Do You Have A Business or Hobby? Can It Be Both?

One thing that I love about blogging and creating Squidoo lenses is taking things I enjoy doing (my hobbies), and making money from those hobbies.

One of the most popular ways to start a small business is to take something you love and build a business around it. But is it feasible to create a business around your favorite things, or hobbies? It is if you think outside the box!

Handmade cards

Sometimes you have to get creative to build a business around your hobby, but it can be done. You might not be able to create a business crafting or drawing because it’s too time consuming to make much money at it (although I’m sure there are those out there who do).

Think outside the box with your hobby, here are a few business ideas using the crafting and drawing examples I used above.

  • Instead of actually selling hand crafted pieces maybe you could create patterns from what you make and sell the patterns.
  • Create a blog about your craft or art work. Teach others to create.
  • Make crafting or drawing how to instructional videos and sell them in an online store, or have others sell them for you through Clickbank.
  • Create a website to sell your favorite art and craft supplies. You don’t even have to stock the supplies yourself just find a good affiliate program to promote.
  • Don’t have money for your own website? Start with a couple Squidoo lenses about your hobby, and make money selling the supplies through Amazon, ebay, or your own affiliate links. Promote your Etsy, ebay, or Zazzle store.
  • Sell your crafts through Etsy.
  • Sell your artwork on t-shirts through Zazzle, or Cafe Press.
  • Teach crafting or drawing classes locally
  • Create a membership site with learning resources for people who would like to learn more about your hobby.

Just substitute your hobby in for the crafting and drawing, many of these will work for different hobbies. If you like to play music, collect antiques, take photographs, etc, just take a look at the list and decide what might work for you. If you’re good at what you do share it with others, you should be able to create a small business around it.

Many business ideas can be tested these days without a big dollar investment. You can create a video and upload it to Youtube, set up a free blog or Squidoo lens, or patterns to be downloaded by your customer, and it will cost you very little, but you can make money from it with a little promotional effort.

Think outside the box, what type of small business could you create around your hobby? How can you promote that small business?

Image: istockphoto.com

Seth Godin On When To Quit (or When Not To Quit)

I was hopping around on Youtube today and I found this interview with Seth Godin talking about his book The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). I enjoyed the video, so I thought I’d share it here.

It’s definitely something you can apply to your online business. I think back to when I first started, and wonder what would have happened if I would have quit during those first few months when I made zero dollars online. Where would I be now?

Definitely not where I am today! The first three or four months I tried to make money online were a ton of work but no return. Then I made my first sale. I think I made less than $1 on that sale, but it was enough to get me pumped up about this internet marketing thing.

So I read more, studied what others were doing, and kept on plugging. Pretty soon I was making regular sales, and a regular income. I’ll still always remember that first sale, and wonder what would have happened if I would have quit before then.

The Christmas That Was Paid For By My Online Business

gifts Our Christmas was paid for this year completely from my online business. Not a dime was charged on credit cards, and I didn’t have to scrape and cut out gifts. We did cut back a little, but not much.

Actually I should be a little more specific, I used one month of my online business earnings to pay for Christmas this year. Thanks to Squidoo, my niche sites, and blogging, I could afford to buy a Wii Fit for the family, a Sony 32-Inch LCD HDTV (not a big screen, but plenty big for our little family), several Wii games for my son, a guitar for our budding music artist, gifts for parents and grandparents, neices and nephews, and a new lap top (which I have the cash set aside for, but hasn’t been purchased yet). All…paid…with…cash, it was such a wonderful feeling.

I don’t usually like to talk about my earnings, I don’t do the print screens with shots of my earnings screens. Who can believe them anyway, since so many Photoshop the results to make them look better.  But I want people to know it’s possible to earn an income online, if I can do it so can you.

I would really like to help all of the people out there who have been struggling, and/or are finding themselves recently unemployed victims of our current economy.

My plan is to share with you my journey for the last year and a half, and show you how you can go from making nothing online to making a regular income.

We’ll definitely talk about Squidoo, because I looooovvvveee Squidoo! I think it’s a necessary part of any online business plan, whether you have an Etsy, Zazzle, Cafe Press, or eBay store Squidoo can help you build your business. If you have niche websites, are an affiliate marketer, or blogger (or all of the above), Squidoo can help you take it all to the next level.

I haven’t posted here for a little while, but one of my new years resolutions is to help others achieve what I’ve been able to achieve, and make a regular income from home with their online business.

It breaks my heart to see people losing their jobs, their homes, and their pride, if I can help just one person succeed it will be worth it, so stay tuned in the next couple weeks and I’ll share as many Online business ventures with you as I can.

I’d also love to hear from anyone who’d like to do a guest post related to their own online business ventures (or Squidoo ventures) to share with Lens Author’s readers. Leave a comment or contact me directly to share your story.