I’ve been contemplating writing this post for the past few weeks, but I’ve made a few observations that I feel have been hurting bloggers. Bloggers tend to have a certain reputation, and I personally have worked hard on breaking that stereotype. Basically, I’m sick of seeing all of the basic bloggers. I want a new generation of bloggers, and here’s why.
As I scroll through Instagram, I sometimes get infuriated with what I see. Sponsored post after sponsored post with no REAL message. Bloggers who would do anything to get more followers. People who preach “community,” but their actions scream “competition.” It’s honestly disheartening to see. However, it doesn’t make me want to leave Instagram or blogging–it makes me want to revolutionize it.
The other day, I came across an influencer that I really loved. She posted a picture of her outfit, with the typical caption of “Shop my link for outfit details!” As I looked at the comments, one follower asked her where she got her shirt and said that she loved it. Instead of just commenting “Old Navy!” she simply said “You can click the link in my bio that I provided you.” My jaw fell on the floor. Someone took the time to comment and tell you that she loved your shirt, and you are going to respond to her like that? I get it, when people shop your posts, you make a commission off of it. I’m not hating you for that whatsoever. But to leave such a rude, degrading comment. I can’t y’all. You can not expect to influence if you aren’t being influential.
Mark Zuckerberg says “People influence people. There is nothing more influential than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” I try to live by this thought everyday with every post. If I’m not being a trusted friend, I just don’t post. If a post is self-serving for me, you won’t see it on my blog or my Instagram. I want my followers to walk away from any one of my pages feeling better about themselves, not that my life is so great. I want them to get product recommendations that don’t feel too sales-y. Sponsored posts are important, but it shouldn’t be your entire blog or Instagram. And if it is, who are you trying to please? Talk about that product that just didn’t work for you, or that shirt that was so unbearably itchy. Build your credibility with your followers without making them feel like they have to like everything you like.
I have a friend who has tried to message and engage with other influencers in the past, and they have either blatantly ignored her, or responded with something super rude. We need to remember that we wouldn’t have this opportunity to do what we do if we didn’t have the people who like and comment on our posts. Respond to every comment, go through your emails and messages, connect with your followers. Don’t tell me “I just don’t have time!” Sarah from @sassyredlipstick and her husband, Robbie from @tripp literally respond to every comment and have responded to every DM I’ve sent them. If they can do it with 385,000 and 105,000 followers respectively, you can respond to your comments and messages.
Furthermore, we were given this influence for a reason. Use it. Find a passion project or an issue that you have a strong stance on. Talk about it with your followers. Are you really into politics, and want your followers to vote? Talk about it! Did you have a family member die of cancer, and you want to spread awareness? Post about it! Sharing real life issues and things that you are passionate about outside of makeup and fashion is so important. Not only does it make you look like a real person, but it shows that you are using your influence to impact the lives of others. If that’s not a win win, I don’t know what is.
Bottom line, this is not a career that you can do alone. You need your followers. You need other bloggers. You need a community of like minded people. Be a friend, be influential, and use that influence to change the world. I’m not saying ditch all of your sponsored posts, quite the contrary! Keep doing them, but use those sponsored posts to help influence the world, not just your pockets.
I’m ready to influence the next set of influencers. Are you?