In today’s digital age, it’s become more and more common to hear about people giving up their 9-5 desk jobs in favour of pursuing their freelance dreams. Sure, sometimes it doesn’t work out and they crash and burn before quickly returning to a steady source of income – but sometimes it does. In a big way. It’s not unheard of to learn of bloggers making over six figures per year off of the content they post. The Internet is a huge place and there’s a demographic for all sorts of content; whether you’re writing about health, travel, fashion, food or photography. Many of the most successful bloggers have zeroed in on a specific niche and have become pioneers in their chosen fields as a result. They know that there’s an entire world hungry for information out there and that their websites provide the instant, gratifying eye candy or reading material that their demographic craves.
The best bloggers have made it to where they are by consistently posting new content and constantly finding creative ways to communicate with their target market. After building up an audience, their revenue comes from ad sales on their sites or partnerships with like-minded brands and companies. $5,000 to $10,000 is the standard fee paid out to top fashion and lifestyle bloggers nowadays to make an appearance at an event and endorse it to their endless followers. From there, they are often given the opportunity to collaborate with companies by producing content for them or designing products for them to sell. As if that wasn’t enough to think about, many bloggers have vocalized the need to be selective when it comes to partnerships in order to keep their images on brand. We’ve compiled a list of ten of the most successful ones who make over $100,000 per year and have made a full-time job out of pursuing their passions.
10. Garance Dore – Garance Dore
Garance Dore started her blog (by the same name) as an illustrator, posting images of the illustrations she had created for the likes of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and Vogue Paris. From there, she began posting street style photos which rapidly led to shooting campaigns for Chloe, Chopard, David Yurman and more. She then began producing video content which brought her even more big brand attention and catapulted her to all star blogger status. She makes well over six figures a year and up until last year, was in a relationship with Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist who is featured later on this list.
9. Rachel Parcell – Pink Peonies
Rachel Parcell of the lifestyle blog Pink Peonies had people scratching their heads when they found out she was making $960,000 a year. It seemed unbelievable that a small website based in Salt Lake City, Utah could be making that much money. What Parcell really honed in on quickly was the ability to make money (and alot of it) off brand affiliations. In other words, she posts about the clothing she’s wearing and gets paid to do it by companies like J. Crew and Celine who are hoping to advertise to her audience. Beyond that, the blogger is also a jewelry designer and has seen her business take off since her online presence has grown.
8. Chrissy Arpie Ott – The Perfect Palette
The Perfect Palette is a perfect (no pun intended) example of a blog that found success because it targeted an incredibly specific market. Founder Chrissy Arpie Ott started blogging while planning her wedding to keep track of all the different color palettes and arrangements she was finding online. Her browsing soon turned into a passion and she realized that she might have what it takes to help other women plan their nuptials. Since 2009, her site has been named one of the best wedding blogs on the Internet and she has turned her success into a freelance event planning business. Marriages aside, she also plans parties – in case you were wondering.
7. Erin Gates – Elements of Style
After spending the first few years of her career working as an art gallery manager, interior design assistant and event planner, founder Erin Gates decided to set out on her own as a freelance design consultant. In her spare time, she started blogging about interior design as Elements of Style and saw her following grow almost immediately. Since 2008, she’s been featured in InStyle, Ladies Home Journal, Oprah Magazine and Better Home & Gardens. Her freelancing business has taken off as a result and she regularly travels across the country to outfit homes for her clients.
6. Scott Schuman – The Sartorialist
Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist is well known as the pioneer of street fashion photography. After leaving a well-paying fashion sales job to become a stay at home Dad, Schuman began taking daily walks around New York with a digital camera and capturing outfits he felt were interesting. He started the blog as a way to collect all of the photos, occasionally adding comments to his posts. Before long, the blog took off in a big way as the concept wasn’t something people had seen before at the time. Since then, his work has been featured in GQ and Interview magazine, he’s been commissioned to work for major brands such as DKNY and Crate and Barrel and his work is on permanent display in a museum in Tokyo. He’s released a photo book as well and does very well financially for himself indeed.
5. Emily Weiss – Into the Gloss
Emily Weiss is a beauty blogger who founded Into The Gloss after numerous years as a fashion assistant at Teen Vogue. While on set at shoots, she found herself fascinated not by what the models and celebrities were wearing but by what their personal lives were like. An avid fan of make-up, she used her connections from the magazine to begin interviewing famous women about their beauty routines and bathroom cabinets. The formula worked – Into The Gloss quickly picked up popularity and garnered millions of hits per month. From there, the blog grew into a cosmetics brand named Glossier that currently employs 28 people. Oh, and Weiss managed to raise ten million dollars in venture capital funding for it.
4. Bryan Grey-Yambao – Bryanboy
Bryan Grey-Yambao is one of the pioneers of successful fashion blogging, having started Bryanboy in 2004 and paving the way for blogger fashion show invites and paid appearances. He was recently compensated over $40,000 for attending the reopening of the Siam Center in Bangkok. Over the years, Bryan has befriended fashion giants like Marc Jacobs and Anna Wintour and is regularly paid by companies to blog about their latest products. While the blogger is an extremely private person and dislikes interviews, he has stated that he makes over six figures off of Bryanboy per year.
3. Leandra Medine – The Man Repeller
Leandra Medine came up with the name for her wildly popular blog while complaining to a friend about how none of the men she was dating wanted to make her their girlfriend. Her friend mentioned that maybe it was because Leandra dressed strangely, which made the blogger realize that she would rather give up on men altogether then change her signature style. From there, The Man Repeller was born and gained thousands of followers in just the first few weeks after its launch. Today, the blog earns Medine a six figure salary each year and has required her to hire three full-time staff to keep up with ad sales and business deals. She’s collaborated with numerous designers and has written a book.
2. Chiara Ferragni – The Blonde Salad
Chiara Ferragni named her blog after her mixed interests (like the many ingredients in a salad) such as travel, lifestyle, photography and fashion. She founded The Blonde Salad during her time at law school in Italy in 2009 and her photos quickly took off after being shared on sites like Flickr and Lookbook, which were huge at the time. Since then, her blog receives over 600,000 visitors monthly and over 6 million annually and has led her to start her own consulting company. Through the company, TBS Crew, Chiara has collaborated with dozens of high profile brands including Louis Vuitton and Chanel and earns a seven figure salary each year. She credits being selective for having helped her choose the right projects to find widespread success.
1. Aimee Song – Song Of Style
Blogger Aimee Song started her hit blog Song of Style while she was an interior architecture student with the initial vision of posting about home design. After posting an outfit photo and seeing the overwhelmingly positive response it got, she quickly switched her blog’s theme to fashion and hasn’t looked back since. While she is an interior designer by day, her blog is now one of the most popular on the Internet and has allowed her to travel the globe, collaborate with numerous brands and earn some serious dollars. She gets paid to do appearances, host red carpet shows and is constantly being asked to endorse products. Song of Style earned her over a million dollars in 2014.