In 2021, Chang's business brought in $1.5 million in gross revenue. In 2021, Chang’s business brought in $1.5 million in gross revenue.Photo: Charlie Chang In 2014, I graduated college with a tidal wave of medical school rejections. In search of a new career plan, I spent the next few years making money however I could — modeling, tutoring, and even working as a real estate agent. But in 2018, I began posting personal finance videos on YouTube. It wasn’t a lucrative side hustle until the pandemic hit in 2020, when one topic struck a chord: stimulus and relief efforts, and what they meant for people’s wallets. When my videos went viral, I registered for YouTube Adsense to further monetize my channel. That’s when my passive income journey began. In 2021, I made $1.5 million dollars in revenue. And this year, I’ve been grossing an average of $114,000 a month in passive income through my videos, online courses and social media posts. Here are four business you can start today for $99 or less: 1. Affiliate marketing Cost to start: $0 Affiliate marketing is when you earn commission for promoting a brand’s products or services by sharing it on your blog, social media platform or website. You get paid each time someone clicks on the link or makes a purchase. Since creating content is free, this type of business is very accessible. The real challenge is creating targeted content that reaches the right audience. Let’s say you start a lifestyle blog. You can use the Google Trends tool to gather data on what people are searching for in that category. You might find, for example, that there has been a spike in people Googling “best hair brands.” In that case, you could consider writing a blog or creating a YouTube video in which you test and review different hair products. To find affiliate deals, I use management platforms like Impact Radius, Partnerstack and Share-A-Sale. There are three things I look for in a partnership: It’s with a reputable company that offers quality products or services. You want to promote products you’re proud of and minimize the likelihood of customers returning them. The products have high conversion rates. This means many people who view the product end up buying it. The deal offers a “cookie window” of 30 days or longer. Cookies track how a user came to click on a product link. The cookies stay embedded in a user’s browser for a specific duration. If a customer who first clicked on a product through you buys it within the cookie window, it is attributed and paid out to you. 2. YouTube Adsense Cost to start: $0 More than half of Adsense revenue is paid out to the creator, and many of my older videos are still generating passive income. But you must grow an audience before you can register; your channel needs at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last year. I started my channel because I had a passion for personal finance. When you have an innate passion, you’ll be so invested in your niche that you’ll understand how to create quality content. You’ll also know what consumers are looking for because you’ve already read or watched everything on your favorite topic. That’s gold, especially when you strengthen your market research with tools like Google Trends.