OCTOBER 12, 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

How to Calculate ROI for Content Entrepreneurs

It can be hard to find motivation in the business numbers – especially early on when it feels like the needle barely, if ever, moves.

But you do have numbers, and they do have value. Every download of a video or podcast. Every publication of a blog post or newsletter.

Let me introduce your new best friend: return on investment (ROI).

Tilt Advice

I secured my first paid subscriber ($10 a month) after 73 days operating my podcast. Using that data, I estimated my immediate and year-long ROI assuming the same small growth.

Using this relevant financial modeling article, which gained more credibility when cited by subscription giant Patreon, I learned an active Patreon subscriber retention rate is 13.1 months.

That estimate isn’t a perfect comparison since I use Ko-Fi, not Patreon. Still, I am comfortable estimating my current subscriber is worth at least $120 over the lifetime of their subscription – $10 a month for 12 months.

Now, let’s assume I see the same performance and create the same output for the year (73 days in operation multiplied by 5 = 365 days). My annual calculations would be:

Audience ROI: total revenue divided by total downloads (or views, etc.)

  • $10 revenue / 232 downloads = $.04 per download

Content ROI: total revenue divided by total content pieces

  • $10 revenue / 8 content pieces = $1.25 per content piece

Time ROI: total revenue divided days in operation

  • $10 revenue / 73 days in operation = $0.14 per day

If I keep on the same pace, next July, I will have earned 52 cents per download, $15 for each content piece, and $1.37 for each day of operation.

Of course, I expect my growth will be greater than one new paid subscriber every 73 days. As my podcast library grows, it offers more listeners an opportunity and reason to subscribe – driving up my total revenue.

I use my ROI calculations as a tangible motivation to keep moving forward.

– Ashley Stryker

To see her calculations for her current ROI, get a tracker to help calculate yours, and more, read the full story.

$TILT Coin Referral Contest

Thanks and kudos to all who took place in our $TILT coin referral contest. We love you more than chocolate sprinkles!

Congratulations to our top prize winner, Brian Limoo with over 100 referrals! He will be receiving an additional $200 USD of $TILT coin or the option for a newsletter shout-out, along with his normal referral rewards.

Second place prize goes to Joe Waters. He has scored a bonus $50 USD of $TILT coin.

We appreciate you! Be on the lookout for more opportunities to earn $TILT (and be sure you don’t miss a thing by joining our Tilt Discord server).

content entrepreneur spotlight

TikTok’s Favorite Architectural Designer Found Inspiration in Her Own Upbringing

Entrepreneur: Emily Shaw

Biz: EmilyRayna

Tilt: Frugal, creative interior redesigns

Time to First Dollar: Between 6 months and 1 year

Channels: TikTok (4.5M), YouTube (127K), Instagram (148K)

Rev Streams: Brand sponsorships, TikTok creator fund, YouTube AdSense, direct clients

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Narrow your niche: Emily isn’t making videos on TikTok about interior design. She’s focused on DIY projects that can be done on a tight budget.
  • Pick the platform you do best: Not a fan of long-form content, Emily centers her work on TikTok, and an audience that prefers short videos.
  • Don’t fake it: Resist any temptation to fictionalize for the sake of good content. Be true to your work, and your audience will respond more positively.

– Kelly Wynne

Learn the surprise project that led her to tweak her tilt, how she operates, and more, check out the story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us or reply to this email.

quick talk

Caught on … Twitter

The best way to grow your Twitter following is to be consistent. Tweet and connect every day.” – Madalyn Sklar

things to know

  • Twitch tops: The leak of Twitch’s creator payouts indicates 10% of the top 10K comprise 49% of total creator earnings. About 2K streamers earn $100K. (Tech Crunch)
    Tilt Take: Experts say, and we agree, Twitch’s focus on the few means it has little incentive to promote smaller streamers in its discovery feature.
  • More transparency: Influencer compensation varies wildly. A new site Influent is hoping to change that, closing the pay gap and creating a more equitable influencer marketplace. (Forbes)
    Tilt Take: The more information you have, the stronger your position is to negotiate with brands.
  • Green instead of envy: The Atlantic wants newsletter writers who already have audiences. It’s targeting some of these writers for a new paid offering. (Vox; h/t Robert Katai)
    Tilt Take: Your audience is valuable. That’s why The Atlantic is reaching out to writers who have them and then turn them into a new revenue stream for the media outlet.
  • Unlock referrals: At DoubleYourFreelancing.com, readers need to refer three friends to unlock behind-the-scenes content. (Brennan Dunn)
    Tilt Take: Get creative with your referral programs to grow your subscriber base.
Tech and Tools
  • No one’s site: The next step in blockchain technology is to decentralize websites so no one can take the path to your site nor destroy the storage. (Geek Culture; h/t Michael from Tilt Discord)
    Tilt Take: We’re big believers in owned channels. Decentralized websites can really make that happen.
  • Flip this: Flipboard rolls out new features and expert coverage for photographers with tech, food, travel, and personal finance to follow. The goal? Elevate the creator ecosystem on the platform. (Yahoo Finance)
    Tilt Take: Explore the non-major platforms like Flipboard to position your expertise and grow your audience.
And Finally
  • Wedge theory: A market wedge focuses solely on serving the needs of one niche before expanding to others. Yet, they’re underused and vital to understand for startup founders. (Divinations)
    Tilt Take: Yes, you need a content tilt. It may feel awkward and a slow-growth move, but it’s the best for long-term success.
  • Little less music: Groovy and Rythm are dead. YouTube issued cease-and-desist letters to the automated music sharing bots on the Discord server. They were pulling the music from YouTube without its permission. (Kotaku)
    Tilt Take: Protecting intellectual property is a serious business. Don’t steal or “borrow” others’ content without their approval.

we’re a stan for Nick Kolcheff

From an early age, Twitcher Nick Kolcheff has always had a soft spot for gaming. After a helpful tip from a friend, Nick, better known now as Nickmercs, began streaming his gaming sessions. Today, Nick plays Fortnight, Apex, and Call of Duty: Warzone for his 6.2M subscribers. And this April, Nickmercs made $1.7M, coming in first place on a Dot ESports high-earning gamers list.

Why we’re a Stan: Nick realized his passion for gaming could become content that an audience wanted to pay to watch it.

– 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 Kelly Wynne, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.