How to earn money from your hobbies

Got a particular talent you're good at? Turn your hobby into a fun way to earn extra cash with these great money-making ideas.

By Martha Uniacke Breen

How to earn money from your hobbies
©iStockphoto.com/Robert Kohlhuber
You've got standing orders from all your friends for your artistic knitted shrugs. Or maybe you're a baking whiz, a talented painteror a future Nobel prize-winner in poetry. You've definitely got the goods, but is it one of those money making ideas that can earn you some extra cash? Under certain circumstances, it sure may be! And with a little help from the Internet, it's easier than you might think.

Earn money from your hobbies with online sales 
Michelle Matsui had always dabbled in different crafts and arts, but had never taken her love of making things seriously until she signed up for a screen-printing class a few years ago. That was the beginning of her homewares business, Kempton Jones, which specializes in hand-screened tea towels and other uniquely designed crafts.

Getting started was fairly easy, Matsui says. "A friend encouraged me to try a craft market," she says of Kempton Jones' beginnings. When that was a success, she created an Etsystore and now sells at a number of crafts shows, as well as online (through Etsy and her own website) and is starting to buildrelationships with local retailers.

Her advice for would-be craft entrepreneurs? "Enter local crafts shows to get feedback from buyers and other vendors," she says. "The community is very helpful and you can learn from others in the business."

Using etsy.com
One of the real blessings for micro-micro-businesses, especially crafts makers, has been etsy.com. Matsui endorses it enthusiastically, no matter how small or large your ambitions. "You will immediately get in front of thousands of potential customers, and you can control how much you want to invest in it."

Matsui adds that it's smart to set up your own PayPal account -- an easy and safe way to conduct financial transactions online -- and that you shoot your product photos in bright, indirect light for best results. Online sales are only one way to turn your talent into a money-maker.


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