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Forbes’ Top 50 Creators of 2022 — And the Wild Ways They Make Money

forbes top creators 2022 money influencers salary net worth revenue earnings

Multi-million-dollar earnings, partnerships with huge global brands, massive companies of their own. If you keep up with some of the biggest content creators out there, you’ve probably already heard bits and pieces of this sort of news. But do you know who’s at the top of the content creation game? And how much money do they really make?

Forbes recently released its Top 50 Creators of 2022 list, which covers some of the richest creators on the internet, their social media following, and how much money they raked in last year. Read on for the main takeaways from Forbes’ first-ever creator ranking, and to see some of the wildest income streams on the list.

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Save this video next time you need a little BOOST of motivation & inspiration @forbes #creatorsucess #influencers #forbes

♬ original sound – the.leap

5 lessons from Forbes’ Top Creators 2022

Before diving into the list, let’s see what you can learn from these creators and their mega success. 

More followers don’t necessarily mean more money

While having millions of followers means having a bigger audience to monetize, making your follower count go up shouldn’t be your first priority. While TikTok darling Charli D’Amelio has almost 50 million more followers than MrBeast, when you compare the 2021 earnings of the two creators, the YouTube wild child made more than three times as much money than D’Amelio.

Diversify and reinvest

The most successful content creators on Forbes’ list don’t just stick to content creation. That’s because being too dependent on a single platform can artificially cap your income. Whether you want to launch a venture capitalist fund like the D’Amelios, or start a beauty brand like Addison Rae and Desi Perkins, it’s smart to diversify your income streams and reinvest some of the money you make into other ventures.

Find income streams that match your brand

If you’re a lifestyle vlogger, it makes sense to partner with cosmetics or fashion brands. But if you’re a master trash-talker like Jake Paul, you can make a lot more bank hyping up a boxing match. Find your niche, and be creative when you explore new revenue streams.

Age is just a number in the creator economy

10-year-old Ryan Kaji is the youngest content creator on Forbes’ list, raking in $27 million in 2021. On the other end of the spectrum, the four members of The Old Gays are in their 60s or 70s. And guess what? They made seven figures from their viral TikTok account last year.

Try new types of content

While diversifying your income streams, you also need to be willing to experiment with new types of content. Just because you’re great at making short-form videos for TikTok, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try filming longer videos, or even podcasting. Some of the most successful creators on Forbes’ list, such as Alexandra Cooper and Rickey Thompson, started podcasts that eventually led to lucrative deals with Spotify.

Forbes’ top 50 creators of 2022

See the key stats of Forbes’ inaugural creator ranking at a glance — from how much top creators earned last year, to their most impressive income streams.

#1: MrBeast

2021 earnings: $54 million

Total followers: 162 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: MrBeast Burger, a fast food franchise.

#2: Charli D’Amelio

2021 earnings: $17.5 million

Total followers: 203.7 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: 444 Capital, a venture capitalist firm investing in tech and consumer brands.

#3: Alexandra Cooper

2021 earnings: $20 million

Total followers: 3.6 million

Top platform: Podcasting

Wildest income stream: An exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify worth $60 million.

#4: FuckJerry

2021 earnings: $30 million

Total followers: 20.1 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: What Do You Meme, a Cards Against Humanity-style game where you create your own memes.

#5: Emma Chamberlain

2021 earnings: $12 million

Total followers: 27.6 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Chamberlain Coffee, her namesake tea and coffee brand. It raised a $7 million investment from venture capitalists in August 2022.

#6: Huda Kattan

2021 earnings: $13 million

Total followers: 63 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Huda Beauty, her eponymous makeup brand valued at $1.2 billion.

2021 earnings: $30 million

Total followers: 11.8 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Mythical Accelerator fund, a vehicle for investing in up-and-coming creators.

#8: Khaby Lame

2021 earnings: $10 million

Total followers: 231.4 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: A brand ambassador deal with crypto marketplace Binance.

@khaby.lame

Ficou muito simples 🤲🏿😁 (It was easy!) 🤲🏿😁 #learnfromkhaby #learnontiktok @TikTok @tiktok creators (jenthemagician)

♬ original sound – Khabane lame

#9: Addison Rae

2021 earnings: $8.5 million

Total followers: 133 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Item Beauty, her line of beauty products.

@addisonre

💋💋💋💋 @ITEM

♬ maneater – sqntanas

#10: Jake Paul

2021 earnings: $45 million

Total followers: 57.3 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Boxing and MMA matches, including an upcoming bout against UFC legend Anderson Silva.

#11: Markiplier

2021 earnings: $38 million

Total followers: 49.5 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Cloak, a clothing merch brand aimed at gamers.

#12: xQc

2021 earnings: $8 million

Total followers: 13.5 million

Top platform: Twitch

Wildest income stream: His Twitch streams. According to leaked data, he made approximately $8.5 million from August 2019 to October 2021.

#13: Unspeakable

2021 earnings: $28.5 million

Total followers: 18.8 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: A $28.5 million deal with Spotter, an accelerator for YouTubers.

#14: Patrick Starrr

2021 earnings: $15 million

Total followers: 11.7 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: ONE/SIZE, his own makeup brand.

#15: Jacksepticeye

2021 earnings: $16.8 million

Total followers: 43.9 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Cloak, a clothing merch brand aimed at gamers.

# 16: Bhad Bhabie

2021 earnings: $51 million

Total followers: 29.9 million

Top platform: OnlyFans

Wildest income stream: Her OnlyFans account, which netted her $49 million in 2021.

#17: Josh Richards

2021 earnings: $5 million

Total followers: 34.7 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Animal Capital, a venture capitalist firm with $17 million in funding.

#18: Marques Brownlee

2021 earnings: $6.5 million

Total followers: 21.3 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: His YouTube ad revenue. In a 2019 interview, he revealed that it made up about 40–50% of his total income.

#19: Ninja

2021 earnings: $12.5 million

Total followers: 63.8 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: A 30-day course for aspiring streamers with MasterClass.

#20: KSI

2021 earnings: $10 million

Total followers: 45.1 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: PRIME Hydration, the workout drink brand he co-founded with Logan Paul.

#21: Dixie D’Amelio

2021 earnings: $10 million

Total followers: 89.4 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: 444 Capital, a venture capitalist firm investing in tech and consumer brands.

#22: Dani Austin Ramirez

2021 earnings: $8.2 million

Total followers: 2.3 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Divi, a hair growth brand.

#23: Ryan Kaji

2021 earnings: $27 million

Total followers: 33.2 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: A branded line of toys and clothing.

#24: JustMaiko

2021 earnings: $5.5 million

Total followers: 56.6 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Joystick, an NFT-based gaming platform.

@justmaiko

we backkk, what dances shall we do next?🫡🔥dc:@rayvlo

♬ son original – French Fuse

#25: Aimee Song

2021 earnings: $2.8 million

Total followers: 7.1 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Song of Style, her clothing label.

#26: Desi Perkins

2021 earnings: $12 million

Total followers: 8 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Dezi Skin, a skincare brand.

#27: Bretman Rock

2021 earnings: $6.1 million

Total followers: 41.6 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Following: Bretman Rock, his MTV reality series.

#28: Noah Beck

2021 earnings: $4.5 million

Total followers: 44.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Partnerships with FIFA and Major League Soccer.

@noahbeck

it’s snowing in here

♬ som original – ys4

#29: Bella Poarch

2021 earnings: $5 million

Total followers: 111 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream:Build a B*itch,” a single that reached the top 10 in India, Malaysia, and Singapore.

@bellapoarch

Me encanta esta canción💖🥰

♬ DESPECHÁ – ROSALÍA

#30: Camila Coelho

2021 earnings: $2.5 million

Total followers: 12.1 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Camila Coelho, the creator’s namesake clothing brand.

#31: Adam W

2021 earnings: $7.3 million

Total followers: 28.9 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Signing a three-picture deal with Wheelhouse, Jimmy Kimmel’s production studio.

@adamw

When u move ur seat back @Anwar Jibawi @Max Goodrich

♬ original sound – Adam W

#32: Tinx

2021 earnings: $11 million

Total followers: 1.9 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: It’s Me, Tinx, a SirusXM show.

@tinx

For my millennial sisters 😤

♬ original sound – Cynesse

#33: Rickey Thompson

2021 earnings: $2.5 million

Total followers: 9.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: An exclusive Spotify podcast deal for his show, We Said What We Said.

#34: Bailey Sarian

2021 earnings: $9.5 million

Total followers: 12.1 million

Top platform: YouTube

Wildest income stream: Dark History, a podcast.

#35: Avani Gregg

2021 earnings: $4.75 million

Total followers: 62.1 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Here for It, a Facebook Watch show.

#36: Mikayla Nogueira

2021 earnings: $2.4 million

Total followers: 15.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Her collaboration with cosmetics brand Glamlite.

@mikaylanogueira

This is the most lip product I’ve ever tried lol

♬ original sound – Mikayla Nogueira

#37: Shroud

2021 earnings: $2 million

Total followers: 19.1 million

Top platform: Twitch

Wildest income stream: Playing Valorant professionally with the esports team Sentinels.

#38: Ziwe Fumudoh

2021 earnings: $2.5 million

Total followers: 1 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Ziwe, her own show on Showtime.

@ziwe

i tested nyc parents on their knowledge of US history #fyp #ziwe #PTA #USA

♬ original sound – ziwe

#39: Lele Pons

2021 earnings: $3 million

Total followers: 94.3 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Hit singles like “Celoso” and more platinum releases.

#40: Jalaiah Harmon

2021 earnings: $1 million

Total followers: 3.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Sponsorships from brands like Coca-Cola, Levi’s, and Netflix.

@jalaiahharmon

YAHHHHH dc:: @Fammouzz.Khariiiii ❤️‍🔥

♬ original sound – Fammouzz.Khariiiii

#41: Benito Skinner

2021 earnings: $2 million

Total followers: 3 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Starring in Billy Eichner’s upcoming romantic comedy film, Bros.

#42: La’Ron Hines

2021 earnings: $1.5 million

Total followers: 9.9 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: A career as a musician and actor.

@laronhinesofficial

Snot Prank on the kids💀I think I got em with this one

♬ original sound – La’Ron®🎤

#43: Lynja

2021 earnings: $170,000

Total followers: 16.6 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Deals with Amazon, Chobani, and McDonald’s.

@cookingwithlynja

Hashbrown Bacon Egg and Cheese with Benny

♬ original sound – Lynja

#44: The Old Gays

2021 earnings: $1 million

Total followers: 8.1 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Brand partnerships with Oreos, Lay’s, and Netflix.

@oldgays

@Montana Tucker taught us a #dance and things got #unholy 🫢

♬ original sound – Sam Smith

#45: What About Bunny

2021 earnings: $1 million

Total followers: 9.3 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: A partnership with Open Farm Pet, a sustainable pet food brand.

#46: Sophie Dee

2021 earnings: $1.5 million

Total followers: 12.3 million

Top platform: OnlyFans

Wildest income stream: Her OnlyFans account, netting $200,000 a month.

#47: Elyse Myers

2021 earnings: $500,000

Total followers: 7.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Partnerships with Audible, Aerie, and Hyundai.

@elysemyers

It was supposed to have a more words but honestly this unintentional revision is much more realistic. 💀 #motivation

♬ original sound – Elyse Myers

#48: Remi Bader

2021 earnings: $900,000

Total followers: 2.5 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: A clothing collection with Revolve.

@remibader

I DIDNT FINISH MY STORY!!!!!

♬ original sound – Remi Jo

#49: Elsa Majimbo

2021 earnings: $500,000

Total followers: 3.8 million

Top platform: Instagram

Wildest income stream: Partnerships with Valentino, Bumble, and Beats by Dre.

#50: Vivian Tu

2021 earnings: $200,000

Total followers: 2.4 million

Top platform: TikTok

Wildest income stream: Partnerships with Credit Karma, lululemon, and Invesco.

Step up your game

One of the most encouraging things to see from Forbes’ Top Creators list is just how much variety there is in the content creation world. Whatever your background, the type of content you make, or even your age, you can find your niche, cultivate an audience, and make some serious bank doing it. Hope this list inspires you to up your content creation game!

Follow The Leap on TikTok and Instagram for more monetization tips for creators. We also make a newsletter.

Nicholas Bouchard
About the author

Nicholas Bouchard

Nick is a content writer and marketer with a passion for creation. His hobbies range from writing fiction to slamming folks around the wrestling ring. He can only be photographed in national parks and on mountains, and pictures of him usually come out blurry. Some wonder if he even exists at all.
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