My mother-in-law Kathy is a fantastic seamstress. From corsets to quilts, she can sew anything. And because she and my father-in-law move frequently (about every two years) she has turned this hobby in to a part-time job.
Kathy has sewn banners for churches, dresses for drag queens, and costumes for theater productions. Fewer and fewer people know how to sew these days, and Kathy’s skills are in demand. No matter where she moves, she is able to find a market for her products. It helps that she is very social and very involved in the community. She networks the old-fashioned way, and it works for her.
Luckily, the internet has made it even easier to turn your hobby into income. Etsy is the premiere marketplace for buying and selling homemade goods. From cuff links to coffee tables, you can sell it on etsy.
Turning your hobby into income specifics
Who: If you are crafty, consider selling your crafts. Consumers are willing to buy all sorts of homemade goodies from photographs to jewelry to furniture to pickles.
Where: Etsy is a great place to start. You can make your own “shop” there and then promote the shop through your social media connections. Try asking locally owned business if they are willing to showcase or sell any of your work. Consider renting a booth at a local craft show or festival and sell your work there.
How: Find a niche (there are lots of photographers out there, maybe you specialize in baby portraits). Start small; you don’t want to invest too much money and then realize that there is no market for your product. Research your competitors. Make a marketing plan.
Advantages: You get to be your own boss. You have creative control over your product(s). You get paid to _______[insert fun activity here]!
Disadvantages: You probably won’t make much money (I have several friends who sell their crafts on etsy and none of them have been able to quit their day job.). You might start to hate your hobby because it is no longer a hobby.