A side hustle can be a great opportunity to make money doing something you love.
More than a quarter of working adults (27%) have turned a hobby into a side hustle, according to a 2019 study of 2,000 employed adults commissioned by Vistaprint, an online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. On average, survey respondents reported side hustle earnings of $14,705 per year. What's more, 14% of side hustlers report making up to $22,800 annually, in addition to whatever they're making at their day job.
Beauty, health, and wellness is the most popular category for side hustles, according to Vistaprint. The other top categories are art, music, and entertainment; retail and sales; finance; and home improvement and grounds care. So if you have a hobby that you could turn into a side hustle in one of these sectors, you could have a great opportunity on your hands.
Before you commit, "you'll also want to assess how much time you have to put into your hobby to turn it into a money-making venture," says Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert. It may be that an activity you do for fun doesn't work well as a business, or that the start-up costs of turning your hobby into a side hustle will cancel out or limit your profits.
Here are five hobbies you could turn into side hustles and stand a good chance of making a profit:
You could earn as much as $30-$90 an hour as a hairstylist or makeup artist, says Kathy Kristof, cofounder and editor SideHusl.com, an independent side-hustle review site, especially if you have some relevant coursework or a beauty certification. For certain beauty side hustles, like hair braiding, some states require hours of coursework and thousands of dollars in tuition fees, so make sure to familiarize yourself with local laws.
A good way to start is by "going to people's houses to do their makeup, nails, or hair for a particular event, TV appearance, party, or a wedding," Kristof says.
If you're the kind of person who'd never miss a Zumba class, Kristof suggests becoming a fitness trainer or instructor on the side. At a gym, you'll likely make minimum wage and have to split your commission with the facility, but personal training presents an opportunity to book private clients: "If you are a popular personal trainer, you can set your independent rates at $60-$100 an hour," says Kristof.
Keep in mind that trainers often need licensing or certification: An entry-level personal trainer certification can run you $400-$600, while group fitness instructor certification courses start at $299, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). A master trainer certification can cost even more.
If you know how to play an instrument, you can create virtual music lessons and set your own rates, which are commonly between $25-$50 per hour, on Lesson Face, an online marketplace that connects students with acting and music teachers, says Kristof.
If you also love to perform, you can advertise and book your act for a going rate of $100 on sites like GigSalad.com or TheBash.com, she adds, although signing up with a site may require you to pay membership fees.
If you're an avid shopper and love sharing your keen fashion sense with friends, Kristof suggests becoming a virtual stylist, or someone who curates specific looks for others, often for a particular occasion. She says virtual assistants or stylists can make $25 an hour for what often amounts to targeted online shopping.
You'll need to understand your clients' sense of style and needs in terms of their new clothing, she adds — and you may need to travel from store to store if something important can't be found online or is needed right away.
Consider hiring out your skills on sites like TaskRabbit if you're good at following detailed assembly directions. Those sites can connect you with clients looking to brighten up their homes, though the site shaves off a 30% fee. You can put together Ikea furniture and make anywhere between $40-$80 an hour, even after the site takes its cut, Kristof says.
The more detailed you are in your "skills" description in terms of the jobs you'll take on, she says, the more you can charge.
To turn your hobby into a side hustle, make sure it's something you love doing, says Kristof. If you can turn your passion into something that pays your bills, or even some of them, she says, it's worth a try: "The reason you want to do this is because it's the dream."
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