facebookPassion To Profit: How To Earn Money From Your Hobby



Passion To Profit: How To Earn Money From Your Hobby

profileRuth Lum


The topic of having a side income came up while in conversation with some friends. Unless you’ve successfully (and boldly) made your hobby into a full-time job, most of us give up a majority of our ‘play time’ for our jobs and careers.

While having a fixed income grants you stability and assurance, many still seek to do something more with their free time. 

If you’re looking to maximise income and enjoyment even in your free time, then there should be at least one activity or hobby in this list that suits you.

Disclaimer: We are not sponsored to provide any of the below mentioned links. All thoughts and opinions are solely ours.

1. Start freelancing

Making extra cash from the “gig economy” is not new, and the best part is there are already websites like Upwork and Fiverr comprehensively designed to match your skills to the right jobs.

Jobs range from being a freelance writer, graphic design, website design, or being a social media manager.

Place a bid for a job, and if the client favours it, you get paid to complete the task. At times, you might be lucky as these short-term jobs could turn into a continuous string of paid tasks from the same client.

Creative jobs

2. Graphic Design

If you have an eye for design, platforms like 99designs are popular for making freelance design jobs as seamless as possible. Design jobs ranging from logo design to creating brand guides could bring in USD 170 to USD 400.

3. Photography & Videography

Photography probably calls for more time commitment to go around taking photos, be it in a studio or at a specific location. However, with a good-enough camera, this could make a viable side job.

In case you are completely new to charging for your photography, you can start by putting together a portfolio on Behance, a free portfolio hosting website.

Offer to take semi-professional profile photos for your friends or families’ LinkedIn profiles, shoot for birthday parties, or seek out new restaurants and cafes to offer them pro-bono services in return for beefing up your portfolio.

This applies for most creative jobs. Once you have accumulated a sufficient volume of creative experiences, brands are more likely to approach you for future collaborations.

4. Photo touch-ups

Some professional photo studios occasionally hire freelancers to do touch-ups after photo shoots, and they usually allow you to work remotely if you’re able to deliver results within the deadline.

5. Sell hand-mades

Flea markets have been pretty common in Singapore since the *Scape underground era.

In recent years though, fleas have increasingly shifted from just selling second-hand goods to hosting artists who craft products such as earrings, apparel and gadgets. These stalls usually sell original art and craft. Perhaps you have jewellery-making tools or sewing equipment tucked away somewhere in the house, and a little dusting and setup should do the trick. An alternative to flea markets would be to start a business page on Instagram or Facebook and sell your crafts there for no cost.

6. Game from home

Perhaps you’re an avid gamer; some game developers¬†hire playtesters to push their pre-release game to the limits or basically break it.

Alternatively, being a live-stream professional gamer on Twitch is said to bring you pretty good returns.

According to Paul from Reelio, there are several channels in which Twitch streamers can earn from such as good old affiliate marketing, Twitch Bits, subscriptions, partnerships, donations and sponsorships, amongst others.

One can only imagine how much Twitch streamer xqcow could potentially be earning with his sub-count of 14,258 (as of 24/9/18).

7. Tutoring

Before you throw all your years of expensive valuable education out the window, how about tutoring primary, secondary school, or junior college students? Depending on your level of expertise, hourly rates start at $30 an hour but you might be able to earn up to $80 per hour.

8. Be a personal shopper

Personal shopper jobs have been on the rise along with the growing shift towards home grocery delivery. Ever wondered how your groceries get delivered to your doorstep from supermarkets? They’re done with the help of personal shoppers. So why not check it out¬†if you like whizzing through rows of fresh produce while picking out the best for customers.

9. Participate in paid surveys

This would not necessarily fall into the category of “Hobbies”, but can also be done as and when you have pockets of free time. Websites like¬†MySurvey¬†and SurveySavvy¬†would be a good place to start.

10. AirFrov

If you’re a frequent traveller, this is the perfect side-job for you. Signing up on AirFrov is a breeze and its mechanism¬†is pretty simple.

Upon agreeing on a price with the shopper, all you have to do is shop for the product in the designated country and deliver it once you’re back in Singapore. In case you are sceptical of the service, watch Shu An from¬†Clicknetwork¬†review products brought in using AirFrov.

11. Planning your investments

While some people would much rather delve into their creative hobbies, others would look to growing their money through an extended period of time through investments.

Investing is a long-drawn game, so don’t hope to see returns after just a few months of commitment.

Use your free pockets of time to properly understand what you are buying into, understand the market and the risks involved.

If you’re still new to investing, the table above should give you a good headstart.

For those who have a sum of money parked in your bank accounts and is returning only a meagre amount of interest each month, this article should point you in the right direction on where you could possibly invest a sum of money right now.

Unusual Hobbies

11. Be a medical guinea pig

According to full-time lab-rat, Bruce, the “money is good”. A report by National University Cancer Institute states that Bruce has made over $40,000 from participating in 20 drug trials.

In the middle range of the spectrum, there are people who are not as extreme and earn an extra bit of income by participating in paid medical research.

12. Advertise on your car

We get it, owning a car in Singapore is absurdly expensive. Here’s how you can make yourself feel better about spending about a quarter of a million on a load of metal – advertise on and in your car.

There’s a huge variety of ad companies that give pay-out for car decals, in-car tablets, retail and branding, the most recent being GrabAds. GrabAds offer extra earnings of SGD 50-200 while MOVO Advertisers indicate earnings of about SGD 300 just by advertising with your car.


At the end of the day, if money is not a motivating factor for you, then volunteer your skills and expertise for bigger causes.

Museum docent and giving.sg

Your visit to the museum would not be complete without a knowledgeable guided tour. These guides often bring with them deep insights and knowledge of Asian heritage and culture. You can join them as Friends of the Museums here. as a docent or check out giving.sg where your time and effort goes a long way.

About Ruth Lum
Breaking down 'chim' finance knowledge into manageable pieces so you don't have to.
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