This is a partnered post, though all opinions are my own.
I started blogging back in 2009, so I have been around almost since the beginning of this whole influencer thing; back when we were almost always referred to as “mom bloggers” The influencer arena has come such a long way since then, and the growth of influencers over the last decade has been astronomical.
Back when I started, bloggers were sharing more personal stories, and using blogging as an outlet; a way to connect with other women, and express themselves through their writing. We were a tight knit community in a way, supporting each other by reading each other’s content, leaving comments, and connecting in forums or via Skype. I fondly remember my group of “Skype girls” from back then.
During those beginning years when brands were just starting to work with us, we were super excited to write and article for a bottle of lotion, and though we’d hit the jackpot when we’d get an item worth over $100 from a brand. I mean, I wasn’t complaining. My kids were little, and they loved getting new toys for us to review all the time!
Fast forward a few years, and we started to realize our worth, and brands started forking out cold hard cash to work with us. Some of us turned this blogging thing into a full time gig, and actually made some pretty decent money.
That’s when everyone decided they wanted a piece of the pie, and the blogging world grew exponentially. So many people became smitten with the idea of starting a blog and making enough money to stay at home with their kids, or provide a second income for their families. Some succeeded, and even more failed, because of the realization that this is actual work, and not just “easy money”, like many had hoped.
Things evolved again, and the term “blogger” got thrown out the door, and in walked the “influencer”. This was in part due to the massive growth of social media, and the numerous channels that we had to be a part of to reach our audiences. Now an influencer doesn’t even necessarily have to have a blog. Instead, they could just have a really great Instagram, TikTok, YouTube channel, and/or other social media channel. In fact, check out the different channels these Forbes Top Influencers of 2020 run successfully. Influencers like Leah Jackson have even been featured on award winning television shows.
This influencer space is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our audiences. Brands would be silly not to see what an asset we have become.