When I started blogging five years ago, there were no where near the number of opportunities there are now. It used to be that going to college was the way to establish a career and means of income, but with the surge of bloggers and influencers gaining popularity on Instagram and Tiktok, not to mention brand endorsements and cold hard cash, these non traditional paths are quickly becoming a preferred route for making a living.
History of blogging
Content creators are familiar with content management softwares such as WordPress and Wix, however, it was a forum known as Blogger that was one of the first spaces to successfully showcase a community of sharing ideas online.
While blogging gained momentum in the early 2000’s, many agree that the first blog dates back to 1994 with Justin Hall’s website Links.net, a space he used to publish his thoughts on the world wide web. The term “blog” derived from a phrase, “weblog” created by Jorg Barger to describe what was previously referred to as “online diaries” from what is considered one of the first published blogging platforms, “Open Diary” which allowed public commentary on people’s online writings, thoughts and ideas.
By the early 2000’s, blogging had become a way for “ordinary people” to gain notoriety as an influencer and create a decent amount of income. With companies such as Google and Yahoo starting to recognize the power of online content, so came the potential for making money in this new “blogosphere”. Thus, the inception of programs such as Google Adwords and AdSense were born.
What is an Influencer?
One of the first segments to take off in the world of blogging was the mommy sector. Created as a space for stay-at-home moms to educate and share information, this group of information seekers quickly became one of the fastest growing avenues to date. However, the world of blogging has shifted dynamically to include anyone with knowledge, a passion for any given topic to become an influencer.
Unlike traditional marketing strategies, influencer marketing has become increasingly effective due to the relationship between the influencer and their audience. Because these people are often looked to as “experts” in their field, they’ve established a level of trust with those who follow them.
The earning power of social influencers is ever changing. In my early days of blogging, I was elated when I started getting free swag from companies who wanted me to review their products. Now, I not only receive opportunities to review products for a fee, but I’ve also published a book and I’m currently working on manufacturing a product line for my brand, in addition to my earnings from my blog and digital courses.
Eventually, bloggers may be able to expand their brands to other entrepreneurial avenues such as clothing lines, physical products or launching successful careers as a coach or speaker. And let’s not forget the earning potential of influencers on social media platforms which has become big business in recent years.
So what’s the preferred money making platform for bloggers and influencers? Sources say that 96% of marketers prefer Instagram for influencer partnerships but TikTok, with nearly 800 million users each month, and Facebook can also be lucrative sources when used strategically.
The Future of Blogging
While it used to be that going to college entailed career paths such as doctors and lawyers, universities such as Notre Dame offer curriculum and degree programs specifically for bloggers (contemporary communication). Who’d have thunk it?
With social platforms such as Tiktok and Clubhouse emerging every day, the potential for bloggers to transition to influencers with lucrative endorsements and partnership opportunities, the future of blogging seems brighter than ever before.
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