You love the great outdoors and you have a passion for all of it. For you, the problem is that your passion for say fishing or hunting has always been something you pursue in your spare time like on the weekends or a summer vacation. Truth is you would rather make it your regular job if you could only figure out how.
After all, when your passion is your occupation, a whole new world of life possibilities can open before you. A true passion will drive you to success more than just a “must-do” 9 to 5 job.
But, how can you make your passion for the outdoors a money making venture? While starting a business is never easy, there are many tools today to help you pursue your passion as a career. All you need to get started is often your passion and some elbow grease.
Consider some of these options, for turning fishing, crossbow hunting, kayaking or any other outdoor recreational activity into more than just a weekend hobby and into a profitable online business.
1. Share your fishing passion and expertise on a blog.
While blogs can be very, very difficult to monetize, it is possible to earn some money from a very good blog. Ensure your blog is consistent with at least three posts per week, to gain and keep traction. Anything less and your readers will not see you as their go-to expert and will not return for more.
If you are new to blogging, a good place to start is wordpress.com. WordPress provides a free scalable blogging platform and free templates for its users. Once you get things rolling and hit your stride, you can transfer your free blog over to your own domain to monetize it further and have greater customization capabilities.
You can monetize a blog by providing space for other fishing-related companies to promote themselves through advertising and links. Once you have a big following, you can also allow brands to guest post on your site as a paid placement.
Primary ways of monetizing a blog include:
- Using AdSense for paid ads
- Selling banner ads to fishing-related businesses
- Directing traffic to product sales websites as an affiliate
- Providing “paid member only” insights, expertise or information
Of course, you can certainly provide fishing product reviews on your site and gain product samples from leading brands for review. Doing so does pay. On top of it, you will save money by not having to buy your own fishing lures, tackle and other supplies.
There are quite a few sites that have done a good job of this but one of my favorite fishing resource sites is kayakcritic.net. Even though it started as a kayak review site with in depth tips and tutorials on how to choose a kayak, this site has expanded further into other outdoors topics, making it a one stop destination for many readers that like to just follow one or two sites they trust most.
2. Start a lure and tackle shop website.
Ecommerce has afforded many hobbyists the opportunity to become business people, with their passions becoming their occupations. This is because multiple eCommerce site building platforms have launched which make it possible to start an online store without knowing anything about building a website. You, too, can turn your favorite pastime activity into a storefront.
In order to start a lure and tackle store online, you obviously will need a website. There are several website builders to choose from. If you are already familiar with how to build a basic website, Shopify may be the right choice for you.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform which provides all of the tools an eCommerce site will need to build the store, market to potential customers and grow. While it is not necessarily for beginners, Shopify is a long-term eCommerce site solution you can rely on, regardless of business size.
If you are new to website development and are just starting out without a customer base, selling your lures and tackle using a Wix or Weebly constructed storefront may be the right option. Wix and Weebly are eCommerce platforms for easy-to-build websites by those not familiar with encoding. Each are very easy to use and offer great customer service for those times when you get stuck.
As your business grows, you will likely need to transition to a more comprehensive platform like Shopify, but by then you will know much more about building a site or will be able to afford to hire someone who does.
Once your website structure is in place, obviously you will need products. For a wide selection of lures, tackle and other fishing supplies, you can work with wholesalers listed in SaleHoo. SaleHoo is a membership organization which directly connects you only with reputable wholesalers.
3. Create an online course or for first time kayakers.
You have likely seen websites where experts in a given field provide instructions, tips and learning materials for paid members. If you are good at putting your knowledge together on kayaking and how to paddle and you can develop quality materials, you can develop your own instructional course and sell it on your website or one of the many available platforms available online.
Many first time kayakers are not familiar with the rules and regulations and safety precautions necessary to have an enjoyable weekend kayaking at a national park. Providing a course that helps with that can be a value in and of itself.
To entice students to complete courses, put together a program with accomplishment levels and certificates awarded at the time of completion. This is also known as gamification, a feature quite common in online courses.
A good example of a new training website is where you can publish your courses and get a cut for every paid customer is Udemy. This online course platform is geared toward professionals providing basic to advanced courses at a nominal fee.
4. Write for online outdoors magazines or blogs.
Content on the web is “king,” these days. Brands marketing themselves online are always in pursuit of additional content. If you have a way with words and can put them together in a concise manner, consider writing for online fishing magazines and blogs.
The key to gaining these types of relationships is to have sample content available for their review or for them to buy on the spot. Remember that writing pays in small increments as you get started. You will likely be paid in cents per word or a set number of dollars per story.
Over time, you can build up a good client base and soon will have more work than you expected, all centered around your favorite outdoors topics.
Pro Note: Make a list of the top 50 outdoors magazines and send a few of your best writing samples for them to review. If your voice matches their audience, you will be picked up quickly.
One outdoors site that does this but is geared more towards crossbows and hunting in general is crossbowcritic.com. They regularly hire professional hunters that have a vast experience in elk and deer hunting as well as how to choose crossbows and other weapons, to make their content more authentic and provide better value for their readers.
5. Be an SEO expert for other outdoor-oriented blogs.
If you have a knack for search engine optimization and know how to find the right trending keywords to bring in the precise demographic your clients seek, consider helping other outdoors related blogs and websites build their audience through SEO. This can be any number of related niches, such as hunting or hiking.
In addition to providing hands-on search engine optimization, you can add other forms of publicity such as social media outlets. Of course, once you build a client base, you can also provide SEO consulting for bloggers to teach them how to optimize their own sites for a flat fee.
Keep in mind that the market for SEO in general is very competitive, but if you can narrow your target customers to a specific niche you might be able to carve out a very successful business. Just remember to sometime approach the big fish in the market as well, since even large companies such as Bass Pro Shops need SEO experts with specific outdoors knowledge.
These are just a few online business ideas to take advantage what you love doing most and making a good income out of it. For a more comprehensive list, check out our previous article on passive income opportunities here.
If you have any ideas yourself or success stories, please write to us in the comments below. We love to hear from our readers!