As more people start working flexibly, side hustles have become a big deal. They’re a great way to earn extra cash, and thanks to the internet, anyone can start one.
In this piece, we summarized Jim Mullen’s insights from his interview in our previous Be.Live on Air Episode. Jim is a pro at online hustles – from selling stuff online to becoming a YouTuber and Amazon Influencer, he’s done it all.
He has many tips, including balancing your hustle and life and picking the best gigs. If you’re curious about starting your own side hustle, read on.
- Side hustles offer accessible opportunities to earn extra income, with digital platforms making it easier to get started.
- YouTube provides excellent monetization potential, even with a very small, engaged following.
- Balancing side hustles with personal life is achievable by prioritizing family, leveraging flexible content creation schedules, and adapting to fluctuating work shifts.
Could you tell us about yourself and how you got to where you are?
I always tried to earn extra money from a young age because I never had enough money to pay all the bills. So I was always doing stuff on the side. I would work a regular job, do side jobs after for a few hours, and earn extra cash. But then I realized people were making money online, and I wanted in on that. It seemed good because you could work at any time, unlike traditional side jobs.
Around 2010, I started figuring it out and created a YouTube channel. I wanted to see what works and tried everything out, and it turns out that for most things, if you spend the time doing it, you can make some money from it. Today, there are more ways you can make money online.
What was the first project that you got involved in?
The first thing I did was drop shipping, which was really retail arbitrage. I would find a cheap item on a site like Walmart or Amazon, list it for a higher price on eBay, and when it sold, I would buy the item from the original site and have it shipped directly to the buyer. This model worked great for a while, but the customer service aspect became too much, so I switched to affiliate marketing, which is more hands-off.
What are the best platforms for side hustlers?
For me, the best place to get started is YouTube. It has the best opportunity for monetization right now, and the audiences are already there. It doesn’t take a huge following to make money online. For example, if you have a hundred dedicated followers who engage with your content and you charge them $50 a month for exclusive content, like stock advice, for instance, that would equate to $60,000 a year for just one hour of work a week.
What is the process for making your videos, and what keeps you motivated to do them?
What keeps me motivated is the opportunity to share and educate others. I like to learn things, put them into practice, and then tell others about them. Recently, I’ve been focused mainly on the Amazon Influencer Program because it’s a great opportunity for content creators with a following on social media.
As for the process, the key is to post on a regular basis, make good thumbnails, good titles, and, most importantly, provide good content. YouTube rewards high-quality, engaging content the most.
How do you balance your side hustles versus your day-to-day life?
Family comes first, so I work around that. If I have to get up at seven o’clock for work, I get up at five thirty and spend a good hour on my side hustle. After spending time with the family in the evening, I dedicate about three hours from 9 to midnight to my side hustle. This way, I can get quality work done for about four hours a day without sacrificing family time or my full-time job. The beauty is that you can do the content any time of the day. Even if your shifts fluctuate, you can adapt your content creation to your free time.
What are the biggest misconceptions when it comes to side hustles?
Some of the biggest misconceptions are that it takes a large audience to make money and that it’s a time-consuming endeavor. In reality, a dedicated and relatively small audience can be lucrative.
Also, subscribers matter less than you’d think; it’s more about engagement and watch time on platforms like YouTube. People often underestimate the commitment to succeed, typically 3 to 5 years or more. It’s important to persist beyond the point where most give up, usually within 90 days.
If you enjoy the process of content creation, it won’t feel like a chore, and each piece of content is like having a clone of yourself out there working for you. So, it can become a form of passive income.
How do you decide which side hustles to dedicate time to?
The key is the return on investment. You have to focus on money-making activities. While it’s important to do things you love, it’s equally crucial to tackle the difficult tasks first. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; diversify and build multiple income streams.
After establishing each income stream to a point where it’s running independently, you can focus on building up the next one. As algorithms and platforms change, having multiple income sources can help maintain financial stability.
What other side hustles should people consider, particularly in the context of YouTube and the Amazon Influencer Programs?
One option is creating online courses. If you have a particular skill or knowledge that others want to learn, you could break it down into simple steps and sell it as a course. This could be a passive source of income once it’s made.
It’s also crucial to know how to monetize your audience, like followers on TikTok or any other social media platform. The formula is audience-problem-solution: find an audience, identify a problem they’re having, and provide the solution. If you can help them overcome their obstacles, you become a trusted resource, and you can monetize that trust. You can use affiliate marketing, for instance, by recommending products relevant to your audience’s interests.
How many people do you need to get on the Amazon Influencer program?
It used to require about 2,000 to 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and around 10,000 on Instagram to qualify for the Amazon Influencer Program. Still, it seems that Amazon might be accepting people with fewer followers now. Some people are getting in with Facebook business pages having around 4,000 followers. However, the key is engagement, not just follower count. If you have high engagement with your followers, it shows that you have influence, and Amazon values that.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a side hustle or start live streaming and content creation on YouTube?
The advice is to simply start. Everyone has a powerful tool, like a smartphone in their pocket, which they can use to produce high-quality content. The difference between people making money from their content and those who are not is simply the act of starting and creating.
Can you share some experiences about your experience with Be.Live and how it’s helped you with live streaming?
Be.Live is a powerful tool that enhances audience engagement during live streams. It offers unique features such as posting links directly to other platforms and enabling interactions among audience members—the engagement encouraged by Be.Live helps signal to platform algorithms that the content is valuable, potentially reaching a larger audience.
(Be.Live’s AI comment assistant at work – automatically highlighting good questions from the chat).
Get Started on Your Side Hustle Journey. Become a Content Creator and Start Live Streaming!
Are you ready to transform your passion and knowledge into a thriving side hustle?
It’s time to dive into the exciting realm of content creation and live streaming. With just your camera and a platform like Be.Live, you can share your unique insights with the world. Engage with your audience, monetize your content, and unlock the doors to financial freedom.
Note: The transcript was edited for time and clarity.
Follow Jim on his social media channels here.
Lala Ina Enriquez is an experienced digital marketer who specializes in helping start-ups grow their online presence and generate leads within their resources and means. Lala’s expertise in content marketing has helped many start-ups achieve impressive results, from generating leads through list-building campaigns to working with influencers and bloggers to gain visibility for niche tech products.