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4 online hobbies you could turn into extra cash
By MyBudget Editor

Who couldn’t use extra money in their budget? If you’ve got a hobby, passion project, something to share with the world and a laptop and internet connection, this could be the perfect time to turn your ideas into extra cash. We explore a range of people who are making money on the side and get the lowdown on how they got started.

1. Create a YouTube channel

Top-earning YouTubers are reported to make up to $20 million a year. PewDiePie, for example, has over 100 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. He started out rather humbly in 2010 posting videos of himself playing computer games.

But examples like PewDiePie are outliers. A more relatable example is Shelby Church. She started making videos in 2009 when she was 14 years old. Her hobby grew out of isolation—not from being locked down during a pandemic, but from living some distance from her school friends. As a cure for boredom, she started posting videos online.

Fast forward 11 years and Shelby has near 1.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel and a string of viral videos to her name. One video, with around 2 million views, reaped $40,000! It's sobering, however, to discover that the average is much lower. Shelby talks about how much YouTubers really earn.

2. Sell your photos online

Do you enjoy photography? Do you carry your camera wherever you go? Darryl Brooks enjoyed doing photography as a hobby then, in 2006, he got curious about selling his photos online. His first sale was a photo of a shell that earned him 20 cents.

Fourteen years later, Darryl has built up a reliable source of side income selling stock photography. In this article, he shares advice and pro tips for how to shoot, what to shoot, where to submit your photos and how to prepare your images.


You might be surprised to learn that Darryl’s top-earning photo is this plate of fried chicken sitting on a blue and white tea-towel. We love this because it proves you don’t need exotic locations and supermodels to earn money as a photographer!

3. Write a blog

The beauty of blogging is that it requires nothing more than a laptop, internet connection and your willingness to share with the world. You can take any topic and write about it, from personal musings to professional advice.

This get-started guide covers all the major questions a new blogger will have, such as choosing a topic, platform, advertising, building an audience and more. And this resource has a list of case studies about bloggers who make $1 million-plus a year!


Do keep in mind that writing a blog and making money from it are two different things. Professional bloggers are not just content creators. Over time, they become experts in other skills, such as driving traffic to their blog, affiliate marketing, social media management, webinars, e-books, online courses and building an email list.

4: Turn trash into treasure

Do you love looking through second-hand stores? Or perhaps you have an eye for a bargain. There are plenty of people who earn extra income on the side by turning second-hand items into cash.

This guide by Finder is all about making money on Gumtree or opening up an extra online selling channel for your business. eBay, who owns Gumtree, is another popular platform for online sellers and Facebook Marketplace is another.


Or there are examples like Brisbane teenager Jack Bloomfield, who makes a six-figure income through drop-shipping.

Keep in mind that not all online marketplaces are equal. eBay, for example, offers clear protections for buyers and sellers, whereas Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are more rife for scammers and hagglers.

There’s also the option of building your own online store. Online selling platforms such as Shopify, Woo Commerce, SquareSpace and others provide turnkey solutions that allow non-tech-heads to quickly get an online store up and running.

See your side hustle as a sandbox

Like most things worth having, building up extra income from a side business takes time. The lessons from people who are making it work is that getting started is the most important step.

Beyond that, just like setting financial goals, you need a good dose of persistence and patience. If you see your side hustle as a sandbox for personal growth and learning new skills, it can help to take the pressure off needing to earn money from it immediately.

What if you do start making money? It’s going to be important to understand the difference between a hobby and an online business for taxation purposes. The Australian Tax Office has useful definitions, examples and case studies to help you decide.

Need some extra dollars in your pocket?

A budget is a great way to see what you can afford to spend on your new-found hobby business. MyBudget is offering free budget consultations over the phone to all Australians. The customised budget we create for you will show what you can achieve with your money over the next 12 months and beyond—and it’s yours to keep.

To book your free phone appointment contact MyBudget on 1300 300 922 or enquire online.

Read our Complete Guide to Budgeting, download a budget template, discover how MyBudget works, sign up for money tips on the MyBudget Blog or follow MyBudget on Facebook.

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