Can you make a decent living as a content creator?

It’s official: over 50% of UK adults now consider themselves content creators. But the big question is, can you make a decent living doing it full-time?

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Recent studies reveal a burgeoning trend in the UK’s workforce – a significant portion of Brits are now embracing content creation as a full-time career path. 

The rise of the gig economy has empowered millions to explore alternative avenues of income, with content creation emerging as a particularly popular choice. But what does it take to make the leap from a stable 9-to-5 job to the uncertain yet potentially rewarding world of content creation?

Let’s delve into the data, explore the risks and rewards, and ponder the future of content creation for small UK creators.

The data

According to the recent survey of UK individuals by marketing company FATJOE, approximately 13 million Brits have entered the realm of content creation in various forms. 

  • Podcasting, blogging, and social media are the primary content avenues, with 17.2%, 23.0%, and 12.2% of respondents identifying with each, respectively. 
  • 61.6% of creators are men, and women make up 45.5% of participation.
  • A higher percentage of women (37.2%) compared to men (25.7%) earned £500 – £999 in the last 12 months
  • At the higher earning levels, men outpace women, with 10.6% of men securing £5,000 or more compared to 3.3% of women. 

Opportunities and challenges

A significant 36.6% of content creators express readiness to sacrifice 20% of their income to pursue a full-time career in creation. 

This willingness speaks volumes about the changing preferences in the workforce – as it signifies a growing desire for genuinely meaningful work that aligns with a creative’s passions and interests. 

For many, the allure of content creation lies in the promise of autonomy, creativity, and potentially lucrative returns. However, transitioning can be challenging. 

There is an initial loss in income that often accompanies such a leap. Many content creators face financial uncertainty as they strive to establish themselves and monetise their creations effectively. 

Sacrificing 20% of one’s income could mean tightening the budget, cutting back on discretionary spending, or even making significant lifestyle adjustments to accommodate the transition to full-time content creation.

There is also the introduction of the new UK tax law: the “side hustle tax”, which mandates individuals earning £1,000 or more to declare their income. With 27.8% of creators currently over this bracket, tax implications need to be considered.

Despite these challenges, there are also significant opportunities for growth and success in the world of content creation. With the increasing demand for digital content across various platforms, there is still ample room for creators to carve out a niche and surprise and delight an audience.

Is there still a future in content creation?

As technology continues to evolve, some may wonder whether the future of content creation is secure (especially with one of the biggest concerns being that AI currently targets women’s jobs more than any other demographic). The advent of AI and automation has undoubtedly altered the landscape. 

Still, instead of posing a threat, these advancements can be leveraged to enhance the quality and efficiency of content creation. AI tools can assist creators in various tasks, from content curation to audience analysis, enabling them to work smarter and more effectively.

While AI can streamline certain aspects of content creation, human creativity and ingenuity remain irreplaceable. 

Authenticity, originality and personal branding are valued now more than ever, and creators who can offer unique perspectives and genuine connections with their audience are likely to thrive in the long run.


The allure of becoming a full-time content creator is undeniable, with millions of Brits already diving headfirst into the industry. However, if you’re one of the eager individuals ready to do so, it’s crucial to acknowledge and understand the risks and challenges that come with this career path – from fluctuating income to tax implications. 

The decision is not one to be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration of the opportunities and challenges involved, as well as a realistic assessment of your skills, resources, and SMART goals

Despite the hurdles, the data suggests that for many, the potential rewards of creative freedom and self-expression outweigh the risks, pointing towards a future where content creation continues to thrive as a career choice in the UK – and making now an exciting time to embark on this journey.

More info:

If you are short on ideas on where to start your content creation or side hustle journey, why not check out how to start a side hustle, and our guide to 101 small business ideas to start now.

Or, if you already own a clothing business but want to avoid hitting that annoying side hustle tax threshold, here are 10 HMRC hacks you need to know.

For inspiration, you can also check out our list of successful side gig owners (and find out how to join them).

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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