Social media approval produces dopamine—which is why you fiendishly check your notifications in the minutes after posting a totally relatable #ThrowbackThursday. But what if more likes and followers also deposited money into your bank account? It can happen, and for Instagram bikini model Abigail Ratchford it's resulted in earnings of up to $170,000 per year, as reported by the New York Post. The paper noted that in 2013, Ratchford was working three jobs in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and making less than $2,400 each month—that is, until she modeled swimsuits for a professional photographer, who posted the photos online and inadvertently kickstarted Ratchford's lucrative social media career.
According to the Post, real financial success came after Ratchford posted a video to her Instagram starring herself bouncing about in lingerie. By the time TMZ and the young male blogosphere had shared and re-shared the post, Ratchford's page shot past 1 million followers, which translates to serious cash flow: "For every million [followers], you can charge up to $1,500 a post," Ratchford told the Post.
And although Ratchford's exorbitant earnings make her an outlier among users who didn't start out as celebs, her account isn't the first we've seen turn a hefty profit. See Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen, for instance: The couple make $3,000 to $9,000 per post traveling the world (and looking super hot together). Other Instagram goals include accounts like @wheresmyofficenow, which chronicles the #vanlife of VW van-travelers Emily King and Corey Smith.
Thinking about quitting your job to start your own Instagram-fueled adventure? Start with a go-anywhere camera like the GoPro Hero5 Session, which is key for documenting an impulse kayaking trip or capturing the coveted underwater selfie. And, to quote king of self-absorption Derek Zoolander, it doesn't hurt to be "really, really, really ridiculously good-looking."