15 years ago, give or take, blogging was looked at as a hobby for angsty college kids.
The concept of people getting paid to advertise products based on the influence they’ve built on social media would have been laughed at.
Fast forward to 2021.
Top-level bloggers and influencers are making millions of dollars, and even micro-influencers and smaller blogging operations are raking in $1,000s each week in largely passive income.
So, what’s led to this trend that seems to be here to stay? Let’s take a look.
What’s leading to the growth of bloggers and influencers?
The growth of the digital world is fueling changes in the way we work. Freelancers are gaining influence and taking over the professional world. Social media allows users to build massive followings, and brands are taking notice.
Internet users are tiring of major publications and instead opting to trust in niche bloggers to gain insights into subjects of interest to them.
As we become more and more connected, and the world continues its shift to digital – fueled even faster by the pandemic – there are more opportunities to present your personal brand online and grow your influence.
Bloggers, freelancers, and influencers are taking advantage and reaping the benefits of this trend.
How do you become an influential blogger, freelancer, or social media persona?
The key to building influence online today is a strong focus on building a powerful online persona. No matter what field or niche you’re in, highlighting your expertise and telling your story online in a way that builds an audience of engaged followers can give your status a serious boost.
But just how do you build a powerful online brand and gain influence? Here are a few tips to follow as you walk the line of building an effective personal brand.
Clean up your act
Your online reputation is critically important. The first step is to remove any negative information about you on the internet. Conduct a Google search, and get rid of any negative social media posts, poorly crafted content from your past, low quality images (or images that paint you in a negative light), and other content that could tarnish your online image and crush your personal brand.
Know your audience
When building a personal brand to grow influence online, it’s super important that you know who you are are trying to reach. And this means going beyond simply having basic demographics in mind. Your audience shouldn’t be “men and women ages 35-44”. It should be something more like:
- Aspiring bloggers
- Both male and female
- Ages 35-55
- Aspiring to generate a side hustle from their blog
- Struggling to gain traction in their niche
- Beginner level, needing guidance
- Variety of genres
- Hangs out mostly on Instagram and Twitter
You can get more detailed than this, and you should, but for the sake of this article, you get the idea.
Craft your story
Now that you know your audience, you need to tell a story that connects with them. Who are you and what value do you add to the market? Understand what problems you can solve and how you can help people. Then craft a brand story that lets your followers know why they should follow you and the value you add for their lives.
Leverage digital channels
Create a consistent brand for yourself across multiple channels. Social media, a WordPress blog, forums, video channels like YouTube, and other channels can help you present your personal brand and engage in conversations with your audience.
Keep the above four things in mind as you build your personal brand and seek to grow influence online.
Getting started growing your influence
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to be consistent and stay focused. Building influence online, no matter what your niche, is a long game. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Be sure you’re passionate and knowledgeable about the niche you’ve chosen to target.
This will ensure you stick with it when times get tough if you have a built-in passion for your subject matter.
And if you’re not knowledgeable about your subject, you’ll be called out quickly and fade away into obscurity.
Carefully craft your story and build a personal brand that’s well-developed and aimed at helping people solve problems, answering people’s questions, or providing entertainment. In other words, your personal brand should make people’s lives better in some way.
This is how you earn your influence. And this is how you thrive in an increasingly digital world.
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