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A big hobby of mine has always been painting, drawing and just releasing my creative energy in any way that I see fit. Who knew these are hobbies that make money?
That has recently shifted from mostly painting to digital media and writing over the past couple of years. I could say I am lucky to have found a way to monetize it but that’s not true. There isn’t an ounce of luck involved with this new success I found with my hobbies.
I worked my ass off to monetize my hobby in a way that worked for me. I run multiple blogs in addition to some freelance writing and design work and it’s all on the side of my full-time job as a software engineer. However, I am currently working on shifting from a sole proprietorship to an LLC and planning out how to do this full time.
This has been two and a half years in the making for me as I have shifted from several hobbies I have tried to monetize during that time and lost focus here and there. But I always kept my main goal in mind to start a full-time business with my love of online media.
Who says you can’t make money with your passion?
As I get closer to achieving that goal, I put together this list of 43 hobbies that make money and are even able to be shifted into full-time businesses.
My Top Pics for Hobbies That Make Money
Turning your hobby into a money-making passion may sound harder than everyone makes it seem online. And that is true.
Online gurus, course creators and influencers often make entrepreneurship look like a dream come true but it has its downsides. You must be prepared to know what you are getting yourself into.
You don’t have to go all-in with your passion either. It could also just be a little side money you make on the weekends or maybe do it once like with ebook creation and make passive income down the line.
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Since writing is the main hobby that makes me money, why not check that one right off the list first?
I love writing in different creative ways to express compelling thoughts and engage my own critical thinking as well as my readers’. The wonderful thing with writing is that there are so many ways to monetize it in ways you probably never really thought about.
Different ways to make money with a writing hobby:
- Blogging (income mostly comes from ads served on the blog, affiliate marketing and sponsorships) – more on this in #14 below
- Become a freelance writer for other blogs and online publications
- Write and sell ebooks
- Write for magazines
- Copywrite for ads
Note: If you love writing and plan on monetizing it, you have to get the right tools to make your job easier. For me, Grammarly works wonders for automatically proofreading my work for me. Guess what, you can get Grammarly for free with my link if you click here. Enjoy!
Oddly enough, you can actually get paid to read books. This is usually from sites that pay readers for book reviews but also comes in other forms like freelance editing, copyediting, and proofreading.
Sites that pay readers for book reviews:
Other ways to make money with a reading hobby:
- Audiobook narration
- Freelance read manuscripts
- Create a publishing business
- Become an online proofreader
3. Social Media
Social media has become more of a habit than a hobby. But for many, they love using the platforms and have managed to create quite lucrative businesses managing social media for others.
In addition to managing social media, there are other ways to monetize a hobby of scrolling through social media day in and day out:
- Become a brand ambassador and get paid from a brand to promote their products
- Have posts sponsored by brands
- Audit other social media profiles for clients
4. Pet Loving
As a pet lover myself I tried out monetizing it and surprisingly enough, it worked!
At the beginning of this past summer, I signed up for Rover and ended up doing 3 cat sitting jobs. I made $45 off of each one and all that it entailed was going to a house and watching a cat for 30 minutes a day. We played and I made sure the cat had food and water when I came over.
That was it.
I know many dog walkers and pet sitters who make a full-time income with their pet-loving hobby and have read articles about people who actually went on to start their own pet care businesses.
Other ways to make money by loving pets:
- Pet grooming
- Pet photography
- Create outfits for pets and sell them on Etsy
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As mentioned above, I love painting. It was actually one of my first profitable side hustles that I never really tried to push.
In college, I would paint at live shows and festivals and would bring some finished paintings with me to display. Usually, I would sell all of what I brought with me. I even had some of my work displayed at a gallery for a while.
Unfortunately, I never pursued this further and it basically stopped there. Life got busy and as I started my career in I.T., the time I had to paint became more limited.
Other ways to make money with a painting hobby:
- Sell paintings on Etsy
- Sell them at cafes
- Create an Instagram and sell them there directly with people and take payments via Venmo
Related: How To Make Money As An Artist
Have you ever visited Creative Market? I’ve used it here and there to purchase some graphics for my sites. It is basically a giant online shop of anything you could ever need when it comes to design. You can get themes, plugins, illustrations, designs, fonts, etc. Literally, anything.
You could create a couple of illustrations and test selling them there or on Etsy.
Other ways to make money from your illustrations:
7. Graphic Design
Similar to illustration, you can easily make money with your love of graphic design using sites like Creative Market and Etsy. You would sign up to become a seller on those sites, upload your designs and try to market your listings either with ads, connections with bloggers and site creators, etc.
Other ways to bank off of graphic design:
- Offer design services on Fiverr or Upwork
- Create a website with a membership service where members would receive new designs every week or month
- Sell your graphic design services through your website
- Create designs and place them on t-shirts and other items using services like Printful and Printify
I love running but I don’t think I could manage to create a business from this hobby. I just have too much other stuff going on.
But for someone who is a running and fitness fanatic over anything else, try to think how you can leverage that.
Ways to make money with a running and fitness obsession:
- Become a personal trainer
- Create a fitness brand and sell physical products (like workout equipment or muscle tape)
- Create a fitness blog, vlog or podcast about running
- Sign up for Healthywage and get paid for completing challenges
This is an interesting one. I can’t build anything to save my life but there are loads of people who love it and are already making money from it on apps like Handy.
Handy is an app where you are sent small jobs like handy work, yard cleanup, furniture assembly, etc. I have a reader who was able to make $140 after 4 hours of installing ceiling fans through Handy.
Other ways to make money with a building hobby:
- Accept tasks on TaskRabbit
- Build tiny houses and offer those services to others
- Look for building jobs on Steady
Handy is great for also finding cleaning jobs as well as building jobs, as mentioned in #9 above.
Other ways to make money with a cleaning hobby:
- Look for cleaning jobs on AppJobs (type your city or zip code and search for cleaning opportunities in your area)
- Start your own small cleaning business
Driving is nice and can destress you on an open road. But in bumper to bumper traffic, it can be a real pain.
Some people don’t mind that though and love driving, bumping their music and just being in their space. They also love not having to sit at a desk.
Ways to make money with driving:
Or Not Drive and Make Money with Your Car
If you hate bumper to bumper traffic and people screwing you on tips, why not take the driving part out of it? You can still make money with your car and you don’t have to actually drive it anywhere.
Ways to make money with your car:
- Rent it out on Hyrecar
- Rent it out on Turo
- Rent it out on Getaround
- Work as a shopper for Instacart and put together orders but never have to deliver them anywhere
If you have a love of hiking and the great outdoors, you can get paid to share that love with others.
Become an Airbnb Experiences host and create an experience on the app in your local city to offer a guided tour of a specific state park through hikes or other outdoor attractions near you. You could charge around $50 to $100 per person for each experience booking and make quite the lucrative money-making venture out of your outdoorsy hobby.
Other ways to make money with a hiking hobby:
- Apply to work at a state park
- Create a YouTube channel and video document your hikes
With a gardening hobby, you have quite a few choices to make extra money with your green thumb.
You could grow vegetables and fruit and sell them at a local farmer’s market.
Other ways to make money with a gardening hobby:
- Create other gardens for people
- Write an ebook about gardening
14. Playing Video Games
When I was younger, I was obsessed with a game called Spyro on PlayStation. Now, I could get paid to play that very same game in my spare time!
I know, it’s crazy.
Ways that you can get paid to play video games for a hobby:
- Livestream your gameplay on YouTube and monetize your channel with ads or sponsorships
- Livestream your gameplay on Twitch and monetize with ads or sponsorships
- Make money playing games on your phone with Mistplay
- Get paid for your internet usage while you play video games online with Nielsen
As mentioned in item #1, you can monetize a love of writing with starting your own blog. Anyone can start a blog though. It takes a couple of extra steps to monetize and be able to make some notable money off of that blog.
Some common ways to monetize a blog:
- Set up display ads on your blog with either AdSense, Mediavine, etc.
- Place affiliate links in your articles and get paid when people sign up or purchase things through those links (I utilize that quite a bit in this blog)
- Partner with companies on sponsorships for blog posts and get paid for how many articles they sponsor
- Offer services through your blog
How I made money blogging the first half of this year —–> Blogging as a Side Hustle: Mid Year Blog Checkin, Income, Redesign & More
16. Shopping (Flipping, Retail Arbitrage, etc)
Flipping is another side hustle my wife Alexandra and I love to do. We took our compulsive past shopping addictions and channeled that energy into ways we could make money off of shopping instead. Some people call this retail arbitrage or reselling – where you buy something from one retailer and resell it for a profit online.
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We flip guitars on sites like eBay and Reverb and make as much as an extra $3,000 a month sometimes. I also flip designer brand handbags and other things on my own eBay and on Poshmark.
Other ways you can get paid for a shopping hobby:
- Buy things from garage sales or yard sales and resell them online (this post will give you all the steps to do this and the easiest items to flip for a profit)
- Buy things at flea markets and resell them on eBay (take this free workshop to show you show)
- Make money sharing your opinion about products on sites like Pinecone Research, Survey Rewardz, Toluna, etc
- Sell old electronics on Decluttr or Gazelle
- Become a mystery shopper and make money auditing stores on apps like Shopkick and Field Agent
- Get a free $10 by signing up for Rakuten – an app that gives you cash back for your shopping
I actually code for my full-time job and was lucky to find a trade that I really loved. Coding is actually one of the hobbies that you will be able to find many jobs in. There are more of them popping up every day.
More ways to make money with a coding hobby:
- Look for coding jobs on FlexJobs and Indeed
- Create an Upwork profile and contract out your coding skills
- Film coding video tutorials on YouTube
- Create an online course on coding (Teachable is great for this)
If you are a freak in the kitchen, you could make extra money cooking in your free time. The most popular way to do this lately seems to be creating YouTube channels of putting recipes together.
But there more avenues to be utilized.
More ways to make money with a cooking hobby:
- Create a food blog
- Sell recipes on Etsy
- Sell recipes to food bloggers
- Open a food truck
Much like with cooking, you can also make money with a baking hobby.
Some popular ways to make money baking:
- Create a YouTube channel
- Create a baking blog
- Open a bakery
- Offer to your local news station to do small baking segments
I have never been a knitter but know many who love passing the time with knitting. Many of them end up selling their creations too.
Ways to make money with a knitting hobby:
- Sell your creations on Etsy
- Sell your creations at flea markets
- Bring your creations to local boutiques to sell in their stores
22. Working With Kids
I use to work with kids as volunteer work in high school but never been inclined to really take it on past that. However, many of my friends have gone on to become teachers, counselors and have even been able to teach online from the comfort of their home.
Sites that pay you to teach online:
If you love restoring things like antique furniture and other timeless items, you could possibly earn money from it too.
Ways to make money restoring items:
- Source items from garage sales, thrift stores, auctions, etc, restore them and resell them online
- Take restored items to a consignment shop to resell
Collecting might sound a lot like hoarding to some. But to the people who love to collect, it is also a form of investment for them.
They know their collection will one day be worth a lot of money. Or, they just want something nice to pass down to their friends and family.
Ways to make money with a collection:
- Sell it at an auction
- Sell it on eBay
- Sell it on a classifieds site like Craigslist
I love to travel and have actually been able to make some money myself with my traveling hobby. My other site I run is actually a travel blog. I also have been able to make money promoting Airbnb, an app I absolutely love to use on my trips.
Ways you can make money with a travel hobby:
- Housesit for others when traveling with sites like TrustedHousesitters
- Create a travel blog, vlog and/or Instagram
- Become an Airbnb host and open your property to other travelers
- Earn points and rewards while traveling with apps and programs like Rakuten, Ibotta and Hilton Honors
If you have the creativity and special eye for photography, you could easily make money taking photos for others. People are always looking for event photographers for things like festivals, weddings, etc.
Other ways to make money with a photography hobby:
- Create stock photos and sell them on Etsy
- Create an online photography course using Teachable
- Do pet portrait photos for people
27. Watching Movies
I love watching movies and have been able to snag some extra cash doing so.
One of my first jobs was actually working at a movie theatre where I not only got to go to the movies anytime I wanted for free but also caught a couple of movies during my breaks while on the job.
My favorite ways to get paid to watch movies:
- Download Nielsen and get paid for what you watch online
- Download Swagbucks and get paid to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, etc
- Get paid to watch movies as a part of a focus group with Vindale Research
- Start a podcast and discuss movies
Filming is such a fun hobby, but it can also be an expensive one. Why not make some money with your filming to help cover the costs?
Ways to make money with a filming hobby:
- Start a YouTube channel
- Create an online course on filming techniques
- Film a documentary or indie film
I am a horrible public speaker. I have just always hated it. But a lot of people are making a living from speaking at events and conferences.
Other ways to make money with a speaking hobby:
- Start a podcast
- Record audiobooks for others
- Create online courses about public speaking
- Become a professor and give lectures
Most people love to decorate their houses, especially around the holidays. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get paid for it too?
Something is so satisfying getting the creative juices flowing and making a space look a certain way.
Ways to make money with a decorating hobby:
- Become an interior designer
- Create a YouTube channel and give tutorials on certain decorating looks
- Start a blog about decorating
- Put together a haunted house around Halloween and charge people to go through it
31. Party Planning
I love party planning but mostly because I love to decorate. To me, party planning is definitely another great way to get paid to decorate but a lot more goes into the entire process of party planning than just decorating.
Ways to make money with a party planning hobby:
- Become a party planner or wedding planner and work for specific venues (or privately)
- Start a YouTube channel or blog about party planning
- Create and sell products specific to your party planning business and sell them on your website or online eCommerce store (like Shopify)
32. Brewing (Wine, Beer or Kombucha)
I love wine, beer, and kombucha…maybe a little too much. I don’t know how to brew it though.
If I did, I bet I would be trying to make a buck off of it.
Ways to make money with a brewing hobby:
- Sell your brews at farmer’s markets
- Sell your brews at festivals
- Bring your brews to local grocery stores and markets to see if they will sell it for you
Alright, don’t hate me but I am not a huge sports fan. Unless it is either hockey, soccer (futbol) or anything in the Olympics.
But I do love to run and being active. And I love playing occasional esports.
Ways to make money with a sports-loving hobby:
- Create a sports commentary podcast
- Stream esports games on Twitch
- Create a YouTube channel about sports, sports commentary, etc
34. Beauty and Skincare
If you have been on YouTube at all in the last 5 years, you’ve noticed how much beauty gurus have blown up online. They are everywhere.
Some of my favorite beauty gurus like Jeffree Star make millions a year in the beauty industry with beauty review and tutorial videos, sponsorships, creating their own makeup products, etc.
But seriously, anyone can become a beauty guru these days.
Ways you can make money as a beauty/skincare guru:
- Create a YouTube channel for makeup reviews and tutorials
- Create an Instagram for your beauty looks and get companies to sponsor your posts
- Create beauty products and sell them to your followers
- Sell your makeup services and charge others to do their wedding makeup looks, etc
35. Fixing Things
Many of us are too lazy to fix anything ourselves so we look to online apps like Handy, TaskRabbit and AppJobs for others to fix things for us. The good news is if you love fixing things, you can make some good money on these apps fixing things for others.
In addition to those apps, you can also make money fixing things these ways:
- Write and sell ebooks about fixing certain things
- Create an online course for fixing specific things like plumbing, walls, and other difficult things that you might not see courses out there for already
- Start a YouTube channel where you film tutorials about fixing things
36. Health and Fitness
I am a big health and fitness buff myself but think the health and fitness industry may be to saturated for what I would want to do with it. But there are still ways for you to enter the industry as a smaller influencer.
Or don’t even try influencing and go a different way.
Ways to make money as a health and fitness buff:
- Write and sell a health/fitness related ebook
- Create online challenges where others sign up to participate with you for a small fee
- Sign up for Healthywage and get paid for completing challenges
I use to be a competitive swimmer and actually won Swimmer of The Year award in 2003 at the swim club I swam for. I was in 8th grade at the time and went on to swim throughout high school. If I continued with that competitive spirit, who knows where I would be now.
But guess why I didn’t? I got severely burned out and ended up hating swimming competitively after some time.
Even though I didn’t make any money swimming competitively then, there are other ways I could make money swimming now.
How to make money with a swimming hobby:
- Create YouTube tutorials
- Create a podcast or blog for other swimmers and how to deal with burnout when swimming competitively
- Write and sell ebooks about swimming and swimming lifestyles
- Create and sell products for swimmers
Do you have a musical talent? If so, you could make some fun money with it.
As mentioned above, Alexandra does this with flipping guitars online. Even though she doesn’t play all that much anymore, she is still able to make money with musical instruments.
Ways you can make money with a musical hobby:
- Restore and sell instruments online
- Create YouTube tutorials
- Create online courses on how to play certain instruments
- Start a band and start playing gigs
I like to think I am funny but I don’t have nearly enough guts to get on stage and try to do stand up comedy. Some friends of mine actually did so in the past as a local sandwich shop.
Even though they didn’t make any money and it was mostly for fun, they could have.
Ways to make money with comedy:
- Create a podcast
- Start a YouTube channel
- Create a blog
- Write funny ebooks to sell
- Freelance write jokes for others
- Sign up for open mic nights and work your way up to small comedy gigs for money
Are you a huge history buff? There are actually loads of jobs available at museums and historical landmarks looking for history buffs like you.
Other ways to make money as a history buff:
- Create an Airbnb Experience around the local history of your town/city
- Start a touring company in your city
- If your house is on historic land or landmark, host it on Airbnb
If your thing is backing the companies you believe in and have the extra money to do it, you can invest in those companies. This way, your money makes more money for you.
Ways to get started investing:
- M1 Finance is an online brokerage and robo-advisor we use to invest in the companies we love and believe in
- Acorns is an app that you can invest your spare change and cash back (sign up with this link and get a free $5 bonus)
42. Working on Cars
My dad taught me a couple of things when it comes to working on my own car. One of the things he taught me was to YouTube how to fix something first and do some research before going straight to the mechanic.
In some ways, this has helped me a lot. And in other ways, it has hurt me because I tried to do things and would break things when I didn’t know what I was doing.
Still, it was always a learning experience.
Ways to make money with a car-loving hobby:
- Create YouTube tutorials
- Write ebooks or courses online about fixing cars
- Fix cars part-time for others
Hospitality is a broad category for a hobby. Basically, if you like having guests over, making drinks and creating a hospitable environment, there are tons of ways to monetize that in the hospitality industry.
Ways to make money with hospitality:
- Host some of your property on Airbnb
- Work part-time as a bartender
- Start a catering business
- Open a bed and breakfast
Deciding The Right One for You
If you’re anything like me, you easily have 5-10 hobbies on this list that you enjoy. You can’t possibly find ways to monetize all of them. I mean, there are only 24 hours in a day and some of us enjoy sleeping.
If you absolutely felt like you had to though, I suggest starting with the hobby you enjoy most. Build up whatever way you plan on monetizing it to be mostly passive down the line so then you can focus on monetizing the next one, and so on.
Or just focus on the one you care most about and forget about all the noise in your head about the others.
After you identify which is the one you care most about, next you must think how easy it will be for you to monetize. If it is too much or too complicated, maybe think about the others and if their routes will be any easier.
You don’t want to create too much work for yourself and end up hating your passion in the long run.
Last but not least, don’t feel like you have to do it all by yourself. Outsourcing certain tasks that you hate or are repetitive is a must when forming a successful business.
Monetizing Your Hobby The Right Way
Once you decide which hobby is the right one for you to monetize, there are some steps you need to take in order for it to be legal.
You see, a lot of suggestions on this list involve you monetizing your hobby as either a contractor, sole proprietor, or as an LLC – Limited Liability Company (or above). The difference between these mainly matter come tax time. As a contractor, you might not have to set aside taxes if the people you work for already take taxes out of your pay.
If they do not take taxes out of your pay or pay any social security, etc on your behalf, then be prepared to pay a self-employment tax. If you freelance in any capacity or are a sole proprietor of your business, then you will 100% be expected to pay a self-employment tax. I suggest you read this step by step post on how to figure your freelance rate (tax included).
If you chose to form an LLC for your business, look to these helpful resources:
- Should You Form an LLC?
- How to Start an LLC
- MyCorporation will help you file your LLC and anything else you need related to your business (such as trademarks, copyrights, etc)
If you love what you do as your day job but still want to explore other things, that is totally ok and possible. You just have to be able to manage your time and resources properly so you don’t end up paying with burnout and exhaustion.
If you hate your day job or maybe one day loved it and since lost interest, no worries! I don’t think we are all meant to have only one career and one focus in life. If you can’t stand being there any longer, stop right now.
Do not waste your life doing something that you can’t stand. That is no life to live. We are meant to experiment, shift many times in our lives and explore as much as we can as creative beings.
I think our hobbies are absolutely worth exploring in ways that will pay us time and time again down the line (and maybe passively too). I think the more you enjoy something, the more you should look towards that thing as a way to make money.
You won’t only pay yourself in money but in satisfaction.
Once you align with your higher self (as in what you truly want to be doing in life), doors open that you didn’t even know were there and your life begins to change in amazing ways.
What hobbies do you think you can make money from and in what ways? Or maybe you already earn money from a hobby of yours and if so, what is that hobby? Share with us in the comments below!
More ways to make money with your hobbies:
- 50 Ways To Make An Extra $500 A Month
- 22 Clever Ways To Get Free Gift Cards
- 22 Creative Ways To Turn Your Clutter Into Cash
- 10 DIY Crafts To Sell For Extra Money
- 17+ Ways To Make Extra Money By Taking Online Surveys
- 15 Remote Jobs That Pay More Than $15 Hourly
- The Top 28 Sites That Pay You To Blog
Daniella is the creator and author of iliketodabble.com. When her wife Alexandra and her aren’t globetrotting or playing with their 7+ animals, they are hustling and working towards a future of financial freedom.