Mandy Kloppers

Love What You Do: Monetizing Your Passion


It would be ideal if we could all make money pursuing our passions, but there are some jobs that no one seems to have a passion for, which would create serious problems for the rest of us. However, it is possible to follow your passions, monetize it, and make a living doing something that you love.

The question becomes “Where do you start?” That one is followed quickly by “How do you do that?” The answer, as with the answer to many other things, is that it depends. It depends on your passion, what your definition of making a living is, and how determined you are to make that passion into a profession, a vocation, and even a career.

It is nice when someone asks, “What do you do?” to be able to answer with the thing you are most passionate about. But to love what you do and monetize from your passion, there are some steps you need to follow.

Narrow Your Focus

Your passion might be photography. However, that is a broad field and there are many types of photography. Some are easy to turn into a way to make a living, others are much harder. To determine how to monetize your passion, you will have to narrow it down. For instance, if you want to be a photographer, you will have to determine what kind of photographer you want to be.

If you like to take pictures of people, there are ways to make a living as a portrait photographer, or you can do something outside the box like Brandon Stanton did with Humans of New York. If you prefer to take landscapes and nature photos, there are other ways to sell your photos and prints online and make money from your photos.

The key is that you need to specialize beyond a general occupation like writer or photographer to what kind of writer or photographer you want to be.

Get Educated

Getting educated does not mean that you have to go to college. It does mean that you need to know something about your passion and the best ways to use it, and that you need to get better at it. It is rare that your first novel will be the Great American Novel That Launches You to Fame. It is more likely that this will come several books down the line if it comes at all, once you have learned more about the writing craft.

The same is true for photography, music, or any other passion. It is unlikely that a self-taught photographer without a mentor or any education, or a musician who has never had lessons, will simply become the next Ansel Adams or Carlos Santana. The most famous writers,

photographers, and musicians have all had mentors and learned from someone even if just from peers, writing groups, or community classes.

Education does not have to be formal, but it does have to exist. Without education it is more likely that your passion will remain a hobby rather than a profession.

Get a Job

One option for monetizing your passion is to get a job. If you can get someone else to pay you to do the thing that you love the most, you’re winning. Of course, for some passions this is easier than others, but you may be able to get someone to pay you to take portraits even if it is just in a small studio. This still creates the opportunity to gain experience.

The same is true for writing. You might get a job writing blogs for different websites. That counts as writing practice and you have the chance to be creative just like if you are writing fiction. It also teaches you to write tight and too a deadline. The same can be said for journalism and other kinds of writing.

The experience you gain in working for someone else can also benefit you in other ways. It can set you up for going your own way and starting your own business.

LinkedIn is a great place to start your job search. You can use the email finder tool on LinkedIn to look up the email address of your recruiter and reach out to them about your interest. Make sure to personalize your message and explain why you are interested in the position. You may also want to include your resume or a link to your profile on LinkedIn.

Start your Own Business

This is yet another way to monetize your passion. Start your own portrait studio or open a gallery. Open your own coffee shop or embark on a freelance writing or photography career. Whatever you are passionate about, look for a way to turn it into your own business.

A word of caution here: this also means you need to have a mind for business and be self-motivated. This is often the case with our passions, but you need to be sure that you understand there are administrative burdens and tax issues you must deal with when you are self-employed that do not affect you when you work for someone else.

Owning your own business lets you be in charge of your vision and make decisions without placating someone else’s desires and dreams unless you take on partners or investors. This does have its drawbacks though, so be sure you are not ignoring the advice of others who could really help your business grow and thrive.

You’ll need some business education to do this, so besides being knowledgeable in your passion you will also need to be knowledgeable in how to effectively run a business.

Get to Blogging

Monetization of a blog is another great way to make money with something you are passionate about. It is also a lot of hard work. You will need to first choose and set up a domain name, one that is easy to say, spell, and type into a browser. Then you will have to choose hosting and design your site.

Once you have done those things though, you can start blogging. You will need to build up an audience through social media and even paid ads first, but once you have some traffic coming to your site, you can then look at making some money. Money comes from blogs in a few different ways, and for more tips click here for advise on monetizing your website.

* Ads: You can run native ads like those from Google or Amazon, or you can sell ad space on your site, and even through the use of social media.

* Affiliate Programs: These are links, photos, or ads you put on your site that allow you to get paid every time someone makes a purchase.

* Sponsored Posts: Some brands and even SEO companies will want to be featured on your blog and will pay you to place their posts on your site.

* Site Sponsors: When you have enough traffic, a brand or business associated with the topic of your site might want to be featured regularly. This site sponsorship can be a great source of regular revenue for your blog.

You can monetize your passion in a number of ways. Doing what you love and making money at it makes your life richer and more fulfilling. It will still be work, but if it is work you love, you will be a happier and healthier person for it. Follow this guide to monetizing your passion today.

Mandy X

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