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If you want to make some extra money, what better place to start than looking at your hobbies. After all, hobbies are by definition something you like to do, and they tend to be things that you’re good at too. If you’re lucky enough to have a hobby that you can monetize either full time or as a side hustle, you’re going to be way ahead of the game.
I’ve put together a list of monetizable hobbies below to get your creative juices flowing, and I’ve tried really hard to include only things that are legitimate hobbies. That means I’ve left off things like taking surveys, proofreading, etc. These can be great side hustles but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that thinks of them as a hobby.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my list of hobbies that make money. I hope you enjoy it and find a little inspiration.
- 1. Flying drones
- 2. Photography
- 3. Writing
- 4. Blog, Podcast, or Youtube
- 5. Art
- 6. Pet Sitting
- 7. Dog Walking
- 8. Fish Tank Care
- 9. Video Games
- 10. Antiques & Collectibles
- 11. Crafts
- 12. Baking
- 13. Landscaping
- 14. Interior Design
- 15. Gardening
- 16. Sewing
- 17. Woodworking
- 18. Sports
- 19. Fitness
- 20. Yoga
- 21. Music
- 22. Brewing Beer
- 23. Translation
- 24. Illustration
- 25. Calligraphy
- 26. Making cards
- 27. Fishing
- How To Decide Whether Or Not You Should Monetize Your Hobby
- Final Thoughts
1. Flying drones
If you’re into drones, then you’re in luck. There are lots of people that will pay good money to have you fly a drone above an event and take videos or photos. I’ve seen this first hand at weddings. It’s really the only way to get a cool aerial shot of the scene below.
Ok, if I’m going to mention drone photography, then it’s probably worth touching on regular photography as well. One way to monetize this is to take photos for people. Think family photos, weddings, new baby, etc.
Some professional photographers charge a small future. That means there is room for a talented amateur photographer to charge a lot less and still make decent money.
By the way, there are other ways to monetize your photos as well. You can upload them to stock photography sites and get a cut whenever someone uses them. Or, you can try selling prints of your pictures on Etsy.
If you love to write, there are a million ways to monetize this craft.
Freelance writing is probably the easiest way to get started. Check out Pro Blogger’s job board and you can get a few applications right away.
You can also try your hand at writing books, eBooks, magazine articles, or just about anything else. There is a huge amount of content being produced these days. So, the possibilities are endless.
4. Blog, Podcast, or Youtube
These three mediums are a bit different, but the idea is the same. For just about any hobby you can think of, there is an audience that would love to consume content on the topic.
Do you play golf? Start a blog that reviews clubs and offers tips. Better yet, show people what a good swing looks like on Youtube.
Enjoy painting? Write about it, talk about it, or show people how to do it.
You get the idea.
One thing I will say though is that this does take a ton of time, effort, and patience. This is not the type of thing that you can start on a Monday and be cashing checks by Friday. It can easily take months or years before it really starts to pay off.
Now, that might be ok if you really enjoy it. But, if you’re looking for some quick cash, I suggest looking elsewhere. Just setting expectations here.
One tip, before putting paint brush to canvas, take a look at what type of art is selling well already. That’s not to say that you should copy what’s already out there. But it’s a good way to check and see if there is a customer base, so that you maximize your odds of producing something that has a good chance of selling.
6. Pet Sitting
If you love animals, pet sitting can be a great way to make a few extra bucks. When people go out of town, someone has got to feed their cats, dogs, pet turtles, and so on.
7. Dog Walking
While pet sitting is a service that people need on occasion, dog walking is something they need every day. Once you find a few customers, this can become a regular part of your routine. It’s also nice in that you can actually form a bit of a bond with the dogs that you walk since you get to see them all the time.
8. Fish Tank Care
FIsh tanks or aquariums do require a fair amount of knowledge to maintain. Some people love the way they look, but don’t want to be the ones doing all the cleaning, and making sure the water is just right. If you know a lot about fish and corel, this can be fairly lucrative.
9. Video Games
Getting paid to play video games? It doesn’t get much better than that.
There are a couple of ways to monetize this one. You can live stream while you play or post videos on Youtube. There are people making millions of dollars doing this. Though, it will take some time to build an audience.
Another interesting way to monetize your passion for gaming is to sell your accounts. Let’s say that you play a role playing game, and you’ve built up a really strong account over several months or even years. Well, there is a market for that. You sell to someone else, and they get to take a major shortcut and jump ahead in status. It’s win-win.
10. Antiques & Collectibles
If you’re really into antiques or some other type of collectible, you probably know a lot more about your niche than the average person. With that knowledge, you’re in a good position to buy low and sell high.
I have a friend that loves collecting cars. He’s bought and sold several that were used in movies and TV, including the Batmobile, James Bond’s car, the car from Knight Rider, and more. He makes money every time. Plus he gets to own these cool cars for a little while.
By the way, you don’t have to do this with something super expensive. You can do this with sneakers, baseball cards, records, or pretty much anything that people collect.
Etsy has opened up a whole world of opportunities for people that love to craft. I mentioned art above, and I suppose crafts are similar. But, my point here is that not every craft has to be artistic expression.
You can create scrapbooking kits, quilts, centerpieces, or whatever else you enjoy making.
If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, you can bake cookies, brownies, or pies and try selling them to local restaurants or at a farmers market.
But, if you want an easier path to flex those baking muscles, apply for a job making desserts at a local bakery or fine dining restaurant.
My wife had a job making desserts at an Italian restaurant when she was younger. To this day, she still uses the same recipes that she learned there. We have the best biscotti and apple pie that you can imagine, and she paid to learn how to make all of these treats.
If you enjoy working outside, landscaping can be a great gig. Start up costs are pretty low too. There is a decent chance that you can use the gear you already own. Plus, it’s relatively easy to get customers by advertising in your neighborhood.
14. Interior Design
If you have an eye for style, doing interior design or decorating might be a fit. Fair warning though, it’s actually a little harder to win customers in this area. So, it might not be the easiest way to make money. After all, it’s not like people hire interior designers every day.
If you have a green thumb, gardening can be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. That said, there are plenty of people that love the idea of having a garden, and don’t exactly want to spend their time doing the work themselves.
This creates an opportunity for a win-win. You get to spend some time nurturing someone else’s garden, and getting paid for it. They get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Sewing is a skill that is in short supply these days. But, it’s a skill that can provide a lot of value when needed. If someone has a dress or a suit that no longer fits, what are their options? Replace it with something new or have it altered for a fraction of the cost.
You can post on Craigslist or social media if you want to try and win your own customers. Or, you can just contact your local tailor and see if they want to offload some of their work.
Enjoy building spice racks, coffee tables, and napkin holders? Well, guess what, these too can be sold on Etsy.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even try building a Youtube channel, blog, or course around woodworking. Though, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it will take quite a bit of time to build an audience and make money that way.
If you love sports, consider teaching others. This works really well for things like tennis and golf since both are individual pursuits that require quite a bit of technical knowledge.
Your best bet is probably to contact a local club to see if they are in need of instructors. While teaching full time might be physically demanding, doing it for 5-10 hours a week can be an absolute blast.
If you’ve always been a gym rat, you might consider becoming a certified personal trainer. It’s a great way to make money teaching people everything you know about fitness. It will also help you stay motivated to keep in shape yourself. After all, if you’re spending time instructing others, you’re going to want to practice what you preach.
Yoga has been around for a while, but in recent years it’s absolutely exploded in popularity. Once you’ve been going to classes for a while, you might start to feel like you know everything. Guess what, you probably do.
There are plenty of teacher training academies out there for people that want to learn to teach yoga. So, while it will require an investment, the barrier to get started is relatively low. It’s also not that difficult to break in. You can simply contact your local yoga studio and apply for a role as a teacher.
There are a number of ways to make money for those who are musically inclined. Sure, you could perform in a band or play at weddings. You might even try to get DJ gigs at local clubs. But, if you want to do something lower key, try giving lessons.
There are always going to be people that want to learn to play piano, guitar, or violin, and are willing to pay for private instruction.
22. Brewing Beer
I’ve seen this idea in a few places, and it certainly seems like an awesome hobby to monetize. Now, there are different laws and regulations depending on where you live that might make it difficult to actually operate as a semi-professional craft brewer. But, if you can figure out a way to make it work, it could be a lot of fun.
Ok, so doing translations is probably not exactly a hobby. But, if you’re bilingual, you might jump at the opportunity to put your knowledge to work.
The reality is that with languages, if you don’t use them, you lose them. So, doing some translation work might just be the perfect way to stay sharp while making a little bank as well. Sites like Gengo are a great place to look for work.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, there are a lot of monetization possibilities for people that like to draw. You can upload your work to stock image sites and get paid when people use them. Or, you can try selling your drawings and sketches on Etsy.
For those that want to go the more traditional route, try finding work illustrating books.
There aren’t too many people around these days that know calligraphy. But, there are tons of people that like the way it looks. That’s the sound of opportunity knocking.
The biggest use cases that come to mind are wedding invitations, and invitations for other events. You might try marketing this skill set on Craigslist or social sites to see what turns up.
26. Making cards
On a somewhat related note, making cards can be a fun way to make some side income. There is definitely a market for it, and it kind of ties together a number of different skills.
Do you like photography, drawing, painting or crafts? Great, that’s perfect for making cards. Do you like writing funny or sentimental messages? Once again, cards are a great place to put that to work.
But, where might you sell these cards? Once again, Etsy is a good starting point. If you really want to try and level up your operation, you can try to set up a Shopify site or even sell on Amazon.
If you like fishing, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to make money doing it. Though, once again, this probably isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
There are fishing contests and tournaments that could end up being lucrative if you win. Though many have entry fees, so you might end up losing money.
You might be able to go out fishing and then sell to a local restaurant or market. That said, be sure to check local regulations as there is probably a limit in how much you can haul out of the water.
How To Decide Whether Or Not You Should Monetize Your Hobby
So, if you’re interested in monetizing your hobby, where do you start? While there is probably a way to monetize just about anything, not all hobbies will actually be all that lucrative or fun as a way of making money. I’ve included a few considerations below.
WIll You Really Be Doing Something You Like?
So, here’s the thing. I love playing tennis. I do it a couple times a week. It’s great exercise, it’s fun to compete, and it’s a fun way to hang out with friends. In short, tennis is a great hobby for me. But, do I want to monetize it? Absolutely not.
I’m not interested in teaching tennis or writing a tennis blog. Those things just don’t seem all that fun to me.
The same holds true for a lot of hobbies. You might love playing piano. But, the idea of teaching kids how to play can still seem like a nightmare. Or, maybe you actually think it would be a lot of fun.
My point here is that you should consider what you’d actually be doing when you decide to monetize your hobby, and figure out if it’s what you really want.
How Much Money Can You Make From Your Hobby?
To me, this is kind of a secondary question. If you actually have a hobby that would be fun to monetize, I would jump on the opportunity right away. The money that you make from it will just be gravy.
On the other hand, let’s say that you have a hobby that would sort of be a medium level of fun to monetize. Maybe you really like taking yoga classes, and you think it would be kind of fun to teach them (but not nearly as fun as taking them). Well, then you want to look at how much you can realistically make to see if it’s worthwhile.
By the way, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe you can’t make enough money teaching yoga full time to support yourself. But, you can do it 15-20 hours a week and generate a steady side income. I actually think that hobbies can make perfect side hustles.
Even if you don’t think you can make a ton of money from your hobby, you might want to give it a shot anyway. You’d be surprised at how starting a new money making activity often leads to new ideas.
How Difficult WIll It Be To Get Started?
Some things are just easier to start than others. If you want to get a job at a local bakery or start doing some dog walking in your neighborhood, it’s a pretty light lift.
If you want to build a woodworking course that you sell online, we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of hours of work to even have a chance of making money.
So, think about how much time and effort you want to invest before seeing any results.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of the things that require a lot of effort can be super fun and lucrative. I’m just saying it’s a good idea to set your expectations going in.
I hope this inspires you to make a little money from one of your hobbies. If you are feeling inspired, I would strongly encourage you to dive right in. After all, if you’re spending time doing something you like, what do you really have to lose?