As someone who has blogged for a number of years as a side hobby, I find it fascinating how much the blogging world has changed since I started out in this industry all those years ago. The way we blog, the people blogging – it’s all so different now. And with change, comes both good and bad. That’s why I love offering up my own thoughts on blogging in general in this series here on LOM, offering my view on how blogging has changed and how we can make it better together. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed some differences in how smaller blogs have been treated by brands. We are living in the digital age of influence, when large bloggers have millions of followers and can make millions of dollars a year just by influencing their mass of a following. But what about all the small bloggers out there that still have a strong following but might not reach millions of people? What about the medium size bloggers who don’t do it for a living but still have a lot to offer?
Land of Marvels has never been a for profit blog and the small amount of money I make from the blog usually goes right back into it for upkeep and yet I’ve definitely leveraged my little blog when we travel to work with brands I admire and hotels that I want to share with my readers. I’ve gotten free night stays in hotels, media discounts for sharing destinations on my social media and free travel gear here and there over the years. But 90% of the deals I’ve been able to get through LOM have been from me reaching out to brands myself and not the other way around. I’ve shared in the past how even small blogs can work with brands, but I’ve definitely noticed over the last year or so that those brands are starting to shy away from working with smaller blogs like LOM and instead putting all their money toward the giants in our industry.
So what does that mean for the little guys? Are we not influencers too? The blogging game has unfortunately become all about numbers. How many hundreds or thousands or millions of followers do you have? And that’s really unfortunate. Because it’s somehow stopped being about the individual, it’s about a mass of people and how much money they can make off of you. So where do we go from here as bloggers? For me, I’ve started attempting to work with smaller brands and start ups – the companies that can’t afford to go after the giant bloggers with millions of followers and that allows smaller blogs like Land of Marvels to still make a difference as influencers.
Smaller companies need voices too and I have found recently that when reaching out to smaller brands or smaller hotels, that they’ve been more than happy to come on board and work with me. We might be in the age of influence where large blogs with millions of followers might be writing the rules for influencers, but the smaller blogs still have a voice too – let’s use it!