A Case Study: Monetizing a Hobby Online

Many of us dream of finding a way to make money in our hobby online. Wouldn’t making money at something you really love be a thrill? Plus, if you set your business up properly, maintenance may take very little work.

For example, Monica turned her love of dolls into a part-time business with a full-time income.

Monica has always loved dolls. Even as she got older, this never changed. She collected them and even had several antique dollhouses. Her husband eventually got a little irritated at the cost of this hobby. Monica decided she would show him.

She brainstormed for a couple of days and decided she would finance her hobby by making money with it. Monica thought this might actually be fun. Plus, she already knew a lot about her hobby, so she wouldn’t have to learn much. She did have a lot to learn about putting a business online, however.

Here are the steps Monica took, in order, to get her business going:

  1. She made a website. Monica knew nothing about web design, but a friend told her that she could use www.wordpress.org to make a professional-looking web page. There are tutorials on the site.
  2. Monica found some products to promote for a commission. First, she went to www.amazon.com and signed up as an affiliate, which is free. This provided Monica with specific links to various doll-based products she could advertise on her site. She also found products to promote from a variety of other places.
  3. She put those affiliate links on her website. Monica worked the affiliate links into her website text wherever it was logical. If she posted an article about a specific type of doll, she would include an affiliate link where the reader could purchase that doll. If a reader bought the doll, Monica received a percentage of the purchase price.
  4. Monica wrote her own manual. Because of her extensive knowledge, Monica was able to write a how-to for doll collecting. She did all the work in a word processor and then converted the document to a .pdf file.
    • Monica then sold her manual on her site, too. She really liked this, because she got to keep 100% of the money!
  5. She marketed her site. This is most important! After all, if no one knows the website exists, no one can buy anything.
    • Monica started her marketing campaign with a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and some written articles. She posted the articles on over 50 free article directories, including www.ezinearticles.com and www.articlesbase.com.
    • In the author’s resource box for each article, she included a link back to her website.
  6. She signed up for Google Adsense. Adsense provided advertising that Monica could put on her website. Every time a site visitor clicked on an ad, Monica received some money. Over time, with a lot of visitors, this money really began to add up. Eventually, she was making several hundred dollars a month just from Adsense income.
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While this is not an all-inclusive list, these are the basic steps that Monica and many others have used to start a business online. You can do this too! You will always need a website, a product or service to sell, and a way to get people to your website. Getting a consistent stream of visitors to your site can take time, but with persistence, you’ll get there.

Start thinking today about how you can make money online with your hobby. What products and services can you offer? What unique ways can you drive traffic to your website? The sooner you get started, the sooner you can spend your work-time doing something you love.

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