Ever thought of turning a hobby or an interest you’re passionate about into a way to make some extra cash? Whether you’re looking to set up a side hustle or find a new main income, there are various ways you could reach willing customers online.
Eric Jong and Adam Sayner, from Devon-based GroCycle, post informative videos on YouTube about their low-tech mushroom growing business.
They have started using YouTube Shopping on Shopify, which allows merchants to sell their products via live streams and videos, among other methods.
Viewers can, for example, go to a ‘product shelf’ below videos to find out more about products.
“When finally in September 2019 the first video went out, the aim was to get to 1,000 subscribers – a big moment,” says Jong. “Now, 3.6 million views in, we love putting out monthly videos on mushroom growing and love serving the close-knit community of growers, who share our fascination with all things mushrooms.”
He says people can find a wealth of free information about mushrooms on both the GroCycle website and the YouTube channel.
Fellow YouTuber Gabriella Lindley, who created Brighton-based online home decor and stationery shop Juniper Moon, says: “I always had a strong interest in art while I was growing up, and when the pandemic hit, I decided to go back to my roots and take up art as a hobby to pass the time. It very quickly turned into something I wanted to pursue as a career and I thought of my small business, Juniper Moon.
“I opened a storefront with Shopify and designed art prints, stickers, enamel pins and so many more products to sell.
“The ability to now link my shop to my videos allows my audience to shop pretty much instantaneously too, so if they see a new launch they love it’s right there to buy.”
Budding sellers also have a range of other options when selling their products online, with websites such as Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay also in the mix.
If you’re only planning to bring in small sums from your venture, it’s also worth being aware of the trading allowance – a tax exemption of up to £ 1,000 a year for people with a trading income from self-employment or casual services, such as babysitting or gardening.
More information about whether this could apply can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website (gov.uk/guidance/tax-free-allowances-on-property-and-trading-income).