There are a handful of side hustles that can feed the soul. They allow you to immerse yourself in the tactile and beautiful to take a sometimes needed break from the challenges of the outside world. This week we focus on four newly-reviewed side hustles for artists, cooks, gardeners and writers. And while they’re not the highest-earning jobs, most allow you to feed your passions while padding your pocketbook.

Side hustles for artists

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a painter, photographer or graphic artist, if you create an original visual, you can sell it on a site called FineArtAmerica.

FineArtAmerica is one of the oldest and best-established print-on-demand sites. These sites encourage artists to sign up and upload their images to be sold on everything from prints to puzzles.

The site does the work. It markets your art through the website and an extraordinary smart phone app. The app shows your image on everything from a 3D-framed canvas to t-shirts, coffee mugs, shower curtains, and phone cases. You can even point your phone toward a wall to see how that piece of framed art will look in place.

When someone buys, the site collects payment, produces the product, emblazons it with your image, and sends it to the consumer.

All you do is collect the royalty. And the size of the royalty payment is up to you.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are an avid nature photographer. If you want to start selling this art, you upload your photos. Once your photo loads, the site gives you a dozen choices of products that you can offer the product on. You can make the product available only as a print. Or you might decide to offer it on tote bags, towels or yoga mats, for example.

The site tells you what it costs to make, market and mail the item. And it gives you the ability to add whatever profit you want to earn from the sale. The sum of those is the final cost to the consumer. So, if the site’s cost to make a puzzle is $35, you might add a $10 royalty, to make the final cost $45.  Artists collect royalties on sales once a month.

Notably, FineArtAmerica is only one of several well-regarded print-on-demand sites. Artists may also want to sign up with Society6 and RedBubble.

Side hustles for Cooks

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on restaurants and everyone who works for them. However, a site called ChefsFeed provides a bit of lifeline to cooks.

The site launched as a foodie app. Its claim to fame was providing restaurant recommendations from top chefs, who were asked what restaurants they frequented other than their own.

Now that many restaurants are closed for the pandemic, the site has morphed into a hotspot for cooking classes hosted by chefs both renowned and obscure. Classes range from showing you how to make a full meal to those that focus solely on sauces, breads or desserts.

Chefs set their own rates and can offer classes that are live-streamed or taped to be watched later. Chefs pay nothing to list classes or sell them. However, the site adds a 5% commission to the customer’s bill to pay for the connection.

Other sites to consider if you’re a good cook who wants to monetize your skills: DishDivvy, EatWith and CozyMeal.

Side hustles for gardeners

Backyard gardeners can make a vegetable patch pay with a delightful new site called Galora. Galora is much like an early version of the Nextdoor app. However, instead of helping neighbors find lost dogs, Galora connects neighbors who might have enough homegrown apples or citrus fruit to share or trade.

The site also allows you to sell anything from your homegrown produce to the jams and jellies you make out of it. In fact, site leader Ryan Xavier says the site encourages members to share, sell or trade anything that’s homegrown, home cooked, or handmade. You can also market your skills here, he says,

In other words, if you bake bread or make meals, you can offer to sell these or trade them for, say, a neighbor’s legal services — or a yoga class. If you have excess produce, you can also list this for sale, or barter it for music lessons, tutoring or whatever else you might want to trade for on the platform. Of course, you can offer your tutoring, legal and personal training services for sale here too.

Members choose what to offer, whether to list it for sale, trade, or both. If cash changes hands, you arrange payments on your own. The site does not provide payment processing. 

Galora is theoretically available worldwide. However, the young site is strongest in California, Texas and Hawaii, where it has the most active members.

Side hustles for writers

Writing can be good for the soul. However, there are a number of web sites that promise to make it pay. The latest such site reviewed on SideHusl.com, is Compose.ly. Compose.ly produces content for websites. And, while the site does pay you to write, it doesn’t pay much. Writers earn roughly 10 cents per word, or $100 for a 1,000-word piece.

That may be a decent rate for novice writers, who write a story that requires scant research and little editing. However, Compose.ly expects writers to research the client and fit their tone and topic to what the client needs. A site spokesman adds that writers are expected to provide as many rewrites as necessary to make the client happy.

Better sites to ply your literary skills include Contently, Skyword, Cracked and Reedsy

*1/14/2021