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

Summer Lens and Blog Post Ideas

Are you hard at work on those summer lenses and blog posts yet? If not you should be, or even getting a head start on those fall ideas.IMG_6411

If you’re stumped for ideas here are 20 lens ideas to get you started. You could write about…

  1. 4th of July games and activities
  2. Your favorite pool games and activities
  3. Your favorite local amusement park
  4. Your local county fair (fair food yum!)
  5. Summer shoe styles
  6. Summer swimwear for toddlers
  7. The best summer vacation spot
  8. Your favorite childhood summer memory
  9. Your favorite summer foods
  10. Strawberry recipes
  11. Your favorite watermelon recipes
  12. What’s growing in your garden?
  13. The best places in your neighborhood to visit during summer break.
  14. Outdoor summer activity ideas for children
  15. Anything baseball
  16. Your favorite summer blockbuster movie
  17. Your favorite herbs to grow
  18. How to stay cool when it’s hot outside
  19. Your favorite flower
  20. Your turn… you tell me what number 20 should be.

More On Squidoo Mentoring

If you’re a Sqidooer, and you’d like to learn more about Squidoo groups, check out the new Groups Mentoring lens.

The new Squidoo mentoring program also has a Giant Squid Mentor, a Mentor for Promoting Your Squidoo Lenses, and a Module Mentor, and some Squidoo FAQ’s.

So if you’re new to Squidoo, or a seasoned expert check out some of these lenses, if you don’t see the answers to your questions drop us a line, or leave a comment, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The New Squidoo Answer Deck

Squidoo has a wonderful new learning resource, called the Squidoo Answer Deck. If your new to Squidoo, or even if you consider yourself a Squidveteran, the answer deck is loaded with answers to your Sqidoo questions.

What is the Answer Deck? It’s a group of how-to lenses created by wonderful Squidoo lensmasters. These lenses answer everything from ideas to create awesome lenses, to how to get the Giant Squid out of your sink (well maybe not that one yet).

Squidoo’s lensmasters are the experts, and chances are if you have a question, someone else has had that question in the past, and now has the answer posted for all to read.

Check out the answer deck, spend a few hours, or days there. When you come up for air you should be able to create a quality Squidoo lens.

While you’re there check out my new groups mentoring lens, and let me know what you think:)

We’re Getting A New Squidoo Dashboard

I got a sneak peek at the new Squidoo dashboard today, and it rocks. I had the opportunity to play around with my lenses in there (all 207 of them).

You will be able to add labels to your lenses, and group them according to the labels. That’s the part I’m most excited about. I have about 5 or 6 different labels that will divide my lenses nicely. No more scanning down a list of over 200 lenses to find the one I’m looking for, only to miss it somehow.

I’m also excited about being able to see which lenses need my attention. Right now I tend to pay attention to the lenses at the top of the lens rank pile, because they are the most visible when I open my dashboard. Now I’ll be able to see which lenses need an update.

To see what others have to say about the new Squidoo dashboard, check out the Lensmaster Dashboard lens.

Squidoo for Dummies

Jaguar Julie has created the ultimate Squidoo guide. Squidoo for Dummies is an excellent resource for newbies, or even seasoned veterans to Squidoo who want to learn a new trick or two. Check it out for some great weekend reading:)

I Bought A Squidoo Lens

Lensmaster Loyalis has a Squidooish site where you can buy or sell Squidoo lenses, called Sell My Lens. I subscribe to the sites feed, since I wouldn’t want to miss anything remotely related to Squidoo.

The other night a Hey Monkeybrain lens came up for sale called WordPress vs Blogger. Since the lens was dirt cheap, and the subject intrigued me I decided to purchase it. Oh yeah, I really liked the URL too.

So I bought it, gave it an overhaul, and I’d love to have your feedback. I was trying to think of all the pros and cons of using WordPress, and Blogger. If anyone can think of any I missed let me know.

Would I buy another lens? I don’t know, I usually like to create them myself. This lens got caught in my brain.  I laid in bed the night I saw it thinking of the possibilities that particular lens had. I didn’t buy it until two days later. I decided if it was still on my mind I should either create my own on the subject, or just break down and buy it.

A Wealth Of Squidoo Knowledge All In One Place

Chef Keem has created a lens that links all of the best Squidoo how- to’s and tutorials all in one place, How To Squidoo With A Lotta Help From My Friends on Squidoo (say that 10 times fast, I dare ya). It’s an excellent resource for new Squidooers, and a great reference for seasoned lensmasters.

He also takes a look at the Squidoo brass, and shows you who some of the Giant Squids are. Just in case you want to check out some of their lenses for inspiration.

Go ahead and check it out, I know you want to. Give him some stars for all his hard work.

There’s A New Blog In Town

Or at least new to  the Sqidoo community. One of my favorite lensmasters, BDKZ has started a new blog to help mentor those of you who would like to become Giant Squids.

So You Want To Be A Giant Squid? will help new,  or newer lensmasters learn what it takes to achieve Giant Squid status at Squidoo. The questions will be answered by seasoned lensmasters who have been through the Giant Squid process themselves.

The blog will feature stories, news, interviews, FAQs, and question and answer sessions. The latest post is an interview with lensmaster Susan52, who is a wealth of Squidilicious information. It’s like picking the brain of a great Squid master.

If you’re new to Squidoo hop over and check things out. If you have questions related to Squidoo, or becoming a Giant Squid it’s a great place to ask.

A Squidoo Book Worth Buying

I just finished reading Margaret Schaut’s ebook ‘Masterpiece Lenscrafting on Squidoo.’ It was like being able to pick the brain of one of my favorite lensmasters. 

Margaret takes a sincere look at how to create a quality lens at Squidoo. You can see the love and thought she puts into crating a great Squidoo lens.

I’ve read one or two other books written by so called "gurus" and they have told me nothing more than the basics of creating lenses. A skill which you can figure out on your own in the Squidoo dashboard, or SquidU.

‘Masterpiece Lenscrafting’ went way beyond the basics. Margaret teaches you the thought process behind creating a great content lens. A lens that will stand at the top of the Squidoo pile over time.

Margaret should know her lens "David" has been at or near the number one spot on Squidoo, almost since it was created.

I think the book was definitely worth the $10 price tag. It’s a much better investment for your money than the automatic Lens creator stuff that’s going around right now. So if you want to spend your money wisely, invest in quality.