The Pros and Cons Of Bringing Your Hobby Online


Many of today's successful Internet Marketers started out by putting their hobby on the World Wide Web. It was fun, and there was no real desire to turn a profit. Passion drove their long hours behind a keyboard, staring at a monitor. Along the way, something clicked, and these hobbyists became convinced that money could be made from their efforts. Most did not survive the transition. Their Web presence remains, but the income goals they set were abandoned. It's tough to make a buck online without a plan.

Business planning itself is a separate subject, but before you can even begin to create a plan, you need to answer an important question: Why? Why would you want to take what you love and turn it into an enterprise, devoted to earning a profit FIRST? That's the reality of business. Businesses are created to earn a profit. No other reason comes first.

There is a steep "learning curve" when it comes to Internet Marketing. There are areas of knowledge you must have that have no equivalent in offline businesses. Becoming skilled in this method of doing business means committing yourself to constant learning and adjustment. "Information overload" will become a part of you life, every day. You will be learning how to make a profit online. Remember, what you will be learning will, most likely, have little or nothing to do with your passion.

There are also practical considerations to making your passion your business. Hobbyists cannot deduct business losses from their income taxes in the USA and many other countries. Business owners can. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your hobby can help you at tax time, when the tax laws say otherwise. If you're looking for a tax break and are willing to invest the time and energy into your online hobby as a business, you could reap benefits that mere hobbyists cannot. Get professional guidance and counsel before you make the switch. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of tax audits!

Having a grand passion can also be a plus when building a business online. There will be disappointments, challenges, obstacles and temporary failures along the way. If you've picked a business to do online that doesn't really grab you, you might very well quit when the going gets tough. Having the motivation and long term view of a worthwhile dream or vision can carry you over the bumps along the road to profitability and personal satisfaction.

For many people, a modified or "hybrid" approach is best. You keep your main passion private, but use the Internet to build a related business that reaches like-minded people with money to spend. You may love ice fishing in a certain spot in Alaska, but your fishing site will offer information on "hot" fishing spots around the world (icy or not), along with specialized gear and information products aimed at this specialized market. Another marketer may be a real estate investor, but offer online clients specialized Web site designs for buying and selling their properties, along with Web hosting and other services.

Whichever path you choose, know why you are choosing it. If all you want to do is make money with your passion, get a job in a related business. It takes a special commitment and temperament to be an online entrepreneur. Only you can decide if you have what it takes. If you have the patience, will power and persistence to follow such a path and not quit, you may be cut out for making your passion your business.

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Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code. He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses at:

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