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The Best Hobbies of 2021 to Increase Your Income

Although it would be nice if every hobby could be turned into a business, there are some interests that have better money-making potential than others. These hobbies have the ability to monetize your passion efficiently, and even turn your side gig into a full-time hustle. Even if your favorite pastime doesn’t sound particularly lucrative, there’s probably something related to it that has the ability to make money.

Beyond starting a business, feel free to approach these hobbies creatively through freelancing, building an audience, or becoming an affiliate. We all have to work hard to reach our goals. But if that work is personally fulfilling, we’re more likely to find professional success and personal happiness.

1. Gardening

Plants are something that people will always spend money on – they can be displayed indoors and outdoors, and add a sense of sophisticated decor to any home. If you have a passion for gardening, consider showing off your green thumb on Etsy, Facebook groups, and Amazon Handmade.

These platforms make it easier for fans to find your work than if you started your own online store. Consider selling succulent kits, edible produce, or plant subscription boxes. Remember: well-curated offerings will allow you to earn more. Succulents and Sunshine spell out how to make money by selling succulents (a notoriously low maintenance plant) on Etsy and Amazon Handmade.

Plants are blowing up as a wellness trend and form of self-care to lower stress, so why not get in on that trend and sell your own houseplants? Sites like Indoor Gardening show you how to get started, the basic supplies required, and all the do’s and don’t to know before entering the industry. If you know how to work with basic potted plants but are looking to elevate your aesthetic, master the art of more creative pieces like the Kokedama, which has a tutorial here.

2. Cooking or Baking

If you’re an artist in the kitchen, you should showcase your skills to more than members of your household! From food blogs to catering companies and personal chefs, people are always thinking about the next thing to eat or cook. After all, the pandemic has birthed a lot of stress eating, and you’ll want to take advantage of that.

With the right social media marketing and hard work, you can establish a local catering company or food delivery service. I know multiple people who have launched catering companies during the pandemic and experienced unexpected success. After all – if there’s one thing we never stop doing, it’s stress-eating!

If prepped food sounds daunting, consider selling pre-packaged, homemade pickles, jams, and baked goods. Shopify has a useful guide of tips on starting your own food business, including all the nitty-gritty, from detailed FDA requirements and product development to sourcing the right ingredients. The next step? Drop off drool-worthy samples on your neighbors’ doorsteps alongside a business card. This article also offers vital information for free. It covers how to create a profit margin and build a flawlessly user-friendly website.

3. Photography

If you like to capture the world as you see it, we’re here to let you know that there are ways of making money with photography besides hanging them in a gallery. You can freelance and find local clients for family photos, weddings, or events. If you’re looking to generate more passive income without working as hard, consider selling stock photography, which is always in demand by creators. Start by joining sites like Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Adobe Stock.

Sites like Flipsnack allow you to choose from a range of dynamic templates if you’re wondering where to start with your photo portfolio. Resources such as Pixpa contain detailed information on how to sell stock photography and break down all the different kinds that there are. For instance: you might want to start small with royalty-free images, and you’ll need to know the difference between editorial use and commercial use.

4. Blogging

As someone who has been freelance writing and blogging for the better part of a decade, it’s nice to be able to pick and choose what content you get to work with as opposed to getting the same boring work every day. Apart from providing that variety, writing or blogging also allows you to control how much work you take on. You can apply for jobs on Fiverr and follow these tips, which include signing up for a Contently portfolio, allowing you to transform your samples and articles into an attractive, viewable format for potential employers. You can also send this link and your resume (always include samples) directly to employers on their websites, or LinkedIn.

If you’re not ready to sell your writing, producing content for your own blog could become a profitable business.  No matter what direction you choose to go in, always promote your content on social media, email marketing, and outreach. This will grow your following. 

Once you have a good following, monetization can take place. You can make money blogging by displaying ads, utilizing affiliate marketing, partnering with brand sponsorships, or selling products and services. Amazon even offers its own affiliate program, which many bloggers and creators use.

5. Art

No matter what kind of art you like creating, there’s a practical way for you to flex those creative skills. If you love drawing, consider illustration or design. And no, you don’t need to go to college to become a graphic designer.

You can apply for jobs on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, but need to carve out a specific niche in order for your art to sell. This article on My Modern Met can help you find that niche based on what mediums and subject matter you like to work with. Youtube videos like this are precious, cost-free for figuring out how to earn offprints.

Upload examples of your art on platforms, or advertise by creating a portfolio on Instagram. You can even sell prints of your work and put them on items like shirts, notebooks, or greeting cards. This allows your art to be monetized multiple times, which you can’t do with a single original.

6. Teaching

Apparently, the world of e-learning is set to be worth approximately $325 billion by the year 2025. If you like working with kids or have a passion for education there are several websites that allow you to teach remotely, without being stuck in the classroom. Additionally, many one-on-one tutoring sessions have gone virtual post-pandemic, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your community and social media groups to see if there are students in need.

While teaching online to students in China with options like Qkids is a popular and flexible choice for many, websites like Outschool let you teach any topic of expertise. There are also teaching services catered towards adults on websites like Teachable and Udemy. You can earn upwards of $20 am hour with these positions, letting you build a base income that you control.

If you’re bilingual, teaching a language is a fantastic course topic that appeals to both little ones and adults – English counts, especially with schools in China and across the globe. Language classes can also translate well to individual tutoring sessions, allowing you to turn that extra language into a money-maker. Outside of teaching courses, creating an e-course allows you to pre-record videos and create a syllabus without live video calls.

A Final Note

Ultimately, there are tons of ways to turn that hobby into cash. I tried working retail and odd jobs for years before realizing that writing was the only thing that made me truly happy and fulfilled. The earnings were meager at first, but with consistent outreach and hard work, I’m proud to call myself a full-time freelance writer today.

And while following your dreams might have been a fantasy in the past, COVID-19 has flipped every industry on its head, pressing a reset button. This makes it even more possible for you to start over or turn that passion project into a feasible source of income, whether you still have some working years in you, or are looking to add some structure to your post-retirement life.

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