DECEMBER 31, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs. Each edition is packed with the latest news, strategies, and tactics, plus inspiring creator stories and exclusive education, all to help you create, grow, and monetize better.

Features in this issue (view online):

full tilt

Top 5 Entrepreneur Spotlights

In 2021, 75 content entrepreneurs shared their stories with writers at The Tilt. Some of these creators still have their “day” jobs, while others are earning six figures and more from their content business. They publish blogs, videos, podcasts, and more. They’re doing deals with brands, and selling subscriptions, merch, etc.

What do the top five spotlights (based on total page visits) have in common? In short, they all have found a successful content tilt. In long? Read on for the spotlights and click the titles to read the full stories.

1. Creator Takes Tingling ASMR Content to Next Level, Attracts YouTube Audience (Nov. 8, 2021)

Entrepreneur: Dee (she doesn’t use her last name publicly because of privacy concerns)

Biz: The Healing Room ASMR

Tilt: ASMR content for relaxation and entertainment

Primary Channel: YouTube (41.3K)

Other Channels: The Healing Word on YouTube (2.36K), TikTok (177), Patreon (43), Instagram (3K)

Time to First Dollar: 6 months

Rev Streams: YouTube ads, Patreon

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Let your audience choose: Dee delivers her videos in two forms – with music and ambient sound and without.
  • Stand out with creativity: In a crowded ASMR content world, she treats each video as an art piece, making it aesthetically pleasing and as immersive for viewers as possible.
  • Start with education, not creation: Dee advises potential content entrepreneurs to do their research before creating their first content.

– Kelly Wynne

2. TikTok Creator Kacie Burns Creates Content Business After Viral Video (July 22, 2021)

Entrepreneur and Biz: Kacie Rose Burns

Tilt: Real experience of living abroad.

Channels: TikTok (662K) Instagram (89.8K)

Rev Streams: TikTok Creator Fund, sponsored content

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Fill a gap: Just because you want to create in a crowded space, like travel influencers, doesn’t mean you can’t find a niche that needs to be filled.
  • Get your audience involved: Kacie uses her viewers to help in content-making decisions.
  • Publish consistently: Once you capture the audience’s attention, continue regular delivery of your content to keep them interested and engaged.

– Bonnie Azoulay

3. YouTube Creator and Novelist Makes Surprising Addition to Her Content Business (May 13, 2021)

Entrepreneur: Allison Raskin

Biz: Emotional Support Lady and Just Between Us (with Gaby Dunn)

ESL Channel: Instagram Followers: 37.8K

JBU Channel: YouTube Followers: 679K Total Views: 174M

Rev Streams: YouTube, books, podcast acquisition, sponsored content, Patreon

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Ask Why should this content exist in the world?”: You must have a good reason to motivate you to create and your audience to follow you.
  • View yourself as a storyteller, not a content creator: That shift in thinking will lead you to create narratives that resonate better with your audiences.
  • Bring your audience along: Allison built a following at Buzzfeed. Many of them followed her to Just Between Us and now Emotional Support Lady.

– Bonnie Azoulay

4. YouTube Creator Andrea Russett Goes Pro Early (July 12, 2021)

Entrepreneur & Biz: YouTube creator Andrea Russett

Tilt: Journey to real-life adulthood

Channels: TikTok (1.5M) YouTube (2.93M) Instagram (4.8M)

Rev Streams: TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, music, merch

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Not just the rosy: Andrea knows sharing her life means sharing the positive and the negative.
  • Read contracts: A professional can be essential to ensure you fully understand all the details in your brand sponsorships or other business contracts.
  • Don’t go for sensational: Building a business around controversy may prompt follower spikes, but it rarely is the best long-term, sustainable option.

– Kelly Wynne

5. Early-Stage Content Entrepreneur Makes First Dollar after 2 Weeks on Twitch (May 31, 2021)

Entrepreneur: Tamer Gargour

Biz: TamerGar

Tilt: Streaming less popular video games

Channels: Twitch (1.1K) Facebook (10K) Twitter (10K) Instagram (2.8K)

Time to revenue: 2 weeks

Monthly revenue: $1K after five months in business

Rev Streams: Twitch affiliate partner

Our Favorite Actionable Advice

  • Don’t stream more. Market and network more: Tamer attributes over 80% of his early success to interacting in Twitch-related groups, answering questions, posting comments, popping into and supporting other Twitch channels.
  • Go live when you have an audience: Ask family and friends to join your early streams. Having audience members is social proof that could spur non-relatives to watch too.
  • Pick standout stream topics: Tamer deliberately streams games that are less popular, so his channel stands out from the crowd.

– Emily Griffin-Wetzel

– Compiled by Ann Gynn

To read the bonus sixth spotlight, read the longer story.

Tilt News

The Creator Economy Expo. The only event of its kind made for creators, by creators.

Join us May 2-4, 2022, in Phoenix, AZ. In-person only.

Early bird rate of $495 ends soon, so register today.

content entrepreneur spotlight

Travel Storyteller’s Pivot

Entrepreneur: Trisha Velarmino

Biz: P.S. I’m On My Way

Tilt: Immersive travel as experienced by a Filipino woman

Primary Channel: Blog (100K+ monthly visitors)

Other Primary Channels: Email (13K), Instagram (57.4K) Pinterest (2.2K) YouTube (11.1K)

Time to First Dollar: 2 years

Rev Streams: Blog ads, YouTube, travel consulting, group trips, affiliate marketing

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Create evergreen content: When some countries closed their borders to visitors, Trisha edited and promoted her evergreen content from countries where people could travel to.
  • Read the comments: Read their feedback, see the questions they ask, and use that to inform future content
  • Understand audience differences: Trisha has learned which channel’s audiences are more likely to buy, which make them more attractive for brand deals.

All the Story: To learn more about how Trisha Velarmino has grown P.S. I’m On My Way, check out the story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us. Or email [email protected].

quick talk

Caught on … Insider

“The creator economy isn’t just a fad.” – Shelby Bier

things to know

  • Tokenize socializing: Explosive growth in social tokens in 2022 will drive new creators not hampered by traditional monetization models. Mattias Ljungman of Moonfire Ventures says, “Using blockchain technology … fans likewise will be able to access their favorite content creators easily and securely.” (Forbes)
    Tilt Take: Call them social tokens, community tokens, or creator coins; we are bullish on the model. (We’ve been $TILTing since our beginning.)
  • Take that, Google: TikTok made a giant leap in 2021, becoming the most visited website in the world. Last year, it had just cracked the top 10, coming in at seventh, according to Cloudfare’s 2021 Year in Review internet traffic rankings. (Gizmodo)
    Tilt Take: We don’t think Google (formerly No. 1) is quaking in their boots, but it’s important to recognize the growing power of social videos.
Tech and Tools
  • YouTube download: New features to its channel memberships include the ability to export members as a CSV file and create a members-only form to collect fan information. (tubefilter)
    Tilt Take: Great news. YouTubers now have an opportunity to actually know who’s paying to consume their premium channel content (and connect with them away from the platform.)
And Finally
  • 2022 predictions: 1. Social commerce is swiftly becoming mainstream. 2. Some creator economy startups will end up consolidating. 3. The definition of ‘creator’ will expand. 4. Brand ambassadors will increase in popularity. 5. Student-athletes will join the creator economy in full force. (Insider)
    Tilt Take: What do you predict for content entrepreneurs in 2022? Tag us on social @TheTiltNews or #TheTiltNews.

we’re a stan for Luke Meagher

Haute LeMode started with a New Year’s goal set by Luke Meagher when he was a senior in high school. As he earned a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, he became more discerning about fashion. Then, the fashionista shadowed the industry’s most talented at Zac Posen, Management + Artists, and other companies.

In the following years, Luke transitioned into creating fashion review content for YouTube (643K), accumulating millions of views monthly on his buzzed-about channel. Luke frequently critiques celebrities’ clothing choices, Vogue’s 7 Days, 7 Looks video segments, current trends, and dives deep into fashion houses.

The young YouTuber and Instagrammer (187K) has sponsorship deals with brands such as Bright Cellars and sells 99-cent monthly subscriptions to his exclusive YouTube content.

Why we’re a Stan: Luke set a goal as a teen to create a YouTube channel. His industry knowledge and opinions expanded into a successful content business through blogging, YouTube videos, and Instagram.

– Shameyka McCalman

the business of content

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Angelina Kaminski, Bonnie Azoulay, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.