You've got a hobby on the side that you spend hours on, so why not start raking in some dough for your efforts? Generating a side income will be a great safety net if you ever (knock on wood) find yourself unemployed. And who knows, work hard enough to grow your side biz, and you might actually get to leave your day job for it. Here are some sites that will help you get a head start on making extra cash.
If You Like Instructing People And Writing Guides . . .
Site for you: About.com
What it's about: The site is always looking for people to write instructional guides or produce videos on one of their many available topics.
How much you'll earn: For your first two years, you'll get a base payment of $675 a month. On average a site guide writer makes from $675 and $1,200 monthly during their first two years. About.com says many make more than $6,000 or more a month.
What you need to do: You'll need to write at least four articles every month without a gap longer than 14 days between the articles.
If You Like Making Crafts . . .
Site for you: Etsy.com
What it's about: If art is your thing, sell your handmade goods on Etsy.com. You can make and hawk anything from jewelry to furniture!
How much you'll earn: You earn money from the sale of your goods. Etsy will charge you a 20-cent listing fee per item as well as 3.5 percent of every sale. Last year, Etsy made about $314 million.
What you need to do: Just sign up for an account, start making your items, then start selling them. Click through other Etsy stores for inspiration!
If You're a Graphic Designer . . .
Site for you: 99designs.com
What it's about: Crowdsourced graphic design marketplace. Customers hold contests in which designers participate and the client will pick the winner and use his design. Designs range from things like logos to brochures.
How much you'll earn: The contests range from about $95 for Twitter background designs to $495 for web page designs. However, the contest holder can choose to offer more than the minimum amount. Designers will receive their designer fee minus the 99 design fees, charges, and taxes.
What you need to do: Find a contest you'd like to get involved in, start designing, then submit it. There are apparently over 500 design contests going on weekly.
If You Like Making T-Shirts . . .
Site for you: Threadless.com
What it's about: Artists submit t-shirt designs, which will be voted and commented on by the Threadless community. If your design is popular enough, the company will use your designs for the next Threadless shirts.
How much you'll earn: If your design is picked, you'll get $2,000, a $500 threadless voucher (which you can redeem for $200 cash), and another $500 every time your t-shirt is printed.
What you need to do: Brainstorm your idea, download the Threadless submission kit that includes templates, and start designing your t-shirt.
If You Like Making Videos or Want to Showcase Your Talent . . .
Site for you: Youtube.com
What it's about: A video sharing site where anyone with an account can upload a video they've created.
How much you'll earn: It varies, but many people, such as Justin Bieber, have launched careers out of it and popular YouTubers are making over six figures.
What you need to do: Sign up for an account, make your video, and upload it onto YouTube. If you make it unique and interesting enough, and it'll have a good chance of catching on in the YouTube community.
If You're Into Photography . . .
Site for you: Shutterstock.com
What it's about: A place where amateur photographers can sell their photos. The site also accepts illustrations and vector art.
How much you'll earn: You'll earn a commission that ranges anywhere from 25 cents to $28 for every image downloaded.
What you need to do: Sign up for an account, pass some security checks, and submit 10 images for the company to review. If at least three images are not accepted, you have to try and apply again in 30 days. Once you're accepted, you can upload as many pictures as you like.