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Make Money

16 profitable hobbies that make money

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Looking for fun ways to earn money? It doesn't get much better than getting paid to do your favourite hobbies.

Man with phone, headphones, games controller, clapperboard and a book

Credit: Kateryna Onyshchuk, 9dream studio, IVAN ROSHCHUPKIN, sevenke, Miguel Lagoa – Shutterstock

Whether you love curling up with a good book, being in front of (or behind) a camera or having in-depth discussions with your friends, these hobbies and more can be turned into profitable ventures.

You might find you're able to earn a bit of extra money from your hobby, or maybe even turn it into a full-time job. Either way, if you can make money from something you do in your spare time anyway, it's an opportunity not to miss.

We'll talk you through how to turn fun hobbies into ways to earn an income.

Best hobbies to make money from

Here are the 16 top hobbies that make money:

  1. Playing games

    Yes, it really is possible to make money from playing games.

    A good way to do so is by joining Swagbucks. In case you're unfamiliar with it, it's a website and app that lets you earn points (known as SB) by doing easy tasks including playing games.

    Once you've earned enough SB, you can redeem them for gift cards or PayPal money. Our Swagbucks review explains how it works in more detail.

    You could also consider becoming a pro video gamer. This would open up loads of money-making routes, such as gaming competitions and streaming on Twitch.

    These are just some of the many ways to get paid for this hobby. Click the button below for more ideas.

    More ways to play games for cash »


  2. Watching videos

    If you already spend time scrolling through videos each day, why not do so on apps that pay you for your time?

    There are loads of apps that pay you to watch videos, including InboxPounds and WeAre8.

    If you're a big fan of film and TV, you could also consider writing reviews or typing up subtitles for filmmakers as a freelancer.

    How to get paid to watch videos »


  3. Walking

    man looking at phone

    Credit: Prostock-studio – Shutterstock

    Walking has many benefits. It's good for your health, cheaper (and better for the environment) than other forms of travel and, as it turns out, can earn you rewards.

    Apps like Sweatcoin and BetterPoints let you earn points from walking which you can exchange for things like gift cards. If you can get a gift card for a store you regularly shop at, it will essentially be like free money!

    And these aren't the only ways to get paid for walking. As a few more ideas, you could also become a dog walker, a tour guide or hand out leaflets for local businesses.

    More ways to get paid to walk »


  4. Reading books

    Like any avid readers, we could sing the praises of books all day. We probably don't need to tell you how effective reading can be as a way to unwind after a long day of uni.

    What we will tell you, though, is how to make money from this brilliant hobby.

    One way is by joining BookTok. If you make a name for yourself, you could potentially land some high-value sponsorship and partnership deals for your social media content.

    You could also start a blog about books, proofread for authors on a freelance basis or try one of the other ideas in our dedicated guide (linked to below).

    More ways to read books for cash »


  5. Fashion

    Love clothes, but tired of having an overflowing wardrobe? There's an easy (and profitable) solution to this: sell your old clothes.

    By selling clothes, not only will you earn some cash, but you will also avoid them going to a landfill.

    See our guide to selling on Vinted for tips on making more money from your clothes.

    Other good sites include Depop and eBay. These are also great places to buy cheap second-hand clothes as you can find some real bargains.

    More places to sell clothes online »


  6. Acting

    You might think of it as a pipe dream to appear on TV or the big screen... but it's surprisingly achievable.

    Granted, the chances of you getting the leading role in a blockbuster are slim (although you're still more likely to win an Oscar than the lottery).

    However, something which is much more attainable is becoming a TV or film extra.

    You can earn over £90 per day and could end up on the set of some exciting shows and films.

    Find extra casting agencies »


  7. Looking after animals

    dog holding lead

    Credit: Jaromir Chalabala – Shutterstock

    You might have heard that spending time with dogs can improve your mood. But have you ever thought about turning your love of animals into a way to earn money in your spare time?

    Pet sitting is an amazing part-time job. It should easily fit around your uni schedule during term time, and it can be particularly lucrative over the holidays when pet owners go away.

    Of course, looking after people's animals involves a lot of responsibility. To do this job, you'll need to be reliable, trustworthy and attentive to the animals. But, if you do have the required skills for pet sitting, it could be the ideal way to make money as a student.

    How to earn money pet sitting »


  8. Music

    If you're always on the lookout for new music, one option is to try Slicethepie. It's a way to review music and get paid for your feedback.

    The amount you'll earn per review will vary depending on a few factors. These include how detailed your feedback is, along with your 'star rating' which is based on the overall quality of your reviews.

    While Slicethepie is a way to make money from your hobby, you likely won't earn a lot for your reviews. As an example, we've previously made as little as $0.01 (equivalent to less than £0.01!) for a single review.

    However, if you love discovering new music, you might decide that earning any money from this hobby is worthwhile. And as mentioned, there's the chance to earn more as your star rating increases. We explain more in our full guide to making money on Slicethepie.

    Another option is to start a profitable blog where you share music reviews.

    You could also consider working with musicians through sites like Fiverr. For example, if you're experienced with writing, producing or promoting music, these are all valuable skills you could use as a freelancer.

    Sign up for Slicethepie »


  9. Podcasting

    Bit of a chatterbox? As a podcaster, you can turn hobbies such as debating, comedy or meeting new people into a way to make money.

    If you have a close friend or partner you have loads of in-depth (or hilarious) chats with, see if they'd like to start a podcast with you.

    Or, you might prefer to lead the podcast by yourself. Lots of successful podcasts are led by individual presenters who invite others on for interviews.

    Whichever approach you choose, make an effort to find your niche and ensure your content is engaging.

    There are many ways to monetise your podcast, including advertising and sponsorship deals, as well as affiliate marketing and membership plans.

    How to start a podcast »


  10. Photography

    You might think only those with the top quality cameras can earn money from their photography hobby – but this isn't necessarily the case.

    While you can potentially make more from your photographs with a high-spec camera, it's possible to earn money from photos taken on a smartphone.

    If you sell your photographs to stock image sites, there's a chance for you to receive a cut of the sales price of each sold image.

    One good deal is that student contributors on Alamy get 100% of their images' sales prices for two years.

    How to sell photos for money »


  11. Drawing and painting

    bike drawing

    Art is a great hobby to make money from as there are loads of ways to sell your artwork.

    If you're keen to sell art online, two marketplaces to try are Artfinder and Saatchi Art.

    Alternatively, some of the best ways to sell art offline include finding galleries to represent your work, applying to art fairs and hosting open studio events (if you're fortunate enough to have an art studio).

    More ways to sell art »


  12. Writing

    If you're skilled at crafting engaging text, it's worth looking into how to make money from writing. Depending on the route you take, it can become a very profitable hobby.

    Journalism is one good option. It's possible to earn money on a freelance basis by getting paid commissions from media publications. And as it's flexible work, it will fit around your uni timetable.

    You could also apply for transcription jobs. These tend to be paid opportunities you can do in your own time from home, making them ideal student jobs.

    And why not start blogging? You'd have the freedom to choose what (and when) to write, and you can make money from the blog as it grows.

    More ways to make money writing »


  13. Social media

    We all know how easy it is to open TikTok, blink, and the next thing you know an hour (or more) has passed. In short: social media isn't always the best for productivity.

    But the good news is your time on social media could potentially earn you a fair amount of money.

    Earlier, we mentioned that joining BookTok is a potential way to make money from reading.

    Other ways to get paid on social media include:

    If you're skilled at creating online content and love engaging with people on social media, becoming an influencer could be a great way to make money.

    More tips to earn on social media »


  14. Learning languages

    Do you enjoy chatting away in not just one, but multiple languages? This hobby could become a very nice money earner for you.

    As a couple of examples, you could consider creating and selling language resources, or perhaps teaching English as a foreign language.

    You could even spend your summer working abroad, developing your language skills further and making money in the process!

    How to learn a second language »


  15. Crafts

    Woman cutting card

    Credit: Kate Aedon – Shutterstock

    Crochet, knitting, embroidery... whatever your favourite craft hobby is, the chances are you can make money from it.

    By setting up an Etsy store or your own website (or both), you can start selling your crafty creations.

    Here are some examples of craft items to sell:

    • Personalised cards
    • Cushion covers
    • Tote bags
    • Bookmarks
    • Jewellery.

    The key to turning your hobby into a small business is finding your niche, creating high-quality products and marketing to potential customers (social media is ideal for this).

    More things to make and sell »


  16. Quizzes

    Of all the hobbies on this list, quizzing arguably has the most potential to earn you a lot of money, very quickly – at least if you're willing to take your quiz skills to a TV show.

    Of course, you can win a bar tab (or potentially a small cash prize) by winning your local pub quiz.

    But, for a chance to win the big money, you'd probably need to think about entering major TV quiz shows.

    Top quiz shows to win money »


Keen to try more ways to boost your income? Paid online surveys are very easy ways to make money.

Laura Brown

WRITTEN BY Laura Brown

Laura Brown, Head of Editorial at Save the Student, is an award-winning writer with expertise in student money. She project manages influential national student surveys and has presented findings to MPs in Westminster. As an expert on student issues, Laura has been quoted by the BBC, the Guardian, Metro and more.
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