Today I have a special guest. My good friend Arlene from PenniesToPlenty.com has put together an excellent post on 15 Money-Making Hobbies that are fun and can earn you good money. If you’re looking for great ideas to earn money from your hobbies, read on!
A few years ago, I sent evites to my friends to join me for a clothing swap. It was springtime, and I was ready to change up my wardrobe for the coming warmer months. It turned out that my friends were busy or uninterested in joining the clothing exchange. While I was disappointed at the time, it turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
Instead of swapping my clothes, I signed up on online sites to sell them. I made my first sale within minutes of listing my items. I’ve been hooked on selling ever since. After selling all my used clothes, I started visiting local thrift stores and second-hand shops for inventory. In fact, I turned shopping, one of my money-draining hobbies, into a profitable one. I now shop several times a week to find popular clothes and accessories to resell online for profit.
Can you imagine making money from a hobby? It is indeed possible. There are many hobbies that can turn into profitable side hustles. Take a look at the 15 below for ideas.
You might be surprised at how much work is available for freelance writers. You could write content for websites, essays, resumes, book reviews, and more. You’ll be even more in demand if you specialize in a trending area of writing such as search engine optimization (SEO). Most of the work pays per article or gig, but you decide how much you want to work and therefore how much you earn.
If freelance writing isn’t for you, you can write a book to sell online. Do you have strong knowledge about a topic that other people want to learn? Put your knowledge into a book and sell it. The best thing about selling a book is that it can become passive income. You can continue to sell it year after year with little to no additional work.
Most people are surprised to learn that you can make good money by blogging. If you like to write and have something to say, try starting a blog. It typically takes more than a few posts to turn a blog into a steady money-making business, but it’s possible with some time and effort. You can make money in a number of ways: advertisements, promoting affiliates, writing sponsored posts, selling your own products, and more. The sky is the limit when it comes to growing your blog and the resulting income.
3) Making crafts
When I was growing up, my mother made beautiful Halloween costumes better than the commercial ones sold at the store. Friends and family often asked her to make costumes for their children too. She could’ve easily turned this craft into a side hustle. There are many other options for crafts to sell too. Check out sites like Etsy for an idea of what sells well. Here’s a short list:
- Card making
- Jewelry making
- Clothes making
- Soap making
- Candle making
- Creating shadow boxes
- Making hair accessories
Most people nowadays don’t know how to sew buttons on their shirts or hem their pants, much less sew together anything fancier. You can create a side hustle offering your sewing services because there are always people who need their clothing altered. Start building your clientele by offering services to friends and family in exchange for reviews and feedback. You can also try offering additional services that set you apart, like offering evening hours or complimentary local pick-up or drop-off.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make money taking photos. Depending on your skill level and how much time you have, you have a range of options on how to monetize this hobby. You can upload your photos on stock photo sites such as Shutterstock or iStockphoto. When someone pays to download your photo, you receive a percentage as a royalty. You can also sell your photos directly to customers on your own website. Or you could use your skills to take portraits and photograph events such as birthday parties and weddings.
6) Pet sitting
If you’re a pet owner, you may find it a natural next step to care for other people’s animals. Pet sitting is flexible in that you can take on jobs that work with your schedule. You can also decide on the extent of your responsibilities as a pet sitter. You might only want to walk dogs or feed cats. You can offer overnight care if you have the time and your own pet-friendly home. Sign up on sites like Rover and Wag (in the US) or market your services to pet owners you already know to build your clientele.
7) House sitting
My graduate school classmate regularly housesat for others and got paid well for it. She would check on the homeowner’s plants and animals and sometimes stay overnight if needed. This was an easy way for her to make money on the evenings and weekends without having to commit to a schedule like at a regular job. You could consider house sitting a mini-vacation or at least a change of scenery, depending on the house that you care for.
8a) Social media influencer
It’s never been easier to make money from social media. Your posts on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can actually make you money as an influencer. An influencer has established authority in a specific niche and can influence others’ ideas and habits. It won’t happen overnight. You have to post consistently, offer quality content, and make efforts to build your following. But once you’ve established yourself, you can make money in several ways such as promoting relevant items for your followers to buy, earning sponsorships, and becoming a brand ambassador.
8b) Social media manager
Let’s say you don’t want to be an influencer, but you still like social media. Pinterest is intuitive to you. You know Instagram like the back of your hand. You can use those skills to manage social media accounts. As social media grow and reach more people, many individuals and companies want to build their presence on it, but don’t have the time or knowledge to do it. They will outsource the work to you. This side hustle has huge potential for growth in the coming years as social media continues to develop, and this work becomes more mainstream.
9) Graphic designer
Graphic design skills are in demand. Many individuals and companies need help creating visual products for their personal or business use. They don’t have the time or inclination to learn programs to do it on their own, preferring to outsource their work to you. You can create logos, book covers, PDFs, advertisements, and even Pinterest pins for them. Market your services on sites like Fiverr or on your own site.
10) Sports instructor
Community sports leagues and schools always need sports instructors. You don’t have to have been a professional level athlete to coach or referee. For example, I was able to teach children movement skills and gymnastics basics with a solid background in the sport. Many gyms will provide additional training on how to coach too. Of course, if you’re more advanced at a sport, you can instruct higher levels of athletes and likely make more money.
11) Music instructor or performer
While some people may be self-taught at playing instruments, most people need an instructor to get beyond the basics. Before you say you’re not good enough, know that you don’t have to be a concert level performer to be an instructor. Many people need help with the basics of learning an instrument or reading music. As a music instructor, you can set your own schedule and have students come to you, making this a very flexible and convenient side hustle. If teaching isn’t for you, you might like performing. You can find gigs at local venues or for session artists.
Think about all those high school students who want to do well in college entrance exams. Many of them (or their parents) are willing to pay for tutoring. A friend of mine made good money tutoring students on college entrance exams and difficult high school subjects. Another friend who was familiar with the local school district’s curriculum provided tutoring services to younger students.
You can also make money tutoring or teaching English to foreign students. You can teach online to students around the world without leaving home, thanks to the internet. Don’t forget about the skills you have from your day job too. I’m a speech-language pathologist by day. I could use my skills to teach clients accent modification lessons in my spare time.
13) Event planning
Do you like arranging parties and other events? You can get paid to do it as an event planner. My cousin started an event planning business with her friends a few years ago. Thanks to her large social circle, she regularly arranged baby showers and assisted at weddings. She recently took a course to become a certified planner and now does wedding planning on her own. This is in addition to her full-time day job. You can do this too with good connections, customer service skills, and a penchant for planning.
14) Makeup artist
Many people want professional level makeup done for special events like weddings or even for casual events like date nights. They don’t want to do it themselves, so they’ll turn to you. If the idea of doing all kinds of makeup seems overwhelming, you can specialize in one area such as bridal makeup or doing Asian makeup. Take note though that startup costs for a makeup artist can run a few hundred dollars or more. You have to cover the cost of makeup and other supplies before you begin booking clients.
15) Shopping & reselling
As I mentioned at the start, my hobby-turned-side-hustle is reselling thrifted clothing for profit. You can actually resell anything that is legal and in demand and make a profit from it. Electronics, phones, and luxury designer purses are popular to resell. You’ll learn what brands sell the best with some research and experience. There are lots of options for where to sell your items online and in real life, but you’ll want to find the marketplaces that best connect your items with the people who want them.
An alternative to this is to offer consignment services. You won’t believe how many people want to make money off their old items but don’t want to put in the time or effort to list things for sale or ship them. They’d rather have someone do it for them and share the profit. You can provide that service and take your cut.
When I started selling used clothing online a few years ago, I never imagined that I would have the sustainable and profitable side hustle that I have today. It’s led me to teach others how to thrift and sell online. It’s one of the reasons I started blogging, which has become a side hustle of its own. You can turn your hobby into a money-making business too. Give it a try because you may reach your goals and then exceed them, all by doing an activity that you enjoy.
Read this related post by Arlene: 9 Reasons to Start a Side Hustle Today.
Arlene can usually be found enjoying free entertainment or shopping at thrift stores for things to resell online. She offers a 5 Days to Poshmark Sales free email course to get you started selling online too. Learn more about running a profitable side hustle, frugal living, and money management on her blog From Pennies to Plenty.