How to Turn Your Favorite Hobby into a Profitable Business

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Have you ever wondered if you could earn an income from home, doing what you truly love? These 5 simple, but very important steps help you figure out what kind of hobby makes a good business, how to make it profitable, and a clear direction of where to head next. Warning: This post is LONG, but good! #workfromhome #entrepreneur #entrepeneurideas #selfemployed #homebusiness #hobby #hobbies

I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I knew I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle from 9-5 each day, and do it over and over again until the day I retired or died. I know that sounds pretty morbid, but it’s true! I literally feel like a caged animal whenever I work for someone else. That’s how desperately I wanted to be my own boss.

So it’s no surprise all sorts of business ideas popped into my head after I graduated college. Okay, who am I kidding….I actually started some of these ideas during college!

It would take forever to list them all here {yep, there’s a lot!}, but suffice it say, if I was pretty good at something, I had to find a way to make it profitable. One of these hobbies was cake decorating. I took all the classes at Michaels and fell in love with the craft.

During the next few months, I worked hard at turning those cakes into a business — I did a lot of birthdays, weddings, and even cupcakes for corporate events and to sell at farmer’s markets. I was having so much fun…..until I wasn’t. Making cakes eventually felt like a chore more than anything else, especially since I wasn’t earning much of a profit.

Meanwhile, I filled my spare time by writing on a very small blog {it’s obvious I can’t focus on one thing at a time}, and after about a year, I stumbled across success stories of bloggers who were making a living from their writing. Because I have always loved to write, I knew was the next step for me — not cakes. And for the past few years, I’ve been able to take this hobby to the next level and turn it into a profitable business.

Oh, and guess what? I’m still loving it too!

So this begs the question — what was the difference between these two hobbies that made me stick with one and not the other?

I think part of it was the journey of self-discovery, and finding out what I was made to do. But I also believe it was also the result of five simple, yet very important things that allowed one hobby to be more sustainable, and profitable, than the other.

Since you’re reading this post, I assume you may have one or two creative hobbies in the back of your head that you’re considering as a potential business. Or, perhaps you never even thought about turning your hobby into a business, and wonder if it might be truly possible. I’m here to tell you it is, as long as you follow each of these five steps.

1. Make Sure Your Business Aligns with Your Sweet Spot

All of us at one time or another have wanted to make money from something we are truly passionate about, and what better way to do that then with a hobby you already enjoy? But a business takes much more than that to truly succeed. The perfect culmination of your passions, skills, talents, and knowledge — also called your sweet spot  is what makes a business thrive.

Crystal Paine talks a lot about this in her book Money Making Mom: How Every Women Can Earn More and Make a Differenceand how to know what business idea to invest in based on these four things.

Talent: What are you naturally good at it? When you invest in your talents, you have the potential to become over-the-top amazing at it.

Skill: Likewise, you can also develop skills that are not natural talent, but you can become good at through hard work and practice.

Passion: What makes you feel energized? What can you talk about for hours without getting tired of it? You have to be passionate about your business idea so as not to burn out fast. Note that I said passion, not interest. There’s a big difference.

Knowledge: Many of us have knowledge in different areas based on the jobs we do, or experiences we have. Or in some cases, simply because you enjoy learning about a specific topic.

It might take some digging, time, and trial-and-error to find out what that sweet spot is for you. But when you do find it, you will have the perfect formula to launch a profitable business.

2. Know How to Stand Out

One misconception when thinking about what business to start, is that it has to be completely original. I hate to break it to you, but chances are, your idea has probably been done before. And if it hasn’t, know that this is very very rare!

Have you ever wondered if you could earn an income from home, doing what you truly love? These 5 simple, but very important steps help you figure out what kind of hobby makes a good business, how to make it profitable, and a clear direction of where to head next. Warning: This post is LONG, but good!

Instead of feeling discouraged though, I think this should actually be encouraging. If someone is already doing what you want to do, and they earn an income from it, then you now have the unique opportunity to study a business that works. Don’t copy, of course, but don’t be afraid to see what makes them so successful either.

Then figure out how to make it better.

Outline your business idea and come up with your unique angle. Put your own spin on the products and services you offer. Make it unique, and make it you. This is the only way you will stand out from the crowd and be different than everyone else.

3. Value Your Work (But Make Sure Someone Will Pay for It)

When I first started my cake business, I failed to price myself at a rate that was sustainable over time. A cost to buy a cake from me was little more than supplies, even though there was a whole lot of sweat equity involved. This was primarily because of the market I was in, and customers were just not willing to pay extra for a specially customized cake, when they could grab a $20 one at the grocery store.

This experience taught me two very valuable lessons:

  • My time is worth more than a few dollars. If I want to truly be successful at business, I need to stand up for myself and price accordingly.
  • Some creative hobbies don’t make the best business because of time spent, cost of supplies, and demand for the product or service.

So as you’re considering what hobby to turn into a business, or any business idea for that matter, ask yourself some hard questions before getting in too deep. Be willing to try something else if the math just doesn’t add up. Profit margins are important to keep any company afloat and earn an actual living. 

4. Do it Even on the Days You Want to Quit

We talked about passion a little bit in #1, but I have to bring it up again because it’s that important. When clients and customers give you bad reviews, you hit a brick wall, or lose money month-after-month, the only thing that is going to sustain you…, fuel you….will be your passion.

Unfortunately, most hobbies usually start out with passion, but fizzle out when demanding deadlines stifle creativity, and the pressure to perform turns what you used to love, into a not-so-fun and dreaded chore. That’s when many business owners throw in the towel and just quit.

Have you ever wondered if you could earn an income from home, doing what you truly love? These 5 simple, but very important steps help you figure out what kind of hobby makes a good business, how to make it profitable, and a clear direction of where to head next. Warning: This post is LONG, but good!

Quitting isn’t always a bad thing, however, know the difference between quitting because it’s hard, or quitting because this business idea is not for you. 

It may just be that you need a break to reevaluate why you started the business, how to improve it, and what will rekindle that fire you had when you first started. Those who press on despite all the setbacks, are much stronger business owners in the long run, and if you are truly passionate about a topic, the passion will carry you through the hard times.

5. Be a Constant Student of the Craft

Every business owner should constantly research, read, and be a continual student. Know your industry inside and out, and learn business practices that will help you be successful and take you to the next level. No matter how profitable or how successful you are, you can never know all there is to know.

My favorite resources right now are podcasts. I just love listening to them when I’m doing work that doesn’t require a whole lot of concentration, or while I’m driving in the car. For anyone looking to turn their hobby into a business, I recommend you follow and listen to:

You should also try to read at least one business book a month to learn more about how to run a profitable business, spark new ideas, and be the inspiration you need to keep going. Likewise, you should also be studying your craft to learn new skill sets and upcoming trends. Bluprint offers hundreds of classes from beginner to advanced for just about any hobby imaginable!


If you have that entrepreneurial inkling in the back of your mind, don’t ignore it. Try a variety of ideas until one sticks. You might not get your hobby-turned-business right on the first try, {I certainly didn’t}, but this is in no way cause for discouragement. Take a leap of faith and do something. Because when you do figure it out, it’s literally one of the best feelings in the world.

I think Crystal, author of Money Making Mom, explains it best when she says, “You were made for more than just surviving the day, making a decent income, living for the weekend, or making your car payment on time. You were created to make a difference.”

I couldn’t agree more. Go. Be that difference.

mmm-jar 2If you’ve ever longed to help out your family’s finances and earn an income from home, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Money Making Mom.

Crystal Paine, founder of shares her own journey to financial freedom through the success of her blog, as well as stories of countless other women who have done the same.

By the time you finish this book, you will have a clear direction on what money making idea to try first, and how to get started!

Have you ever considered turning a hobby into a business?


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. Omg! You sound so much like me! I did cake decorating and felt exactly the same! I still do….Thank you for this article.’ve really made me think……xx

  2. Hi!! I just found your blog via Pinterest and I am loving it!! I currently work full-time in addition to blogging and freelancing, though I’ve recently cut way back on the freelancing portion.

    I have a personal finance blog that’s about 1 1/2 years old and I’m just now starting to see some income from it. I’m also starting a new blog (launching Feb 1) that I hope will be my actual brand. I’ll keep the finance blog, too, but really hope to grow the new one (new one is

    LOVE that you moved across the country to a state you love! We moved from AZ to NC (our dream state!) in August 2014. It is also the best decision we’ve made! I absolutely love it here. I have family in S Florida and love that area too!

    Congrats on having such success with your blog!! I would love for my husband to be able to stay home, too!! (Though I’m not sure if he’d be into the whole blogging thing hahaha)

    So happy to have found you!! 🙂

    1. Glad you stopped by, Sarah!! Looks like we have a lot in common. 🙂

      P.S. I love the name of your finance blog!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I have always thought of doing a business with my hobbies but I have always had so many questions. You answered some and gave me a target for others. I especially appreciated the “sweet spot”. I have so many hobbies and interests, I didn’t feel like I could focus but this gave me something to shoot for. Gave me a lot to think about! Thank again!!

    1. Your welcome, Jenica. Hopefully you can find that perfect sweet spot! I really wish Crystal had written her book 8 years ago. It would have helped me make fewer mistakes in the journey to my “Sweet Spot.”

  4. I struggle with these as the only thing I am good at is cleaning and organizing.
    But how do I turn that into a business when I don’t necessarily want to spend all my hours cleaning strangers’ homes?

    1. Do you like to write, Trisha? There is a niche of organizing bloggers who create content and digital products about cleaning and organizing. One of my favorites is the Organizing Junkie, Laura. I suggest this option if you enjoy writing. Blogging is a lot of work up front with not much payoff until down the road, but if you like to write and like learning {you are constantly learning as a blogger} this could be a great option for you! If you haven’t already, check out my post Can You Really Make Money Blogging and the update.

  5. One of the most interesting article I’ve heard about the topic of starting a small business. Thank you for sharing your story and tips. I was very happy when my business kicked off and found my self lost in time doing custom portraits everyday for a living. I combined my passion for illustrating, collage and assisting others. I feel great when I get the feedback for my costumes knowing that my paintings were there for them on their anniversary or wedding or that it made their familly talking about it for days 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lydia! I think #4 has always been the most difficult one for me personally, but each time you keep yourself from quitting {if it truly is a passion} it will build momentum for making the right decision the next time you are tempted to give up!

  6. Thank you for taking the time to write this article, it’s just want I needed to hear. I love to crochet, and would like to find a way to turn that into a viable business. One of my problems is that I don’t value my time. When a friend asks me to make something for them I feel guilty for charging for the time it takes to make it. I know it sounds silly, and is something I need to get over if I’m ever going to make this business I have in mind work.

    Thanks again for the advice, it was really helpful. 🙂 – Melissa

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Melissa! Time is so valuable and people who understand that will value your handiwork. I’m reminded of that every time I go to Lancaster PA and see all the beautiful handmade quilts by the Amish, and their price-tags. I completely understand why they are so expensive with the hours and hours of work that are put into them.

  7. You are speaking my language! I gave up the 9-5 job 10 years and I have never looked back. Online opportunities give those of us that want to pursue our dreams in a different way than the traditional American Dream is amazing. Wouldn’t you say? Keep it up and go out there and live unstoppable!

    1. That’s so exciting to hear! Congratulations on 10 years!! The internet is so full of possibilities that I feel like I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of it’s potential. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

  8. Thank you for these tips and along with it motivation! I just found your blog from Crystal’s and glad I did! Passion is key! For if there is no passion, you will not continue on those hard days.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Heidi. You are welcome here any time! You are totally right – passion is what separates something you like to do from something you truly love doing.

  9. Hi Kalyn!!

    Great post! I totally agree about finding your “Sweet spot” and think that’s great advice. I have merged my two passions – finance and writing – and also created a blog and am a freelance writer! I love the fact that I can earn money from home and be with my kids (my true passion is my babies!!). Wonderful tips, thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks Sarah! I’m totally agree that being at home is absolutely the best part about blogging! It can be such a creative outlet for SAHMs who are also entrepreneurs. I took a quick stroll over to the Frugal Millionaire website and it looks great and so full of awesome tips… now I have another exciting blog to add to my reading list!

  10. Hi Kalyn!

    Great post! I love all your points of advice. I think profitability can be more difficult for women sometimes because we often don’t price ourselves appropriately. I’m so glad you found something you love to do that also pays well!

    You have a beautiful blog. I’m so pumped for Crystal’s book, and you’re in luck – you may just hear her lovely voice on our podcast next week 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning our podcast – we’re just thrilled to hear that you love it. It’s always fun to get to know our listeners! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you for your kindness, Beth! I really look forward to the opportunities I get to listen to “Brilliant Business Moms” and I will be sure to check out this weeks special guest! 🙂

  11. Well written, Kalyn! I agree that hobbies can become businesses, but it does take dedication and hard-work. And you really do need to love it! I also think that when you start treating your hobby as a business is when you will start to see the most growth. At least, I know that’s true once I really committed to growing my blog into a business. Aside from blogging, teaching piano lessons has turned into a nice part-time job for me. And like you, my mind is constantly turning with more income earning ideas!

    1. I just wish there was more than 24 hours in a day… if there were, the entrepreneur in me would probably start at least 2 more businesses. 🙂

  12. #4 is HUGE — there will be days when you don’t want to do it. You have to remember your mission and fight through those days because if you stop, it’s much much harder to start back up again.

    1. That is so true, Jim. Keeping going through the tough days is really the proof of whether or not your in it for real or if you just liked the idea in your head.

  13. Yes, I have turned a hobby into a business…kinda, it’s really my boyfriend’s business, but I get all the benefits! 🙂 I love going to garage/yard sales and thrift stores, so we turned my secondhand shopping habit into a resale business (my boyfriend was bit by the bug when we ran across a box of Nintendo games selling for $15 and once all resold, we made roughly $350). We’ve been doing this for about 2.5 years, but only really become serious about 1.5 years ago. Our business has grown so much and there’s still other avenues we could explore, if we had the time (we both have full-time jobs as well). Still, ideas are always spinning in our mind. Unfortunately, having a business isn’t all fun and games and it can take a lot of money to start a business. Thankfully, we’ve not gone into debt and we refuse to take out a loan, but that also means we are shoestringing it along. Still, after taxes and cost of goods, last year we made roughly $10,000, so it’s more than we had before. Plus, it’s something we can do together! 🙂 Both of us would love to quit our jobs and do reselling full-time and even take it on the road, but it’s not in the cards at this time.

    1. Hi Kim! Making and extra $10K per year is TOTALLY a business!! (Not just a “kinda business.”) I have always found it so difficult to know how much I could sell something for when I see what I think is a good deal at a yard sale. It sounds like you and your husband have mastered that skill!

      1. You’re right, it is a legit business. I said “kinda” because the business is actually in my boyfriend’s name and I’m more like his assistant. 🙂 Still, I love it. We have trained our eyes pretty well, but there are still things we likely pass up that could be profitable and things we buy that are duds. We also tend to stick with new items, with tags, still in package…that sort of thing…makes it easier to list and sell on Amazon or eBay. We also pay for programs/phone apps that help us look up items by their barcodes/UPCs. Makes things easier/quicker when you’re in a large warehouse or library book sale, so long as the internet is decent.

        Here’s an vague example:

        We sell a little bag that holds a couple slim children’s books and has a popular female character on it. It’s brand new, still has tags and in a suffocation warning bag from the manufacturer. We can buy them for $1.50 from our source. However, they are selling for easily $16.99 on a certain website. After cost of goods (COGS) and fees, we make $10.50 on that little bag. So it’s easy for us to decide to buy 120 bags at a time…especially with Christmas coming up! There are also many other factors to consider before diving in, but this is the simple version.

        If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. We love helping people, even if we can’t give away all of our secrets!

    2. Kim S, loved your comments. Would you feel okay about saying where you all resell? I’m guessing ebay but
      you may have other ideas.

      Best to you!

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