There’s no end to people and online stories telling you to chase your dreams and turn your hobby into a career. And why won’t they? It’s easy advice to give. But making that change possible is an enormous challenge.
Let’s say you’re thinking about taking the plunge nonetheless. But does your hobby have a decent shot in paying your bills? If you’re a collector of niche items, probably not. If you’re a homebrewer, there’s a better chance, but you’d be entering a field with exponentially growing competition and high start-up costs (along with plenty of legislative hurdles).
But if you like to dabble in one of these fields, you might just be able to make a living without facing tremendous start-up costs.
A good photographic eye can open the door to a number of new career options. Basic studio work is always a possibility, though it’s not likely to be a high paying one. Glass Door says the average salary hovers in the $9-$11 per hour range, depending on location and the studio you choose.
Successful wedding photographers make considerably more – topping $100,000 per year. (It helps, of course, to have connections in the wedding industry, since referrals are the key.)
Also, don’t overlook corporate photography. Residential and commercial real estate agents both need to make their listing look good to potential buyers/clients.
If you’re finding your homemade bows, handbags, t-shirts or other items are increasingly in demand with friends – and friends of friends – there might be a full-time job in it for you. The rise of online shops like Etsy have given craft enthusiasts a well-known outlet to find new customers. And some hobbyists, like Alicia Shaffer, are turning that into a business making nearly $1 million per year.
To achieve success, though, you’ll also need to have good marketing and customer service skills – and be sure to hire a quality photographer to best showcase your product.
You’re not just competing with other Etsy shops – you’re competing with established retailers.
And don’t forget to advertise your products on other services, like eBay, as well. That can be an important secondary revenue and marketing stream.
Making and Editing Videos
Some people may say you’re wasting time by making silly videos or splicing together film clips to recreate a hit song on YouTube.
But the growing importance of online video might make these sought-after job skills.
Companies are constantly looking for new ways to market their products – and a viral video is one of the best ways to do so.
Production companies can be good places to hone your corporate skills, but the bulk of the jobs in video editing, not surprisingly, are in California and New York. Those are also two of the states with the highest mean salaries, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also notes that Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan and North Dakota offer high average mean wages.
And about keeping your equipment safe you can follow my lead if you want. I have rented storage units near me and after my work is done I keep all equipment stored in the unit so that no harm comes to them. You can do so to so that you have fewer things to worry about.