Side hustles for artists, cooks, gardeners and writers

Gardeners can make some cash selling their produce on a new site called Galora.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
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There are a handful of side hustles that can feed the soul — they allow you to immerse yourself in the tactile and beautiful and take a 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 enable you to feed your passions while padding your pocketbook.

Side hustles for artists

It doesn’t matter if you’re a painter, photographer or graphic artist: If you create an original image, you can sell it on FineArtAmerica.

One of the oldest and best-established print-on-demand sites, FineArtAmerica encourages artists to sign up and upload their work to be sold on everything from prints to puzzles.

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The site does the work. It markets your art through the website and a smartphone app that shows your image on everything from a 3-D framed canvas to T-shirts, 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 you’re a nature photographer. If you want to start selling this art, you upload your photos, then the site gives you a dozen choices of products you can offer. You can make the image available only as a print, or you might decide to offer it on tote bags, towels or yoga mats.

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.

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 a lifeline to cooks.

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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 during the pandemic, the site has morphed into a spot for cooking classes hosted by chefs both renowned and obscure. Classes range from full meals to those that focus on sauces, breads or desserts.

Chefs set their own rates and can offer classes that are livestreamed 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.

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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. Much like an early version of the Nextdoor app, Galora connects neighbors who might have enough homegrown apples to share or trade.

The site allows you to sell anything from produce to the jams and jellies you make out of it. In fact, founder Ryan Xavier says the site encourages members to share, sell or trade anything that’s homegrown, home cooked, or handmade.

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You can also market your skills here. In other words, if you bake bread, you can offer to sell it or trade it for, say, a neighbor’s legal services or a yoga class. If you have excess produce, you can list it for sale or barter it for music lessons or tutoring. Of course, you can offer your tutoring, legal and personal training services for sale here too.

Members choose what to offer and 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.

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Side hustles for writers

Writing can be good for the soul. And some websites promise to make it pay.

One of them, Compose.ly, produces content for websites. But it doesn’t pay much: Writers earn roughly 10 cents a word, or $100 for a 1,000-word piece.

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

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Better sites where you can ply your literary skills include Contently, Skyword, Cracked and Reedsy.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.

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