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It's hard to think of fun ways to make money without including cashing in on some of your favorite hobbies and passions. What could be more fun than focusing not only on what you love to do in your spare time — crafting, taking photographs, writing, baking — but making some extra cash while doing it? Take whatever passion you have that you hope to earn some extra cash with, and plug it into the three steps below.

1. Figure Out What One Product Unit Looks Like

When you start thinking about fun ways to make money with your hobby or passion, you need to change the way you look at it. You're going to be selling this to someone else, so you need to figure out a way to package your passion into a product unit. For example, a writer's product unit could be one freelance article, one homemade greeting card or one resume. If you're a photographer, your product unit could be one family portrait session or a wedding. For crafters, you'll need to create something you can replicate over and over again with slight variations to satisfy your customer's tastes.

A great way to get started with this step is to browse products already being offered in your market. Search sites like Etsy and Pinterest for crafts similar to yours, photographer sites in your local area to see how they package their deals and job forums such as or writer rates.

2. Test the Market

You don't want to spend hours upon hours creating 50 of the same product unit – even if it does feel gleeful – without knowing whether that product will sell. Save yourself some headache and an excess pile of scarves by first testing your new product out on the market. An easy way to do this is to offer a limited number of products for sale to people in your current social network. Post about what you have to sell in Facebook groups you're part of that allow promotions and spread the word offline as well. Are there any craft fairs that would allow you to open your business just for a weekend?

During this trial period you want to gauge the demand for your product, as well as get feedback from early customers. Are there tweaks you can make to really make your masterpiece fly off the digital shelves? If what you created doesn't sell well, don't fret. That's great information as well. Take the feedback you received, and go back to step one to figure out a new product to make.

3. Find Your Solid Gold Distribution Platform

Since you're starting out as a one-person operation, you might only be able to create one product per week. Or maybe you can create five products per day. The point is that you want to use a platform to sell your products at the pace you can supply them. You can cap your sales quantities through limited offers on a personal website, and through small or midsized platforms like Etsy that allow you to indicate the quantity available (as well as automatically update that quantity as you sell). Large distribution sites include places like The platform you choose all depends on what you're offering and how much time you can dedicate to creation.

The helpful thing about taking action on something, such as cashing in on your hobbies and passions, is that there's a built-in feedback loop. Each time you sell something new, use a different platform or otherwise put yourself "out there," you will learn. And as you learn, be sure to make tweaks and changes so that in the end you'll build yourself a well-oiled cash machine.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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