How this 29-year-old turned his facet hustle right into a $1.5 million enterprise


In 2014, I used to be recent out of faculty and thought I had my life all deliberate out: Go to medical faculty, get a six-figure job as a health care provider, and make my mother and father proud.

None of that labored out. I spotted I hated blood and needles, and bought rejected from greater than 15 medical faculties. My mother and father weren’t so blissful.

From 2014 to 2019, I took on tutoring facet hustles, did some modeling gigs, began a drop delivery enterprise, and even labored as an actual property agent. However nothing was constant in incomes me a gentle revenue stream.

After a number of enterprise makes an attempt, I lastly discovered one thing that labored: Posting monetary recommendation on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. In 2021, my content material creation enterprise introduced in $1.5 million in income — and my mother stopped sending me job listings.

How I constructed a $1.5 million-per-year enterprise

I had been posting on YouTube since 2006, however the content material was random and inconsistent. So I made a decision to stay with the subject that excited me essentially the most: cash.

Rising up in a painfully frugal household, I used to be all the time concerned about developing with methods to be smarter about incomes, saving and investing. In 2018, I created a brand new YouTube channel devoted to monetary recommendation. I posted virtually on daily basis, in addition to on Instagram and TikTok.

In 2021, Chang’s enterprise introduced in $1.5 million in gross income.

Picture: Charlie Chang

My first few movies acquired round a dozen views every, half of which have been from my mother. I used to be nonetheless incomes most of my cash by means of odd jobs and facet hustles.

However in April 2020, a few month after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, I observed a spike in curiosity round stimulus-related content material. That month, I posted 20 YouTube movies in regards to the stimulus and reduction efforts. One in every of my movies went viral — incomes me $10,078 in advert income and 30,300 subscribers.

In Might, I posted 19 movies and made $15,791 in advert income. And in June, I landed my first sponsorship cope with Foundr, a web based training firm; they paid me $250 to create one TikTok put up.

I continued to experiment with several types of video content material to see what was best in rising my viewers and attracting curiosity from manufacturers.

By November, after securing one other partnership deal and reaching round 200,000 subscribers, I made a decision to launch my first on-line course instructing individuals learn how to begin their very own profitable YouTube channels.

In 2021, I added internet online affiliate marketing to my revenue streams. I made $86,000 in January, then scaled to a mean of $150,000 per 30 days in 2021.

construct a number of revenue streams

In the present day, I’ve over 650,000 YouTube followers. Up to now this yr, I’ve made about $197,700 per 30 days by way of 5 revenue streams — a number of of which create passive revenue. At one level, I made $245,000 in a month.

What I like in regards to the enterprise I’ve constructed is that I can select when and the place to work. Some days I am going to work zero hours, and different days I am going to put in 12 hours. On common, I work 35 hours per week.

This is how I constructed every of my revenue streams:

1. Affiliate marketing online: 40% of month-to-month revenue

With internet online affiliate marketing, I earn fee for selling one other model’s product or companies. I put up affiliate hyperlinks within the descriptions of my YouTube movies and on my web site, then receives a commission every time somebody is directed to a model’s product web page or makes a purchase order.

To make passive revenue by means of internet online affiliate marketing, it’s good to embrace hyperlinks on focused content material in a distinct segment that persons are trying to find. This could result in clicks for months, even lengthy after you have posted. For instance, I hyperlink to captions primarily based on common search phrases, which I discover utilizing the Google Tendencies software.

I get most of my affiliate offers by means of partnership administration platforms like Impression Radius, Partnerstack and Share-A-Sale. Creators with any viewers measurement can use these web sites to search out and be part of affiliate hyperlink applications.

2. Model sponsorships: 25% of month-to-month revenue

With model sponsorships, firms primarily pay me to say them in one in every of my movies or on my web site.

Manufacturers sometimes attain out to me by way of the e-mail deal with on my YouTube profile, however I additionally work with companies like Spacestation to safe extra sponsorships.

Discovering a distinct segment helped me develop a loyal and genuine viewers, which has been essential to my success. I answered Covid-related finance questions that nobody else was addressing. Then I took the ideas with the best viewers engagement and ran with them.

“What I like in regards to the enterprise I’ve constructed is that the cash I make is not immediately tied to my time,” says Chang. “I can select when and the place I need to work.”

Discover your individual area of interest by asking: What’s a selected drawback that I can remedy with my story and distinctive information? Perceive the ins-and-outs of your viewers, like their age, location and normal pursuits. In the course of the negotiation course of, remind manufacturers why that viewers is efficacious to them.

3. YouTube advertisements: 25% of month-to-month revenue

I make one other quarter of my revenue from YouTube Adsense advertisements that seem earlier than or throughout my YouTube movies.

To affix this program, you could have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the final 12 months. When you’re a part of this system, it is vital to put up persistently and create movies primarily based on what your viewers responds nicely to.

4. On-line course gross sales: <5% of month-to-month revenue

My “6-Determine YouTube Academy” and “Private Model Masterclass” programs are each hosted on Kajabi. These programs took months of planning, analysis, filming and modifying.

For YouTube Academy, I outlined what I used to be going to show in every video utilizing Notion, a web based workspace group software, then created slides to play throughout every video on Keynote. It took me every week to movie greater than 100 movies, which I edited myself utilizing Remaining Reduce Professional X.

From there, I organized my movies on Kajabi and began to market the course on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. I do not spend any cash on commercial.

5. Teaching: <5% of month-to-month revenue

I meet with shoppers one-on-one to seek the advice of on learn how to make their companies extra profitable. It is a nice technique to join with my viewers and get to know them on a person stage.

My teaching periods are carried out by way of Zoom, which permits me to fulfill with anybody from wherever internationally. I cost $500 per 60-minute session.

Lately, I began constructing StartupWise, a useful resource platform for brand new companies and entrepreneurs. I am additionally engaged on an organization known as Facet Hustle Mastery, and its complementary publication known as Hustle Membership.

Charlie Chang is a content material creator and serial entrepreneur whose mission is to teach individuals on private finance and entrepreneurship. He’s a UCLA graduate and founding father of StartupWise. Observe him on Instagram and YouTube.

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