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According to The US Census Bureau, Americans spend up to 6 hours a day on sport, leisure, personal interests and hobbies – and this time goes up over weekends. But did you know that your hobbies and interests can make you extra money?
We should all have hobbies that we enjoy doing in our time off, especially when we chose the wrong career. I personally love learning more about blogging, hiking and gardening in my spare time.
I’ve made a living doing what I love: writing. And I’ve used this skill to write a complete guide that teaches you how to make extra money on the side, if you want to start a side hustle that makes you money.
There are so many opportunities out there to monetize your favorite hobby, from blogging to crafts. If you’re looking for ideas and ways to make extra money with your favorite hobby or ideas on what to blog about, then start on this page.
Here’s my list of hobbies that make the best money – most need little to no investment to get started and many can be done from home or online. I’ve added information on how much investment is needed to get started and how much time is involved before you can start making an income.
How do we define a hobby?
A hobby is anything the we do in our spare time for fun, and this list of hobbies people enjoy from Wikipedia is extremely long. The good news is that there’s no right or wrong time to start a new hobby, such as this dancer who put on her first pair of dancing shoes when she was 29.
Over half of people have more than one hobby and nearly half of all hobbies are arts and crafts. What’s your favorite hobby and how can you make money from it?
Maybe it’s already on the list…
Investment required: No investment is compulsory. You may need to invest in courses to upskill and get a basic website to showcase your work and market your services.
Time involved: Set up profiles on freelance websites, start a website, put together a portfolio of your writing (writers with good writing portfolios usually earn much more than those without)
Of course I had to start with writing because this is my favorite hobby! I am a blogger after all ???? I’ve even written a 100-page book on how to start a side hustle and grow it into a business.
If writing is your talent, then there’s an endless list of ways to work part-time and make money online, from your home. It’s an amazing skill to have and a fun hobby that never gets boring because every day is different.
If you struggle with writing and would love to learn how to write better, you can always improve your writing skills with courses, constructive feedback from others, and practice.
Here are some ways you could make extra money with writing that you might not have thought of:
- Write a book to sell via online bookstores or on your blog
- Look for writing jobs on gig sites like Upwork
- Sell your copywriting services to designers who need articles for websites and small businesses with blogs
- Learn SEO and offer SEO-optimized writing services (this is a huge opportunity and will give you a competitive advantage)
- Create a course on writing that you sell on your blog or on websites like Udemy and Skillshare
- Write resumés for people who are looking for a job
- Write business proposals for companies
- Become a ghostwriter and write books or blog posts for other people
- Become a virtual assistant and put your writing skills to good use in managing their social communities, email campaigns, marketing campaigns, etc.
- Create resources for educators and teachers to be used as lesson plans and activities
- Become an online tutor and teach others how to write or improve their writing
- Ask real estate agents in your area if they need help with writing listings to sell properties
- Learn to speed type and transcribe recordings of voices into written format, working for companies like Rev or offering to your own services for things like video captions and transcription services
Investment required: A domain name and web hosting are essential
Time required: It takes some time coming up with a brand name, finding blog categories and writing enough posts for Google to send people to your blog
Blogging is closely linked to writing and another one of my favorite ways to make money. You can start a blog in any niche related to your favorite hobby or interest.
Starting a hobby blog is even more fun for you if you love the topic!
Here’s how to make money with a blog:
- Sell your own products, courses or services
- Become an affiliate and sell other people’s products, courses, or services
- Put adverts on your site from Google Adsense or sell advertising space to private advertisers
Investment required: No real investment required if you already have the right language skills for the side hustle you choose
Time required: Time to register with companies and build your online presence
If you have the gift of the gab and are very good at one language or you can speak more than one language, then there are ways to make an income from this.
You will be able to charge even more if you speak 1 of the 6 hardest languages for English speakers to learn: Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and Danish.
Want to know how to make money from languages?
- Register as a language translator and offer translation services
- Give conversational classes to people who want to practice speaking the language, either online or in person
- Get English as a Second Language (ESL) certification and teach children English online or in schools across the world
- Offer proofreading services and edit other people’s writing
- Start a blog or YouTube channel that teaches people how to speak a language or improve their writing skills in that language
- Sign up for freelance work with websites like Rev and offer foreign subtitles and translations
4: Digital design and art
Time involved: Time is needed to set up your profiles on freelance websites and create a portfolio of your best design work – I’d keep a weekend free to do all of this
5: If you love drawing or digital art, then you’re lucky enough to choose from many sources for extra income, both online and in person.
Here are ways to make extra money from digital design work and art:
- Design fonts, backgrounds and other graphics that you sell on websites such as Creative Market (I buy a lot of graphics and fonts for my blog from Creative Market and I love supporting artists this way)
- Illustrate books for authors
- Create designs that you sell on products through companies like Zazzle
- Offer design services to online business and small business owners, where you design logos, brand boards, social media graphics, business cards etc.
- Sell handmade and/or hand-lettered invitations for events like weddings, where people want a more personal touch
- Sell your work at art fairs, markets and to galleries
- Become a website designer and sell your web design services
- Create themes for blogs and websites to sell
- Create pretty printables and digital items to sell on sites like Etsy or your own blog
- Start a blog that teaches others how to do what you do
- Start a website to sell your designs
- Become a cartoonist and make money with cartoons
Investment required: You will need to buy basic photography equipment and do a course to understand how your camera works and how to take excellent photos
Time involved: You will need to spend time learning how to take amazing photos with your camera and you will need time to download, edit and upload your photos for sale. You may also want to do some online research to see what photos people are selling and buying
We live in a very visual world and a picture is worth a thousand words, but is it worth a thousand bucks?
Perhaps you could make that much with your photos! Photography is one of my favorite hobbies and interests, and I’m focusing on making money with my photos in the coming months (*watch this space*).
To make money with your photos, why not try some of these ways:
- Sell your photos to stock photography sites. Here’s a list of over 60 sites that will probably take your photos and sell them for you, giving you a commission on each sale
- Specialize in a niche photography offering, such as wedding photography, photographing babies, family photos, sports photography, school pictures, nature photos, styled photography, you name it
- Contact real estate agents and offer to take pictures of houses or buildings for their listings
- Start a niche blog and write about photography
- Take photo orders from other bloggers and small business owners
6: Social media
Investment required: You might need to invest in a good course that teaches you specific strategies and goes into depth about social media platforms. You will need to build your own social media presence and try to become an influencer, as social proof and a good way to market your own services
Time involved: It depends on the course you take and where you are in your own social media profiles
Did you ever realize that you could turn your social media expertise into a side hustle with social media marketing?
Here are a few ideas for you to make money with social media:
- Become an influencer and sell your own products or earn commission by selling other people’s products on social media
- Become a virtual assistant and manage other businesses’ social media profiles
- Offer your services to run advertising campaigns on social media
7: Making and editing videos
Investment required: You may need to invest in software and courses to learn how to make videos and edit them, if you don’t have the necessary skills and software programs. I use the pro version of Filmora to edit my videos
Time involved: You will need to practice and build your skills in taking and editing videos. you also need to create a portfolio with things you can do
Here are some ways to make money from your video skills:
- Offer to edit videos for YouTubers, vloggers and small businesses
- Teach people how to make and edit their own videos
- Set up a YouTube channel and make money from your videos through advertising and affiliate links
- Set up a blog and monetize it through adverts and affiliate links
- Sell your videos to stock photography websites – here’s the list of over 60 stock photography sites, where many sell videos and will pay you a commission
Investment required: You may need to invest in classes, software, and/or instruments
Time involved: You will need to spend time doing research to see what music people want to hear or buy, and how much they will pay for it. You will then need time to practice or create the music you want to make extra money with
Music is a wonderful hobby and there are many ways to make extra money with music these days, especially online and from home.
Here are some ways to make money with your musical hobby:
- Create short intros and outros for videos and sell them to vloggers and on stock websites
- Record longer background music for videos made by vloggers, podcasters and in promotional videos. Sell this music on your own blog or through the stock sites in this list that resell music
- Teach music lessons online or in-person through Takelessons, or give private lessons at home
- Become a DJ and play music at birthday parties, weddings, clubs and other events
- Entertain people and play your instat restaurants or events
- Start a blog about your music niche and sell products or courses on how to play a certain instrument or record music
Investment required: You may need to invest money in craft materials, stall rentals, or a website for your blog
Time involved: You will need to spend time practicing your craft and make good-quality products to sell
Crafts are extremely popular and have made a huge comeback! There’s something so special about making and using unique items made with love. It’s also great to know that many people are moving away from buying mass-produced products to reaping the benefits of supporting local entrepreneurs.
Do you make giant paper roses, jewelry, all-natural beauty products, or clothing? Whatever you love to craft at home, there is always a way to make money from your hobby.
So, how can you make money selling crafts?
Here are some of the many ways to make money selling your crafts:
- Sell handmade products online, on sites like Etsy
- Sell your crafts at local fairs and farmers markets
- Start your own blog or website to sell your crafts or show other people how to make what you make
Take advantage of the holidays and check out this list of Christmas crafts that you can make and sell in 2019.
10: Baking and cooking
Investment required: You may need to invest money in ingredients, advertising, and a website for your blog (to give you a professional presence, if you need it)
Time involved: You will need to spend time cooking and answering queries from people who are interested in your cooking and baking services
If you love being in the kitchen cooking up a storm, then you could definitely make money from your hobby.
Here are some of the ways to make money from baking and cooking:
- Start a food blog
- Bake cakes and treats/desserts for parties and weddings
- Cater for events, such as birthday parties, weddings, and sport or work functions
- Start a meal delivery service for busy office workers
- Teach people how to cook or bake with a cooking blog and courses
- Make cooking videos for YouTube to earn extra money through advertising, promotions or affiliate links
- Write your own recipe ebook to sell online, on places such as Amazon
11: Beauty hobby
Investment required: You may need to invest money in courses, equipment, products, a website, or renting space in a salon
Time involved: If you are offering beauty services, you may need to spend time getting certified and perhaps register in the State that you live (check the requirements for where you stay)
If you love make-up and all things beauty-related, you could start a side hustle to make extra money over weekends or in the evenings. This can be done from home or online, depending on where your passion and skills lies. Beauty really is one of the most flexible hobbies when it comes to making money.
Here’s how you could make money from your beauty and wellness hobbies:
- Start a YouTube channel and show others how to apply different makeup looks, what the latest makeup trends are, and give honest reviews on new products on the market
- Become a part-time makeup artist or get a casual job in a makeup store
- Brand and sell your own makeup products to your audience, if you’ve built up a following
- Take a course and learn how to do fake lashes, waxing, nails, permanent makeup, massages, or any other beauty-related service. You can offer these services from your home or rent space in a local salon
Investment required: You will probably need some basic equipment and/or growing materials
Time involved: Making money from a gardening hobby is fairly quick and easy to set up! Although plants willl need time to grow and should be planted in the right season
If the sun, outdoors and plants are your best hobby, then there are ways to make money from your green fingers.
Here are some ideas to make extra money with a gardening hobby:
- Sell plants and herbs at farmers markets or directly to nurseries
- Grow fruits and vegetables to sell at markets, to grocers, or directly to the public online
- Sell seeds that you collect from your own plants
- Offer garden services, such as lawn mowing, rubbish removal, garden design services, garden maintenance
We’ve looked at over 10 ways to make the best money from your hobby, all with little to no investment required. You can easily get set up to start making extra money on the side, often from home or online. Hobbies have been proven to improve your mental well being, and now they can boost your financial well being too.
Look for opportunities wherever you go, see what people are asking for online, speak to those in the market, then offer a hobby product or service to test the market. Always provide good quality and treat your customers with respect. You are representing a very important brand here – YOU. And people will remember it.
If you are looking for the full strategy to take your hobby from an idea to a full-scale side hustle, then grab your copy of my ebook, which takes you through the 13 steps of starting a side hustle and growing it into a business.
FAQs about making money from hobbies
Can you make money selling crafts?
Absolutely! You can sell crafts at markets, online through stores that focus on handmade products (like Etsy), or on your own blog. You will do well if you try a few crafty things and find out what people like, need and want to buy, then make those to sell. Or you could start a hobby blog that teaches others how to make what you make.
How can I make money with my passion?
There is always a way, but every passion and every journey is different. So there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. Find others who are making money with the same passion and follow them, and read a lot or do courses to find out how to monetize what you love. You could write books, offer services, start a membership site, and the list goes on!
What is the most profitable hobby?
There are many hobbies that can make money, no matter what you enjoy doing in your spare time. One of the most or perhaps the most profitable hobby is writing – JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter books, is worth $1 billion. That’s not pocket change. Most will never earn that, but writers can take easy steps to increase their income.
How can I make money and have fun?
One of the best ways to make money and have fun is to make money from your hobby. But this isn’t the only way. Why not choose a job or start a business that you enjoy? Then every day will be fun making money.
How do I monetize my hobbies?
One of the best ways to monetize your hobbies is to sell your crafts or creations online. You could sell things through online stores like Zazzle or Etsy, or you could start a blog or website and sell them yourself. Other options are selling at markets and through people you know, or approach local shops and ask if you could put your items on their shelves and pay them commission on everything that is sold.