Influencer marketing is expanding rapidly in the digital world. If you have been braving the digital sea long enough, you have probably heard of or even met a few influencers. The popularity of influencer marketing is rising simply because it works. According to a recent study, non-celeb influencers are 10X more likely to influence an in-store purchase than celebrity brand ambassadors.
While most influencers continue to use social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, some are taking up blogging as the means to influence their digital audience. An influential blogger is a personalized brand that runs just like any other online business. The key to being successful in the influencer marketing arena is figuring out how to differentiate yourself and stand out from your competitors.
Here are five tips that will help you become a successful blogging influencer.
1. It’s Not about You
The first cardinal rule of being an influential blogger is to create content for your target audience, not for you. If you keep talking about yourself, people are more likely to go elsewhere to quench their thirst for fresh content. People are not interested in hearing about your conquests. They want to know how your blog posts can help them.
You must address their concerns, talk about their problems and respective solutions, and analyze the current trending topics in your niche. Also, make sure to maintain a more personal or informal tone throughout your blog. Make use of words such as “you” and “your” in your content as much as possible. Write as if you were having a one-on-one conversation with them.
For example, Matthew Karsten’s blog Expert Vagabond is one of the popular travel blogs. Matthew (he prefers to be called Matt), not only offers detailed information on various locations throughout the world, he also shares tips and “how-to” guides on international travel.
Although he shares his personal experiences, he maintains an audience-centric approach when doing so. His unique writing style, coupled with incredibly informative content, makes this blog stand out. To come up with something like Matt, however, you will need to understand what your target audience wants.
2. Listen to Your Target Audience
When writing for your target audience, you can quickly get caught up in what you think your audience wants instead of what they actually want. To avoid this problem, gather as much information about your target audience as possible.
In other words, just like a business organization, you have to collect actionable consumer insights by listening and learning more about your audience regularly. These insights will tell you what your target audience actually thinks and feels.
Social media is the best place to listen to what your target audience is saying. It can also help you understand the ideas and topics that come up in social conversations. You can turn these topics into informative and detailed blog posts.
You can use a variety of social media tools such as Keyhole, Mention, and Awario to keep track of social conversations by identifying relevant keywords. It may sound like a lot of work, but it is well worth it.
3. Create Informative and Valuable Content
Composing blog posts every day is one thing, and creating informative and valuable content is another. You have to provide information or advice that your target audience cannot find anywhere else. So, keep the following in mind:
- Focus on a specific niche or subcategory to create highly targeted content. For example, if you are writing on lifestyle, divide it into subcategories such as food, exercise, yoga, and meditation, among others. Create posts specific to each subcategory.
- Create unique, original and exclusive content with depth. Be as thorough as possible and try to cover all aspects of the topic. Make your advice count.
- Use original photos, videos, and other media. Maintain a consistent editing style throughout the blog.
- Develop a unique writing style that resonates with your target audience. From time to time, ask your readers if they are enjoying your posts and how you can make them better.
4. Carve Your Own Niche
The blogging world is big enough for everyone to thrive in it. However, you can’t trade places with another blogger in your niche. So, you are better off carving your own niche. For example, a blog called Life Part 2 started by Jonathan Look in 2011 focuses on traveling for baby boomers. He, along with his fellow traveler friend, Sarah, has specifically targeted baby boomer travelers.
“I started this blog to demonstrate to my fellow baby boomers that the world is not some scary place to avoid, but it is still open and available to those who are adventurous, motivated and curious enough to go out and see it for themselves,” says Jonathon. Just like Jon, focus your influential blogging strategy on a few core strengths or areas, at least in the beginning. Eventually, you may expand into other areas.
5. Engage Your Followers, Fans, and Audience
Publishing informative and valuable blog posts is just the first half of the equation. You also have to engage your readers on your blog as well as social media. Engagement is crucial for building trust with existing followers, attracting new ones, and retaining your brand.
For starters, try to reply to readers’ comments, as many as possible, regularly. That way, your fans will know that you are taking personal interest in their thoughts, not just promoting products through your blog.
This also applies to your social media accounts. Whenever someone shares your blog post or mentions your blog on social media, make it a point to thank them. This small gesture can go a long way in building an online network of fans and followers or even fellow bloggers.
Alternatively, you can create monthly quizzes, ask questions, and carry out user surveys to connect with your audience. Ask them what their favorite part of the post is or what the best takeaway from this post is. Have they tried any of your tips? Did they like your idea? Try to involve them in your creative process to make them feel valued and cared for.
Being an influential blogger is going to take some efforts. However, putting in some hard work today can lead to several benefits coming your way tomorrow. Hopefully, the above five tips will boost your efforts in becoming an influential blogger. We are rooting for you to build a blog that stands apart from the rest in your niche. All the best! Feel free to tell us if you have found any of our tips useful in your comments.
Author Bio: Taral is a digital marketer specializing in content marketing. He works at E2M Solutions Inc as a content strategist and helps brands in building a prominent online presence through his advanced content marketing techniques. You can read his post How did a Blog Post Earn 10K Organic Traffic in 3 Months Without Promotion which explains some of his techniques for building organic traffic on your website.