Seven Ways to Monetize Your Passion and Skills Online

Updated on March 24, 2022

Over the last few years, there’s been a major increase in the number of people looking to monetize their skills and passions. Many want to break free from traditional work arrangements or reliance on a typical job as their sole source of income.

The great thing about this is that just about anyone can attempt it, because just about everyone has at least one passion or in-demand skill that they could monetize.

How about you? What do you love to do that you aren’t getting paid for? What are you good at? What skills could you leverage into an independent source of income?

Do you play an instrument? Are you skilled at some particular craft or artistic technique? Do you have a passion for public speaking? Do you work with wood or certain niche tools? Can you write eloquently about marketing, coaching, cooking, or something even more specialized?

There are thousands of passions and skills that can be monetized. When you start reflecting deeply about this, you’ll very likely come up with at least a few of your own.

Let’s look at seven ways you might be able to monetize your passions, talents, and skills using tools available online. 

1. Sell online courses 

Sensei LMS makes it easy to create online courses. Use videos, assess student progress, give certificates, and much more. You can track your students’ progress and give personal feedback so they feel supported and will keep working through your course materials.

This is important, because not everyone who starts an online course finishes it. The more students that complete your course, the more great reviews you can get to boost your sales and grow your reputation as an expert.

You can set up a free course using Sensei to get a handle on the format and technology. Then, when you’re ready to start charging students to take your course, you can upgrade to Sensei Pro. This requires WooCommerce to operate, which is free for all sites using WordPress. 

2. Create a membership program

There are two primary ways to monetize an online course. The first is to charge a one-time fee, which is what the previous idea was all about. 

The other way is to use a membership approach, where a person has access to the course — and any updates and improvements you might make to it — for as long as they keep their membership active. Plus, you can do things like grant access to help forums that are only open to members.

The advantage of this approach is that it provides recurring revenue, rather than one-time sales. So while you might sell a course for $199, you could offer the same course as a membership for $49 per month. If the average student remains subscribed for five months or longer, you’ve made more money than you would have with the one-time price. 

Another advantage of a membership approach is that you can more easily sell the course as an upsell or add-on with other products you may also be marketing, such as books or products related to your passion or skill. 

Depending on the perceived value of your course, some online courses charge thousands of dollars. Others charge under $100. It depends on your audience, the quality of your material, and your perceived authority status. You have control over all three of these. 

To use Sensei’s platform and a membership model, you would also need the WooCommerce Memberships extension.

3. Sell physical products with WooCommerce

Maybe online courses aren’t quite your thing. You just have a passion or skill and are using it to create products you think people would pay for. 

If that’s the case, set up an online store and start selling! 

WooCommerce is free to use on your WordPress site. So, you might sell music, artwork, photographs, food, or hand-crafted items in your store. 

But physical sales can be combined with online course offerings — think workbooks, how-to guides, tools, or other items that go hand-in-hand with your classes.

4. Sell digital products with WooCommerce

You’re now seeing how all these ideas for monetizing your passion and skills can be combined — if that’s the direction you decide to go. 

Suppose you’re selling music lessons. You could add on digital products like sheet music and workbooks that can be downloaded from your store immediately after purchase. The point is, the more products you have, the more offers you can make when selling courses or other products. 

For example, suppose you have an array of pottery for sale in an online store. That’s a good start. Next, you could create videos explaining how you created some of your items. Then, you could include these as part of a course about how to work with clay to create pottery. 

5. Accept tips 

Some people like to teach others how to do things, but aren’t yet ready to create full courses. But they can still generate a part-time income from grateful supporters!

Accepting tips is a great way to bridge the gap here. Suppose you want to lead a weekly webinar on how to do a particular task or skill. During the webinar, you can let people know that you’d appreciate tips if they feel like they’re really enjoying or benefitting from your presentation. 

You could also use this approach if selling physical or digital products. For example, you could run a webinar, offer products at the end, and also give people the option to leave a tip. 

Accepting tips is simple with the Tipping for WooCommerce extension, which presents the option to tip right on the checkout page. 

6. Sell tickets to live events

When you develop enough of a fan base of passionate followers and enthusiasts, you may want to hold a live event. This event could be in person or virtual, such as a webinar or a series of live online presentations.

If you’re a musician, you can sell access to your next performance, even if it’s not at a venue that already has a system for ticketing. 

To sell tickets to a live event, use the WooCommerce Box Office extension, which lets you offer a whole range of options to your customers, as well as manage your tickets and event data. 

7. Use affiliate links

One of the great ways to generate passive income is through affiliate programs. You can insert special affiliate links into your content — blog posts, courses, etc. — that send people to your favorite products. If they purchase that product, you’ll take a percentage of the sale. It’s important, though, that you only link to items you would truly recommend. 

For example, if you’re an art teacher, you might naturally link to the paintbrushes, pencils, and watercolor paper you love. Or if you’re a cooking expert, you might link to your favorite pots, knives, or serving dishes.

Start making money as a creator 

There are a number of options for generating part-time income, but having an online course is one of the best ways to monetize your passion and skills. It allows for passive sales and helps you develop a relationship with an audience that builds over time. And it can be paired with other methods, like selling physical items or related digital downloads, when you’re ready for that step! 

Why not try your hand at an online course? The free version of Sensei LMS lets you get your feet wet without any commitment. 

See what kind of online course you can create based on your passions, talents, and skills.

Use Sensei LMS to get started.

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