How to Convert Your Passion in to an Income


passionEveryone these days seems to be chanting follow your passions and make more money – or some variation of that concept. In theory that sounds simple, not the least of which because most of us can identify our passions pretty quickly. The wrinkle in the directive is figuring out how to convert your passion in to an income.

It’s never as easy as hanging your shingle outside your front door inviting people to do business with you. If there is a market out there you will have to first identify it, then get the attention of enough potential clients, and only then will there be any income.

If you already know what your passion is, how can you convert that into an income in a way that will not have you running out of money on a marketing campaign before you even start making any money?

Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to market your business idea. Some are free, and some cost very little money. That will be important, since any marketing campaign is a long-term venture.

No one ever makes money just running a single a TV commercial; the payoff comes only after you run it hundreds of times in dozens of different markets. If you want to turn your passion into an income, you’ll have to do the same thing, and here are some ways you can without going broke.

Start a website or blog

One of the first, best ways to convert a passion into a business is by starting a website or blog. Nearly every business today needs a website, not just to advertise the business, but also as a place to transact business with their customers.

You can start your own website or blog for not a lot of money. You can get quality web hosting for just a few dollars a month, and then start your site with free templates, such as WordPress. You can build the site yourself, which is not all as difficult as it used to be, or you can hire someone on a contract basis to build one for you. It shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars total.

Make YouTube videos

If you have a computer and a web cam you can make your own YouTube videos very easily. All you need to do is pitch your product or service in the comfort of your own home, download the video on YouTube and then do what you can do promote it around the web. Think of it as creating your own TV commercial, except that it will cost you nothing!

YouTube is especially valuable if your potential market is national or global. Since YouTube cuts across state and national boundaries, it’s your opportunity to put your own commercials out to the world.

List your products and services on Craigslist

If YouTube is primarily for national or global reach, then Craigslist is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Advertising on Craigslist is primarily for your local market “ not just in your state or province  but in your immediate metropolitan area. Best of all, advertising on Craigslist is free.

Craigslist is the online equivalent to the neighborhood or metropolitan newspaper. It is area specific, and is set up just like traditional classified advertisements.

Participate in seminars

There are a lot of people out there looking to start and promote businesses, and some of them are running seminars. If you could join with one or with several, related but not competing businesses, you may be able to add your own pitch at one or more seminars.

If you’re doing this with related businesses, there is a very good chance that you’ll get some of the customer base that other businesses are trying to reach. Check out what’s going on with business promotions and seminars in your area, and see if you can join in. .

Look to part-time jobs for experience and contacts

This isn’t an area most would-be business people would seek to promote their venture, but could be an excellent starting point. If your passion involves entering a business or career field that you have never been in in the past, getting a part-time job in the business can be an excellent point of entry.

Not only will you get valuable hands-on experience, but you’ll also gain important contacts that will make your business entry easier. And you’ll do it all on someone else’s payroll. It doesn’t get any better than that.

If you want to convert your passion into an income, you’ll almost certainly have to market your idea. If you’re going to do that, you’re going to have to think long-term. You can handle the marketing by paying little or no money, and you’ll have the flexibility to carry on your efforts for as long as it takes to succeed.

With that kind of lead time, you almost can’t help but hit pay dirt.

Do you have a passion you’re looking to convert to an income? Have you tried any of the venues above? Can you suggest others that are free or low cost?

photo by bigtallguy

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Written by Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

Kevin

With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of OutOfYourRut.com, a website about careers, business ideas, money and more. A committed Christian, he lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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