The Rise Of The Microblogger
I like to try to keep ahead of the trends for a number of reasons; firstly, it’s what the subscribers to my newsletter the #CarolineEdit (you can sign up on the homepage) have come to expect of me. Secondly, it’s what I as a ‘creator’ expect of myself. And, finally, it’s the only way I can really produce worthwhile content for you and for myself.
Recently, I posted on social media about how some of my blog posts are outperforming articles from Refinery29, Vogue and Estee Lalonde (there are many more – this is a snapshot) on the same topics. Take a look below; my blog post is right at the top.
I’m not suggesting that my following and analytics are higher than these outlets and individuals. However, as bloggers who’ve amassed large followings are now seen as more traditional, people are back on the hunt for real, unbiased reviews.
The Rise Of The Microblogger
I started blogging in 2008 and then did so on and off over the years on various different channels. At that point, bloggers were seen as the fresh, new voice. Our unbiased reviews were loved by the public because people had lost a level of trust in traditional media.
As somebody who has spent a large portion of my life in PR, I know that when it comes to placing a product it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that gets it into mainstream media. Why do you think PR companies use the phrase ‘it’s important to have a little black book brimming with contacts’ when they advertise for employees? Because they know the struggle is real.
But things have shifted since 2008. These once small blogs now have millions of followers. With following, though, comes the stress of monetising content. Large bloggers are now having to post sponsored content and #ad in order to make a living. More importantly, though, they’re being invited on these hugely lavish trips; the Maldives will stay afloat on the money of PR companies wining and dining influencers alone.
Let me tell you; this is a great thing for our industry. Isn’t this what we’ve been fighting for? Finally, bloggers are recognised for what they are. However, this shift has caused some problems.
When you’re taken to the Maldives on an all expenses paid trip with your boyfriend who has now become a full-time photographer of you, you are not going to bad-mouth the brand that takes you. I don’t care how much integrity you have; any savvy person knows the importance of these brand/creator relationships. In turn, the biased reviews we’ve tried so hard to avoid are now creeping back into blogging.
This Is When Microblogging Comes Into Its Own…
Microbloggers might not have hundreds of thousands – or even tens of thousands – of followers, but we do have a really engaged audience. Your audience might contain only 20 people, but if all of these people buy stuff as a result of trusting your review, then you become a really valuable asset to brands.
I follow a lot of what Gary Vee says and he often talks about the importance of treating the people who take time to read your stuff with the biggest respect. For every email, comment or private message I get, I take time to respond, I offer my advice, I offer books I like. In other words, I go out of my way. I don’t do it for more followers or for any monetary gain, I do it because I am so appreciative of the people who take time out of their day to not only read what I write but to comment.
You – as a microblogger – have the luxury of building a brand that makes you proud. My long-term goals are simple; create content with a refreshing level of honesty, be able to give as much as I can to charity through my business and provide a shocking level of customer service. The customer service I provide will be so good that people won’t even know what to do with themselves! The brands I’m building at the moment have charity and customer service at the heart of them and that makes me very happy.
Choose what you want to be at the core of your personal brand and build everything around it. We have the luxury of no rules and regulations. We can even make a mistake or two along the way because our audience is so lovingly engaged that they won’t mind.
Your Time Is Now
We have got to fight for our space in this marketplace. That’s why I wrote so openly about my views and my site statistics. I want people to know that my review has been read and engaged with more times that Vogue’s review. If that makes me seem like I’m massaging my ego then so be it. We need to be more open about our achievements because if we aren’t, how can we expect brands to know the value we offer?
Long-form content is hugely sought after at the moment. I truly believe there will come a time when an Instagram story or post will not cut it for brands; they’ll want exposure on all platforms that are created in such a beautiful, picture-driven way. The option to just operate on one platform will become a thing of the past. The multi-hyphen approach to job titles is real. So, if you don’t know your way around all the major players in social media and content creation, start to learn to put yourself ahead.
Our Prices Are Attractive
Some Instagram influencers are getting thousands of pounds per post. Our prices reflect our following and if brands have any sense, they’ll see that the most engaged bloggers still have a very loyal following. Plus, I’d like to think that my level of involvement in a campaign with a brand would be far greater than a large influencer who works primarily through an agent.
Just because you have a smaller following, though, don’t put your prices too low and do yourself an injustice. Trust in what you have to offer. If a brand sees a value in that offering, they’ll work with you regardless.
Do You Have Any Tips?
What are you doing to highlight your place in the industry? Do you agree with a more transparent approach to success, site statsitics and money, or would you rather keep that side of your blog private? I’d love to hear your thoughts!