How to turn your hobby into a side hustle and make as much as $40 per hour


Americans spent an average of more than five hours per day on leisure activities in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And activities vary widely: Music, food, travel, reading, and arts and crafts are among America's most popular pastimes, according to Statista.

Many Americans who find themselves with more free time to fill at home these days have more chances to pursue their favorite leisure activities and hobbies. Luckily, there are ways to make money from a lot of those hobbies.

To turn a pastime into a money-making opportunity, figure "out what platforms are available to sell your product or services," says financial expert Andrea Woroch. "Are you going to use social media to find people, are you going to do some cold calling?"

Here's how to turn five popular hobbies into money-making side hustles.


  • Teach an instrument: Play an instrument or sing? Sites like Lessonface match kids with virtual music teachers who can teach banjo, bass guitar, flute, and more. Parents can purchase one lesson at a time or opt for a series. Prices vary anywhere from $60 for four one-hour lessons to a group to $50 for a 30-minute lesson that's one-on-one. Note that Lessonface typically takes 15% of teachers' earnings if students found them via the website and 4% if teachers recruited their students on their own. 
  • Sell your records: If you have a hefty music collection and are looking to clear out some old favorites, try selling your old CDs or records on sites like eBay or Mercari. Many records on eBay go for around $10 or $15 each but some go for as much as $149.


  • Sell your recipes: If your original recipes get rave reviews from family and friends, try submitting them to sites like CookingLight, which publishes recipes for $50 each, or FamilyFun magazine, which pays $1.25 per word if yours gets accepted. 
  • Create a cooking course: If you have the know-how on the best way to bake carrot cake or the crucial steps to cook the perfect paella, consider creating an online course teaching people how to do it. Instructors on sites like Udemy can charge between $20 and $200 per course, and Udemy takes various cuts, from 3% to 75%, depending on how students find you. You don't need to be a professional chef. You just need to have the gear to teach your students how to craft their meal and a way to record yourself.


  • Write an itinerary: Got the lowdown on your favorite places to travel to? Sites like Wild Bum let you write and sell a personalized itinerary for anyone planning their own trips to those locations, with guide architects, as they're called, charging anywhere from $25 to $150 for a guide. Architects keep 75% of every sale. 
  • Sell travel photos: Got some high quality landscapes from your last trip to Yosemite park or Rio? You might be able to sell those on stock photo websites. Dreamstime, for example, gives contributors a percentage from each photo sold, and Shutterstock gives contributors a small cut or a percentage of each image sold, with the ability to earn more over time.
  • Give a tour (when appropriate): If you know your hometown inside and out, when it's safe to leave the house again, consider applying to be a tour guide via sites like ToursByLocals, which enable guides to build their own itineraries and set their own prices for a walking tour. Tours start at $15 per hour, with a 20% fee by ToursByLocals, according to SideHusl.


Do you spend your free time lost in New York Times' bestsellers and have well-articulated opinions about the titles you read? Many publishers are willing to pay for honest feedback about their forthcoming books, so you could make some money from your love of reading.

Try signing up to read and review books on sites like OnlineBookClub, which typically pays $5 to $60 per review. You could also search for book review jobs on sites like Bookjobs.com or check out I Like to Dabble for other ideas about how to get paid to read. 

It's just figuring out what platforms are available to sell your product or services.
Andrea Woroch
Financial expert


  • Start an Etsy store: Love craft-making like knitting, crocheting, or jewelry making? The Etsy marketplace is a great place to start marketing and selling your handmade crafts and making some money off of them. Make sure to follow Etsy's store guidelines as well as its tips for success and pricing. A knit scarf on the site can go for as much as $75 and a beaded necklace for $159.
  • Sell on Instagram: If you have an Instagram account, consider posting pictures of your crafts along with prices. Prospective buyers can message you directly about a given piece and you can provide your Venmo handle should they end up buying. Be sure to consider shipping prices and best practices for sending items. 
  • Create an account on Fiverr: Businesses and individuals log onto Fiverr to find artists for their various projects, so consider turning your talent for doodling, painting, or graphics into marketable illustrations. Before creating a profile, consider what similar artists on the site are offering and use that as a guide. Artists on the site mark their starting prices at anywhere from $5 to $2,200.

A lot of people who have a hobby and want to turn it into a side gig get held back by impostor syndrome, says online marketing and business expert Amy Porterfield. They may think, "I'm not good enough to teach this," she says.

"And the thing is," says Porterfield, "if you know something that other people want, yes, you are good enough to teach it. Yes, you are the person that should be doing it because if you don't, someone else is going to."

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