Creator Report

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Your career.
Your industry.
Your future.

It doesn't matter which platforms you're on or how many followers you have: If you produce and seek to monetize content, you’re a creator.

Being part of a new growing economy like ours can leave you with a lot of questions. That's why – backed by our industry, our own data, and the input of more than 9,500 creators – we kicked off an investigation to start surfacing the answers. Dive into what it means to be a creator today, and what it takes to make it on the web.

Chapter 1

Meet Your Fellow Web-Cohabiting Creators

From gamers and streamers to NFT-makers and artists, creators are part of both the passion economy and the creator economy. But, what's the real size of the opportunity you share with your fellow creators?

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The Creator Economy's

Total Addressable Market

If every single person who could potentially find value in social media, the passion economy or the creator economy acted on it today, how big would these markets be? That's how we calculate Total Addressable Market (TAM). It's the maximum potential size of the opportunity we're looking at.

4.2BSocial Media Users~500MPassion Economy Users~200MCreators

Social Media Users

Total market size for the global social media network involved in the creator economy

Passion Economy Users

People who engage in any activity to monetize individuality and non-commoditized skills supported by digital platforms


Individuals who use their influence, creativity, or skills to aggregate and monetize their audience

Creator Breakdown

Globally, by Audience Size

Audience size

# of creators


0-1K followers



1K-10K followers



10K-100K followers



100K-1M followers



1M+ followers


From the source

“It’s a fun job that brings a lot of cool opportunities. Creators are more relatable and genuine than brands, so people gravitate towards them.”


1.7M followers on TikTok

“We live in an amazing time where the ordinary person gets to become a creator and find success with social media. It’s the wave of the future.
Psychic Stina

Psychic Stina

213.1K followers on TikTok

Chapter 2

The Common Ground We Share

Creators defy a one-size-fits-all definition, but they still have a few things in common. For starters, it turns out content creation isn't the main hustle for many in the creator economy.

Overview of time spent

on content creation


of creators consider themselves part-time creators


of creators spend less than or equal to 5 hours per week creating content


of creators have been making content for less than or equal to 1 year

Annual Income and Time Spent

on content creation

The relationship between how much creators work and how much revenue they make isn’t an exact science.


of creators who make
less than $100 a year spent less than 5 hours a week on content creation


of creators who make
$100-10K a year spent greater than 10 hours a week on content creation


of creators who make
$50K-100K a year spent less than 10 hours a week on content creation


of creators who make
$100K-500K a year spent greater than 10 hours a week on content creation

Beginner* creators and monetization

When people first dip their toes into the creator economy, they struggle to monetize.

Annual Income









Annual revenue for

Full-Time Creators


of full-time creators make greater than $50k


of full-time creators make less than $1K

Annual revenue for

Part-Time Creators


of part-time creators make greater than $50K


of part-time creators make less than $1K

creat0r-reported stress levels

Creators say they feel stressed regardless of income, but full-time creators tend to feel more fatigue than part-timers.

Full-time creators

Part-time creators

Creator Reported Stress Levels Chart

Drag to Explore

From the source

“It’s hard to know what your brand is worth until you start getting multiple deals. You’ll need experience negotiating.


1.8M followers on TikTok

“Giving away free content can help with monetization. My sales are highest when I host free webinars that inspire people to continue learning with me.”
Miss Excel

Miss Excel

749K followers on TikTok

Chapter 3

What the future looks like for creators

No matter what you’re creating – or who you’re creating for – we’ve got tips that can help you take your content, communities, and monetization to the next level.

Tip 1

Seek out quality audiences over quantity

You can monetize small, engaged audiences that know and love your work. Rather than chasing bigger follower counts or brand colaborations, focus on growing your owned plaforms.


of creators say they earned ≤$100 from a single brand collab


of creators' largest audience is on their website/blog


of creators say they’ve never collaborated with a brand on your social channels


of creators earn the most income on their website/blog

Tip 2

invest in niche content creation

If you want to connect with new audiences, going mainstream isn't your only option. Find superfans by choosing to specialize.


of niche creators think specializing is helpful for engagement and reach


of niche creators had engaged in a brand collab at least once (vs. 26% of non-niche creators)


of niche creators earn >$100K per year (vs. 5% of non-niche creators)

Niche content creation's

Impact on Monetization

Channels that earn creators revenue

Niche creators

Non-niche creators

Premium newsletters






Paid downloadable resources



Affiliate marketing (excl. Amazon)






Influencer marketing



Own physical products



Tip 3

Switch Up Channels and Format Types

Emerging channels like Twitch, OnlyFans, and TikTok, and long-time favorites like Reddit and Snapchat, all offer growth opportunities. Beginners* are more likely to have their largest communities on these platforms than experienced** creators.


of beginner* creators consider TikTok as their biggest platform (vs 6% of experienced creators)


of beginner* creators consider Facebook as their biggest platform (vs 22% of experienced creators)

number of content formats creators develop

Platform popularity tends to ebb and flow, so show up where your audience is with content tailored to their favorite channel. Most creators are already producing in multiple formats including long-form video, podcasts, and for apps.

Creator Reported Stress Levels Chart

Drag to Explore

From the source

“Diversifying platforms gives you more opportunities to get bigger. Not everyone uses the platform you’re on the most.”


1.1M followers on TikTok

“We all have that one app we love, but join the latest trending ones too. Who knows, you may just become the best account on that platform!”
Early Retirement Squad

Early Retirement Squad

212.2K followers on TikTok

Research Methods

*Beginner creators: <12 months of experience

**Experienced creators: 3+ years of experience


Linktree Creator Economy Research (2021): Referenced internal Linktree data and external data from Statista, Omnicore Agency, Global Media Insight, and the social media platforms referenced. Total active users for each platform were broken down by the number of followers. TikTok analysis did not include Douyin.

Linktree Creator Survey (2021): Surveyed 9,576 Linktree users. The survey had a 95% completion rate. Response rates to individual questions varied due to open-ended questions and qualitative data. Percentages for all quantitative data were rounded to the nearest tenth or the nearest whole number as fit.

Linktree Creator Outreach (2021): Emailed select creators on Linktree with interview questions. Responses were tweaked for flow and length with respondents’ permission and approval. Follower counts noted are from early February 2022.


Chapter 1: Linktree, Creator Economy Research, 2021.

Chapter 2-3: Linktree, Creator Survey, n=9,576, 2021.