If you’re like most people, you’d love to make some extra money in your spare time. There are lots of things you can do with extra income, such as paying off debt, saving for a vacation, or just staying on top of your bills.
The tricky part, however, is finding ways to earn money that you can do in your free time. Particularly if you have another demanding full-time or part-time job, you don’t want something that will require tons of extra training or new skills to perform. You need a side hustle that will make you money using knowledge you already have.
This is where your hobbies can come in handy. As this guide will show you, there’s probably a hobby you already have that you could turn into some extra income. Below, we look at nine hobbies that make money, with tips on getting started with each.
Why Your Hobbies Are a Great Way to Make Extra Cash
The suggestion that you should utilize your hobbies that make money can seem a bit strange. You might view your hobbies as something separate from work, something that is the very opposite of making money.
While this can be true of some hobbies, you can adapt most hobbies into income-generating activities with just a bit of creativity. The key thing is to shift your mindset. Once you start looking at your hobbies with making money in mind, you’ll be surprised how many opportunities there are.
All you need to do is look at the skills and activities that the hobby involves and consider how you could use them to sell a good or service that someone else wants. Some are fairly obvious, such as hobbies that produce crafts or other goods that you could sell. Others can require a bit more thought, such as playing video games. But as you’ll see below, most hobbies have the potential to make you a bit of extra money.
1. Social Media
According to a report from Digital Information World, the average internet user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media. That’s a lot of time, time that you could probably use to make extra money if you wanted to.
But instead of cutting out social media usage, how about using your social media savvy to earn some money? There are plenty of companies out there that need help managing their social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
While you’ll need to learn a few extra skills (posting for businesses isn’t quite the same as posting pictures of your Insta-worthy brunch), it’s an area where companies desperately need help and are willing to pay. If this field interests you, we recommend browsing social media gigs on Fiverr and Upwork to get a sense of the services people want. From there, you can craft your own offerings and start earning.
2. Making Videos
Do you love taking videos for your Snapchat or Instagram stories? Always filming anything you see and are comfortable on camera? If this is the case, you could turn your passion for video into some extra money.
The first and most obvious method would be to start a YouTube channel. If you can get enough people to watch your videos and subscribe, you can earn a solid income from ad revenue. If your channel gets big enough, you can even get brands to sponsor your videos directly, which could be enough to quit your regular job.
YouTube is full of success stories like this, and the hunger for content only continues to grow, so you might as well get in on the action now.
3. Making Handmade Goods
This is a very broad category, but that’s one of the best things about it. Whether you like knitting, baking, welding, or almost any other craft, you can now earn extra money from it thanks to the power of online marketplaces.
Our favorite place to earn money from these activities is Etsy. It’s an online marketplace where you can sell almost any handmade good to a large audience. People go to Etsy wanting to buy unique things that a real person made by hand, so why not join the fun?
Do you spend your free time putting your thoughts down on the page? Always carrying a notebook in your pocket or jotting down observations on your phone? If so, that means you’re a writer, and there are lots of ways you can use this hobby to earn extra money.
The first approach you can take is freelance writing. This is a very quick way to start earning extra money, especially once you can get some published samples online. You can also write about almost any topic out there, so it’s a great way to keep your work interesting. If you’re curious about how to get started as a freelance writer, check out our guide to some of the best online writing jobs.
Besides freelance writing for other people’s sites, you can also start your own blog. This approach can take longer, but if you can manage to get some traffic to your website, you can earn money through both ads and affiliate marketing.
With ads, you get paid each time someone clicks on an ad that you display either in your site’s sidebar or within articles. Affiliate marketing, meanwhile, earns you money through recommending products. When someone clicks your product link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission. If you’re interested in starting your own website to make money, check out this guide.
Do you love browsing yard sales, garage sales, and vintage shops? If so, then you have lots of opportunities to make extra money selling the cool things you find. All you need is an eye for fashion (or an understanding of whatever product you love looking for).
Once you’ve found some great goods, you can resell them on sites like eBay, Amazon, Poshmark, or Craigslist. You’ll need to experiment to figure out what sells and how much you can charge for it. But all things considered, this is a very easy way to earn a bit of extra cash while also indulging in some therapeutic shopping.
6. Playing Video Games
This next method might be the biggest surprise in this whole article. Playing video games seems like the very antithesis of earning extra money. While that might have been true at one point, a lot has changed.
These days you absolutely can earn money from your gaming habit. We should say, of course, that you have to be either very skilled or very entertaining. But platforms like Twitch and YouTube can both allow you to earn money from livestreaming or making pre-recorded videos of yourself playing video games. Who knew that all those hours of “wasting time” as a kid could actually pay off?
Most people drive, even if it’s simply a means to an end. But if you’re someone who enjoys driving, then there are quite a few ways you can use your hobby to earn some extra cash.
First up, there are ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft. Both of these allow you to earn money in exchange for driving passengers around. All you really need to get started is a smartphone and a qualifying vehicle. From there, you can work as little or as much as you like in order to earn a respectable side income.
If driving passengers around isn’t your style, then you can also use your driving hobby to earn money through delivering things. Whether it’s delivering takeout for apps like Grubhub and DoorDash or delivering groceries for Instacart, plenty of companies will pay you for delivery driving. As with rideshare driving, these are very flexible gigs where you can set your own hours. This makes them perfect for earning extra money on top of your full-time job.
8. Graphic Design
If you’re artistically inclined, then you have one of the most lucrative hobbies that make money. This is particularly true if you can turn your art skills into graphic design skills (a leap that isn’t very difficult to make). If you can do graphic design, then you can earn money a few different ways.
To start, you can freelance your graphic design skills on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Companies are always looking to have logos, websites, or other things designed, and you can earn some good money filling that need. Plus, you can work as little or as much as you want, making this a great side gig.
You can also take a different route by creating designs and having them printed on apparel. T-shirts are the classic item, but you can also get more creative with things like mugs and phone cases. Some great platforms to sell your designs this way include CafePress and Etsy.
9. Playing With Pets
Are you an animal lover? Do you want to pet every dog you pass on the street? If that’s the case, then you’ll be excited to know there are actually apps that let you earn money in exchange for walking dogs and taking care of pets.
The most prominent app in this category is Rover. It’s an app that lets people find dog-walking and pet-sitting services. It’s not a difficult app to get started with — you just have to prove that you’re responsible and love animals. In addition, you can also consider signing up for Care.com, which is another marketplace that people use to find pet care services.
Turn Your Hobbies Into Cash Today
We hope this guide has shown you how to utilize hobbies that make money. What you do for fun can be a great place to start when you’re looking for ways to make extra income. All it takes is a bit of creativity and adopting a mindset that lets you see the money-making opportunities that are all around you.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start earning today!