Do you have any hobbies that make money or could be a source of extra income? While we tend to have hobbies to help us relax, escape from the daily routine or fulfill our creativity, some hobbies can be turned into profitable businesses.
If you’re already doing something you enjoy in your free time, why not start making money while doing it? So, if you’re interested to earn extra cash with your passion, we have a list of 22 lucrative hobbies that have the potential to be a business.
Hobbies that make good online courses or coaching business
Sometimes, a lot of our hobbies can actually translate nicely into an online course or coaching business. You don’t have to be an expert or trained professional to teach a course on one of your hobbies or passions. Everyone from artists to musicians to coders to gardeners to marketing experts have found success with online courses on Teachable.
We’ve done our part to create a platform that can handle all of the heavy lifting so you can focus on the creativity part and make an impact on your students’ lives. No matter what niche area you’re interested in, you can find success and make a profit sharing what you know. In fact, we make it even easier to launch an online course or start coaching based on one of your hobbies.
Download this ebook to learn how you can become an online entrepreneur.
Best hobbies that can make good money
1. Social media
Social media can be a very profitable hobby. Billions of people are using it to socialize with friends and with brands. You can become an influencer and build your own audience, which you can later monetize.
Influencers have many monetization options, from affiliate marketing to brand sponsorships. It’s also one of the most sought-after careers now because you have a chance to make money while sharing your life or things you’re passionate about.
Consider choosing a niche to accelerate your growth:
- Sustainable living
- Personal Finance
- Personal development
Another way to make money with social media is by working as a social media manager. Most brands now have an online presence and teams that run their social media profiles.
If you’re good at noticing trends and creating good quality content, you might approach brands and offer your services as a freelancer or online coach. Your best bet when getting started is to approach small businesses and offer to work for free to build up a reputation and portfolio of successful social media campaigns. Of course, teaching social media through an online course is an easy way to get your knowledge out there and make reliable income.
2. Graphic design
Graphic design and illustration are lucrative hobbies and skills to have. If you have good knowledge of software like Adobe Illustrator and can create logos and visual art, then you can offer freelance services to brands.
Graphic design is versatile because you can work on a whole range of projects:
- Create advertisement visuals
- Come up with branding and logos for small businesses
- Create social media posts
- Work with authors and publishing houses on book covers
- Design websites and apps
If working with clients isn’t for you, consider creating digital products and selling them online. You can create posters, prints, fonts, and website designs, graphic details and upload them to market places like Society 6 or Creative Market for sale. Have a passion for teaching? Share your favorite techniques and tips with an online course as well. Teachable makes it easy to set up a curriculum that works for you.
If writing is your hobby, you can easily make money online by working as a freelance writer. There are many different types of freelance writing you can do, depending on your skillset:
- Content writing
- SEO writing
- Technical writing
Choose what type of writing you want to do. Then, create a blog or start writing on Medium to build your portfolio before you start approaching clients and applying to jobs.
Once you have a decent portfolio, you can start looking for a writing job on websites like ProBlogger. Alternatively, you can Google businesses in your niche and cold pitch them your services.
Writing for clients is not the only way to monetize your writing. If you write fiction and are a fast writer, you can write books and self-publish on Amazon. It does require investment in the professional cover and editor, and you’ll have to market your books, but you can turn this into a profitable business.
Now, not all self-published books sell well. It highly depends on the niche. Here is a list of the most profitable self-published book niches for fiction authors:
- Romance: Contemporary, dark romance, and new adult & college romance have the highest earning potential.
- Mystery, Thriller, Suspense: Crime and psychological thrillers sell the best.
- Women’s Fiction: Historical, suspense, and new adult & college are best-selling sub-categories.
- Science Fiction & Fantasy: Dark fantasy and epic fantasy have the most potential.
Another hobby with high earning potential is photography. It’s a skill that can be utilized in many different ways, and there is always a demand for visual content.
Here are a few ways you can turn your photography hobby into a profitable business:
- Photography journalism: Magazines and publications pay thousands of dollars for photography journalism features.
- Wedding photography: Take pictures of weddings and other important celebrations.
- Sell stock images: Websites like Shutterstock allow photographers to make money by uploading stock photos for sale.
- Product photography: Work with brands and small businesses to take pictures of their products.
- Sell prints: Put your photos on prints and sell them online on Society 6 and similar websites.
- Photography course: Create an online course or an online workshop where you teach people how to take pictures. Online courses are a great source of passive income.
5. Website design and development
Every business needs a website these days. If you have an eye for design and understand the code, you can make a lot of money designing and building websites.
There are multiple ways you can monetize your hobby:
- Work with clients: Work with small or big businesses to help design, build and maintain their websites.
- Sell templates: Design templates for WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, and other website builders and sell them on Etsy, Creative Market, or directly in your website store.
- Start an agency: If you’re up for a bigger challenge, you can start an agency and hire other employers to work with you on client projects.
- Launch a mini course: Start small and build up your audience with a mini course that acts as a lead magnet. This is a great way to condense and focus your knowledge into a digital product while you build up your audience base and build your full course.
6. Start a blog
Blogging is still one of the most fun hobbies to have. And it’s also one of the best business ideas for women, particularly stay-at-home moms, with the biggest potential for making a lot of money from the comfort of their own homes.
You might already have a blog where you share your favorite recipes, travel destinations, or outfits. Or you might only be thinking about how to start a blog. Either way, if you want to make money, you need to consider who your audience is and what they want to read.
Consider niching down and writing about one topic at the start, allowing you to establish yourself as an expert quicker. You can always grow and expand later down the line. Here are the six most profitable niches according to Themeisle:
- Digital marketing
- Blogging and making money online
- Health and fitness
- Personal finance
- Recipes and food
- Personal development and self-care
Blogging also offers you a plethora of different ways to monetize your hobby:
- Sell digital products
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Online courses
- Monthly memberships
Retirement hobbies that make money
7. Teach art
If you’re a retiring art teacher or have secretly dreamed of being an artist for years while busy with life, you might want to turn your art hobby into a profitable small business.
You can easily teach art online in the comfort of your own home by creating an online course with video classes. Or do live masterclasses and webinars for people interested in learning to paint or draw.
Online course creation platforms like Teachable make it easy to create a landing page for your course, put together a curriculum for your students and handle payments. This way, you can focus on sharing your art online to find an audience.
8. Sell antiques
Selling or re-selling antiques and second-hand items can be a hobby that makes money if you have a passion for thrifting. Re-selling vintage clothing has become a popular side hustle since the rise of Nasty Gal almost a decade ago. But you can re-sell much more than vintage Levi’s.
Visit your local flea markets and thrift stores to find antiques and interesting old items and furniture. You might also drive around your neighborhood and look for furniture left on a curb. While it might be damaged, it’s always for free, and you can always upcycle it before you sell it.
A more time-efficient way is to browse Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, where people sell their used household items and furniture. Sometimes, you can find really good antique items for a good price when people are moving or trying to get rid of unwanted items.
Once you have an inventory, put your items online. A great place is Etsy or Instagram. But you might also want to create your website for your antique store.
Pro tip: You can monetize your expertise and eye for thrifting or antiquing with a course or digital guides. Create digital downloadable guides on your best thrifting tips, upcycling ideas, and pricing guides. You can even teach other antique lovers and sellers how to run a business online. The options are endless.
Crafting hobbies that make money
Pottery can be turned from a hobby to a profitable small business. You can put your creations on marketplaces like Etsy. People go on Etsy to look for handmade things, so you don’t have to work on attracting the audience to your website.
You might also opt to teach other people how to work with clay through online courses, online masterclasses, or in-person lessons.
10. Sell your paintings
You might want to consider selling your art if you’re a painter. You can sell the original canvas, offer custom painting services where you take orders from people, and sell print copies of original artwork for a lower price.
Social media platforms like TikTok are great for attracting an audience interested in your work. You can share your process behind the scenes of what it takes to get from a sketch to a final piece and much more.
Cooking and baking are useful hobbies and are also perfect for monetizing. Everyone loves food, either eating it, looking at it, or making it. So if you’re a skilled baker with secret recipes for mouthwatering brownies or chocolate cupcakes, take advantage of it!
You can create an online store where you sell baked goods; you can take orders for special events or choose to teach people how to bake their own sweets at home.
Just with everything, certain food trends come and go. During the lockdown, many people turned to learn how to bake bread at home. Many small businesses appeared online, teaching people how to bake sourdough bread.
So, see what recipes you can utilize to attract attention from most people and start baking! A number of Teachable bakers and chefs have found success sharing their tips, recipes, and expertise online through coaching or courses. See how sourdough baker and educator Matthew Duffy jumped headfirst into taking his knowledge to courses.
Knitting is a relaxing hobby that can produce wonderful things. If you know how to knit, you might want to consider selling your goods to people online.
You can set up an Instagram account or an Etsy store and sell your products there. Or, you can take custom orders from people working on a 1:1 basis.
Pro tip: Create downloadable patterns as free lead magnets to offer to your shoppers to grow your email list. When you’re ready to launch a course or knitting academy, you’ll already have an email list that’s ready and eager to learn!
13. Beauty products
The beauty industry has been growing rapidly in recent years. If you love making your own soaps and organic facemasks, think about turning your hobby into a money-making machine.
Quite a few organic skincare brands started as a one-person team, making organic products in the kitchen for personal use and later turned into profitable businesses.
You can specialize in one product, like a whipped soap or a sugar lip scrub. Or, you might create a whole line and sell different products for the body and face. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Face mask
- Body scrub
- Body butter
- Handmade soaps with dried herbs
- Bath soaks
- Bath bombs
- Feet mask
- Feet scrub
- Facial exfoliator
Candlemaking is relaxing, and it’s also a great way to make extra money. Every year when September comes around, many people worldwide want to snuggle up with a blanket and light a candle in the evening, so take advantage of that!
Also, there are tons of different niches for candlemaking, so you can target a specific niche depending on what you like to make:
Home hobbies that can earn money
15. Video gaming
Gaming has a poor reputation, but it can be an extremely profitable hobby that makes you a lot of money. And it’s also a very lucrative money-making hobby as you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
You can get subscribers who pay a monthly fee, and viewers might donate your money or digital currency during your streams. You might also monetize your streams with ads or get sponsors as your audience grows.
If you’re extremely good at your chosen game, you might even want to consider entering e-sport competitions. These ventures are competitive, but most offer huge cash prizes, especially for the most popular games like Fortnite.
16. Website flipping
Do you enjoy creating and tinkering with websites? Or maybe you’re good at SEO? Well, then you can make money online by turning your hobby of website creation into a profitable business.
Website flipping is a lot like house flipping. You buy an already existing website that needs to be updated, and you work on improving it and making it shine. Then, sell it for a profit. Use a marketplace like Flippa to find a website for your first project.
If you’re a green thumb and love spending time outdoors, you can turn your favorite hobby into a small business! It might look like gardening is a hard hobby to monetize, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many different ways to make money with gardening:
- Sell seedlings: Grow seedlings at home and sell them at your local farmers’ market or directly to farmers.
- Do landscaping: Offer landscaping and gardening services to people.
- Sell seeds: If you grow your own vegetables, harvest the seeds and sell them to other farmers.
- Sell harvestables: Anything you grow in your garden, from tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and pumpkins, can be sold in a farmers’ market.
- Apple picking: If you have apple trees in your garden, let people come in when it’s apple picking season and charge for what they pick.
- Sell flowers: Maybe you’re more into growing flowers than tomatoes. That’s great! You can still bring your flowers to the market and sell them there.
- Sell dried herbs: Open your own spice and herb shop where you sell dried herbs from your garden.
- Sell microgreens: Microgreens are very popular due to their health benefits and everyone’s obsession with wellness. Grow them and sell them in the farmer’s market.
- Supply to restaurants: Instead of selling produce directly to people, sell it to local restaurants.
- Teach gardening lessons: Share your knowledge about gardening by teaching online or in-person classes.
Of course, all of this is highly valuable knowledge that a gardening or plant-loving audience would pay for. Consider honing in on a niche subject such as “flower drying” and building an entire course around it.
Easy side hobbies that make money
18. Dog walking
If you love pets and are great with dogs, walking other people’s dogs is a great way to make money on the side. You can do it after work, or on the weekends.
It’s a great hobby if you love dogs but can’t have one for whatever reason, as you get to spend time and play with dogs. And, walking dogs means getting in those recommended 10,000 steps which also has tons of health benefits.
You can put an old-school advertisement in your apartment building to let your neighbors know you offer dog walking services. Or, you can put up a local ad on Craigslist. Alternatively, you can join dog walking companies online that specialize in connecting dog walkers with dog owners.
Here are a few recommended dog walking companies to get you started:
19. Pet sitting
Another opportunity for pet lovers is pet sitting. It’s a bit more involved than dog walking as you’ll usually need to look after people’s pets for longer than a walk.
If you already have pets, it might be a great way to socialize your pets with others and make money enjoying fun company while you babysit someone’s pet while they’re on holiday.
You might want to try registering with pet sitting companies that help connect pet sitters with pet owners. Here are a few popular options to help you get started:
20. Deliver groceries
Do you find yourself strolling at Target on a random Saturday afternoon fairly often? If the answer is a yes, you might want to consider turning your shopping hobby into a side hustle by shopping for groceries for other people.
You can join companies like Instacart, where you’ll take orders from people, do grocery runs for them, and then deliver their goods to their homes.
What’s great about it is that you can work whenever you want or have a free minute. And you can earn between $10 and $15 an hour while doing something you enjoy.
Some people love driving. If you’re one of those people who often go for a drive when you want to relax or when you’re bored, then consider joining Lyft or Uber and make extra cash by driving people.
These companies make it easy to apply to be a driver, set up your account, and start earning money immediately.
22. Review books
If you’re an avid book lover and reader, consider turning your fun hobby into an easy side hustle. Yes, you can read books and get paid to express your opinions about them!
One way is to create your own book blog and review books there. As you build your audience and credibility, you’ll be able to start charging for book reviews and other book-related services. This way, you’ll get free books from publishers, which is every book lover’s dream!
If you want something simpler and more instant, you can join book review companies that hire reviewers and pay them a small fee to read and review books. Most of these companies are easy to join and get started earning extra cash.
Here are a few recommendations for book review websites/publications that pay their reviewers:
No matter what hobbies you have, realizing that anything you’re passionate about can be a viable way to make money is key. At Teachable, we believe in the power of knowledge, and what’s more, we believe that everyone has something to share. Any one of the above hobbies can be translated into a powerful and compelling online course. Whether you have a skill-based hobby, a hobby that has you working with your hands, or you’re simply looking to try something new to make money, each and every one of these can lead to online course success.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions people have about hobbies that make money:
What hobbies can earn money?
Tons of different hobbies can make you money. Here are some of the most profitable categories:
- Skill-based: Hobbies like photography, writing, editing, audio production, voice acting, dancing, etc., can be turned into service-based businesses.
- Product-based: If you’re into knitting, sewing, jewelry-making, pottery, and painting, you can sell your products on online marketplaces like Etsy.
- Teaching: Hobbies like yoga, meditation, piano, and language can be turned into a business where you teach others how to take on a hobby or learn a skill.
How can I make money from my hobby?
If you want to make money from your hobby, here are the steps you want to take:
Step 1: Do market research
Before you pour your time and money into your hobby, do market research to validate your idea. See if there is a demand for what you’re offering and how your product/service fits into the market.
Step 2: Write a business plan
A business plan will help you stay on track and be organized about growing your business. If you’re not getting investors involved, it will only be for your eyes, so keep it short and to the point.
Step 3: Brand mission and name
Think about what makes your business stand out in a crowd. Why it’s special, and how can it change people’s lives or make them easier? Then, come up with a name that resonates with your brand’s mission and is easy to remember.
Step 4: Build structures
While you can start a business without fancy setups in place and register it only when it starts generating revenue, it might be easier to legitimize your business from the start.
Choose a business structure, register it with your state, pick an accounting and invoicing software and ensure you have everything you might need set up.
Step 5: Refine the product/service
Now it’s time to work on making your product or service ready for the market! Of course, that will look different for everyone, but it might include polishing your skills, hiring help, and getting beta testers.
Step 6: Start marketing
When you’re ready, let the world know you’re in business! Build a website for your business, launch your social media profiles, and start running a coordinated marketing campaign to build an audience interested in your products and services.
Can a hobby turn into a profitable business?
Yes, absolutely! It’s never been easier to start a business than it is in 2022, and if you have a hobby for which there is a demand, it can definitely become a profitable business.
Before you dive head-on into turning your hobby into a business, spend some time researching the market to see if there is an audience interested in what you are offering. If you see that your hobby is in demand and that people would benefit from your products/services, you can start taking it more seriously.
Building a business, big or small, takes a huge amount of dedication, patience, and time. So, be prepared for your venture to take up much of your time and attention if you want it to be profitable, and be patient! Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day.