Can Your Hobby Actually Make You Money? [21 Money-Generating Hobbies!]

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Whether you’re looking to pay off debt, save a little money, or want some extra cash flow in the house, a side hustle is one of the best ways to do it. While there are many ways you can make money on the side, why not have fun while you do it? It is possible to make money from a hobby, so you can enjoy your time while getting paid for your efforts!

Some hobbies are done on the side, and others can turn into full-time careers! It’s completely up to you how you want to spend your time with these money-making hobbies.

Below, I’ve listed some of the most popular hobbies you can earn money for. I also included some suggestions on how to get started transitioning your hobby into a money maker. There’s a little something here for everyone.

21 money-making hobbies

Here are some simple yet easy hobby ideas that could make you some extra money!

1. Drawing

Do you have an artistic flair? People are happy to spend money on good-quality pictures and prints! If you prefer hand drawing, you can easily list your artwork for sale on platforms such as Etsy or sell it at local art fairs. You can also get high-quality prints of your original drawings so that you can sell one piece of artwork multiple times.

Digital artwork is another route you can try. You can use an iPad (using an app such as Procreate) or Adobe Illustration to hand draw your artwork. Then, you can sell the artwork online or license it to stock photography websites to use.

The great thing about digital artwork is that you can sell the same product multiple times and can even choose to have the buyer print it themselves. This means you don’t even have to worry about shipping!

Make sure to share your artwork and behind the scenes of the creation on Instagram and even TikTok. This will help get eyeballs on your artwork and allow you to actually make money from your hobby.

2. Calligraphy

This is another great money-making hobby for those with an artistic flair. Calligraphy is a visual art form where you create decorative handwriting using a special pen or ink brush. It’s one of the most gorgeous ways of creating personalized, handwritten items.

Many people enjoy calligraphy for things such as greeting cards, signs, wall hangings, stickers, and prints. One of the best ways to use calligraphy is by advertising your services to event planners and people getting married. Custom calligraphy adds a personal touch to wedding invitations, seating charts, place cards, and more.

Calligraphy arts and crafts is also incredibly popular on Etsy. In addition to the above, you can sell things such as custom mugs, journals, mousepads, t-shirts, and more. Etsy makes it simple to allow customization by putting in a place for buyers to enter a word or phrase they want you to write on their item.

3. Cleaning

This may be a hobby that’s not on the radar, but a passion for cleaning is very much a real thing!

There are so many people who either don’t have the time or the capabilities to keep their homes in tip-top shape. Cleaning is wonderful as it doesn’t require any prior experience or education and pays well above minimum wage. All you need is the gumption for hard work and an eye for dirt!

When first starting, the best place to begin is with friends and family. This will help you practice and figure out operations such as rates and how long each job takes you. Then you can begin to advertise your services or ask for referrals.

Besides cleaning houses, you can also offer your services to businesses. Or, you can really take things mobile and try out car detailing! This is great for those who love the gratification of deep cleaning and want to avoid cleaning any kind of bathroom.

4. Social media

These days, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t addicted to their phone. If you find yourself scrolling plenty on social media, then maybe you can turn those scrolling hours into paid time! Since every business needs a social media presence, they all need someone behind the screen to lead that presence.

There are many aspects to running social media, including creating the posts, posting the posts, replying to people, interacting with other accounts, and looking at analytics to improve the overall performance of the accounts. You can specialize in one aspect or be a jack of all trades!

Of course, this means you need various skills, including design or photography capabilities, a strong sense of writing, communication skills, and the ability to keep up with the always-changing social media trends. Some large accounts may even have multiple people running their accounts!

Most social media positions will be listed on classic job sites like Indeed or LinkedIn. However, you can also message businesses directly that may need a hand with their social media. Most business owners are too swamped to tackle managing social media accounts in addition to their other responsibilities.

5. Nail tech

Do you love painting your nails? Or maybe you enjoy getting a manicure on the regular! Becoming a nail technician is a wonderful way to make money for those with a nail painting hobby. You can do this by working at a salon, from your own home “studio,” or even by being mobile and visiting your customers.

To become a nail tech, you do need some training beforehand. If you’re just looking to get started, there are intensive training programs out there that give you the basics in just a few days. For more serious students, you can also apply for certification programs that can take anywhere from 4-6 months. These programs will give you the most credibility to salons and customers.

Nails are just the tip of the iceberg! There are many beauty services that can easily be turned into a side hobby and require quick training. This includes:

  • Eyelash extensions
  • Facials
  • Tanning
  • Waxing
  • Microblading

6. Jewelry

Just like clothes, a girl can never have too much jewelry. When it comes to sourcing jewelry, many people love supporting small stores and makers for their jewelry. It’s such a fun way to showcase your artistic talents and design side!

Like most of the handmade products on this list, Etsy is the best online platform. It was originally designed to support small businesses in selling their homemade goods. Now, there are many jewelry sellers on Etsy, so you want to make sure you list as many details as possible when setting up each product. Having a specific niche also helps, such as botanical rings, stacking rings, birthstone bracelets, etc.

Jewelry also does well at places such as craft fairs or farmer’s markets. Help market your business with beautiful signage and promote it on social media to get people to visit your online store or check it out for themselves in person.

7. Writing

Are you a word nerd? If you enjoy writing, you may find yourself in hot demand! Just like social media, many businesses need writers to work on their websites or social media captions. This can mean writing landing pages, blog posts, product descriptions, newsletters, and more.

To find freelance writing jobs, you can look at traditional job boards and watch for anything titled copywriting or content writing. You can also try listing your services on a platform such as Fiverr or Upwork to meet with individual clients and projects.

If you’re just starting, feel free to reach out to local businesses and offer your services at a discounted rate to build a portfolio and get reviews.

Another way you can make money by writing is by starting your own blog. After all, that’s what I did! If you’re passionate about a specific subject, dedicate a blog to writing about it. Eventually, you can earn income from advertising, affiliate marketing, and special offerings. While this takes time, the process can be extremely fulfilling as you engage with your multiple money-making hobbies.

8. Gardening

You don’t have to stay inside to make money from a hobby. If you have a green thumb, there could be someone out there who needs your help! Besides mowing lawns, people want experienced gardeners to help maintain their gardens by weeding, fertilizing, pruning, watering, and more.

You can also earn money just by tending to your own garden. If you have a bustling vegetable garden, you can actually sell what you grow. This could include selling vegetables at the local market or creating a little farm stand outside your home.

Flowers are another popular item. If you have a little design side of you, you can create bespoke homegrown flower arrangements to sell at markets, at your own stand, or even by getting customers to subscribe to a subscription service.

Another awesome way to earn income from gardening is by propagating and selling your existing plants. For instance, you can divide an overgrown plant into multiple plants. Keep one and sell the rest! You can also take cuttings and make new plants to sell. These could work for both houseplants and outside plants.

9. Photography

Do you find yourself taking beautiful photos besides selfies and your family? There is always a demand for someone with an eye for stunning pictures.

Freelance photographers can take pictures for special events like weddings, gender reveals, corporate conferences, music festivals, and more. You can also shoot portraits such as headshots, maternity shoots, engagement or couple sessions, families, etc. This can even become a full-time position if you enjoy it and become in demand!

Besides actually being hired as a photographer, you can earn income by selling your photos to stock photography websites such as:

With these websites, you earn a portion of your income every time someone downloads your photo. Get enough images approved, and you can earn a nice passive income from people using your photos for their websites, social media, and other advertising.

If you find yourself obsessed with the editing side, you can make money from your photo editing hobby. Many full-time photographers don’t have the time to edit their photos and will hire someone else to edit the images in their particular style.

Sounds easy, right!?

10. Shopping

Although a fun hobby, shopping can also be a deadly one for the wallet. However, it’s not so bad when spending money comes back to you! There are a couple of ways you can actually make money by shopping.

The first one is increasingly becoming popular thanks to a few key apps – reselling clothes! Second-hand clothing has boomed in popularity thanks to people looking for better deals with clothing and as a more sustainable way to buy clothes. If you have an eye for a good deal, you can find second-hand clothing from noteworthy brands and resell it at a higher price.

Popular apps for reselling clothes include Depop, Poshmark, threadUP, and even Facebook Marketplace.

Another way to earn money from shopping is to work as a personal shopper. A personal shopper will look through department stores, online, and even good old-fashioned catalogs to find items for their clients for personal use or as gifts. Usually, this requires a keen sense of style and the ability to find a deal.

11. Fitness trainer

If you have a passion for fitness, you might be able to make an income from it! You can get certification in all kinds of areas of fitness, including general personal training, yoga, spin class, HIIT, boxing, Zumba, Pilates, CrossFit, and so much more.

Once you have your certification, you can connect with local gyms, recreation centers, and specialized group fitness classes to inquire about leading your own class. Not only will you get a workout, but you can get paid while you do it!

Getting professional workout training used to be only possible by heading to the gym. But nowadays, you can access personal training and even workout classes from the comfort of your own home. This has led to a push for virtual personal trainers.

Apps such as Trainerize, Kickoff, and Girls Gone Strong all offer virtual personal training and hire trainers who don’t yet have a client base of their own.

12. Cooking and baking

Not everyone is a pro in the kitchen or has the time to whip up a delicious, healthy meal for the family. Thanks to home delivery services like UberEats or Zomato, you can begin your own cloud kitchen (also known as a ghost kitchen) where you can cook food from home and deliver only.

For bakers, you can earn money from your baking hobby by selling baked goods to local restaurants and cafes to serve their customers. If you have an especially creative side, you can even work as a cake decorator and cater to special events like birthdays and weddings.

Before you get cooking, remember to look into the regulations in your area surrounding food operations. Specifically, you’ll want to look up cottage food laws that allow people to legally cook from their homes and sell them on a small scale.

You can also try your hand at going digital! Use your cooking skills to start a food blog where you share your recipes or go to YouTube to teach others how to cook. People are always looking for meal ideas online!

13. Crochet or knitting

Crochet and knitting are wonderful hobbies to keep the fingers busy while you can sit down and watch TV. With the hands working away and your mind focused elsewhere, you’ll soon have a finished product without even realizing it.

Like most homemade goods, you can sell your homemade goods on Etsy for an online approach or seek local craft fairs. If you’re doing the clothing route, you can even list your items on apps like Poshmark or Depop. Crochet tops and bags are really in right now!

To expand beyond knitting needles, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting, sewing, and alterations are also in this realm of hobbies you can make money from. Since the supplies can be expensive and it takes time to make these types of products, make sure to sell your goods at a higher price to compensate and make sure you earn money for what your hobby is worth.

14. Music

I know there are plenty of musicians out there! But music doesn’t have to be a money-making hobby reserved for a few select rock stars. There are many ways you can make money based on your passion for music!

Of course, the first way is live performances. The best place to get started with this is your local music scene. This can be anything from being the background at the coffee shop or farmer’s market to joining a live band and being the entertainment for a bar or nightclub.

If you’re a little stage shy, you can also work more behind the scenes. This could mean songwriting, DJing, and producing music. Garage Band is a great place to begin creating your own music.

Like stock photography websites, there are stock music websites where you can license out your music for use in things like YouTube videos, courses, and podcasts. Some websites include Epidemic Sound, Audiojungle, Pond5, and Soundstripe.

15. Candles and soap

I grouped these two hobbies since they are meant to delight the senses! Candle making is a super soothing hobby, thanks to all the fragrances and essential oils used while melting the waxes together. The same could be said about making soap!

Both of these products allow you to get creative with scents, colors, and packaging – you can really make them your own. Of course, you can then sell these products online through Etsy, your own website, or even through Instagram shopping. Team up with small local businesses or sell your items at craft fairs.

Besides the fact that these two hobbies smell delicious and you can make money from them, they also need to be done right to be safe for use. There are a lot of DIY soap and candle makers out there doing this wrong! Make sure to properly research how to safely make these products before selling them.

16. Furniture flipping

I know there are plenty of DIYers out there who just have a flair for turning something old and ugly into brand new and beautiful once again. Just like house flipping, furniture flipping is where you take old furniture, repair it, and turn it into a functional and trendy piece.

There’s furniture just about everywhere waiting to be flipped. You can find it on the side of the road, at garage sales, in thrift stores, and on listings like Facebook Marketplace. Then, you can start flipping by sanding, painting, sewing, cleaning, and whatever else the furniture needs!

Once it has been flipped, you can then sell the piece of furniture for a profit. If you find it for a low price, you can make huge returns for your efforts. One of the best ways to sell flipped furniture is by listing it back on local listings like Facebook Marketplace. Or, if you have enough storage, you can host your own garage sale once you have a few pieces ready for sale.

17. Dog walking

Loving pets counts as a full-time hobby! Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, you can get your animal fix by walking dogs for neighbors and others in your area. Being able to spend time with a dog, get some exercise, and earn a little side cash is basically a dream come true.

Besides offering your services by listing in local classifieds or by printing your phone number and placing it on a telephone pole, try the app Rover. This app pairs up dog owners with walkers in the area so you can easily advertise your services. It also has a review feature so you can earn more trust as a dog walker and also know the types of dogs you’re walking.

While this one is titled dog walking, it expands to all kinds of animals. You can also offer your services as a pet sitter, once again using the Rover app. TrustedHousesitters is another app dedicated to housesitting, with many homeowners looking for people to also look after their pets.

However, this one is not a paid gig and instead offers you free accommodation in exchange for looking after their home.

18. Makeup

Thanks to Youtube and the internet, it’s never been easier to master new makeup skills and looks. If you find yourself turning your face into a work of art with makeup, maybe you can turn that skill and hobby into money!

Makeup artists are needed for all kinds of reasons. Some makeup artists work as freelancers for things like photoshoots or film sets. Others specialize in special events such as weddings. Makeup artists can also specialize in theatre makeup or special effects to really make their work stand out.

Another option is to do face painting. Primarily for children, you can hire out your services for birthday parties, festivals, corporate events, and whenever else someone wants to add some fun entertainment for the children.

19. Driving

Are you the type of person who enjoys going on a long drive? Or blasting music and dancing in the car? If the car is your happy space, why not make some money while you cruise around?

Thanks to apps like Uber and Lyft, it’s easy to make money on your own schedule by driving people to their destinations. Of course, you need to have a clean car and be up for socializing while you work for the app.

Some people have gone as far as making driving for rideshare apps a full-time business. However, you can work as little or as much as you want whenever it suits your schedule.

If you know you have a long drive ahead of you, you can even pick up some passengers heading in the same direction to make money while you drive. Perfect!

20. Event planning

If you’re the friend who is always organizing the get-togethers or the family members rallying everyone together for a family getaway, maybe you can put those organizing skills to good use! Event planners are employed for more than just weddings.

Everyone from businesses hosting corporate events and festivals to the everyday mom needs help planning the perfect event. To really excel, choose a niche that you love, from weddings for LGBTQ+ couples to fundraising events for non-profits. Not only will this help you stand out, but it ensures you are really passionate about this hobby turned money maker.

As an event planner, having a social media presence is essential to show off your amazing events. Use Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram to showcase pictures and behind the scenes of your event planning. This way, you can become that much more discoverable!

Finally, event planning is all about creating a network. Find caterers, florists, entertainers, and more who you can use for your events and recommend to your clients and vice versa.

21. Tour guide

Did you know that Airbnb lists more than just places to stay? You can also look for Airbnb experiences in the area you’re visiting, highlighting everything from food tastings to adventure tours. All of these experiences are listed by everyday people like you!

If you’re passionate about where you live, why not share this love with visiting tourists? You can create any kind of experience you’d like. For starters, walking tours do well. This can be as simple as showcasing landmarks or going on a fun tour like ghost walking tours or street food tastings.

Besides walking tours, you can also really niche down. Some great experiences I’ve seen listed include sailboat tours, pottery classes, scavenger hunts, tarot readings, private concerts, and so much more. Let your passions shine through!

Frequently asked questions about how to make money from a hobby

Now that you have some ideas on how to make some extra money, here are a few questions I always get!

How do I determine rates for my services?

Research as much as you can before determining your prices. Look for similar products or services in your area and what they charge. While you might want to lower your prices when starting out, don’t undersell yourself either.

The best way to set a price is by determining how much you would like to make an hour. Then determine how long it takes to do said activity to calculate your total.

Should I have a website?

This is totally up to you and your type of service. If selling a product, it’s a good idea to start on another platform where people can discover you first. Eventually, you can transition to your own website once you have a following to avoid the fees from other websites like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon.

For services, it’s a good idea to have a website listing your offerings, samples of your work, and reviews. A website will allow you to direct people to learn more about your services, whether from social media, a job board, a referral, or an email.

My hobby isn’t on the list. Can I still make money from it?

If you don’t see your hobby listed, don’t fret! There are so many ways you can turn your passion into income. First, brainstorm any ways that it’s possible to make money from your hobby. This can be anything from working as a basketball coach to reviewing books.

Next, I would suggest looking to see if there are any apps or websites designed for this hobby. You’d be surprised what you may find already out there to assist you! But if you don’t find anything, try marketing through signage, websites, social media, and more to generate interest in your new hobby.

Ultimately, you don’t always have to monetize everything in your life. Sometimes, things are just meant to provide you with some fun and entertainment!

That wraps up all of the ways you can make money from a hobby. Remember to take your time and keep having fun doing what you love!

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Meet Allison

Allison Baggerly is a blogger, author, influencer, speaker, podcaster, and founder of Inspired Budget, which is proudly a Latinx and women-owned business. A former teacher, Allison blends her talents for teaching with her passion for personal finances to help others learn how to start budgeting and build a life they love.

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