Earning money from your hobby is something that everyone can, and many do. I turned my hobby into a way of raising a little extra money a few years ago, although it isn’t a job at the moment, and definitely wasn’t initially planned.
My hobby is photography. I started my photography blog way back in 2007, and while I made up for a lack in skill with tons of enthusiasm I improved over the years to a point where I now consider myself to be pretty good! I never used to have much confidence in my skills as I am extremely self-critical but decided to try my hands at stock photography. After reading a few books and lots of internet forums I decided to have a go, and was delighted to sell some photos. I didn’t sell many, but some fetched $240 or so, although the image library took half of that as commission. I was still chuffed to bits though; I even had an image in Best magazine.
Stock photography is something that everyone can have a go at. It is definitely a numbers game though and there are lots of people also trying to sell their photos. While it may not make you a living, you can see it as at least a financial bonus.
I never made a fortune but was able to upgrade some of my equipment from the sales that I made, which helped me grow in confidence. It was then that I decided to begin to build myself as a brand, without actually selling anything. This was purely to lay the foundations for anything that may develop in the future. As a professional at SEO and inbound marketer I soon started to appear on the front page of search engines for lots of different keywords.
It was then that I started to get approached by people, be it to enquire whether I photographed weddings or sold prints, artists ask to paint my photos and some even asked if I offered work experience! Even after not posting on my photo blog much during my daughter’s illness I still get regular enquiries about prints so have decided to finally begin to build a store as part of my site’s rebuild. I don’t know how many prints I will sell, but I have to give it a go right?
Lots of you are specialists at your hobbies, and many have the potential to supplement your income. The biggest question is do you want it to? I know in my case, I would like to be quite romantic about it and continue to photograph what I want and still get paid, but it doesn’t always work like that. If any of you work at National Geographic and want to offer me a job though I will be right there!