"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Use Hobby Writing to Increase Your Portfolio and Your Bottom Line

Baskets by Jen
 "Never mix business with pleasure," states a popular adage.
And most times this admonition is right on the money!
But, for writers seeking to have a more lucrative career, and more avenues for their creativity, hobby writing is a great way to earn pay for play.

Here's why.
We live in the "information age" and people's need to know, has fueled endless opportunities to pen "how-tos" in various niches and genres.
Here's another bonus: you don't have to necessarily be a designated "expert" to craft these pieces and get paid for your time and talent.

And I should know. As a monthly lessons writer for a hugely popular productivity site, I earn cash on an ongoing basis, for helping others to learn how to have fun, save money, and improve their quality of life.
And you can too.

Based upon my talent, experience and interests, these are a few topics for which I've been paid to provide instruction to others:

  • How to decorate on a dime
  • How to become an educated thrift store shopper
  • How to hire a service provider for your home
  • How to make creative gift baskets for fun or profit
  • How to have a Happy Valentine's Day when Cupid is M.I.A.
  • How to teach online classes
Get the idea?
My current WIP are lessons on planning a successful wedding, how to buy a home, and how to make your own wine.
If I must say folks, it doesn't get much better than being able to write on things you love and getting paid good money in the process. Hello?

The other benefit to hobby writing is that today's savvy writer can tap into their own knowledge base, and avoid a lot of time consuming, grueling research, and still produce quality results.

If you're on board, let's get started with a few key practices and principles:

  1. Just like Santa, you'll need to make a list and check it twice. Identify your strengths. I'll start. Mine would be: time management, penny pinching, decorating with baskets, project management tips, creative strategies for writers, dating dos and don'ts, and career advice.
  2. From your list, extract a few viable options. For example, though you may know how to stand on your head for 10 minutes, or get your cat to dance to disco songs, how likely is it that many others would find your "talent" useful to them? Assess and apply.
  3. Try to write out a lesson with steps for readers to follow, much like a recipe.
  4. Revisit and revise accordingly.
  5. Look at sites like Ehow.com and http://www.soyouwanna.com/ for ideas and guidelines.
  6. Remember that practice makes perfect. "Lather, rinse, repeat."
  7. Keep a journal or spreadsheet to capture future ideas and potential markets.
  8. Enjoy!

    Your turn. What's your hobby or unusual talent?
    Have you ever written about it? Do tell.


  1. Thanks for this post, Jennifer!

    I've been writing a blog about doll collecting for nearly 5 years, but it has never occurred to me that I could provide advice on that topic and get paid. Now I am thinking ... what about my re-organizing project? How could I use that for an article?

    I'll write back after I've done something on this. But you've got my brain going - thanks for the boost!

    1. D7ana,

      That's what I'm here for! :-) Please keep me posted. Maybe you could use your re-organizing project and tie it in with the theme of spring cleaning or time management...? Thanks so much for stopping by and starting us off today. Much luck.

  2. This really is an excellent idea!

    I have been thinking about things like Lessons Writing, and Hobby Writing before, and for example recently I also actually did write a 'How To' About How to Create Personalised Photo Collages as a Gift.

    While in that post I was already somewhat more 'Explaining' than usual, your post did make me realise, and remind me of a need for familiarising myself some more with things like looking for In demand subjects, Positioning, Identifying Course Topic Area's, Learing Objectives and things like that.

    And talking about tapping into my own Knowledgebase,
    Some years ago when working in the Music Business...,

    I actually have been involved in writing detailed
    Assignments & Instructions for a Workforce that did
    the Distribution of Large amounts -, and a Variety of
    Promotional Point of Sale Materials (POS), there writing with a 'Step-by-step' approach was also important.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, H.P., it' always interesting to hear about your time in the music business and your writing tie-ins. :-)

      And I think the photo collages would be great as a hobbies lesson for pay.

    2. Thanks, yesterday I actually found a few interesting Music Memoribilia, like some of the Promotional POS-Materials I wrote about in my comment, and also things like Concert Invitations, Autographed CD's etc. etc.

      You definitely Inspired me with lot's of new ideas for possible 'How To' Articles also, like for example about 'How to Set Up Your Own (Photo Collage Making) Workshop' etc. etc. :)

    3. H.P.,

      Sounds exciting; please keep me posted!

      Also, send me your email address at Gemsjen@yahoo.com.


    4. Although currently I am more just Focussing on Blogging & Affilite Marketing also writing some more practical 'How To'-type blogposts, based on my corporate (teaching) experience might be a good way to provide more value to you as a reader.

      For what my email address is concerned, in the top left corner of the writing blog, under 'Home' you can find the Main Blog,

      On that blog you can find amungst other things, a Guest Book and a funny Mailbox image that you can click as an automatic Mailto.

  3. I've been trying to do this with architecture, art, and design. For me it's about breaking into those markets, which I haven't done yet.

    1. Keep at it, Sarah. Persistence "pays". Although I think that your topic idea perhaps may not be as marketable for the average individual interested in DIY projects.

      Thanks for your thoughts.