Fashion blogging is getting more and more lucrative; for big name bloggers, at least. Today's WWD reports that style bloggers like Bryanboy and Aimee Song now earn six-figure salaries. That's a yearly salary of a hundred thousand dollars – and in some cases, even more.
Popular bloggers can demand $50,000 for an appearance at a high-profile brand event like a store opening. One top blogger charged $5,000 for posting a single Instagram photo of the brand's product. Other ways that bloggers are making bank include affiliate sales (i.e. when readers click on a product on a blog to purchase it from the brand) and collaborations with fashion labels.
Another way of thinking about how much bloggers make? They don't need to rely on freebies any more. As Bryanboy puts it: "I’ve made enough to live comfortably and be able to not wear samples and buy my clothes retail."
But being paid big money by brands doesn't necessarily lead to any kind of loyalty. In fact, it seems like many bloggers are out for everything they can get.
According to the WWD article, it's best to think of them as "brand stars whose voices are subjective to what they do or don’t like at the moment – often times dependent on which companies will pay them the most. None of the top bloggers interviewed for this article say they adhere to a strict set of journalistic codes or ethics."
So is it time to quit your internship and start a blog? Not quite. When Suzy Menkes wrote her much-discussed New York Times piece on how bloggers had turned fashion into a "circus", she pinpointed an increasing fatigue with the world of fashion blogging. New York Fashion Week cut invites by 20 per cent last year, leaving many bloggers out in the cold.
As The Cut notes, editors are also becoming increasingly social media-savvy, competing with bloggers for retweets and Instagram likes. Where bloggers once distinguished themselves from industry figures by offering an intimate and personalised view of fashion, some fashion editors and writers are just as likely to tweet backstage posts and #OOTDs.
It's worth noting that many of top bloggers interviewed for the WWD article started their blogs when the industry was very different – Bryanboy, for instance, started blogging nine years ago. So if there's anything to learn from this, it's that fashion blogging is only big, big money for a very lucky few.