Having a hobby is a wonderful thing, but if you can turn that passion into a full-time occupation then you really are leading a charmed life.
Earning money for doing the things you love is one of the best feelings in the world, but it doesn’t come without total dedication.
If you’re serious about turning your hobby into a career, there are some ideas that you should be sure to explore before you commit. We’ve rounded up some tips, thought experiments and general good advice for those hoping to make it in the world of professional gaming.
Are You the Right Kind of Gamer?
There are certain things to bear in mind about becoming a professional gamer that aren’t always immediately apparent.
Firstly, for some people, doing things professionally takes the fun out of them. If you enjoy a lazy Sunday morning playing shoot-em-up games and eating a few too many snacks that might be the only way that you really enjoy gaming.
Would the fun be taken out of it for you if you had to practice rigorously for several hours a day? What if snacks were off the menu whilst you were working?
It might sound almost comical, but these are real considerations that you need to think about. So, if in answer to those questions your snacks aren’t so important to you, it’s onto the next step.
Can You Monetize This?
There are lots of different types of professional gamer and you need to find the category that you best fit into.
If you enjoy playing traditional games then you might be best suited to streaming. There are plenty of ways that streamers can gather an audience and start making money, but you need to be up-to-date with social media platforms and be prepared for a slow start.
For those who play casino games, the way to monetizing your hobby is a little more obvious, but you will be up against the casino and its house edge. Using an odds calculator can give you a step up when you first start playing poker, but if you’re trying to progress further as a pro player, you will need to be able to do this sort of thing in your head. Use a calculator as a learning tool, get used to the workings of making odds calculations and you’ll be able to do them mentally in no time at all.
Are You Ready for the Admin?
Once you’ve decided that you are the right sort of gamer to make things work and you’ve figured out how you’re going to make money, the next step is making sure that you do the right thing with it.
Gamers are almost always self-employed, so it is very important that you declare the earnings that you make. There are different rules surrounding money that is won and money that is earned, so it could be a good idea get in touch with an accountant to discuss this. There are lots of different online accountants you can choose from, or you might be able to find someone local to you.
Keep fastidious records of your wins and losses or your earnings (whichever apply) and you’ll be able to say that you truly made it as a professional gamer.