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How to Make Money Out of Your Hobbies

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We understand. Your major is psychology. You love the mind and have a passion for learning about human thinking and behaviors. Someday in the future you hope to surpass Skinner’s work on behaviorism as the foremost psychological theory of your day. This is very commendable and, hopefully, everything works out as you have planned. Unfortunately (to quote Steinbeck), even “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Sometimes things just don’t go your way, and quite frankly, this is often the case. Planning for the unplanned is the wise man’s game, so why not cultivate a hobby or interest in your spare time? This could simply remain a hobby you enjoy, or it could turn into a profit-generating interest and, possibly, a full career.

First things first: what do you enjoy doing with your free time? Make a list and add to it as you come across new activities you find yourself appreciating – writing, painting, baking, exercising, eating, sleeping, playing video games, web surfing, shopping, traveling. Good. Now, how to make money out of those interests…

1.  How to make money from blogging

Blogging is by far one of the easiest activities to begin, although one of the most difficult to make money from. Write about a topic that interests you most and expect nothing in return. Establish yourself as an authority on the subject of your choice and pour out content as your time allows. If you’re outgoing and don’t mind putting your face out there, try a video blog. Reach out to build a readership, answer questions that need answering and embed your sense of humor in the content. Making a career (or at least some extra income) from blogging takes time, so just enjoy the ride as you build your platform.

2.  How to make money from selling

A hobby that produces physical items – paintings, cupcakes, bracelets – can give you a small but instant source of income. Relish the process of making that peanut butter banana cupcake; take an art class and practice drawing with shadows. You will screw up along the way and figure out what works best for you. By the time you graduate with that degree in psychology, you may find that baking has replaced this passion and you have 10 cupcake recipes already under your belt as a result of your practice. Mmmmm… cupcakes.

3.  How to make money from stock investing

Be wary of this one folks! There is typically no such thing as easy money. What I suggest here is to learn to invest for yourself. Open a small trade account online with a very small initial investment. Maybe take some of that Christmas money you were hoping to put towards a Playstation 4 and learn to invest. Peruse some advice websites to learn more about investing before putting any money forward. Ask questions, watch videos and learn as much as you can. Who knows – this hobby could potentially pay for your Spring Break vacation.

4.  How to make money from photography

If photography is your thing, then snap and edit those pics every chance you get. Be that annoying person pulling the camera out every five seconds; learn every bit of software to remove red eye and crop out a photobombing intruder; play with the aperture, time delay and focus. Innovate your technique by taking all your pics from up in a tree or by editing in a little gremlin hiding in each shot. Set yourself apart in some way and get your pics out into the internet’s vast and rugged landscape. You won’t be an overnight success, but if you keep plugging away, in 10 years you may have yourself a promising career.

Experimenting with your hobbies in college is a great idea, as it allows you an outlet to briefly forget those essay/exam woes and it could lead to something more down the road. Bear in mind that nothing worth having comes easily. It’ll take time to build up your blog, business or portfolio – don’t rush it and enjoy the journey until you reach your destination.

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Written by Chad Jarrah
Chad runs Roommate Harmony, a website that aims to improve the shared living experience through the use of its products and blog. He loves engaging with past, current and future students in an effort to help motivate a more enriching college experience. He has traveled extensively, spending time in Spain, Syria, Costa Rica and Niger and is always looking for his next adventure abroad. 

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1 Comment

Right. Thank you.