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How I Make Money Online As a Full-Time Content Creator In 2023

Embracing mediocrity, income streams & tips

Brought to you by Superwriter.

Creating content online is wild.

One day you’re king of the road, the next you’re down in the gutter.

Overly dramatically put.

That’s creator life 2023. A long road of ups & downs, highs & lows, self-doubt & surprising appreciation.

I am now a full-time content creator, relying on three main creation tactics:

  1. Writing
  2. Digital products
  3. Marketing

Here’s how I make money as a full-time content creator in 2023.

1. Full-blown Medium-ness

I am a decent writer. Not a great one, but I don’t suck either.

I can’t hide the fact that English isn’t my native language, but I know my way around some words.

For the first 13 years of my online career, starting in 2008, I was exclusively writing and creating content in German. German blogs, German social accounts, German readers.

It wasn’t going anywhere, to be honest.

Then, I found Medium in 2021. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Boy, did I not know what to expect!

I jotted down my first (horrible) writing attempts in English. To my surprise, they seemed to resonate with Medium members & publication editors. I got into big pubs like Better Marketing, the Startup, Curious, Better Humans, and more with my earliest attempts.

I was hooked.

That was February 2021. To this day (Aug 2023) it hasn’t stopped. Still hooked on Medium. Full-blown Medium-ness.

It’s my main content outlet, I’ve been making 3–4 figures a month since month 3 on this platform, and all my other successes came hand-in-hand with the Medium growth.

Medium changed my life. Cheesiest line ever, but oh so true.

So yeah, I make money on MediumAnd I recently crossed 750K views. Pretty dope.

2. Selling my mediocrity

If I were to tell my designer friends (the few I know) that I was a designer… they’d still be laughing months from now.

Yet, I’ve made thousands of dollars from selling designs and templates on Gumroad. I am closing in on 7000 sales on Gumroad.

That’s not because I am a great designer (I am not), or a great marketer (most definitely not), it’s because of

  1. Medium driving potential customers to Gumroad
  2. Tying in my products with my key audience (writers, mainly)

I actually found Gumroad earlier than Medium. A couple of months before in December 2020. It was the beginning of my journey into content creation.

Fast-forward 2.5 years, and I’ve created a number of products that thousands of people downloaded. The internet is wild. Did I mention that?

Creating digital products is as close to passive income as it gets for me. I still sell stuff I created 2 years ago.

You should try it!

3. Inboxing

The success on Medium came at the same time as the explosion of newsletters, the rise of Substack, and the abundance of email marketing talk on social media.

Without knowing what to expect, I jumped in on the newsletter experience.

To be honest, it was a complete disaster the first time. I quit a few months in.

Then I tried again in mid-2022. This time, it went great.

Today, I run three newsletters. Those make a few bucks directly from monthly paid subscriptions, and a lot more $$$ indirectly.

More on this in the next section.

4. Building on platform success

The compound effect is the most significant aspect of content creation.

Going through the roof on one platform can do wonders for many other ventures.

Again, Medium was my starting point here. With growing views, reads, and followers here, my Gumroad account grew, my Twitter following increased, blog traffic started building up, my newsletters picked up steam, and new opportunities opened up.

Case and point, sponsors, affiliates, and cross-promotions.

Over the years, I’ve added a number of affiliate products to my posts, stories, and newsletter issues. Products I use and love, and wholeheartedly promote.

Those affiliate links add up. Compounding, remember?

The same goes for sponsors and sponsor networks. I am a big fan of SparkLoop*. I make money by recommending my favorite newsletters. Feels like cheating.

I’ve also made money from direct sponsorships, advertisements in my newsletters, and partnerships, like cross-promotions.

5. The video game

No, not playing video games.

Creating videos. That’s my least-used side hustle. Neglected may fit better here. I haven’t done much over the past two years. I still get a monthly check from YouTube. Nice bonus.

3 years ago, I began discovering faceless YouTube channels. One day, I just started one. Then two. Then three.

Never hit gold, but a few hundred bucks per month isn’t bad.

I’d love to expand this YouTube thing. Maybe I will. I have more time on my hands now as a full-time creator.

But as uncomfortable as I was starting to write in English back in the day, I am a million times more uncomfortable with the thought of talking in YouTube videos. That might be the perfect reason to do it, though. We’ll see.

Connecting the dots

Those are the 5 main ways I make money online in 2023 as a full-time creator.

  1. Medium
  2. Gumroad
  3. Newsletters
  4. Affiliates & sponsors
  5. YouTube

Am I rich? No.

Planning on? Hell yeah 😉

Seriously though, I mainly intend to enjoy the life I live with everything I have, earn enough to sustain it and have a good time doing so.

So far, so good.

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