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Turning your hobby into a business is easier than you'd think
We all have hobbies and a lot of us never really think of turning them into a business, but we easily can! Think about it, there are plenty of e-commerce platforms out there that allow you to go live and sell your products within the same day, so why couldn't you use those for your hobby and start making some extra cash?
There are plenty of people out there that attend craft shows and sell their products. These products are made because the people had a hobby and started venturing into the business realm to make a few dollars at every show. Some of these shows can make a hobbyist $1,000+ in a single day, which is a ton of money for some small things that you made at home, so why couldn't you tweak this method for what your hobby consists of and make some cash?
A lot of hobbyists aren't familiar with all the things you need to do to get a website up and running, or they're scared to venture online and deal with buyers who could file a chargeback. For me and you, it's not a big deal to set up a website, blog, or marketplace because we know of all the CMS platforms, plugins, and 3rd party services to go live right now and sell, but that's not the case for most people.
Another problem is that some hobbyists don't think there is money to be made within their passion, but that's not true in most cases! There is a lady selling necklaces and other crafts that are made out of moose poop, and she's killing it! So, if you don't think your hobby can make you some cash remember there is a lady selling poop online and making loads of money lol.
If you're reading this because you have a hobby you're interested in working with to make some cash but don't know what to do to get online, I'm here to help!
You'll need a website, hosting, and payment integrations to get this going and I hope you don't think it will take an hour to set all this up. If this is your first time setting up a website then it'll likely take you a week, or maybe a couple of weeks, but it'll be worth it in the end
NameCheap is the host I tend to go with, but I've heard good things about SiteGround if you want to venture over there and try them out then you'll likely be as happy as if you were if you went with NameCheap. You won't need a crazy large plan, start with their basic plan, and pay for the entire year up front. I think NameCheaps basic plan is around $50 for the year and you can even tie your domain name to the hosting, so you don't have to worry about setting any of that up.
This is a Secure Socket Layer, which is a fancy way of saying your website is more secure for online purchases, and you'll need this if you're selling online.
NameCheap gives out free SSLs with their hosting plans, so you won't have to worry about this if you go with them
This is a Content Management System, and I tend to go with Wordpress paired with WooCommerce so you can have an E-commerce website that sells your products. You need to access your Cpanel and find the Wordpress logo then install your CMS onto your hosting. This takes a few clicks and installs rather quickly
Adding WooCommerce is easy as well, you go to the plugins section and search for WooCommerce and download then activate
If you want to spend a little more money on this, you can have a custom looking design that will make you look more professional. I like to get my themes/designs from themeforest.net because they're reasonably priced and you upload the files in the "Appearance" section of your WordPress dashboard, and you're good to go! Just be sure to edit everything you can so it's genuinely your website and doesn't show the placeholder info
After you have all of that setup, you can now upload your products and configure them through WooCommerce. This isn't difficult but will take a decent amount of time if you have multiple images for each product, and you have dozens of products to sell. If you're selling just one or two items it shouldn't be too long before you're done and ready to sell
In the end, you'll want to have your hosting, domain, and SSL set up before you start installing WordPress, WooCommerce, and your theme. It's not difficult to set all of this up, it just takes time, and you'll have to wait at least 24 hours before your hosting is ready so be patient and get your products up for sale in a week or two
Thanks for reading
- Tommy Carey