Graham Cochrane is a music producer, sound engineer, and online entrepreneur who launched his music blog in 2009 during the Great Recession and now earns $160 000 per month from it in passive income.
Graham loved music while growing up and had plans to become a musician but he ended up working in a 9 to 5 job as an audio engineer and working part-time as a music producer for individual artists.
In 2009, at age 26, Graham lost his job and decided to take my production business full-time and later on decided to launch his music blog as a way to earn extra money. In this article, we are sharing his come-up story on how he was able to build and scale his blog to make $160 000 per month.
After the recession in 2009, Graham was laid off from his job and the only option he had was to go big with his music production business which at that time he was doing part-time. The financial situation was never the same as before as he struggled to make ends meet:
"We still struggled to make ends meet, though. I made between $800 and $1 000 per month, while my wife earned between $500 and $1 000 per month as a freelance photographer. On top of our income, we lived off our savings and food stamps. We also became new parents.
That’s when the financial pressures started to kick in.", Graham says.
Later that year, Graham decided to start a music blog, The Recording Revolution out of desperation to make more money. He says that he had figured that having an online presence would help him land more production clients.
It took him some time to learn how to turn the blog into a profitable business. But fast forward to 2022, he is making more money from his online businesses than he ever did as a producer.
The Recording Revolution blog alone grosses $40 000 per month and his online coaching business which teaches exactly what he did to make The Recording Revolution a success also brings in $120 000 per month in gross sales.
"At 38, I’ve achieved something incredible: Between my two businesses, I work only five hours per week now, and I get to spend the rest of my time with my family.", Graham says.
Turning His Music Passion into an Online Business
At first, he published three blog posts on his website and one video on YouTube per week sharing quick, step-by-step instructions for different recording and editing techniques, along with product reviews and interviews with musicians and producers.
Graham says that during his first year on YouTube, he saw his daily views jump from about 60 views per day to 2 000 per day. And as the audience grew, he saw an opportunity to monetize his content through video sponsorships and ad revenue.
"Initially, I made $200 to $1 000 per month through video sponsorships and ad revenue. To land these deals, I created a press kit sharing my website traffic and reader demographics, and sent it to brands that made products my audience would like. In my outreach, I offered them spots in my YouTube videos or banner ad spots on my blog.", he says.
In 2010, Graham found the key to a more lucrative business model which was building and launching his own digital products, like eBooks and online courses, that teach people valuable skills he picked up throughout his career.
Grass to Grace
In April 2010, Graham created and sold his first online course, which taught customers how to use the popular recording software Pro Tools for $45. He used a screen recording software called Screenflow to capture his computer screen and voice as he demonstrated how Pro Tools worked.
Before recording, he wrote down a basic outline of what parts of the software he wanted to share and in what order, then he spent 3-4 hours recording and editing the content.
Graham chose to sell the course on his blog’s website and people advised him to start an email list to market it. To attract subscribers, he offered a free eBook. Graham says that he had about 500 email subscribers by the time he sold his first online course.
Today, Graham sells dozens of online courses and members-only online communities through The Recording Revolution. Prices range from $67 to $397.
Between October 2018 to September 2019, Graham brought in $1 000 000 in course sales. In 2021, after stepping away from producing day-to-day content, The Recording Revolution brought in about $40 000 per month.
Graham also launched his second website, with courses and blog articles, and an online community that all teach people how to monetize their knowledge and passions as he did.
The website has generated $120 000 per month in passive income in 2022 with the main income sources being:
Graham says that right now, roughly 2 800 business owners are using his coaching products. His goal is to help them grow an online business while working fewer hours.
Tips for Entrepreneurs from Graham
Graham says that starting his online side hustle, then committing to it full-time changed his life. His original dream to be a musician has been replaced by what he is doing now: Helping people live a more lucrative, flexible, and meaningful life.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are Graham’s top 3 tips to help skyrocket your earnings:
When you’re offering a service, there are two main dials you can turn to make more money: getting more clients and raising your rates. But this can be a problem because there are only so many hours in a day to take on clients, and there is always a limit to how much you can charge in your industry.
Graham says that the turning point for him was when he got the idea to turn his knowledge of audio mixing and recording into an online course. Selling digital products provided him a passive income stream and allowed him to make far more money in a day while putting in less time than I did working as a producer.
A core belief of Graham is that givers prosper. His entire business is built around giving the best free educational content, even when he could charge for it. That’s why he has a blog, YouTube channel, and podcast.
"It seems counterintuitive, but here’s why it works: Every piece of value-rich content I put out in the world acts as a magnet to draw people in, through the power of a Google or YouTube search. It’s a way for people to discover and build trust with me.
Then, when I do sell a premium product, they are ready and willing to pay for it." — Graham adds.
3. Build automatic systems
Graham says that working only five hours per week helps him avoid burnout and allows him to spend more time with his family. This wouldn’t be possible without having automatic systems in place.
For example, almost all of his marketing and follow-up communications with clients happen through automatic emails.
"When people find my content, they have the option to sign up for more exclusive content via email. Once we’re in contact, I have dozens of pre-written emails that I automatically send.
These emails offer business insights, tips, and techniques, but also share which of my products they’ll benefit from the most.
Focusing on email means that I don’t spend hours on social media soliciting people in their DMs. I let content and email automation do the heavy lifting for me." — Graham says.
Graham has mastered the art of building passive income sources just like the fancy book of 10-hour work week teaches. His blog and online courses generate him $160 000 per month while he only works 5 hours a week.
Graham Cochrane is the founder of The Recording Revolution, the author of "How to Get Paid for What You Know" and is a business coach to over 2 800 customers worldwide.