5 social media stars who earn way more than you

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Did you know that there are thousands of people out there earning incredible amounts of money through social media? That's right, social media stars can make thousands, even millions of dollars per year through sponsored posts, original content, and consistent engagement with their followers. Here are five social media celebs who might make you want to quit your job to go full-time on Instagram!

1. Brandon Stanton

In 2010, Stanton lost his job and decided to start taking photos of random people in New York City. At the time, he had no idea that posting Humans of New York on Facebook would lead him to over 12 million likes and a career in public speaking, photography, and writing. It has also lead him to amazing contributions to local and international charities.

Stanton takes beautiful portraits and captions them with touching stories. These photos and stories were so sharable that many of them went viral on Facebook in just a few hours.

While Stanton hasn't publicly disclosed his income, he has expressed on a Reddit thread that he was never in it for a payout and he gave over a half a million dollars to charity in a six month period alone.

His work on collaborations, occasional magazine spreads, speeches, and media appearances keep him afloat. Stanton added, "I signed two book deals which pay the rent. Also, I live cheaply."

The man is an inspiration to millions and he continues to showcase different people's fascinating life stories through his work. His 50-day trip to 10 countries in the Middle East helped to shed light on the situation in the region. If you haven't seen his work, check out Humans of New York on Facebook and Instagram.

Followers: 17.75M (Facebook), 5.5M (Instagram)

Platform: Facebook & Instagram

Earnings: Undisclosed

2. Sean McBride

This Snapchat master earns his money through drawing and photo mash-ups on the popular video-based social media platform. He taught himself how to draw by learning from other artists' work and today he can make tens of thousands of dollars from a single advertising deal on his Snapchat account.

According to Forbes, McBride can earn several thousand dollars per image! Who is paying Sean all of this money for Snapchat images? Brands like Taco Bell, Disney, and numerous television networks have been his sponsors, and many of his deals have been for over $30,000. Not bad for an online artist!

McBride goes by the name of "Shonduras" on Snapchat, he is the platform's first big celebrity, and he's one of the first people to make real money from Snapchat art. If you love Snapchat, you might want to follow Sean to get some ideas on how to become a successful Snapchat artist.

Followers: Undisclosed

Platform: Snapchat

Earnings: $100K+ per week

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3. Brittany Furlan

Brittany has made her fortune through her wildly entertaining short Vine videos. Her quirky and fun clips have earned her 9.8 million followers and a lucrative career in acting and social media.

The vines have led her to create a new sketch show with Seth Green. In December of 2015, Brittany told The New Yorker that for every million followers she gets, she can add another $5,000 to the price tag for a branded Vine.

Using this calculation, it's not unlikely that Furlan is earning around $49,000 for a six-second vine posted to her 9.8 million followers. That's equal to nearly a half a million dollars per hour!

Followers: 9.8 million

Platform: Vine

Earnings: $49K per video

4. PewDiePie

The granddaddy of all Internet earners, it is estimated that PewDiePie's gaming channel generated over $12 million in 2015, according to Forbes. The amazing thing is that Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is earning his income by playing video games and publishing them on YouTube.

The next time your parents tell you that gaming is a waste of time, you may want to lead them to Felix's YouTube channel and tell them that you're trying to make a career out of it.

Subscribers: 45.5M

Platform: YouTube

Earnings: $12M per year

5. Rhett & Link

These two southern boys have a hilarious and extremely entertaining YouTube Channel featuring "Good Mythical Morning," a sort of off-the-wall morning show for people who want to have a good laugh with their coffee.

According to Forbes, the duo earned over $4.5 million from YouTube sponsorships and ads in 2015 working with numerous brands including Wendy's, Gillette, and Toyota. These guys are my personal favorite on this list and I find myself tuning into Good Mythical Morning whenever it appears in my feed.

Subscribers: 4.1M

Platform: YouTube

Earnings: $4.5M per year

Can Anyone Do It?

Of course, just like any superstar career, it is possible for pretty much anyone to make money from social media, but the fact is that it's highly unlikely to be as successful as these stars. These people are just like the actors who walk the red carpet in Hollywood, in that they've made it where few people have ever gone before. They've struck gold and that's not easy to replicate.

While it may not be easy to earn a full-time income from social media, it's an exciting prospect, and if you're passionate about it, hopefully you'll be inspired by these people who are really making a living at it.

Have you ever made any money from social media? Share your experience in the comments below!

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