Over the past few years bloggers have firmly cemented their place in the journalistic world and suddenly we are seeing an influx of influencers both on a large and micro scale. Have you ever taken the time to think about whether you would class yourself as a blogger or an influencer, are you even aware of the difference between the two? This was one of many topics discussed in Currys PC World and Microsoft Office’s Brand Building Workshop I attended recently, hosted by the lovely Anna Hart, founder of South Molton Style and One Roof Social.
The event was a chance to learn how to build our brands and raise our profiles, provide tips on how to network better and open up collaboration opportunities, alongside looking after financials and creating compelling presentations. I have been blogging now for 8 years, with Glam Glitz Gloss being my baby for the past 5 years but I don’t think I have ever truly put in the effort to build it into a reputable brand until the start of this year. I have increased the amount of posts I put up each week so I was really excited to attend this event and get a glimpse of Anna’s knowledge of the industry as she works on both sides of it.
I always thought of blogging as a hobby but realistically I have been paid for posts, I have received products to review and I have attended events held by PR companies so can I really class it as a hobby anymore rather than a brand that I am building. In order to truly build a brand, you need to work out what your USP is and decide on the best topics to write about that suit you. If you are posting about something that you are not proud of then you will lose your connection with your blog so think about what you can do effortlessly and what you get enjoyment from. It won’t be as enjoyable if you put yourself on a pedestal attempting to cover areas that don’t suit you.
The difference between a blogger and a social influencer put simply is that a blogger writes regular material for a blog and an influencer affects or changes the way someone behaves. In 2017, 27,000 individuals earned revenue through being an influencer with the UK accounting for just 7% of the world’s influencers vs the US who hold 30%, but this is said to grow to 100,000 earning revenue by 2020. 55% of global influencers are between 21 and 35, and 20% are between 36 and 50 so don’t be turned off starting a blog if you are worried that this is just a young person’s game.
Influencer marketing began as PR teams began to hold influencer events and invited bloggers, as well as reaching out to send products to influencers alongside press and celebrities. Once the influencer industry’s value was realised and became more of a profession than a pastime payment was needed to sustain channels and blogs, and so influencer marketing began to be considered as a paid media channel.
When it comes to blogging, SEO is a very important aspect but also one that goes over a lot of our heads, including me. One of the main things I took away from the talk with Anna was to make sure you name your image files and logically title it to be found easier across the internet, which I have to admit I’m pretty useless at doing so I’m going to make a conscious effort to improve on this. Also make sure you audit your blog every few months for broken links which is something I actually am quite good at keeping on top of.
When promoting your blog posts across social media remember that it shouldn’t always be the same across the board, you should work out which part of the post is most popular and relevant to that particular social media following and push that. With the increase of Micro and Nano bloggers followers are not all that PRs look at now, if you are a smaller blogger but have a large engagement and a more responsive audience you could be better suited to a campaign than someone with a larger following.
With the increase of influencers on Instagram a great app to download would be Planoly, which is an Instagram content planner and scheduler which allows you to preview your feed prior to posting anything live. It is great if you have taken multiple photos but you can’t decide which one to upload but with the free version you will need to manually post your content through Instagram. You can set it up to send you notifications to remind you to upload if you have worked out your best time to post is through Instagram Insights, but if you get the paid version you can schedule your posts through the app.
So as not to overload you with you too much information I have split this post into two parts, and on my next post I will be discussing how to gain collaborations, when is the right time to go full time with blogging and some more helpful apps and kit.