SPI 037: Monetizing in a Hobby Niche—Success Story, Interview Series 3

The Smart Passive Income Podcast Logo

In this session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast I’m stoked to feature yet another success story from someone who has built a six-figure business online in a hobby niche that, to be honest, I never thought was possible to make a living from—at least online.

Lain Ehmann from LayoutaDay.com shares an amazing story about how she’s built an online business in the scrapbooking industry!

Beyond her story, she shares a ton of incredibly useful information that I look forward to putting into practice myself someday.

In this session you’ll learn about:

  • How Lain turned her passion into profit after starting a blog.
  • Her monetization strategies and how much she’s earning.
  • How Lain used an “unfair advantage” to make great strides with her business and get ahead of the competition.
  • The most important elements that contributed to her success in the scrapbooking industry, and it was not her artistic talent.
  • The importance of diversification and multiple streams of income.
  • How she’s created an online convention for the scrapbooking industry, and why it’s so successful.
  • Examples of how Lain is putting my “Be Everywhere” marketing philosophy into practice.
  • Plus a lot more…

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

I hope you enjoy this session of the SPI podcast!

Lain has told me she would be happy to stop by every once and a while and answer any questions you may have. Thank you Lain!

Here’s to all of your success! Cheers, and all the best!

Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates for your device:

Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 37 (PDF)

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Naveen Kulkarni

    Downloading this one to my phone Pat. I am sure it will be surely interesting and inspiring as your earlier interview with Sunil.

  • http://www.nichesiteadventures.com Johnny Bravo

    Looking forward to this. Can’t wait to listen after work. Been looking to get my fiance into niche site building. This should help, she loves scrapbooking ha.


    • Lain Ehmann

      Send her over, Johnny! Scrapbookers are cool. :)

      • http://www.nichesiteadventures.com Johnny Bravo

        Will do Lain. And great podcast with Pat. I’m always happy to hear a fellow Los Angelenos doing well.

  • http://MarriedWithDebt.com John @ Married (with Debt)

    An online convention seems like a good idea, especially for the scrapbooking niche.

    Hobby blogging is great. I’m fortunate to have a nerd hobby (personal finance), so I seem to have an endless supply of content, plus a huge interest in the topic.

  • Lain Ehmann

    Loved chatting with you, Pat! Thanks for sharing my story.

    • http://EminiMind.com Tim Racette

      Really great interview Lain. You sparked me with some great new avenues to look into. All the best. -Tim

  • http://www.WaysToMakeALivingOnline.com Arbel Arif

    Thank You @Lain Ehmann & @Pat for another great interview!

    • Lain Ehmann

      Thanks for listening!

  • Alex B

    Awesome interview, awesome story!


  • http://uktaxplanning.com Andy

    Loving this series Pat, to be honest I havent listened to your podcast before but I have been a long time reader, its the success stories that really pulled me in…

    and even then I read the transcripts instead of listening!


    • Lain Ehmann

      We probably sound even smarter in writing. 😉

  • Sean Chang

    Seriously Pat. This podcast just made my day :)

    Both Caine and Lain’s stories are inspirational. (Caine’s fun pass – calculator combination is genius! Really enjoyed the video.)

    @Lain: What a way to build a business and live off your passions. Looking forward to hearing about your 6-figure event soon!

    P.S. To the perfectionist in you, the ‘Get It’ button for ‘Today’s Daily Deal’ on layoutaday.com seems to be a little misaligned on my screen. (I’m using FireFox 11.0 and Google Chrome as my browsers. ) It looks better if I modify the positioning for overlay_small.png to “position:absolute; right:275px” instead. You may wish to check it out :)

    Thanks again for being an inspiration.


    • Lain Ehmann

      It is misaligned! The java code from the daily deal site is wonky. I tried playing with the width to make the photo larger… It’s a test that I think will be ending soon. It’s driving me nuts, lol!

      • Sean Chang

        Lol! I totally get that. I once spent hours trying to get a table to display right on my website.

        Anyway, just dropped you an email on this. Feel free to send me a copy of the embed code to take a look if you’d like. Would love to see if there’s anything I can do to help :)

        Have a great day ahead!

  • http://www.nichezilla.com Adam

    My fiance has a total love for all things Dolphins and I keep telling her to set up a website as you just never know where it will go.

    I wouldn’t have even thought of scrap booking as a viable income source but that just goes to show you anything is possible with the right motivation and drive.

    Very cool story!

    • Lain Ehmann

      There are a lot of dolphin lovers out there! :)

  • http://www.crochetingforbeginners.org bryan

    I love this Series Pat! keep them coming, Its very inspirational to someone who is just starting out in the business.

  • http://soldierswifecrazylife.com Julie

    I love hearing stories like that! I love that she is from CA too and loves that she can work anywhere. That is my goal too :)

    • Lain Ehmann

      It is the best! Good luck with your endeavors!

  • http://www.marketingforwahm.com Emily

    She had great advice for making money out of a different type of niche. I loved the way she mentions how she repurposes her content. The advice to get stuff out there quickly was also great.

  • http://www.chasingpace.com/ Wesley Banks

    Downloaded this for the long drive I have tomorrow. I’ve been looking at doing something very similar to this with my wife, looking forward to the interview.

    Loving the success stories so far Pat!

    • Lain Ehmann

      Let me know if I can help.

  • http://Cashjay@makemoneyonline Cashjay @make money online

    This is great! And it is inspirational!

  • http://www.hotnigerianews.com/2012/04/get-new-facebook-messenger-for-pc-users.html Ceejay

    This is cool Pat. Even though our world is far apart. I feel very close…

  • http://josepharchibald.com Joseph Archibald

    As many folks are saying – very much enjoying this series of pods, Pat!

    Thanks Lain for sharing your adventure with us here on Pat’s blog!


    • Lain Ehmann

      Thanks for taking the time to listen!

  • http://www.thecopybox.co.uk Loz James

    Hey Pat

    Thanks for this. I agree with you about Caine’s Arcade – me and my wife watched it with my sons last weekend and it really is inspiring. I had a smile on my face all day afterwards – Caine is one talented kid!



  • Nathan

    Love your shout out on Caine’s Arcade what a great story love it!!

    Great Podcast Pat you keep amazing me!

    Kind regards

  • http://DaddyLife.net Hank


    This was one of the most inspiring podcast episodes I have heard. Thanks for this series!


    This is one I will have to share with my wife. The subject will speak her language. She is my cheerleader in building and growing a niche site idea that has been brewing for a while. Your approach has sparked some great ideas. You the heart of a teacher and it shows.

    May God continue to bless you both!

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Hank, you are so very kind! I am glad I could help inspire you.

  • http://pazer.blog.com/ Andreas Pazer

    Downloading this one to my phone Pat. I am sure it will be surely interesting and inspiring as your earlier interview with Sunil.

  • Florian

    Hi Lain and Pat!

    Thank you, that episode was a really good listen, very inspiring as always. Actually for me personally it was quite special because it was the very first one that I listened to around the same day you put it into iTunes because I just started listening to your podcast about 6 weeks ago and I really had to put some effort into catching up 😀 So from now on I’ll probably be a bit more active writing comments, too.


  • http://www.colinklinkert.com Colin Klinkert

    Thanks Pat and Lain :)

    Events for scrapbooking – awesome! I honestly don’t laugh at that niche, it is fantastic and it is wonderful that you have monetized it in so many ways. That is a vital takeaway for me

    350 people * 127, awesome!

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      I figure it’s no stranger a niche than internet marketing. 😉

  • http://www.techmero.com Krishna@techmero

    Very impressive, series, nice to read it..

  • http://www.ShopBeyond10.com Traci

    WOW! I am truly encouraged! I started a niche blog in January about something I am passionate about which is also under served. My intent was always to monetize and this podcast has given me great new ideas.

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Hurray! Just stick with it and build, build, build.

  • Mike


    Do you have a video or post on how to do an effective podcast, since you’ve seem to perfected it?

    I want to be able to interview people, so they would most likely be on their phone, but I would want the quality decent them create an audio to send out to my list to listen to it.

    I need to have it very user-friendly, as my demographic is not real tech savvy.

    If anyone else knows of such a resource, please let me know. I’m sure I can’t be the only one interested in starting a podcast, or at least creating audios for our lists.

    Thanks again,

  • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

    Hi Mike,

    Pat and I both use Skype for our interviews. We also both follow the process by Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man. I use different equipment than Pat does (his is more high-end), but the process of creating a podcast, hosting it, and submitting it to iTunes is the same.

    Hope this helps!

    • Mike

      Hi Lain,

      Skype? Really? I’m sure my market of older golfers are not using skype. Any alternative? Like their phone and whatever I need on my end?

      You also said, you use different equipment than pat. Can you tell me what you use?

      I would want to be able to record it, then have it as a download and on itunes if possible. I’m considering a regular podcast with a buddy of mine. Try to get as popular as Pat’s 😉


      • Lain Ehmann

        We record our interviews using Skype and then convert them to podcasts. (you had asked how to record interviews. Skype is the easiest alternative for that.).
        Listeners subscribe via iTunes after you create and submit the podcast.
        I use a Blue Snowball USB mike. I believe Pat uses a mixing board (don’t know details) and a Heil mike, I think.
        Cliff has several guides for how to record and launch a podcast, from the equipment to the submission to iTunes. I’m sure that Pat would agree that he’s a great starting point. There are many options depending on what exactly you want to accomplish.

  • http://talesofwork.com Kimanzi Constable

    This was an awesome episode and really inspiring Pat and Lain. I keep seeing that one of the keys to making it online is having more then just a book or product, you have to have multiple things going. Several products, seminar’s, online courses, just a collection of different things to generate revenue.

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      That’s it in a nutshell! It’s amazing how you never know what will hit it big and what will fizzle. I did the True Scrap event as an experiment — and it paid off big!

  • http://www.skinnymomskitchen.com Tammy @ Skinny Mom’s Kitchen

    This was such a great interview! Thank you! I have been a long time SPI reader but this is my first time commenting.

    My question is this.

    I am intrigued by the online events and webinars. One of my goals is to create a webinar or an online course as well as podcasts. My question is there any “how to” books that you or pat would reccomend that would walk someone through this process. Also if there specific software you both would reccomend for the webinars and online courses? I feel like I have been searching with no real luck finding specific anwsers. Thanks!

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Hey Tammy!
      I haven’t seen any great books yet – it seems the technology changes so fast that by the time something is written, it’s outdated. I’m checking out one right now by Lewis Hawes (I think that’s the spelling) and will report back if it looks like something that might help.
      As far as platforms go, it depends a lot on what you’re doing. Adobe Connect is great for some things, but wouldn’t work for me (over 100 attendees, streaming video presentations to my participants). I use Cisco Webex and it is also not perfect (and expensive!). Gotomeeting is another one people use. They all have their limitations. If you want to email me with some questions, I’d be glad to try to help you out!

  • http://www.my5starservice.com Kate Redwine

    Wow Pat!

    Another great interview! I am loving your podcast series…They are very inspirational and motivating. All are great but my two favs so far are Lain and Sunil! Great stuff.

  • http://www.karenputz.com Karen Putz

    Pat, thanks SO MUCH for the transcript! I’m deaf and this is a welcomed access to your podcast. :)

    • Pat

      My pleasure Karen. If I know one person is reading the transcript, it makes it totally worth it!

      • Sean Chang

        Love the attitude Pat! That’s why I always enjoy reading your blog.

        By the way, I find the transcripts useful too. There’re times where it’s not convenient to listen to the podcast or it’s easier to just search in the transcripts for some parts that I want to revisit.

        Thanks for the effort. Appreciate it.


      • James

        +1 for the transcript, for optimizing one’s time its much faster to read the transcript if one is not on the move :-)

    • http://Michealooi.com Micheal Ooi

      BTW, Karen, your site is not working. Just to let you know.

  • Kristy Shen


    Usually, whenever I try to get my SEO research on, I end up getting distracted by YouTube and falling sleep in a puddle of my own drool.

    But ever since I discovered these sweet sweet podcasts of yours, Pat, I’ve been completely focused and drool-free! Thanks dude!

  • http://analyzeniche.com Jared Dees

    Well this podcast series settles it for me: stop blogging about blogging.

    I am passionate about teaching so it only made sense to start another website about Internet marketing. I wasn’t motivated by money. I just had a lot of tips and strategies to share. I’ve worked with a few authors (yes, of real books) this year on growing their online platforms and continue to see them get great results on the advice I have shared. I thought…ok, I’ll start a blog sharing what I know about blogging! Yeah, me and five thousand other people…

    But honestly, when I look at the keyword research data of the IM niche and the traffic numbers I see people sharing even on sites like Think Traffic, I think WHY even try? I’m getting bigger numbers in a “small” niche (note: it is not a “niche” site). And I can get ranked quickly for keywords with search numbers that would be nearly impossible to rank for in the IM niche. It is all about time vs. results.

    So anyway…thanks Pat for doing this series (please keep them coming). It has really helped me prioritize what is important.

    Lain – I hope people pay close attention to what you’ve done here. You have a whole back-end to your business (not blog) that has clearly made a difference in people’s lives and allowed you to live off of your passion. It’s your business model that has made the impact, not the SEO and social media tactics that get people to your site. Awesome job!

    • Lain Ehmann

      Jared, thank you! I’m glad that people seem to be listening beyond the niche and realizing that solid business foundations work in any market, even seemingly obscure ones. I learn so much from people in other industries. I take what’s worked elsewhere and apply it to my industry. Hopefully others can do the same with my story!

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Thanks, Jared! I wrote a long response and the tech gremlins ate it. Suffice it to say, my best ideas have come from outside my market, and I am so glad that others are seeing what I’m doing as inspirational.

      Thanks again!

  • shane

    Reading the transcript, can’t wait to listen to this one!

  • shane

    “Find your unfair advantage” I love that. What a great great quote. That just took my planning for my niche site to an entire new level.

    • Lain Ehmann

      Hurray! :)

  • http://www.kettlebellgolfworkout.com Andy Salazar

    Hi Pat, I just wanted to thank you for all of your help. I launched my first product last week on my kettlebell golf workout website and made my first sale. Whoop! Whoop! Super excited. I have learned so much from your blog and podcast. Keep it up!! Andy S.

  • http://christopherbattles.net Christopher Battles

    Thank you Patt and Lain.
    Great story.

    K, bye

  • http://www.novitemi.com Daniel

    Very useful information that helped me to learn new and interesting things that I did not know until now. Often I read your site is interesting and useful things. I wish you success and would love to see something new and interesting topics on the site.

  • http://planeters.com Joe Wong

    Great story and great focused person you seem to be Lain. Oh and btw, you have a great radio voice…congrats on your achievements.. 😉

    • Lain Ehmann

      Thanks, Joe! I always think I sound like I’m 12. :)

  • http://liveonblogs.com Sreekanth

    I visited your site really nice
    your podcasts are simply awesome
    keep it up

  • http://www.letloveshow.com Kim

    Great interview Pat!
    Lain, congratulations on your success! Do you use special software for truescrap?
    Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Hi Kim-
      Right now I use Cisco/Webex Event Center. I am not very happy with it, though, as the reliability and support are a bit lacking. I’m still looking… 😉

  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com Melissa Shanhun

    I was so thrilled to hear you on Pat’s podcast Lain! :) YAY!

    You and a couple of other scrapbookers making their way on line (like Noell Hyman and Jennifer Wilson) are all so inspirational.

    What I love is that you come at it with such a strong business focus, but still make things fun along the way!

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Thank you, Melissa – you are well on your way! :)

  • Ron

    Cain’s Arcade really made my year. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.theblognoob.com Quinton “The Noob” West

    I have to admit that I teared up during the caines arcade video… thanks a lot pat lol. By the way thanks again for this great site and series. I also appreciate the prompt personal email response you sent me. You are truly an inspiration . Thanks again!

  • http://www.livetheneweconomy.com Mike

    Pat, thanks so much for this site and your hard work! I’m so fortunate to have discovered it! My sites have already generated nearly $100 in passive income and I’ve only been going for 12 days! I’m working on them in the evenings on top of a full-time job, but I’m a believer. Plus, blogging about my successes and failures is a great way to stay on track.

    I can’t wait to put into practice some of the ideas from this latest podcast!

  • http://vegasvacationsforcheap.com Joseph

    Love these types of podcasts, Pat! It’s great to hear interviews with people in different niches and not just MMO.

  • http://live-development.com Brandon Dean

    Your blog is so “happy” :)

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Hehee. I do my best! :) Thanks!

  • http://www.profitworks.ca Chris R. Keller From Profitworks.ca

    Great interview Lain. I like your blog.

    It sounds like you do some email marketing. Here is a resource you might find interesting.

  • http://ways-to-invest-money.com/ Thomas

    Very nice podcast. I love that fact that you haven’t put all your eggs in one basket to make income. More income streams the better. More Inspiration! Hopefully you will get your 6 figures this year for your income.

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Thank you, Thomas – i’m working on it! :) The year is off to a great start so far.

  • http://howtosellyourmusiconline.co.uk/ Dave G

    Thanks Pat… and Lain of course, another inspiring one.

  • http://www.kentrecommends.com Kent F

    I listen to a ton of podcasts, and this is one of the very best I’ve ever heard – congrats Lain, and on your success as well. Pat – send Lain a gift certificate or something – wow!. :-)

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Heee! This made me smile, Kent. :)

  • http://AfterHoursIncome.com Adam C Young

    Wow, Pat…crankin out the podcasts huh? I love it!

    I really appreciated this episode. Im a huge advocate of building passive income based on topics your are truly passionate about, and not just based on keywords or niche market identification. It’s definitely not always easy to go this route…As a “serial starter” in the web biz world, its taken a long time, and cost a lot of money, but I’m finally starting to realize that, the best way for guys and girls to make a splash in the web biz world is to forget about the stats, push aside the naysayers, and let their true passions lead the way…sounds kind of corney to me too, but I guess that’s why it’s taken me a while!

    Lain – you rocked this! Great story / great speaker. Congrats on your past and upcoming success.


  • http://www.buzzpromote.com/ Alanbuzz

    She must make very good amazon affiliate commissions on scrapbook items

    • http://www.layoutaday.com Lain Ehmann

      Actually, no… commissions are low and with the average price of a piece of scrapbook paper being $1, I’m not getting much from Amazon.

  • http://funnyphotoclub.blogspot.com/ sary

    this is good for someone to do

  • Martin

    Hey Pat, I love the site.

    In this interview you spoke about the NAMS conference. What are some of the best offline workshops and events Affiliate Marketers looking to increase their success can attend?

  • http://golalaa.com sam

    WOW ! i wanna be successful like that you mentioned in this article and i definitely DO :) but i need to work hard on order to achieve this outstanding success :)

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  • http://antiquesfrederickmd.com antiques frederick

    I seldom leave a response, but i did some searching and wound up here SPI 037 : Monetizing in a Hobby Niche – Success Story Interview Series – 3.
    And I actually do have some questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Is it only me or does it appear like some of these responses appear like coming from
    brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social
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  • http://www.blackandfemme.com KC | Black & Femme

    I just cried in the middle of my university’s library while watching Caine’s Arcade.

    Thanks for the tip :)

  • http://www.theseoportal.com SEO

    Great motivation for blogger like me who have so much passion for blogging but deep inside heart anxious of earning source also

  • Amanda Schulz

    So, I have just started listening to the podcast and heard this interview (2 years later!). I want to say, wow! How refreshing to hear a woman, in her niche, who is ambitious, confident and willing to take a risk. I know that I am inspired!

  • http://www.medicalschoolhq.net/ Ryan Gray, MD

    This is perfect timing! Just a couple weeks ago I registered premedsumit.com to do a premed online conference! Thanks!