Blogger or Influencer: Where Am I Going?

by RUBY CABERTE
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I was introduced to blogging by a friend. She told me that blogging could be a source of extra income for me while being at home. The idea was very appealing since I always believed in making money from home as possible through online means. I was still in college when I believed in this.

Then after a month of newbie blogging, I decided to resign from my full-time work. Even though I wasn’t earning anything at that moment, I had high hopes that this is the legit way of earning from home. Then after six months, I was able to withdraw my first income from blogging. It was around 8000 pesos back in 2008. After that, my blogging career took off.

Personal Blogging

When I started blogging, it was just personal blogging. I earned money from writing about the things I am passionate about. I write about my family, children, friends, and even my pets, and I was getting paid for it. That session was pure bliss.

What’s more amazing during that time was the exchange rate. I get paid a few dollars, but the conversion was a bit high. Getting tasks was challenging as I have to be awake during the wee hours of the night, but it was all fun. I enjoyed getting paid for everything I write.

Aside from that, I was learning a lot of things. I had fun tweaking my blog just like you would if you decorate your house.

Algorithm Change and the Dollar Crash

Then Google started to change its algorithm. The usual personal blogging and getting paid for it was no longer a thing. Companies to whom I worked before started to give lesser tasks. Then the dollar crashed, and the exchange rate was affected. Everything was going down fast, and making big money wasn’t that much anymore.

And because of this, changes were inevitable. Companies started to change their direction, while others closed. Income went down the drain.

The Advent of Word-of-Mouth Digital Marketing

A few months after those changes, some companies became early adopters. They started to change direction. Before, your write about the things you want. Now, you write about specific things you experienced or tried out. It was just like word-of-mouth marketing but just digital. You blog about the products to share them with your readers.

This was a fun phase for me, too. I received a lot of items before and blogged about them. Though I wasn’t earning monetarily, I was receiving free products for a blog post.

After a few years, local companies started inviting bloggers to events such as product launching and press briefing. Company press relations were not limited to traditional media but are reaching out to the new media. Though I wasn’t invited that much compared to my counterparts in the National Capital Regions, there are times that I get to receive invites (yes, they fly me to Manila) and products to try from home, both for free and with pay.

Social Media Marketing to Influencer Marketing

Then Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many other social media platforms came. It changed the dynamics of digital marketing. From long and detailed review posts, it went down to a few captions and stunning visual presentations. People with influence (large following or Klout) emerged, thus, giving birth to influencer marketing. Niche-based influencers are particularly brand favorites as they can effectively talk about specific topics. If you sell ukuleles, you don’t talk to someone who is known for EDM (electronic dance music). You talk to influencers like Jaytee Taquiso, a YouTuber from the Philippines who creates beautiful music using his ukulele for that.

Of course, a person like me would always want to adapt early on, but creative and technical skills were needed. I like seeing visually appealing photos, but it is hard for me to create one. So, I failed to adopt early on. Though I created the social media accounts for my blog to make sure I get my username, I wasn’t that active on social media. I post occasionally, and engagement wasn’t my thing. I am an introvert, and somehow the introvert in me shows even with my online persona.

Blogger to Social Media Influencer (Key Opinion Leader)

But of course, I didn’t stay that way. I tried to cope up, and I tried to learn. I continue blogging, but I maintain most of my social media accounts now. I talk to my readers and followers by engaging them on my social media. Some of them still visit my blog to read occasionally, but most of the time, I interact with them through social media as it is easier for them to reach me.

Sometimes, I don’t do long blog content anymore. If I want to make my thoughts heard, I write them on my social media accounts. If I want to make a detailed review or a tutorial, I write them on the blog and share them on my social media accounts.

I am still a blogger, and I think I will always be one, but social media is not going away, and it will continually evolve. And because of these platforms, I don’t mind being called an influencer as well, because no matter how small my followings may be, one way or another, a small voice in a big internet world can still be heard and influence others.

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