An online influencer is a highly-regarded and well-connected figure in the online space who motivates and inspires his/her target audience to become better people and achieve their personal and/or career goals through the creation of educational and inspirational content. Sure, influencers can earn over £100,000 a month from their blogs alone – but to get there they need passion, transparency, true talent and a relentless work ethic.

Becoming an online influencer can help you gain respect from industry peers, position yourself as an authority in your field, pave a bulletproof career path and provide you with a profitable platform that enables you to spread a message you genuinely care about.

But above all, carving an influencer career allows you to live your own passion, to tell your own story and to help you learn and progress as you blog, vlog, take pictures or create your own podcast. It helps you inspire, excite, motivate and teach.

Below we’ll take you through 5 powerful steps you can take to set up your career for online influencer status.

1. Create Valuable Content. Make it Your Passion.

Passion for Content Marketing

You need to have substance behind your influencer status. And that substance often comes in the form of 3 things: 1. Quality, useful content, 2. Passion and 3. Being a genuinely nice and helpful person. When you’re choosing your content topic it, therefore, needs to be something you’re genuinely passionate about. Often you don’t really choose your passion – your passion chooses you. Pay attention to what your intuition is telling you about the topic you need to write about or speak about. Below are a few questions to help you find a topic you genuinely care about.

How to Choose Your Content Topic:

– Would you rather create a personal blog (about your life), an educational blog (about your industry) or a lifestyle blog (about your hobby)?

– What do you enjoy reading about?

– What do you enjoy learning about?

– What industry do you work in? What have you learned from this?

– Can you bring a unique angle to the topic you’ve chosen? Even though true originality is hard to come by, it will help you stand out and add extra value for your target audience if your blog is original in some way.

– When you write (or talk about) this topic do you feel it in your bones? If you don’t, don’t bother.

2. Own Your Own Story. Share Your Experiences.

Create your story

You don’t necessarily have to create a personal blog about your life. The best blogs and vlogs, however, do give away a little of you: who you are, what you stand for, what you’ve learned, what you love and how you can help people. When you become an online influencer you need to be prepared to tell your story. By sharing your successes and the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes you’ll help your audience learn and enable them to empathise with your mission. Becoming an online influencer isn’t just about creating quality content – it’s also about inspiring your audience, exciting your audience and providing a unique perspective (the perspective you’ve gained through your own experience and life lessons).

Tips for Sharing Your Own Experiences:

The kind of personal experiences you share depends on your blog or vlog topic. However, here’s some inspiration for the types of experiences you can share:

– Tell your Career Success Story – Do you have rags to riches story to tell? How did you create your successful career path? Tell your readers your career success story so they can be inspired and learn lessons from you.

– Share your Career Mistakes – Often your mistakes will form the makings of your success story. Sharing your mistakes, what you’ve learned from them and how they’ve helped pave your career path can provide inspiration for others who have recently failed or those who are a little lost.

– Share your Best Practices – Share the knowledge you’ve learned about how best to do your job through the years of experience you’ve worked in your field. This is your opportunity to go beyond everyone else’s advice on this topic. For example, if you’re a content marketer and you’re writing about how to craft the perfect blog post there’s no need to consult other people’s advice or content. Instead, write from your heart and outline your own unique blogging process.

– Share your Personal Struggles – For example, if your blog or vlog’s topic is health you can write about your own struggles with health and the steps you’ve taken to overcome your depression or the exercise regime you took on to help ease your back ache.

3. Learn from Other Industry Influencers. Conduct Outreach.

Learn from influencers

You want to become an online influencer right? Well, the best people to learn from are those who have achieved influencer status themselves. By following their journeys, thought processes and tips on social media and on their own blogs/vlogs, you can learn (and master) the actions they took (and continue taking) to secure their influencers status. It’s also important to connect with and learn from relevant influencers who write about the same topic/topics you do. That way you can build mutually beneficial relationships with these influencers and learn the types of content that their (now your) target audience love.

How to Learn From & Connect with Influencers:

– Identify on BuzzSumo – Use the Influencer feature on BuzzSumo to identify the best influencers in your niche area. You can also use BuzzSumo to identify popular blog posts for your topic (learn what works for others so you can make calculated guesses about what might work for you).

– Follow on Social Media – Follow industry influencers on Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram (depending on your topic type and where your target audience hangs out) for tips, inspiration and new posts.

– Ask for Advice – Reach out to influencers for advice on how they have grown their social media following or to find out the best types of content that works for your niche.

– Reach out for a Quote – Send a tweet to your favourite influencer asking can you shoot them a quick email. When you get the go-ahead you can ask for a quick quote (specify the word count you want) for your upcoming blog post.

– Build a Social Media Following – To learn how influencers have built their own social media following, watch out for (and document) patterns you see them taking on social media, check out the times they post, what they say and who they follow and interact with. You can also search for any blog posts they have written about how they grew their social media following.

4. Guest Blog on Influential Industry Blogs. Stay Relevant.

Guest Blogging

A great place to begin building the right audience for your blog is to start guest blogging on relevant industry blogs. That’s because these influential blogs have access to and influence over your target audience. When guest blogging, aim high – it’s best to choose the blogs with the largest reach for your target audience. However, do bear in mind that the higher the domain of the blog and the more readers it has, the harder it is to get your content published. The guide below will help you ensure that both your pitch and your content is high quality enough to ensure you get accepted and published.

Guest Blogging Tips:

– Read Guidelines First – Before you write a word, read the guest blogging guidelines so you know the type of content they’re looking for (and so you know what to avoid).

– Nail the Pitch – Keep your pitch short, include examples of relevant work you’ve written, include your guest blogging idea and explain how it will help (and be relevant to) their target audience. Make sure it’s personalised and addressed to the right person.

– Write Your Best Content – Think of the content you write as your sales pitch for your target audience. It needs to almost be better (more helpful and insightful) than the content you write for own blog as you’re trying to inspire readers to check out your blog, follow you on social media and remember your name.

– Craft Original Content – Ensure your content is 100% original – don’t be tempted to duplicate articles or paragraphs from your own blog.

– Half and Half Rule – Some well-known industry influencers recommend the half and half rule to grow your audience at the start (for every blog post you write on your own blog, you write one guest blog post for a well-known blog).

5. Speak at Industry Events. Be Your Own PR Person.

Public Speaking

Identify avenues where you can extend your brand reach beyond your own blog (or chosen content platform). For example, you can speak at relevant industry events or contribute to podcasts that your target audience listen to to get your name (and personal brand) out there. At the start of your career, you might want to speak at an industry meet up and build up to the bigger events as you become more well known. In the early days say yes to every opportunity you’re offered (you’ll never know who you’ll meet along the way).

Remember, this is only the start of your online influencer journey. Building an online influencer status requires continuous hard work, a relentless (and genuine) passion and caring about people you meet, talk to and write for. Do you have any online influencer tips of your own?

Zara Burke

I'm a digital content marketer/writer based in Dublin and I love what I do. I've enjoyed working in a variety of content-focused fields, including digital marketing, journalism & PR. Nothing inspires me more than a good story, the chance to learn and a well-brewed cup of tea.

All articles by Zara Burke

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