We Built a Content Machine That Generates $6M in Revenue Per Year

Published: December 10th, 2023
Anthony Gallo
from Boston, MA, USA
started April 2020
market size
avg revenue (monthly)
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
210 days
growth channels
Organic social media
business model
best tools
Adobe Suite, Google ads, Google AdSense
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
2 Tips
Discover what tools Anthony recommends to grow your business!
customer service
social media
Discover what books Anthony recommends to grow your business!
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi Starter Story readers! My name is Anthony Gallo, and along with my business partner Paul Xavier, I'm the co-founder of ContentCreator.com - an online education platform that teaches people the skills of professional content creation.

Three years ago, Paul and I decided we wanted to start a business focused on scalable online courses rather than trading time for money in our day jobs as a videographer and internet marketers respectively.

After researching what was generally available in the space, we quickly realized nobody was serving the beginner market with affordable, easy-to-follow training on cinematic video production. So we launched a short course called "14 Day Filmmaker" to target this untapped market.

With just $60 spent in our first day on Facebook ads and no existing audience, we were able to scale 14 Day Filmmaker to over $35,000 in sales per week within the first month! At this point, we knew we had stumbled upon something amazing.

Now, after years of refinement and relentless dedication, ContentCreator.com has become a thriving 8-figure business that's helped launch the careers of thousands of aspiring content creators around the world.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I grew up in a middle class family in a reasonably wealthy American town. I was always intrigued by the kids who had lavish homes and parents who didn't seem to work much. Seeing this planted a seed in my mind that one day I wanted the freedom to create my own future, rather than just accept the path that was expected.

The problem was I had no real business skills and lacked self-belief at the time. So like many of us, I opted to play it safe and went to college to study medicine.

In my time at college, I picked up filming and editing as a hobby, and it quickly turned into a huge passion. Making my own videos on the side, word eventually started to get around, and I began taking on client work filming commercials, weddings, and other projects.

Not long after, I joined a community online created by a guy named Paul Xavier. Paul had his own creative marketing business where he helped a variety of businesses grow with commercial campaigns. The focus of this community was to teach creatives (like myself) more business-centric skills in an effort to scale our businesses more. I really enjoyed being a part of this small community and it helped grow my one man band video business well past 6 figures in my first year full-time after graduating college.

After another year being a member of the community, Paul actually reached out to me to get coffee and chat, since we were relatively local to one another in the east coast (I was in New Hampshire and Paul was in Maine). Little did we know… this meetup was the beginning of a long business partnership!

We instantly hit it off and decided to start a business together.

We wanted to create something scalable that would allow us to stop trading our time for money. After researching various models, we decided info products like online courses might be the perfect fit.

We were always attracted to the idea of launching online courses due to their unique attributes that many other business models don’t have:

  1. Courses are digital products and therefore have no physical costs of good sold, shipping expenses, etc.
  2. They can be sold to anyone, anywhere in the world.
  3. Because the fulfillment of online courses is all automated, there is no day to day investment of time needed to ensure students have a great experience
  4. Due to these factors, courses are essentially an infinitely scalable business model, there’s no limit to how many you can sell in a single day

I already had a background in video production, and Paul knew about online business and marketing. Combining our unique skill sets, we felt there was massive potential to create something great… We just needed the perfect course topic to launch.

After days of brainstorming and many nights spent sleeping on Paul’s couch, we finally settled on creating an affordable filmmaking course for beginners.

The logic behind this was relatively simple, and we decided to take this route after doing a thorough competitive analysis of the market for courses focused on content creation.

At the time, there were a fair number of courses on the topic, but there were very few beginner courses, and almost all of them were relatively unexciting to watch and did very little marketing whatsoever.

With both of our backgrounds, we knew we could quickly establish ourselves as a dominant force in regard to this course topic.

Once we agreed on the idea, we never looked back.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

Once we settled on teaching video production to beginners, it was time to create the course. Our goal was to make something different from the other overly complex and expensive courses out there. We wanted to create a high-quality product that was both beginner-friendly and affordable.

We developed the course to take people from having zero video skills to creating cinematic videos in just two weeks. This "14 Day Filmmaker" concept was unlike anything else on the market.

To start, we outlined the key skills and techniques people would need to go from beginner to pro. Things like camera camera settings, shot composition, lighting, audio, editing, and more. We broke the learning down into small focused video lessons and exercises. The course was designed to condense years of experience into 14 days of accelerated learning.

I leveraged my production skills to make the filming polished and professional and Paul used his marketing background to refine the marketing strategy. After a few weeks of long days and late nights filming in my bedroom studio, we had a finished course ready for market.

We drove traffic solely using Facebook ads. No email list, no affiliates, no followers. Just a few optimized ads pointing to the sales page.

Our launch was so successful because we focused on solving problems for real people from the start. We charged a fair price, delivered insane value, and marketed to exactly who needed it most.

Here’s why we decided on Facebook ads:

  • Facebook ads allow people like us (with no audience or email list) to get our message out to strangers on the internet.
  • We knew it would serve us well with our existing strengths in copywriting and content creation.

Little did we know that what we created would go on to change our lives. We had no idea of the scale it would reach once we figured out the marketing. But in the beginning, we were just focused on creating real value for our students.


Describe the process of launching the business.

After creating the course, it was time to get it in front of customers. This meant figuring out our launch strategy and marketing plan. We decided to focus entirely on Facebook ads to drive sales at the start. This allowed us to target our ideal audience primarily made up of beginner content creators and aspiring filmmakers.

We created a few different ad variations and angles to test. We started with just $60 per day in ad spend to see what happened, and as the sales started coming in, we’d double the ad spend. We basically continued this approach to see how far we could push it, and after the first month we scaled to $35,000 a week in sales.

Those initial results proved we had a winning product.

Once we had proof of concept from the launch, we started expanding the course based on customer feedback and requests. We continuously added modules, always aiming to make the product better and better.

Our launch was so successful because we focused on solving problems for real people from the start. We charged a fair price, delivered insane value, and marketed to exactly who needed it most.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Once we had a successful launch under our belt, it was time to focus on growing and retaining customers long-term.

Paid advertising on Facebook remained our core acquisition strategy. We continuously optimized our ads and funnels aiming to decrease cost per sale. This basically gave us a predictable way to pour fuel on the fire. The more money we invested in ads, the more courses we sold.

But we knew ads alone weren’t enough to build an iconic brand. So we started diversifying our options and looking into organic traffic sources.

Before doing that, we actually decided to rebrand the overarching company to something that was more recognizable. For the first year, we had run all of our sales through Paul’s existing website, MrPaulXavier.com, but as time went on and I became the brand face, we started looking into new names for the company.

It was quite the expense, but eventually we found the domain ContentCreator.com listed online for $25,000. We instantly fell in love, and after negotiating the price, we purchased it for $19,000.

That had little to no immediate impact on sales, but overtime we started building up more brand equity, and audiences were starting to really associate our name with the topic.

After that, the biggest change was launching a YouTube channel, creating high-quality training videos and tutorials to attract viewers. In just 18 months we grew it to over 140k subscribers. YouTube became an amazing source of organic sales.

We also focused on retention by releasing new courses over time. This gave students more products to purchase after their first sale. After the success of 14 Day Filmmaker, using the same mentality as before, we released 30 Day Course Creator. A 30 day guide teaching people how to successfully launch online courses.

Many of our existing students bought the new course, which increased their lifetime value. This allowed us to spend more on ads to acquire customers, knowing we’d earn it back on the backend with upsells.

By diversifying beyond paid ads into organic traffic, optimizing our onboarding, and launching new products, we've been able to successfully maximize the lifetime value of every sign-up.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

It's been quite a journey going from filming in my bedroom to running a business that generates close to 6 million dollars per year.

Today, ContentCreator.com has over 100,000 students.

Our YouTube channel now has over 140,000 subscribers and millions of views.

We've also built an amazing team of 7 full-time employees always looking to continue scaling and growing the ContentCreator.com empire.

Revenue-wise, the business is on track to generate over $6 million dollars this year and we've been able to invest our profits into other assets like real estate and car washes aiming to diversify our income streams.

Business today is better than ever, and the future looks even brighter. We plan to continue expanding the ContentCreator.com brand in new ways. We’re working on adding more high-level coaching and community features to our courses.

We also plan to hire more team members, especially on the content creation side. Our goal is to double down on our organic marketing efforts. And we'll continue innovating by releasing fresh course topics and products to serve our students.

For example, a recent venture was the release of our new site contentcreatortemplates.com, a website allowing creators to download video editing assets, sound effects, and prompts for AI tools. So far it has proven massively successful with our existing students and is seeing a consistent flow of new sign-ups.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the biggest lessons learnt in hindsight was underestimating the value of organic marketing. For the first year and a half, we were solely focused on paid ads. But once we launched our YouTube channel, I realized the power of using free content to attract and convert new customers.

Another big lesson was around team building and hiring the right people. In the early days, Paul and I tried doing everything ourselves, but once revenue hits a certain level I think focus needs to shift to building out an A+ team of hard workers you can rely on to help build.

Bringing on talented team members allowed us to scale faster again, rather than trying to run everything as a two-man show. We learned that once your business is profitable enough, investing a chunk of that profit back into hiring is one of the best ways to further accelerate growth.

The key is finding A-players that you can trust to get the job done, and who share your vision and work ethic. This has proven to be one of the hardest aspects of growing the business, but the time it takes to find A players has proven to be a worthwhile investment of time.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Currently, we rely on a small handful of essential tools to run and grow ContentCreator.com:

  • ContentCreatorMachine.com - This custom software we built allows us to quickly build out marketing funnels and course content. It’s been a game changer for our workflows.
  • YouTube - Our Youtube channel has been crucial for organic traffic and brand awareness. We went all in on creating consistent videos.
  • Facebook - Facebook ads have been our bread and butter for paid traffic and sales since day one. We’ve scaled up to 5-figures a day in ad spend.

Focus on one core business until it’s profitable and systemized and don’t expect it to happen overnight! Focus on small wins and build momentum.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

As much as possible, I try to learn from those who have already achieved what I want to achieve. Some of my favorite books include:

  • The Richest Man In Babylon - This timeless classic on personal finance inspired the wealth building mindsets Paul and I implemented early on.
  • The BiggerPockets Podcast - This real estate investing podcast provided invaluable insight into assets we could invest our profits into.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel - A must-read for any entrepreneur. This book on startups and creating true value opened my mind to new ways of thinking.

While I’m not the biggest reader, I do believe the right book at the right time can make a massive impact on your success! Never stop learning! Knowledge compounds over time into a massively valuable asset. The more you learn, the more you earn.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs just getting started is to ensure your business model is scalable from the outset. Many people start businesses trading time for money - consulting, service-based businesses, etc. The problem is that the model has a hard ceiling on income and impact.

Instead, look to build around selling products and digital assets that can scale. Things like information products, software, courses, etc. Always look at ways you can scale and produce more revenue for less of your time and effort.

Another trap I see a lot of new entrepreneurs fall into is the classic shiny object syndrome. Focus on one core business until it’s profitable and systemized and don’t expect it to happen overnight! Focus on small wins and build momentum.

So many people start a business, struggle to gain traction, then jump ship to chase the next idea. They end up quitting and starting something new every few months. This lack of persistence means they never gain enough momentum in one area to achieve real success.

My advice is to pick one solid business model, ignore the shiny objects, build a high quality product, and stick with it for the long haul.

There will be bumps in the road I’ll guarantee, but just use these as a reminder that you’re on the right path.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

While we’re not looking for any specific roles right now, we're always keeping our eyes peeled for amazing talent!

If you feel like you might have something amazing you could bring to the team feel free to reach out!

Where can we go to learn more?

Want to start a content creator coaching? Learn more ➜