Hi Guys and a happy Monday to you. I am still pretty jet lagged from my New York City trip last week and have actually skipped meals due to sleep deprivation so really hoping I get over the jet lag because I am not feeling healthy right now. Today, I wanted to share another insightful blogging post based on my experience, knowledge, and expertise. I hope you learn one or two points that can help you make the decision if blogging or a career in digital media is right for you.
What is the internet?
I have mentioned on my personal Twitter account (See HERE) what the Internet constitutes. People should know that there is no one Internet. The World Wide Web was created in 1989, but it was considered a failed product because it was so large that it was unmanageable. Thus, in 1996 – 1997 Larry Page, Sergey Brin and I worked on the idea of multiple Internets or clouds being hosted on the World Wide Web to make it tamer. Yes, we expected competition (hello, Yahoo!, Bing, AOL), but we were passionate enough about the World Wide Web not to let it die. Hence, Google was born.
People still wonder what is the Internet. The World Wide Web hosts multiple internet or cloud servers that seemingly bleed into one another. But, in fact, they are quite apart “physically”. One Internet can host social media sites, video sharing sites, blogs and business websites, and online software ready to be downloaded. However, another internet can do the same. We know major internet companies, but who owns the World Wide Web? Pssst…. no one knows.
What is Digital Media?
Digital media is content creation not posted on traditional media such as television, radio, magazine and newspaper prints. Thus, digital media involves posting anything online or on the Internet. It can include video creation, editing, blogging, social media, and website creation. Graphic design is still certainly not digital media because it requires a whole different set of skills and education. So in a nutshell, digital media is specific to creating content to post online.
What is blogging and is there money in it?
There seems to be a bit of confusion still whether you can earn a living with blogging full-time. In a nutshell, my answer is no. If you ask for my advice and I tell this to people all the time, a business website or a blog is meant to drive traffic to a business not to make money off of the blog or the website itself. Think of the blog or the business website as a supplement to your business. You can market and sell products or services on it, but unless you want to compete with Amazon or Alibaba, you are not going to become millionaires or billionaires with blogging or a website without a storefront or a physical space doing more.
Blogging has epically become a hoax as many college graduates opt to have an at-home business aka blogging instead of an office job. Knowing enough about this, I will tell you that I can count on ONE HAND successful bloggers or as they are called in the fashion world, influencers, who have managed to make a name for themselves. Numerous courses will teach you that you need to have guest bloggers or be mentioned on other blogs to become famous, but in my experience, that didn’t work.
Other lessons these courses teach you is to post constantly on social media. The end result is pretty ridiculous as bloggers (remember not businesses) begin buying clothes and decor items so they can post them on Instagram. You end up spending more money than making it.
What are influencers?
If you want to continue with your decision to become a full-time blogger, you need to niche down, which can take a few years to cement. Blogging courses will teach you that the reason to niche down is because the “internet is too crowded”, but that is not my experience at all. The reason to niche down is to sound more authentic and get a fan following instead of surges of one-time readers. I have read many (think hundreds!) of blogs that advertise products or brands that compete against one another. I have turned away from blogs (nothing personal to the bloggers) because one day they post something about vegan and cruelty-free makeup products and a month later, they do a post on a brand that does not sell vegan and cruelty-free makeup. This kind of disingenuous pattern is a huge turn-off and I automatically can tell that this blogger (or influencer) is more of a sales girl instead of a smart and insightful marketer.
Secondly, I don’t need to see an influencer clad in designer wear to learn about designers such as Chanel and Versace. Instead, I want to see excellent writing or creative styling, which is pretty difficult to spot these days. An insider’s tip is that a handful of influencers get the opportunities to do collaborations with these design houses to make money. In the end, you have to be extremely talented.
Another hoax of the influencer phenomenon on social media (and their blogs, if they have one) is their influence. Remember, behind that one influencer is a team that gets no credit (or swag bags) for their work. Honestly, speaking it is hard to imagine a young woman in her 20’s consistently creating looks for decor or personal style without the help of a banker. I have read posts where bloggers hosted parties and literally enlisted the help of third parties to actually organize the party decor and menu. And these bloggers get paid for writing blog posts with many links! This sort of marketing requires no creativity, talent, or skill set. And frankly not worth my time.
In a perfect world, to be considered an influencer, you need not be only organized enough to show up for meetings and create a blog calendar but to organize outfits and decor ideas with real budgets in mind. You need to be experienced enough to write precisely about “technical” stuff even if all you are is a lifestyle blogger. And lastly, you need to have a skill set that is clearly visible on the blog, whether it is a knack for photography or writing.
If young adults or adults asked me still what I thought about blogging as a business choice, I would say it is extremely difficult to make it big. Most so-called influencers have other incomes through businesses or collaborations that supplement their lifestyle. The internet doesn’t make the blogging business easier either. The SEO doesn’t always work consistently like you want to since the algorithm changes all the time. So really all you can bank on here is your sense of humor, your sensibilities, and your skill set. What I can tell is to use the Internet as a digital space for your business. Maybe you have an at-home business or an actual storefront; there is no rule that you can entice your readers or visitors to check them out through a beautifully created blog or business website.
If you decide you want to take on digital media as a career choice, then there are many companies you can apply to. For that, you will only be spending money for printing out a resume and clothes for your interview.