2023 Creator Economy Benchmark Research

New research about content creators quantifies each stage of the business

The Tilt surveyed over 1,000 content creators to understand their journey: What does the path to success look like? How do they spend their time? How much do they earn? Our aim is to understand how successful creators run their content business so that we can help you, fellow creators, make smart business decisions.

Download our 2023 Benchmark Content Entrepreneur research today!

The Tilt 2022 Creator Economy Research The Creator Next Door cover

Here’s a quick preview of key findings:


  • Content creators have 4,000 followers on average, and they use just four channels to reach their audience. These are not influencers in search of massive followings; they are successful business owners with a niche audience and a narrow focus.
  • 3 in 4 are using AI tools – whether researching new topics, developing creative assets, honing their writing or predicting churn rates.


  • Creators should plan for an 18 month runway. People we surveyed say it takes five months to earn the first dollar, 13 months to go full-time, and 18 months to fully support themselves.

  • Content creators spend $10.7K on average to start their business, and over half (66%) rely on savings to fund their new venture.
  • Technology expenses cost $1K per year during the first three years, and 2K per year thereafter. These tools run the gamut from content production tools, to business management software.


  • The top three monetization channels content creators use are consulting/coaching, book publishing and online classes; those three are also the most profitable, say creators. 
  • Using paid memberships/communities is a tactic to watch; it ranks 8th-most common, but 5th-most profitable among all the monetization tactics content creators use. 


  • All-in creators say they’ll gross $108,199 in revenue in 2023 and will pay themselves $62,224 — a gross margin of 59%. The $62K figure is a little more than half of what they would like to earn ($109,250) from the content business.

About Anatomy of a Creator
The 2023 Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Research is published by The Tilt in partnership with Total Annarchy, Creator Science, Future Freedom, and Lulu. All four partners assisted with distributing the survey to their audiences.

We surveyed 1,043 creators and 397 individuals who want to be creators during the first quarter of 2023. The findings focus on “all-in creators,” people who spend the majority or all of their working time on their content business. Survey results are not weighted.

Research Archive

2022 Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Research – The Creator Next Door 

The Tilt surveyed over 1,000 content creators to learn what motivates them, how they build a successful content business, and how quickly they hit key business milestones. All the findings are summed up in a report called The Creator Next Door, commissioned by The Tilt.

Content entrepreneur research from The Tilt creator economy research

2021 Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Research – The Unconventionals

The Unconventionals digs into the minds, motivations, and aspirations of content entrepreneurs. What does it take to build a successful content business? What motivates the leap from traditional employment to independent creator?  Why is this group at the heart of the creator economy?