STATE OF THE CREATOR ECONOMY

2022
Presented by
2,704

The creator economy is on the move. Upward, that is.

This review of the Creator Economy in 2022 is the culmination of 2,704 creators sharing their experiences.

Together, these creators bring over 11,000 years of combined audience-building expertise and $66 million in 2021 earnings.

01
01

Creator is a wide-ranging label

People are at the heart of the creator economy—it’s even in the name. Before looking at what creators did this year, it’s only fitting to learn who they are first.

From the coaches and artists to the married with kids and the 71-year-old creators, and even the 24% of creators who got their start during the pandemic; if you’ve ever doubted whether it was possible to be a full-time creator, buckle up—it’s not as rare as you might think.

02
02

Creators are gonna create

There’s no one type of person who becomes a creator, and there is most certainly not one type of content they create.

In 2021, we saw social media posts, emails, courses, long-form and short-form videos and more coming from creators…and often all at the same time.

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03
03

The myth of the overnight success

Stories of YouTubers going viral with their first video may be exciting, but for most creators, building an audience is a marathon, not a sprint.

In fact, 67% of full-time creators started more than 3 years ago, and just over a quarter began growing an audience a decade or more ago.

So the next time you feel like comparing your journey to another creator’s, remember that things worth doing can take time.

04
04

The creator middle class exists

It’s true. The creator economy isn’t full of overnight sensations making celebrity-level cash and struggling content creators.

22% of full-time creators are sitting pretty in that middle class revenue range between $50,000-$150,000.

Whether a creator is full-time, part-time or creating as a hobby, there is money to be made from products, services, memberships, and more.

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05
05

The creator economy’s gender pay gap

Did you know that female creators outnumber male creators by nearly 2:1 and they were most likely to have earned revenue in 2021?

However, men were more than twice as likely to earn over $150,000 annually than women, and overall 35% of men are earning over $100,000 compared to just 19% of women.

So while we’re excited to see more female creators taking control of their earnings, there’s still progress to be made when it comes to closing the pay gap.

06
06

Can money buy happiness?

If you’ve ever wondered if money buys happiness, it does…to an extent.

While we know that a certain amount of money isn’t the only definition of success, it is important to the livelihood of creators and does in fact have an impact on how they view their work and their happiness in that work.

On average, creators rate their happiness with their work as a 6.6/10. But where do those happy creators fall in the revenue range?

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We're just scratching the surface. Download the full report to get more insights into the current state of the creator economy.

07
07

Engagement > followers

When it comes to fans, followers, and subscribers, creators are finding that the secret sauce to happiness and success is in engagement instead of the numbers.

Creators focusing on audience engagement reported slightly more happiness on average than those who measured by follower count. And for 52% of creators, the platform they most enjoyed creating on was also the one with the most engagement.

We don’t know whether high audience engagement makes the site more enjoyable or if having more fun on a platform leads to more engaged audiences. But these numbers speak for themselves.

08
08

The value of emailing weekly

Full-time creators ranked the importance of email to their business at 8.3/10.

Spoiler alert for the full, downloaded report—this rating means professional creators think email is more important to their business than social media or paid ads.

If you want to send emails like the pros, making an effort to grow and nurture your audience pays off in the long run. So 2022 is the year to start your email list, even if you feel like a small fish in a big pond.

A grouped vertical bar chart of the importance of email, social media and paid advertising to a creators business on a scale of 1 to 10 split by full-time, part-time and hobby creators, where email is ranked as most important for both full-time and part-time creators with a score of 8.3 and 7.7 out of 10 respectively. A grouped vertical bar chart of the importance of email, social media and paid advertising to a creators business on a scale of 1 to 10 split by full-time, part-time and hobby creators, where email is ranked as most important for both full-time and part-time creators with a score of 8.3 and 7.7 out of 10 respectively. A grouped vertical bar chart of the importance of email, social media and paid advertising to a creators business on a scale of 1 to 10 split by full-time, part-time and hobby creators, where email is ranked as most important for both full-time and part-time creators with a score of 8.3 and 7.7 out of 10 respectively.
MOST COMMON EMAIL SCHEDULE for creators who earned more than $150,000 in 2021

Weekly

MOST COMMON EMAIL SCHEDULE for creators where email is the top channel for engagement

Weekly

The creator marketing platform

Whatever you make, make it known with ConvertKit

Start a free trial
14-day free trial. No card required. Cancel anytime.
09
09

The Distribution of work

When you’re your own boss, you can set your schedule. But when you have big ideas, goals, and to-do lists, finding work/life balance can be tricky.

‍Do you hire contractors? Can you change up the amount of time you work in a week?

A significant portion of full-time creators don’t plan on adding to their solo run business, so 2022 needs to be the year of multiple revenue streams, self-growing strategies, and email automations for greater impact with less hands-on time.

10
10

Creator burnout is widespread

The prolonged stress of burnout can spiral into mental exhaustion, apathy for your work, or a lack of motivation and creativity. And unfortunately, it’s a prevalent enemy in the creator experience.

‍‍61% of creators experienced burnout in 2021.

Thankfully, creators are taking steps to shake off the stress. Whether it’s taking dedicated breaks, getting their bodies moving, finding themselves in the great outdoors, or slowing down for self-reflection, creators are finding ways to kick burnout to the curb.

These passionate creators are taking matters into their own hands, breaking away from traditional work, and embracing creativity to change the way the world works.

Being a creator may not be a new concept, but the impact of the creator economy is just getting started.

We believe the future belongs to these creators.

Are you ready to change the world with them?

get the full report

We're just scratching the surface here. Download the full report to see more insights into the current state of the creator economy.

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