Blogging Tips,Lifestyle (Home, Travel, Family)

How Fashion Bloggers Make Money

How Fashion Bloggers Make Money - advice from connecticut lifestyle blogger pinteresting plans

Something I get asked about often is how fashion bloggers make money.   I have been blogging for just over 2 years and left my primary job (as a part-time nurse practitioner) about 1.5 years into blogging.   Just over 2 years into blogging I now make my full time income sharing things I love and here’s how…

How Fashion Bloggers Make Money

 How Fashion Bloggers Make Money - advice from connecticut lifestyle blogger pinteresting plans

Making your income through platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be unsettling as you have to keep up with constant changes.   One day Instagram may be showing all photos chronologically and the next day it’s favoring pictures that gain a lot of comments (or engagement).  For most of my blogging “career” I put most of my eggs in one basket – Instagram.   As I get older (I’m 36) I am trying to diversify my content on other platforms.  On Instagram my audiences is mostly younger than me and I wasn’t sure how long I could hold their interest.    The blogging community is HUGE on Instagram.

To make a consistent income you have to always be evolving and regularly publishing new and fresh content.   It can be exhausting, but it’s rewarding to see your creativity well received.

Here are the primary ways fashion bloggers make money:

Affiliate links:

Are you wondering why bloggers don’t announce where their clothes are from on Instagram??   Bloggers make money by people deciding to make purchases from their referral.   If I were to post a t-shirt from Nordstrom and tell everyone in my caption “grab this Madewell “Whisper Tee” in size XS at Nordstrom” no one would visit my blog.  Almost all bloggers use commissioned links on their websites (or with – not just fashion bloggers.

Affiliate links (or commissioned links) normally pay one of two ways.   For fashion bloggers the two big networks are ShopStyle and RewardStyle.  ShopStyle pays per click (a few cents for each click you direct to a website).   The “click rate” is calculated based on how well a blogger “converts” (ie: what percent of people make a purchase after clicking the link).   A “good” conversion rate is over 1%.

RewardStyle pays “per action”.  Rather than payment for each click, a blogger is paid a set percentage of each sale they convert.   If the commission rate is 8% and a bloggers refers someone to a $50 sweater that they purchase, the blogger will be paid $4 for that referral.  All those clicks that didn’t “convert” to a purchase pay nothing with the pay per action model.

AFFILIATE LINKS DO NOT CHANGE THE PRICE OF A PRODUCT FOR THE CONSUMER.  You are supporting the work of fashion bloggers by buying items from their affiliate links.   Bloggers do a lot of work to select styles, coordinate multiple outfits with a single item, give sizing info, and put out sale alerts just to name a few things.    Both bloggers and their followers gain from the relationship.  Speaking of relationships – do you love the bloggers you follow?   I feel so connected to some bloggers I follow even though I’ve never actually met in person.   There is a trust you build in all relationships and I think that’s EXTREMELY important in the blogging community.

Sponsored blog posts:

Sponsored posts are crucial to how fashion bloggers make money.  Sponsored posts are when a brand selects a blogger who seems “on brand” to get more in depth with a certain product the brand is trying to promote.   When fashion bloggers collaborate with brands for a paid exchange they’re required to disclose this.    I generally use terms like “Thank you to (brand name) for sponsoring this post” and “this post is in collaboration with (brand)” which are considered legal disclosures by the FTC that notify my followers I was paid for my work.

When you consider the amount of time it takes a blogger to shoot photos (many pay a photographer), write a post, and then promote it, the fee is well earned.    Compare that to a brand paying a model, fashion photographer, and marketing agency.

Once a post is drafted, approved, and posted we bloggers have to send in links to all our shares and invoice the customer etc.    Blogging is a business that requires a great amount of time – despite how it may come off to some on social media.

Sponsored social shares:

If you see hashtags like #ad #sponsored or occasionally #(brand)partner you know a blogger has been paid for a social post.   Bloggers are a great resource for brands to market their products.   I don’t know about you but I don’t watch TV so I get a lot of my “news” from social media.

Bloggers work hard to build trust within their community so if they tell you these “Dream Jeans” lift your bum and hug your thighs right they better be ready to stand behind that.  If someone spends their money on something a blogger recommends and then hates the product they probably won’t want further recommendations from that person.   By the way I got my “Dream Jeans” because a blogger I love and trust (Erin from CottonStem) said those things about these jeans.  Unfortunately mine were too long in the “long” size and then were sold out by the time I could exchange.

Website ads:

While I don’t have any ads running on my site it is another avenue to how fashion bloggers make money.    If you click on an ad that runs on someone’s website the site owner is paid a referral fee.

Paid Shoutouts:

Within the last 2 months I have just started getting several messages a day asking for paid shout0uts on my Instagram account.    I have not done any but I’m sure there are bloggers who do.

Consigning Clothing and Accessories:

Many bloggers consign their clothes, shoes, and handbags on sites like Poshmark to make some additional side income.  If you want to shop what I’m passing on you can follow my Charity Closet Sale on Facebook.

When does the income stream start?

Like starting any new business you have to invest both time and money before you can expect it to start paying back.   I worked more than 40 hours a week for nearly a year before my income stream picked up.     I remember someone saying brands typically want at least 40,000 Instagram followers before they will pay bloggers for sponsored blog posts.     If you’re having trouble growing your Instagram check out this post with tips I have used to increase my following.  I have recently had some success with Facebook advertising and live videos as well.

Fashion Bloggers Do Work Hard

While it’s a HUGE blessing to work from home and get paid for a creative outlet, this is a 24/7 job if you let it be.   Social media and sales pick up on the weekends so those are often my busiest days.  Some people liken fashion bloggers to personal shoppers.    Rather than going to the mall, trying things on, figuring out how to restyle a piece, and watching to see what is on sale you can just follow your favorite bloggers to do that work for you.

Some of the behind the scenes work that fashion bloggers do that many people don’t consider:

  • responding to hundreds of inquiries per day on social media and email
  • editing photos and loading them onto different platforms (facebook, instagram, blog, etc).   Each platform requires different ways to load the content – the most timely being the website.  Have you considered how much time it takes to link clothes to social media posts and blog photos?  It takes hours a day just doing that and checking where items remain in stock.
  • responding to social media comments.   Instagram and Facebook favor engaged posts which means receiving and responding to comments.    I LIKE TO CHAT WITH FOLLOWERS but some days I am too overwhelmed with mom life to respond before 8 pm (when my work day really picks up).
  • in order to have new content bloggers are CONSTANTLY shopping for new and great items to share.  Champagne problems – but sometimes shopping feels like a chore these days.
  • have you considered the learning curve for designing a website?   It took me several weeks to build my website and then I had to figure out how to make social media pages for my site.   Social media and marketing were things I never participated in through out during my healthcare career.   Many people come to blogging from unrelated careers.

 how fashion bloggers make money on pinteresting plans connecticut lifestyle blog

Have you considered starting a blog?

It certainly seems like a lot of people are considering starting a blog these days based on the amount of questions I get!   Last week I shared a post with some tips for how to start a fashion blog.

If you have questions beyond how fashion bloggers make money, how to grow your instagram, or how to start a fashion blog, please drop a comment below.   I don’t want to make this post too lengthy, but I’d be happy to write another if this peaks your interest.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to support your favorite bloggers be it with comments, likes, shares, or website visits.   I am SO grateful for all of you who have chosen to come along with me for the ride.



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  • Jenney
    February 26, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post! So informative and helpful not only for aspiring/new bloggers, but also for consumers to understand more about how they can support their favorite influencers!

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Jenney!
      I’m so glad you found it helpful.

  • Jennifer
    February 26, 2018 at 4:58 am

    Another great post! Thank you for going more in depth… such great info. I have one question (which I’m sure you get A LOT). I just recently started my actual blog, but started my Instagram at the end of last year. I did not convert my personal account so I literally started from zero. I have not done any loops, or any wacky follower things because I really want a reliable and organic following. BUT I’ve been stuck around the 550 followers mark forever and Insta is telling me that my posts are barely being seen by anyone who is not already a follower. So I’m not growing and it’s frustrating. Any advice on how to grow the Instagram side of things so my blog can have a chance of getting noticed? Xo

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      HI Jennifer!!
      Did you read my tips for growing instagram? IT’s a long post with my best tips – in addition finding some similar accounts and sharing each other’s feeds on instagram stories so get your account out there to similar followers.
      Good luck 🙂

  • Yessy
    February 26, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Thank you for all the tips Rachel. I am no blogger but found so much of your advice so very helpful. Will put into practice some of your tips on my Instagram ????

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Yessy!!!
      You’re doing great already!!!

  • Terri-Ann
    February 26, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you so much for these posts. My dream is to start a lifestyle/ fashion blog. I don’t know what’s stopping me from. Trying. Maybe my age… I’m 43. Is that too old?!? Or Maybe I’m just scared of putting all that time in and it won’t go anywhere. All I do know is that I can’t let it go. It lives in me everyday. Anyway thank you again for your posts. I think they may just push me to make the jump and try.

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Terri!!!
      You definitely are NOT too old. There are plenty other 40 somethings shooting around the internet looking for inspiration. I always think it’s best to start with the mindset that it’s a hobby so you won’t let yourself down if it doesn’t become a thriving business in a certain amount of time. You have great style. GO FOR IT!!!

  • Kim
    February 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, this is so helpful!! I never knew what it took and now I do! Give you props for doing all this hard work.

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Thank you so much Kim!!!

  • Anna
    February 26, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you! This post and related link posts are super helpful! I’m starting my own life and style blog. It’s always been a dream of mine!

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      ENJOY Anna!!
      Hope these tips help!
      Good luck 🙂

  • Moriel
    February 26, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Hey Rachel! I thought this was a really interesting post. I’m wondering how you keep your brand your own and your honest opinions on things when you’re doing a sponsored post?

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Moriel!
      Most brands want to work with influencers who are already passionate about their products or are “on brand”. It’s up to the blogger to make the final decision if it’s the right fit. With most collaborations the blogger chooses from a selection of items a brand is trying to promote so that it’s a more natural fit. Ultimately it’s up to the influencer to be transparent about products and items they love because people will unfollow if they feel they were misled.

  • Rosemary
    February 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    How does it work with the IRS and reporting taxes. Does everyone 1099 you? This is a question my husband always asks.

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Hi Rosemary.
      Most of the income is paid through PayPal. Over a certain dollar amount companies send you appropriate tax forms. Most sponsored content comes though an influencer network. Larger brands and retailers usually don’t want to do the work of collecting contracts and then verifying the work was completed, etc so sponsored campaigns tend to pay from the same network rather than from a bunch of various brands. Does that make sense?

  • Jess
    February 26, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Nice post, Rachel! I love the swipe up option on Instagram to shop and shopping from your blog is really easy too. Have a great week!

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you so much Jess!! you too!!!!

  • Ajda
    February 26, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    This was a great post! Thank you sharing your tips. My blog is about to turn 1 year old and I’m looking for ways to grow it this year.

    • Rachel
      February 26, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you Ajda!!!
      Good luck in growing your business!!!

  • Nipa
    February 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    I really enjoyed your post, especially because you highlighted the time and energy it takes to become a paid/successful blogger. I think that often readers expect free information and are turned off by sponsored posts because they think blogging is easy/just a hobby. I just started my blog in September 2017 and had no idea how much time, energy and creativity it would take. I’m loving it and learning a ton! I’m not earning money yet, so I am debating whether I should use free resources or pay for equipment/services for all the different aspects of blogging i.e photography, photo editing, clothing, e-mail subscription services, courses on growing subscriber, website design etc. What did you pay for when you first started? Thanks, so much for sharing. Nipa
    P.S. To Terri-Ann: I am a new 40+ blogger 🙂

    • Rachel
      February 27, 2018 at 2:49 am

      hi nipa!
      I have never paid for photography or photo editing. I use Mailchimp for my newsletter which is free to a certain number of subscribers. I paid for some giveaways on instagram when I started which looking back was not helpful. you can go to starts and try on clothes and share them without purchasing the items. share YOURSELF!!! people want to know what you are about and look like and think like. your site looks great but I didn’t see any pictures of you.
      good luck!!!

  • Chris
    February 26, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    This is awesome Rachel, even I didn’t know everything you shared here I hope it helps a lot of people!

    • Rachel
      February 27, 2018 at 2:50 am

      thanks Chris!!

  • Michele
    February 26, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you! Love your content and love how raw and real you are!


    • Rachel
      February 27, 2018 at 2:50 am

      thank you so much Michele!! so happy to have connected!

  • Alexandra
    February 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Rachel!

    Great tips for new or aspiring bloggers! I think it would be great if you did like a mini serious on blogging 101 and possibly sharing new tips and tricks once a month? I am in the begging stages of my blog, what would be your biggest tip for getting followers to your site? I also noticed you mentioned most collaborations are made through influencer companies, are they any You favor over others and how long did it take you to be accepted?

    • Rachel
      February 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      I can definitely add more blogging tips in the future. Thanks.
      So larger affiliate networks like Shopstyle and RewardStyle will want you to build a solid following before they pay you for campaigns but smaller networks like PopularPays (an app), Social Fabric, and many others will pay you much sooner for sponsored content.
      Best of luck!!

  • Kar
    March 1, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for this post Rachel!! Very informative and great to know all sides of the blogging world. Not everyone is as transparent and honest as you!! Love what your doing and keep it up!! I love following you in instagram! 🙂

    • Rachel
      March 2, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Thank you so much Kar!

  • Jennifer
    March 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Rachel!

    So I just started my own blog and I’m a little confused about adding links. Do I just link the clothes I’m wearing and not expect to really be paid for any of that until I get a bigger following and get accepted by ShopStyle and RewardStyle? I guess my question really is: is there a way to start making money in the beginning stages of blogging?


    • Rachel
      March 12, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Jennifer!
      You should be able to join shopstyle collective now. You will be paid a couple cents for each click on the links. Rewardstyle requires a bit more growth/investment to join. I am currently using ShopStyle – it’s an easy platform to learn.

  • ana
    March 13, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    hi Rachel,,thank you for your great notes.
    do you have any idea where i can borrow some clothes then take a photo and send them back.

    • Rachel
      March 15, 2018 at 2:04 am

      Hi Ana!
      I’d reach out to local boutiques. I shared a blog post and social shares promoting items for a boutique in my town called “OOH LA LA boutique” when I was just starting out and it was mutually beneficial.
      Good luck!

  • ana
    March 14, 2018 at 10:15 am

    i live in spain