like they have a personal connection with you, and it makes the material more interesting.

I’m not going to lie—coming up with an online class is more involved than the other options in this article.

However, there are ways to make it easier.

For example, you can use software like Camtasia, which simplifies the process of creating professional-looking videos on your computer.

And if you want to get your course up and running as quickly and as effortlessly as possible, use a platform like Teachable.

You can even do this is you have no technical knowledge whatsoever.

With all the incredible resources they have to offer, they’ll have you sharing your valuable insights and experience with your fellow hobbyists in no time.

Another thing you can do is to create a Udemy course.

Now, I don’t know how much people are making with these courses.

But many of these courses have thousands of students taking them.

So, clearly, there’s potential here for a lucrative income stream.

Start a YouTube Channel

If the idea of being on camera sharing your pet obsession with the planet fills you with exhiliration instead of fear, consider starting your own YouTube channel.

YouTube has a massive global audience.

There are channels on the site for virtually every hobby under the sun.

The way you’ll make your moolah is through advertising, affiliate links, and sponsorships.

Advertisements can be particularly lucrative if you have a lot of views.

And you don’t even need a ton of expensive technology to get started.

You can even begin by using the smartphone you already own.

However, as you grow your subscriber base, you’ll want to upgrade your equipment.

Podcasting

Audio content is almost as much in demand as video content.

Start a podcast, and you can start luring in all these hungry listeners.

They’re like audio versions of blogs.

But there aren’t as many of them, so there’s a lot of untapped potential here.

You make your bucks from advertisers, sponsors, and affiliate programs.

If you have a guest on your podcast who has merchandise to hawk, you could promote that product and earn a little money as an affiliate.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses.

One of the downsides to podcasting is that producing them can be quite time-consuming.

If you don’t have the time, ability, or patience for that, outsource it.

Tours

You might be able to find a way to share your lifelong obsession with others on paid tours.

For example, if you live in Chicago and you always had an abiding love for the deep-dish pizza joints in this beautiful city, you could take them to all the most mouth-watering joints.

Or, if you’ve studied Thoreau your entire life and love his musings on transcendentalism, you can dress up like him and give educational presentations at schools.

There are so many ways to combine a burning passion with taking people on intriguing or educational excursions.

Write Articles

If you have a talent for writing in addition to a hobby you love, you could write articles about it.

Some magazines that cater to this niche pay $500 and more for an article.

Selling Items Related to Your Passion

For most hobbies, a person is going to need an endless assortment of accessories, paraphernalia, and accouterments.

Hobbyists have insane amounts of passion for their hobbies and are willing to spend wads of cash on indulging in them.

If you’re neck deep into that particular hobby, you’ll know precisely what these accessories are.

This makes you uniquely qualified to be the purveyor of this merchandise.

So, if your hobby is UFO spotting, you could sell DVDs of all the mysterious objects you videotaped over the years.

If what you saw was genuine (and why wouldn’t it be?), You could probably make a killing!

Repairing Items Related to Your Passion

Sometimes, hobby accessories break and need fixing.

And if you have some mechanical aptitude in addition to a love for this particular hobby, you can make oodles of cash being the go-to guy when the darn thing collapses in a smoking pile of rubble.

Teaching People the Business Side of Your Hobby

Consider a hypothetical situation: you worked as a marketer for a healthcare real estate company for 40 years.

But your real passion was playing the ukele, which you often did for family and friends at get-togethers.

But now, you’re nearing retirement.

And in your golden years, you don’t going to miss a single opportunity to indulge in the thing that you love to do.

You’ve also found a way to combine your former occupation with your hobby.

And, that’s teaching budding musicians how to market themselves effectively.

This way, they start their musical careers off on the right foot.

You’re making tons of money at it because you’re brilliant at marketing.

And although you’re not the best ukulele player on the planet, your adoration for this instrument is contagious. 

So, if you also made a life for yourself in the world of business, but always had a passion you nurtured on the side, why not combine them to have a satisfying second career?

Teach artists the knowledge they need, so they know both how to become monetarily successful with their passion and handle their money once it starts pouring in.

Start a Money-Making Website

With a money-making website, you’ll focus on a particular niche with a laser-sharp intensity.

One of the downsides to a money-making website is you’re going to have to put in a lot of time and effort before you start making serious cash.

But if you stick with it, you could end up with a site that’s a virtual money-making machine.

Nick Usborne, a copywriter with many professional accolades, turned his love for making coffee into a website that generates a significant income stream for him.

He got so good at it, he even created a course to teach others how to replicate his success.

If this sounds like something you want to do, you should consider starting your own site.

Although you can get a website, for free, it’s not the best way to go.

Instead, hire a web designer to build you a top-notch site you can be proud of.

You can get a domain name for $2 to $20 a year.

This will make your site look so much more professional.

You can get basic web hosting for as little as four bucks a month.

You’ll make your money in several different ways.

One way you make money from a site like this is through affiliate marketing.

As an affiliate, you promote a product or service and try to get people to buy that product or service.

When someone clicks on the link to buy it, you’ll get a small percentage of the sale.

One great thing about affiliate marketing is you don’t have to promote products you don’t like.

This makes your selling a little more authentic, so you won’t have to feel so guilty about trying to make a sale.

You can sign up for affiliate programs with individual companies.

Or, you can sign up for affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks make it easier to promote products from many different vendors.

Attracting the Hungry Hordes

Now, it’s time to talk a little about how to attract the hordes of eager buyers to your site.

You’ll get most of your traffic through organic Google searches.

To be successful, choose low competition keywords that give you the very best chance of being ranked on the first page of Google search results.

However, it’s going to take some time before you see results, because Google doesn’t send much traffic to new sites.

 It can take up to a year before you really start to see traffic coming from Google.

Advertising

But if you eventually get enough traffic, you could make a lot of money selling advertising on your site.

Google AdSense is one way you can do this.

It’s incredibly easy to do, too.

Simply copy the code and paste it on a page of your website, and when a visitor clicks on an ad, you’ll get a little bit of money.

You get two-thirds of what Google collects from advertisers.

A Few Words About Social Media

These days, you need to have an online presence to have a profitable business.

We live in a world of social media, so to wage war on your competitors, you’re going to need to establish a beachhead in cyberspace.

Just remember not to move all your business on to the Internet.

That’s because whatever part of your business you put on social media is wholly owned by that particular platform.

If your business is exclusively on one of these platforms and that platform goes under, or you’re locked out of your account, what do you think happens to your company?

You lose it, that’s what happens.

That’s why regardless of which of your passions you’re going to monetize, have a business website that can act as the main base of operations.

Passions You Could Monetize

If you give your hobby the attention it deserves, it could even make you rich someday.

That’s the magic of bringing a passionate intensity to everything you do.

But before that can happen, you need to discover what excites you enough to devote the rest of your life to it.

We need to discover what makes our soul come alive.

Because we’re all unique individuals, we’re all going to be passionate about very different things.

That’s the beauty of life!

However, many of us are experts at keeping our desires hidden deep in the shadowy recesses of our psyche.

That’s because we’re afraid that if we give them free rein, we’ll end up disappointing ourselves when we inevitably fail.

But I say, bring those buried desires out into the open and into the gleaming light of day.

If you haven’t discovered what your passion is yet, try a few of the following:

Photography

Alfred Stieglitz said, ” In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

If you have an extraordinary ability to visually encapsulate the essence of a life moment, you can parlay that talent into a lucrative second career.

But first, you’re going to need a decent camera—one that will do justice to your artistry.

Selling Your Photos to Microstock Sites

One way to make money with your photography skills is by selling your photos to microstock sites like Shutterstock and iStock Photo.

But sometimes, it’s difficult to make any money from your photos if you go through them.

One of the reasons for this is if there’s privately owned property in your photo, the microstock site might ask you to get a signed release from the owner.

They might even require that the release be valid for decades—or even centuries.

They’re also known for severely limiting the type of subject matter they’ll accept.

Be a “Second Shooter”

Sometimes, a job is too big for one photographer.

For example, a photographer might have a huge wedding to shoot.

So huge, in fact, that the spectacle requires more than one photographer to make sure that it’s visually documented for posterity.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to step in and help share the burden.

And in the process, make a little cash and gain more experience.

To maximize your “second shooter” opportunities, network with fellow photographers and let them know you’d be interested in those kinds of opportunities.

Use the Power of Your Network

Never underestimate the power of networking to find work.

Some of the photographers in your network might be offered jobs that are too low paying for their experience level.

However, if you’re just starting out, you might be okay with the pay rate.

If you’re part of their network and they know you’re interested in work like this, they might pass along these jobs to you.

Showcase Your Work

To catch the eye of potential customers, make large prints of your best work to magnificently showcase your talent for all the world to see.

Then, find business owners willing to display them.

Places most likely to display your work are banks, restaurants, and libraries.

This photographic art will be like larger-than-normal calling cards giving people a tantalizing taste of your professional abilities.

Make sure your contact information is included on each artwork, so if a potential customer likes what she sees, she can give you a call.

Sell a Book of Your Photography

You can also sell a book of your photography.

This could either be a digital product or a hard copy.

Have a Portrait Party

Another thing you could do is to have a “portrait party,” where you photograph people in a fun and festive atmosphere.

Invite your friends over and have them bring their friends!

Have a killer food spread and play party games!

Give the attendees the option of buying their photographs or book a session.

Enter Competitions

One often-overlooked way to gain exposure that will bring more money in is by entering photography competitions that have cash prizes.

If you’re regularly enjoying your hobby, you should have a solid portfolio of your work you can draw from for these competitions.

Just make sure you first read the fine print of the rules to find out exactly how they’ll use your work.

Winning a competition is a terrific way to get the kind of exposure that could ignite your budding career.

Offer Photo Tours

You can also offer photo tours of your city, giving your customers a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

This potentially lucrative business combines sightseeing with picture taking.

And your prospect gets to learn under the tutelage of a consummate pro.

At the same time, they get to take in all the excitement of an area with someone who knows it intimately.

Give them a short lesson in the fundamentals and then take them on a whirlwind tour of the sights from a photographer’s point of view.

You could offer half-day, full-day, and night tours.

Become a Nightclub Photographer

Lastly, you could always become a nightclub photographer.

Although this can be fun and glitzy, it’s not without its risks.

Some nightclub photographers have been punched by drunk and unruly patrons who weren’t exactly keen on having their photo taken.

But if this prospect doesn’t worry you and you think this is something you’d like to do, ask the nightclubs in your area if you can get permission to take pictures in their club.

Curate the best of these photos and email them to every nightclub in town.

Often, it’s not the greatest paying gig, but it’s a sexy way to gain experience and exposure.

You can also network with other photographers who specialize in nightclub shoots.

Offer to fill in for them when they’re sick or going on vacation.

 Handmade Items

Crafts are anything handmade, such as jewelry, clothing, or utilitarian wooden objects.

So, if you have a flair for making your own stuff at home, why not try to make some money at it?

To do this, you can sell your goods at Etsy, where you can have your first listing up in as little as a few hours.

The site receives millions of page views every month, so if you have the kind of stuff people are craving to buy, you should make at least a few sales in your very first week.

And if you’re good at marketing, your sales should steamroll from there.

Registering for Etsy

To get started, you’ll have to register.

If you’re already registered as a buyer, click the link at the top of any Etsy page to register as a seller too.

Once you’ve gone through the painless registration process, the site will ask you to set up your store and add your first listing.

Coming Up with a Name

The hardest thing about setting up your Etsy shop is coming up with a catchy name.

But giving a name to your brand new business makes it real, and signals to your subconscious that you’re serious about making this thing work

When coming up with your name, you’re going to have to do a bit of a balancing act.

The name should be short enough, so it has a certain zing to it.

But not so short that it doesn’t convey any meaning.

Shop Title, Banner, and Announcement

You’ll have to create a banner, a shop title, and an announcement.

The shop title is your slogan or a short description of the items you offer.

The banner is an image that features your shop logo.

Your shop announcement appears on your shop homepage underneath the listings.

Use your announcement to keep your shoppers updated with important news like if you’re having a sale or are going on vacation.

Establishing Your Shipping Policies

To add your shop policies, click the “policies” tab near the top of the homepage.

Add details on what kinds of payments you accept, how you ship your items, and how you deal with refunds.

Setting Up Payment and Billing

Next, you’ll need to set up payment and billing.

In addition to Etsy Checkout, you can add PayPal.

You can also add checks and money orders as a payment method, but it’s not recommended.

Etsy Fees

Keep in mind that Etsy charges you to use its site, including selling fees, credit card processing fees, and shipping costs.

Selling fees are the easiest to figure out.

For example, you’re charged 20 cents to list an item.

Then, when your item sells, you’ll pay 3.5% of the selling price.

The payment processing fees are a little more complicated because you have a choice between Etsy Checkout or PayPal.

Etsy Checkout charges 25 cents plus 3% and PayPal charges 30 cents plus 2.9%.

Payment processing fees are in addition to selling fees.

Shipping costs are the most complicated of all the fees to decipher.

You’ll have to calculate the weight of your item when packaged.

Then, use one of the many Etsy calculators you can find in cyberspace to figure out how much that would cost to ship based on your preferred carrier.

When you do this, you’ll get a shipping estimate.

High-Quality Photos

To create a listing that gets buyers interested in what you’re hawking, you’ll need to take high-quality photos.

People cannot pick up the piece themselves, so you must take visually stunning pictures that make them feel like it’s right in front of them.

The better your photos are, the more likely it is your item will sell.

Take several photos of each item you’re offering—each from a different angle.

Put yourself in the customer’s place.

Think about what they want to see and make sure you photograph all relevant angles.

You’re not going to master the art of taking great product photos overnight.

Like any skill, it’s going to take time.

As you get better at it, replace your older photos with the newer, better-quality ones.

The more customers love your work, the more likely it is they’ll give you repeat business and tell all their friends about you.

Crafting a Killer Description

You’ll also need a killer description.

When writing one, use as many search-friendly terms as possible.

Use words that people are likely to use when searching for the kind of item you sell.

Include all the item’s specifications—height, weight, width color, texture, uses, and alternate uses.

When you’ve exhausted everything you have to say, flip your perspective and see it through the eyes of the buyer.

What would the buyer want to know?

Include any answers you come up with in your listing.

If you think your products are superior to those of your competitors, articulate the reasons why this is true, and highlight your answers in your listing.

Social Media

Etsy does a bang-up job of getting buyers to see your wares.

But if you want to boost your sales even more, list your Etsy items on your social media feed such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Shipping Your Items

There’s more to shipping than putting your item in a box and slapping some postage on it.

Make sure you securely pack your item in tissue paper, so it doesn’t break.

Appearance is everything when it comes to packing your item.

So, if you want excellent seller feedback, pack it so that it’ll be impervious to transit hazards.

At first, go to UPS or USPS and have a counter person show you the “ins” and the “outs” of the shipping process.

Later, you can go to the automated shipping kiosk to save some time.

Then, down the road, you can buy a postage scale and print out your own labels from stamps.com or PayPal.

Disgruntled Customers

You’re invariably going to come across disgruntled customers.

But you know what?

They come with the territory—nothing personal.

Do what you can to make it right and move along to the next sale.

Don’t risk upsetting a customer, because you might get negative feedback that could damage your reputation as a seller.

Keep the adage “The customer is always right” uppermost in your mind at all times.

Keep Abreast of the Competition

Always keep abreast of your competition, so you know what they’re up to.

Another thing you can do is to always compare your prices to theirs.

This way, you’ll get a better idea of whether your own prices are too high or too low.

Also, read the listings of your business rivals for ideas on how to improve your descriptions.

Selling Your Item from Your Website

If you don’t want to sell using the Etsy platform, you can try selling your wares from your own website.

To do that, you’ll need to set up a website just for this purpose.

Jewelry Making

One thing you can make by hand that could be quite lucrative is jewelry.

Selling it from the comfort of your home is a great way to bring in some extra income.

However, making jewelry can be expensive.

So, you might as well find ways to make it pay for itself.

If you have a knack for crafting one-of-a-kind pieces that people will go gaga over, considering monetizing your talent.

Online marketplaces like Etsy have been a godsend because before sites like this sprang into existence, it was exceedingly difficult to sell jewelry that you made.

You’d have to physically lug your wares from vendor show to vendor show.

Hopefully, you’d build a name for yourself, and get referrals from satisfied customers.

It was hard, grueling work.

But those days are long gone, and you don’t have to haul your junk to a brick-and-mortar location anymore. 

That’s because with Etsy, you can do it all from the comfort of your home.

What’s Your Niche? 

But to stand out from the masses, you’re going to need a kickass selling angle.

Handmade jewelry is very trendy right now. 

But unfortunately, jewelry is one of the most saturated categories in handmade products.

There are so many places to buy jewelry these days, including a glut of jewelry stores and online marketplaces galore.

This means there’s a lot of cutthroat competition.

And sometimes, making enough sales to be profitable can be difficult.

It’s crucial to find a very specific niche for your jewelry because this is the secret to standing out from the competition and getting repeat business.

Zeroing in on one niche is a terrific way to build a brand that stands head and shoulders above all others.

Your jewelry must somehow have so much hypnotic allure, the customer is almost compelled to buy it—almost against their will.

Think of stores where there are so many tantalizing choices, you have to summon up superhuman willpower to prevent yourself from buying everything in the place. 

This is the kind of desire you want to instill in your buyers.

But to do that, you must know precisely who your target market is.

This way, you can craft your stuff especially for them.

You can also define a target demographic and try to figure out if you can make a product for them.

For example, you can make teens your demographic.

To do this, you have to stay on top of trends in this age group.

And find out what jewelry the social media influencers they idolize are wearing.

Or, you could make jewelry for men, since this isn’t exactly an oversaturated market.

You could target environmentally conscious consumers with bracelets made from recycled or repurposed materials.

Offering to donate a portion of the sales to a charity that works to save the planet could seal the deal for people in this demographic.

Create food-shaped jewelry to appeal to gourmands.

For example, on Etsy, there’s heart-shaped waffle charms, gummy bear earrings, and avocado necklaces for sale. 

You could choose a particular material from which to craft your pieces.

Some of the materials you could specialize in include beads, shells, wire, wood, glass, and stone.

Make Sure You’re Making Money—Not Losing It

Also, to make money instead of losing it, you need to know exactly what your profit margin is.

To do that, calculate the cost of your goods.

These are things like your labor, materials, shipping, and selling fees.

After calculating your costs, use this information to price your goods.

How Are You Going to Sell It?

You need to decide how you’re going to sell your jewelry.

You can sell it directly from your own website.

Or, you can sell it at sites like Etsy, eBay, Zibbet, or other online marketplaces.

Reviews and Testimonials

If your customers love your unique creations, ask them to write a review.

The more glowing reviews you can showcase, the more sales you can drum up for your jewelry.

See if you can use some of these reviews as testimonials.

This is called “social proof,” and it helps people to feel comfortable buying your stuff.

That’s because these testimonials show that you have a legion of buyers who adored your stuff.

Writing

If you’re a gifted writer, you don’t have to do it for free.

That’s because there are a zillion ways to monetize your passion.

The only limits are those of your own imagination.

So, let your vision be so all-encompassing enough that your writing dreams can spread their wings!

It can be a lot of fun to write about topics for which you have a burning interest.

 And then, suddenly discover there are people out there actually hungry for what you have to give them.

So, if writing’s your “thing,” find a way to make truckloads of cash from it.

In this article, we’ll mostly focus on writing eBooks.

A Professional Website

Your journey from a dabbling dilettante to paid writer should start with a professionally designed website.

These days, every writer needs one—even if they don’t have a book to sell.

However, it’s doubly imperative that book authors cultivate a strong Internet presence.

There’s so much potential in using your website as a promotional platform to sell copies of your books, it would be foolish not to!

And, it’s an opportunity to reward your loyal fans with some goodies, which will make them even more loyal.

For example, if your niche is New Age Spirituality, share a few meditations that aren’t in your book.

Your followers will greatly appreciate this exclusive content.

To keep them coming back to your cyber outpost, find ways to use your blog to whip your readers into a feeding frenzy.

This way, you’ll create customers for life.

One of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest ways to get a website up and running is by creating one at Weebly.

Selling eBooks on Amazon

You can make thousands of dollars a year selling eBooks on Amazon.

You do this by using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

This is a powerful platform that makes it possible to get your book in front of a massive audience.

By using it, you’ll earn a royalty of 70% for every book you sell.

This is a way to indulge your love of your hobby while making a few bucks on the side.

It won’t cost you a cent to open a Kindle Direct account.

What’s even better, you won’t have to pay anything to list your book on Amazon.

There’s so much income potential in selling your eBooks.

So many authors out there are making $500 or more a month hawking their books on Amazon.

You don’t necessarily need prodigious writing talent (although that helps).

But you’re going to need to employ some savvy strategies to catapult you to the top of the bestseller lists.

Even if you only capture a teensy fraction of the potential customer base, that can translate into thousands of dollars of cold-hard cash each year.

But to have a book to sell, you’ll have to actually write one.

Some would-be authors are intimidated by the thought of sitting down and putting in the time it’s going to take to finish a manuscript. 

But don’t let that thought prevent you from becoming an eBook author.

They don’t have to be all that long.

So, if you’re a newbie, you’ll probably be relieved to hear you don’t have to take a year out of your busy life to pen your magnum opus.

For your fledgling effort, keep it short and sweet.

Just write a little bit every day, and before you know it, you’ll have finished a book you can offer to your legions of fans!

Selling in Places Other Than Amazon

If you’re looking to get the maximum number of eyeballs on your books, Amazon is the way to go.

But you can also try selling information products on your website.

If you do this, you get to keep all the money, so you won’t have to share a dime of it with Amazon.

But just keep in mind that if you sell your book from your own site, you’re going to have to get really good at marketing.

That’s because customers won’t magically appear from the ether, although that would be nice if they did!

Finding a Subject for Your Book

Any knowledge that’s floating around in your brain can become fodder for an eBook.

But to write well on a topic, it’s best to have a blistering passion for a particular subject.

So, find out what that is through a little self-exploration.

When you know what that is, read the top fifty books in that area.

After you’ve read that many, you’ll be a consummate expert on that topic.

This means you’ll have the knowledge necessary to write a book that’ll delight your readers.

Then, you’ll be able to monetize that knowledge, and the cash will start rolling in.

This will happen when you deliver what your audience is hungry for in a way that they never quite heard before.

To get really proficient at this, read reviews of books on Amazon similar to the one you’re writing.

See what readers of these books liked about them, and what they didn’t like.

Write this stuff down so you’ll know exactly what to do and not to do in your own book.

This kind of competitive analysis will result in you having written a book your devotees will clamor for.

Coming Up with an Outline

Before you can start writing, you’ll need to organize your chaotic thoughts into a cohesive whole by creating an outline for your book.

You need to map out all the wonderful places you’ll want to take your readers on their literary journey.

Make sure your outline is very detailed.

The more you fill in all the blanks of what you plan to cover in your book, the easier it will be to complete your project.

If you need inspiration, look at the top 20 bestselling books in your niche and see how they organized their content.

This should give you lots of ideas for chapter titles.

Put each chapter heading on an index card and arrange these cards in an order that’ll make perfect sense to your adoring readers.

Alternatively, you can buy Scrivener, a computer program that’ll help you digitally do all your literary organizing.

Creating a Catchy Title

A catchy title can go a long way to lure in prospective customers.

For crafting book names with killer hooks, look no further than the blogosphere.

Bloggers have been honing their expertise in this area for years.

Check out some of these blogs and see what they’ve come up with for titles for their content.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when coming up with your titles.

For example, you might have written a self-help book teaching your reader a series of well-defined strategies.

If this is the case, you might want to consider having a number in your title.

That’s because if you quantify all the steps on the way to Nirvana and there are a finite number of steps, self-realization will seem more attainable.

That will make it more likely that potential customers will plunk down their hard-earned money for your book.

Also, you should use power words in your title.

These are words like “Luxurious” or” Ridiculously.”

Here’s a list of some more:

  • Funniest
  • Inspiring
  • Glamorous
  • Gigantic
  • Profound
  • Glorious
  • Huge
  • Extraordinary
  • Heartwarming
  • Awe-Inspiring
  • Delirious
  • Obsessed
  • Expensive
  • Ravenous
  • Guilt-free
  • Massive
  • Hilarious
  • Captivate
  • Genius
  • Discover
  • Crave
  • Memorable
  • Undeniable
  • Effortless
  • Breathtaking

By using these words, you’ll send the amygdala of your reader into a tizzy.

The amygdala is, according to dictionary.com, “a ganglion of the limbic system adjoining the temporal lobe of the brain and involved in emotions of fear and aggression.”

When your amygdala is activated, powerful emotions are invoked, and you can use these emotions to make your books fly off the virtual shelves.

Another thing you can do is to analyze the titles of bestsellers in your niche and figure out what makes them so awesome.

When you figure out what the secret sauce is, use this information to beef up your own book names.

Now, it’s time to come up with a name for your book that pulses with energy and aliveness.

So, stop putting it off any longer, sit down and brainstorm a bunch of them.

After you’ve come up with a list of possible contenders, run them by thirty friends and/or family members.

Have them vote on their favorites.

Test the top two vote getters with a cheap Google AdWords campaign.

Sitting Down to Write

Now that you have an intriguing-sounding title, it’s time to start writing.

Tack the name of your book over your desk.

Use it to inspire your word flow and try to make your creative output live up to all the tantalizing promise of your book’s title.

Making Your Project Less Daunting

If you want all your writing dreams to come to fruition, you’ve got to develop a writing schedule and stick to it.

So, set a date you want your book done by.

Then, divide the number of days you have to finish the book by the number of chapters it has.

This gives you the number of days to finish each chapter.

This exercise breaks down what could be an overwhelming task into manageable chunks.

This should significantly reduce your anxiety about getting your literary project done.

Now, simply schedule these days on your calendar and get to work!

Polishing Your Gem

After you finish your book, you’re going to need to polish your rough gem into a glittering masterpiece.

So, give it to a few friends to read.

They’ll be able to point out the glaring grammatical errors and poor stylistic choices you couldn’t see.

Sometimes, you’re too close to a project and need a fresh set of eyes.

That’s why it’s super important to have others read your work.

You can also do this virtually by using Grammarly, which is like having your own virtual assistant.

There’s a free and paid version.

You can also hire a professional editor.

That’s going to be pricey, and if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably too frugal to want to do that.

Designing the Cover

An eye-catching cover will make your book stands out above all the others.

It shows potential readers that what lies underneath is of the highest quality imaginable and will be well worth their time.

So, make it as visually stunning as possible.

To do justice to your creative vision, you should hire a professional to do this for you.

That is unless you have some killer design skills in your professional repertoire.

You can find a designer at 99designs.

You’ll need to post how you want your book cover to look and how much you’re willing to pay.

The more money you’re willing to shell out, the more professionals you’ll get willing to do the job for you.

You can also try Freelancer.

Usually, you’ll hire someone based on an hourly rate at this site.

But you can also set a fixed price for the project if you’re more comfortable doing that.

Converting Your Book to Kindle

After you finish writing your book, you’re going to need to convert it to the Kindle format.

If you’ve created it in Word, you can use Amazon’s Kindle Create.

If you don’t want to do the conversion yourself, there are plenty of professionals out there that specialize in eBook conversion you can hire to do it for you.

Pricing

Now, it’s time to slap a price on your literary masterpiece.

The advantage eBooks have over paper books is that eBooks are nonphysical in nature.

This means you don’t have to pay for the materials they’re made from.

So, there’s not as much overhead.

So, you can price your digital book for much lower than a book printed on paper.

It used to be that every author on Amazon priced their book at 99 cents.

However, authors have become much more sophisticated in their marketing approach, and this is no longer the case.

Customers perceive a higher value in things that cost more money.

$2.99 is just about the perfect price because it’s not so cheap that customers might think it’s worthless, and not so expensive that people won’t buy it.

Getting Your Book Reviewed

Terrific reviews are compelling social proof.

They tell prospective customers that there’s a battalion of readers who have bought your book and found that it satisfied a deep-seated need.

So, it’s imperative to find a way to get some stellar reviews if you want the sales of your book to skyrocket.

Find friends, relatives, and acquaintances willing to read your magnificent magnum opus and give their two cents in written form.

Give them a PDF copy of your book and have them write their review after they finish reading it.

When all the reviews are in, it’s time to have your book launch.

It should be a real gala event, complete with decorations and a real party atmosphere.

That’s the glorious day all your reviewers should buy your book en masse.

Even though they read it for free, they still need to buy it because Amazon wants to make sure all reviewers have made a “verified purchase.”

A verified reviewer makes the reviewer more trustworthy in the eyes of this corporate behemoth.

After they’ve actually purchased the book, they should post their review.

Marketing Your Masterpiece

You’ll have to do some pretty robust marketing if you’re going to successfully monetize what formerly was a hobby.

Effective marketing is what often separates the eBooks that make it to the top of the charts from those that flounder at the bottom.

You could have the best eBook ever written, but if it’s not marketed properly, it’s going to be a dismal failure.

And then, all your creative effort will fade away into oblivion, which would be truly tragic.

One way to effectively market your book is to try to generate buzz, so people are dying to buy it as soon as it’s published.

So, talk up your book on all your social media channels.

You need to get people so excited about your book they’ll want to buy it the second it’s published.

Another thing you need to do is to create compelling author profiles at Amazon Author Central, GoodReads, your blog, and on your social media.

This is an opportunity to nurture your personal brand.

Don’t forget to interact with your growing following because people are more likely to buy books from writers that took the time to forge a relationship with them.

Traditional Book Publishing

Traditional publication is yet another possibility.

However, if you want a publisher to take your book proposal seriously, you’re going to need to build an audience first.

This way, your book isn’t as much of a gamble, because sales are practically guaranteed.

This means having a money-making website in place already.

And, an email newsletter that gets plenty of subscribers.

Lance’s Story

I’ll end this article with another inspiring story.

Lance Madewell was able to transform his love for professional wrestling into a profitable side career.

Ever since he was a kid, he had a passion for the sport.

When he was growing up, kids bullied him for being overweight, taunting him with cruel nicknames.

He desperately wanted to find a way to overcome the abject misery and anguish inflicted on him by his tormenters.

For Lance, he found the way out of despair by watching professional wrestling with his Dad.

Wrestling became an all-consuming passion for him.

And after high school, Lance took his savings and enrolled in a wrestling school in Troy, NY.

In January 2014, he had his first match, and it was the culmination of all his dreams come true.

He’s now a promoter and wrestler for Truly Independent Wrestling (TIW), founded by him and his fellow wrestling buddy, Wolf C.J. Scott.

When TIW began operations back in 2016, they performed their spectacles in a cramped, musty-smelling church. 

Aficionados of the sport were congregants of a different sort than the ones the house of worship were accustomed to.

But though the venue was a bit too small to contain his ambitious dreams, his passion was contagious.

And every night Lance and his business partner put on a show, crowds of up to 180 enthusiastic wrestling fanatics faithfully show up.

The church was too small to give flight to his ambitious dreams, so they found space at the local mall.

The shows at the new location became even more popular than they ever were in the old place.

And he added something new that thrilled all the children who were crazy for the rousing spectacles he put on: birthday parties.

Kids could celebrate growing a year older with the practitioners of what some call a sport, and others call highly athletic performance art.

But, like other malls across the country, this mall’s stream of customers changed from a mighty stream to a mere trikle.

When the mall closed its doors forever, the show moved to the local Boy’s Club.

But it doesn’t matter where the venue happens to be.

That’s because the shows TIW puts on are always spectacular regardless of the location.

It continues to host pulse-pounding events like the “Snow Brawl,” which lured 250 people out of their warm homes one cold January day.

For those who can’t attend the live shows, Lance televises these extravaganzas of pulse-pounding brawn and agility on the local public access channel.

But they don’t only put on shows.

TIW also trains up-and-coming wrestlers in the finer points of the sport three nights a week.

If being an actual wrestler isn’t really your thing, Lance can also train you to be a referee or a manager.

He continues to draw adoring crowds—and make a considerable amount of money in the process.

The lesson here is when you find a way to monetize your passion, infinite doors of possibilities open up.

It’s exciting to think where that can take you!

Final Thoughts

The next time you’re at a loss on how to monetize your hobby, study others who have successfully done it.

Ask yourself some penetrating questions to get at the heart of what makes them so exceptional at what they do.

If you’re lucky, you might even get the opportunity to ask these questions in person.

If you do, ask the following:

What, exactly, were the concrete steps you took to turn what you did in your spare time into a lucrative career? 

How much do you charge?

Come up with your list of things to ask.

Then, try to use this information to set up your own business.

Many entrepreneurs have turned their hobbies into multimillion-dollar businesses.

So hopefully, you can do the same.

If we allow ourselves the necessary luxury of regularly indulging in that which makes our pulse race and want to leap out of bed every morning, we nourish our soul.

And, if we also find a way to make money from doing it, that’s like the icing on the cake.

So, don’t spend another nanosecond being an underpaid flunkey for some corporate behemoth.

Get out there and have the time of your life getting paid doing what you love!

Norm Tedford

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