Sometimes an unintentional benefit of doing something for fun turns lucrative. The consequence of action took a prosperous turn for the unintentional entrepreneur known as AJ. 

AJ who is currently 27 years of age stumbled into an online success while studying for his bachelor’s degree in communications while attending George Mason University.

When asked why did he want to try to earn income online, AJ stated, “My intention was never to earn money online. The thought never even occurred to my mind at that time. Back then, social media and youtube were just starting to launch. It was one of those things you would never expect to happen because we were just doing it (youtube videos) for fun.”

“I had no experience when it came to production or creating videos. Me, a few friends, and cousins all just wanted to share our love for music. All we had back then was a webcam, our instruments, and a computer. There was no editing or any enhancements to our videos.”

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How AJ Started Online 

“This whole thing started when we decided to record a few covers (of songs) from some of our favorite artists. We were inspired by a growing community of musicians that wanted exposure through the internet and social media which at that time was just beginning to launch.

“Youtube was the perfect platform for recording that music because it was simple to use and it was free.”

“There wasn’t really a plan for this to be a career. It was just a bunch of teens looking to have fun. Our videos started with only 50 views, then 100 views, then around 200 views. Nothing that will make much of an impact and we didn’t really care.”

Then Something Happened

“It was until we did a musical collaboration with a more established artist that we saw an increase in our views.”

“Eventually, we created each of our own pages and realized we could get more views by sharing each other’s videos on each other’s page. Again, this was not for money or anything.”

“It was just the excitement of knowing more and more people were able to view our music. Our music and covers were now reaching views of up to the tens of thousands and eventually, to the hundreds of  thousands.” 

The Day YouTube Contacted Him

“Then one day, we receive this e-mail on our Youtube accounts that said Google would like to use our videos to place advertisements on them by different sponsors. And that they would pay us a certain amount to use our videos to place advertisements.”

“I initially ignored the e-mail thinking that it was a scam. I mean, who would want to pay a bunch of teens for their singing. Although I thought it would be awesome if they did do that.”

“Little did I know, one of my cousins actually contacted the people listed on the e-mail. He found out it was a legitimate offer. He was offered a certain amount of money.”

The Money Rolls In

“When we heard this, those who received the e-mail all replied to the offer. For consistently having a high amount of views and constantly having videos, I was getting paid $3,000 to $4,000 a month which for a college student was a prodigious amount of money. Most of the money I earned was put towards my college and my savings.” 

The Hardest Part of this Venture

“The most challenging part about doing this was the constant criticism we received. There is absolutely no way everyone will like you or everyone will love your videos.”

“You will always have detractors or have people find something wrong with what you do. Sometimes some of the comments that you see are really hurtful or offensive.”

“There were times when some of us were discouraged. The only thing that kept us going was that this was something that we loved to do.”

What’s in the Future?

“My Youtube page has been long gone and the account has been closed. It was never my intention to make a career of making videos.”

“It came to a point that I was so pressured into making videos that I forgot why I did it in the first place: My love of music. I was thankful for the experience but once I graduated college I looked forward to fulfilling my life with a career.”

The Next Step for AJ and His Career

“Since moving from Washington D.C. to Orlando Florida, my wife and I have fallen in love with this place. We recently started thinking of doing daily Vlogs (Video Blogs) of our adventures here.”

“We have footage of some of our adventures here but nothing has been finalized yet. I was thinking of maybe doing something with theme parks or things to do around Orlando.”

AJ’s Advice for Those Seeking to be an Online Entrepreneur

“There is no limit to what you can do and never be embarrassed about who you are. Go out there and share who you are with the world.”

“There is an audience for you to reach no matter what you want to do. Whether it be music, make-up, your hobby or even just talking, there are people out there who want to see you.”

“Don’t be afraid of critics or comments. Just make sure at the end of the day, you stay true to yourself and what you love to do.” 

“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained!”

Conclusion

The common denominator to online success seems to come from creating a following. It can come in many forms. For AJ, it was music and expressing it through video and making it available on YouTube. YouTube is FREE. You can use a smartphone and create a video. If it’s interesting or entertaining enough you could hit success pretty quick. 

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