1, Kim KardashianEstimated 2010 earnings: $6 million
It's hard to avoid a Kim Kardashian sighting, and that's great for her. She pulled in an estimated $6 million this year for shilling everything from cupcake mix to Skechers Shape-ups to Kotex. But much of the Kardashian commerce is a family business; with her sisters she co-owns a line of retail stores, a skincare line, and the K Dash for QVC line, as well as promotions for Quick Trim weight-loss supplements and her licensed line of Beach Bunny Swimwear. She can earn as much as $75,000 in appearance fees and has also snagged a few hundred thousand pretty pennies for her and her sisters' recently released book Kardashian Konfidential, which sold 13,000 copies during its first week on sale, according to Nielsen BookScan. The show that launched half a dozen careers, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, finished its fifth season this year.
2, Lauren ConradEstimated 2010 earnings: $5 million
"LC" first engrossed a legion of teenagers in 2004 as one of the high-school crew cast in Laguna Beach. She left the beach for L.A. and the cameras followed. Though The Hills capped its last season without her, a show devoted solely to her and her fashion career pursuits is in the works. Her trilogy of young adult books, the most recent of which, Sugar and Spice, was released in October, have sold more than 1 million copies in hardback alone, according to Nielsen BookScan, and her style guide Lauren Conrad Style has sold more than 40,000 copies since its October release. But her biggest business coup is her line for Kohl's, which sold faster than the retailer expected, prompting the national chain to rush the line into all stores a season before planned.
3, Bethenny FrankelEstimated 2010 earnings: $4 million
Frankel parlayed her heated tenure as a New York City "Real Housewife" into her own reality show Bethenny Getting Married, which drew more than twice the viewers of Housewives and will morph into Bethenny Ever After next year. Her top money-making pursuit is selling skinny, though. Her first book, Naturally Thin, sold 180,000 copies in 2009 and the proceeding recipe book The SkinnyGirl Dish sold more than 50,000 copies. Up next? A Place of Yes, an advice book due out next March. Her company's Skinnygirl margarita mix is expanding into a lemonade-iced tea bottled concoction. But she doesn't just tout healthy (she endorses Pepperidge Farm, as well), she has made it part of her on-screen act as a contestant on Skating With the Stars, which premiered in November.
4, Audrina PatridgeEstimated 2010 earnings: $3.5 million
The 25-year-old got her big break by playing the brunette sidekick to Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag on MTV's The Hills in 2006. While LC left and Montag morphed into a Barbie doppelganger, Patridge built her own following. She inked a deal with reality-television super-producer Mark Burnett that will air next year on VH1 and is the host of the Internet network Yobi.tv. Her face has endorsed Carl's Jr., an honor she shares with Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, and is shilling for Bongo jeans.
5, Kate GosselinEstimated 2010 earnings: $3.5 million
The well-coiffed matriarch has rebounded just fine from her split with lecherous husband Jon Gosselin. Now, the TLC reality show formerly known as Jon & Kate Plus 8 is just Kate Plus 8, and chronicles the mom, Kate, as she raises her clan of eight small children. In addition to her reported $250,000 per episode fee from her own reality show, Gosselin also appeared on ABC's Dancing With the Stars. In addition to her television fees and the occasional speaking engagement, Gosselin also rakes in a hefty sum from her book deals. So far, she's penned four books, including Multiple Blessings, which sold 523,000 copies in 2009, Eight Little Faces, and her latest, I Just Want You to Know: Letters to My Kids on Love, Faith, and Family, which sold just over 10,000 copies in its first two weeks of release back in April. Her upcoming tome, Love Is in the Mix, will hit shelves January 2011
6, Mike "The Situation" SorrentinoEstimated 2010 earnings: $3 million
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's financial situation is quite the situation. The de facto head of household in the MTV reality show phenomenon Jersey Shore is not only the show's highest paid star, but also the most active entrepreneur away from the cameras. He charges exorbitant appearance fees rumored to be between $15,000-$50,000, released a book on Nov. 2 titled, Here's the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting in Your GTL on the Jersey Shore, and was given a rumored six-figure advance for his autobiography. In addition, the abtastic star is working on a cologne, has released fitness DVDs, endorses nutritional supplements, and is a part-owner in a protein-infused vodka brand called Devotion. He's also appeared in ads for Vitamin Water and Reebok, released an embarrassing rap song, and his GTL iPhone app was a bestseller. While rumors of a $5 million annual payday were reported earlier this year, most of his earnings will actually accrue in the coming years as royalties from his licensed and ownership shares kick in.
7, Khloe KardashianEstimated 2010 earnings: $2.5 million
The youngest member of the Kardashian clan, who married Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Lamar Odom last year, still manages to rake it in. Not only does Khloé costar in the E! reality series smash Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but she also shares top billing with big sister Kourtney in the E! spinoff, Khloé and Kourtney Take Miami. Outside of television, little sis co-owns—along with her older sisters—the popular high-end clothing boutique Dash, which has stores in Miami, California, and recently, New York, Kardashian Khaos in Vegas, and PerfectSkin, a skincare company. She also has several endorsement deals, including the Kardashians for Bebe clothing line, Quick Trim diet products, and Beach Bunny Swimwear. And last but not least, aside from her appearance fees, radio talk show, magazine exclusives, and hefty book advance for Kardashian Konfidential, Khloé also rakes in several thousand dollars per sponsored tweet.
8, Kourtney KardashianEstimated 2010 earnings: $2.5 million
The eldest member of the Kardashian triumvirate is best known for her relationship with perennial brat boy Scott Disick. Along with little sister Khloe, she made a star turn this summer with Khloé and Kourtney Take Miami, a move she'll repeat in another corner of the country next year with Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Of course, she shares a long list of endorsements with her sisters, but thanks to her new baby boy Mason, who turns 1 this month, baby clothes and parenting endorsements can't be too far behind. She already has a head start: She operated Smooch, a baby boutique, for six years before closing it last year.
9, DJ Pauly DEstimated 2010 earnings: $2 million
The other Jersey Shore stars might get paid to party in their time off, but Pauly D has been getting paid to spin parties since before the show. Now that his name is recognized from the fist-pumping clubs of Jersey to L.A., he commands a higher price, charging as much as $40,000 per gig. In his words, he "was DJing 6 nights a week before the show and I'm DJing 6 nights a week after the show. It's awesome." Of course, his bottom line was also bolstered by Baskin Robbins, whose Facebook ad featured Pauly D asking fans to make a "hot mix.
10, Kendra WilkinsonEstimated 2010 earnings: $2 million
Kendra managed to do the unthinkable: transition from Middle America dental assistant to Playboy mansion girl next door to wholesome-ish wife (to NFL star Hank Baskett) and mother with her own reality series in less than two years. The debut Kendra episode attracted 2.6 million viewers, the highest debut on EI since The Anna Nicole Show eight years ago. Her autobiography Sliding Into Home has sold 79,000 copies since it was released in July. Of course, not all of her releases this year are as family friendly. Her sex tape (from before she was famous) was marketed for consumers and she was reportedly paid $680,000 and a cut of the profits. Kendra Exposed is in line to be one of the top-selling adult DVDs of the year. Her picture (albeit an old one) also graces the cover of this month's Playboy.
1. Kim Kardashian: $6 million
2. Lauren Conrad: $5 million
3. Bethenny Frankel: $4 million
4. Audrina Patridge: $3.5 million
5. Kate Gosselin: $3.5 million
6. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino: $3 million
7. Khloe Kardashian: $2.5 million
8. Kourtney Kardashian: $2.5 million
9. DJ Pauly D: $2 million
10. Kendra Wilkinson: $2 million