25 Hobbies That You Can Turn Into Moneymakers

What are you doing for fun that you could also do for money? Here are some ideas to get you thinking, and tips to get you started.

14. Photography

Pablo Dunas / Shutterstock.comPablo Dunas / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve got the equipment, the talent and the spunk, get out there and compete with the pros by shooting portraits, weddings, graduations and other events.

As with many freelancers, self-employed photographers must also become adept at marketing, and that includes creating a beautiful website to showcase your portfolios of work.

For more details, check out “4 Ways Creative People Can Make Money Online.”

15. Collecting

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When the collecting bug bites, it’s a hard — and expensive — passion to shake. Some collect salt and pepper shakers, others baseball cards or comic books. No matter. Your love for your collectibles can make you an expert. And expertise offers the ability to buy, sell, trade, consult and advise — all for a profit.

16. Event planning

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Could you transition from planning kids’ birthday parties to organizing corporate events or weddings? Event planning is demanding work, but if you’re the super-organized, creative type who sees the big picture and has the people skills to work with everyone from corporate types to bridezillas, you might be able to pull it off.

Unsure how to get started? Post your services on Fiverr.com. Although Fiverr gigs may not pay much, you can ask happy customers to write testimonials that you can use on your website and in your marketing.

17. Bookselling

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Selling used books underwent a revolution because of the internet. Prices have been driven way, way down, even for rare and collectible books, one longtime bookseller told me. That’s because a customer today needs only to walk into a bookstore with a smartphone to check for a better price elsewhere.

On the other hand, a bookseller today does not need to maintain a storefront. Booksellers can work from home. In an article for the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA), veteran bookseller Vic Zoschak Jr. advises learning the field by attending book fairs and seminars, reading incessantly and joining professional organizations, including the IOBA and the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

18. Retail arbitrage

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Some people make serious money by buying stuff at liquidation and clearance sale prices and then selling them online for a higher price. These sellers may not specialize in any particular items or categories of goods. Rather, they are experts at knowing what sells well and at finding it at low prices.

For a primer, check out “How You Can Make Extra Money Buying Locally and Selling Globally.”

19. Home inspecting

 Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko / Shutterstock.com Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko / Shutterstock.com

If you are handy and know your way around the inner workings of a home, you might be a perfect candidate for a career in home inspecting. Generally, inspectors are licensed by states and can receive training or certification through national industry organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors. Their services often are required for a home sale or purchase to be completed.

20. Financial planning

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If your hobby is investing and planning your retirement, becoming a certified financial planner, or CFP, could be a natural second career choice. It offers a good living and the freedom and flexibility that many people wish for, especially after they’ve spent years working for a company.

The job isn’t just research, investing and planning, however. One of the primary roles is working with clients, often educating and reassuring them. Preparation for getting certified includes a college degree in financial planning or similar background, a rigorous examination and some professional experience or work as an apprentice, according to the CFP Board of Standards.

21. Boating

Andrey Burmakin / Shutterstock.comAndrey Burmakin / Shutterstock.com

Many’s the weekend sailor who dreams of chucking the 9-to-5 life to be a charter boat captain, fishing and sailing for a living. If you live in — or move to — a seaport where fat-walleted tourists are abundant, it can be a reasonable goal. The U.S. Coast Guard lists credentialing requirements for charter boat captains on its website.

But keep in mind that chartering is a business, so plan carefully how you’ll stay afloat. What’s more, it’s a service business, and you’ll do best in this job if you are someone who loves people and doesn’t mind waiting on them.

22. Hosting

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Your cinnamon rolls are to die for and you love nothing more than creating a cozy, hospitable environment and hosting guests. You may be made for the role of bed-and-breakfast host.

Or maybe not. If hosting is one part blueberry scones and happy guests, another part is midnight plumbing repairs and the fact that you may have nowhere to hide from demanding customers. Do some research before selling your home to purchase a B&B.

23. Property management

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Do you love fixing everything you can get your hands on? Becoming a property manager might be a way to get paid for doing what you enjoy. The work is varied, from finding and screening renters to making repairs and doing grounds maintenance. To manage a single property you may not need much more than being handy, organized and adept at online research. But managing many properties can mean you’ll need business and real estate skills.

The website of All Property Management, a network of professional property management services, has links to state requirements for property managers.

24. Video editing

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Maybe you’re the kind of creative type who compiles and edits friends’ and relatives’ photos and videos into short films. Maybe you’re thinking you’d like to break into the field professionally? Upgrading your skills is the ticket. It may eventually be necessary to enroll in classes, but before you spend money on tuition, take advantage of the many free resources online.

25. Desktop publishing

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Desktop publishing involves using software to create handsome, professional-looking books, brochures, posters and advertisements. Writers and amateur graphic designers who are comfortable in a digital environment may find a career transition to desktop publishing to be the right fit. You can train yourself at your own pace while continuing in your current job. ThoughtCo lists top software programs used in the field, including free ones.

Looking for more inspiration on how to make your hobby pay? Read:

What hobbies do you think you could parlay into money-making ventures? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Marilyn Lewis
Marilyn Lewis
After a career in daily newspapers I moved to the world of online news in 2001. I specialize in writing about personal finance, real estate and retirement. I love how the Internet ... More


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