It has been said that interesting people find three hobbies that they love. One makes them money, one keeps them fit, and the other helps them to be creative.
Whether you’re looking for a hobby or merely looking to make money from your current hobby, there are plenty of ways you can do both. Whether you’re into technology or prefer doing things by hand, there are ways you can turn almost any hobby into a bit of extra income.
Sell Something Physical
Are you into crafting or making art? Perhaps you spend a lot of time journaling. If you yearn to create, then you might be able to monetize your craft. Here are a few ideas.
Flip Garage Sale Finds
If you spend your weekends browsing garage sales, then you might be able to flip the things that you find. Plenty of people rent flea market tables or host annual yard sales, and they typically find all the things that they sell at the estate and garage sales. If you have skills in refinishing wood, repairing old items, or know how to make something beautiful, then you could earn a lot of money by buying things at garage sales and then selling them for more.
There are several ways to take your garage sale hobby to the next level, but you may also want to consider digital sales as well. You may be able to buy and sell items on forums such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other local websites in between your garage sales to make extra money throughout the year.
While woodworking takes years of practice, many people love the practice of carving wood. Whether you love creating small figurines or building furniture, there are plenty of ways to sell your craft.
Websites such as Etsy are perfect for crafters to sell on, and there are websites such as woodcraft.com that bring together woodworking enthusiasts. Additionally, many towns and cities have annual craft fairs. Woodworkers set up shop there and at farmer’s markets to sell their woodworking hobby.
If you love crafting, then you may make birdhouses one day and take up cross stitch the next. This is a wonderful way to challenge yourself and allows you to sell your things on new forums. Etsy.com is one of the most popular websites that people use to sell their crafts. You will find anything from hand-dyed scarves to candles and more on Etsy.
If you want to sell items on Etsy, signing up is free, and you can immediately start making money from home. You can set up an online shop and be immediately connected with buyers from around the country and world.
Make T-Shirts, Stickers, and More
Did you know that you can take designs and logos that you create, and sell them online risk-free? Several websites give independent artists an easy, profitable way to sell their creations. For most of these websites, you simply upload a design, then choose what the design will go on. For example, if you have a business logo, you may want it to go on water bottles and stickers. Alternatively, if you're going to sell a funny t-shirt, you may want to choose men’s and women’s t-shirts, sweatshirts, and long sleeve shirts.
Sites that you may want to evaluate are Redbubble, Zazzle, Printful, and Spreadshirt. Typically, you can design your store for free, and you are responsible for marketing your products. You can advertise on Facebook and other platforms, and people will navigate to the link to buy your product. Then, the website will take a cut of your profit and pay you the remainder. This can be a fun way to sell your designs without having to pay to get a large stock of them upfront.
Are you a hobby artist? Whether you’re a painter, a jewelry maker, or a multimedia designer, there are plenty of ways for you to sell your art in-person and online. Websites such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, and more have made it easy to upload photos of your work and sell them online.
Artists traditionally join art expos, craft fairs, and more. You may want to check out what kinds of art exhibitions, your city, and local businesses host. You may be able to find a vendor fair or another event to give you an idea of where you might be able to sell your art locally.
Sell a Skill
If you do not create something physical, then maybe you can create something digitally. Many businesses and individuals are looking for people to teach them something new or to do something for them. You may be able to outsource your skills to earn money.
Teaching Your Skill
More and more people are turning toward online courses to learn something new. Not only can people learn from the comfort of their homes, but they can often do courses on their schedules rather than having to go meet up with a group at a specific time. Therefore, you might be able to turn one of your skills into an online course. Some ideas for online courses include teaching people how to bake your favorite dish, selling workout programs, or teaching people how to do a meal plan, walking people through new technology, and more.
The two biggest online course hosting platforms are Teachable and Udemy. Teachable allows teachers to upload PDFs, videos, and slide shows that coach their students through a topic. For example, someone might want to teach grandparents how to use Zoom to chat with their families during COVID-19. The teacher can upload a PDF with screenshots of how to set up Zoom on their MacBook. Then, they can also record their screen as they walk someone through the setup process. Teachers that use teachable are responsible for advertising their courses, so it might take some upfront capital to sell your course.
The other option is Udemy. Teachers can set up their classes in a similar fashion on Udemy, but Udemy will sell the course for you. The downside to this is that when someone checks out a course on Udemy but does not buy it, they then receive an email with a huge discount code. Udemy takes a cut of every purchase, so when you stack the discount plus Udemy’s cut, you might not make very much money. However, if you don’t want to do your own advertising, this might be a desirable option.
Do you love creating logos and other designs? Then you might be able to sell your work online. Websites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Symposium connect individuals and businesses with ideas to people who want to sell their skills in exchange for money. This can be a great way to flex your creativity and earn some extra cash.
While you won’t make money right away with YouTube, plenty of people are earning extra cash by posting videos online. YouTube pays users about $0.10 for every ad that someone views on their videos. Therefore, if you can get a lot of views, you can earn money when your viewers watch an ad. Therefore, start uploading exciting content that people want to watch, and you might start making some passive income from your videos!
People have funny videos go viral all the time, but there are plenty of ways that people can use YouTube to earn ad revenue. For example, some people create how-to videos or makeup tutorials. Others record sounds for other people to listen to, and bands use YouTube to help get the word out about their music. Gamers use YouTube to upload their Twitch streams so that people will follow them on Twitch. By using YouTube, you can also get publicity for your other skills, projects, and websites, so using YouTube may help you to earn on other platforms as well.
This is a hobby of many that has become an excellent way to pull in some extra cash. There are many differen forms of games that people enjoy, and most of them can be monetized. Some will bring in money faster than others, and the amount can range from a few dollars to several thousand!
If you enjoy playing video games you may want to consider playing them on a live stream. Live streaming on platforms like Twitch, Mixer, and Youtube can pull in a good chunk of side money. By getting tips, subs, and donations the payout possibilites are endless.
If you enjoy gaming, but want to take another route there are multiple websites that will pay you to play games! There are different options for payout from cash to gift cards depending on which you choose. Playes like Mistplay, MyPoints, and Inbox Dollars are all great places to tap into your earning potential with gaming.
If you love to write, then you might be able to monetize your hobby. If you’re a creative writer, then you may want to write short stories or share your thoughts via blog posts. If you don’t have a blog of your own, many blogs will pay people to help them create content.
If you prefer more technical writing, you may be able to create an eBook and sell it on Amazon via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Most eBooks are only 5,000-10,000 words and sell for anywhere from $0.99 to $6.99 depending on their complexity.
Publishers typically earn about 70% of the selling price of the eBook, and they can sell unlimited copies. If you have a skill to share, an essay to make public, or another topic that you think could be valuable to others, you may be able to start monetizing your writing within 24 hours.
The Bottom Line
While having a hobby makes you a more interesting person, you may also be able to monetize it to help you reach your financial goals. You can sell physical and digital items, or even teach people how to do what you do via an online course or YouTube. The possibilities for online earning are endless!
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.