Do you have a favorite hobby or skill that you’re really good at? That’s great! You can earn extra money by doing something you love. Here’s 10 hobbies that you can turn into extra earnings for you and your family.
Unlike freelance writers, who are paid by clients, bloggers make income from ads on their sites or affiliate marketing, commissions for promoting products. You’ll want to identify a focus, or niche, for your blog to help readers find it. Some popular blog topics are food, family, technology, politics, entrepreneurship, and personal finance and travel. Blogging isn’t all you’ll do, though. To get your blog noticed you’ll also need to become expert at marketing.
2. Personal Chef.
Personal chefs earn between $200 and $500 a day, according to the American Personal & Private Chef Association. If you live to cook, it’s a career to aspire to. The industry is growing, the association says. Understand what you’re getting into before you get started: Chef training can be expensive, grueling and difficult, and working in a professional kitchen is nothing like cooking at home.
3. Tennis Coach.
If you’re an outstanding amateur athlete you may be well-suited to train others. The best coaches also are patient and personable, with a special ability to analyze others’ movements. Considering coaching? The United States Sports Academy, which offers certification programs, has a free course, Introduction to Coaching.
4. Yoga Instructor or Personal Trainer.
Yoga is extremely popular, but it turns out that teacher training outpaces the growth in new students says the Wall Street Journal. By all means, enjoy teacher training and start a business or teach yoga for a studio or gym. You may bring in some spending money, but probably not enough to live on.
5. Pet sitter and dog walker.
A love of critters great and small has got many pet lovers starting their own businesses now that they can advertise and book services online with such sites as Rover.com or DogVacay.com. Others buy into pet-sitting franchises. Read “Making Extra Money: 7 Steps to Start a Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business.”
6. Jewelry and Crafts.
In an era of mass-produced products, a premium is placed on one-of-a-kind items made by human hands. Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade candles, wreaths, container gardens, jewelry, cards, soap, bath salts, pot holders, toys, clothes and other crafts, gives artists a way to dip a toe in the water. Set up a “shop” there or just assess the competition, prices and viability of selling your products. The Week offers these tips on “How to Make a Living on Etsy.”
A treasured recipe for fudge, toffee, shortbread, jam or scones has been the inspiration for many a business that began with small batches made at home. Martha Stewart, for one, started a multimillion-dollar company with a catering business run from a (professional) kitchen in her basement. Health codes often require goodies sold for public consumption to be made in a commercial kitchen. But don’t let that stop you. Restaurants and commercial kitchens often rent space to other bakers who use the kitchen in off-hours. The Small Business Administration tells how to start a home-based baking business.
8. Child care.
If your home is the place where children love to gather and you adore entertaining and teaching them, your love of little people could become a day job. Whether you start your own day care or buy into a franchise business, the demand for quality child care will remain strong as long as parents work away from home. Child care is a highly regulated business, for reasons of safety and health. Be prepared to submit to police screening and inspections and apply for licenses. Small Business Trends tells what’s involved.
Does your heart sing with joy from putting a messy sock drawer in order? It’s hard for most of us to imagine, but a few talented people have a gift for making order from chaos. Professional organizer Gerald Thomas’s hyper-organized Pinterest board is loaded with lists and tips on getting started in this field, including an article, “6 Steps for Starting a Professional Organizing Business.”
10. Writing and Editing.
Dozens of avenues beckon would-be writers — technical writing, advertising copy writing, ghost writing and blogging are a few nonfiction pursuits and, of course, writing fiction, from literary fiction to bodice-rippers.
Freelance writing opportunities abound online. The problem: They rarely pay much. No matter how good you are, more training helps and inspires writers. Check into classes at community colleges. Or try the many free classes at Elance University, training arm of UpWork (formerly Elance), a large marketplace where freelancers, including writers and editors, compete for jobs.
Freelancing pays best for writers who are subject-matter experts in areas like law, medicine, science, finance or technology. Khan Academy offers free classes in math, sciences and technology. Use a free trial at Lynda.com to sample classes on writing web content, ad copy and the like. You’ll need “clips” (published articles) to get started on your career so clients can see your work. Aol.com lists 25 sites that pay guest bloggers to post.
11. Antiques trading.
Your passion for antiques could be your ticket to making money. Antiques auctioneer and appraiser Wayne Jordan makes a case, in Antique Trader magazine, that unlike many small retail businesses that are under the gun from competition by big box stores, antiques trading remains the territory of mom-and-pop businesses.
12. Kayak Excursion Instructor.
Do you love being outdoors and on the open water? Many coastal towns have waterways that haven’t been charted yet. Use your love for kayaking and canoeing to introduce others into this relaxing hobby.