How to make money from a hobby?
I went for a job interview this week. Not that I am really looking for a new job but a great opportunity was presented to me by a recruiter about a week ago and I thought I had to give it my best shot.
The job was for Australia's largest online realestate agency and it would have been wonderful but I didn't succeed. Two jobs where on offer and 3 candidates had a second round interview. I came third of the three.
This hub isn't about my disappointment in not succeeding with the job. It is actually about the interest these interviewers took in my hobby or project in prepaidplans.com.au.
We actually spent 20 minutes talking about the site, how and why I started it, what I was doing to promote it, and what I was doing to sell advertising. Being a publisher of advertisements for realestate agents, the business was essentially in the business of selling advertising space. So they were quite keen to learn how a novice had gone about deciding to price advertising space on his website.
In retrospect I probably should have made it sound a lot more sophisticated than I did. It probably would have helped my chances in getting the job. They would have seen a clearer example of my experience in determining the price of a piece of online realestate.
Prepaidplans has certainly opened a lot of doors for me. Most people tell you that a hobby cannot really make you money. For most it costs them money. Whilst prepaid plans has cost me some money and a great deal of effort over 3 years, it has resulted in an income stream that I can now somewhat rely upon (you can never really be guaranteed of an income stream when you rely upon Google to bring you traffic. Things can change from one day to the next.)
What it really has taught me is the power of developing a brand and finding a niche to play in and exploit. Working in marketing all of my professional life, this is what everyone strives to do - find the angle that will bring the customers in and get them buying.
People as well as these interviewers are fascinated as to how the idea came about. There was no brain storm really. I just needed a prepaid mobile plan and couldn't find a site that could help me out. Once I had done the research I thought lets publish it and see. Having never built a site for myself, the learning curve was huge but with some initial help, I managed to get the content online and then build from there.
Prepaidplans.com.au has also given me the opportunity to trial electronic direct marketing as well as build important experience in social media marketing. This is probably the key for me at the moment.
If you work in marketing you quickly realise that everyone is a marketer with an opinion on how to sell. This means that you have competing ideas coming from anywhere and everywhere. One thing that people don't know much about today is social media marketing. Therefore it is a key area for me to develop my skills in so that I can stay relevant and employable as the years come and go.
Prepaidplans.com.au which started as a hobby has now become a part time job and a key to my professional future.
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