Today’s post is by a PhD student runs a YouTube channel about her passion-hobby, which also happens to bring in some money!
University: University of California, Los Angeles
Department: Social Psychology & Neuroscience
1) What is your side or temporary job?
Making hair tutorials on YouTube.
2) How much do you earn?
$200-250 a month
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3) How do you balance your job with your graduate work?
My work and my YouTube channel are pretty darn orthogonal, haha.
4) Does your job complement your graduate work or advance your career?
Because my work and my channel are so different, it’s difficult to balance. At the beginning of grad school I was able to put out a new video every week because I could film on the weekends and edit in the evenings during the week. However, now I’m involved in a lot more projects at work, so I’ve been failing to meet the every-week benchmark. Since this is my hobby, I always have to remind myself “if I feel like it’s something I have to do instead of something I want to do, then I need to back off a bit.”
5) How did you get started with your job?
I started my YouTube channel somewhat accidentally back in undergrad. I recreated a bunch of Game of Thrones hairstyles for fun and posted them to reddit, which went viral. Lots of people were asking for tutorials, so that’s why I created my channel and it’s been steadily growing ever since. That big boost at the beginning was really important to making this channel monetized, because for most channels it’s really difficult to get past the first 5k subscribers.
6) Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?
I definitely recommend finding something in grad school that’s unrelated to the work you do, monetized or not, so that if all your experiments fail one week, you still have something meaningful to throw yourself into. YouTube is a difficult way to make money on the side, though, I will say. I was really lucky with it. It takes a lot of work to make it monetized, and at times it’s been like another full time job. So I wouldn’t recommend this route if you’re just looking for money. But if you have a passion that you like sharing with others through video, it can be very fulfilling while still getting you money for groceries!
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