Turning Fame Into Fortune: How Kim Kardashian Created A Brand Unlike Any Other

Rich and famous. Although these two words are often paired, the latter does not necessarily guarantee the former.

Of course there are many celebrities whose wealth goes hand and hand with their notoriety, such as professional athletes, actors, or musicians, but, there are countless examples of celebrities with 7 figure followers and 3 figures in their bank accounts–if that!

Although it’s nice, everyone knowing your name, fans screaming for a picture with you, or thousands of likes and comments on an Instagram post, sadly, those likes and comments don’t pay the bills… or do they?

Celebrities are gradually finding ways to use their fame to generate an even greater fortune, but none have done it quite like No. 42 on ForbesCelebrity 100 list, Kim Kardashian.

Forbes Magazine
Forbes Magazine

The selfie queen has an alleged net worth of $150 million–2.5 times bigger than her hubby Kanye West’s $62 million. This begs the question, how does someone who supposedly “does nothing” bring in that kind of cheddar?

The key to making millions of dollars is having various streams of income, and Kim Kardashian definitely has mastered this tactic. The most lucrative of these streams include TV, fragrances, merchandise, endorsements, and apps.

Kim’s entrepreneurial mindset has been present since her teenage years.

“I was on a strict budget, so if I wanted to buy something, I had to sell something,”

With that being said, Kardashian took a loan from her father, the late Robert Kardashian, and bought five pairs of  Manolo Blahnik Heels at $750 a pair.

“I sold each pair on eBay for $2,500.”

Kim says she is very much focused on her business and her everyday life is a far cry from what the public sees on her reality TV show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

“I think that people sometimes see this persona on my TV show.”

It would be a boring show if they saw me going to meetings all day long,” Kim stated on stage while at San Francisco’s prestigious Commonwealth Club.

Although it’s popular belief that Kardashian has made her fortune from her work in front of a camera, whether it be her infamous self-made film or her family’s hit reality show– Keeping up with the Kardashians, she has actually made her money through her own business ventures.

Aside from Kardashian’s $39 million from her acting and TV appearances, Kim has earned a whopping $117 million from her fragrance line. Her merchandise and endorsement deals pull in another $146 million.

A lot of those endorsements are a simple tweet or Instagram post. Although simple to do, those endorsements really add up, especially when a tweet from Kim Kardashian will cost you $10,000 and a single Instagram post will cost you around $200,000, but with close to 50 million twitter followers and 86 million Instagram followers–it’s worth it.


Kim Kardashian’s fragrance represents 30% of her total net worth. The fragrance, self-titled ‘Kim Kardashian,’ sells for $30 a bottle with millions of bottles sold. The original perfume released in 2009 and a new scent about every year after.  

Kardashian’s most recent business venture that has been making headlines was her Mobile app game with Glu Mobile, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The game is free to download on smartphones or tablets, but the player has the option to spend real money in exchange for virtual money at a much larger scale.

That virtual money enables you to purchase virtual goods like private planes, or to dress and style your avatar in actual brands, such as designer Olivier Rousteing’s BALMAIN.

The game’s goal is for the player to push their avatars higher and higher on the A-List by emulating Kim Kardashian’s celebrity lifestyle, such as hanging out with the rest of the Kardashian clan, as well as other A-listers.

Users get into the game by living that A-list fantasy and will indeed spend hard cash for virtual money just to further enhance their gaming experience. Glu Mobile’s CEO Niccolo de Masi said that the game brought in $100 million since its launch in 2014.

Although Kim’s journey to the top of the celebrity food chain is an extremely controversial topic, even frowned upon by many, she is a genius who can turn pretty much any situation into a money-making opportunity.