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Side Hustle

YouTube Beginners Guide to Build your Business

YouTube is one of the largest and most powerful platforms and you need to know how to use it effectively to inspire, connect and grow your audience. In this talk, 5-year YouTube veteran Kelly Anne Smith from Freedom In A Budget will break down the starting steps to develop a profitable YouTube channel, loyal following, and avoid YouTube burnout. Learn the exact strategies that Kelly used to organically grow her YouTube channel to over 40,000 subscribers and make over $5,000 a month.

How To Monetize Your YouTube Channel

The age old question: ‘How do I make money on YouTube?’ is being answered today!

I created my channel, Kelly Anne Smith, formerly know as Freedom In A Budget, 4 years ago. Throughout those 4 trips around the sun, I’ve learned all of the things NOT to do – as well as hacks to make your channel successful. 

I’ve grown Freedom In A Budget to over 40,000 subscribers while earning over $35,000 in revenue from Adsense alone. 

Every year I have doubled my income. 

YouTube is my favorite platform for sharing my passion for personal finance and connecting with my community. 

It’s my goal to help you avoid the mistakes that I fumbled through getting to the growth and popularity my channel enjoys today.


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Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing is simply earning a commission for recommending a person to purchase a company’s product. 

Since you were the person to send them business, the company returns the favor by “kicking back” a percentage of that sale.

Affiliate marketing my favorite revenue source from YouTube.

When I am passionate about a product or service I can’t help but tell everyone what I love about it and how it has helped me in my day-to-day life.

When you are starting out with affiliate marketing it’s easy to want to promote EVERYTHING. 

Please DON’T!

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research on the company and only promote brands and companies that you believe in, works with your brand, and isn’t going to make you sound like a used car salesman. 

If you do not stay true to your brand, your audience will quickly leave and you’ve lost their trust in a matter of seconds.

There are two companies that have user friendly interfaces with HUNDREDS of brands in every category to work with. 

Simply click the links below to create an account and start finding companies that work for you and your brand.

Flex Rewards and Aragon Premium are affiliate networks that help connect you with advertisers and profitable payouts. 

Flex Rewards: In my first month using Flex Rewards I earned $194! 

Aragon Premium: One of my favorite things about Aragon Premium is you get your own personal affiliate marketing manager that is there to answer any questions you have, gives you ideas and helps you make more money! 


YouTube is owned by Google. They are who places ads on the videos that you watch. 

Google Adsense has requirements to place ads on your videos:

You will need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. 

After you have reached both of these thresholds, your channel goes under review to ensure your content is suitable for advertisers and you don’t have any strikes against your channel. For example, Copyright Infringement is a biggie they look for.

Once your channel has been approved, you will be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.  This means you will be able to receive your first paycheck from Google when you hit the $100 payout minimum. #Huzzuh! 

Adsense is the most widely known way to make money on YouTube – but shouldn’t be what you rely on for income – it’s just icing on the cake.

What if you have just started your channel? 

What if you haven’t even set up your channel yet? 

4,000 hours of watch time will probably be laughable at this point in your YouTube journey.

Have no fear! There are other ways to get paid!

Create a course

YouTube is a great tool to market your own products and courses.

Knowledge is power and I guarantee you that there is something that YOU have a lot of knowledge on that someone would pay to know about.

Teachable is a super easy to use and intuitive platform that allows you to host your course. They allow you to make sales pages, take care of taxes and payments and everything you will need is right there.

Teachable allows you to create video courses, audio courses, or even written courses if you aren’t comfortable being on camera!

I’ve been wanting to create a course for over 2 years on How To Save Money on Groceries. After being in quarantine for a month I decided, enough was enough and I made it happen. Within three weeks my first (of many) courses was live!

I also have a course called Dreamer To Profitable that helps people just like you:

• Stop feeling STUCK and OVERWHELMED in their start of a new side hustle

• Overcome imposture syndrome

• Create systems that help you stay organized

• Grow your revenue streams

• Learn how to sell without sounding spammy

•  Start making over $1,000 a month!

Countless people have come to me saying that they want to start a side hustle or business but they just don’t know where to start. That is why I created Dreamer To Profitable. I walk you step by step on how to start making serious money through your own side hustle!

Click here to enroll in Dreamer To Profitable!

Course Ideas to get your juices flowing:

• How to train your dog

• How to hand letter

• Software programming

• How to be successful on “x” diet

Click here for a free trial of Teachable!

Digital Products:

Digital products are a great way to make passive income that you can promote on your YouTube channel. 

I’ve made over $6,000 from my budget templates on my website and Etsy shop

I make them once and they just sell over and over again. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In layman’s terms, SEO simply means how your video is ranking on YouTube and Google. 

Many creators will make a video, throw it up on YouTube, and hope it will ‘take off,’ without any planning or keyword research. 

Do not do this. Don’t be this guy. You will not win this way.

TubeBuddy has been a game changer for me in ranking. TubeBuddy has tools that tell you where your video will rank, keyword suggestions, comment canned responses and will even autofill your tags! Hello TIME SAVER! 


It is a huge myth that you have to invest a ton of money when you start a YouTube channel. I filmed on my iPhone until I hit 20,000 subscribers for 2 years straight. I now film on a Cannon EOS 6D

Audio and lighting are very important to video and audio holds more value than lighting especially in the beginning. 

Here is a link to my equipment that I used when I first started my channel and what I currently use. 


Canva is an incredible tool that I use to make my YouTube thumbnails, Instagram images and edit photos in. Canva has a free version and paid version. After a year of using the free version, I decided to upgrade to the paid versionand oh man – GAME CHANGER! 

With the paid Canva version:

  • Allows you to make images with transparent backgrounds, or png files
  • MORE fonts – and a girl can’t have enough fonts to choose from, y’all
  • Over 400,000 free stock photos
  • Exclusive illustrations and templates
  • Unlimited storage for photos and assets

If you can afford the paid version of Canva, get it, you’ll thank me later!

Recap of my recommended items:

Freedom In A Budget: This is my YouTube channel, I would love for you to come over and say hi!

TubeBuddy: TubeBuddy helps content creators, brands, and networks save time and grow their channels.

Amazon List of equipment: Here is my Amazon store of the equipment that I used in the beginning and what I currently use.

Canva: Canva is the tool that I use to make my YouTube thumbnails, Instagram images and edit photos in.

Flex Rewards: Affiliate network with thousands of brands to work with.

Aragon Premium: Affiliate network with tons of brands to work with and a personal affiliate manager.

  Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.

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