In 2015, my husband called me “a blogging influencer.” I assumed he was kidding.
In 2016, my husband called me “a blogging influencer” and assured me he was serious.
In 2017, two readers called me “a blogging influencer”.
It couldn’t be. Me?
“What makes an influencer?” I asked myself.
An influencer has over ten thousand Twitter followers. (Got that, check). The Hey Sippy blog agrees that an “influencer” has a visible social media following.
An influencer has people knocking on their door. (I have writers from the best blogs in the world such as Entrepreneur and Forbes asking to guest post for me. Check. Got that.)
An influencer is respected worldwide to such an extent their opinions are sought out about their area of expertise. (At the time of this writing, I’ve been asked to participate in over thirty expert interviews. Many of them are high-profile. I think I recall one where I was pictured next to Jon Morrow. Also, famous bloggers have subscribed to Mostly Blogging. My blog?)
Influencers have “author of” after their name. (Got that. Check)
Influencers make money. (I make money as a freelance writer and as a blogging coach. Got that, check. On occasion, people also pay me to publish their articles.) There is always some company seeking influencers to join their Instagram influencer network. It helps them boost their brand awareness and sales in an organic, thoughtful way.
People interview influencers on podcasts. (Come to think of it, I have been interviewed on a podcast. If you are interested, it’s EP 21 of The Blog Chronicles).
Influencers have staffs. A famous blogger (well, I had heard of him) wrote and asked if he could guest post for me. He asked who on my staff he should be talking to. I wondered if I should tell him it’s just me. However, the truth is I do have a staff. I have a graphic designer, a tech assistant, an editor, a publisher, and a virtual assistant. My husband is my business manager (does that count?).
Me? After only two years.
I have not written this introduction to brag. Honestly, what matters more to me is the respect people in my niche have shown me. “Influencer” is a label.
Whatever label you want to use, there is a reason for this post. One of the people who called me an influencer in 2017 explained I am writing for readers who wonder how they can become influencers too.
This post will explain what I did that I believe led to these results. Can you become an influencer too? Of course. This post will explain how you can.
Consider these comments from blogging influencer Ryan Biddulph after I asked him to participate in my expert roundup post on link building:
This is the 3rd email in a row where I’m being featured on an authority blog.
An authority blog?! My site?? Let’s analyze what I did.
Okay, so it’s the beginning of 2017, and I’ve just been called a blogging influencer by a reader.
My husband, he’s biased. Certainly, I can disregard his opinion.
But my reader? There is no way to discount that. I have reflected and this is what I came up with.
11 Ways You Can Become a Blogging Influencer in Any Niche
This is what I believe worked:
- Solve problems for your readers. If the definition of “influencer” is having a higher degree of influence in a certain area, you need to solve readers’ problems in that area. I try to help readers by offering tips that will make bloggers more successful.
The Arts and Budgets blog agrees you need to help your readers solve problems. “Think about what you can teach in your niche. What valuable information do you have from personal experience? Think about different ‘How To’ posts you can write in your niche that will help your audience solve a problem.”
Furthermore, Sarkemedia.com actually maintains that influence comes quickly when you solve your readers’ problems.
2. Participate in expert interviews Of everything on the list, this is the only one out of your control. Yet, if I had to pick one of these seven tips, it would be to participate in expert interviews hands down, no question. Jeff Bullas agrees if you want to be a blogging influencer, you should get into interviews.
Don’t you love it when I recommend things out of your control? After all, how can you control if someone writes you and asks if you will participate in their expert interview?
On the contrary. I am going to suggest how you can absolutely control this. Are you ready?
I would recommend holding your own expert interview. My post How to Write an Expert Round-Up Even if You Don’t Know Any Experts will tell you how.
The experts in your interview should do two things that will help you, I predict. I am predicting based on protocol. These are not wild guesses on my part.
First, they will probably share your post. This will result in widespread exposure for you. I really do mean widespread. If they are influencers, in my opinion, they have at least ten thousand Twitter followers. Wouldn’t you like at least ten thousand new people to see your blog post?
If they don’t share, ask them to. How did you contact them to ask them to participate in the interview? I am in contact with people on Twitter. Often, they ask for email communication and give me their email address.
However, you communicated with them in the first place, write them and ask them to share your post. This could be in an email or on Twitter. On Twitter, you should use @ and their Twitter name. On Google Plus, it’s + and their name.
In an email, let them know the interview link is live and “if they have a moment, could they share it out?” Most of them will.
Next, (and this is actually the more important of the two) when they have their own expert interview, they will remember you held one and asked them. They should return the favor by asking you.
When I say “should” I don’t mean out of obligation or even protocol. Strangely, not everyone will consent to participate in an interview. Also, the more respondents they have, the more air of authority and credibility their interview has.
After the interview in which you appear is published, others looking for interview respondents in your niche will learn that you consent to be in expert interviews and will be likely to ask you.
I have received visibility this way. People write me and tell me they saw me in an interview, they were impressed with my response, and they invite me to be in their own interview. It snowballs.
Others learn about my blog this way and offer to guest post for me or sign up for my blog.
If you want to be considered an influencer in your niche, you need to be seen as a person whose opinion matters. The DrumUp blog agrees that you should be seen as an authority and not a filter.
3. Work hard Is blogging worth getting less sleep? Only you can answer that. I am still working outside the home as a teacher with essays to grade. I’m sure you know how I would answer the question. For me, the answer is “yes”. Marketingland.com confirms hard work is necessary if you want to be a blogging influencer.
Blogging is time-consuming. Holding a mega post (See Tip #6) is time-consuming. They take me months. Holding an expert interview (See Tip #2) is time-consuming. Clearly, becoming an influencer is time-consuming.
4. Be regimented Follow a schedule and stick to it. Have shelf posts ready in case you can’t. The only time I break from my blogging schedule is when I vacation in the summer. Even then, I still hold two linky parties a week.
5. Write quality posts averaging 1500 words. As a result, I find my posts linked to all over the Internet.
6. Write long-form content (also known as Mega Posts) These take a long time to write, but the added time to produce long-form content is well worth it. My largest mega post is 89 of the Best Free Blogging Tools Which Will Save You Time Blogging. It took me a long time to collect and describe the 89 tools. Readers find it so helpful, it’s my lead magnet– my incentive to get people to subscribe. They get a downloadable PDF of the tools list.
This type of content is valuable since other bloggers will want to share your writing and link to you. When Chris, the Story Reading Ape, linked to my post, 87 Blogging Mistakes You Should Absolutely Never Make, many of his readers shared it, featured the post on their sites, and subscribed. As a result of this increased exposure, my readership grew. Today, the article is one of my most shared posts.
7. Have a niche Things fell into place after I published my first blogging tips blog post in early 2015 about Google Analytics. Bam, a blogging tips coach was born. Clearly, you can’t become an influencer in your blog niche if you don’t have a niche.
8. Self-host Sorry WordPress.com users, but, upon reflection, this definitely helped. I had an amazing guest post for Ileane Smith from Basic Blog Tips. I know I’m bragging by calling it “amazing”. I was proud of it. Her readers actually wrote me and called it “an important post”. However, my readership did not bloom. I don’t even recall anyone subscribing.
I asked a blogging mentor I had at the time for an explanation. He observed that serious bloggers self-host, and because I was not self-hosted at the time, her readers did not take me seriously. I definitely got traffic from her site, a great deal of traffic, but no one subscribed. The explanation makes sense. When they came to my blog and saw I was not self-hosted, they left never to return.
Even Ryan Biddulph maintains you need to self-host in order to become a “big-time blogger”.
9. Take Advice If I had not listened to these people, far more knowledgeable than I was, and switched to a self-hosted blog, I might not have ended up being called “an influencer” today.
10. Write about other influencers and link to them in your posts. These should be influencers in your blogging niche. Honestly, I have no way of knowing if this helped. However, I became closer with blogging influencers like Ryan Biddulph this way. They learned about me since I wrote about them and told them about my article mentioning them. (Have you noticed my external links to other bloggers in this post? I also just linked to Ryan Biddulph’s blog in this tip.)
11. Go to sites where influencers spend time. I spend a lot of time at Kingged. Influencers in my niche spend time there. They might keep me in mind for an expert interview or link to my articles. Since Kingged has CommentLuv on the site, simply by commenting, the influencers there can see my headlines. I also received a lucrative financial opportunity by spending time at Kingged.
Kingged is just one example. I’m sure many influencers in your niche spend time at forums. You might also consider using Quora if you don’t already. Quora is for people with authority in various niches. If people see you there, answering questions in your niche. They might keep you in mind for an expert interview on your topic of expertise.
Sarkemedia.com agrees spending time with influencers will help you become a blogging influencer.
Why Does Being a Blogging Influencer Matter?
If “blogging influencer” is just a label, why does it matter if you become one?
According to Marketingland.com, being a blogging influencer is important for many reasons:
- Influencers have a loyal following.
- You can make money blogging since influencers attract the attention of major brands.
- Your subscriber list will grow. According to the blog, in order to grow your blog or business, you need to become an authority in your niche.
- Your credibility with your readers will grow since you will be viewed as an authority.
In addition, according to Chris Garrett, your SEO will improve. Apparently, becoming an influencer improves your Google rankings.
Do you still want to become a blogging influencer in your niche?
If yes, be aware becoming a blogging influencer in any niche takes time. Webhostings.com agrees becoming a true influencer takes time. I just started my third year of blogging. Jeff Bullas confirms this amount of time. He believes it takes two to three years to become a blogging influencer.
To my surprise and delight, blogging influencer Lorraine Reguly called me “a hugely successful entrepreneur.” If you follow the tips in this post, you may also find yourself on the receiving end of such a nice compliment.
Look, everything boils down to how badly do you want it?
When I was younger ( I am dating myself, I know.) I was watching a baseball game, and the Dodgers were playing and losing badly. The manager considered removing the pitcher. I saw Tommy Lasorda, who was the manager at the time, go up to the pitcher and ask him how badly he wanted it. How badly did he want success?
Today, I am asking you. How badly do you want to be a blogging influencer? Do you still want it? Now that you know what I did, go get it.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers wishing to be blogging influencers know these tips.
This post presented a two-year action plan to increase your influence in your blogging niche. Where you want to be in two years? I look forward to your answers in the comments section.