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6 Common Hobbies You Can Make Money From (You Probably Have at Least One)

Published on 4/17/2019
For additional information  Click Here

We’ve all got our hobbies—pastimes that we dedicate some of our spare hours to because we find them fun or fulfilling.

But some of these hobbies, if we’re willing to take them seriously, can be turned into a stream of income. Depending on how you direct your talents and interests, you can get anything from free stuff to extra spending money to a full-fledged business or platform for marketing your own or others’ products—all by doing something you might've done anyway. 

Here's a list of 8 common hobbies that you can potentially make money from, whether it's through freelancing, becoming an affiliate, building an audience, or starting a business.

1. Writing

how to make money from writing

Writing and publishing online has the potential to offer you a lot of practical value outside of being a mere hobby. You can use it to further your career and establish yourself as an expert on a topic. You can build a platform for sharing your ideas. Or you can rent out your skills.

The most obvious way to make money writing is to sell it as a service—freelancing on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, or reaching out directly to blogs for paid gigs. Good content writers with niche expertise are usually in demand. 

However, if you have the discipline and know how to write a good blog post, then you can create your own blog-based business by picking a niche and building an audience over time.

Whether you care about tech or travel or cooking, our guide to starting a blog that you can turn into a business will walk you through what you need to know.

For more inspiration, check out how: 

  • Best Self Co. used blogging to sell their productivity tools
  • Wait But Why built a business around Tim Urban's humorous and insightful content.

Checkout how to get a website for your business


2. Illustration and design

how to make money from drawing

Like writing, illustration and design are skills that you can offer as a freelancer. Fiverr, in particular, is where a lot of newer artists with a variety of illustration styles find clients in need of their skills, whether it's for marketing projects or custom portraits.

But if you’d like to maintain control, you can put your art on things, from t-shirts to posters to canvases and sell those instead. It’s important to understand that in order to turn your art into a product, you’ll need to cater to a specific market or build a unique brand. The former is usually easier.

Hate Copy is an excellent example of a business that was started by an artist putting their art onto things that people can buy.

And you don't need to front the money for inventory either. Print-on-demand services offer a low-risk way to monetize your art by selling apparel and home decor. You'll just need to create mockups of your products to list online. Once you make sales and know what designs and creative get the most demand, you can consider investing in your own inventory.

Checkout how to get a website for your business

To learn more, check out the following resources:

3. Comedy

how to make money from jokes

Are you good at making people laugh? Do you know what the hottest memes are right now?

Why not take that sense of humor and use it to build an audience on the internet?

You can probably think of several Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter accounts that have amassed large audiences simply by curating memes and viral videos, or tapping into a niche of humor that no one else is serving.

Once you have an audience, you can partner with brands to do sponsored posts or turn your best running jokes into t-shirts and other products.

Checkout how to get a website for your business

Examples of this include:

4. Cooking

how to make money from cooking

Food has become an art form worthy of taking elaborate pictures and the time to perfect as a craft. It's not only amateur chefs who are involved, but people with adventurous palettes looking to explore new tastes.

It's a hobby you can share with the world in a variety of different ways, from starting a blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram account dedicated to recipes, to diving head-first into a business by creating your own food or cooking products. Some even hit the road with a food truck business.

According to Google, 59% of 25 to 34 year-olds take their mobile devices into the kitchen, using resources on the internet to find and practice new recipes, so there's definitely a market of do-it-yourself chefs looking for content (as well as products) you can create to serve them.

For inspiration, check out: 

  • Try the World, which offers a subscription box of recipes and ingredients from a new corner of the world every month
  • Bees Knees Honey, which created and sold their own condiment.
  • How to Start an Online Food Business (guide)

Checkout how to get a website for your business

5. Traveling

how to make money traveling

If you find yourself gripped by wanderlust, a list of countries to visit dominating your bucket list, then here's a good excuse for you to engage in more frequent flying.

According to Sarah Owen, senior editor of digital media & marketing at trend forecasting firm WGSN, traveling the world as a lifestyle choice is on the come-up, and so influencers are increasingly sharing content that represents a well-traveled life, rather than just the clothes in their closet in the saturated fashion niche.

Be sure to check out our guides on How to Make Money on Instagram or YouTube for ways you can monetize a content-based travel brand.


In a more indirect way, pursuing a "digital nomad" lifestyle can help you fuel your own wanderlust as you travel the world. Not only can you make connections and bring your products to new markets, an online business can be run from anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi connection.

Greenbelly Meals and Minaal are great examples of businesses where the founders are living that digital nomad life.


6. Photography

how to make money from photos

If you own a nice camera and know how to use it, you’ve got a few different ways you can make some money on the side.

While you can become a freelance photographer, you’re usually restricted to local events and gigs that you can physically attend.

For a more scalable side hustle, you can sell your shots on stock photography sites or as prints. Or, you can use your photography skills to grow a massive Instagram following and monetize it. You need to pick a niche to serve or a “lifestyle” you want to capture in your photos.

Fun fact: Professional photography accounts are the 2nd most lucrative on Instagram in terms of how much brands are willing to pay for a sponsored post. And you don't need hundreds of thousands of followers either. 

Check out our guide on how to sell photos online for a more detailed look at how to monetize your photography. 

Checkout how to get a website for your business

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