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Here are a few exercises you can do to find out just how you can turn your passion into a profit centre (Ibrakovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Here are a few exercises you can do to find out just how you can turn your passion into a profit centre (Ibrakovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Simple steps to turn your passion into profit Add to ...

This will sound clichéd, but then again all advice proclamations resonate with people as such. So without further ado, my lesson for today is:

Love what you do, or don’t do it.

It’s truly the secret from just going through the motions on a daily basis, and really gas pedaling to new heights in your career.

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Case in point: while working on a new blog — without knowing the exact monetization for the site — I started thinking back to a time when I was grasping for straws at “what to do and how to do it” online. It was certainly a turning point for me, and eventually, an entire industry.

I had been through a few intense failures with startups, but while toying around with the features on my new iMac I fell in love with making short video reels. I eventually turned these into well received video product reviews on YouTube, and discovered my passion for providing fact-filled videos that offered some comic relief. I’d stumbled into something I really loved doing, figured out how to monetize it and learned how others could leverage my own experiences to do the same.

How to profit from your passion

Here are a few exercises you can do to find out just how you can turn your passion into a profit centre.

Write down your daily activities for one month. Everything. If you start off with a certain coffee, that’s the first thing you need to write down.

Look for trends and repeated activities. Start a short list of these items.

Take this list and study it hard. Look for items you think may have search demand online. Don’t rule out anything yet, however. With this list, perform the below tasks:

Use various searches to find websites about the subjects of the activities you’ve identified. Make a shortlist of the top sites you find amusing.

Look to see if they have advertisements on them, affiliate links, or any sponsored content. These are all ways a site could make money. For example, if you find yourself drinking coffee three times per day and you truly enjoy it, make that one of your activities. Google “best coffee blogs” and find out who is blogging about coffee. Then, move to step number two and look for ways they may have monetized their site.

A case study example

My friend is really into fitness. Bodybuilding, eating right, proper sleep habits, supplementation, the whole nine yards. I walked him through the above formula and in our research we found a site doing exactly what he wants to do. That site, the one we identified as the leader (because we felt the content was humorous, compelling and overall we liked the site and everything it gave us) was SpotMeBro.com. Check it out and you’ll find it’s what I call an Authority Site. I have no affiliation with that site or the owners, so it’s a serious tip of the cap for me to not only mention them here but also to link to them and call them an Authority Site. Now, I don’t know if this is true, but I’m probably on point with my assumptions of how they make their money:

They have a store selling merchandise. You know you’ve got a good thing when you can sell apparel with your website name on it!

Affiliate programs. They are aligned with BodyBuilding.com, and I’m sure they do pretty well with that large audience.

Ads. The site has enough authority and content that they can easily earn money by serving banners or other CPM or paid insert ads. In a nutshell, these guys are doing it. They write witty content that really clicks with their target audience on a regular basis and mix in some hilarious video content that really made me laugh. Without knowing the owners or contributors to the site, I can say with 100 percent certainty that they are passionate about their site. It’s far from a job, it’s a way of life. And that, my friends, is just one of many examples of how people like you are crushing it online and having a lot of fun doing it.

A version of this post originally appeared on Timothy Schmidt’s blog.

Timothy Schmidt has been a self-employed entrepreneur since 2001. He is the president and founder of Skin Pro International, Inc, Bull Smoke, Inc and many brands of consumer packaged goods products for distribution online housed under the South Beach Herbals, Inc, family of companies.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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