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Revealed: World's highest earning health and fitness influencers

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·4 min read
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Attractive young African woman exercising using hand weight and smiling while making social media video
Influencers tend to create their own community on social media, which means the larger the following the more they can charge brands for collaborations to reach those communities. Photo: Getty

With the tap of a button social media influencers can earn hundreds of thousands if not millions, showcasing the impact and growth in an industry which has turned online content creators into household names.

While "influencing" sector has exploded over recent years, the coronavirus pandemic, which saw people across the globe locked down and more time on their hands, turned to social media.

As a result, demand for YouTube, Instagram and TikTok workout guidance and nutrition information catapulted in 2020 due to gym closures.

A recent research by Currys PC World unveiled bodybuilder Simeon Panda as the highest overall earner, raking in an estimated $17.5m (£12.5m) a year across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

The bodybuilder, who is also Instagram's highest earner in the health and fitness category, made $17.4m off the Facebook-owned (FB) platform alone.

American fitness model and bodybuilder Ulisses Williams Jr took the second spot earning $16.2m across the social media sites.

Ingrid Macher, who is considered a guru in the Hispanic fitness and nutrition world and has 10.6 million followers across TikTok. Instagram and YouTube. came in third, making $14.4m.

British fitness expert, Joe Wicks who vowed to keep the nation fit with PE with Joe during the lockdown also made the list.

Coming in at fourth spot, he is estimated to earn $13.9m a year, which means he makes over $5,000 per post. The social media personality has amassed 6.6 million followers across the three platforms.

Wicks grew his online fitness following with tailored plans, healthy recipes and his virtual PE classes, he has a diversified following, catering his content to everyone from children and older people.

Chart: Currys PC World
Chart: Currys PC World

Former athlete and PE teacher Matt Morsia, who earned an estimated $3.9m a year from YouTube, is the platform's highest earner. Morsia specialises in fitness and nutrition advice.

WATCH: How do Influencers make money from TikTok?

Cross-fit athlete Demi Bagby is TikTok's highest earner, taking home an estimated $1.8m a year, she rose to stardom on the platform with her acrobatic stunts and extreme sports.

READ MORE: UK gym bosses voice concern over '£500,000 a day' lockdown cash burn

For influencers it is not just about the amount of money they can earn, they also focus heavily on the number of people that follow them.

Influencers tend to create their own community on social media, which means the larger the following the more they can charge brands for collaborations to reach those communities.

The majority of the top 100 health and fitness influencers have accumulated more than one million followers.

Australian YouTuber, Chloe Ting has topped the list of most-followed influencer in the niche sector.

She has the highest engagement per post across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, averaging 1.3 million views/likes per post. This equates to an estimated earning of $20,000 per post.

Ting, who shares entire exercise plans tailored for beginners and fitness fanatics alike, is also has the highest engagement on YouTube, averaging 3.4 million views, earning an estimated $51,600 per year.

She is followed by, Demi Bagby who has 16.5 million followers — who is also the most followed on TikTok (14 million).

Michelle Lewin who has 14.3 million followers and is the most followed influencer on Instagram (13.8 million), rounds up the top three.

Chart: Currys PC World
Chart: Currys PC World

While most influencers repurpose content across their social media platforms, they also create specific content for each of the platforms as what works on one may not work so well on another.

Instagram for instance, which is known for its meticulous pictures and well curated content, is the home of fitness and nutrition inspiration. Photographs of influencers showing off their physiques, short snippets of workouts and speedy recipe run-throughs are heavily featured on the platform.

While on YouTube, the OG of video content creators, features more in-depth guidance — full workouts, fitness advice and healthy recipe tutorials.

ByteDance-owned TikTok, which catapulted into the spotlight since the COVID-19 pandemic has amassed more than 800 million active users globally.

The platform aimed at the Gen Z generation, is the home for short, snappy videos, brief exercise demos, nutrition tips and fitness challenges and viral trends.

WATCH: How do influencers make money from Instagram?