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Pastime or Payday: How Much Can You Earn From Your Hobbies?

Doing something you enjoy and getting paid for it is a dream scenario for many. When you’re pursuing something that interests you, it won’t feel so much like work, and it can make for a more fulfilling job. 

Taking up a hobby in your spare time can be great for your mental well-being as well, helping you to unwind, de-stress, and giving you the chance to connect with other people. 

Apart from this, it can also give your finances a boost. According to a recent survey by Aviva, having a ‘side hustle’ brings in an average extra income of £500 per month. 

The same survey also found that 19% of adults in the UK have started a side hustle since March 2020, with two-thirds of them still actively pursuing it in 2022. If you’re hoping for a little extra income or even thinking about starting a business, here we’ll look at how to get started and how much you could earn from your hobbies. 

Before you begin

While being able to make money from the things you enjoy doing is an exciting thought, there are some things you need to get clued up on before you get started. 

Where are you going to sell your items/skills? This can depend on what you’re selling. Etsy and Not On The High Street are great for selling products, whereas websites such as Fiverr and TaskRabbit are better for selling skills. Remember these sites charge differently – for example, Etsy charges 15p for each listing and takes 5% of every sale, and Fiverr takes 20% of every transaction. Work out whether it’s worth signing up or selling over social media.

Will you need to pay tax? In the UK you are allowed to earn up to £1,000 each year – known as your tax-free trading allowance – before having to declare it to HMRC and file tax returns.

How much will you charge? This is a balance between staying competitive and appealing to customers whilst also making sure you’re giving yourself a fair share and valuing your time and effort.

What’s your marketing strategy? Local forums, magazines, and social media groups are a good way to become known in your community. When you’ve grown enough to move further, you can pay to get your content promoted and expand your reach. 

Now that the nitty-gritty has been dealt with, it’s time to look at different hobbies and how much they could make you. 

  • Handmade candles

Scented candles are for sale nearly everywhere you look, so this may seem like a bit of a crowded market to start a side hustle in. However, considering that between 2021-2022 Brits spent £418 million on scented candles, there’s still room for growth. And with peak pumpkin spice season on its way, there might be no better time to get started. In 2021, the average amount earned from candles was £670 a month

  • Handmade clothing/accessories 

Are you always the one volunteering to make costumes for young relatives or giving out knitted hats and socks for Christmas? Maybe you got into leatherworking over lockdown and now spend your weekends thinking about what your next design is going to be.  

Being able to make handcrafted clothing or accessories is a great way to stand out in the crowd and get some extra pennies in your purse. You can expect to earn around £528 a month on average.

  • Writing

If you fancy yourself a bit of a whizz with words, becoming a freelance writer is one of the most lucrative ways to bring in some additional income. With many websites looking for engaging content that will keep readers interested, there will always be a need for good writers. Prices can vary depending on your experience level, and you could earn up to £200 per article.

If there’s a particular niche subject you could talk about for days, you could start your own blog and earn an income from ad revenue. 

  • Music 

This can range from writing and producing fully-fledged songs to creating beats and samples that can be used by others – no record label needed. 

Your tunes can be listed on stock music sites that can be used for things like adverts, low-budget films, or even corporate videos. Or if you want to grow yourself as an artist, you can use social media to promote yourself or create your own website and host music there. 

According to a survey from UK Music, 1 million people took up a musical instrument during the pandemic. The Musicians’ Union’s recommended rate for music tutors is £38.50 per hour, so your skills could prove lucrative should you decide to teach others. 

  • Food and drink

Got a love of baking or some delicious secret recipes passed down from Grandma? There will always be a need for food, whether that’s wedding cakes or Friday night takeaways. 

Selling locally is a great way to get started. Look for events where you can set up a food stall, post on social media, or ask around businesses if they would like any lunchtime treats – a few free samples won’t go amiss.

Just remember that when you sell food, you’re required by law to register with your local authority and comply with all food hygiene standards.

  • Podcasting 

Any topic you can think of can become a podcast. Turning your knowledge or passion into something that can be shared with other people is not only fulfilling for you, but it can also teach, inspire, or cheer up other people too. 

There are also a lot of different ways you can make money from your podcast. It may take you a while to build your audience, but paid ads, brand sponsorships, and premium episodes for paying members could have you earning up to £954 a month

  • Dog walking

What’s not to love about being able to spend more time with man’s best friend? 

During the pandemic, dog ownership jumped and in 2022 there are an estimated 10.2 million pet dogs in the UK. When more people returned to offices and their usual routines, the demand for pet sitting services rose. 

Dog walkers typically earn between £9.50–12.50 for a 30-minute walk. You can earn even more for extra services such as pet-sitting in the evenings or overnight. 

These are just some of the hobbies that you can make some extra income out of, there are countless more. With enough entrepreneurial spirit and by doing your research into the craft, you can find a way to have fun with your favourite past times and earn some more pennies on the side.