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There's no end to people - and online stories - telling you to chase your dreams and turn your hobby into a career.

And why not? It's easy advice to give.

Of course, actually making that transition happen is an enormous challenge. And once you do your hobby all day, every day, with your livelihood at stake, it quickly can become just a job.

But let's say you're thinking about taking the plunge nonetheless. Is your hobby one that actually has a decent shot at earning you enough to pay your bills and save for retirement?

If you're a collector of niche items, probably not. If you're a home brewer, there's a better chance, but you'd be entering a field with exponentially growing competition and high start-up costs (along with plenty of legislative hurdles).

But if you like to dabble in one of these fields, you might just be able to make a living without facing tremendous start-up costs.

Chris Morris is a South Carolina-based freelance writer.