Signals #22 – Creator Economy


  • Decentralization and the adoption of internet payments has made it possible to earn an income as an online creator 🧑‍🎨
  • People can choose alternative routes to their careers. Instead of going to a university and getting a 9-to-5 job: they now can write a newsletter, record a podcast, host cohort courses, develop micro-SaaS, become an influencer… the possibilities are endless.
  • This allows more people to build their ideal work life 🏝️
    • Flexible schedules – work from 8 to 80 hours a week.
    • Live anywhere – no need to live close to an office anymore.
    • Low barrier-to-entry – only a laptop is needed to start creating.
    • Async working style – more productive output, less time spent in meetings.


How to launch

  • Start with something that’s meaningful to you ❤️ An intersection of what you like, know how to do, others need and are willing to pay for. See the Purpose Venn Diagram.
  • Follow these steps: pick a niche, find a problem, build something that solves that problem, launch, sell and iterate. See Signals Pro #11 for a more detailed framework.
  • How to get to ramen profitability? 🍜 Let’s define that as reaching $2k/mo or $24k/year:
    • Newsletters 💌 * Just ads – Find 4,000 free subscribers
      • Average sponsorship price is ~5% of subscriber count or $200 for 4,000 subs
      • Average classifieds price is ~2% of subscriber count
      • 1 x main sponsor per issue and 2 x classified ads
      • $200 for main sponsor ad and $80 for classifieds
      • (1 x $200 + 2x $80) = $360 revenue per issue
      • Release ~6 issues a month to get to $2,000/month
    • Newsletters 💌 * Just paid subscriptions – 130 paid subscribers
      • Typical free-to-paid conversion rates ranges between 2-10%
      • Political newsletters charge $5-10/month
      • Business newsletters charge $10-50/month
      • Culture newsletters charge $5-7/month
      • Charge $15/month for premium content with 130 paid subscribers (total subs would range from 1300-6500) to get to $2,000/month
    • (2 more cases in the Pro-version of this report)


  • Arvid Kahl made almost $12k during 14 days after publishing a book about entrepreneurship 📘
  • Nicolas Cole started freelance writing by charging only a $100 per a ghostwritten article. Now he charges $3,000 per article.
  • Stir helps creators split their revenue earned from collaborations. Stir was recently valued at around $100 million 📈
  • Yaro Bagriy built Newsletter Crew to a revenue of $5K/month within 10 months and then sold it.


Market Data

  • $800 million in VC capital has been invested into creator economy startups since late 2020.
  • Total creator economy market size is estimated to be around $104.2 billion.
  • 78% of full-time creators make over $23k annually
  • Money flowing into the creator space comes from mainly 3 different avenues 💵:
    • Sponsorships and ads from brands.
    • Direct/subscription payments from fans to creators.
    • Investments from VCs.


  • Your side projects and building in public stats will become your new resume 📝
  • Creator co-living and collectives will become more common. See Founders House and Creator Rising.
  • Creators will move their best fansaway from social networks and sell DTC ➡️


Want to learn more?

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Learn all this:

[Pro] 10+ validated opportunities with case examples.
 What it takes to reach $2k/mo with newsletters, YouTube or podcasting.
 How a creator launched a paid community and made $5k during the first week.
[Pro] Why was 2020 a breakout year for creators?
[Pro] Who are rolling out creator funds?
 A 9-step approach to establishing a personal monopoly.
 150+ companies forming the creator economy ecosystem.
+ 102 insights more.