Is that even a word? If it isn’t, you read it hear first! Let’s continue the series I started yesterday:
What I wrote last year: As part of paying down our debt I’m going to start trying out different ways of monetizing some of the things I do on the internets. I’ve already started somewhat by doing some custom work related to my Organize Series Plugin for WordPress but I’m planning on expanding on that by releasing some custom add-on plugins for Organize Series that will not be free. Along that lines, I’ve been following this discussion on Weblog Tools Collection because it helps me consider how I might go about doing this. Been thinking about bringing classy ads to my blog too.
After a LOT of hard work (much more than I anticipated) and frequent long nights, OrganizeSeries.com went live in early October. So far things are going well, not as well as I hoped but nevertheless I’m at least paying for the costs of hosting my websites. Another great thing that happened along with Organize Series this past year is that I gained some extra freelance work and supplemented my income that way (many thanks to the clients who contacted me and gave me the work!). Finally, as you’ve noticed probably already – there’s no ads to my blog (yet).
What I learned: Here’s the cool thing. Organize Series is something I’ve been developing for nearly four years now (before WordPress it was actually a PHPNuke module!!) and I’ve basically honed my skills through working on it. I love the fact that what had been just a hobby is now turning into a great little business on the side that’s helping my family with some of the financial goals we have. Organize Series also lead to some great freelance work that I never advertised for or went looking for. All I had (and still have) is a little option on my contact form for people to express interest in hiring me for development work.
The lesson for me this year is that with a little creativity it is possible to turn a hobby you love doing into something that can bring in an income too. The bonus, because I love doing web development I VALUE EXCELLENCE in whatever I do, so my clients and Organize Series users can trust that I will work hard for them.
The difficulty of course has been struggling to balance my time with my full-time job (pastoring at a great church in Waterloo), my family, and now my part-time freelancing business and OrganizeSeries.com on the side. This is something I’ll be continuing to work on in the coming year.
The other lesson is that getting to this level in my development skills and to the point of making money with it did NOT happen over night. It happened through hard work and learning through lot’s of reading, lot’s of experimenting, and lots of DOING (or in the words of Seth Godin, “shipping it“). The hard work is WORTH it because it’s something I love to do. Also, these skills are granting me the ability to do some work for two organizations I really love supporting (more about that in a future post).
So, what hobbies do you have that are making you better at doing something? Is it something that you can make a little bit of money off of? Are you doing that now?
The deeper question for my spiritual readers, could it be possible God has given you the love for this activity/hobby because He has something in mind He wants you to use it for? What are you doing with it?