Are you a gung-ho bicyclist who sleeps, eats and breathes to the pumping of bike pedals? Or perhaps you love wrenching on vintage bikes. Maybe you love sharing your passion for bicycles with others every chance you get. If you are a die-hard velocipede enthusiast, you might be interested to know that you can turn your love for bikes into a real business or career. Read on for tips on how to convert your passion for bicycling into a profitable venture.
Build an Authority, Niche Website
Turn your love for bicycling and bikes into dollars by building a niche website on the subject. The pros to creating a niche site are multiple. Firstly, you already know the subject matter inside and out. Secondly, building an authority website can be surprisingly inexpensive from the start. All you really need to begin is a domain name which averages around $10 - $15 per year and a content management system such as WordPress, which can be free to use. The major expense for your bike-centric website is hosting, and that cost can be as cheap as $25 a month to start.
So how do you make a profit off of a bicycle-focused niche site? There are many ways. Once you’ve published a significant amount of high-quality articles on your site, you can begin to place pay per click (PPC) advertising on your site such as Google Adsense. You can also reach out to bicycle companies and offer to promote their services or products for a commission, or even serve as an affiliate in which you receive a percentage of every sale made from your website. Done rightly, niche websites can be highly lucrative when converting your bike passion into profits.
If you opt to build a website around your love of bikes and bicycling, this could be an outstanding platform for you to teach others. To explain, you can make money by selling how-to video subscriptions from your site such as “how to repair your bike on a budget” or “how to build a custom bike.”
Or, you can sell how-to e-books on your website that explain all manner of details about bikes and bicycling. Even if you don’t have a website, you can utilize Amazon’s marketplace to sell your informative e-books to show people how to make the most of their love for bicycles.
Become a Bicycle Tour Guide
If you know all about the best bike back roads or long distance bike trails, then you might profit from selling your services to people who are looking for a savvy bicycle tour guide. Not only can you potentially make money by showing tourists the hottest spots for biking, you can also have a smashing good time making friends and doing what you love.
There are also plenty of ways to supplement your tour guide endeavors. For example, you might want to promote certain bike gear such as travel packs, saddle bags, water bottles, and other things that any long-distance bicyclist may need. You can either sell these items to your tourists with a markup, or you can receive a commission for promoting products with bicycle businesses you’ve partnered with.
Open Your Own Bike Shop
Before you jump to the conclusion that opening up your own bike shop might be too rich for your blood – you might want to think again. It’s true that buying or renting a bike shop can mean expensive startup costs. However, if you start small, and approach the venture in innovative ways, you might be surprised at how you can cut costs. For instance, if you have the space, you could start your company in your own garage. After all, if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak succeeded in starting the mega-corp, Apple, Inc. in their garage, why can’t you?
If owning a brick-and-mortar shop is still a nerve wracking proposition for you, consider selling products online that appeal to bike enthusiasts. Whatever you choose to sell, you can do so online through marketplaces such as Etsy, which allows you to make a profit with your bicycling hobby without enduring the associated costs of opening up a physical shop.
Start small in your workshop or garage where you can craft, carve or create items that make biker’s lives easier. For instance, you could make a custom 3D printed bike saddle for discerning customers who crave unique designs that are also comfy on the bike trails. Or, perhaps you could start your own line of functional, comfortable bike fashions.
These are just a few among endless examples that you can sell to other bike aficionados which can be extremely lucrative. Why? Because bicycling enthusiasts are always on the lookout for custom designs, comfortable features, and cool accents that sets themselves and their rigs apart from the rest of the cycles on the bike racks.
Make It Fun
Whether you’re opening a new shop or simply selling online, the trick to sales in the cycling industry is to make it fun. People ride bicycles to get away from it all and enjoy their lives more. For many, it’s an almost spiritual experience.
You want this sense of fun to imbue all your marketing materials, whether that’s inflatables outside your store, banner ads on third-party publishing sites, or your social media pages. Try to get people to relive the excitement of their childhoods through your brand, even if you’re selling to commuters! Give them something new and interesting to pique their interest and get them spending. You’d be amazed at how much money people offer if they perceive value.
When contemplating creative ways to turn your passion for bicycling into profits, remember that you’ve already cleared the first hurdle – which is finding something you love to do. Additionally, you already know loads about bikes and bicycling which already sets you ahead on the money-making trail. With a little ingenuity and hard work, you have a solid chance to make money with your bike and love every minute of the process.