Most Americans don’t really enjoy their jobs. You probably do it because you need money to pay the bills.
Some people are fortunate to have jobs that they love, but most people would rather spend time on their hobbies than at their job.
But what if you could make money from your hobby? It may seem far-fetched, but there are actually a lot of ways to make extra money from the things that you like to do.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 40 different hobbies that make money, as well as some specific ideas for how you can go about making money with that hobby.
The ideas covered in this article are based on the assumption that we’re talking about a side hustle or part-time venture, but many of them have the potential to scale up to a full-time income if that’s what you’re after.
→ For more ideas, see my article 150+ Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in Your Spare Time.
Hobbies That Make Money
I’m putting photography at the top of the list because it’s my own hobby, and I’ve been able to make some money with it. If you want to see the details of my story, please read How I Turned a Photography Hobby Into $1,138,610. or you can read this article about my photography hobby that was published on Forbes.
Although there is no shortage of photographers, there are plenty of hobbyists who are able to make money. For me personally, one of the biggest perks of making money from my photography hobby was that it gave me some opportunities to travel and enjoy nature while working.
Probably the most common way to make money with photography (although it’s not the approach I took) is to get paid to take photos for individuals and families. To get started, simply talk to your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one or two people who would be willing to pay you to take photos. It could be family, portraits of kids, newborn, maternity, engagement, sports, professional headshots, or even weddings.
Once you have a few clients, hopefully you’ll get more work thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. You can also create a Facebook page for your photography business, and whenever you’re done with a session for a client post some of the best pictures to Facebook and tag the client (ask their permission first). If you tag them, their friends may see the photos, leading to more exposure and more clients for you.
Ways to Make Money with a Photography Hobby:
- Take photos for clients
- Sell landscape or fine art prints
- Sell stock photos
- Start a photography blog
- Be a freelance writer for other photography blogs
- Write a photography ebook
2. Web Design and Coding
I’ve been working online full-time for more than 10 years now, and it all started as a simple web design side hustle. I created a few websites for friends and family members who had small businesses, and then I created a blog to get more exposure for my services online. About 1.5 years later I quit my full-time job and I’ve been self-employed ever since.
There are plenty of businesses and organizations out there that need the services of a web designer. You could be creating the first website for the business or organization, re-desiging an existing site, or providing ongoing maintenance for their site.
Ways to Make Money with a Web Design or Coding Hobby:
- Design and/or code websites for clients
- Maintain websites for clients
- Create and sell website templates and themes (including for WordPress, Shopify, and other platforms)
For more details, please see my article How to Make Money as a Web Designer.
3. Graphic Design
If you like design but you’re not a coder, there are plenty of other design opportunities aside from websites. Graphic design is a perfect hobby for making money because there is always demand for designers and there are projects of all shapes and sizes.
As a part-timer, you can still put together a great portfolio that shows off your abilities. If you’re just getting started, there are plenty of clients for small jobs that may not have the budget to higher a professional agency.
Hobby to Pro is my online course that teaches you how to build a money-making blog around your hobby. It's the same approach that I've used to make more than $1 million with photography blogs. The course includes 90+ video lessons to walk you through the process.
Ways to Make Money with a Graphic Design Hobby:
- Design for clients (logos, brochures, business cards, product labels, etc.)
- Create your own stock graphics to sell at marketplaces like Creative Market and deal sites like MightyDeals
- Start your own website to sell your stock graphics
- Write design tutorials on a freelance basis for blogs and magazines