The only people I describe myself to as a social influencer are the Tax Man and brands I’m trying to work with. To the general public, I’d just sound like I’m really full of myself. I’m hardly a household name, how influential can I really be?
I’ve been dabbling with the idea of sharing more about life behind the scenes of Twin Pickle. So, here I am… Mom Blogger and Social Influencer. As my blog and social media presence grow I can’t deny that my once hobby is now a work-at-home mompreneurial endeavor. I pretty much live and breathe my blog. It shapes the activities I do, the food I eat, the creative projects I embark on. I don’t just write about parenting, I’m living the very lifestyle I promote to thousands of people. It’s all consuming and at times overwhelming. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So a Social Influencer is a Blogger?
Not exactly. An influencer is someone who has the power to affect what others purchase. There is trust built between a blogger and their readers. But a blog is not the only way to influence. Social media is exploding with influencers, and Instagram is the flagship platform for brands to promote their products through lifestyle photography and video.
The traditional blog was born as an online journal, but the growth of social media killed off the popularity of many personal blogs. We can now keep up with people’s day to day lives through Instagram and Facebook feeds. Why would we subscribe to a blog?
People now follow blogs for detailed, up to date information on a particular subject. And although people still enjoy the personal touch a blog offers, the modern blog is a fully functioning website, offering advice, products, and services. Blogs are still very much alive, and are also big business!
How does Paid Social Influencing work?
I make money through a number of different avenues. Whether it be commission on products I link to or a sponsored post which I am paid to write, the concept is the same. I am aiming, with the best intentions, to influence my followers purchasing behaviors.
A sponsored post is just like a regular post, but I have arranged by contract with a brand to mention, link to and help promote their product. Sometimes this is through a direct agreement, sometimes it’s through a middle-man agency. I am registered with about 15 different social media marketing platforms. It’s a bit like posting your resume on a job agency website. Sometimes jobs are offered direct, sometimes I have to bid or pitch my idea for a post.
I currently post 3-4 sponsored blog posts to this site every month. Each of these I promote like my other posts across all social media platforms. On top of those, I usually promote 5-10 different brands a month through stand-alone social media posts, usually but not always Instagram. A photo of my lunch with a mention of the Tofu brand I used to make it. A photo of my morning mom mayhem plugging a coffee brand in the process:
The Relationship Between Blogging & Social Media
When I started out in the summer of 2016, I started a blog. I didn’t know what a Social Influencer was and just figured people would Google topics I had written about, come across my blog and read it. I started a Facebook page… Sent my blog posts to it so people would read them. Sadly, it just doesn’t work like that.
Now, more than ever, people are sharing opinions, advice, and personal style across social media and blogs. Your blog post is a tiny fish in a massive pond. After 2+ yrs of blogging, I can not stress strongly enough that there is no blogging without social media. If you do not enjoy social media, blogging to the general public is not for you. You don’t have to love all platforms, but get ready to get social!
So, Do I Even Need a Blog to be a Social Influencer?
The simple answer is No. To put it into context, an influencer campaign I was recently invited to apply for was offering two contracts:
- $350 for a sponsored blog post with social shares across all platforms (including Instagram);
- $500 for a sponsored Instagram post and Instagram story.
The same brand, the same agency… so why would they offer more money for an Instagram post when they’re getting an Instagram post as part of the blog contract? The answer is: Because the Influencers that will be awarded the Instagram campaign will have a much larger Instagram following. Brands are so focused on Instagram these days that a blog is often not considered as valuable as a monster Instagram account.
There are plenty of successful influencers making a good living off Instagram posts. But like everything in life, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Competition for a large following on Instagram is insane! It has taken me 2+years to grow to almost 10,000 followers and my photography has had to jump to a whole other level. Sometimes I consider moving into Instagram influencing full-time and leaving the blog behind me, but there is something inherently special about your very own website.
The Advantage of Having a Blog
Is my social media supporting my blog? Or is my blog supporting my social media accounts? The relationship has definitely shifted, and I now see my blog as just one of many platforms on which to share my content. But even if it’s just for publishing a homepage, I believe it’s always worth buying a domain to attach to your brand.
If you just want to grow your Instagram presence, or you have established business on Facebook, you don’t know what products or services you may want to sell in the future. By buying a domain and publishing to a blog occasionally you will build up a Google ranking which may come in extremely handy down the line. Why wait until you have that brand expansion idea? Start growing a Search Engine presence now… believe me, it takes time for Google to rank you!
The beauty of Search Engine traffic is once it’s set up it is relatively passive. An Instagram post is only actively showing on people’s feed for a few days. Even a Facebook viral has a limited lifespan. A blog post I published in my second-week blogging is always in my top 5 posts for traffic every single day. Because it ranks in Google. I do nothing, the readers come to me. I run ads in that post and earn money from it every single day.
In Case You Want to Start a Blog…
It is pretty much impossible to not recommend a blog hosting company when you run a blog. I recommend WordPress through Bluehost for three very honest reasons:
- If you want to own your domain, it’s the cheapest and most user-friendly way to get set up.
- It’s how I got started and everything turned out sweet for me.
- They pay me an awesome commission for anyone who signs up. We both win, it’s a no-brainer.
If you want a step-by-step guide to the setup process, I have one here –> How to Start an Awesome Blog in 20 Minutes.
I have so much more to say on the subject of blogging, social media, and life as a social influencer. Stay tuned for more mom blogger mayhem. Questions, I love questions, so fire away!