The best way to make money from home is to start with a hobby. This post is going to be the first in a series of steps you can take if you want to start making money from home–based on what has worked for me, and what hasn’t. I currently have three income streams: my web development business, my dog boarding business, and a little bit from this blog. They all started from hobbies, which is such a good place to start.
If you search Pinterest or Google, there are millions of suggestions for ways to make money from home. There are a lot of good ideas out there, but there are also TONS telling you to how to make money by taking online surveys, and just as many more that promise to tell you how to build a million dollar business by watching their webinar…oh, and then buying their $500 course (valued at $2,999!).
The goal isn’t to make money immediately, it’s to find out what you might be good at and enjoy doing for a profit down the road. Even if you don’t end up starting a business with your hobby, imagine the very special gifts you could make and give for really cheap.
Need some ideas for what hobbies to start?
- Jewelry making
How fun would it be to make, give, and sell unique jewelry?
Start with something simple like this or take a basics class.
This could be anything from pepper mills to cutting boards to bookshelves.
Look for some local classes to get started.
(This is really popular on our local Groupon right now–and Groupon is another place you can look for unique new hobbies to try, just click on the “Things to do” category and you could take fun classes for next-to-nothing.)
Again, look for some local classes to learn the basics first with a live instructor for feedback and instruction.
This is a great class from Creative Live covering the basics of how to use your camera properly.
You can watch some great beginner tutorials here.
- Handlettering or calligraphy
- Graphic design
- Interior design
- Knitting or crocheting
Knitting and crocheting are not generally profitable for a business unless you sell a very unique product to very high-end clients because the amount of time it takes to make products. OR you could create and sell patterns eventually or use a blog to make money with it.
Here is a good tutorial that will show you how to get started.
A local yarn shop would be a great place to start with this because you can learn without making huge investments. (Plus, yarn shop ladies are usually really fun.)
- Paper crafts/Stationary
I recommend classes so often because we often unknowingly skip right over the basics and make things much harder for ourselves in the long run. This is a good class covering many basic cooking techniques. If you want something more in-depth, this course is taught by instructors from the Culinary Institute of America (please excuse the cheesy promo video).
Learn the basics here.
- Flower arranging
- Soap making
- Candle making
- Even something unique like miniatures can have money-making potential.
In fact, it’s often the case that the more unique or “niche” the hobby, the more you can make with it, whether it’s from creating products, teaching, or blogging about it.
Some of the course links above are affiliate links.
If you already have a hobby or project you work on regularly, I highly recommend starting a blog about it. The amount of things you learn from blogging is so surprising. My blog about one hobby led to an even bigger hobby, which quickly turned into a pretty profitable business. You also learn so much about business, marketing, writing, photography, and communication, and it definitely gets you out of your comfort zone. (Post coming soon-ish with my advice for starting a blog.) Eventually, if you want it to, a blog can make you money directly too.
Why do I hate on things like surveys so much? Because you’d make less than minimum wage to stare mindlessly at the computer (and also hand over scary amounts of personal information about yourself to who-knows-who), instead of spending your time building your own assets. Sure…in the beginning of your hobby, you’re going to be spending money, not making it. And when you do start making money, it’s going to be way less than minimum wage. But you’re building something that will grow, and soon if you’re diligent, it will make much more than minimum wage for much less work.