Till this day women are still underrepresented in the corporate world, so it’s no wonder why they resort to blogging as a full-time job. We created a career of our own. Rather than being stuck at a 9-5 M-F job working under a boss, they are their own bosses. Growing up, I remember blogging was just a way for people to vent and speak their mind, but now it became a career for thousands of people. For me? I’m not putting all of my eggs in a basket, yet.
I believe people still laugh at the idea of blogging as a career. It sounds way too good to be true doesn’t it? People who are not in the industry may ask: How much of it can really be a living? Why is it possible to even make money off of a photo? Instagram is just an app on a phone, so why are people so serious about something so digitalized? All you do is take pretty photos and post it, there is no brain work in that? You do realize that someday Instagram will be a dead social media right, so how long is your “career” really?
That’s the beauty behind human nature. We talk down on the things we understand little about and we assume we are superior based on the type of job we have. I’m here to debunk all of the myths people believe about influencers. I do know I am part time, but that allows me to introduce to you two different views on the topic.
Why influencers are such a powerful group is because people can relate to us and our opinion matters to our audience. For example, celebrities can do whatever the hell they want and still have loyal followers. If we do all of the same nonsense they do, we will lose everything we built on. We are worth it because we are real. Businesses and companies pay us because we are able to influence our audience with an authentic language. If you think our job is super easy, then please be my guest and start your own brand. It takes years to build and those pictures you see? Can you come up with a creative shot, make a congruent feed, design the right filter, and capture thousands and/or millions of audiences? One of the biggest factors that brands look at is your engagement rate, which is the most difficult to obtain as well. Just to be clear, this earth is filled with different minds and not everyone thinks logically and not everyone thinks creatively.
You think that everything is based on Instagram, but we actually attend blogger conferences (sadly I had to decline one happening at the end of June), network with companies and other influencers, hustle to get paid properly, deal with horrible PRs, and struggle with creativity (sounds pretty similar to an artist). Those already established attend meetings and/or have their own management team. With the way that Instagram has changed, we also have to find out ways to get our audience to engage with our posts as well. So you can say that 30% of it is based on our photos and the other 70% we have to think like a businesswo(men).
I recently watched an interview with one of my favorite blogger, @fashionedchicstyling, who spends about an hour shooting one outfit and another hour editing it! When you check out her feed you can definitely tell how strong her brand is. So honestly, it can be a lot of work that goes into one single photo. Personally, I spend 1-2 hours shooting 4-6 different outfits and about 1-2 hours editing my feed + blog post. We think of our feed as a resume; it takes 10-15 seconds for a brand to decide if they want to work with us or not. In a way we are an advertising page for the brands and they pay us because they trust our work and that it reaches to the right audience. Also, that trust can eventually develop into a long-term collaboration.
Let me give you a blunt idea on how much we can make. Those sitting around 50,000 followers can make around $200-300 per post. There are people with 200k following that I believe can make $1000 per post depending on the stats of their blog and engagement. **That’s my rent for the month!
Though people want to point fingers and say the industry is overly saturated, note that every other job is as well. Influencers work on other projects or have other jobs outside of the platform and once you hit a few milestones, your life will change. Even if the change is temporary it will open up a lot of opportunities once you establish yourself. Though I am uncertain if I will ever get to that point, I’m grateful for what I’ve accomplished so far.
Yes, I do agree Instagram will eventually die as a social media, but it won’t be because people are bored of it, but because there’s another up and coming platform. Take Myspace for example, it died because of Facebook. There has been so many new social media apps that try to compete with Instagram, but it’s so powerful at the moment that I do not seeing it dying down anytime soon. It’s even taking out Snapchat by stealing their filter and story ideas.
Of course people bot their likes and followers and it definitely gives a bad reputation for bloggers but we cannot let them discourage us from doing something we love. There are several metrics that influencer platforms are implementing to check the authenticity of your page so we shouldn’t have to worry too much.
Let me be honest with you. When I first started Instagram I did it all for fun and networking, I had no intention of making it a part time job. It only got serious earlier this year, and yes I am still attending graduate school. Therefore, I do not want to stop pursuing my Ph.D because of something I recently got serious about, even if it takes up a good chunk of my heart. I know what my plans are after 10+ years when I obtain my doctorate, but I don’t have a clue about blogging. Yes, this is me playing it safe, but this is also me playing the field. Who knows, maybe 2-4 years down the road I will find out more about this blogger side of me and change my career course. If you decided to pursue blogging with no idea of your long-term goals, that’s amazing for you! However, I am thinking several years ahead and my future family and home, but maybe I shouldn’t and should just think about doing what I love. Ask me this question in about a year 😉