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Blogger earnings and influencer income too will be affected, like every other sector, during this ongoing pandemic. What can you do about it?
From the early days of creating blog or social media content
as a hobby, today this industry has grown to a state where at least some
percentage of social media influencers, vloggers and bloggers count it as their
primary or even only source of income.
Blogger earnings and by extension that of influencers, tend
to come from a
mix of brand-led opportunities such as sponsored/native content whether
on their blogs, videos or Instagram, advertising, attending brand events and
covering them, or in some, coaching or training events in their niche.
With marketing budgets and brand campaigns likely to be scaled down this quarter, I felt that it is a good idea to start looking at what bloggers and influencers can expect in the coming months.
Women are a very significant part of this industry, and
what’s more, many bloggers and influencers are part of our contributor community
at Women’s Web, so the topic really interested me.
Personally, I believe that while the downturn will impact
income for bloggers and influencers, there will also be opportunities to engage
deeply with your audience – if anything, people are looking for more
interesting and credible content to consume at this time.
It’s also a time to engage more deeply with the brands in
your space. As noted travel blogger Lakshmi Sharath says, “With the
entire travel industry being hit it’s going to take a while for all of us to
start travelling and for brands and businesses to engage with us . However I
personally feel that this is the time to also stand with the industry and
ensure that we promote them, especially small businesses and tour operators who
work with communities.”
Yes, your existing sources of income may be slow for a while
and for some people, you may even need to look at exploring part-time
jobs if you are unable to withstand a hit in freelance income for more
than a few months.
Given the likely dip in business, being smart about spending is essential, including focusing on existing commitments first and avoiding any new ones. As Lakshmi says, “Personally I am not thinking about earning any income this year. The focus is to believe that things will get better and when the world starts travelling we will be out there again. Until then we need to ensure that we have small budgets to stay focused and also ensure that the teams we work with do not suffer financially as well.”
Anju Jayaram, Co-Founder & CMO at Women’s Web, who has
worked extensively with brands on influencer-led campaigns concurs. She adds,
“Even if cash flow looks good now, these are unpredictable times, so
consolidation is the answer. Save wherever you can and trim the excesses
wherever possible. If cash flow doesn’t look good in your sector, see if there
are other freelance services or expertise you can offer to your customer or
follower base. It will help you bounce back when things get better.”
Especially for those who do not have any sources of income
besides blogging, and cannot afford an income hit for more than a month or two,
if there are things you can do, such as training for niche areas, content
creation for start-ups and SMEs, or even
work related to a pre-blogging, past career, it would be prudent to start
Some influencers are also cautiously optimistic, while not negating the effects of the downturn. Navneet Sandhu Singh, an architect, interior stylist and social media influencer at DesignDecorTravel says, “Yes, I would say initially there was a sudden worry and anxiety all over, but looking at the positive side it has resulted in a better time to connect to more people in the business, an opportunity to connect to brands and marketing companies through zoom meetings and discuss collaborations which will materialise on ground once things return to normal.”
She also believes that this is the right time to do your
ground work for the future as far as setting up properties is concerned – whether
it’s a new website or a product launch for later.
Tanvi Geetha Ravishankar a.k.a thechubbytwirler, a well-known fashion influencer also believes that in some categories, demand and therefore, the opportunities for bloggers and influencers, will pick up post-pandemic. She says, “I personally feel that Beauty and Fashion won’t get impacted that badly as they are, at the end of the day a form of therapy for a lot of people and shopping/ sales won’t really go down. It has slowed down now but once all this is over, it’ll pick up faster than ever.”
Arushi Gupta, Senior Manager, Digital Projects, at Social Beat, a digital marketing agency that works with many influencers, agrees that while the downturn is very real, it has also thrown up opportunities for more engagement.
She says, “… chances of brand collaborations with influencers have certainly dropped down if the brand especially is looking for a brand plugin in the content that is being created by the influencers, as logistics is a challenge. However we have seen some brands reaching out to get general content created on the theme of the lockdown, especially since social media view time has only increased during the lockdown – so it’s a great cost effective way for brands to stay on top of the mind of consumers.”
She also advises influencers to stay connected with their
audience, in order to be ready for the post-downturn future, saying, “Influencers
should probably use this time to work on their areas to get better and ensure
to produce more engaging content at a minimal cost. They could go live, create
quick videos on mental health, wellness, cooking, quizzes to keep engaging with
their followers. Most of the brands have seen good results through influencer
marketing at any given point of time and hence we assume that influencers will
get ample amount of opportunities post the current scenario which helps them
survive the downturn.”
Anju Jayaram agrees, “Digital campaigns are still being designed and advertising money is still being spent, either for immediate sales or for hedging for the future.”
Tanvi Geetha has the last word when she says, that the most important
thing is to be positive, work consistently, keep the engagement going and not
lose hope, noting, “The slump will get over but we still need to be relevant
once it does.”
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Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas
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