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Hobbies That Can Become Money-Making Side Hustles: 8 Options

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Written by Enoch Omololu
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Earning an income does not have to be all business. It can be fun, too, when you have hobbies that make money online and in person. As people look for ways to improve their financial situations while reducing stress, some find their hobbies can also be lucrative.

Whether you wish to earn some extra money or start a new business endeavor, now is the time to discover hobbies you can develop into profitable side hustles or full-time income.

Hobbies That Make Money Online And In Person

Below are eight hobbies that you can turn into a livelihood online or in person.

Taking Care Of Pets

Are you an animal lover? Consider becoming a pet sitter, walker, or groomer to make money doing something close to your heart.

Download an app like Rover and sign up to get paid for taking care of dogs while enjoying flexibility. Once Rover approves your application, you can set your price, preferred schedule, and pet preferences. Payments are available two days after you complete a service.

Beginner dog walkers can earn around $14 for a half-hour walk, while experienced dog walkers, particularly those who cater to wealthy clients, can charge many times more, and earn up to $100,000 annually.

For selling handmade crafts, Etsy and Facebook Marketplace are two options. However, there are many other online venues to sell your handmade stuff, such as Shopify, Amazon Handmade, Bonanza and Big Cartel.

The rule of thumb for profit margins is that 5% is a low margin, 10% is average, and 20% is high, according to the Corporate Finance Institute. Making crafts can be lucrative, but it requires a solid strategy. Plan what items to sell and price products for profits. Keep return on investment in mind during the entire production process.

Taking Photos

Take your photography hobby a notch higher by monetizing it. Many apps today, such as Foap, Scoopshot, and Stockimo, allow you to sell your photos for cash.

Depending on the app you use, you can retain the copyright and get up to 50% of the commission with each photo sale. Some marketplaces for selling photographs are also non-exclusive, so you can freely market the same pictures on different websites.

Aside from selling your photographs online, consider making and customizing photo books and selling them to family and friends. You can take this gig further and offer freelance photography or do photo shoots for clients.

Writing

Writing is a consistent income earner, particularly in today’s online environment where content is king. You can make money with freelance writing, technical writing, grant writing, ghostwriting, blogging, producing content for social media, or writing scripts for video creators and podcasts.

Writer salaries range from $35,000 annually for entry-level writers to $95,000 per year for highly experienced writers, with the median being $59,000 annually, according to PayScale. The type of content you want to produce often determines the salary you earn.

Find writing jobs at sites like FlexJobs, ProBlogger.com and Upwork. Some sites require you to register, subscribe to their site, or pay a membership fee. Others take a percentage of your earnings.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is one of the most profitable side hustles, so put your design and creative abilities to work. If you have the knowledge, proficiency, and the right tools, you can turn it into a lucrative pastime and earn good money.

Start by offering your services to local businesses needing new design work. Other ways are designing resumes, creating and selling templates, designing fonts and selling them to Etsy, and making pre-made logo packages and printables.

A graphic designer’s annual salary ranged between $51,245 and $153,488 in May 2023, according to Salary.com. Graphic designers holding a Motion Graphic Design Specialist V job title earned the most with a salary of $149,153. The high demand for this skill makes graphic design worth checking out.

Cooking Or Baking

Turn your cooking or baking skills into a booming business and earn money doing something you love, just as Debbi Fields of the dessert empire, Mrs. Fields, did. She went from creating cookies made from margarine and imitation chocolate to launching a national chain, within 9 years of opening her first store.

While not everyone will go the way of Mrs. Fields, it is undeniable that having culinary skills gives plenty of options to make money. Start by catering small events in your neighborhood. Create a website or a blog to showcase your skills and handiwork.

Boost your income by giving classes in your home, online, or at a local community center. You can also consider selling e-books containing original recipes, tips, and other cooking-related content.

Playing Video Games

Of all hobbies that make money from home, one of the most entertaining is playing video games. Many websites and apps offer real money-earning video games, such as InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Mistplay, KashKick, and Second Life.

Other apps and websites offer cash prizes for playing tournaments, such as GamerSaloon and WorldWinner. To join, create an account, deposit funds, and pick a tournament. Collect your winnings through PayPal or a physical check.

Many of these apps reward you in other ways as well. For instance, signing up at Swagbucks and InboxDollars will earn you $10 and $5, respectively. Mistplay lets you earn points that you can redeem for Nintendo or Xbox gift cards. To join, download the apps and become active.

Note: most game apps don’t pay much and should only be used if you have ample time to spare.

Shopping

If you love shopping, you will likely love it even more if you earn money doing it. Cash back apps like Rakuten, Ibotta and BeFrugal will reward you for shopping online. Create an account using the app and make in-app purchases to earn points. You can also upload your receipts from participating stores for rewards.

Another way you can earn cash from your love of shopping is by signing up as a shopper at Instacart, a grocery delivery service, and delivering groceries to customers’ homes. As a full-service Instacart shopper, you can earn around $10 to $15 per hour.

How To Create A Business From Your Hobbies

There are a few telling signs that you may be ready to convert your hobby into a business. If there is demand for what you do or make, your pastime can be an excellent opportunity to embark on business ownership.

If you are at a stage where you are thinking of turning your leisure activity into a business, below are the steps to help you get started:

1. Keep Your Full-Time Job

Before committing to your business full time, continue your regular employment until your business gets off the ground. Since your income stream may be volatile for some time, your day job will help pay your bills as you develop your new venture.

2. Determine Your Market

Do research to find out if there are enough prospective customers to make turning your hobby into a worthwhile business. Figure out how many sales you must make to cover your expenditures. Assess competing businesses to find out if there is potential for you, too.

3. Write A Business Plan

Make a business plan that answers critical questions about the side hustle and its operations and financials. Establishing the specifics of the business can help identify and manage possible issues, a crucial process that can avert potentially costly mistakes.

4. Price Your Product Right

The profitability of your business relies on how you price your product and how the market regards it. Determine how much you need to charge to recoup your costs. Calculate your total expenses and add a markup. Conduct competitive analysis to obtain the correct pricing. If you have competitors, find out how much they are charging.

5. Choose Your Sales Channels

Options abound when it comes to marketing and selling your products. Choose the proper channels to ensure you reach your target audiences. For example, if you create handmade items, sell them on sites like Etsy, where your customers can find you.

I initially published this article on Forbes.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert who has a passion for helping others win with their finances. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has been writing about money management for over a decade. Enoch has been featured in several leading personal finance publications including MSN Money, The Globe and Mail, Wealthsimple, and the Financial Post.

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