How Blogging Has Evolved: An Insider’s Look From An Influencer

July 27, 2017

Kirsten Thompson

Sr. Content Creator
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It’s safe to say that blogging has come a long way since the early days of people using them as a daily journal to catalog their weekend, shopping trips and family vacations.  Of course, the basic elements are still there – copy, photos and a layout that entices the reader to stay put and browse, but so much has evolved since those early days.

Instead of bloggers, people with blogs are now considered influencers, iPhone photos have become highly edited DSLR images and that recipe you made last week may have been influenced by a recent brand partnership. Bluntly – utilizing influencers with blogs has become an indispensable marketing tool for brands and companies and an essential part of successful communications planning.

Why? 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

When I began blogging 7 years ago, I had a generic Blogger template, a free URL and any photos I could easily pull off my cell phone. I talked about what I was up to and used it as a way to share my life with my family who lived far away. Today, blogging has created a part-time job income! As my job has evolved, and with any job, there have been growing pains along the way. Today, I’m excited to share the good and not-so-good sides of the evolution of blogging from an influencer’s perspective.

The Good

  • Sponsored Posts. As blogging has become part of brand’s communications plans, companies allocate a budget to pay influencers for their time and efforts. This is awesome, because it means that when I link up with a company to write or post photos of their product, I am compensated for the writing, shooting and editing!
  • Sense Of Community. As blogging has evolved, so has the number of people taking part! For a long time, I was one of the only bloggers I knew. Now, it’s pretty common to network and people (who become best friends!) all over the world that share your common thread – being an influencer.
  • Doing What You Love. Many bloggers who have been sharing their content on the internet for many years now have made blogging their full time job. They have the freedom to work from home doing something that they love while being able to support their families.

The Bad

  • #Sponsored Overload. You know that saying – too much of a good thing can be a bad thing? Well, this rings true for sponsored posts. Some influencers take every opportunity they are presented, which leads to poor engagement (particularly if the company or product isn’t a true fit), leading brands to be wary of influencer marketing.
  • Keeping Up With The Joneses. Because blogging has grown and evolved, there’s a little bit of competition that happens amongst communities that were once so close knit. Better page designs, brighter photos, photo staging…oh my! When brands see one blogger stand out among the rest, they raise their standards which makes competition for partnerships a bit fierce.
  • Everyone Is A Blogger. This might just be my own personal feeling, but it seems like the more people I meet, the more tell me that they are a blogger. Blogging is no longer a niche hobby for writers. Because of this, everyone now wants paid partnerships, sponsors, etc.

It’s easy to look at the not-so-good aspects of how blogging has changed and say “No thank you!” That said, the positive connections I’ve made, the experiences I’ve been presented with and the people I’ve met far outweigh the feelings of doubt I sometimes experience. My best advice? Whether you have been blogging for years or are just getting your feet wet, enjoy the journey!

About the Author: Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based writer who focuses on food, travel and lifestyle topics. She is a bar columnist for Metro Honolulu and contributing writer for Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, People Magazine and more. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying a new restaurant with her husband or playing with her two chocolate Labs, Judy and Bill, at the beach.

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Kirsten Thompson

Sr. Content Creator

Kirsten Thompson has been blogging since 2010, sharing her passion for home decor, organization, and crafts with her ever-growing audience. Her blog has become her business, Sweet Tea LLC. She educates bloggers on the power of email marketing & blog strategy through webinars, digital products and coaching.