Revealing How Much I Made in 2023 as a Content Creator

A Transparent Look at My Earnings

by kaya@comfygirlwithcurls.com
Featured Image - How much I made as a content creator in 2023, picturing brand deals.

2023 marked my first full calendar year as a full time content creator.

When I started on this journey 8 years ago, I never imagined I would one day be able to pay my bills with this thing, cover my rent and eventually go on to make $100,000 in a single year.

And because a lot of you have been with me from when I made my first couple dollars over on ComfyGirlCurls, I want to pull the curtain back on my 2023 earnings as a content creator, breaking down my revenue streams and addressing some of the FAQs that come up whenever people discuss income on the internet.

Summary of my Journey

I’m Kaya Marriott (hi 👋🏽), and I started a blog Natural Hair and Beauty Blog back in 2016. At the same time, I also created a profile on every platform known to me at the time, including one on Instagram.

I started out quite niched down, but as I began building my community and landing brand deals, I began to pivot into more of a “lifestyle influencer”.

In 2020, I made my first $10k. In 2021 and 2022, I broke $70k, encouraging me to put in a long notice at my day job and eventually take content full time.

As I continued along my journey, I wanted to consolidate my learnings and make them available to other creators looking to make content their career, which is where this blog and adjacent Youtube Channel come in.

I hope to be a resource to all those looking to make content creation a sustainable business for themselves by pulling the curtain back on how I make a living as a creator.

Which brings us to…

Opening up About my 2023 Income

I also have a video-version of this post here if you prefer. ⬇️

Importance of Income Transparency

I know a lot of people get weird about discussing finances, but I share my income because transparency in the creator economy is valuable for the larger community.

It’s an unregulated space, and not talking about money widens the pay gaps amongst genders and races, and leaves creators unaware of their full potential.

My hope is that in being open about my own income, others can see what’s possible and embark on their creative journeys.

How Much Money I Made as a Full Time Influencer

Now, the moment of truth. Drumroll, please….

In 2023, I made a grand total of $103,235.

However, let’s remember, this is gross income. Before taxes and expenses, which is a whole other topic for another post.

Related Post: How Do Content Creators Make Money?

Revenue Stream Breakdown

Now, let’s dissect where the money flowed in from.

And I would love a sound-off in the comments, because a new revenue stream popped up for me this year, and it’s debatable whether or not it should be included in this income recap in the first place… 👀

Brand Deal Income – $81,697

The heavyweight champion of my income sources, 3 years running is brand deals.

I made a total of $81,697 with 24 different brands, spread across 43 unique campaigns.

This means that brand deals made up about 80% of my income this year, which is pretty standard for influencers. In fact, there are tons of creators who don’t diversify their income, and so paid sponsorships often make up 100% of their earnings.

Related Post: How to Attract Brand Deals on Instagram

Ad + Affiliate Revenue – $1,250

A modest but valuable addition, I made $1,250 from a combination of ad revenue and affiliate income through my two blogs.

This didn’t scale from last year, because I hate to admit that I really dropped the blog on blogging in 2023. That being said, the money does still make an impact in that it does help offset the cost associated with running a website, like hosting and domain fees.

Products + Services – $ 1,488

This year I wanted to experiment more with monetizing my knowledge.

I absolutely love sharing free advice here and on YouTube, but I love getting the opportunity to share more focused information and well… get compensated for it.

So in 2023, I made $1,488 from selling my Pinterest starter guides, offering paid Pinterest audits, and doing one-on-one calls with those looking to pick the brain of a full time creator.

Everything has been incredibly rewarding, but I am planning to scale back on the 1:1s going forward. Quite a bit of work go into them, and I feel my time could be better-allocated elsewhere.

Other Income – $6,500

The miscellaneous category.

This is where I threw any income that didn’t quite fit in another box. The one through-line though is that everything in bucket came directly as a result of me being a content creator.

I was paid for a few speaking opportunities and unique projects that I got either because of my brand presence or the skillset I’ve gained from creating.

New Revenue Stream$12,245

And finally…the wildcard.

I started acting in commercials this year. Something that was completely unplanned but very rewarding.

Towards the end of 2022, an agent had DM’d me on Instagram. A reel of mine had come across her feed, and she wanted to know if I had ever considered getting into acting.

It absolutely was not something I had ever considered, but I took a chance and it really paid off.

That being said, the world of commercials is extremely last minute, and going to auditions and landing gigs really pulled focus from some of my other income sources–but I’m not complaining.

Some BTS moments from one of the commercials. Where we got to climb this gorgeous lighthouse. ⬇️

Monthly Income Breakdown

And to really illustrate how unpredictable the income of a content creator is, I want to break down my monthly earnings.

January – $5,857
February – $5,464
March – $4,261
April – $13,670
May – $6,212
June – $9,886
July – $18,404
August – $7,770
September – $8,167
October – $5,179
November – $8,567
December – $9,799

While this does feel all over the place, it is much more stable that 2022, where my lowest month was $400, and my highest breaking 5 figures.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, I just want to note that I’m intensely aware of the privilege that comes with being able to work for myself and make money from making fun videos for brands.

And so the last thing I want is for this video to foster feelings of comparison. I don’t want you to feel like you aren’t doing enough or making enough.

The goal is always to educate and encourage.

So whether you’re proceeding on a creative journey of your own, or you were just feeling nosey, I wish you all the success and joy in your endeavours.

And if you want to find out how much I spend on my business as a content creator. Read this next.

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