Last month, WWD made waves by talking about how bloggers are making millions, and most likely as RewardStyle's Amber Venz says, “Not who you think they are.”
Sure, yeah, there are SOME bloggers who are making millions, and by all means that's great for them! But what about the rest of the spectrum of blogging? Are ALL the opportunities reserved for those few, for the blogging world's 1%? I spoke with Style Coalition founder, Yuli Ziv over the phone today and talked about what professional blogging looks like today.
“Brands are asking for more, a blog is simply not enough.” says Yuli Ziv
“Today, people are running their blogs more as a business,” says, Ziv. People are treating their blogs as an extension of their personal brands. As Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. have become established media channels, it's no longer enough just to run a blog. “Brands are asking for more, a blog is simply not enough.” So are we bloggers anymore if we must cultivate influence across multiple channels? The answer is sort of. On one hand, the term has evolved, bloggers influential across several channels are now referred to as “Power Influencers” But, on the other hand, at the end of the day, an opportunity always come down to the actual blog. So don't just chuck your blog and live on Instagram just yet.
You might be seeing on Twitter bloggers frustrated by brands who do not understand how things work, but, generally speaking, the brands who do have the budgets are actually becoming more sophisticated and more structure as to how they work with bloggers. What's more, is that they're allocating more budget to working with bloggers than in years past. Where blogger campaigns used to be one-offs, now they're more commonplace and have allocated budgets. RFPs (Request for Proposals for media buys) are including blogs as a media channel, and allotting specific sections for branded content (i.e., sponsored posts). For bloggers, this means; content is by all means a commodity in the advertising world. Yes, blog content.
…Ziv puts it, “[Brands] realized they can use bloggers to create [branded] content that is more organic and authentic. They then started reaching out to bloggers to their story in [the blogger's] own voice. It's win/win, get great content and own that content, and use it across social channels.”
Branded content is appealing to companies as they constantly need new, fresh content to disburse among their own media channels. Why don't they just create their own? They could, but it's expensive, and as Yuli Ziv puts it, “[Brands] realized they can use bloggers to create [branded] content that is more organic and authentic. They then started reaching out to bloggers to their story in [the blogger's] own voice. It's win/win, get great content and own that content, and use it across social channels.”
Brands want to take a look at your blog and social media channels and in “5 seconds, they want to be able to know who your audience is.”
How do you know if your content is going to be appealing to brands? Ziv says that brands want to take a look at your blog and social media channels and in “5 seconds, they want to be able to know who your audience is.” So be thoughtful in how you cultivate your audience, who you want them to be, as well how you position yourself. Your niche may or may not be appealing to brands, so consider what your blog is about, along with your readers. Make it easy for brands to be able to visualize working with you.
If you needed more proof that there is a lot of opportunity out there check out this infographic which shows that 82% of professional bloggers had an increase in revenue over the past year.
That's good news, for everyone.