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I'm obsessed with popular fashion bloggers. Seriously – I love looking at the beautiful photos and trying to copy the way they style outfits. Somehow, even though I have similar items I never know how to put them together into something magical. Fashion styling simply isn't a skill that I have (and usually anytime I look good someone has styled it for me!)
Something about these women makes fashion so much more accessible than styled shoots you see in magazines. I'm also a fan of anyone who can make a living as a digital influencer online.
Whenever I need a break from writing/editing/running my business, I spend a few minutes perusing popular fashion bloggers' sites. (I like Cupcakes and Cashmere, Pink Peonies, Classy Girls Wear Pearls, Southern Curls and Pearls, and Atlantic Pacific, to name a few!)
For fun and because I find it interesting, I'm digging into how much it costs for popular fashion bloggers to make money online and how much they make each month.
Raking in the Riches
I'm not sure of any fashion blogger who releases their earnings the way personal finance bloggers do with income reports, but there are SEVERAL fashion bloggers (many of whom I follow) that belong to a millionaires club. Even though they make money in much the same way that personal finance bloggers do (affiliates, appearances, sponsored content) for example, I often wonder about the start-up costs.
After all, some of these bloggers advertise incredibly high price items…do they eat that cost and hope to see a return on investment? Before the fame and free samples from fashion houses – how much did it cost to start a fashion blog?
Business Costs for Popular Fashion Bloggers
Thankfully via my friendship with noted photographer Shelby Steckbauer, I have access to the best and biggest fashion bloggers in Atlanta who kindly took the time to answer my questions.
Meet Luisa from Peaches to Pearls (she was recently named one of Southern Living's fashion bloggers to follow!). She also admits to keeping costs low – only spending $200 to start the site and $80 a year maintaining it. She saves money on her fashion site by taking her own photos and highlighting trendy but affordable brands, but admits that site income varies month to month. Primarily she makes money from sponsored posts.
Lindsay Rozier of Sell Eat Love did not start her site to make money, although now she estimates she earns around $500 each month from affiliates such as Like To Know It and sponsored campaigns. Lindsay works full time in women's apparel wholesale, so she's fluent in fashion. Although she spent ~$275 starting her own site, Rozier outsources fashion photography each month, “But it's best money I spend,” she says. “Having professional photos makes your blog (and you) look more professional.”
Even the gents are starting to get in on the fashion/beauty blogging landscape. Wesley Oakes, the blogger behind Imanscape.com, make $1,000 each month from his website, primarily from Media.net ads and marketing Amazon products for affiliate revenue. Although he initially started the site as a source of side income, Wesley recently started reinvesting his earnings back into the site. “I now spend $500+ per month on the site,” Wesley writes. “This is because I'm looking to grow revenue. I'm just reinvesting profits back into the website. Before I did all the writing myself and didn't begin reinvesting earnings until the site was making $700/mo.”
Nickel and Diming Their Way to the Top?
In my research for this article, I also had the chance to chat with mega site Activate by Bloglovin'.
Thanks to Activate I was able to get my hands on some data about the income opportunities for micro influencers (Those with less than 100k followers on any platform) :
- The majority of influencers (84%) charge under $250 for one branded Instagram post and 97 percent charge less than $500
- Blog posts allow for rich original content and 87 percent of influencers charge under $500 per branded blog post
- 90 percent of influencers have fees under $250 per branded post
- 83 percent of influencers charge less than $150 for a branded Tweet
But with these prices, even assuming a diversified offering of posts, products, and affiliates it can be hard to crack six figures each year.
I'll admit, I find these answers surprising. I'm under the impression fashion, beauty, and food were more lucrative niches (as opposed to personal finance.) However, even though they're more lucrative, they're also more crowded.
The bottom line of all of this is that if you want to blog, start a blog. Do it because you love it and not because it's the hot new way to earn money. If you want to become a popular fashion blogger, be sure your pictures are above and beyond what you can do on an iphone. You may not get rich quick, but in the process you'll make a nice side income and learn a few new skills that could make you very marketable in your offline life.
And for the very lucky few, starting a blog (fashion or otherwise) could lead to your own multi-million dollar empire.
What do you think? Who are some popular fashion bloggers you admire?