Making Your Hobby Pay Off

I’ve been doing a decent job of evaluating secondary income streams since overtime at work is non-existent. I’ve sort of stumbled into a good one – building websites for people. Let me give you some background on this.

I first started building websites like everyone else – just tinkering here and there with no real plan. I really just wanted to learn about this whole internet thing. I built a website that was called the Premedical Student Guide which at one point ranked #1 in Google searched for the search term premed. I had NO clue what I was doing but I was getting lots of traffic and questions from people who visited my site. I wish I knew the potential gold mine that I was sitting on. That site went away when Geocities folded into Yahoo. I was too busy with school anyway.

Next I started a forum on MSN Groups called Dieting Women. It was just about me trying to lose some weight and all the information that I found along the way. We had weekly weigh-ins, recipes, chats, etc. By the time MSN Groups closed last year I had over 600 members. Once again, no clue what I was doing really and how I could have monetized the website.

At that point I was about to open my boutique and needed a website. I just refused to pay someone to build it so I built it myself and kept on improving it as I learned. Once the boutique closed and I moved everything to just online, I think I had built up a website that looked really professional. I built 2 websites for my brother as well.

Occasionally people ask me to build websites for them but I typically turn them down because I am not professionally trained and really just stumble along until I learn how to do what I need to do. My brother and my boyfriend are really the ones who opened my eyes to the fact that I have a talent – and I could make money from it. What I lacked was the confidence to really hang out my sign to say hey, I really can do this and people like what I do.

So far I’ve completed two e-commerce websites for actual paying customers and have another one lined up but I’m too busy to do it. Who knew?! I have an aunt who says, “never give away your talent”. It just took me some time to realize that this isn’t just a simple hobby. I’ve really developed a talent for it and now it’s paying me back. How awesome is that?

Check your hobbies to see if you can make some money. Perhaps you sew or take photographs or cook really well. My aunt has turned her cake baking skills into pocket money by baking cakes for friends and their families. It only cost her the money for one cake decorating class. Dig deep and find out how your hobby can pay you back.

This post was included in the 58 Ways to Save Money or Make Extra Money – Finance Blog Carnival #11 hosted by Maximizing Money.

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