In this day and age, there exists a multitude of Internet-based jobs with the potential to earn millions of dollars per year, two of them being a blogger and an influencer. From personal experience, I’ve noticed that many people tend to use both words interchangeably – however, I don’t believe they are truly one and the same. After working together with many bloggers on their business plans as a consultant as well as focusing on my own I have realized how important it is to correctly identify your brand, as it is directly correlated to your success – or failure.
Having a blog doesn’t necessarily entail that you are a blogger, nor does having a social media presence mean you are a pure influencer either. Approaching the blogging business as an influencer, or vice versa, can create a lot of confusion in terms of branding, marketing and overall business strategy. Figure out if you’re a blogger or an influencer by taking the quiz below and continue reading to discover what long-term strategy best suits your business.
What Is a Blogger?
Long story short: A blogger is pretty much an editor-in-chief for their own publication, and a blog is an online version of a magazine.
Most successful blogs are brands that have several employees running a certain aspect of the business, but a single blogger does all of these duties themselves, such as promotion, overseeing publications, approving sponsored work, writing blog posts, designing their website, and producing all other content that is essential to the blog.
- Hello Glow (Health and Wellness)
- The Makeup Dummy (DIY Beauty)
- Digital Photography School (Photography)
- The Penny Hoarder (Finance)
Blog posts serve as articles that readers can learn or take away from, whether it’s offering tips or providing relevant information to their topic of interest. “5 Moves to Shed 5 Pounds in 5 Weeks.” “The Real Story Behind Liposuction.” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Blog posts are just like magazine articles in that they are written from a place of authority or experience.
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What is an Influencer?
Long story short: influencers are public figures who use their personality to promote products and services, whether it’s clothing, makeup, hotels, or detox teas, just to name a few examples.
Influencers both on and offline may also be activists for a specific cause and can inspire their audiences to take action. However, I’m primarily discussing influencer marketing and the idea of promoting a business.
Before social media, popular influencers like Oprah Winfrey or Ellen Degeneres had TV shows, but modern-day influencers like Kim Kardashian thrive on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to build their audiences.
Popular online influencers:
Note that I linked to each influencer’s most popular platform instead of their website, as these platforms generate more traffic for them. These individuals all have their own blogs, but it doesn’t entail they are primarily a blogger that offers tips, advice, or solutions. You can use a blog post to promote or endorse a product without offering any substantial value to your readers, and such is the case (at least with the majority of their content) with these examples.
Think of influencer marketing similar to that one popular girl in high school that everybody wanted to be: pretty, social, and always stylish, everybody else (and maybe even you) wanted to be her, be just like her, or be one of her friends. If you saw her using a certain lipstick or wearing a certain pair of shoes, you would be tempted to buy it.
Why most bloggers fail
Most bloggers can get entangled with influencer marketing strategies and then lose track of their original purpose: to serve their audience.
Truthfully, nobody cares about you, who you are or what your life is like unless you inspire them to take some sort of action or give them something in return. You are not Kim Kardashian. That is the brutal truth of online marketing.
Readers are selfish – think about your own Google habits: you’re always searching for answers to your questions. Would you waste time reading articles about the history of Ford Motors if you have zero interest in cars? Probably not, because it isn’t relevant to your needs and doesn’t serve you.
So the most efficient way you can market yourself is by offering content that solves your audience’s problems. The more you benefit them, the more loyal they will be to you.
RELATED POST – 8 HUGE MISTAKES I MADE DURING MY FIRST YEAR OF BLOGGING
There are several brands and individuals who have successfully created blogs that offer value to their readers while integrating influencer marketing strategies to complement their income (shoot, even I do it). However, these brands have most likely started off by using one of 3 different strategies:
- Offering only high-value content and then branching off into promotional content later as their authority is established
- Offering mostly high-value content and keeping promotional content to a minimum
- Offering high-value content that integrates promotional content
I don’t recommend the first choice since a change in direction may result in losing your original audience over time, but the latter 2 are great ways to become a trusted resource to your readers while simultaneously promoting things you get paid for.
Successful brands that utilize influencer marketing:
- Lauren Conrad (Lifestyle)
- Style Caster (Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle)
- Popsugar (Fashion, Beauty, Pop Culture)
- Total Beauty (Beauty)
Regardless of if you want to become an influential public figure or a trusted resource within your niche, it is extremely important to create high-value content for your audience to incentivize their experience with your brand.
The benefits of having a blog as an influencer
With over 800 million monthly active users on Instagram and 1 billion on Youtube, it’s safe to say that there are thousands of established influencers on these popular platforms, which makes it harder to break into the industry as a newbie.
Not only is it a fight to the top, but without your own website, building your empire on social media is completely unreliable. What happens if Instagram shuts down? How about Youtube? What if you unknowingly violated the platform’s terms of service (trust me, this is more common than you think) and they delete your account without notice? What if your account gets hacked? Let’s not forget all of the content you’ve shared on the platform… it could one day all be deleted. And this would be all out of your hands.
There’s an even worse side to this if it were to happen: you would lose all of your followers. If you rely on social media platforms to build your following, you will lose them all if the platform shuts down. That’s why it’s important to have a blog so that you have another home on the Internet – one that you actually own.
Another important thing to think about when monetizing your brand is that plenty of companies will pay you for sponsored blog posts. Because they require more time and effort, the compensation for a post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter usually pales in comparison to a blog post.
You might also miss out on opportunities to work with brands, too. Many brands are not willing to work with you on social media posts without a blog unless you hit a substantial number of followers – generally, the magic number is around 100,000 for social media influencers. Thus, having a blog may make it easier for you to land sponsored work – I’ve seen people get rejected for campaigns due to the lack of a blog and an insufficient Instagram following.
Whether you are a blogger or influencer, having a blog is still a must-have if you want to safeguard your audience. If you’re not sure how to start a blog, you can grab a free copy of The Blogger Blueprint to learn how. This ebook is perfect for you if you need a step-by-step guide to creating your blog, crafting quality blog posts and marketing your brand on social media.
What to do if your strategy is not working
Maybe you’re pushing too many products and your blog or Instagram is starting to look like a catalog full of ads. Perhaps your followers aren’t engaged because you’re posting too many photos of yourself without offering any value to your followers. If your strategy isn’t working, the best thing to do is take a step back and look at your brand from a reader or follower’s perspective: what can you offer to me that will make me loyal to you?
It’s only natural to enter the blogging and influencer world to share things you love, but in order to build an audience, you have to cater to them first.
If you haven’t already, take this short quiz to discover what your current strategy is and see how you can rework it.
If you need some help with a long-term plan that combines both a blogging strategy and influencer marketing tactics, then I recommend checking out my course, The Blogger Bible. Using the strategies I teach in this course, I was able to turn The Baller on a Budget into my full-time income in one year. These methods can be applied to both new bloggers or bloggers who need to alter their current approach.
You will not only learn how to create a functional and beautiful blog featuring trend-forward, high-value content, but you will also learn how to seamlessly integrate influencer marketing into your business to boost your income.
Other topics covered include how to:
- Build a gorgeous blog from the ground-up
- Run your business legally and responsibly
- Develop a branded aesthetic, voice and personality that your audience will love
- Take beautiful pictures without paying a professional photographer
- Build a targeted audience that is loyal to your brand (and therefore generate more sales!)
- Increase your traffic and expose your blog to new readers every day
- Monetize your blog using several different avenues
- Monetize your social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook
- Build passive income without needing to sell a product
- Work with your dream brands and get free products and services
Whether you’re a blogger or an influencer, I suggest checking The Blogger Bible out if you want to take your business to the next level. I wrote this course to benefit everyone so that both existing and introductory bloggers don’t make the same mistakes I did during my first year of blogging.
What are your thoughts on influencer marketing and the blogging business? What were your quiz results? Let’s chat in the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter below for more blogging and social media marketing tips.
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