BOSTON (CBS) -- Jean Wang makes a living sharing her fashion sense with more than 500,000 online followers.
"There's definitely a bit of misconception that being a blogger or an Instagram influencer is a very easy thing to do," Jean said.
The Boston blogger is the face and force behind Extra Petite and the associated social media platforms. The sites are packed with pictures of her favorite styles and baby gear. It's a job she's been happy to have for nearly 10 years.
Jean recently sat down with WBZ at The Revolution Hotel in Boston to talk about the job she loves. "A blogger/influencer wears many hats. Partially, you're a magazine editor, you're also a stylist, you also take photos, you edit those photos, you also write, and that's on top the day-to-day administrative work." Not to mention, the hours spent scouting out locations and responding to comments online.
"There's a lot of different ways to monetize. It depends on what niche you're in and what works best for you and your audience," she added.
If followers see something they like, an online store is just a link away. And Jean can make a commission off of that sale. "The same way, if you go to Nordstrom and you shop, and check out, the sales associate who helped you will earn a small commission on your purchase."
With more online shoppers blocking or ignoring online ads, retailers are turning to social media influencers as an alternative. Businesses are expected to spend as much as $101 billion on this type of marketing by next year, according to a study from Association of National Advertisers and PQ Media.
Jean also partners with big name brands like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom. Success is measured with shares, likes, and, of course, sales.
Jean said it's all about making a connection with your online community. "You really have to have a level of trust with your audience. They have to know what you recommend is really something that you love and use."
Payments for these online influencers can range from free products to hundreds or a few thousand dollars per post. But, this number soars for celebrity sponsorship. Right now, Kylie Jenner holds the title of highest paid Instagrammer at a reported $1 million per post.
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