23 Hobbies That Make Money in 2020

Who wouldn’t want to make a little extra money? There are lots of ways to make a profit in your spare time, but for people looking into how to find a hobby that makes money, it’s not just about getting a side hustle going—it’s being able to generate cash doing something you’re really interested in.

The good news is that it’s possible to find profitable hobbies that can help put extra money in your pocket for the short term—and maybe even set you up for something exciting in the future. We’ll go through lots of ideas for hobbies that make money, which will hopefully spark some inspiration for you to get rolling. We’ll also cover a few extra considerations to pay attention to before you go ahead with monetizing your hobby.

1. Editing and Proofreading

If you’re a keen reader with a great sense of language and grammar and enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty, you might want to look into editing and proofreading as a good hobby to make money. There are lots of people looking for these kinds of services, such as academics whose dissertations need proofreading, amateur writers who need an eye on their manuscripts, or companies in need of part-time help. There are a few different platforms that can help advertise your services, including Reedsy, which enables you to bid on book projects that match your expertise.

2. Blogging

Blogging is a hobby that many people enjoy doing regardless of whether or not it makes money. But there are ways to monetize a blog. Two simple revenue sources to look into are affiliate marketing programs, in which you earn money if people buy products you recommend, and advertisements through networks such as Google AdSense, which enables you to put banners on your site that you can profit from.

3. Web Development

Web development is a passion for many, and there’s lots of demand for people who need to help creating or updating their websites. If you’re able to code, you can turn your knowledge into a hobby that makes money at home. Or, if you don’t yet know how to code, you can begin by learning through platforms such as CodeAcademy, which helps you learn programming languages that you can later use to develop websites and applications.

4. Design

If you’re an artist in your spare time, you can consider turning your design hobby into a way to make money by starting a graphic design business. Small businesses can especially benefit from your artistry: You could create graphics for local establishments that need logos or collateral design, paint murals, or even design menu boards for restaurants that want a personal touch.

5. Photography and Video

Your knack for taking pictures or shooting video doesn’t just have to be a fun hobby. You can turn this talent into a hobby that makes money in a few ways. Consider becoming a photographer or videographer for local events in which organizers don’t necessarily have the budget for a professional, but want to commemorate the event. You can also look into selling your footage to stock-photo websites, which can earn you commissions.

6. Music

Similar to videography and photography, you can turn your hobby of making music into money by selling your homemade music to stock music library sites. They will buy your work for a fee, which allows them to use your creations as royalty-free tracks for things such as videos.

7. Flower Arranging

Flower arranging isn’t as easy as most people think—and if you’re good at it, you certainly know that. You can start a hobby arranging flowers for events and parties by buying flowers at wholesale and creating beautiful arrangements in your own home or onsite for clients. This can be a profitable seasonal business, especially during the holidays.

8. Surveys and Focus Groups

Believe it or not, you can actually take surveys online to make some money on the side. Many companies are looking for feedback, both online and in-person, and will compensate participants in either cash, gift cards, or other incentives. This hobby is a good one if you want to squeeze some earning power into little pockets of downtime.

9. Fitness

As a fitness fanatic, you might be eager to share your hobby with others. You can consider becoming certified as a boutique fitness instructor, a personal trainer, or even look into specialty certifications such as pre- and postpartum fitness. To differentiate yourself, you could think about offering in-home training instead of having to work at a gym on shifts.

10. Tutoring and Teaching

If you have expertise in a subject, you might want to consider turning your knowledge into cash through teaching and tutoring. There are several online platforms that enable you to teach, such as Skillshare, or you can serve your local community by helping students with school subjects or test prep.

11. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

There’s no shortage of people who need pet care, especially those who work in an office all day. You can consider becoming a dog walker, or even board animals when their owners go out of town. You can start your business locally and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations, or look into platforms such as Wag to help match you with clients.

12. Driving

There are a few ways that you can make money driving. First, you can look into being a rideshare driver with services such as Lyft and Uber. You can also explore options for delivery driving, such as with DoorDash or Postmates. Finally, you can even think about creating your own moving service if you have a van or a truck, helping people with small things such as getting large purchases back from stores, or even helping with larger moves.

13. Personal Shopping

There are a few ways you can use your hobby of shopping to make money. First, you can explore platforms such as Instacart, which enables you to make money by shopping for groceries for other people. You can also advertise your services to private clients who need other errands handled on a regular basis. 

14. Flipping Purchases

If you have a keen eye for valuable finds, you can always turn your flea market or garage sale hobby into flipping products. There are several ways to do this—online auction platforms such as eBay, clothing-specific platforms such as Poshmark, or even figuring out how to sell on Amazon.

15. Drones

Drone footage is becoming increasingly popular, but few people have a drone (or know how to operate one) to get the snaps and video that they need. If you love drones, you can use this hobby to make money by offering drone photography and video services to businesses such as real estate agents who want to get great pictures of their listings.

16. Gaming

It might sound funny that you can turn your hobby of gaming into a money-maker, but there are actually several conduits to turn gaming into a profitable hobby. Gaming tournaments have risen in popularity, and the winners of these tournaments often bring home cash prizes. For something a little smaller in scale, you can try to establish authority as a video game reviewer to eventually earn affiliate dollars.

17. Tour Guide

If you’re a local expert in your area, such as a restaurant expert or historian, you might be able to set up specialty tours. Think a tour of local breweries, the best eateries, historic landmarks, or haunted sights. Platforms such as Airbnb enable you to list your events as experiences that local tourists can book.

18. Handyman Services

As a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It, you can create a small handyman business to help local clients get things done around their house. The more specializations you have, the broader your client base can be. You might want to consider some professional certifications or extra education, which you can often do at local community colleges or trade schools.

19. Makeup

If you’re a makeup guru, you could look into turning your love of cosmetology into a makeup artistry business. Although you might not be doing large-scale events such as weddings, you can consider advertising your services for smaller events.

20. Sports

A love of sports doesn’t mean that you just have to watch them. A way to make some extra money through your love of sports is to become a referee for local leagues, especially little leagues for children. It’ll likely involve some minor training, but the investment could be worth it for this especially fun idea.

21. Mixology

Do you have a hobby as a mixologist? Becoming a bartender may seem like a very traditional idea for a profitable hobby, but if you’re very passionate about cocktails or beer, you might want to seriously consider it. Remember that bartenders generally work shifts, and sometimes work late into the night. Don’t forget to think about your own schedule as you consider this profitable hobby.

22. Language Services

If you have a specialty in a language, you can turn your skills into profit. There are a few avenues to consider. The first is offering tutoring and classes. Another idea is to pursue translation services and proofreading to make sure that translations are accurate.

23. Cooking and Baking

Cooking is a hobby that many love. You don’t have to be a TV star in order to turn your love for cooking and baking into a profitable hobby. Instead, you can consider catering small events or package your food and sell your products directly. This can be a great hobby to make money at home since you’ll be right in your own kitchen. And, if it takes off, could be a great conduit to starting a baking business or cooking professionally.

Evaluating the Opportunity in Hobbies that Make Money 

Now that you have a sense of the kind of hobbies that make money, there are a few other considerations. You have to make sure that there’s a market for what you’re planning to sell or do; otherwise, you won’t be in a position to make money. Here are a few things to consider as you’re identifying your profitable hobby.

Size the Market

You can only supply what you have if there’s a demand for it. If you pick something like, say, language tutoring, make sure that there are people in your area who need the specific service you’re going to provide.

Figuring out the size of the market doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. You can begin by talking to people and seeing what their needs are for your specific hobby or even send out free, digital surveys to get a sense of what people want and how to best meet their needs.

Have a Sense of Your Time

It’s important to know how much time you’re willing to devote to monetizing your hobby versus how much time you might actually have. Some hobbies are quite a bit more time-intensive than others, and especially if you’re balancing a full-time job alongside this endeavor, you’ll want to make sure you have a realistic sense of your schedule for all elements of your life.

Think About the Long-Term

Many people want to find a profitable hobby just to make a little extra cash on the side, and be able to do it via doing something they love. But you might have bigger ambitions—maybe trying to monetize your hobby at first could be a test run for a business you might want to open down the line.

Evaluate what you want from your hobby both short- and long-term. You don’t need to know everything about what you expect from the future, but considering it can help steer you in the right direction should you turn your hobby into a business down the road.

The Bottom Line

You’ll be excited to know that there are lots of hobbies and passions you can monetize and turn into another source of income—or even something bigger down the line. And this is far from an exhaustive list. 

Remember that it’s important to pick something about which you’re passionate, so you have the greatest chance for success. You might be surprised at how much extra money you’re able to make when you put thought into finding a good hobby to make money.

Sally Lauckner

Sally Lauckner is the editor-in-chief of JustBusiness and the editorial director at Fundera.

Sally joined Fundera in 2018 and has almost 15 years of experience in print and online journalism. Previously she was the senior editor at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed fintech startup that provides personal finance advice. There, she edited articles and data reports on topics including taxes, mortgages, banking, credit cards, investing, insurance, and retirement planning. She has also held various editorial roles at AOL.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and ColoradoBiz magazines, as well as Yelp, SmallBizClub, and BizCrat.

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