"This is awesome!" my friend exclaimed.
In high school, I made my soccer enthusiast friend a shirt that said, "I Get A Kick Out Of Soccer," for her birthday. Making the gift not only stretched my creative muscle but also I was happy to have designed something she loved.
Today, I've turned this passion for design and creation into revenue streams that not only provide me with endless happiness--but also income. No matter what your passion is, there is a way to monetize it.
Here are eight ways that you can turn your hobbies and passions into a source of income.
1. If you have a passion for design use it to create and sell products.
When I was looking for ways to monetize my graphics, I came across the world of print on-demand. After creating a handful of designs, I placed them on mugs, yoga mats, blankets, and more. One sale turned into two, and two turned into hundreds using print on-demand sites including Printful, Gooten and Teelaunch.
Many designers are turning to print on-demand sites to create physical products with their art and graphic designs. With this new form of fulfillment, designers are able to create and sell their designs on a variety of products without carrying any inventory or worrying about shipping orders out.
"I think this is a great time for people with creative talent to find ways to market their abilities," said Frank Jackson, marketing manager at Gooten. "Sure, there's plenty of freelance sites available, and tons of companies searching for people who can create unique content, but I think the biggest breakthrough is the opportunity now for designers to cost-effectively create their own brand and manage their own business through e-commerce platforms."
2. Use your passion for writing to publish your own book.
If you love writing, there are many ways you can monetize your work online. Writers are now using online channels to sell their work and monetize their craft. If you are passionate about writing, publishing an ebook can provide you with a source of income.
"Having my work published in the form of an ebook has provided me with a new kind of revenue stream and the process was very easy to self-navigate and get my work published," said Jason Wuerch of Frugal For Less.
Whether you are passionate about writing fiction, non-fiction, or everything in between, there is a place for your work in ebook marketplaces including Amazon Direct Kindle Publishing, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Nook Press, and more.
3. Love drawing? Design emojis and characters.
Drawing cartoons in your spare time? With the rise of social chatting applications there is a growing marketplace for stickers. Using platforms like Line, Apple iMessage, Kakao, and Viber, cartoonists and illustrators can create a sticker set and collect royalties on the products sold.
Listing my designs on the Line platform has provided me with passive income and it is fun to text friends with my own artwork.
4. Turn your passion for crafting into a business.
If you enjoy making homemade gifts and fun products, handmade marketplaces can provide you with an additional source of income. Amazon Handmade, Etsy, Pinkoi, and dozens of other handmade platforms allow artisans to sell their handmade and creative ideas through an online storefront.
5. Monetize your photography.
Photography can be a fun hobby for many--but this hobby can also provide you with a steady stream of income. Numerous stock photo sites, including Shutterstock and Fotolia, offer photographers royalties for making their work available for commercial and personal use in their marketplace.
6. Turn your passion for teaching into a Udemy course.
If you enjoy teaching, consider building a Udemy or Skillshare course. On these learning platforms, teachers of all trades can put together a course about their area of expertise and share it with the world. Many teachers have flocked to the platform, building everything from classes about machine learning to courses teaching sewing 101.
"Udemy is a great program to make passive income," said Udemy instructor, Dragoş Ștefănescu. "Most people don't have the marketing skills to build an online course themselves and find potential customers. A platform like Udemy offers a great marketplace with potential buyers. If you have a quality course, you can generate passive income for months and years to come."
7. Offer a professional service for businesses.
Platforms like Elance, Fiverr, and UpWork make it easy to monetize a skill-set you are passionate about. From translation services to copywriting and designing, many businesses are looking for talented individuals to help them complete a professional task.
8. Use your craft to teach others on YouTube.
From woodsmiths to calligraphers and makeup artists, chances are there is someone wanting to learn your trade. Many hobbyists make YouTube content explaining their hobbies and they monetize the content through YouTube's' partner program, which offers ad revenue for high-performing YouTube videos.
The web can be a magical place for creatives and hobbyists to monetize their passion with new platforms and marketplaces available each year. Start a new project today and see where it takes you!