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The Internet can be a desolate landscape of abandoned dreams. Most bloggers feel like they’re shouting into a void, or at least to a small group of people. Their sites are labors of love—and possibly boredom—rather than work. A very select group of bloggers, however, become household names by making it big. They receive book and television deals, and their books are turned into movies. From food to fitness and funny cat photos, some people get lucky and their blogs resonate with people on the Internet.
5 John Romaniello
In 2009, Romaniello launched a fitness and health blog called Roman Fitness Systems. By 2011, he was being ranked as one of the most 100 influential people in health and fitness, and his blog received favorable mentions in “Shape” magazine, “Men’s Health,” “Women’s Health” and “The New York Times.” In 2013, Romaniello’s first book based on his blog, “Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life” was released. Romaniello reportedly received more than $1 million in advance for the book and convinced his hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to write the foreword.
4 Erik Nakagawa
When Nakagawa posted a picture of a cat with the phrase, “I can haz cheezburger?” on it in 2007, people thought it was funny and cute. So he posted a few more cute cat pictures and, after a few months, he moved them over to a blog so that people could comment. Within a few months, Nakagawa’s blog was getting 750,000 pageviews every day. Today icanhazcheezburger.com gets between 100,000 and 200,000 unique visits a day and an ad on the site costs between $500 and $4,000. So far four books have been published based on images from the site, and the I Can Haz Cheezburger team starred in a short-lived reality TV show titled “LOLwork” on Bravo.
3 Jenny Lawson
Lawson was a professional blogger at Good Mom/Bad Mom before she started her personal blog, The Bloggess. The Bloggess was listed as one of the Top 100 Websites for Women in the “Forbes” 2011 issue as well as being a finalist in the Weblog awards in 2011 and 2010. A book based on The Bloggess, titled, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir,” was released in 2012 and debuted at No. 1 on “The New York Times” bestseller list.
2 Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond’s blog, The Pioneer Woman, began when this self-described city girl married a cowboy and moved to his ranch in Oklahoma. Drummond decided to chronicle her journey of teaching herself how to cook, homemaking and raising her kids, all accompanied with eye-catching photography by Drummond herself. So far, The Pioneer Woman has been turned into two cookbooks, “Food From My Frontier” and “The Pioneer Woman Cooks.” Drummond has also published two kid’s books based on the life of her basset hound, Charlie, and hosts a television series on The Food Network that is currently in its fifth season.
1 Julie Powell
Powell is arguably one of the most successful food bloggers of all time. In August of 2002, she started a blog called the Julie/Julia Project detailing her goal to cook one recipe every day from Julia Child’s classic cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” In 2009, a book based on the blog, titled “Julie & Julia,” was published and hit The New York Times extended bestseller list, was number 10 on the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list and was featured on Publisher’s Weekly and Book Sense lists. Shortly afterward, “Julie & Julia” was released as a movie directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.