Year in Review 2022 – Feeling like a failure in the Creator Economy

Dear readers,

I wish you a happy and prosperous new year 2023. Let’s make this year the most successful year of our lives.

I started my journey as a blogger and creator at the end of 2020. At that time, I had no idea what to do. I earned money by freelancing but didn’t feel fulfilled at all. So, I started blogging, mainly writing about random topics like Habit Building, Duolingo, or SEO.

That’s when I first came across Notion and throughout 2021 I started writing my first blog posts about this fascinating app.

When I joined Twitter again, after an 8-year-long hiatus – I quickly encountered the Notion template market and began producing my own templates. To my surprise, I quickly made a couple sales and at the end of 2021 I was hooked

In a way, 2020/ 2021 were about finding my niche. In 2022 I was testing what works and got more clarity about my goals.

It paid off. Traffic exploded. Also my income (more about this later).

Here are some of my blogging stats from the last year:

Readers on my website

Some people say that you shouldn’t write a blog on your personal website, because there nobody will see your content.

Well, in the screenshot you see the total traffic from Google to my website in 2022.

The side was displayed 2.19 Mio times in Google’s search results. Almost 60.000 people clicked on it and read at least one of my posts.

For me, writing on my website has been worthwhile.

And the best?

Throughout the year, the stats were increasing. 1 year ago I was happy to reach 100 readers a day, three days ago my site was visited more than 400 times on that single day.

Sure, progress could have been faster. A lot of the time, the traffic was stagnating. But this is totally normal: New content needs some time to reach page one on Google. Only then does your traffic increase. Every time I saw a spike in traffic, it was because of some old post reaching a higher ranking on Google.

How often was I posting?

Throughout the last year, I added 49 posts to my website.

My goal for 2023 is to double my posting frequency. Moreover, I want to consistently reach 1.000 readers per day. Which should be possible if I stay consistent and produce more quality content.

Readers on Medium.com

You see, I believe in the power of publishing on my own website. This is the web property I own.

Still, I am not against posting on third-party platforms. But I see it more as an add-on to find even more readers and followers.

Throughout 2022 I’ve reposted most of my content on Medium.com and I’ve seen a significant increase in traffic here as well.

Here are the stats from December 2021:

And here are the stats from the last 30 days:

Due to the increase in traffic, I also got paid more by Medium.

Last year, my Medium stories in the month of December only earned me $0.25. A year later, my stories on Medium were making me $40.

I am aware of writers like Tim Denning, or Nihaarika Kaur who make a decent living mainly from writing on Medium. This is not my main goal, but of course, I wouldn’t complain if I could add some hundred bucks to my bank account every month just by writing.

And now I know that this is within reach. I just need to be more consistent.

Getting exposure on Medium is easy: The more you post, the more views you get. At the moment I am averaging 4-5 new stories per week, by doubling this my traffic should rise to a similar extent.

So, for the year 2023, I have two goals on this platform.

  • Reach 1.000 followers and earn more than $100 consistently.

Newsletter

The newsletter is the most important tool available to any creator because it enables you to reach your readers directly.

How did it work for me?

On the plus side, I was able to increase my subscriber count to over 1,600 people.

But not everything was so rosy:

All the experts advise you to be consistent with your emails. Have a fixed frequency. Post on the same day of the week. Don’t change the format. Etc.

Truth is, I broke all these rules and I sent my newsletter out randomly. Sometimes 2 times a week, sometimes after a 1-month break. Of course, I changed the format several times.

Sorry!

Let’s make this better in the coming 12 months.

By the way, I also want to improve the quality of my emails.

So far, I am mostly writing a recap of my content, but I plan to make my newsletter more informative and valuable. In a way like Sahil Bloom is doing it. I have some ideas in mind. Stay tuned and subscribe if you haven’t done it yet!

Income

Here is a quick breakdown of my income stats as a creator:

  • $ 2,160 from Udemy – Despite not launching any new course
  • $ 4,345.37 from my products on Gumroad
  • $ 947.42 from being an affiliate on Gumroad
  • And around $600 from other platforms like AppSumo, Prototion, Etsy, and so on.

My Income from Gumroad

What I love about the creator economy is its positivity.

Open any newspaper or scroll through politics on Twitter: All you will encounter is negativity.

Not so in the small corner of the internet where the creators hang out.

Despite the recession, war, and inflation we read about people ten-folding their incomes, scaling their businesses, and building the life of their dreams.

Of course, this positivity also comes with some downsides:

When you see all the 17 yo kids earning 20 K per month while you are making only pennies self-doubt is spreading.

Personally, I earned €8 k with my side hustles throughout 2022. I should celebrate this, but honestly, from time to time, I feel like a failure. Like somebody, who didn’t do enough.

Of course, this is stupid!

Humans tend to compare themselves with others as if we participate in a competition where we get a medal at the end.

In fact, our income doesn’t matter to anybody (as long as we can pay our bills and finance our lifestyle).

Everybody has a personal story. And struggle.

Seeing somebody earning an incredible income just from WIFI money, shouldn’t discourage anyone. It should rather serve as motivation to do the same.

Conclusion

So what will 2023 be? Mainly it’s about scaling things that work and I want to be less dependent on clients and make the majority of my income from products.

To do so, I plan to:

  • Write every day.
  • Start the day with journaling.
  • Post on my blog 2 times per week.
  • Create not more, but better products. Improve my old templates. Write an ebook. Create a course.

Some numbers I want to reach

  • $ 3.000 MRR from digital products.
  • 50.000 monthly readers on my blog.
  • Reach 10.000 Newsletter subscribers.

In short, I want to make 2023 the best year of my life. And I am happy that you are joining me on this journey.

All the best,

Philipp