How this 29-year-old turned his side hustle into a $1.5 million business


In 2014, I used to be contemporary out of school and thought I had my life all deliberate out: Go to medical college, get a six-figure job as a physician, and make my mother and father proud.

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

From 2014 to 2019, I took on tutoring side hustles, did some modeling gigs, began a drop delivery business, and even labored as a actual property agent. But nothing was constant in incomes me a regular earnings stream.

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

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

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

Photo: Charlie Chang

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

But in April 2020, about a 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 concerning the stimulus and aid efforts. One of my videos went viral — incomes me $10,078 in advert income and 30,300 subscribers.

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

I continued to experiment with various kinds of video content material to see what was simplest 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 online course instructing individuals how one can begin their very own profitable YouTube channels.

In 2021, I added affiliate marketing online to my earnings streams. I made $86,000 in January, then scaled to a median of $150,000 monthly in 2021.

How to construct a number of earnings streams

Today, I’ve over 650,000 YouTube followers. So far this 12 months, I’ve made about $197,700 monthly by way of 5 earnings streams — a number of of which create passive earnings. At one level, I made $245,000 in a month.

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

Here’s how I constructed every of my earnings streams:

1. Affiliate advertising: 40% of month-to-month earnings

With affiliate marketing online, 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 buy.

To make passive earnings by affiliate marketing online, it’s essential to embody hyperlinks on focused content material in a area of interest that individuals are looking for. This can result in clicks for months, even lengthy after you have posted. For instance, I hyperlink to captions based mostly on fashionable search phrases, which I discover utilizing the Google Trends tool.

I get most of my affiliate offers by partnership administration platforms like Impact 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. Brand sponsorships: 25% of month-to-month earnings

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

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

Finding a area of interest 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 love about the business I’ve built is that the money I make isn’t directly tied to my time,” says Chang. “I can choose when and where I want to work.”

Find your personal area of interest by asking: What is a particular downside that I can clear up with my story and distinctive information? Understand the ins-and-outs of your viewers, like their age, location and common pursuits. During the negotiation course of, remind manufacturers why that viewers is efficacious to them.

3. YouTube adverts: 25% of month-to-month earnings

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

To be part of this program, you have to have at the least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the final 12 months. Once you are a part of this system, it is essential to put up persistently and create movies based mostly on what your viewers responds effectively to.

4. Online course gross sales: <5% of month-to-month earnings

My “6-Figure YouTube Academy” and “Personal Brand Masterclass” programs are each hosted on Kajabi. These programs took months of planning, analysis, filming and enhancing.

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

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

5. Coaching: <5% of month-to-month earnings

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

My teaching classes are completed by way of Zoom, which permits me to fulfill with anybody from anyplace the world over. I cost $500 per 60-minute session.

Recently, I began constructing StartupWise, a useful resource platform for brand spanking new companies and entrepreneurs. I’m additionally engaged on a firm known as Side Hustle Mastery, and its complementary publication known as Hustle Club.

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

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