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35 Hobbies That Make Money: Earn Extra Cash on the Side

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Everyone could always use a bit more money and everyone has hobbies. What if we told you that you can turn those hobbies into a way to earn some extra cash?

If your day job is just not cutting it, or you want some extra dough to buy something nice. There is a very good chance that you can turn one of your hobbies into a side hustle to make some extra money.

So to help you out, we put together this awesome guide on 35 hobbies that you can turn into a side gig to make some extra money in your free time.

Hobbies That Make Money in 2021

Learn about some of the most profitable crafts and hobbies you can start right now.

In addition to exploring your creative side, it’s always a good time to start making money making things and doing what you love!

1. Blogging

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to turn a passion into a way to get money. You can start a blog on virtually any topic, whether you like video games, gardening, exercise, cooking, and more.

Blogging is a good way to make sure your voice is heard and can be a suitable platform to help you generate money through things like affiliate marketing, selling ad space, and asking for reader donations.

Best of all, there are several platforms out there that let you get started blogging completely for free or for cheap, so you don’t have to worry about investing a lot of money to get your site going.

These days, you can start your blog and host it for as low as $2.95 per month using Bluehost.

Also, you don’t need to be an expert at coding. Blog templates and themes can help you build your blog without paying an expert. You simply install your preferred blog theme and the rest are “drag and drop”.

One such theme with well over 50 themes to choose from is Elegant Themes.

2. Driving Delivery

If you enjoy cruising around town, then maybe consider working for a delivery app.

Delivery apps like Grubhub, Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart, and Amazon Flex are a fun and relaxing way to earn some money by delivering people’s food, packages, and daily essentials.

The best part of these kinds of delivery apps is that you can work as much or as little as you want. You can work just a few hours a week or you can work 20+ hours a week if you want to.

You can make sure people get the things they need while cruising around listening to your favorite music, podcasts, or books on tape.

Start off with DoorDash and Instacart.

3. Take Online Surveys

Companies are always looking for feedback and ways to improve their products. They have a vested interest in getting this feedback so many companies will pay people to take surveys about their products and services.

These kinds of survey websites pay users in cash or gift cards to popular retailers. Taking surveys is super simple too.

You are basically getting paid to give your opinion about some product or service. For just 10 minutes of work, you can make up to $10-$20 in cash or rewards just by giving your honest opinion.

Some of the best survey sites that pay are:

4. Proofreading

Do you have a penchant for grammar and spelling? Then you could make money as a proofreader. Unlike writers, proofreaders are in the business of correcting documents rather than creating them.

Platforms like Kibin, Wordvice, Gramlee, Worldly, and Polished Paper all give you a way to use your grammar skills for the benefit of others, for cash of course!

So if you have always wanted to unleash the grammar snob inside your heart, then proofreading is a quick and easy way to make some money.

To get started on your way to earning up to $50 per hour, consider taking a Proofreading course. Caitlyn earned $43,000 in one year working 20-25 hours and shares great tips in this 76-minute free workshop.

Related: Best Online Proofreading Jobs

5. Tutoring

Do you have a college degree? Do you enjoy teaching others? Then you probably would enjoy a job as a private tutor. Online tutoring agencies have sprung up all over the place and provide a good way for you to utilize your education and give back to a younger generation.

Tutoring is not only a fun job but is extremely rewarding because you will be helping students do their best to succeed. Additionally, some tutoring gigs pay extremely well and can turn into a lucrative full-time business.

It is not uncommon for tutoring agencies to pay their tutors upwards of $30-$40 an hour for specialty tutoring in things like Math, ACT, SAT, and other subjects.

Online tutoring platforms include VIPKid, TutorMe, CheggTutors, MagicEars, Skooli and Wyzant.

6. Cash Back Apps

What if we told you that you could get paid to go shopping? It’s true, cashback apps and platforms let you earn money when you buy things from select retailers.

These kinds of rewards programs net you gift cards or cash when you buy recommended products from select retailers. Platforms like Fetch Rewards, Ibotta (Android or iOS), Earny, RetailMeNot, and Receipt Hog all have programs to reward frequent shoppers. 

The ultimate online site for earning cash back when you shop online is Rakuten. This site offers up to 35% cash back on your purchases and it links to more than 2,500 popular retailers and brands.

Join Rakuten and get a $10 cash bonus after your first purchase of $25 or more.

Other cash back sites that are worth checking out include Swagbucks, Checkout 51, Drop ($5 bonus) and MyPoints.

7. Investing

We know what you are thinking: “investing? Isn’t that for rich people who already have money?” You would be surprised.

Thanks to the internet, the bar to entry for investing has never been lower. Several platforms such as Acorns, M1 Finance, Betterment, and Wealthfront allow you to start investing with as little as $1.

It might not be much at first, but investing is the single best way to grow your wealth over time. If you could make money just by sitting there and watching your accounts grow, why wouldn’t you?

Related: The Best Investment Apps of 2021.

8. Playing Games

For many, the idea of getting paid to play games is the ultimate free lunch.

Pay-to-play apps like Mistplay and Lucktastic (Android or iPhone) help you find games and give you rewards for playing them.

So if you would otherwise spend hours playing CandyCrush or AFK Arena, why wouldn’t you also try to get some rewards when doing so?

You can also try GameHag on Android phones and Desktop.

9. Freelance Writing

If you have a way with words, why not consider some freelance writing?

Businesses, blogs, and individuals are always looking for people to write things, whether they are think-pieces, affiliate marketing pieces, product descriptions, or ad copy.

Websites like Upwork and Fiverr have massive job boards where you can find one-off gigs for projects related to writing, proofreading, and editing.

If you have a knack with words and a way with grammar, then freelancing can be an extremely fun and rewarding side gig to do in your free time. You would be surprised how many people out there need the services of a good writer.

Hobbies That Make Money

10. Pet Sitting

Do you like animals? Would you like to make money hanging out with animals all day? Then you could find a gig as a pet sitter.

Thanks to apps like Rover or Host a Pet, you can get hooked up with pet owners that need someone to walk or take care of their best friends. Who wouldn’t want to make money walking and hanging out with cute dogs all day long?

11. Exercise

How would you feel about getting fit and making money at the same time? Well, now you can.

Apps like Sweatcoin will pay you in rewards in exchange for your physical activity data. Simply keep the app on while working out and you can rack up points.

Other apps like HealthyWage let you set a weight loss goal and place a bet. So you can lose pounds and gain cash at the same time!

Here is a list of other apps that pay you to exercise.

12. Retail Flipping

If you have an eye for picking out unique products, then you can make some money by buying and reselling things for a profit. The basis of retail arbitrage is simple: You find some product, buy it for yourself, then resell it to make up the money, and then some.

Flipping retail can be a successful gig if you find a good product niche and corner a market. For example, some of the most popular items flipped online are books and clothing.

Running a retail flipping gig lets you combine your creativity with your business sense to find a good product niche to focus on.

13. Transcribing

In today’s video dominated world, there are always people who need someone to take audio and translate it into text. That is where transcribers come in.

Platforms like Quicktake, Sribie, TranscribeMe, and Tigerfish let you transcribe video and other documents for cash. If you don’t mind writing, then transcribing is a fun and simple job that anyone can do.

Complete a Transcription Course if you want to take this hobby to a whole new level.

14. Affiliate Marketing

The basics of affiliate marketing are pretty simple. You get paid to feature and push products from companies. When someone buys a product thanks to your advertising, you get a small cut of the proceeds.

Affiliate marketing is a good thing to combine with one of your passions as you get to pick and choose which kinds of products you want to showcase.

For example, if you are into makeup, you can feature makeup products on your blog and get a bit of revenue whenever someone buys something. There are several platforms that have affiliate gigs up for grabs such as Amazon, ShareASale, CJ Affiliates, and ClickBank.

You can also simply use your social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest) to promote products and earn commissions.

15. Product Testing

Similar to online surveys, companies are always looking for feedback on first-person experiences with their products and services.

Product testing is very simple. You spend about 10 minutes playing around with some product or service then get asked to fill out a questionnaire. Then you get paid cold hard cash. Simple right?

Sites like Vindale Research, Homescan, or UserTesting.com will pay people to test products and give their opinions. It’s one of the simplest and most fun ways to make money on the side.

16. Sell Your Computer Processing Power

Companies are always looking for ways to get more computing power. As such, an interesting kind of service has arisen. You can get paid to leave your computer running so others can use your hardware for computing applications.

Essentially, you are renting out your PC’s computing resources to act as a distributed server for crunching data.

Most businesses that will rent servers can pay anywhere between $0.10-$0.40 per hour to use your PC. It’s not much, but it’s a way to make money with literally 0 effort on your part.

17. Arts & Crafts

Are you a hands-on person who likes making things? Then you can make money by selling your handmade arts and crafts.

You would be surprised at the kinds of crafts that people will buy. There are several platforms specifically for selling handmade crafts like Etsy or ArtFire. You can create a seller page for free and build a community with customers.

18. Flying Drones

If you own a drone then you could turn that cool gadget into a source of revenue. Various companies like construction or surveying agencies will pay people for drone footage of landscapes and you can even sell your drone pictures to stock photography websites.

People love the unique vantage point that drones can give and you can set your own proxies for footage.

19. Shop for Others’ Groceries

Similar to delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Instacart let you make money by picking up and delivering people’s groceries.

Instacart, in particular, pays shoppers $10-$15 an hour to deliver groceries and can also get a non-delivery job with Instacart preparing people’s grocery orders.

20. Photography

If you have a camera and an eye for composition, you can get paid to take pictures for people. There are lots of ways to turn your camera into a source of money; graduations, weddings, newborn photos; the list is endless.

All you need is a camera and some determination and you can build up a lucrative side gig as a photographer. As your portfolio expands, you can get more clients and more experience which translates to more money.

21. Sell Old Clothes

If you have a bursting wardrobe, you can make some money selling your old clothes to secondhand shops and thrift stores.

Websites like thredUP, Poshmark, Tradesy, and Crossroads let you sell old and used clothing items for cash online. You are not wearing those old slacks or that old dress, so why not make sure someone else can and get paid for doing so?

22. Graphic Design

If you are handy with a computer and art then you can turn those passions into a graphic design gig. Companies and organizations are always looking for people to draft up illustrations and graphics for their websites and promotional materials.

The best part is that you do not need any special degree to be a graphic designer, just some creativity and marketing sense.

Related: Best Money Making Apps of 2021.

23. Making Videos

20 years ago, most people probably would not believe that there would be an entire industry related to making Youtube videos. Streaming and video platforms let anyone make an account and monetize their content.

Making videos is a great idea as you can make a piece of virtually any topic you want. For example, gaming and makeup tutorial videos are extremely popular at the moment.

Video advertising is a lucrative industry and you can make a lot of money from monetizing your content.

24. Podcasting

Similar to making videos, you can also make money by podcasting.

Podcasts are a good idea because they are very cheap to make and there is a huge market for podcasting at the moment. You can make a podcast about any topic and there are several platforms where you can distribute them.

Who wouldn’t want to make money just talking about their favorite things?

25. Surfing the Web

If you spend a lot of time on the internet why not turn that surfing action into some money? There are a lot of companies that will pay you to surf the web while using certain applications or browser extensions.

For example, Swagbucks will pay people to use their search engine and you can also get paid by companies like Nielsen for sharing your browsing data.

It’s not much, but it’s money you can get for literally 0 effort on your part.

26. Collectibles and Antiques

Remember all those Pokemon and Yugioh cards you collected as a kid? They may be worth something now. Collectibles and antiques are a great product to turn into a business.

You can buy collectibles and antiques with the purpose of reselling them for a profit, similar to flipping other kinds of products.

Collectibles and antiques are a bit different though as they can have very high profit margins.

If you want to really make money through your flipping hobby, check out the Flea Market Flipper Academy for ideas.

27. Gardening

If you have a green thumb you could turn that gardening hobby into an endeavor that makes money. You can grow your own produce and sell it at local markets.

There is a huge push for locally grown produce and not only does that make you money, but it also helps the local economy and provides people with fresh, healthy food.

Related: How To Pay Off Debt Fast.

28. Brewing Beer

If you are a beer aficionado you can make some money by crafting and selling your own brews. Buying the ingredients and materials to brew your own beer is super cheap and people are always looking for a good local home-brew to try.

It might take a few attempts to nail your desired flavor but you can sell your brew at local festivals, craft shows, and to friends and family.

29. Rent out a Room

If you have extra space in your house you can make extra money renting out your room through a company like Airbnb. With Airbnb, you can rent out a spare room for visitors and guests.

People are always looking for actual homes to stay in rather than hotels and you can make a lot of money renting out extra space. There is an entire industry of Airbnb landlords out there that make a lot of money.

30. Teach ESL Classes

English is the lingua franca of the modern world and people are always looking for ways to learn. If you are a native English speaker, you can get a side gig teaching conversational English to non-native speakers.

The best part is most ESL tutoring jobs don’t require you to have any special teaching requirements. As long as you are a native speaker you can teach.

31. Coding

If you have some knowledge of coding you can make money on the side as a freelance programmer. Programming is one of the most lucrative careers nowadays and individuals and organizations are always looking for freelancers to code websites, apps, and more.

You can also teach coding classes if you have some technical knowledge on the subject.

Related: Work From Home Jobs That Pay.

32. Baking

People always want sweet treats so you can turn your baking skills into a side gig. Wouldn’t it be cool to make some extra cash selling cookies and other treats to people you love?

The best part is that baking is extremely cheap and has very few overhead costs. You can make a tidy profit selling your culinary confections to friends and family.

33. Music Lessons

If you play guitar or piano, you can make a lot of money as a private music tutor. Parents are always looking to teach their kids instruments so if you have the skills you can sell your services.

Teaching music is not only fun but it’s rewarding teaching a younger generation how to compose and appreciate one of the most human creations out there.

Piano and guitar, in particular, are two very popular instruments to teach and have a huge market to tap.

34. Babysitting

If you like hanging out with kids then you could make a pretty penny being a babysitter. Parents are always looking for babysitters so they can have a relaxing night out on the town without worrying about their kids.

Babysitting requires responsibility and maturity but it’s really fun hanging out with kids watching cartoons or playing games. As you get more experience, your clientele can increase via word of mouth and you can make even more money.

35. Home Decorating

Do you have an eye for home design and artistic expression? You can turn that hobby into a side gig as a home decorator.

People are willing to pay top dollar for home decorating advice and you get the satisfaction of helping people make their homes beautiful and welcoming to others.

Best of all, you do not need a special degree or education to be a home decorator; anyone can decorate if they have an eye for hospitality.

Related: Best Ways To Earn PayPal Cash.

Can You Make Money Making Things?

Most people have hobbies that they do not realize they can monetize and earn some extra cash on the side.

In the best cases, these hobbies can actually turn into well paying full-time gigs. So think about what hobbies you like and how you can turn them into a lucrative gig.

Whether you are a stay at home mom or you are just looking for some additional income, hobbies that make money can be a great supplement to your regular salary and may help you figure out a new career path.

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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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