Hobbies are the things that we love and yet never consider turning to businesses. For many, we see them as a means to relax while we worry about covering more bills, providing for ourselves, or our family.
While I agree some hobbies are meant to stay recreational, I believe many of our hobbies can and should become viable businesses or side-hustles. In today’s world, it’s important we don’t rely on a single job that could be replaced by automation or something else.
It’s this sort of logic that lead me to using one of my hobbies – writing – and turning it into a business. After two years of struggling, it became a growing business I’m proud of.
But why did it take so long?
I can chalk that up to procrastination, and honing my skill. But one other area I can point to is a lack of not knowing where to start.
With my writing, I didn’t know what I do now. The idea of marketing and selling my skills didn’t make sense to me. Not only that but how I could present those skills in an appealing manner was unknown. I never heard of Medium, Upwork, or any of the other platforms I’ll talk about until afterwards.
Because of this, I think it pays to know some areas to consider starting off. What helped me along the way was people approaching me and were willing to offer me a guiding hand.
With that in mind, let me be your guiding hand and allow me to talk about some hobbies you can monetize and methods to do so.
First on our list is one of the hobbies I have a bias for: blogging. But in my defence, it’s great when you look at it.
First, part of the appeal for starting up a blog is that it’s laughably cheap to get involved in.
With sites like Medium, Wix, and WordPress, you can easily create a site (or a blog in Medium’s case) and start to generate revenue for the low cost of free.
I’m serious. There are free plans for WordPress and Wix and Medium’s partnership program’s conditions only require you have a Stripe account that’s hooked to your bank account.
Starting out, I would encourage Medium over the other two. Why? I’ve got two reasons:
- Medium addresses a lot of the base issues that sites starting out have. Those are generating traffic and getting swallowed by the competition. They solve this by having a focused and large audience but also having curation and featured stories.
- Medium presents itself in a sort of learning tool. How you earn is based on a variety of factors but the biggest is reading time. In other words, the more people are reading and enjoying your content, the more you’ll earn. It’s a good confidence booster since growing a site from scratch means having to settle with low numbers and uncertainty. It’s either people who haven’t found you yet or your content is dull. It can be hard to tell which one it is.
How you want to go about it is up to you and there are benefits of starting a site from scratch. There is a lot of learning experiences to be had and it gives you more accountability.
But the beauty with blogging is that it encompasses many other aspects that you can monetize. There are tonnes of lists around about how you can monetize a blog.
Here are a few other considerations:
- Blogging means writing content which means you’ll need to write. While you can monetize that content in so many ways, you can always move that skill over to other areas. From writing other people’s articles to social media posts, you can grow a portfolio of satisfied clients you can tap into at any time.
- If you are building your website this could be a nice foothold into web design as well. With WordPress, you don’t need extensive coding skills, but if you can navigate around WordPress and make some beautiful sites, people can pay you for it.
- Blogging can form a foundation for a number of skills outside of that too. Other examples of blogging skills are photography, affiliate marketing, and influencer marketing.
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Health is a big cornerstone of so many people’s lives. It’s something we can all relate to in one way or another. The best thing about it is that you can create a large pool of ideas to generate revenue from it.
The most popular option is the personal trainer route. The only catch with that is that it requires a licence in order for you to coach people legally. This means you’ll need to take some courses in order to get that.
Once you get that certification you can coach with a gym or make your own of course, but there are other options you can consider. Ones that don’t require extensive studying.
Here are two other ideas:
- Being a community “walking buddy.” The idea is that someone will pay you to walk (or jog) with them. It sounds weird but there are needs for that. Look at People Walker an app with a list of people you can pay to walk with people. If the app isn’t available in your area you can always post ads on Facebook, or Craigslist.
- While you can’t label yourself as a dietician, if you have a specific meal plan for weight loss, or muscle gain, you can always go the root of making a cookbook. You can also push personalized plans you create yourself.
Youtube is a massive platform with thousands of minutes of videos being uploaded over the day. On top of that, the videos are used for various purposes.
Because there are so many people publishing content for various reasons, there is a massive demand for those who can work behind the scenes. That much is true now that marketing is being geared towards a combination of text and video.
Creating and editing videos is yet another one of the hobbies that can lead to various streams of income. Here are some ideas.
- You can always join a team and work with them. Depending on the workload you can also take on multiple clients and serve as an independent contractor or freelancer.
- Use the skills to create your own videos and edit them. Again, videos can serve all kinds of purposes and could lead you to a gig as an influencer marketer.
- If you have a good ear for music you can create your own music and convert them into music videos.
Related: Video Summary
As the world continues to grow and develop the more we’re moving from physical work to creative work. Things like sciences and engineering are becoming more prominent. But one other area is the arts.
That much is clear since more people are dipping into writing and such. But one other area is graphic design. Digital artwork – whether it’s editing or generating it from scratch – is a skill that can be used to grow a business.
This skill can be used in all kinds of areas as businesses and people have various needs for the work. Because of this, do expect a lot of competition.
Here are some options to consider to help you get in and stand out:
- You can use graphic design to create templates for websites. With WordPress it’s all drag and drop for the most part but you can go into more depth if you want to learn about coding. If you get good, here are some sites who’ll buy your work.
- Another option is logos for businesses. By that extension, you can make smaller graphics like banners for social media, profile pictures, or avatars too. You might want to consider going to UpWork or Fiverr for that or doing your own outreach.
- You can offer designs through various websites too. 99Designs.com is a site where individuals create websites and logos.
Another aspect of the fitness side I neglected was refereeing. It’s not quite as direct with fitness but it is another one of the hobbies that can make money all the same.
For this idea, your only source for this is to apply your sports knowledge in the sports that you have experience in. The upside is if you know your way around multiple sports fields you can be a referee in various sports.
Every kind of sport you can think of needs referees. There are so many cases where people can’t do the job well or there is lack of them. Because of this, it’s easy to get in if you’ve got a sports background.
Two other options can be:
- Teaming up with sites like Assignr for one-off gigs possibly.
- You can also go the route of creating a podcast. Podcasts have grown in popularity over the years and you could provide sports opinions of local, college, or professional teams amongst other things.
Hobbies To Business: Music
From signing to playing instruments, this is one of the other arts where you can turn a hobby into income. With music, you can branch it into so many different aspects. What’s also nice with music is that it’s easy to mesh several of these ideas into one business.
Some streams of income to consider with music are:
- Tutoring. From beginner to expert levels you can get a range of clients depending on your skill level and whom you’re willing to teach. Do note that even if you’re not very skilled, you can still offer a lot to a beginner if you know the ins and outs. Knowledge is still knowledge and people will pay for it.
- Performances is another angle. You’ve got weddings, funerals, luncheons, dinners, and various community events where music can be good. Whenever there is a social gathering under any circumstances, music is always a good addition.
- Joining music groups. The performance angle I went with was assuming you’re going solo. With this, you can join various music groups and perform. Big or small, there is bound to be a handful of music groups in your area that you can attend and potentially earn.
On the note of teaching music, teaching overall can be another way to make money. So long as you focus on a one-on-one or a small group at a time.
Speaking from experience, there is a large demand for tutors on a range of subjects. People are always going to school and learning new things. As such there will always be a demand for individuals who need more direct guidance.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Offer your tutoring services solo. Post ads on Facebook or Twitter groups. You can also turn to Kijiji (for Canadians) or Craigslist and post those services there too.
- Many universities offer tutoring programs for students which is a good way of getting hired more often. Whether you graduated from that university or not it doesn’t matter. If you’ve got time and there is a university within your area, you may be able to get in and tell them you can tutor.
- You can use your skills and knowledge to create instruction videos as well. Either post them on Youtube or you can turn them into full-on courses you can sell through Udemy, Skillshare, and other education platforms.
Social media is a marketing goldmine and is a way for people to connect. There are hundreds of platforms with content being posted on there in the hundreds of thousands each day. If you are someone who is posting good content on social media, you can turn it into a moneymaker easily. Here are some avenues to consider:
- Being an influencer. Influencer marketing is the next big wave in social media. That and ephemeral content. If you can hone your skills in these areas, you can start making brand deals with companies and individuals alike to promote their product or service and profit from it.
- Affiliate marketing is also still a strong aspect as well. Social media is the place where many make purchasing decisions these days. If you’ve got a product or service you can sell (either something you created or someone else did) you can make money from it.
- Even if you don’t plan on building your own brand, you can help with others in building theirs. You can be hired as someone who provides social media posts, create content plans, or as a consultant and guide businesses to their goals.
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Getting people to laugh is always a valued skill. If you’re someone who can get people to laugh no matter what you say you can turn that into some money. Some avenues to consider are:
- Attending comedy clubs. While they’re not money makers, they can be ways to hone your skills and gauge your jokes.
- Performing at various events. Comedy clubs and other public places need some form of entertainment. It could be music or someone cracking jokes. You can work at various capacities in this. Either the main event or the warm-up for the big event. Those gigs will depend on your level of skills.
- You can also get work as the MC of events as well. Bing the host can earn you some big money depending on what you are being the host for.
- Much like the other hobbies on this list, you can also turn these into videos and post them to Youtube.
Hobbies That Make Crafts
Outside of artwork, another approach to arts hobbies is through crafts. With platforms like Etsy, not only do you have an avenue to market your stuff, but it’s a clear indicator that people still value this.
What’s nice about crafts is that they’re not always little knick-knacks. They can be shirts, figures, or other larger pieces. Making crafts is flexible and there are many avenues to consider. Some examples are:
- Supporting local business. Offer your products to a store at wholesale and they can sell it for a profit. On a similar note, there are cafes who will hang local art that you can purchase.
- Offer your goods at a farmer’s market. Each town has at least one where you can set a stand and sell your stuff.
- You can turn to online as well. As I said, Etsy can be a place to go but there’s also Facebook stores, other social media platforms, and making your own site can be other avenues.
Proofreading & Editing
Another facet to writing hobbies I want to touch on is proofreading and editing. This is a skill that can be honed through writing if you’re someone who has a critical eye to your work.
But what’s more important is you can use this skill to be editing and proofreading other people’s work. From my own experiences, having another pair of eyes to look over your work can be key.
After all, even a critical eye of your own work will have some biases.
Not only that but depending on how much content is being created by a company every day, it’s worth it to have someone look over it and propose changes. Plus make sure everything flows properly.
Here are some avenues you can consider for these skills:
- First, there is online. Thousands of articles are published every day and not everyone who publishes the work has an editor who is looking over their work.
- Second is turning to other printed works. Newspapers, magazines, advertisements, books, documents and reports. Any kind of written content could use someone looking over the work and editing it.
- The third is the freelance route. Through the other two avenues, you can get a steady flow of clients. But the other can push you to working with several for fewer hours every day or week. Sites like Upwork, Craigslist and others are good options for reaching out for extra work.
Hobbies Of Buying And Selling
Otherwise known as flipping, this is a hobby that could turn into all kinds of avenues depending on what you want to focus on.
My suggestion for this is to focus on buying and selling products that you are familiar with.
I say this because the learning curve will be easier to get into if you’re going into an industry you have knowledge in. Knowing the industry at large and where it’s going can help you in buying low and selling high.
It’s akin to the stock market so the more knowledge you have about products, the more of an advantage you’ll have.
The big question now is where you can buy and sell in the first place. For that, here are some options:
- If you’re going after small ticket items you can turn to sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Kijiji as viable options to both buy and sell.
- Other avenues to sell can be through Facebook or through a website you created.
- For larger ticket items you can take it in various ways. For example, if you want to be flipping houses, my suggestion is to buy and then start renting it out first before selling it years later.
- Some other avenues to consider are pawn shops or other second-hand stores that will pay you for donated goods. My suggestion is to go to local thrift stores over franchise thrift stores since local thrift stores will likely give you money rather than in-store credit.
Being a speaker can be highly profitable since 75% of people fear public speaking. The idea of engaging people, staying calm and collected and speaking to an audience can be unnerving. But if this is one of your hobbies, you can make it into a skill that can generate money.
Some other areas to earn are:
- Being paid to launch products or promote businesses.
- Making group sales to smaller groups.
- Hosting webinars for companies or for your own brand.
Hobbies Can Become Businesses
The list of hobbies that can become businesses is endless. As the world continues to shift and change, new industries and new needs will emerge. As such, never dismiss your skills or hobbies as things you can do for yourself.
Of course, those are for yourself, but they can certainly become more if you want to pursue it.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon