During the course of the pandemic, millions of Americans found themselves at home with extra time on their hands. And during that spare time, they began exploring new hobbies, as well as spending quality time with old hobbies. Now that the economy is surging back to some semblance of normalcy, some of those hobbies are luring Americans to new side hustles.
Maybe during your job furlough or remote working environment, you found a little something to do on the side. And now, with the prospect of returning to work, you don’t want to give up that enjoyable pastime. For some, you don’t have to, and there are ways to turn that hobby into a side hustle that produces real passive income.
1. Find a Hobby with Legs
Regardless of when you developed your passion for something, you’re ready to think about the serious prospect of turning it into an income stream. You’ll want to first find which hobby makes sense to explore as a money-maker. And then you’ll need to make sure it has legs or a market demand that will make it successful.
Identify Your Jam
Explore some of your favorite hobbies and create a list of those you love doing most. Maybe you’re into gardening or crafting. Maybe you’re a genius in the kitchen, discovering new recipes. Or it could be that you’re the one everyone calls when they have a problem with their cars. Whatever your jam is, take a critical look at what you could see yourself doing as a side hustle.
Be Realistic About Time Management
Once you’ve settled on what hobby you’d like to transform into a side hustle, you’ll need to think about time management. If you sell crafts, for example, you’ll need to be able to dedicate time to creating those crafts before seeing a return on your investment. If you plan to continue working a full-time job elsewhere, you will be limited on free time to devote to a side hustle. Proper time management will help you create a side hustle plan that works.
Explore Market Potential
With the internet making it easy to connect to huge audiences worldwide, anyone can find a potential customer just about anywhere. But to really evaluate whether or not your hobby can become a side hustle, you’ll want to explore the market potential for your product, content, or service. Do your homework to see how others are doing similar side hustles. Read up on industry news and browse the competition.
2.Develop a Side Hustle Plan
Just because it’s a side hustle doesn’t mean you shouldn’t approach it with half the effort. Create a business plan to help you visualize your priorities, costs, and next steps. Let this serve as a roadmap and timeline as you embark on your passion-turned-side-gig journey.
Create Lists of What You’ll Need
Right now, having fun with your hobby usually only happens when it’s convenient and when you have the budget to support it. But if you plan to turn your hobby into a side hustle, you’ll need to be prepared all the time with supplies and processes. Create lists of what you need to make your products, for example. If you’re a content writer, you may want to consider investing in grammar software. If you need to set up a system for shipping, you’ll need to add those steps to this list, as well. Before investing officially, having the list in front of you will help you budget accordingly and allow you to launch with your best foot forward.
Identify Marketing Channels
Offering your product or service among friends and family is one thing. But as a side hustle, you’ll want to consider other marketing options, including social media and affiliate marketing. To access the broadest audience, selecting a few dedicated marketing channels will be your most cost-effective strategy. Look into creating a YouTube channel or developing an Instagram account exclusively to promote your hobby turned side hustle.
Be Methodical and Consistent
Even if your side hustle gains a lot of traction in the beginning, take your time and be organized with how you manage it. Those with successful side hustles will tell you consistency is key. Don’t rush in and inadvertently make mistakes or overwhelm yourself. Take it slow and grow your side hustle at a manageable pace.
3. Pitfalls and Setbacks to Recognize Early
When you’re in the idea and planning phase, it will be less of a failure to change directions. Don’t force a launch into something that feels mediocre to you. Jumping in head-first and in the wrong direction can lead to burnout, business failure, and resentment of your hobby. Here are a few signs to recognize early on to help you maintain focus and avoid side hustle mistakes.
It’s important when looking to turn your hobby into a side hustle to understand your financial expectations. Be realistic about what success with your hobby can bring financially. There’s an old saying that suggests you can’t turn a donkey into a racehorse. If your side hustle isn’t going to make you a millionaire, you’ll need to face those realities upfront. Set goals for yourself in small increments and be mindful of worst-case scenarios. Anticipate your risks going into things and protect your love of the hobby should the side hustle endeavor not be a monster success.
Avoid Hobby Burnout
If your hobby becomes a chore, it may no longer be the fun and exciting passion it once was. Not every day will be a groundbreaking one. But if your side hustle becomes more of a burden than an enjoyment, you’ll find yourself on a fast track to burnout. Don’t allow a less-than-successful side hustle ruin your hobby for you in the end.
You might be a champ when it comes to taking criticism, constructive or otherwise, at your nine-to-five job. But when it comes to your hobby, you might be fiercely protective of what you do, how you do it, and what you believe. Those loyalties can sometimes make it harder to take negative feedback, which is almost a prerequisite for going into business for yourself. Prepare yourself for snarky comments online and disgruntled customers. Don’t let those scenarios steal your joy.
Countless Americans are finding huge success in turning their hobbies into side hustles. And the ability to do what you love while making a passive income is proving to be a popular trend. Do your homework and consider these suggestions before you get started. Should your side hustle turn into a full-time commitment, you might find yourself needed health insurance from the Marketplace. When you get there, let W3ll be your guide!