5 Things Influencers are Missing
While I've both been an influencer and worked with influencers for around ten years, it seems that the world I once knew about blogging has changed into a multifaceted industry.
With the instagram algorithm changing constantly and blogging becoming more of a full time business versus a hobby, it's important to treat your blog as such. Granted, I know so many women and men who begin their blog as a hobby and that's perfectly fine. But know, that if you intend on your blog evolving into much more than a hobby, it should be treated like a full-time, professional business.
So, if you're one of the many bloggers who want their blogging side hobby to be so much more than a hobby, listen up. I'm sharing five of my favorite ways to prove your professionalism, increase your traffic, and garner true relationships with both your followers and your sponsors.
1: Utilize Your Newsletter!
So many bloggers truly overlook this because they feel it's one more thing that's useless - but that couldn't be further from the truth. I have three bloggers' newsletters who always are in my inbox and I love them for it. Truthfully, they could show up everyday and I'd be so happy. My favorite newsletter comes from Grace, the blogger at A Southern Drawl. She shares her outfits, latest posts, and fun workouts. You should be sending a newsletter out to your readers atleast once per week to keep them engaged. And it doesn't have to be just your latest posts! Let your readers know what's going on in your personal life with Letters from the Editor that are simple personal emails to tell them any stories you'd like them to hear. Share your latest sales, favorite outfit round-ups, and links to other social platforms. Giveaways? NEWSLETTER WORTHY.
2: The Editorial Influence
I remember when this whole blogging sensation began - Elle + Vogue were much larger of an influence than blogs, and now the entire spectrum has shifted. Can you imagine a world where readers went to blogs before magazines? Yeah..me too, we're living in it. So if you consider your blog & brand to be more editorial than just a blog, shouldn't you be promoting it as such? By creating magazines & lookbooks, you're able to showcase seasonal trends as well as promote your sponsors more effectively (and in multiple outlets.) You'll look more professional, you'll have one more outlet that didn't take forty hours a week to manage, and another option to promote your affiliate links. Not to mention, your sponsors may actually end up wanting a feature in the magazine which gives you another source of potential income. Pinched for time? Create one magazine that you can edit over and over again, without having to create an entirely new one. *spoiler alert: these will be for sale soon on my site! eek!*
3: Building Your List
Now, even if you aren't planning on utilizing newsletters..you really need to be working on building your email list. Imagine if one day, your ENTIRE instagram account vanished without a trace. You had no subscribers, no followers...nothing. Your blog would quite literally become a thing of the past, and very quickly. The good thing about having an email list is that if something like this were to ever happen, you'd be able to email your followers immediately to let them know what happened and where they can find you in the mean time. You'd still have that line of communication open and no one could take that from you. I recommend adding subscriber areas to your sidebar, footer, popups, after your content in a blog post, basically wherever you can. And honestly, with the way Instagram is behaving lately - the idea doesn't seem so far-fetched. Customer service is quite non-existent on Instagram.
4: Asking More of Your Followers
Remind yourselves that there is a reason your followers are there - they truly love your content. I've noticed a few bloggers recently on instagram stories explaining the instagram algorithm to their followers and letting them know what liking & commenting actually mean for them. Guys, don't be afraid to be transparent & vulnerable. It makes you more approachable, it makes people feel more connected to you in the long run. Explain to your followers that you need them to like and comment. Ask them to engage with you and let you know what they want to see on your blog, answer their questions, share screenshots of their questions with the answer on instagram stories. ENGAGE & connect with them, let them know you need them to engage with you in order to continue with your content they love so much. Two bloggers I love, Tamryn of www.wannabefashionblogger.com and Taylor of www.littleblondebook.com have been doing this and I love it!
5: Connect with Other Bloggers
You know those local blogger events you never go to? GO! Whether you feel awkward or uncomfortable won't matter because everyone else most likely feels the same. Force yourself to go to these local events, meet other bloggers & media representatives, and make true connections. I have a group of women who are all designers that I connected with last year. We share our deepest business secrets & advice, we build one another up, share connections. It has been the best decision I've ever made for my business. Connect with other influencers and truly get to know them by sharing photographers, tips, guest posting on one another's blogs, and even promoting yourselves as a team for potentially sponsored vacations.
Truth be told, there are a million more things I could probably go on about, but these are five of the most valuable game-changing areas for bloggers in todays world. If you treat your blog like a business, it would show in so many aspects. If you currently don't have the time, consider an assistant for your newsletters & instagram stories. I would love to hear something you've done to make your blog more professional.