Build a Platform as a Well-Known Influencer - dummies

Build a Platform as a Well-Known Influencer

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

One of the five common business models that most successful mom bloggers use to earn their revenue is to build a platform as a well-known influencer. You need to prove that you have what it takes to draw a large audience that thrives on reading your content.

Your most effective content will be entertaining, honest, and real. You need to be a charismatic person that people can relate to — or perhaps instead you may be a polarizing blogger with controversial opinions. In a crowded blogosphere, you really have to be unique to get noticed.

This kind of blog can be a compelling personal journey, such as Heather Armstrong’s Dooce blog, or it can be a professional platform such as Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist blog.

If you’re the kind of blogger who thrives in the spotlight, then your blog should be all about broadcasting your message to the world. You are building a platform from which you can promote yourself and any endeavor you pursue. The platform isn’t the end goal — it is the means to an end.

From your platform, you can become a book author, be a paid speaker, become a spokesperson for a brand, or sell your products and services. A handful of bloggers have even landed movie deals, the first one being Julie and Julia in 2009.

It usually doesn’t come without a cost — as bloggers become more influential, they also become larger targets for criticism. Whether or not the criticism is valid, you need to have a thick skin to manage any response on your part with dignity rather than with retaliation.

Effective ways to make money off this kind of blog are to combine several direct and indirect methods of monetization. With a popular blog comes traffic, so selling ads or working with an ad network are important. But only in rare cases is it enough to earn a living just on advertising.

Additionally, you need to pursue relationships with book publishers, top brands, or event planners, and build up your personal brand and fan base enough that you stand out from the crowd. All the while, you still need to be writing content and maintaining your blog so you continually engage your readers.

Should you get a book deal or spokesperson gig, these can instantly double your workload. If you are seeking speaking gigs, plan on traveling frequently — around six to ten times a year.

The best way to promote this kind of blog is by word of mouth, so you want to get people talking about you. That means you have to spend a lot of time on social networks and on other blogs, because first you need to go where the audience is.

You have to establish a strong personal brand that’s unique and compelling, and your blog design has to reflect the level of professionalism you’re aiming for.

To summarize, here are the recommended ways to be successful with a blog that serves as a platform for fame:

  • Your writing style has to be charismatic, unique, and appealing to a large audience.

  • You have to work consistently on getting exposure for yourself while you’re also maintaining a rigorous writing schedule.

  • Establish a strong personal brand.

  • Be able to sell yourself to book publishers, event managers, and large company brands.

  • Invest in a professionally designed blog theme.

A great example of this kind of blogging success is Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks. Karen has built up a strong personal brand as a talented photographer, writer, and blogger. She’s worked with brands such as Nikon and Procter and Gamble, and authored the best-selling book, The Beauty of Different.