September 19, 2014

Can Your Hobby Become A Sustainable Source Of Income?

Woman Chopping VegetablesMany people have successfully turned their hobbies into a profession. Photo Courtesy: Microsoft Office

Finding a job with the global economy acting the way it is, even with an excellent tertiary qualification, is no mean feat. It is especially the young adults within our society, who are most likely to have very little work experience and few job-related skills, who struggle to find work. Many companies (which are cash-strapped themselves) exploit the situation by offering unpaid internships to desperate young jobseekers while laying off employees they simply cannot afford anymore. The overall youth unemployment rate in Europe stands at 24%, with the United States at a far milder but still worrying  16%. If you are struggling to pay the bills or find a job, it might be time to put the skills you have learnt whilst practising a much loved hobby to good use!

Reading the aforementioned unemployment statistics leaves one feeling very bleak, but here’s the fundamental secret to successful entrepreneurship: There are some things that people will always need. The trick is to tailor your hobby or talent to the needs of people who are willing to pay for it. You may have to spend a little bit of money to ensure that you have the right credentials, but if you use your skill creatively, you could be making money from doing what you love very soon.


Let’s look at three hobbies with money-spinning potential:


1) Cooking/Baking


If you are a keen cook or baker who loves to spend time in the kitchen, you could be making a good living in the hospitality industry. You could start a catering business, or, if you prefer interacting with people, you could offer cooking classes, or make and deliver healthy home-cooked meals for busy families and the elderly.

If you combine your culinary skills with a course in hygiene and food safety, as well as event management, hospitality or tourism, you could arm yourself with an impressive skillset that will enable you to do anything from being the preferred caterer at a popular wedding venue to running a guesthouse with a fantastic reputation for excellent food.

If you also enjoy writing, you can start a food blog which might get more attention for your business. Your blog could also generate passive income from online advertising.


2) Photography


Photography Class

Photography Class – Photo Courtesy: Michael Coghlan


Although we live in an era where almost everyone has a decent camera on their cell phone, there is still a need for professional photographers who are able to create a memorable scene or capture a beautiful family moment. You could make your services available for weddings and engagement shoots, family portraits, and portfolios for bands, musicians, models and actors.

There are several courses that one can take to either enhance or cement photography skills. These range from specific portraiture, travel or sports courses to specific techniques for digital cameras. If you combine this with a course in Photoshop or other editing software, you could make yourself even more employable.

You could showcase your work to potential clients online by creating a blog that could also earn advertising revenue if you get enough traffic to the site. Try to show off your versatility. If you’re just starting out, ask friends if you can photograph them for your portfolio.


3) Gardening


Backyard Japanese GardenPhoto Courtesy: David van der Mark

If you have green fingers, you might be very helpful to people who would love to have a beautiful garden but who are either too busy to maintain it, or hopelessly inadequate at understanding plants. There is a wealth of information that comes only with experience (and some gardening books) that the average person with a modern lifestyle doesn’t have time to master.

You could do a course in landscaping and maintenance which would enhance your employability. If you enjoy photography, you might be able to combine these two hobbies to promote your work online. You could also offer to teach children how to grow and maintain a vegetable patch. Many parents love to keep their children busy with educational hobbies that could even contribute to feeding the family!


There are as many career possibilities as there are hobbies and creative individuals out there! Music, carpentry, and writing are just a few more skills that could get you smiling while paying the bills too.


Louisa Theart

Louisa Theart is a freelance musician and writer who thoroughly enjoys making her hobbies work for her. 



  1. Hi,
    I like your blog very much. Nice ideas for turning hobbies into income.

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