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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4 thoughts on “The Amazing Growth of Bloggers and Influencers (And How to Become One)”
People in general need to start being more selective with what they post on social media. You just never know when it may come back to bite you. I look at some of the crap I posted way back in the day on Facebook and now I just shake my head. (and delete it!) Of course at that time if you would of told me that I would be starting an online business and using social media to generate income I would of laughed. Now that I have grown up a bit (nothing to do with age) I am much more aware of what I and others post. I also try to make sure my kids are only posting appropriate content and WHY they need to be aware of what others may think about what they post.
We are lucky to have people like you and Ryan and others who are doing this for the right reasons and with integrity. Thank you for that.
Thanks, SharlaAnn! People do get themselves in tons of trouble. It’s so important to carefully consider what you post online. Our kids are all 6 or under, so they aren’t on social yet, but we definitely plan to have that conversation as well! Thanks so much for stopping by the read the post!
All great tips Anthony. Exposure has been a big factor for me in gaining some form of credibility among certain factions online. I never genuinely saw myself as an influencer because others simply decide whether or not I help them and influence them. But the fact that respect bloggers and authority organizations deem my blog as having some clout still seems a bit mystifying to me LOL.
A few hours ago someone who works closely with a Google program emailed me asking about a partnership in some way, shape or form. This always floors me; Google wants exposure on Blogging From Paradise. Yeah, right 😉 I feel humbled but also understand how being fully committed to targeting and serving people generously levels the playing field online.
That doesn’t surprise me at all that someone from Google would reach out to you. You’ve built a powerful brand. And with your 40k + followers on Twitter, you’re a prime target for influencer marketing. I definitely get it. Anytime someone reaches out and seeks my help promoting something or asks me to be on a podcast, etc., I’m humbled. I work hard to build my personal brand online, but it still gets me every time when someone reaches out like that. It’s a great feeling, but as we talk about often, it’s so important to focus first on helping others, and the rest falls into place. I think if you offer value to people and genuinely look to help, your personal brand grows organically.