Our sneaking suspicion that influencers can earn an eye-boggling amount of cash has been confirmed, thanks to a new initiative from Forbes. Their first-ever Top Influencers list breaks down the most famous (and highest earning) identities on Instagram, YouTube, and in blogging and also provides a voyeuristic peek into their bank accounts.
By partnering with analytics firm Traackr, Forbes was able to track various indicators such as each influencer’s audience size, engagement and how often they go viral. With the help of another social insight platform, Captiv8, they were also able to work out how much each candidate could charge per post. They also looked at other ways to make money, like endorsements, product sales, and book deals.
Only influencers who truly built their empires in the digital space were included in the list—so you won’t see any Kardashians here.
At the number one spot for fitness influencers, our very own Kayla Itsines was estimated to earn $17 million in revenue throughout 2017 from her new Sweat With Kayla app alone—and that doesn’t account for her multiple sold-out tours, e-guide sales, and other sources of revenue. All this included, the 2016 BRW Rich List placed her 51st with a net worth of $46million. Jennifer Selter—who went viral thanks to her booty-busting regimen—holds second place on the top fitness influencers list, while another Aussie, Emily Skye is third.
In the beauty category, British YouTube star, author, and entrepreneur Zoe Sugg (better known as Zoella) came in at number one. Michelle Phan, despite the fact she won’t do sponsored or paid posts, is second. This is likely because of her widely successful subscription box company, Ipsy, which was valued at upwards of $500 million in 2015.
While admittedly this kind of income-tracking is a little voyeuristic—and the estimations have not exactly been confirmed by each actual influencer—we know you really want to click through every category (we did too!), so head over to Forbes to read the full breakdown.