It's hard out here for a celebrity blogger, and Perez Hilton has earned his current spot on top of Forbes magazine's list of 25 Top Web Celebs by working grueling hours and keeping an almost maniacal control over his brand which he describes as "fun, fresh and irreverent."
In order to reach his goal of becoming a "Gay, Latino Oprah" Perez (real name Mario Lavandeira) has been keeping super busy. From his incredibly popular snarkfest of a website, to his radio show to his latest venture, a book called Red Carpet Suicide: A Survival Guide on Keeping Up With the Hiltons, Perez has been working non-stop. And boy has it been paying off! Hilton's site pulls in almost 5 million visitors a month, putting it in the top 500 Web sites world wide, ahead of TMZ.com and Defamer.com.
So what makes Hilton so popular? Media watchers say celebrities like Hilton enjoy so much success in part due to their informal tone and accessibility.
"We've grown into a real participation culture; people enjoy the back and forth on these interactive blogs," says Karen North, director of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School program on online communities.
Another strategy that keeps Perez at the head of the class? He says he is inspired by the longevity of certain internet personas and would be happy simply blogging if his other projects fall through. "I work on 20 things hoping that three will happen," says Hilton. "I aim big, but it may not get any bigger or better than right now."