Have you ever heard the phrase ‘do a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life?‘ Well what if I told you that you could make money doing the things you already enjoy doing? What if you could make money with hobbies that already bring you joy?
The last couple of years drove a lot of people to start a side hustle. Selling artwork online, upcycling furniture,, reselling, blogging and much more. The number of new businesses in the UK shot up by 14% more than average during 2020. So it just goes to show that when we’re forced to take a step back, we can be really resourceful. Whether it’s because of being furloughed or made redundant, or just a sudden realisation that life is fleeting, many of us have taken the leap in the last couple of years to start spending more time doing what we enjoy and even making a career out of it.
How To Make Money With Hobbies
These days literally anyone can start their own business. You no longer need a physical shopfront or warehouse. Even advertising is free if you know where to go. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And you too can turn the hobby you love doing into a fulfilling way of making money.
Perhaps you hate your 9-5 and want to enjoy your working life more. You want more flexibility. You want to work around your family. Or maybe you’re committed to finally buying a house this year and need the extra boost in your finances. Whatever your reasoning, we’ve got you covered in this post.
The Step by Step Guide to Making Money with your Hobbies
Below we’ve laid out the path to turn your loved hobby into a fully-fledged side hustle. We’ll take you through the initial processes which are essential before you jump into buying 10kg packs of fondant icing. If you love the idea of making money from your hobby, but don’t really have any interests already established, we have a foolproof method for determining the right path for you. You don’t need to have any natural talents. You also don’t have to turn yourself into Joe Wicks by next weekend. There are so many options and so many ways to make it work. You can apply the below formula to any side hustle idea you have in mind.
So before you quit your 9-5 to start flipping your old clothes full time, check out the tips below to give yourself the best chance of success making money from your hobbies…
What’s your motivation?
Take a minute to think about your motivation. Why do you want to make money from your hobby? Are you after some extra cash, do you want to make this your career eventually, or are you just hoping to give an added purpose to an activity you enjoy?
It may seem trivial but realising why you want to take your hobby to another level at an early stage can help you out later on in the process.
Perhaps you hadn’t really thought much about turning your hobbies into cash until you came across this post. But it may be a great way of earning extra money to save up for something specific such as a house, wedding, holiday or that car you’ve always wanted. If there’s nothing specific you feel like saving for, remember that it’s always a good idea to have the security of a second (or even third) stream of income to fall back on should you find yourself without a job. Depending on its nature, you can even use this side hustle to earn you some money while you’re travelling!
If it’s not so much about the money for you, consider whether turning your hobby into a side hustle, could potentially make your free time more fulfilling. For example, if you play an instrument, you could turn this into a weekend side hustle teaching kids to play. This is especially relevant if you don’t feel very fulfilled by your 9-5 job. This is a great way of boosting your mental health and self-esteem, all the while earning a bit of extra money. It can’t hurt right?
Decide what you’re going to do
Once you’ve realised your motivation for making money from your hobby, it’s time to decide what that hobby will be. Maybe you have a favourite hobby which can easily be turned into a side hustle and it’s immediately obvious to you. Or, perhaps your hobbies are social drinking and watching Netflix and you can’t quite see how that downtime can be turned into cash?
If you’re stuck choosing between some existing hobbies and aren’t sure how to decide, try to consider if any of them could be something that you could teach. For example, do you speak a second language you could tutor others in? Or if you’ve been going to a yoga class for 6 years, you probably know enough at this point to start a YouTube channel teaching the basics. You don’t have to be super skinny or flexible, you just need to be relatable and confident.
If you don’t already have a hobby which can turn you into a TikTok influencer or your neighbourhood’s new favourite piano teacher, you’ll need to start a new one. Don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
If you’re really stuck and have no idea how to decide, ask your friends to brainstorm some ideas. They probably look at you in a different way than you see yourself. They might even have some fresh suggestions for you. A fun exercise could be to try out some new hobbies and see what you enjoy or are naturally good at. Perhaps you have a knack for creating aesthetically pleasing baked goods. Or maybe there’s a life drawing class in your area? Worst case scenario is you’ll have some fun and meet new people!
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Some hobby ideas
Sadly, watching Bridgerton isn’t a hobby that’ll make you any money. But, if you’re creative, you might have some success with some of the following ideas.
Creative hobby ideas
- Make-up artist
- Graphic design
- Upcycling clothes or furniture
- Costume making
- Party entertainment
- Personalised sketches
- Knitting or crafting
Outdoor hobby ideas
- Landscape gardening
- Dog walking
- Lawn mowing
- Selling hedge veg
Fitness hobby ideas
And if you’re a fitness fanatic? These ideas are all winning ways to make some extra money.
- Personal training
- Yoga/Pilates instructor
- YouTube fitness videos
Musical hobby ideas
If you’re musical, why not form a band, teach an instrument or even DJ at the weekends?
Organisation hobby ideas
Are you the most organised in your friendship group? Life coaching, wardrobe organisation, event organising, focus groups, sourcing and selling vintage clothing could all be excellent side hustles for you.
Low-impact hobby ideas
If you’re feeling a little lazy, you might want to try some low-commitment side hustles like pet sitting, house sitting, selling books, transcribing or reviewing products.
Do you have a niche skill? Perhaps tutoring, stand up comedy, translation services, language tutoring, restoring electronics and flipping cars or houses could be the right way to make money from your hobby.
Tech hobby ideas
How about if you’re into tech? If you enjoy research and SEO, blogging, podcasting or social media management could be great ways to make money on the side.
How to get started
So you’ve finally settled on the hobby you want to make some money from. But, you have no idea how to get started. At this stage in the process it’s essential to take the time to do some proper research on the industry you’ll be dealing with. You need to know what you’re up against. So find out what sort of money you can realistically expect to earn, and understand how much time and energy it will take to be successful. Remember, others on social media will often make a side hustle or small business seem like an easy venture. (If their customers or clients saw how difficult it is to balance a full time job or a family alongside their other work, then they might not be so confident in the business!).
Taxes and side hustles
It’s also a good idea to research what is required in your country to make such a venture a legal one. In the UK, if you earn £1,000 or less in a given tax year, this is classed as ‘trading income’ and you do not have to declare it to HMRC. But if you’re planning to establish clients and charge them for your services, then it’s important to make sure you’re registered with the local tax and data protection authorities. Take a look at our guide to everything you need to know about HMRC and side hustles.
Goals for your hobbies
Finally in the planning stage, you might want to consider your goals for your side hustle. Do you want to eventually quit your 9-5 job and have your own florist shop? Or do you want to keep it small and something that you can pick up and put down when you have the time or energy? You can always change your mind in the future of course. However, establishing some boundaries for yourself and your business early on can help you manage it successfully and get what you want out of it.
If you’re unsure about going into business alone and making that commitment to yourself, consider collaborating with a friend or partner and sharing the responsibility. Another approach could be to help out someone in the desired industry for a few hours every weekend as a sort of apprentice to get you going. This is a low risk way you can see if you like the hobby enough to go it alone, test your skills and commitment to the cause, and refine your time management skills before starting your own adventure.
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How to make it work
Getting started is arguably the biggest hurdle of making money from your hobbies. But maintaining the flow and keeping up with the demand alongside your full time job, taking care of your new baby or travelling is the true challenge.
No matter which hobby you’re working on, you’ll definitely need to rely on your time management skills to keep it running smoothly. If you have other commitments such as another job, children or your studies, it’s a good idea to set aside some time each week dedicated to the hobby. If you’re really strapped for time during the week, get your friends and family on board. Maybe your partner can take the kids out for 2 hours every Saturday morning so you can get stuff done? It’s important to have support if you want to turn your hobby into a business.
If you’re going it alone and don’t have the support you might need, then you’ll need to get creative with your time. Commute on the bus and use that free time to do market research. Good at multitasking? Maybe feeding time for your baby is also research time too.
There are also many Facebook groups for small business owners, and you may be surprised to find that there are groups for even the tiniest niches. Search online to find likeminded business owners who you can support, and who can support you in return.
Hustle it out
If you’re needing to make your hobby-hustle work fast because you’ve suddenly found yourself in between jobs, stick to what you know and don’t be afraid to accept less than you deserve. If doing chores for your elderly neighbour or flipping thrift store clothes seems a bit menial compared to a full time wage, then work your way up to something bigger and better. However, in the meantime don’t be afraid to get stuck in and make the hard times a little easier on yourself! If you can make this work, you may find yourself with a new career you didn’t expect. Or, perhaps you now have a great fall back for the future. You can’t get fired if you’re the boss!
Some things to avoid…
Don’t quit your 9-5
Unless you weren’t given the choice, or your mental health is at risk, don’t quit your 9-5 until you have something else properly established. Some people definitely thrive on the pressure of not having a job unless their side hustle works out. But in reality? It’s often not worth the extra stress, especially if you have rent to pay or kids to feed. If your new venture is suffering as a result of your full time job, consider cutting down to part time, outsourcing, or using some of your annual leave to free your time up.
Taking on too much and not allowing time for relaxing and self-care is a recipe for disaster. You’ll have a far better chance at successfully making money from your hobby if you learn to manage your time appropriately and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Remember, health is always wealth!
Whilst it’s important to get the support of your friends and family, make sure that doesn’t overtake your relationships with them. Don’t miss out on your social life or spending quality time with your partner, parents or children. Remember: balance is key.
Don’t expect too much
The internet seems to be filled with people who sold some homemade earrings on Etsy on a whim and 8 months later they have a six-figure business. Firstly, there’s likely an awful lot that they’re not disclosing about the process they went through to get there. Secondly, that sort of success, whilst not unheard of, is extremely rare and almost always involves a large amount of luck, or ‘right-place-right-time’. Businesses often take years to grow, but if you are earning money from a hobby? The journey is likely to be fun no matter what.
Strive for success
It’s definitely important to strive for success and manifest your future. At the end of the day, if you don’t believe it’ll work out then why are you even starting? But it’s almost more important to be realistic with your expectations, trust the process, accept the hard times and know they won’t last forever. Keep going and keep learning. Apply what you learn and adapt your method until you get where you want to go.
Final thoughts on making money with hobbies
Spend a little time this evening or this weekend thinking about how you could make one of your hobbies into a little business venture. It doesn’t have to be huge and pay off the mortgage, it can just be enough to help you save for a long-awaited holiday or to make your spare time more rewarding.
- Define your motivation
- Decide what you want to do
- Ascertain your tax status
- Set some goals for your side hustle
- Manage your time
- Find support
- Strive for success
This post was written by Danielle Tucker, Belvoir Media.