What if I told you that you can make use of your free time to take up hobbies that make money?
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Or what if I told you that you may already have a lucrative hobby but don’t know that you can make money from it?
Sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.
In today’s article, we look at some fun and profitable hobbies you can start doing so you can earn some side cash while enjoying yourself.
8 Hobbies That Make Money
1. Making Music
Listening to and making music are some of the most popular hobbies around.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single person who doesn’t at least listen to or appreciate a single genre of music.
Amazingly, there are websites and apps that make it possible for you to get paid to listen to music by posting reviews, filling out surveys, and referring other music enthusiasts to use these websites and apps.
By contrast, if creating music and playing instruments is more your style, you can maybe try your hand at busking.
Looking for something a bit more professional or glamorous? You’re probably going to have more fun playing at weddings and other social events.
What if your musical skills are more sophisticated and you’re looking for more of a challenge?
Session musicians are hired to play during a recording session or a local concert but are not permanent band members. Reach out to studios and music labels to advertise your services.
You can also pass on your musical skills to others by becoming a music tutor. Local students are the best ones so you don’t lose too much money commuting.
Performing or teaching in front of a live audience isn’t for you? Maybe online teaching is. Create a video course and offer it through Udemy or Coursera.
Who knows? Your side gig may just turn into a steady online job.
2. Getting Fit
Getting paid to exercise is great if you actually love working out.
Or if you’re trying to find a reason to start exercising, earning a little side cash is not a bad way to motivate you to get fit.
These days, plenty of websites give cashback and rewards to people who want to get in shape.
A word of caution, though: make sure the targets you set are suited to your current fitness level and desired goals.
Yes, getting paid to lose weight is awesome, but don’t overexert yourself and sacrifice your health for a few dollars.
If your preferred exercise is walking or running, or if you’re a complete beginner and would like to start somewhere, you might like Lympo, an app that allows you to complete walking or running challenges in exchange for rewards you can redeem in their in-app marketplace.
Doing errands while walking can motivate you further to get up from your couch and explore your area.
Apps such as Postmates and Gigwalk allow you to sign up to work on tasks near your location, which is great if you’re living in an urban area like New York or LA where gigs are offered a few blocks of each other and you can potentially complete multiple gigs in one go.
You could also get paid to walk dogs as well.
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If you want a more holistic approach to fitness, the Achievement app tracks virtually all your activities—physical activities (e.g., walking, biking, swimming, etc.), sleep, diet—in exchange for points that you can exchange for cash into your PayPal or through a cheque.
Care to make it interesting? Gamble on your own fitness goals and win back your wager (and then some) when you meet these goals.
Apps that will take your bet include the apps from the WayBetter family (DietBet, StepBet, and RunBet) and HealthyWage.
Turned into a workout beast yet? Pass on your knowledge and help others achieve their fitness goals by being a fitness instructor in your local gym or online.
For many enthusiasts, crafting is its own reward.
It’s soothing, it’s satisfying, and there are few things more rewarding than actually using that thing that you made yourself.
But there are lots of crafting hobbies that make money. Crafting has actually been a popular way to make money for years, but it exploded when Etsy was founded and is now more widespread than ever, thanks to Pinterest.
The best-selling products on Etsy right now are handmade jewelry, custom-made planner accessories such as fillers and stickers, and personalized party and wedding decorations.
However, don’t limit yourself to these crafts; bespoke items are in demand. Here’s a list of crafts to make and sell not only on Etsy but on your own website or through craft fairs and pop-up stores.
Again, these are suggestions. Don’t limit yourself. If you’re already hooked on a particular crafting hobby, go for it.
Need an idea of where to start or need additional inspiration? Go on Etsy and Pinterest to find out what’s popular and what strikes your fancy.
4. Taking Photographs
Moments from life events, vacations, and other once-in-a-lifetime occasions captured on camera are priceless.
And yes, anyone can take pictures from their smartphones.
But not everyone has the right equipment, the artistic inclination, or the level of photography skills to take photographs that people will pay for.
If you’re lucky enough to have this talent, or if you’re willing to spend time practicing and honing your skills, photography can be a fulfilling hobby that can make money for you.
Not sure which camera to buy? Don’t get pressured into spending thousands of dollars on your first DSLR.
Plenty of decent DSLRs for beginners go for $500 and below. Also, hold off on buying lens kits and other accessories until you’re comfortable handling your starter camera.
If you’re not confident about the quality of your photos, there are plenty of books and online courses to learn the basics. Bear in mind, though, that actual practice is a more important factor in how good a photographer you’ll be.
Stock photography is a good way to start earning some money on the side while you’re getting the hang of it and building your confidence (and your portfolio). Many bloggers, website designers, and small to medium business owners are on the market for fresh, relevant photos.
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You can sell your stock photos through digital marketplaces, such as Adobe Stock or Shutterstock.
You can also build your own website and sell your stock photos there so you get to keep 100% of the proceeds.
If you’re confident in your photography skills and have social and business skills, you might want to start photographing weddings and other events.
Event photography gigs pay more, but the expectations and responsibilities increase considerably. The good news is you don’t have to do this full time if you don’t want to; you ultimately decide which jobs to take.
You’re probably thinking this one doesn’t belong on this list, as it involves spending money as opposed to making it.
Hear me out.
Shopping can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t earn money from it.
For instance, did you know that you can get cash back for your shopping receipts? So if you’re already shopping for essentials like groceries, apparel, electronics, dining, etc., you might as well get cashback from those purchases, right?
You can also take it one step higher and get paid to be a mystery shopper.
Mystery shoppers visit retail businesses anonymously and truthfully assess their customer experience based on a set of criteria.
If this sounds good to you, start by signing up to as many legitimate mystery shopping providers and organizations as you can. Some of the popular ones include the Independent Mystery Shoppers’ Coalition, Mystery Shopping Providers Association, and International Association of Service Evaluators.
You can also do everyday shopping errands, like becoming a personal grocery shopper, for people who are homebound and can benefit from a more personal experience than online shopping, such as those with physical or mental disabilities, seniors, or working professionals who simply don’t have the time or work odd hours.
A more lucrative way to earn money from shopping is by offering your services as a personal shopper.
Personal shoppers assist clients who don’t know how or where to shop for themselves or who simply don’t have time to shop.
If you love fashion and if you have an uncanny sense of what will look and feel good for a certain person, this could be a lucrative gig for you. You might want to be trained and certified to get more clients and get paid more.
6. Playing video games
It’s not just children who play video games nowadays.
Thousands of us load up a game for a couple of hours on the weekends to help burn off the frustrations and tension that built up throughout the week.
And it’s not just a hobby anymore; it’s a multibillion-dollar industry.
Yes, billion, with a B.
It’s yet another hobby that can make you some money; it’s possible to get paid to pay video games all day.
Or, if you have a little more time and are more determined, you can build up characters in massively multiplayer online games, kit them out in end game gear, and sell these characters to other gamers.
Do you have an outgoing personality and don’t mind being on camera? You can also make some serious money on Twitch with a big enough following.
You can actually get paid to have people watch you play video games.
7. Reading books
Have you ever bought books and read them while dreaming of buying your next books?
Well, we now live in a time when you can get paid to read books.
The most common way to do this is by reading and reviewing books that you choose from a database, often books that are about to be published and not yet in the market.
This can lead to you blogging about books, and what’s more fulfilling than writing about things you actually like or love doing and getting paid for it?
8. Drinking and/or Brewing Beer
No matter how much eye-rolling you might get, homebrewing beer can be a money-making hobby.
Aside from the obvious one (selling your homebrewed beer), you can make money by buying bulk raw ingredients (which will be cheaper) and selling those you can’t use in small batches to other homebrewers.
If you aren’t into brewing your own, you can at least get paid to drink other people’s beer.
There is more to this than just popping down to the bar for a pint, but if you have an affinity for beer, you can make a few extra bucks here.
Take Up Hobbies That Can Make Money
Everyone should have at least one hobby.
Hobbies give you a chance to take a productive break from your daily routine, offer new challenges, and provide an outlet for stress.
A good thing about hobbies is that while discovering one, you don’t have to stick to it if you don’t like it. If you don’t particularly find a hobby interesting or rewarding, you can always find a new one.
And the best part is that everyone can take up a hobby, which means anyone can pick up one or even a few profitable hobbies.