What does six-figure success for creators look like? For content entrepreneurs like yourself, comparison doesn’t have to be the thief of joy.

Comparison can inspire and motivate you. It can confirm you’re on the right path. It can help you set ambitious but realistic goals for your content business.

So, how does your content business compare to the 2,026 creators surveyed for the State of Creators ’24 Report by Kajabi, a creator commerce platform? 

And if you want it to do better, what can you do that these six-figure entrepreneurs are doing?

Let’s dig in.

Entrepreneurs like you

Like most small business owners, most creators never hit the $100K mark. But I’m sure a six-figure (or more) business is what most entrepreneurs plan to build. This research focuses on the people who have done – and are doing – it successfully.

Unlike a lot of creator economy research focusing on creators who make their money through social media platforms, this study involves creators who have built their businesses primarily through their owned channels.

Finally, these creators tend to operate in fields requiring knowledge or expertise. The top content tilts for these creators fall into three categories: business and marketing, finance, and real estate.

In this group, 58% earn $100K to $499K, 27% earn $500K to $999K, and 17% bring in over $1M. 

Eighty percent of these creators have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 86% work on the business full time.

As far as their personal finance activities are concerned, three-fourths of these creators own their homes. But only 59% have health insurance, and one-third (36%) invest regularly in a 401(K).

Role of revenue streams

Revenue diversification makes a difference in earnings. Creators earning less than $100K have an average of two revenue streams. But creators earning between $100K and $150K operate five or six revenue streams. The top earners – over $150K – have seven revenue streams on average.

Among these creators’ revenue streams in order of popularity:

  • Digital products – courses, ebooks, templates
  • Platform payouts – views, streams, ad sense
  • Physical products
  • In-person consulting/coaching
  • Online consulting/coaching

But popularity isn’t the best reflection of a successful business. You could sell a product popular in the industry but net little revenue. So, what are the most profitable revenue streams? According to creators, these are the top four:

  • Online courses
  • Digital downloads
  • Subscriptions/memberships
  • Online coaching/consulting

Those results resonate with our earlier research. In The Tilt’s Content Entrepreneur Benchmark Report, the top five profitable revenue streams include consulting/coaching, books, online courses/workshops, advertising/sponsored content, and paid communities.

Creator entrepreneurs see the value in diversification in future business growth. In the Kajabi report, one-third of those surveyed say they plan to diversify their revenue streams in 2024.

As entrepreneur Justin Welsh explains to Kajabi: “I think people often neglect how helpful [diversification] can be to their customers. Different offerings for different learning styles, budgets, and free time mean more options for choosing the right product or service for them. In turn, that usually means more income for the creator.”

Role of social media

Social media doesn’t go unnoticed by these creator entrepreneurs. Over 50% use the platforms to engage with an audience, but they don’t stay on the platform.

As The Tilt founder Joe Pulizzi says, “We see this kind of research over and over again. Simply put, you don’t need a large audience to be successful as a content entrepreneur. Kevin Kelly was right. One thousand true fans, and you can create a content business model that works.”

These creators use social media to drive traffic to their owned channels, promote their products and services, and engage with their target audiences on social media.

The platforms to generate leads? Twenty-two percent say Instagram, 21% pick YouTube, and 19% reap rewards from TikTok.

When it comes to using social media as a community development tool, 22% of creators turn to YouTube, and 22% pick TikTok. Another 18% go on Facebook.

Craft or improve your monetization strategy

Using Kajabi’s survey results along with The Tilt’s research on content entrepreneurs, how well does your business compare? When factoring in your unique circumstances, do you see any potential avenues to tap that could work well to grow your business?

If nothing or everything grabs your attention, consider this option: Add a revenue stream that does more with whatever is working well. Got a newsletter or podcast series? Package that content into an online course or take one and do a webinar. Got a video channel? Transcribe the content and create an ebook. 

That’s the best part of being an entrepreneur – the choice is yours. Just let the comparison research help you make informed choices.

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About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.