Although a hobby may provide a pleasant diversion from the pressures of everyday life, you may also be able to use your hobby to earn extra income for paying bills or saving for special purchases. In some cases, you may even be able to turn your hobby into a full-time income. Several hobbies, such as painting, writing, crafting, sports and photography, can translate into business ventures.
Before you turn your hobby into a business, you must determine whether there is a demand for what you want to sell. For example, if you want to provide golf instruction, join a local golf meetup group or check with your local golf center to find out whether customers are inquiring about lessons. Similarly, if you want to sell abstract paintings, visit galleries in your area and research online art venues to determine whether there is a market for your artworks.
Once you decide to turn your hobby into a source of income, develop a business plan to help you chart a path to profitability. A business plan can provide direction for the business and financial aspects of your hobby, help you stay focused on your business and persuade lenders and investors to give you money to grow your business.
Offer classes through newspaper classified ads, online classifieds and social media websites to help people learn your hobby. Whether you enjoy golfing, painting, writing or crafting, you can provide instruction to others to help supplement your income. Classes may be held at local community centers, libraries and coffee shops, or you can offer individual instruction in your home or the homes of your clients.
Offer freelancing services to clients to make money from your hobbies. If you enjoy writing, you can join freelancing sites such as oDesk, eLance and Freelancer to find clients who need online or offline content. Similarly, you can use these sites to earn income from hobbies such as website design, programming, photography, video production or graphic design.
Sell products you produce through online auctions. Selling crafts, paintings, sculptures and handmade jewelry through online auction sites can help you earn extra money, while allowing you to pursue hobbies you enjoy. Most online auction sites allow you to set a minimum bid amount for each of your creations so you don't end up selling the products for less than you spent in materials. Because online auctions allow you to reach national and international audiences, factor in shipping costs when determining prices for your creations.
Blogs and Websites
Promote your products through a website or blog. You can provide content about your hobby to help establish your website or blog in search engines, which can attract visitors interested in purchasing your products. You can also promote crafts, images, artwork and other items you create and allow visitors to purchase them on your website by integrating a payment solution such as Zencart, 1ShoppingCart or PayPal.
Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.