Being an influential blogger doesn’t necessarily mean unlimited wealth and the dolce vita, quite the contrary. Many of these entrepreneurs are live below the poverty line. So, is it a simple lifestyle choice or pressure from brands? We try to decipher this negative trend affecting the blogosphere.
Passionate bloggers living on love alone
There are actually a few of them about! While some only think of the business they can make through product placements and sponsored articles, others have a different mentality. Indeed, there are influential and passionate blogger living on love alone and who don’t know the meaning of the word “monetization“…
According to a NoWhereElse study, 58% of French bloggers are under 30. According to the same study, 28% of bloggers declare that they’re still blogging just for fun. A trend that has renewed itself over the years…
A book by Brooke Erin Duffy, a researcher at Yale American University, explains how budding influencers quickly went from dreams to (sad) reality .
Whether it’s a carefully thought out choice or a remuneration problem with brands, allied with the cost of writing quality posts, today many bloggers can’t live from their business.
Being an influential and poor blogger to boost creativity
While some people use multiple ads and sponsored posts to generate leads, increase the number of unique visitors and live from their blog, others need to use creativity to exist.
This is notably the case of a 19-year-old Belgian student blogger, le Carnet Pettillant who, without complex, posted the fact of not having a dream life, even as a blogger. She notably wrote:
Being a poor blogger boosts creativity. Yeah. You don’t have the money to buy that pair of shoes or beauty product, you have to find other subjects. So you must think, search deep inside your head, make use of what you have. And you have to create content with your available resources.Source : LeCarnetPétillant.com
Speaking to everyone
To gain visibility, a key recommendation made for an influential blogger is to speak plain language that everyone can understand. This can usually be used with product placement or “test” items.
And for good reason, according to the Carnet Petillant blog, “talking about products that people can’t buy creates frustration, and an unhealthy atmosphere”. Speaking the same language as everyone also makes it possible to make a product accessible and so reach a target which might be really interested in a purchase act. Below, a follower comments about a tweet by an influencer about getting a loan form the French Postal Bank to take a year’s sabbatical. The follower wonders how many people could afford to do it.
Bloggers opposed to any form of advertising, some do exist!
Using advertising (aggressive or discreet) to monetize your blog and gain visibility. Miratech carried out a study showing that internet users spend 6.58% of their time on ads.
To counter this trend, some bloggers have been quick to show their displeasure. Their reaction. Not having any advertising on their blogs.
Indeed, there are bloggers who are strongly opposed to any form of advertising! Those who, as seen above, use numerous techniques to create authentic and relevant content, all without being sponsored.
The La Lune Mauve blog gave their opinion in a few words:
What bothers me is the advertising, the product placements and partnerships between brands and the digital personality that I am, but also the recurrence of such advertising. Even if the constant bombardment might look good and well designed, that doesn’t make it any less a bombardment.Source : LaLuneMauve.fr
A lot of work for little income
The Karine St Michel scandal
The ratio of work carried out to salary received isn’t always in adequacy with the influential blogger. Among the many existing cases, that of Karine St Michel is certainly the most telling.
A former participant in the French Canadian reality TV show Occupation Double, Karine delivered a more than unexpected testimony, sweeping away all the notions about influencers with huge bank balances.
The model spoke out via Instagram about living below the poverty line, since she earns CAD$20,000 a year from her contracts.
“I’d like to let you know that that my annual salary is below the poverty line. I want to make people understand how hard I work on my Instagram content and projects without making money. Being an influencer / artist is a full time job. You have to spend hours and hours a week doing photo shoots, planning stories (not all, but some), writing the captions, being active on the other peoples’ platforms to maintain or improve your statistics, etc. “.Source : InstagramKarineSt-Michel
The former reality TV personality, shocked as much as moved her community. On this occasion, she brought down the many taboos related to influencers’ income
Radin Malin Blog’s complicated first year
In addition to public figures, some bloggers have been forthright about their difficulties to live from their blog. Among them, the Radin Malin Blog, specialised in money saving and eco-friendly tips…
In a very detailed and above all very transparent post, the author of the blog openly testified about the difficulties of launching it… the first year.
Started in 2014, after watching Youtuber Poisson Fecond’s video on Youtubers’ revenues, Radin Malin Blog has managed, against all the odds, to make a place among influential blogs. Among the problems encountered:
- Technical woes, for hosting, choosing a domain name, installing plug-ins, software …,
- Administrative woes, particularly related to setting up as self-employed and all the red tape,
- Some profitability (since Radin Malin Blog earned 1000 euros in one year) but still low after deduction of different expenses.
But the Radin Malin Blog has, on the whole, experienced considerable progress, notably:
- The number of visitors per day quickly increased from 20 to 1000 in the space of a few months,
- “Win-win” initiatives, i.e. partnerships that have grown steadily over time.
A lot of hassle but which surely led the Radin Malin Blog to use creativity to make themselves known but also victories thanks to a lot of background work for the long-term.
Brands that abuse their power
For some time, brands have used and abused influencer marketing and content marketing for their communication strategies in the context of launching their product(s) or to reach a specific target. But here, as with many marketing levers, the limits are numerous and the problems accumulate.
In a previous article, we presented the terrible reality of those brands that don’t pay influencers. Whether it’s for an unpaid association with a brand for the prestige or some sort of commercial exchange, there are many abuses on the part of major retailers and influential bloggers often fall prey to such devious practices.
The “as soon as there is content, there is remuneration” maxim is unfortunately not commonplace with brands and scandals are multiplying at lightning speed.
Bloggers and influencers are raising their voices on social networks and trying to join forces to fight against this nasty trend.
“À date, notre agence ne paye pas les blogueurs. Nous sommes par ailleurs assez fiers de tout de même réussir à mettre en place de belles collaborations…”
Trad’ : on vend de la création de contenu, par les blogueurs, à nos clients, mais on garde tout l’argent pour nous.— Gabrielle – All & Co (@Grabirelle) 30 avril 2018
Il y a quand même une marque qui, sous couvert de “copinage”, me demande d’imaginer gratos leur prochaine opé. C’est un vrai travail hein— Jade Olivier (@jadefromparis) 22 janvier 2014
Quand une marque me demande de rédiger un article positif et de lui dire plutôt par email ce qui va pas ou mes critiques sur le produit… pic.twitter.com/CmxXKtkEWV— Myrtilla (@Myrtilla_) 15 septembre 2017
In the tweets above bloggers complain about agencies or brands that ask them to work for free, promising “wonderful partnerships”, or write a positive article about them but send them an email if their are any criticisms, or even asking them to develop their operational marketing plans!
Partnerships promising visibility
Some brands that don’t pay bloggers, offer instead an increase in visibility. If sometimes it turns out to be true, it’s not always what happens.
French site Atelier Entreprises, pointed out that partnerships offering visibility in exchange are highly effective means and, today, the most common and widespread way to create a partnership.
This “exchange” can take many forms. For example, you can suggest that a brand display your logo on its site and do the same in exchange.
Bloggers are advised to partner with a company belonging to a sector complementary to their own, a similar theme, to keep a certain coherence (especially in the editorial line) and avoid poor content.
Partnerships offering freebies
Proposed by brands to certain influencers, these partnerships are a hot topic. An example: a very prominent French Youtuber
A few weeks ago, EnjoyPhoenix created a buzz following a video where she informed her community about the incredible number of products she received from brands. The Youtuber announced, via this widely shared video, to have unsubscribed from all press release distribution lists.
A radical intention motivated also by the ecological impact of the packaging of the products …
The advent of sponsored articles: getfluence manages everything!
Boost your income by setting your prices (in Euros not freebies!)
Before getting into the heart of the subject and finding out how getfluence can be a lever in the advent of your sponsored articles, there’s nothing like a focus on the figures
30% of internet users make their purchases thanks to influential media and blogs.Source : SiteOfficielGetfluence
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Influential bloggers don’t all have fat bank accounts. If some don’t use advertising to gain visibility, others may be caught in the nets of the brands. To counter this nasty trend, getfluence is a lever, a real solution for both publishers and advertisers.