Growing up, I loved music and had my eyes set on becoming a full-time musician. I followed my dream in a practical way: working from 9 to 5 as an audio engineer and growing a business as a freelance music producer for indie artists.
But in 2009, at the age of 26, I lost my job and decided to take over my full-time production business.
It was still hard for us to get to the end of the month. I earned $ 800 to $ 1,000 a month, while my wife earned $ 500 to $ 1,000 a month as a photographer. In addition to our own income, we made a living from our savings and food stamps. We have also become new parents. That’s when financial pressures really started to come in.
So later that year, I decided to start a music blog – The Recording Revolution – out of desperation to make more money. I thought having an online presence would help me get more production customers.
It took me a while to learn how to turn it into a profitable business. But fast forward to 2022 and I am making more money with my online businesses than ever as a producer.
The Recording Revolution alone raises $ 40,000 a month. I also earn $ 120,000 a month in gross sales through my online coaching business, which teaches clients exactly what I did to make The Recording Revolution a success.
At 38, I achieved something incredible: between my two businesses, I now only work five hours a week and the rest of the time I can spend with my family.
How I turned my passion into a business
I started the Recording Revolution as a blog and YouTube channel to share what I know about music and attract more customers to my production business.
At first, I posted three blogs on my website and one video on YouTube per week. I shared quick, step-by-step instructions for different recording and editing techniques, along with product reviews and interviews with musicians and producers.
In my first year on YouTube, I saw my daily views go from about 60 views a day to 2,000 a day. As my audience grew, I saw an opportunity to monetize my content.
Initially, I earned $ 200 to $ 1,000 a month through video sponsorships and advertising revenue. To get these deals, I created a press kit that shares my website traffic and reader demographics, and sends it to brands that have made products that my audience would like. In my outreach, I offered them places in my YouTube videos or ads on my blog.
But in 2010, I found the key to a more lucrative business: building and launching my own digital products, such as e-books or online courses, that teach people valuable skills that I have acquired throughout my career.
How do I earn $ 160,000 a month in passive income
In April 2010, I created and sold my first online course, which taught clients how to use the popular Pro Tools recording software for $ 45.
I used a screen recording software called Screenflow to capture my computer screen and my voice while demonstrating how Pro Tools worked.
Before recording, I wrote a basic outline of what parts of the software I wanted to share and in what order, then spent three to four hours recording and editing the content.
People recommended starting an email list to market my courses. To attract subscribers, I offered a free e-book. I had about 500 subscribers when I sold my first course online.
I started reducing my standalone production business in 2012. Today I see dozens of online courses and online communities for members only through The Recording Revolution. Prices range from $ 67 to $ 397.
From October 2018 to September 2019, I contributed $ 1 million in sales. And in 2021, after moving away from daily content production, The Recording Revolution earned about $ 40,000 a month.
Mine The second business, which teaches people how to monetize their knowledge and passions like I did, was launched in 2018. For the past six months, I have been generating $ 120,000 a month in passive income from an online course called Automatic Income Academy, my Six-Month. Figure Coaching Community, a high-level business training program called The Epic Mastermind and affiliate committees of a company called Kajabi.
Right now, about 2,800 employers are using my coaching products. The goal is to help them grow an online business while working fewer hours.
My best tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Starting my parallel online business and then committing to full time has changed my life. My original dream of being a musician has been replaced by what I am doing now: helping people live more lucrative, flexible, and meaningful lives.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, here are my top three tips to help you shoot your earnings:
1. Sell your passive income skills.
When you offer a service, there are two main lines you can use to make more money: get more customers, and increase your rates. But this can be a problem because there are only many hours a day to serve customers and there is always a limit to what you can charge in your industry.
The turning point for me was when I came up with the idea of turning my knowledge of audio mixing and recording into an online course. Selling digital products provided a passive income stream and allowed me to make a lot more money in one day, while spending less time, than working as a freelancer.
2. Give people a free sample of what you can offer.
One of my core beliefs is that donors thrive. My entire business is built to offer the best free educational content, even if I could charge for it. That’s why I have one blog, YouTube channel and podcast.
It sounds counterintuitive, but here’s how it works: Every value-rich content I post in the world acts as a magnet to attract people, through the power of a Google or YouTube search. It’s a way for people to discover and build trust with me.
So when they sell a premium product, they are ready and willing to pay for it.
3. Build automatic systems.
Working only five hours a week helps me avoid exhaustion and allows me to spend more time with my family. This would not be possible without automatic systems.
For example, almost all of my marketing and customer follow-up communications occur through automated emails.
When people find my content, they have the option to sign up for more unique email content. Once we get in touch, I have dozens of pre-written emails that are sent automatically. These emails provide information, tips, and trading techniques, but they also share which of my products will benefit the most.
Focusing on email means I don’t spend hours on social media asking people in their DMs. I let content and email automation do the heavy work for me.
Graham Cochrane is the founder of The Recording Revolution, author of “How to charge for what you know“and is a business coach for more than 2,800 clients worldwide Instagram e Twitter.