Wouldn’t it be nice to figure out a way to make money from your hobby?
While scrolling the endless array of personal bios on social media, you’ll see a variety of topics. Some people talk about their kids while others discuss their jobs, favorite bands, or personal opinions.
But there’s one thing that’s almost always featured in the limited “about me” text: their hobbies.
Whether you’re a cat lover, an avid hiker, or a coffee enthusiast, your profile bio probably features some hobby or activity that you enjoy.
Because hobbies are part of what defines you.
What most people don’t realize is that your hobbies can also double as a way to bring in some extra income.
Ben Huber from DollarSprout.com contributed to this post.
Hobbies That Make Money Online or At Home
Is there really money to be made in hiking, crafting, or in being an animal lover?
Not all extracurriculars are cash cows, but there’s a good chance you have some money-making hobbies in your tool belt that you weren’t even aware of.
Here are some of the ways people just like you are turning their passions into a revenue source.
1. Get Paid to Write
Writing has near limitless possibilities as a money-making hobby.
Blogging for Dollars
Starting a blog is easy to do and provides a direct way for you to turn your passion for writing into money. My blog started as just a creative outlet and has turned into a full-time income stream.
Do you enjoy:
- Experimenting with new recipes?
- Nerding out about personal finance?
- Putting together cute outfits from thrift store finds?
Write about it.
Every hobby has a fan base. Take the opportunity to engage with that fan base through blogging. There are several simple steps to get you started on creating your blog. Pick a theme, collect your ideas and thoughts, and put your fingers to the keyboard.
It takes time to make money directly from your blog. But while you’re building your following, you can use it as a portfolio to land paid writing gigs for other websites.
Over time, you can grow your traffic, learn how to make money blogging, and slowly move away from writing for others as the income from your own site increases.
You can build a freelance income on the side of your job or turn your craft into a full-fledged online career.
Check out Contena for a curated list of well-paying freelance writing gigs. I’m talking $150 and up to even $1000 an article. Now of course to command those prices you’ve got to deliver great work and know what you’re doing.
What I don’t like about Contena is it’s not free, and they’re not particularly upfront about it. (You can create an account for free, but to actually pitch the jobs, you’ve got to pay up — $99 a month for 6 months.)
2. Get Paid to Play Games
Of all the hobbies that make money, video games may be the most fun. Believe it or not, there are all kinds real ways to make money playing games.
Here are a few options.
I played a decent amount of Windows Solitaire growing up, so Solitaire Cube caught my attention.
The well-rated iOS and Android game app pits you against similarly-skilled players, where all of the users receive the same deck, and the players who finish with the most points win. Of course, I recommend practicing for free first!
Solitaire Cube is free to download and play, but “real prize” tournaments aren’t yet available in the AZ, AR, CT, DE, IN, LA, ME, MT, SC, or SD.
Winning real money is possible, but takes time. According to the app creator and seasoned players, the deposit-required “pro league” can accelerate your earning power.
The popular Blackout Bingo game app turns classic bingo from a game of luck into a game of speed and skill. Each game only takes about 2 minutes to play, and you can earn real-world rewards and cash prizes (depending on whether or not it’s allowed in your location).
While the app has mostly positive reviews (players call it fun and addicting), others call their ads — which apparently claim you can win big money with little effort — misleading.
As with all gaming apps, practice for free first. Then, never put more money at risk than you can afford to lose.
With more than 10 million downloads, Mistplay rewards you for discovering and playing new games on your Android phone.
The more you play, the more “units” you earn. Pay attention — some games pay up to 8x more than others. Then you can cash in those units for gift cards to your favorite stores.
For iOS users, Lucktastic is an interesting app that pays out in the form of sweepstakes or gift cards once you earn a certain number of points.
You can play virtual “scratch-off” games to add to your pot. The popular app has prizes ranging from $25-10,000, with over a million winners already.
Where does the money come from? Advertisers of course. This app is loaded with ads and offers, but if you can tolerate those and enjoy playing games, it’s worth an install.
One way to monetize your passion for video games is to start a live stream channel where you share your gameplay in real time.
Once you build a following, you can monetize with ads, ask your audience for donations, or create a subscription service where people pay for certain content.
The biggest platform for live streaming right now is Twitch, but YouTube Gaming is another option.
Another way to turn your love of games into money is to start a YouTube channel or podcast. You could talk about gaming news, the latest breakthroughs in the industry, or even give game-specific tips.
Similar to live streaming, once you grow your audience, you can monetize through ads, paid sponsorships, or Patreon subscriptions.
3. Shopping for Profit
These days, everyone shops on Amazon. But did you know that Amazon also provides a way for you to make money?
The easiest way to get started is with a simple Amazon reselling business, and this is great for bargain hunters.
To get started, you need three things:
- An Amazon Seller Account — Jessica recommended the free Personal seller account for people just getting started. Once you’re selling more than 40 items a month, it makes sense to upgrade to the Professional account level.
- The Amazon Seller app — Available on iOS and Android for free.
- A few dollars to buy your initial inventory.
With those three things in place, you’re good to go. Now let’s go hunt for some profit!
While you’re out running your regular errands, stop by the clearance section to what treasures await. It’s a bit of a needle-in-the-haystack search, but you might be surprised at what you can find that is selling for significantly more online.
Related: My friend Jessica put together a free course that walks you through the essentials of this business.
4. Get Paid to Lose Weight
If you have a newfound passion for fitness and healthy eating, you can actually get paid to lose weight.
With companies like HealthyWage, you place a weight loss “bet” on how much you want to lose and your timeframe for doing it.
How much you can win will depend on how statistically difficult your goal will be to achieve, but the company routinely pays out $50-500 or more.
If you’re determined to hit your goal anyway, this could certainly sweeten the deal and provide a little extra motivation!
5. Help Others Get in Shape
If fitness is your thing, you may be able to start making money from your favorite hobby. The most obvious way to make money with fitness is to become a personal trainer.
The requirements for personal trainers vary from gym to gym. Some require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field, but you can probably get by with completing a few courses or taking an online training.
April Whitney took her passion for fitness online and created an online strength training program for petite women. When we spoke, she was earning $1000 a month from it.
Another option to turn fitness into a money-making hobby is to become a CrossFit instructor. In order to teach classes as a CrossFit Level 1 Instructor, you’ll need to pay for and complete a two-day training course.
Depending on the gym, you could also make commissions for bringing in new members or taking on personal training clients.
6. Love Pets? Consider Dog Sitting
People are passionate about their pets. Many pet lovers are willing to pay top-dollar to ensure that their furry friend gets the best care possible.
That’s where you come in.
Why not turn your passion for animals into a hobby that makes money?
The most common way to do so is with dog sitting or pet sitting. An upside to pet sitting is that you can offer your services to clients either in your home or theirs.
On Rover.com, top sitters earn $1000 a month or more.
If you have a large home or property, you could potentially earn even more by offering pet sitting and boarding from your home.
7. Make Money Flying Drones
Drone technology has the ability to capture breathtaking videos that businesses and companies will pay sizeable amounts for.
Real estate agents, construction companies, and stock photography sites are just a few examples of people willing to pay for your drone footage.
Companies value drones because the unique vantage point can help market their products and services. In some cases, such as with roof inspections, it’s also easier or cheaper to send in a drone rather than an actual human.
When it comes to making money with a drone, it’s up to you to set your prices. You’ll probably want to test different rates to figure out the fair market value in your area.
8. Become a Brand Ambassador
Are you loyal to a certain brand of shoe or line of clothing? Your loyalty to a brand could turn into commissions as a brand ambassador.
A brand ambassador gets paid to promote or endorse a company’s products or services. Companies all around the world want their customers to see how others are using and enjoying their products. That means you get to enjoy the product while earning a commission for referring customers to purchase it.
Ambassadors often earn thousands of dollars simply by showcasing why they love the brand and why they think others should do the same. They do this by building a social media following or a blog readership that brands will pay to get in front of.
If you have or can build a large following on YouTube, Instagram, or your other favorite social media platform, then there may be an opportunity for you as a brand ambassador.
9. Host Trivia Nights
Hosting trivia nights is a fun way to turn your favorite social hobby into money.
Restaurants, bars, and other venues are consistently hosting trivia nights, but many don’t want to go to the hassle of planning, marketing, and running the event.
You can promote trivia nights by creating event pages on social media or posting fliers on local business boards. Then earn money by running the events for these venues. Charge a flat rate or split the profits with the venue at the end of the night.
Some individuals have even turned this money-making hobby into a full-time business.
10. Go Grocery Shopping for Others
If you enjoy grocery shopping, or at least don’t mind it, this hobby can be a way for you to make money on the side by becoming an Instacart shopper.
Instacart pays shoppers between $10 to $15 per hour to deliver groceries. There are two ways to get paid with Instacart.
The first way is to sign up as a full-service shopper. As a full-service shopper, you take orders from customers, find and pay for the items on their list, and deliver the goods to the customer’s home. You get paid a commission based on the size of the order plus any tips you receive from customers.
Side Hustle Nation reader Kevin LaCombe is earning an extra $450-500 a week as a Full-Service Instacart Shopper:
Another option is to apply for an in-store shopper position. Unlike full-service shoppers, who are independent contractors, in-store shoppers are part-time employees.
You still receive and put together customers’ orders, but you don’t have to deliver them anywhere. You also get to take advantage of Instacart’s retirement and commuting benefits.
If you like the idea of doing deliveries, you might also consider a food delivery gig like DoorDash.
Related: Both Instacart and DoorDash made our big list of the best apps that pay you.
11. Fuel Your Travel Hobby
One little life hack that’s become a hobby of mine is taking strategic advantage of credit card rewards. Over the past few years, this hobby has earned my wife and I thousands of dollars in free travel, gift cards, and cash.
There’s a little bit of an art and science to this, and you obviously have to be a responsible credit card user, but it can definitely pay off in the form of cool travel experiences.
12. Digital Real Estate Investing
The concept of buying a “fixer upper” has become a trend in real estate and a variety of other industries.
Today, digital real estate provides people with the opportunity to make an income by buying and improving websites.
This is exactly what Stacy Caprio did to replace her income and quit her job. She already knew a little about online marketing, and taught herself the rest of the necessary skills by reading blogs.
If you don’t want to hold onto your new website asset, you can also try and improve the cash flow for a quick flip. Improvements may include adding content, optimizing for search engines, redoing the design, or changing advertising networks. Once complete, the websites can be resold on platforms like Flippa for a hefty profit.
You don’t have to be a webmaster guru to make money flipping websites. All you need is the right strategy and a little bit of hustle.
13. Get Paid to Take Pictures
If you have a knack for capturing the beauty in everyday moments, or if you just enjoy taking pictures, photography might be the money-making pastime for you.
This is my wife’s side hustle, which really did start out as a hobby!
There are countless ways to get paid to take pictures. One of the easiest ways to get started is to reach out to friends and family. Graduations, weddings, and newborn photos are a few occasions to consider.
As your portfolio grows, your clientele expands, and you gain more experience, you can begin to increase your rates.
Another way to make money with photography is by selling your images online. Companies like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock provide a platform to reach potential buyers. High-quality images are always in demand, and photographers like you can earn money for each license or copy sold.
Related: Marc Andre took his photography hobby in a different direction, creating (and selling) websites that sold digital products to other photographers. In the end, this “hobby” earned over $1 million!
14. Show Off Your City
Alexandra Kenin’s hobby was exploring the urban hiking trails of San Francisco. When she saw the popularity of bike tours, walking tours, bus tours, and even Segway tours, she thought … why not a hiking tour?
On The Side Hustle Show, Alexandra shared how she hosts 1000 hikers a year–at $50 apiece–on the side from her day job. She’s even hired other guides to lead the hikes and turned her expertise into a book deal!
May Najafabadi earned $12,000 in 8 weeks by sharing her love of arts and crafts with kids.
She created a unique side hustle that was an after school enrichment program at her local elementary school.
With her hopes set on 6 or more kids for that first class, May had 18 sign up at $120 each. Aside from marketing and creating the curriculum, the time commitment each week is just a couple hours.
From there, she hired help, expanded to new schools, and created a new class.
Is there an after school program you would love to host? What was your favorite activity as a kid?
16. A Passion for Fashion and Cashing (In)
Brock McGoff turned his interest in men’s fashion into a 6-figure online business. He runs TheModestMan.com, which started as a blog but now also includes a popular YouTube channel, podcast, and Instagram account.
The business earns money through:
- affiliate marketing
- display ads
- sponsored content
Could you build an audience around your particular style?
17. Dressing Well
Along the same lines as Brock’s business above, Kelly Snyder “helps women get dressed in the morning.”
Or at least that’s how she introduced herself when we met at a conference a couple years ago.
Kelly runs AdoreYourWardrobe.com, where the official tagline is about teaching women how to “confidently dress their unique bodies through the principles found in math and science.”
In less than two years, she’d turned it into a multi-6-figure online business.
18. Playing Piano
We’ve seen a number of music-related businesses over the years on The Side Hustle Show, but perhaps most inspiring is Jacques Hopkins’.
Customers connect with him through Google or YouTube, and a certain percentage funnel through to his paid course. He was able to quit his engineering job and focus on this course business full-time.
19. Shooting Toy Guns
Kelly Hardwick took her airsoft hobby and built a profitable brand around it. I wasn’t familiar with what airsoft was when we spoke, but she described it as a war games sport, like “Call of Duty” in real life.
She loved playing airsoft and started a blog on the topic. Soon other industry publications were reaching out to see if she would write for them.
Then other companies wanted to send her gear to review.
Over time, she built up a large social following and now gets paid through freelance content and social media management contracts, sponsorship agreements, and affiliate relationships.
20. Detailing Cars
Do you love making your car sparkle inside and out? For Austin Belk, taking care of his Honda Accord had become an obsession.
That’s when his older brother Josh prompted him to help start their own mobile detailing service. Within a year, the two college students had grown the business to $6k a month in revenue.
They pride themselves on excellent service, and have used some innovative online marketing strategies to reach new customers.
21. Counting Cards
Counting cards at blackjack was definitely a profitable hobby for Colin Jones, former substitute teacher.
His blackjack teams won almost $4 million from casinos, and he earned over $500k himself.
Now a father of 6, Colin’s playing days are mostly over, but he’s turned his unique skill into a profitable online business at BlackjackApprenticeship.com — where he teaches people how to beat blackjack.
22. Girl Scouting
Jodi Carlson has spent more than two decades of her life involved with Girl Scouts–first as a scout, then as a troop leader.
The magic happened when she began to transfer some of her dedication and passion for the topic onto a website. She posted her troop’s activities and soon enough, other scout leaders discovered the site and were reaching out with questions.
Jodi created digital activity guides for specific badges and started selling them on a lesson plan marketplace and her own site. When we spoke, she was bringing in $5k a month on the side from her day job.
23. Personal Finance and Saving Money
Jonathan Mendonsa was obsessed with the “FIRE” movement–that is, “financial independence, retire early.” He read every blog he could on the topic and worked relentlessly to pay off his own student debt.
Still, he wanted more. Noticing there weren’t any podcasts fully dedicated to financial independence, he (along with a co-host) started ChooseFI.
24. Baking for “Dough”
According to Statista, “food” is one of the most popular hobbies in the country. Teresa Greenway is a mother of 10 who went from working part-time in a bakery to making $5k a month doing what she loves – baking and teaching others how to bake.
More specifically, she teaches how to bake perfect sourdough bread.
Teresa has built a really cool business around this niche at NorthwestSourdough.com.
In the past couple of years, her main revenue driver has been Udemy courses to the tune of several thousand dollars a month.
25. Movie Fan-dom + 3D Printing
A love for comic book and superhero movies is something many people share. But for Nikko Mendoza, he’s turned that love into a serious side hustle.
Nikko runs Nikko Industries, an online store that specializes in 3D-printed costume armor, props, and figurines inspired by Hollywood.
When we spoke, he was earning $2000 a month on the side from his day job.
26. Put Your Design Skills to Work
One side hustle my wife and I have added to our portfolio in recent years is a print-on-demand t-shirt business, powered by Merch by Amazon.
How it works is you upload your design, set your price, and Amazon does the rest. When someone orders, they print and ship it to your customer.
Some entrepreneurs have gone nuts with this and uploaded thousands of designs and earned over $50,000 in a year!
For us, it’s a little $50-200 a month passive income stream.
27. Gardening: Turn Your Green Thumb into Some Extra Green
Sustainable agriculture and urban farming are hot right now. Nate Dodson found a little niche in growing and selling microgreens in his hometown.
(Microgreens are super nutrient-dense edible plants.)
He built this side hustle to $1000 a month, selling at the farmer’s market, to local restaurants, and even with home delivery.
Then he turned around and began teaching others how to do the same thing, and built that business to $40,000 a month!
28. Create and License Music
He’s earned thousands of dollars in passive royalty checks selling and licensing his music on online platforms like AudioJungle.
29. Furniture Refinishing
With some DIY-skills (or watching YouTube), you can turn a passion for refinishing old furniture into a profitable venture. Flipping furniture on Facebook Marketplace is a popular side hustle right now, with hobbyists earning $100-200 per item.
An expert’s advice? Start with dressers in a “rustic farmhouse” style. The simple shape and naturally imperfect finished product makes them easy for beginning furniture flippers.
Other Money Making Hobbies
The Side Hustle Show archives are filled with creative examples of entrepreneurs finding ways to monetize their hobbies, interests, and passions.
I love stories like these!
What do you think? Opportunities are everywhere.
Can All Hobbies Make Money?
With the right mindset and some ingenuity, you can find a way to make money doing just about anything.
From flying drones to playing video games, everyone has a favorite hobby.
That means everyone has the potential to make extra money in their spare time doing what they enjoy. There may not be an obvious path at first glance. But with some hustle and a little creativity, you can turn your passion into a money-making hobby in no time.
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Stock photos by Kostikova Natalia and FotoDuets via Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make money from my hobby?
You could sell your hobby as a service (like photography), sell products (like arts and crafts), or teach others how to do it (like piano lessons).
What are some hobbies that make money?
Photography, gardening, baking, app development, writing, pet sitting, fitness, and tons more!”
How do I turn a hobby into a business?
Find a customer willing to pay for your product, service, or expertise in your hobby. That could be offering a freelance service, creating a physical or digital product, or creating online content about your hobby.