Are you creative? Good with your hands? Or do you have a skill that you’re passionate about?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hobby as “A pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.” The definition of relaxation may vary depending on whether your hobby is sewing or mountain climbing, but the gist remains the same — a hobby is something you do because you want to.
But there may be a way for your hobby to actually make you some money.
These 22 hobbies have all been successfully turned into money-makers by people just like you. If you’re ready to start exploring your options for additional income, keep reading to find out what you can expect and how to turn your passion into pay.
1. Music Teacher
Do you know how to play an instrument or sing, but you’re not using your talents? Consider becoming a music teacher for an afterschool or local program. You can also start your own tutoring or music lesson company, to work on a schedule that fits your life.
2. Writer or Blogger
As far as online hobbies that make money go, writing is your best bet. You’ll need to have a way with words and enjoy the process of writing — if high school essays were your nightmare, this isn’t the path for you. As a freelance writer, you’ll need to have expertise in an area or be willing to research it to learn more.
Blogging also incorporates writing, but rather than trying to get paid writingfor someone else, you’re building up your own site. Over time, blogs with significant viewership open up opportunities for paid advertising and affiliate marketing.
3. Stocks Watcher
If you find yourself checking out market activity regularly, why not get a bit more involved with stocks. Develop a deeper understanding of different companies, and follow how companies and products go from idea to the marketplace. In 2017, the S&P 500 Index alone surged over 25% from the previous year, so your hobby can ultimately end up earning and saving you more.
4. Professional Gaming
It may not have made this list several years ago, but professional gaming can now be a viable way to put your hobby to use. There are currently professional gaming tournaments, opportunities to coach other players, and even sites like Twitch that allow fans to watch you play — for money.
5. Jewelry Making
The beauty of making jewelry is that everyone’s taste is subjective, so there is someone who wants what you’ve designed. Whether you work in beads or you weld your materials, try selling your wares on Etsy for an easy way to reach a broad audience.
Do you feel like you never put your English degree to use? Whatever your knowledge base, being a tutor can help you grow the minds of young people while doing what you love. Advertise services locally, and be advised that some parents may want to see additional credentials as a security measure.
If you have an eye for the camera and the chops to make your images look attractive online, you have endless opportunities to sell the fruits of your hobby. Upload your pictures to stock photo sites like Shutterstock or Bigstock. If you have the right supplies, also consider offering your photography services for local weddings and events.
8. Furniture Refinishing
If you like to be hands-on, consider refinishing furniture as more than just a hobby. From sanding wood to finding the right fabrics, you’ll be protecting the environment from more waste and giving objects new life. On trash days, see if any items have been put out that just need a little love, and look for deals at flea markets and antique shows.
If you are an experienced handyman, you can offer your services through a site like Handy and makeup to $45 an hour working with your hands. Work only when you want to, and keep your hobby a side-gig or take it full-time.
10. Home Decoration
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Interior designers make an average of $23.95 an hour. If you have an eye for décor and know how to help find the right pieces, you may be able to start up your own local business helping with home décor for a fraction of the price of a designer. Make sure your property is spruced up and you can use your own home as a “showroom” for your skills.
Like animals? Consider offering dog-walking and pet-sitting services in your community. You’ll get to hang out with animals and will get paid for it. The BLS notes that dog walkers typically earn between $10 and $15 an hour.
If you love sports, but you’re past the point of being able to play them, try refereeing for local teams. Everyone from adult teams to school programs needs referees, so you’ll get back on the field, and this time you’ll be making money.
In a world of plastic and digital technology, skills like woodworking are disappearing fast. If you have a way with wood, you can sell your creations online via eBay or Etsy, or you can offer your skills to people who need items repaired. Advertise your services in areas with older housing stock as these tend to have more wood elements than newer construction.
You may not think of baking as a hobby, per se, but if you’re good at it, then you can start monetizing it. Look at local farmer’s markets to see if you can sell your baked goods, and start approaching local bakeries and restaurants to see if they’re interested.
Even if you have the smallest plot of land, if you can grow crops on it, you have something to sell at local farmer’s markets. From fresh vegetables to lush flowers, all you’ll need is some branding and that green thumb.
16. Arts and Crafts
If you make a particular craft item, you now have endless opportunities to sell your wares on sites like Etsy. However, you’ll have a lot of competition, so it’s worth your while to take some time understanding keywords, proper photography, and pricing techniques to give yourself a leg up.
If you’re skilled at sewing, think of all of the people you could make happy with an easy-to-access tailoring service. Pick up people’s clothes and then drop them back off, and you’ll be doing what you enjoy while making some extra money.
18. Graphic Designer
Do you have closets that inspire envy in everyone who sees them? If you love to organize, people are willing to pay for your help. Start with word-of-mouth by offering to organize the homes of friends and families, and then start providing your services to the broader community through flyers and local advertisements.
20. Social Media
If you’re always on social media and you know how to gain followers and build a brand, there are companies all over the globe who’d love to pay you for your expertise. Check out freelancer sites like Upwork to get started, or start getting to know local companies who could benefit from your services.
21. Fitness Buff
Love to sweat? Consider offering your services as a personal trainer at a local gym or community center. You’ll make extra money motivating someone else while burning calories at the same time.
22. Flea Market Superstar
If you have an eye for vintage, or just know where to buy items on the cheap, you may be ready to start selling your stuff at a flea market. The key is to purchase — or find — things that can be marked up for resale, so look at estate sales and antique shows in your region for good deals.
No matter what your hobby is, there is a way to turn it into some extra cash with a little work. Find people who need what you are offering, and then market your service or product so that they know there is someone local, and affordable, who can help them out.