How to Make Money From Your Hobbies

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by Ryan

What kind of hobbies do you have? Do you go fishing, perhaps you enjoy underwater basket weaving, or even skydiving? Each of us have hobbies, but how can we use those to make us more money? I’m not going to tell you to start an Online Business with your hobbies (although you could and make substantial money writing about them), but I will mention that your hobbies are what make you completely unique compared to many other people. Using these hobbies to stand out will make you a lot more money than keeping them in the closet.

A lot of business professionals bombard customers and clients with “I’m the best, I’m the coolest, smartest, brightest (insert business). I sold 500 Ford trucks last year, I sold 300 houses,” and on and on and on… Nobody really cares how successful you are (besides you of course), they only want their own problems solved and frankly they’re only going to remember something that’s… well… memorable. So as an entrepreneur how do we do that?

At the end of the day, people are people, and they remember stupid shit – I’m not above this either. Did you watch the Super bowl commercials recently? 99% of the ads didn’t have a whole lot to do with the products themselves, but they were often memorable because they were funny, entertaining, and different.

A real life example of using hobbies to make more money

There was a Realtor who lived a few blocks away from my house where I grew up. She had a big dog (I’m not sure the breed) and she absolutely loved the Green Bay Packers. So what did she do? She used her dog and the love of the Packers as her brand.

mary-realtorI did a little digging online and this is the picture she uses on the calendars, her business cards, and every other promotional piece she sends out. Of course the outfits change for different holidays and annually, but it’s always her and that dog wearing something festive and more often than not Packers related.

What can we learn from the big dog and the Realtor? I’m writing a post about this years after I’d originally seen her marketing, but she stuck out in my mind because she was so different. She sold a ton of houses in the neighborhood where she advertised because everyone knew who she was. She was the Packers dog lady! It can be the dumbest thing in the world, but if it’s different, people will remember it.

How Am I using this?

If you are new to the site, you’ll start to notice the theme here as I’ve talked about it in several of my posts. What’s the theme? Shark diving and my passion for sharks. One of my dreams is to become a shark photographer so I’m going to continue to tie that in with this site.

reef-sharkWithin the next two years I’m going to have a few successful websites. This one and the Waikiki site I’m building will make me full time income. All they will require is my laptop, which I can use while diving around the world with sharks.

At that point my personal finance blog will become even more about sharks (I’ll upload videos) and who’s going to forget the personal finance blog that not only talks about money, but also sharks! There are sooo many websites talking about money so the way to stand out is to be different. I don’t see many shark diver personal finance blogs… Even after reading this post you’re probably more apt to remember me over other bloggers because I mentioned something unique other than entrepreneurship and personal finance.

To Conclude:

If you have a business, why aren’t you mixing your hobby with it? Mixing your hobby will give you more brand recognition and people will actually remember you because you’re DIFFERENT than all your competitors. You’ll also automatically have loyal customers who enjoy the same hobbies as you since they have something in common with you. The trick for me, however, is to find people who love money and shark diving!

What hobbies do you have that you could leverage into your business?

What branding have you done to separate yourself from everyone else?

Images from Alfonsator and Pacific Klaus

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

LeanLifeCoach February 15, 2010 at 4:30 am

My hobby is woodworking, in particular I love the lathe. One of the easy projects I make frequently is wooden pens. When I give a hand crafted pen to a client I have found they never forget me! It works… What’s more amazing is how much more they remember me if they lose the darn thing! Guilt, it would appear, is a great reminder!
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..The Value Of DIY Is Greater Than Just Savings =-.

Justin Matthews February 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

It is also amazing how much you can write when you are writing about the fun stuff!
I found your site through a guest post on theinfopreneur so it is still bringing you traffic! I can’t wait to read more.
Justin
.-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..Seeking out the flash we want instead of the stuff we need =-.

Little House February 15, 2010 at 11:08 am

Maybe you can include shark and personal finance analogies in your blog, like investing in X is like diving into the middle of a shark feeding frenzy, you’ll get out but not unscathed. Or something like that, I’m a dork what can I say :).
.-= Little House´s last blog ..Making the Most of a 3-Day Weekend =-.

David @ MBA briefs February 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Great article Ryan. I can’t say I’ve ever made money with any of my hobbies but I’ve always tried to find practical hobbies that weren’t too expensive, like biking, rock climbing, exercising, etc. I used to consider being a National Guardsman as being a hobby and I’ve worked that into my blog a few times. However sharks are pretty tough to beat!
.-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Easy ways to improve your memory =-.

Austin February 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I have a Japanese friend who takes unbelievable pictures, but absolutely despises his day job.

I casually mentioned the idea of turning his skill/hobby into some side income and he said he didn’t want to lose interest in the hobby by becoming money hungry.

Valid point, but I hope he’ll change his mind as he continues to hate waking up the morning.

Tracy February 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I have always, as a simple matter of economy, tried to find ways to finance my fun by doing it professionally whenever possible. This is why I taught skiing, became a dive master and exercised racehorses at various times of my life. The only problem is I never figured out how to make real money at any of those things and that drove me to a more reliable career. Now I am planning the first retirement and looking in to how to succeed at another…and doing what I love is high on the list.
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..President’s Day: A Patriot And His Money Are Soon Parted =-.

Financial Samurai February 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I really look forward to observing the progress! It will be wonderful to see you making a full-time living from your two sites!

Jeremy Johnson February 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Ryan, you’ve given me another set of things to add to my ever growing list of things to do and that is add my hobbies in their own unique way to my website.

Let’s see, I really like sports (basketball), computers (games and development), and fantasy type stuff (wizards, magic, etc…). Hmm, the many possibilities :)

I don’t even consider my website ‘launched’ yet, but I am realizing that the social and interactive part of it is an absolute must.

And I find it fascinating to see the many different personalities of bloggers like yourself and the many others I’ve been reading on.

Love the picture of the shark by the way! I went to Hawaii last year May with my wife (Oahu) and one day on the big island and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
.-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..How To Be A Hot Nerd =-.

Ricardo Villalba February 17, 2010 at 3:43 am

I feel like I am addicted to your site, every time I read one of your article, my brain start thinking new things and way to promote my services. The Lady and the Dog example, is so simple but amazing. Thank you!!!

KEEP IT COMING!! and Best wishes with Sharks!! I am sure they are waiting to be photograph by you and became famous online!!!!

Roman Soluk April 29, 2010 at 4:04 am

Really interesting article and idea. Thanks for this!

That made me think of this!
.-= Roman Soluk´s last blog ..Music and its impact on our life =-.

Noah Rainey May 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Great post Ryan. Just wondering… how old is that picture? Looks very old :). Also very interesting profession you want to pursue.
.-= Noah Rainey´s last blog ..ThemeSheep – 3 New Upcoming Themes – Sunday May 9-10, 2010 =-.

Neal - Sax Station June 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

Hey Ryan,
Interesting idea. Seems like it could work pretty well with the shark thing. You seem to be doing pretty well already without it being prevalent on many pages. But it seems somewhat akin to Gary Vaynerchuck and his interest in the Jets. Good luck
-Neal
.-= Neal – Sax Station´s last blog ..Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock =-.

BigDumbWhiteGuy July 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

My hobby became a business and it is working out well. I don’t think it’ll ever pay all my bills but it is contributing to other hobbies and hopefully will pay for part of my son’s tuition for school next year.

I am paid to help people play a free facebook game. Go figure. I figured out a better way and others are willing to pay to use it…

And yes.. My hobby has been programming since I was 12 and I’m a quick study. Not just anyone could write the code in three languages required to optimize playing this game…

Larry October 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

Hobbies can be very profitable. I enjoy solving Sudoku puzzles. So I created a website to help others learn the “secrets” of solving Sudoku. This high traffic website draws thousands of visitors daily.

Every hobby has an audience. Create a theme based website with quality content and you will be rewarded.
.-= Larry´s last blog ..Follow SudokuEssentialscom On Twitter =-.

Tanja Wanderlust November 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

Great one. I used to and now again live off my hobby Volleyball. I get paid to be a referee. Something i like doing and I even get paid!!! And its a secure job, because there are always too few of them.

To everybody else:
:) find something you love and then think of what you could to with it…
.-= Tanja Wanderlust´s last blog ..Yes I am white and gorgeous! Anti-sunbathing advice =-.

Lee December 2, 2010 at 4:58 am

Very interesting thought . Next time try to make some extra cash from your hobbies.
.-= Lee´s last blog ..Craft for cash =-.

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