Whether you are between jobs or just looking for extra income, you may be able to profit from things you already love to do. With a little bit of planning and some research, you may be able to find a way for your hobbies to make money from home. There are many ways to turn your passion into cash, and these ideas can help you get started.
1. Become an eBay Entrepreneur
If you love to go to yard sales and flea markets, why not sell your top finds on eBay and other online auction sites? If you have an eye for value and a knack for spotting antiques, you could turn that old painting or set of dishes into cold hard cash.
You might want to spend some time doing your homework and researching what sells well on eBay. Antiques and collectibles can be hot sellers, but so can items in a number of other categories, from vintage electronics and video games to sports and exercise equipment. Sarah Titus shared some of her favorite tips on how to make money on eBay.
2. Make and Sell Your Favorite Crafts
If you love to make crafts, you can turn the finished product into extra money or even a reliable part-time income. Websites like Etsy allow craftspeople to share their wares with the world and make a tidy sum in the process. Local craft shows and flea markets also provide a great outlet for crafty people to make some extra money.
Be sure to keep track of all your income and expenses, even if you are not formally in the craft selling business. You will have to pay taxes on any profits you make, but you may be able to write off the cost of supplies, as well as booth fees and commissions for craft shows and online sites.
3. Grab Your Camera
If photography is your passion, consider making it into a formal business. Photographers have a number of ways to turn their hobbies into cash. If you love shooting action shots at your kid's soccer games, try sharing your favorite shots with the other parents and selling framed prints. If you have a knack for candid shots and a thing for romance, you might have a future as a wedding photographer. If you love hiking and enjoy nature, try selling framed animal prints at local art shows.
You can also sell stock photography on the web through a number of different websites. These sites are best suited to experienced photographers, but if you are willing to learn you could make a steady income for all your hard work.
4. Let Your Inner Author Out
If you have always wanted to write a book but feared the publishing industry, fret no more. The age of self-publishing is here, and sites like Amazon now allow virtually anyone to become a published author.
The amount of money you can make will vary based on a number of factors, from your ability to market your work to the popularity of the subject matter you write about. Many successful self-published authors use social media and real-world networks to market their books. Others provide teaser chapters and free short stories to those on their mailing lists. The choice is up to you, but if you have always wanted to claim the author mantle now you can.
5. Help Tourists Find Their Way
If you live in a popular tourist destination, you may be able to profit from your inside information by working as a tour guide. Modern travelers are looking for unique experiences, and they are willing to pay for the privilege. From culinary tours to inside information about TV and movie shoot locations, the guide services you provide can be very valuable.
You can get the word out online through blogs and travel sites or work directly with hotel concierges and sites like Vayable. It may take some time to build up a following, but word-of-mouth can help you keep the business going.
If you have a teaching background or even just a bachelor’s degree, you can put it to work through formal and informal tutoring gigs. From helping parents prepare their offspring for standardized tests to assisting college students with their study habits, there are many ways to put your teaching experience to good use.
7. Use Your People Skills to Become a Problem Solver
If you have a background in customer service and solid communication skills, there are plenty of online job opportunities available. Customer service is increasingly moving to the Internet, and the possibilities are nearly endless.
Some customer service representatives work from home fulfilling orders from those late night infomercials you might have seen. Depending on the service you sign up with, you may be able to set your own hours or work whenever and wherever you want.
Many airlines also hire home-based workers to field customer service calls, handle complaints and make reservations and booking changes. Just check with the airline you want to work with and see if they are hiring online customer service agents. You will need strong customer service and communication skills, and some companies require some knowledge of the airline industry to get started.
8. Get Paid for Your Computer Know-How in Online Technical Support
If you know your way around a computer, you may be able to make some money by sharing your skills with the less technologically gifted. There are plenty of computer owners who need your help and are willing to pay for it.
The widespread availability of online tools that help you connect remotely and troubleshoot from afar means that tech support is no longer exclusively a face to face affair. In just a few minutes you could be up and running helping frustrated computer users fix problems, cure viruses and speed up their machines.
9. Get Paid to Research
If you love learning and Google is your best friend, there are plenty of online research jobs that will allow you to earn some spare cash. These positions may have you compiling research into a report or answering questions as an expert. Some opportunities may require you to have a certain level of expertise on a topic. Others may simply take your word for it and allow you to prove your wits.
10. Get Paid to Read
I’m a total bookworm. I love reading and learning. Believe it or not, you can actually get paid to read.
The opportunities available to readers run the gamut from proofreading and marketing books for authors to simply earning a few bucks – or free books – for writing reviews. Obviously, with those extremes in ideas, the pay can range from very little to a full-time salary.
11. Get Paid for Your Social Media Influence
You no longer need a blog to earn money as a social media influencer – though I’d highly recommend building a business on a platform you own as opposed to one you don’t! If you have a large and engaged audience, you can make money through brand sponsorships, affiliate marketing and more.
12. Sell Your Designs on Merch
If you are always coming up with quirky t-shirt ideas, consider signing up for Amazon Flex. This program will allow you to upload your designs to the site and Amazon will print them on demand as sales come in. There’s no upfront cost to you. You will then earn a royalty for each sale made.
There are some things you will need to research and learn about before becoming a Merch seller. You may need to collect and report sales tax. You will also need to make sure you aren’t infringing on any copyright with your designs. This is also an invite-only program. You will need to fill out an application and wait for a response which can take a few months in some cases.
13. Get Paid to Watch TV
If your preferred means of consuming information is the television, you may be able to earn a few extra bucks watching “the tube.” There are several apps like Swagbucks and perk.tv that will pay you for watching video ads and trailers. Neilsen still sends out their survey opportunities to families on occasion. Even Netflix has been known to hire video “taggers” in the past to help them categorize their inventory.
14. Get Paid to Visit Websites
There are so many ways to make money if you are obsessed with the internet. If you spend all day over here anyway, why not earn a little extra cash?
In this instance, you will be paid for visiting websites and providing feedback on your user experience. You’ll be letting the website owner know how easy their navigation was, whether your experience was enjoyable and more.
Website testing opportunities aren’t steady, but there are several companies you can sign up with to be notified when gigs are available.
15. Get Paid to Play Video Games
Do you know a “gamer?” There are a few ways you can make money gaming from home. These include testing games for companies like PlayTestCloud or providing customer service to other gamers working for a company like Sutherland Global. If you have great writing or design skills, you can also put those to good use with a company like Fantasy Flight Games.
16. Invest Your Spare Change
If your favorite pastime is picking up pennies, check out Acorns. This great app will round up your purchases and invest the spare change through their robo-advisor program. They also recently added a new feature called Acorns Later which invests that spare change in a retirement account.
Acorns is free for college students with an .edu email address. It costs $1 per month for taxable investment accounts and $2 per month for Acorns Later. There is no minimum investment required to start. Get $5 credited to your account when you use my referral link.
17. Get Paid to Shop
While you are rounding up the change on those purchases, why not make sure you are maximizing your potential?
Ebates is my favorite cashback site. I’ve been using it since 2013. You can earn cash back on purchases online and in store. Your earnings are then sent by check or PayPal every quarter. Get a $10 welcome bonus when you use my referral link.
18. Get Paid to Lose Weight
So losing weight isn’t a hobby, but maybe it would sure be a lot easier if it was! Sites like HealthyWage help make weight loss fun by incentivizing your progress with cold, hard cash. You could earn up to $10,000!
19. Monetize Your YouTube Videos
I have recently fell in love with creating YouTube videos. I use my channel to talk about working from home, but there are so many people over there doing such creative and unique things. There are kids making millions of dollars on toy reviews. Foodies are raking in the cash with their recipes. Vloggers are making money from sponsorships, advertisements, crowdfunding campaigns, merch and more. Learn more about monetizing your YouTube videos here.
20. Make Money Flipping Books
We talked about making money reading books earlier in this post. But, what do you do with all of those books when you’re done? There’s a big market today for used books. And some books can earn you quite a bit of money. Jessica over at The Selling Family has created a nice little income flipping niche books.
21. Get Paid to be a Personal Stylist
Do you love fashion? Do your friends come to you to dress them for their next outing or occasion? Some popular styling services like Stitch Fix and Bombfell contract personal stylists to work from home. There are often some location requirements with these positions, but keep an eye open for listings near you.
22. Get Paid to Drive
Some people just love to drive around. My husband is one of them. There is no shortage of driver jobs today from transporting people with Uber or Lyft to delivering food with UberEats or packages with Amazon Flex. Most of these positions pay a flat fee per ride plus tips.
23. Get Paid to Point Out Mistakes
If you are a grammar geek, online proofreading jobs and editing jobs can earn you quite a nice paycheck. There are a number of companies that hire for these positions, or you can go it alone contracting bloggers, authors and online publishers to proofread their content.
These are just a few hobbies that can make you money from home. Think about how you enjoy spending your free time and ways you can monetize it!