Courtesy of Judd Albring
- Judd Albring is a YouTuber and runs a newsletter. He makes $20,000 a month from his online business.
- He spends up to 10 hours a week creating and posting content with the help of freelancers.
- His content uses affiliate links, so he gets a commission for products bought through his referrals.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Judd Albring, a 50-year-old YouTuber in Chicago. Insider has verified his income with documentation. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
At the beginning of my career, I held several jobs in sales but could never keep a job for long because of my drinking. At 35, I got sober, but finding work was still hard because I had to explain time gaps in my work history, so I started to drive for Uber and clean windows on weekends to make ends meet.
In 2017, I started to research how to make money online and teach myself digital marketing because I wanted to make extra money from home while taking care of my boys. My wife is a teacher, so I became a stay-at-home dad because it made more sense financially than paying a full-time sitter. From my research, I decided to start a YouTube channel.
Now, between my ad revenue and my earnings as an affiliate marketer, I’m making more than $20,000 a month, and I work only eight to 10 hours a week.
I posted my first YouTube video in 2017, but I wasn’t sure how to monetize it
On my channel, I share tips for working a remote job, work-from-home opportunities, and affiliate-marketing advice to teach people how to make money online from anywhere. My goal in the beginning was to make just an extra $1,000 a month, but in my first year, I made only $0.13 from a book I recommended to someone.
The second year, my channel started making a few dollars a day from Google AdSense as my subscriber count grew. My channel finally took off in September 2021 after one of my videos went viral because everyone was at home in pandemic lockdowns and many were looking for ways to make money remotely. People mainly found me from search, but some found me on Facebook. That video hit 5.2 million views, and I now have 304,000 subscribers on YouTube.
I started making several hundred dollars a day from the YouTube Partner Program and more from the products recommended in my videos.
On YouTube, I became a referrer, or someone who promotes a product in exchange for a commission of the sale, for software and online-training companies that helped people start and grow online businesses. I also became an affiliate marketer for job sites like FlexJobs.
I recently started doing review videos for the Amazon Influencer Program and built that business to bring in more than $2,000 a month in just 60 days by making one-minute review videos — and I don’t even show my face.
The people who watch my videos and buy my recommended products are not always subscribers or followers
I know channels with 1 million subscribers that are struggling to make money, and I know coaches with 10,000 subscriptions and very niche audiences who make $1 million a year. It’s all about creating quality content — not quantity — and getting it in front of the right people.
I repurpose my videos on YouTube Shorts, Facebook Reels, Instagram Reels, and TikTok, which brings in additional revenue. I have 101,000 followers on Instagram, 122,000 on Facebook, and 69,000 on TikTok. I make one video and edit it on my phone, then upload the same video to each of my accounts separately.
My titles and hashtags change depending on the platform. For example, the hashtag #workfromhome appears 13.1 billion times on TikTok but 19 million times on Facebook. I learned how to adjust my titles by simply following others in my niche — hashtags are all about research. Writing a good title has come to me with practice. Video titles that I’ve seen success with are related to working from home, how to work remotely, and how to make money online.
You have to start by looking at social media as a business
Stop worrying about who got married or divorced, or whose kid just got accepted to whatever college. Once I stopped worrying about what other people were posting and what people thought of me, everything took off.
When I started, I followed and learned everything I could from those who had what I wanted, like the marketer and entrepreneur Russell Brunson, a cofounder of ClickFunnels, which I use to run my entire business. I also follow Pat Flynn of the “Smart Passive Income Podcast” and read his book “Expert Secrets.”
Two years ago, I started outsourcing 80% of my work to freelancers from websites like Upwork. I have people all over the world who help me run my business: a video editor in Turkey, a virtual assistant in Argentina, and a Google Ads specialist in Poland. I also just hired someone to start repurposing all my YouTube videos and turn them into 60-second vertical videos for TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. The Google Ads specialist earns a flat rate to create ads, and my Upwork freelancers are paid hourly.
You have to be patient and consistent. I’m uploading content every day and on all platforms. YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook all work on algorithms, and they need time to learn about your content so they can show it to the right people. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by using only one social-media platform.
The majority of my money is made from emails
I highly recommend building your own email list. Facebook or any other social platform can shut you down anytime it wants. They owe you nothing, but you own your email list, and you can market to your audience at any time.
I started my email list in 2017, and I use the “Seinfeld sequence,” which is all about telling your story, adding value, and being real. I learned this from Brunson. What doesn’t work in emails is trying to sell in each one. Nobody wants to be sold. It’s all about building the know, like, and trust factor.
I use ActiveCampaign to schedule and send all my emails. In my emails, which go out to thousands of people each month, with new subscribers daily, I share my expert insights and recommend different products or trainings to help people start and grow a business online. My affiliate links are in the email, and when a reader clicks and buys from a link in my email, I get paid a commission.
Managing my businesses is easier now
In the beginning, I would work late and get up at 4 or 5 a.m. to edit videos so I could get my sons out of the house on time.
Now that I’ve outsourced a lot of my responsibilities and my two kids are older, I had time to take three vacations last year. I could work while we traveled, but some days or weeks, I didn’t do anything because I’d set it up in such a way that it’s mostly passive income. My hours are really spent just researching video ideas online and recording short-form content.
Do you run a successful online business? Email Lauryn Haas at email@example.com.