Whether you’re looking for a full-time career that will earn you good money, or just want to earn some extra cash with a side-hustle, turning your hobby into a full-time (or part-time) career has never been so accessible as it is in today’s modern world.
The gig economy is upon us and more and more people are opting for freedom as freelancers working as their boss and in many cases, from the comfort of their homes.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a freelancer, the job options are nearly limitless with modern technology, but considering if you have any hobbies that you could turn into cash might be the best first step.
Here’s a list of five common hobbies that could earn you money with tips on how to get started:
As perhaps the most flexible job option on this list, turning your writing hobby into professional freelance writing gives you an infinite number of opportunities because you can work with contractors from all parts of the globe while allowing you to decide when and where you write from.
Writing professionally can take on many forms from blogging to copywriting and editing, to highly sought-after travel writing.
They say to write what you know so if there’s a particular topic that you are knowledgeable on, try to seek out writing opportunities related to that.
The Top 10% of writers have it extremely well, making more than four times the average pay of $.30 per word
Building a portfolio to showcase your work is also essential as it gives potential clients a chance to see your writing style. Aim for a minimum of five writing samples, to begin with, and build on that as you complete more assignments.
Platforms such as Clippings offer excellent free options for putting together your online portfolio and having a place to direct clients to when they’re interested in you.
Once you’re ready to find work, websites such as Upwork are a great choice for finding contract work and as you build on your reviews from clients, the higher you can set your rates as your credibility grows.
Similar to our first item on the list, blogging as a hobby is a popular form of writing that is easy to start (anyone can start their blog page!) and allows writers to write about a multitude of topics and choose whatever seems the most interesting to your particular interests.
While personal blog pages have been around for many, many years, it’s common that blogs will now outsource their blog articles to freelancers who are good at capturing distinct voice that appeals to their platform’s audience.
About 15% of bloggers make a full-time income from blogging (over $2,500 a month or $30, 000 a year). 6-10% of bloggers make over $10,000 a month (over $120,000 a year).
If writing for others is not as appealing to you, choosing a niche market to speak about on your blog is a great first step.
Once you start writing, it’s a great idea to build your email list so you actually have eyes on your page and you could eventually begin to attract sponsors for product reviews or even start placing advertisement spots on your page.
Chances are if you’re reading this article then you’re fluent in English, and if you’re not, then you’re fluent in another language that is your mother tongue.
Whatever language you speak, you can be sure that there are people in the world who want to learn your language!
If you happen to speak one of these languages, then there are thousands of potential clients that you could be teaching:
If languages are not appealing to you, then consider tutoring school subjects for elementary or high school students.
Whatever the topic may be, there is undoubtedly a need for teachers in that subject so you want to educate yourself on that topic and begin finding clients.
Many freelance tutors opt for getting a contract with a tutoring platform or language school. You can decide whether you want to teach in person or online (with a growing number of clients choosing online classes these days.)
You’ll also want to consider who you’d like to teach in terms of age group as well and whether you’d prefer private or group classes.
If you choose to teach a language, partnering up with a global language school like Lingoda or an online tutoring platform like Preply to get started is a great idea if you don’t want to deal with the headache of administrative work or finding your clients.
Advertising your tutoring services locally, for example in coffee shops where students gather, is also a good option, and don’t ever underestimate the power of a good word-of-mouth recommendation!
As potentially one of the most popular hobbies on this list, photography is one activity that can translate to a big paycheck, especially depending on the category of photography that you specialize in, with wedding photographers regularly charging upwards of $2000 for a day’s worth of picture taking.
To start translating your hobby into money, you’ll want to invest in some equipment (for example, a camera and lights) and start practicing as much as possible to get comfortable with your tools and the editing process.
Once you feel relatively confident and comfortable with your skills, then it’s a good idea to start doing photoshoots to create a gallery of your work.
These photoshoots could be done for a very low price or even for free for family, friends, and strangers who are looking for a budget-friendly shoot. You could advertise your free shoot on social media, in local papers, and on local online classifieds pages.
Once you have a collection of photos that you feel proud of, it’s time to create your website to showcase your talent and give clients a place to find your contact details.
The amount of time that people are spending on social media is continuing to increase and it seems like every few months there is a new trending app that is luring users.
Social media presents a great opportunity for anyone looking to market themselves or a product.
This is already such a popular hobby for so many people, why not make some money with it?
Facebook is still at the top of the chart in terms of most users, but Tik Tok is quickly gaining in popularity, particularly with young users in recent years:
No matter what you do on social media, the first must-have is a distinguishable thing that makes you ‘you’ and will keep your followers interested.
That dedicated audience is going to be vital in keeping you afloat on social media and will allow you to grow and get to your next stepping stones, whatever they may be. To do this you will need to create consistent content that is interesting to your viewers and allows you to engage with them.
Try using different hashtags to widen your audience and learn what days and times you should be posting by doing some research during peak app usage times.
If you create a posting schedule that you can stick to, this will help to take some of the guessing work out of when you should be posting.
But don’t forget that once you start a posting schedule, you need to stick to it as your followers will be expecting content and you don’t want to disappoint.
Connecting with your audience is the number one important thing if you want to grow your brand on social media so don’t be shy, and let your viewers know who you are and what your story is.
Expanding to different social media platforms is also a good idea if you want to give your viewers different channels to connect with you. Once you’ve built a following, you can consider advertising on your channel, having sponsored posts, and also having affiliate links.
This will give you a greater revenue stream and allow your viewers to associate you will certain brands and products that are aligned with your story.
Remember to keep in mind that the relationship between you and your audience will thrive on trust so you don’t want to recommend a product or service that you can’t truly stand behind.
Whatever your hobby of choice that you choose to make money from, some important first steps are to spend some time doing research into that topic and thinking about your personal goals.
Reaching out to someone who is an expert in that field can also be a great way to become familiar with the ins and outs of the business and can help you to begin to grow your network.
How do I get started with finding jobs?
The hardest step is always the first one. Once you feel ready and prepared to turn your hobby into money, you want to focus on building your online presence through social media, your website, and/or Google page before you begin to advertise your services.
Once you have reached this point, you can create a profile or sign up with different online marketplaces such as Upwork or Fivver where you can search and apply for jobs related to your field of interest.
As an amateur, setting your rates low and building up to a higher one will allow you to build your reviews, giving your credibility in the client’s eyes and helping you to gain traction as your gain more experience.
How do I create a portfolio of my work?
For some jobs, such as writing and photography, a portfolio is an absolute must to landing clients.
A portfolio is a place for you to showcase your best work and building one is a great opportunity to practice and hone your skills.
So if you’re looking for writing work – then write! If it’s photography that you’re trying to get into – then take pictures! Once you have multiple projects you’d like to display, then you need to put together your work into a digital portfolio that you can easily access and send to clients.
Clippings offers simple and functional portfolio options that are also free to design and share with clients.
How will I get paid?
Payment will vary on a client-by-client basis. If it’s a local client, then e-transfer may be a good option, otherwise, setting up a payment system that allows clients to pay by credit or debit card is possible as well as using money transfer apps such as Paypal.
There are fees and special conversion rates for most apps like PayPal so make sure you review their terms and conditions before agreeing to their service for money transfers.
How do I set my rates?
It all begins with research and knowing what a competitive rate would be for your field of work. Thinking about the details of your niche is also important as it will greatly affect the price you charge for your service.
Also, consider what currency you’ll be charging in and consider conversion rates if you’ll be working with overseas clients that operate in a different currency.
To start, setting your rates at a lower-than-average price will help you to get your first contracts and clients as well as work on building your reviews.
This is a key point to earning customer trust and having excellent reviews will help you to move up the ladder faster in terms of what you can charge.
But don’t forget that as you gain experience, you can adjust your rate accordingly – just make sure to give your clients plenty of notice when a rate increase is on the way.
Do I need a website?
Certainly, not every freelancer has a website but having an online presence of some sort is very important, whether it’s with a profile in a marketplace or on social media, or a Google page.
While many online design platforms like GoDaddy allow you to start building your website for free, there may be some costs involved when you need to obtain a domain for your site. Having a website can be an excellent place for your clients to get to know you and your work and read reviews from past clientele.
If your line of work would benefit from this, it might be a good idea to invest some time and possibly, money, into setting up an appealing webpage to drive traffic.