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Who Needs a Job? Hobbies Make Money Too

Who Needs a Job? Hobbies Make Money Too

Are you unemployed? Even if you don’t have a job, you at least have a hobby. With the internet so ubiquitous in modern society, everyone has a shot at gaining the attention of the masses. Once you have someone’s attention, your intention should be to convince them they need your service or product. Whatever you’re into, there’s an audience for it–all it takes is a little resourcefulness.

Hobbies make money. Here’s how to become a professional at:

Plants have always been green...it's considered bad chloroform otherwise...

    Plants have always been green…it’s considered bad chloroform otherwise…

    1. Blogging

    If you have a flair for writing, building a blog is easy. You can get a free blog domain at blog services, such as WordPress or Blogger. Choose a template design to start out, and begin composing entries. Don’t worry about not having an audience yet; you’ll build one with your content. Focus on writing things you enjoy, and learn the basics of formatting. This way, you’ll build a portfolio you can use to apply for paid blogging gigs.

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    Amazon Affiliates and Google AdSense accounts are easy ways to earn advertising money from your blog. Learn more about how to make money blogging with our Lifehack on 24 Ways to Earn Money on the Internet.

    2. Gardening

    Gardening is more than a hobby for some; it’s a way of life. Selling your harvest is an easy way to make money, although you’ll need a rather large garden to produce enough to make a meaningful profit. Consider incorporating the fresh ingredients you harvest into other products to sell, instead. Food isn’t the only fruit of gardening labor, however, as the legality of growing marijuana is quickly spreading across the US.

    You can also teach DIY-enthusiasts how to garden through blogging about it. You can tend other peoples’ gardens by searching Craigslist, or other classified ad sites. If you have the experience, contact local nurseries and see if anyone’s hiring. You’ll be rolling in the green in no time.

    3. Playing an Instrument

    The music business isn’t tough to break into. All you need is a way to make music and an audience. If you play an instrument, you can make money by giving private lessons. Touring musicians are constantly looking looking for stand-in musicians while on the road (search gigging for backup bands). Also, it never hurts to leave your card at local recording studios and record stores, in case anyone’s looking for a musician with your skills.

    Alternatively, iTunes, Amazon, and Google all have stores to list your music. List yourself on SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify, and anywhere else you can. Remember that every artist you’ve heard of has a large team and distribution channel behind them. In order to compete with that, you’ll need to work extra hard.

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    4. Sewing

    You can make decent money by hemming clothes, if you’re quick at it. Many people lack this basic skill, and they’re happy to pay $5-$10 to repair clothing that would otherwise cost much more to replace.

    Another way to make money is to sell your handcrafted sewing creations online, with sites like Etsy. You can also sell your homemade sewing patterns online, through your website. In order to get promotion for your patterns, submit them to sewing and craft magazines, for publication. This will introduce your patterns to a large audience and boost sales.

    5. Baking

    If you know how to bake, there’s no limit to the ways you can earn money. Getting a job in a kitchen is so easy. Food blogs are always popular, and there’s never a shortage of people on the lookout for a good recipe. Consider filming yourself or taking pictures while cooking, to expand your audience.

    6. Gaming

    Make money at video games by making wages with friends, like the kids in The Wizard. If you’re particularly leet, it’s even possible to join a professional league. You don’t have to be the most skilled gamer, though.

    Playing video games means you can review or otherwise describe them for any number of publications, if you prefer long-form writing, or retail sites, if short-form is your thing. Plenty of gamers have successful YouTube channels, and Livestream and uCast got a boost from their inclusion in next generation consoles. If you’re especially passionate about video games, working in a retail location, such as Gamestop or EB Games, may be the field of your dreams.

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    7. Dancing

    If you like to move it, you could always get money as a dancer. You don’t need to strip; plenty of dancers make a living off the pole. Casting agents and producers are constantly looking for extras and dancers for projects. Dance teachers make a great living too, as people both young and old love taking classes.

    8. Drawing

    Not all artists are starving; many of them make a decent living. Aside from traditional museum art, you can see art in literally every aspect of business–graphic designers creating logos and other branded merchandise for marketing campaigns worldwide. With such a large variety of digital and analog drawing mediums available these days, the only artist who’s truly starving is the one not looking for work.

    9. Gossiping

    If you love keeping up on all the latest gossip, journalism is the job for you. Depending on the subjects you’re into, getting into journalism is really easy–all you need to do is keep watching and reading the news that relates to you. By doing this, you’ll keep up with the juiciest bits of gossip related to your field. Passing this gossip to other people is what journalism is all about, but I’m one to gossip, so didn’t hear that from me.

    10. Socializing

    Everyone wants a social media presence, and some are willing to pay for it. If you’re savvy enough to learn quick ways to gain followers on all the major social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+), you can turn your love of socializing into a fruitful career. Start with your own social media account, and contact people to showcase how your skills can help their bottom line.

    11. Photography

    Everyone takes photos these days, and everyone still has an insatiable hunger for more photos. If you have an eye for photography, websites such as Shutterstock allow you to sell your work in image format. Other sites, like Cafepress, sell a variety of goods that bear your photo. Also, consider freelancing, and check job search for any gigs or job openings. Whatever you do, keep your camera with you at all times; you never know when you’ll catch a glimpse of a celebrity or noteworthy event.

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    12. Telling Jokes

    Everybody thinks they’re a comedian, and with the internet, you have an avenue to prove it. Go out to amateur and open mic nights to perform and perfect your craft in front of a live audience. The comedy site Cracked.com has an open forum setup to vet aspiring comedic writers. A properly hilarious video will get tons of exposure on YouTube. Emulate your favorite comedian by making movies, skits, stand-up, cartoons, or whatever else you can come up with.

    13. Collecting

    You can make money collecting practically anything; whether it’s coins, stamps, comic books, or gadgets. Retro is always in, and people always collect things. Whatever you collect, search the term online to connect with communities who collect the same things. Pawn shops can be a great place to sell certain collectibles,. Many used record and book stores have merged into used-merchandise swap meets, and they’re both great places to buy/sell your collectibles. Otherwise, just post them on eBay or Craigslist.

    14. Shopping

    Not only is mystery shopping legitimate, it’s a great way to make money. Basically, you complete a real transaction, rate the quality, and are reimbursed. If you love shopping, scratch that itch while still getting paid. Otherwise, you can get paid to write product and store reviews anywhere online. Start off with building followers on your Yelp and Foursquare accounts and rating the places you already visit. By the time a paying gig pops up, you’ll already have an established following.

    15. Correcting People

    If you love correcting people, you’ll love being an editor. Sites like Freelancer.com, oDesk, and eLance, provide several job opportunities in the editing field. If editing isn’t your style, try something a bit more active, such as management or teaching. No matter what field you choose, be sure to correct everyone to the best of your ability, because everyone loves a know-it-all.

    Regardless of your hobby, it’s possible to make money. Business principles remain the same no matter what product or service you’re offering, and sales is the key to your company’s future. If you’re tired of slaving away for someone else and want to instead make money pursuing your hobby, open yourself up to the career of your dreams and take a leap of faith. You never know where you’ll end up, until you try.

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    Last Updated on March 3, 2021

    Top 6 Hacks on How To Build Credit Fast

    Top 6 Hacks on How To Build Credit Fast

    When done right, credit can open doors and provide a lifestyle that you never imagined possible. Anything from flying around the world in first-class and staying at 5-star hotels entirely for free to starting and scaling businesses. It’s also an area where it can be easy to make mistakes and hard to recover from without the right information. In this article, I will break down how you can build credit fast so you can open doors in your life!

    When you start to think about improving your credit score, you have to answer three important questions first:

    1. What are you trying to achieve by having good credit?
    2. What really is your credit score?
    3. How is your credit score calculated?

    What Are Your Credit Goals?

    Having a high credit score is great, but ultimately, your credit score is a tool in your personal finance arsenal that you can use to open doors. The first question you should ask yourself is “what will a higher credit score do for me?”

    I work with many clients directly at Freedom Travel Systems to help them fully leverage the power of their credit so they can enjoy free luxury travel and start or grow their business. For my clients and many others, here are a few common goals many credit-savvy individuals have:

    • Free Travel – getting access to travel rewards cards so you can get tons of free travel and even get first-class flights, hotel suites, and luxury amenities all for free
    • Start/Grow a Business – getting access to business credit so you can start and grow a business with 0% or low-interest financing that does not impact your personal credit
    • More Approvals – getting approved for credit cards, auto loans, or mortgages so you improve your lifestyle or build your personal wealth
    • Better Rates – getting better interest rates on any loans you get will save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime

    What Is Your Credit Score?

    Your credit score is simply a 3-digit number that tells potential lenders how reliable of a borrower you are. Keep in mind that lenders, such as banks and credit issuers, stay in business by lending. Their goal is to find the people that have the highest probability of paying them back and they assess this primarily through your credit score.

    What’s important to know is that there are two major scoring models used to create your scores. These scores are your FICO Score and your Vantage Score. More than 90% of lenders rely on your FICO score, so when you are checking your score, you want to make sure you see the actual score that the lenders use. And no, checking your own score does not hurt your credit!

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    Then enters the 3 main credit bureaus, which are essentially agencies that collect credit information on you. These are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These bureaus then apply a scoring model to the information they have on you and voila, you now have a credit score! Bureaus sometimes have different information on your report, which is why you will see 3 different scores.

    How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

    Next, you need to understand how the credit score is calculated. This will provide a high-level overview, but there is more detail to each of these factors alone.

    There are 5 main factors in the calculation of your credit score:[1]

    1. Payment History (35%) – This refers to the amount and percentage of on-time payments you have.
    2. Utilization (30%) – This is how much revolving credit you use as a percentage of the total revolving credit issued to you. Note that installment loans like auto-loans or mortgages do not count towards this while credit cards do.
    3. Age of Credit (15%) – This refers to how long your credit history is, primarily your “average age.”
    4. Credit Mix (10%) – This is how many different types of credit you have. For example, there are credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and lines of credit.
    5. New Credit (10%) – This primarily refers to how many inquiries you have for new credit.

    Top 6 Hacks on How to Build Credit Fast

    Now that you’ve learned more about your credit score, here are the top 6 tips on how to build credit fast.

    1. Don’t Close Your Cards

    Many of us are taught that getting a new credit card is bad and having too many will hurt your score. In fact, the opposite is true. You want to have many positive accounts reporting to your credit report. Logically, this makes sense because having more accounts with more on-time payments shows that you are a more reliable borrower. You just don’t want to open too many accounts too quickly since that can hurt your “new credit” factor.

    Instead of closing a card, what you should do is simply keep the card open and put a small subscription service on it monthly. Why? Because each time you have an on-time payment, it helps build your payment history, the largest factor of credit.

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    If you close a card, you are missing on potential on-time payments, age of credit, credit mix, and also lowering the total credit lent to you so your utilization percentage may go up. If you have an annual fee on a card you don’t like, see if there is a “no-fee” version of the card and downgrade it to that card rather than close it.

    2. Use Autopay to Never Miss a Payment

    This one is easy to do and easy not to do. Go into your credit card account and set up auto-pay. You can choose to either pay the full amount, the statement balance, or the minimum payment. Personally, I like to set up autopay to pay the minimum payment so that I never get a late payment. Then, I go in and manually pay the statement balance each month by the payment due date.

    This helps me personally see my spending and have a manual review of my charges while ensuring, not have to pay interest, and still get the benefit of making sure that I never miss a payment if something goes wrong. Think about it, if you were to have a medical or family emergency, the last thing you want to experience on the back end of that is a late payment and a drop in your credit score. So, set up autopay.

    A pro tip is to update your payment due dates across all bills and accounts to be the same so that you can “time batch” the process and have one time a month where you sit down and handle your payments. You can do this by simply contacting the credit card company or doing it online.

    3. Get a Credit Limit Increase to Lower Your Utilization

    One of the factors that get most people into trouble is using too much of their allotted total credit. Their utilization, which is the percentage of revolving credit they use, goes up, and their score tanks. You should aim for less than 30%, and in an ideal world, less than 10%.

    To help drive this down, call your credit issuer and ask for a credit limit increase. This will help increase the total amount of credit extended to you and drop your utilization. Oftentimes, they will only give it to you when your utilization is fairly decent (less than 50%), so work to pay it down as best as possible before doing this. You should ask if the credit limit increase will give you an inquiry as some banks do a hard inquiry while some do not. If they do a hard inquiry, it is often better to just get a new card altogether or pass.

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    4. Add Authorized Users to Increase Your Age, Add History, and Decrease Utilization

    This is one of the best hacks out there as it helps with the 3 biggest factors of improving your credit: payment history, utilization, and age. This concept is also called “credit piggybacking” where someone with great credit history on a card adds an authorized user (AU) to the card. When the AU gets added, the credit history and information from that card are added to the AU’s report!

    This is extremely helpful for people with young credit because it can drastically increase your age of accounts. It can also help many people with limited payment history or high utilization.

    Please be aware that anything good or bad on that account you are added to will show up on your report. So, you want to avoid any cards with negative marks or high utilization. That being said, it is a one-way street, so nothing that you do with your credit can impact the primary account holder.

    This is so valuable that there are companies that sell AU accounts. I always suggest starting with your family and/or personal network first as there are likely people in your network that can help!

    5. Space Out Your Application Strategy

    New credit is the smallest factor of credit, but it still matters! If you are looking to build up your credit, you should space out your applications. If you apply for too much credit in a short period, it looks very needy in the eyes of the lenders. For this reason, it is safest to apply for cards slowly over time unless you have really studied more in-depth how this works. A good rule of thumb is once every few months.

    If you are in the credit game for the hopes of getting tons of credit card points for free travel, which is what I personally take full advantage of, you will want to familiarize yourself with the different bank rules and card promotions to put together the right application strategy. Applying blindly will waste inquiries and leave tons of benefits on the table!

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    6. Review Your Report for Negatives

    If you have any negative or “derogatory” marks on your credit report, this will hurt you drastically. They do impact you less as they age, however, you should review your credit report to ensure that everything on your report is 100% accurate and actually yours. Wrong information ends up on credit reports all the time and you will want to take personal responsibility for making sure it is accurate.

    The “burden of proof” is on the credit bureau to confirm that any information on your report is in fact accurate. If you find inaccuracies, you can dispute that with them, or you could consider getting a credible credit repair company to help you.

    Final Thoughts

    There you have it, the top 6 tips on how to build credit fast so you can get closer to reaching your goals. Now that you’ve learned more about how credit score works and how you can improve yours, you’ll hopefully be able to make better financial decisions and achieve your financial goals quicker.

    More Tips on How to Build Credit Fast

    Featured photo credit: CardMapr via unsplash.com

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