Guest Post by Caroline Elgey White
The blogosphere, as the online network of blogs is known, is an amazing community built of people of all ages and niches. I believe that’s the beauty of it. It’s not restricted by demographic and anyone can start one at any point. Thinking of purchasing something or going somewhere? Type it into Google. I can about bet that somewhere in the results will be a link to a blog. In some instances, you may not even realise that the “site” you find is, in fact, a blog.
Blogs have really evolved over the years. They’ve transformed from a diary or personal journal model to a place to post reviews, and from there, to a format that looks like an online magazine. This sleek incarnation is really where blogs are at at the moment. In fact, they may overtake paper-based magazines in both popularity and readership. Blogs are finally getting the recognition that they deserve: that they are at least as valuable a voice for sharing and promoting information as traditional means.
There are full-time bloggers, part-time bloggers, and some who work a full or part-time job alongside blogging. However large or successful the blog becomes, blogging almost always starts as a hobby. It’s a place to be creative and to let your feelings out. However, it quickly evolves into something more: a passion that takes over your life. My poor husband knows this only too well. He knows what it’s like to go out for dinner with a blogger. He experiences the sheer frustration of not only having to wait for our food to arrive, but then to sit and watch me photograph it numerous times and from different angles. On top of posting these pictures to my blog, I am then compelled to upload them to Instagram and Snapchat, plus include them in a quick tweet mentioning the venue and how yummy the food is. All of this must happen before he can eat a bite. But that’s a whole different blog post. I think I’ll call it The Woes Of A Blogger’s Husband!
However amusing this scenario may sound, (though my husband may see it in a less humorous light), that’s the reality. We bloggers take pride in what we do. Just as waiters make sure that tables are properly arranged for customers and cleaning staff makes sure that rooms are clean and tidy, bloggers take extra care in what they do. If we’re not happy with the 100 photos we’ve just spent an hour setting up and shooting in our own little homemade studio, then we’ll take them all again. We may have just spent half an hour drafting a blog post, but after a re-read, we’ll delete to and start again (or try tomorrow).
Unlike journalists, bloggers have a passion. I’m sure journalists do care about their work, but they’re also paid to write and paid to care. Bloggers, on the other hand, are trusted a little more for their opinions. After all, they are owners, CEOs if you will: writers, photographers, designers, accountants, PAs, and marketing assistants of their own blogs, sites, or brands. Unlike journalists, who are components in a larger business, bloggers are the stars of their own show.
Bloggers can be, and often are, paid. But since they are accountable only to themselves, they ultimately have personal control over what is published. Therefore, their prerogative is to feature things that they believe in, things that they like and that suit their brand.
Ultimately, this is why small and local businesses can really benefit from working with bloggers. It’s a relationship that is built on trust and honesty. The interplay between small businesses and bloggers has advantages for both parties. Bloggers talk. A LOT. Their social media platforms buzz with conversations and postings. That’s the way of the current technology climate, and bloggers are completely natural in that environment. Therefore, building a relationship with bloggers means that your small business could become the subject of these blogs’ social media activity, thereby boosting your visibility.
You may have worked together some weeks or months previously, but bloggers promote their content constantly. They may reuse pictures and tag places, brands, or companies again. If those are relevant to your business, then you’ll see the benefits translate to better website traffic and customer attention. Some people don’t realise that a relationship with an active blogger is an ongoing one. They can put your business in front of a whole new audience! So take a chance. Build that relationship with bloggers.