We live in a time where anything seems possible. Virgin Galactic is making space travel a reality, self-driving cars are on the way, the internet transfers content around the world instantly, and people from all walks of life are turning dreams into careers.
We’ve compiled a few of the ways that (with a bit of luck, nous and hard work) you can turn your favourite hobby into a lucrative part-time career.
Cameras are no longer just over your shoulder – they are in your pocket or attached to your helmet and drone – and the technology keeps getting better. So if you consider yourself a budding photographer, then it’s likely you’ve already started taking some snaps.
Want to explore this hobby further? Think about improving your skills – search for courses near you, or online, or even on YouTube. The raft of instructional material is exploding, ready for you to consume.
Now you’ll need a platform to showcase your identity and build a following. The options are plentiful and are expanding all the time. Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Shutterstock, iStock, and even your own blog are all worthy channel(s) of choice, so pick one or two and focus your energy there.
On social platforms, tag your posts – not just #livelaughlove, but actual tags that people search – and engage with your audience at every opportunity. With consistency and time, followers will follow.
One day, people who love your work might ask you to take photos of particular people, products or events, or your YouTube channel will get tens of thousands of views, and your hobby will be showing signs of a career.
One of the biggest surprise industries to come out of the internet revolution is the sudden prominence of ‘Let’s Play’ content and video streaming. It goes like this – gamers play a video game while recording or live-streaming the action. They talk their way through the experience, and can have millions of people viewing their content for hints and tips.
Thanks to YouTube and most recently Twitch, anyone with a decent internet connection and some simple plug-and-play equipment can set themselves up as well as the most renowned game ‘casters’.
If earning management-level wages every year by sitting in your room and playing your favourite games sounds appealing, this could be the set up for you.
Slightly more general in its approach, but with limitless possibilities, is the blogosphere – a word which is actually now part of the dictionary, so you know it’s legit.
The beauty of blogging is that it can be about anything! Choose a specific topic you love. It’s better to specialise and find an audience with a niche interest rather than spreading thinly over several topics. It’s also better to choose something you know a lot about (so you can add value to the reader) and that you love (so you have the motivation to keep going).
Pick a format – written or video – and get posting! For video, YouTube often delivers huge success stories, but remember to temper your expectations – these success stories didn’t happen overnight, and YouTube has billions of videos with hardly any views.
For written, WordPress is good starting point as an official, sophisticated platform, whereas Tumblr allows for a greater variety of post types (images, gifs, videos) and has also recently announced it will begin a paid partnership system with its users this year.
Whatever direction you want to go, remember the starting point: choose a specific topic you love.
Dabbling in the kitchen has been a favourite pastime for many, but until recently turning this into a career beyond food preparation was harder to fathom.
Traditional chefs creating food for the daily masses will always be in demand, but we’ve also seen a massive influx of content over recent years to open new career paths for aspiring cooks.
Recipe websites exist for every niche of cooking. Videos demonstrating the smallest aspects of food preparation are rife. Video-based step-by-step guides like the ‘Tasty’ Facebook page are combining great content with reach on social media. Artistic baking – from cakes to cookies to any other sweet treats – has an enormous following on Instagram.
This is an age where videos of people wrapping presents get tens of thousands of views; where binge eating massive amounts of food on live stream can be a popular form of content. Every hobby has an audience, and thanks to technology you might find new opportunities to help turn your hobby into a career.
Who are your favourite YouTube sensations? What hobby would you love to turn into a career?
Whether you’re happy in the 9 to 5, or working away at your new passion, make sure you protect what matters with a provider like Virgin Income Protection. See the Product Disclosure Statement on the Virgin Money website for more information.