Given the sky-high salaries bloggers rack up these days, it’s almost quaint to think back upon the time when fashion blogging was only about personal style. Now, members of the top tier, like Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, can pull in millions of dollars a year, thanks to endorsement deals, site traffic, and paid appearances. They’re using Instagram to rake it in, too, as Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What has revealed.
Unlike Insta-only fashion bloggers, Bernstein maintains both a website and her popular photo feed. But, as she explained toHarper’s Bazaar, collaborating with brands on Instagram is proving to be the quickest route to a major payoff, because of how much brands are willing to spend for a single placement. At the time of the article, Bernstein had 992,000 followers and charged companies between $5,000 to $15,000 to feature specific products in her shots. As of this morning, she’s broken a million followers, which means she can command even more. (“It’s a big milestone,” she toldBazaar.)
These paid Instagram posts, coupled with her blog content, allow Bernstein to bring in at least six figures a year. “I hate talking about money, but let’s just say it’s more than I could have ever imagined as a 22-year-old.”
Furthermore, according to the article, brands spend upwards of one billion dollars annually to secure endorsements from bloggers like Bernstein. Sure, it should come as no surprise that the style set get compensated for its sponsored photos (regardless of whether or not they adhere by FTC guidelines), but just how much they’re earning is pretty shocking.
The irony here is that, despite the negotiating that goes on behind-the-scenes, the goal of a sponsored Instagram is to maintain a sense of authenticity and spontaneity — that the subject just happened to choose those sunglasses for her outdoor-brunch selfie, for example. Knowing how much placement might actually be worth, perhaps followers will look at these photos (and the tagged products) with a more critical eye. (Harper’s Bazaar)