Hobbies That Make Money
Earn Extra Money To Go Towards Debt, Retirement Or Fun Stuff!
Fee-for-service financial planner and founder of PlanEasy.ca
Having a hobby is great.
Hobbies are an awesome way to enjoy something you love, meet other people, and learn new and interesting things.
What can be even better is having a hobby that has the potential to actually MAKE money.
Some people only choose hobbies that have the potential to be profitable. They get to do something they enjoy with the added benefit of possibly making some extra cash on the side.
That extra cash can be put towards all kinds of financial goals. Paying down debt. Saving for retirement. Saving for a special vacation. Or just fun stuff in general.
Over the years I’ve had a number of hobbies that would make extra money. In total I’ve made over $50,000 from my personal hobbies. Some are more profitable than others. The important thing is that they’ve all been fun. This extra money has gone straight into investments where it can grow further thanks to the power of compounding.
While its not guaranteed that any of the hobbies below will make money, it’s certainly possible to do so. There are even examples of people turning these hobbies into full time businesses.
At the very least, these five hobbies won’t become a huge drain on your budget and if these hobbies don’t appeal to you then we’ve got suggestions on how to turn any hobby into a way to make money.
Writing is a great hobby. There are minimum costs to get started. It is also one of the easiest ways to make some extra money. Blogs and websites are always looking for new content and frequently hire writers to create new/unique articles for their site.
Getting a writing gig is as easy as signing up with a freelance site like UpWork, Elance or Freelancer. These freelance sites don’t pay much when you start but as you build up your experience/reputation you’ll be able to charge more.
After freelancing for a while you can even get hired as a full-time writer for a website.
Freelancing isn’t the only way to make money as a writer. Writing short e-books is another great way to earn some extra cash. Self publishing as never been easier. There are many marketplaces to sell your short stories. The biggest is obviously Amazon. Just write a short story, add a great cover picture and post to Amazon.
Make sure to choose a topic you both enjoy and are knowledgeable about. Freelance writing can quickly go from a fun hobby to a tedious side job if you choose the wrong niche. Choosing a topic you enjoy will help keep it fun.
Spend just a few minutes on Pinterest and you’ll realize custom carpentry is a huge business.
If you have the right skills then creating unique carpentry projects is a great way to turn a hobby into something that makes money.
Advertise through Pinterest, Facebook, Craigslist or Etsy.
Your first few creations may need to be sold at a discount, or even given away for free to friends and family but once you start to get your name out there orders will start to flow in.
Focus on building things people are looking for and there is already a proven market for.
“Almost any hobby can be turned into a way to make money. Think about the ways that you spend money on your hobby and then think about how you can get involved.”
There are millions of blogs out there and many of them make a profit. From a recent ProBlogger survey 62% of bloggers earn at least $10 per month. That’s enough to cover their monthly expenses. Blogging can be a great creative outlet and if you make it big (~4% of bloggers) you can even earn $100,000+ per year.
The key to making money blogging is to focus on one niche that you enjoy but one that also has a lot of advertiser interest. Try using Google Adwords to search for keywords that have high cost per click. This is usually a good indication that there are many advertisers willing to pay for ads.
A blog about your pet cat might not attract a lot of interest from advertisers. A blog about your pet cat traveling the world might be a different story because there are lots of advertisers in the travel industry and related industries.
Think travel, family, finance, photography etc. These are all niches that have plenty of advertising.
Don’t worry about the number of blogs out there. There’s lots of room for you too. Just make sure you’re unique and can provide something extra that those other blogs don’t provide. That could be a personal touch, unique experiences or original graphics/pictures/visuals.
Keep your expectations grounded. Many blogs don’t make any money at all and most blogs get abandoned within 2 years. At the very least blogging can be a very inexpensive hobby and it even has the potential to make money.
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Hand Made Crafts
Etsy and Pinterest are massive online marketplaces and perfect for selling your hand made crafts. On Etsy and Pinterest there seems to be a market for everything. It can be pretty easy to turn your unique creations into cash as long as they have some appeal.
Pillows, custom clothing, stencils, pintables, pottery, its all available on Etsy and advertised through Pinterest.
Setup an Etsy and Pinterest account to sell your unique creations.
Have a huge social media following? Did you know you can turn that into cash? There are two ways to turn your social media skills into cold hard cash. First is to sell space on your social media feed to advertisers or find something to sell yourself. The second is to sell your social skills to local businesses who need help with their social media profile.
Businesses know that social media is an important advertising platform but many don’t know how to make it work for them. They need help from someone skilled at building a large social media following in a genuine way.
Helping a local business build their social medial following could be as simple as testing their product and sharing your experience on your social media or it can be as complex as managing their entire social media strategy.
Turn Any Hobby Into A Way To Make Money:
If those ideas didn’t appeal to you then there is a way to turn almost any hobby into a way to make money. Nearly every hobby requires you to spend at least some money. Think about the ways that you spend money on your hobby and then think about how you can get involved. Here are three examples but there are many, many more.
Teaching is a great way to share your passion for your hobby and make a bit of extra money too. Create a course for beginners that helps them learn more about your hobby. Courses can be done in person or you can easily create online courses now too.
Being a “personal guide” is also a form of teaching. Guided tours are a great way to make money related to your hobby. Some examples could be bird watching tours, or mountain biking tours, or even graffiti art tours.
#2 Unique materials/tools
Some hobbies require unique materials and/or tools. Sourcing these can take a lot of time and effort. Some hobbyists don’t mind paying more for someone else to do the leg work. Find a way to source these unique items for hobbyists who are willing to pay for it.
Many hobbies require regular maintenance, sometimes for very specialized equipment. Some hobbyists enjoy this aspect of their hobby but others would rather not deal with it. Providing maintenance services for other people in your hobby can be a great way to earn extra money.
Financial planner, personal finance geek and founder of PlanEasy.