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7 Hobbies That Can Make You Money

7 Hobbies That Can Make You Money

By Matt Diehl • August 16, 2017

Hobbies can offer a lot of value in life. In addition to helping you disconnect from your everyday routine, some passionate interests could provide supplemental income.

In fact, depending on your aspirations and earning potential, certain hobbies could even turn into a full-time business.

Here are seven hobbies that could make you money:

1. Photography

If you have an eye for photography, there are many ways to turn this artistic gift into a money-making business. Capturing a crystal-clear photo may require professional equipment, but the type of gear you’ll need will depend on the type of work you enjoy.

There are several ways to profit from your photography. First, you can search what’s in demand and sell your photos online. Second, you can contact local publications like newspapers and real estate companies to see if they need any freelance artists. And finally, you can search the want ads for companies looking for photography for websites and other advertising.

Here are some other ways to make money as a photographer:

  • Wedding photography
  • Maternity and newborn photo shoots
  • Family portraits
  • Headshots

2.  Crafts

Whether you create holiday ornaments or vintage quilts, you can likely find a market for handmade items. And thanks to the internet, crafting might be one of the more lucrative hobbies out there.

The ease with which you sell your crafts may depend on where you sell them. To help you choose the best option for you, here are some ways to sell your crafts for money:

3. Gardening

The demand for healthy, locally-grown food is increasing.1 If you have a green thumb and could use some extra income, you may want to consider selling your homegrown produce.

In order to make the most profit, it could be wise to find out what produce is in demand in your area. Once you know what herbs, fruits and vegetables to plant, you can enjoy the next several months of nurturing the seedlings to harvest.

Here are some ideas to help you sell your homegrown produce:

  • Sell directly out of your garden
  • Sell your produce at your local farmers market
  • Sell to local supermarkets and corner stores
  • Learn how to make and sell other foods with your produce (i.e., salsa, jams, baby food)

4. Cooking and baking

Do your family and friends constantly compliment you on your cooking and baking skills? If so, your passion and talent in the kitchen could make a lot of paying customers happy as well.

There are several business models to consider with this hobby. For instance, you could focus your efforts on one signature item, such as casseroles or cupcakes. Or, you could specialize in catering meals and desserts for social gatherings and events. Whichever tactic you choose, you’ll be making your customers happy one bite at a time.

Here are some ways to sell your cooking and baking:

  • Sell your cooked and baked goods at a local farmer's market
  • Create your own blog or website to promote and sell your goods online
  • Offer your services for weddings, community events and other gatherings
  • Give cooking lessons from your home or a local event space

5. Pet sitting and walking

Approximately 78 million dogs and 86 million cats are owned in the United States.2 If you’re an animal lover who’s looking to make some extra money, this could be a great opportunity for you.

To get started, try to think of what pet services are needed in your area. This may differ by where you live, but chances are there are pet owners in cities and small towns who could use an extra hand. Best of all, there are some animals out there who are seeking attention and friendship as well.

Here are some ways to monetize your love for animals:

  • Take care of pets while people are at work or on vacation
  • Walk a group of dogs in the morning, afternoon and evenings
  • Provide daily care for specialty pets such as birds and fish
  • Offer a pet clean-up service

6. Auto repairs and detailing

Finding an honest mechanic can be difficult for some people. If you have a good knowledge of automobiles and the proper tools for the job, you could become the trusted mechanic for family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

In addition to repairs, you could offer services such as general cleaning and detailing. As you start to build more business and learn more about different vehicles, your love for cars may also grow larger.

Some ways to make money for auto repairs and detailing include:

  • Change brake pads
  • Change oil and other fluids
  • Change bulbs and other expired accessories
  • Fully detail interior and exterior of vehicle

7. Coaching and refereeing

Attention sports fans: are you tired of only being a spectator? If you’d like to be a part of the action, coaching and refereeing could provide a source of excitement and extra income.

There are several benefits of coaching and refereeing in addition to supplemental earnings. First, you get to help other people enjoy the same sport you love. Second, it may be an opportunity to get some exercise. Finally, if you have knowledge and experience in multiple sports, this could be a money-making hobby year-round.

Here are some potential coaching and refereeing opportunities for all skill levels:

  • Youth leagues
  • Adult recreational leagues
  • Club leagues
  • Intramural leagues

Turn your passion into money

Hobbies can be a great outlet for your passions, skills and interests. If you’re looking for new ways to provide secondary or primary income, certain hobbies could pay off as well.

1. Hesterman, Oran, Horan, Daniel and Contributors. “The demand for 'local' food is growing — here's why investors should pay attention.” (accessed on August 10, 2017).
2. ASPCA. “Pet Statistics.” (accessed August 11, 2017).

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