These 3 steps may seem simple, too simple. A common question for this kind of advise is, “why doesn’t everyone do it?”. Well, most people don’t try because they are worried about failing and therefore never even get started. These steps also take quite a bit more time than most people expect. It can easily take a year to build a large engaged community. Big things have small beginnings so just get started and don’t worry about success or failure, do it because it’s your hobby and you enjoy it. Plus, a lot of people do step 1 without even realizing it.
1. Build a Community
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
– Arthur Ashe
Where do you start? Where you are. That could be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, website forums, whatever you currently use for social media is where you should start. Start sharing resources related to your hobby and remain active. Engage with others in your field of interest and focus on helping others. Then become a bit more strategic and find the network where most of your target market is. Focus on the network with the most engagement. Blogging is the next step after gaining followers and friends on your social networks. The blog acts as an archive for your discussions and activity. Blogs are also great for gaining search traffic and expanding your community.
2. Create a Product for Your Community
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.
– Peter Drucker
Once you have built a decent following and understanding of your community it’s time to create something for them. This is your opportunity to give back as well as make money. The more helpful and beneficial the product is to your community the more likely they are to buy it and in turn make you more money. This product can be anything really but the easiest is an information product. An information product is usually some sort of tutorial type product. Interviews with other big names in your hobby field are a great compliment to your product and also imply that your product is built on the foundation of research and various inputs.
3. Sell, Grow, Repeat
Now that you have a community and a product it’s time to promote it. This is also a perfect time to expand your community. Encourage (or incorporate into purchasing) your community to share with their personal networks that they purchased your product. This will help you grow and potentially sell to more people. After your big marketing push continue to offer your product while working on growing your community. Once your community is larger and you have determined a new need you can fill create a new product and sell again.
Use these steps to make money doing what you love without turning it into a job. Keep your hobby fun and rewarding. Do you make money with your hobby? Tell us about it in the comments.