This column was originally published on Entrepreneur.com on May 4, 2018
My back porch fell down. And I don’t mean a little. It completely collapsed. It happened during one of our Pennsylvania winter nor’easters. These are brutal storms that sweep down along the coast and drop between 6 and 36 inches of snow in a single shot. The result of snow collapsing my porch wasn’t pretty. And it took a lot of cleanup and repair to fix.
But when I was trying to figure out what to do about it, guess where I looked first? If you answered YouTube, you’re right! That’s because on YouTube, there are tons and tons of informational videos on everything from how to fix the dryer to how to put up a new pergola on your back porch — boy did that come in handy.
And many of these people on YouTube who do these kinds of videos earn a little bit of money for each video that’s watched. And that little bit for each video really ads up fast when you have enough views. These folks have learned how to turn their passion into profits.
If you’re an expert in your field or have a hobby that you really enjoy, the likelihood of your being able to make some money or even a full-time living from your passion is pretty high, as long as you’re willing to learn some skills and put in the work.
Here are five ways you can turn your passions into profits online:
1. Start a YouTube channel.
The amount of money that some people make from this channel is mind-boggling. The top YouTube earner, Daniel Middleton, is making $16.5 million posting Minecraft videos. That’s a lot of dough!
Creating a successful YouTube channel requires creating a following. This isn’t something that happens instantly, but instead develops over time. And you have to work at it. But if you have a passion that displays well on video, then YouTube is a great way to monetize it.
Remember you don’t have to make millions to do well on YouTube. A great example of this is the YouTube channel “Woodworking for Mere Mortals.” This isn’t one of the top 10 earners, but this guy does earn his full-time living from his passion and has built up a very respectable following of over 900,000 followers.
2. Become an Instagram influencer.
Instagram is an extremely visual platform, so if you have a passion for something like fashion, dogs or workouts that work well in pictures or video, you can make pretty good money from Instagram when you develop a big enough following.
The way many people make money from Instagram is by selling space on their Instagram accounts. These are often called “shout outs.” These can range from $30 a post for a smaller account to the whopping $550,000 a post that top earner Selena Gomez gets for a sponsored post. Instagram is also great for selling your own items, as long as you do it sparingly and with great visuals.
3. Create online courses.
Many people turn their passions into profits by creating courses that teach other people how to do what they’re experts in. This is part of the model that Woodworkers for Mere Mortals use.
There are several ways to market these courses. You can do it yourself through platforms like WordPress and Thrivecart, or you can market on a platform with built-in customers like Thinkific or Udemy.
4. Make money blogging.
Blogging sometimes gets a bad rap, but it can be quite lucrative if you set it up correctly. Engadget is one of my favorite blogs, and it’s estimated to make 5.5 million dollars a month, primarily from advertising revenue.
If you love to write and can produce high-quality content about your passion on a regular basis then this could be a good option for you to make money from the thing you’re passionate about.
You can monetize your blog with Google Adsense ads, promoting products as an affiliate, or selling your own products, such as an online course.
5. Sell your services online.
The fastest way to make money from your passion or your expertise is to sell services. Things like writing, web design or helping people clean out their closets all work. You can do this online or off-line, but the big advantage to selling services is that it takes far less traffic to a website to get people to buy a service than it does to get people to buy a product. And since traffic is usually the hardest part of the equation in getting “eyeballs on your offer,” this is a huge advantage.
You can set up a simple two-page website, create a small ad in Google Adwords and start getting clients within a week. And if you don’t want to build a website, then bidding for work on sites like FreeeUp.com or Upwork.com can be a great way to earn some cash for writing, technical work or graphic design. There are also sites and apps like TaskRabbit, Care or Rover where you can list real-world services for sale.
Selling services is rather labor-intensive, but it’s a great way to create cash flow and earn money right away with your passion.
The biggest key to all of these ways to turn your passions into profits is traffic.
Traffic is the hardest piece of any monetization method. You must get eyeballs on your content in order to make money. So, if you decide on one of these methodologies for turning your passions into profits, make sure that you focus at least 50 percent of your time learning the traffic methodologies that go along with it.
It’s entirely possible to make a good living from nearly anything that you’re passionate about. You just have to put in the time and effort to get there.
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