If you had asked me five years ago why I started blogging, I would have given you a straightforward answer. I would have said: “Because I love writing, taking photos, and telling stories.” Simple! Being a successful influencer and achieving growth as a blogger were the least of my concerns.
How My Blog Started and Evolved
In my 20’s and early 30’s, Scenes From Nadine became my creative outlet where I would document my life. It was where I wrote about all my travels, new discoveries, everyday life with my boyfriend (now my husband), etc. As my life went through different seasons, my blog reflected those life changes too. As I’ve mentioned before in one of my blog entries, “As my life evolves, my priorities, topics, and thoughts do, too… I want to grow with [this blog] and I want it to grow with me.” Sure enough, my blog has kept me company (and kept me sane) in the various stages of my life. It used to be just a lifestyle and personal blog. But when I got pregnant and after the birth of my first child, it became a mom blog too!
Becoming a Mom Blogger and ‘Influencer’
Being a mommy blogger was not a deliberate decision. However, it was inevitable since motherhood takes up most of my time AND my life these days. What did come as a surprise to me was being identified as a ‘momfluencer.’ With the boom of social media, there was also a rise in influencer marketing as advertisers started recognizing that digital creators possess the power of persuasion. Out of nowhere, brand collaborations started pouring in. I was being invited left and right to major events. I was getting an appreciable amount of free stuff. Of course I was flattered and happy! Who wouldn’t be? But I was also bewildered because I never perceived myself as an influencer! Me?! I’m just a regular mom! Well… actually, I’m not a regular mom. I’m a cool mom. But you know what I mean. 😉
At the beginning, I admit that I was dazzled by all the perks I was gaining. I started believing that it was those perks that defined my growth as a blogger (and vlogger). But after a while, I realized that growth isn’t always just about the numbers, the privileges, or the prestige. It’s so much more than that.
6 Signs That You Are A Successful Blogger / Content Creator and Influencer
1) Gaining followers
The number of followers you have on your blog or social media pages should not matter. However, be thankful when you see even the slightest increase in your follower count because that’s one benchmark of growth. If you attract even just one or two more followers, that’s still a step forward. That’s still more people who enjoy your content. Be proud of whatever progress you make because, as they say, “Progress is still progress, no matter how small.”
I may not have hundreds of thousands of followers, but I managed to organically grow my Instagram following from zero to 6000+. Sure, it only took 8 long years (*note the sarcasm*), but hey, what’s the rush? I’m not racing against anyone!
2) Working with esteemed brands
When I created my blog, I never thought that I’d get to work with some of the most reputed brands. To be assigned as their ambassador despite my modest following makes me feel honored and ecstatic!
Advertisers and businesses will most likely work with influencers who they believe would help them achieve results. And if they choose to partner with you, it means that they see something in you that they like, and they like it enough for them to allocate some of their marketing budget to you, or at least trust you to represent their brand. That’s also an indication of growth as a blogger / content creator or influencer.
3) Earning from your blog or social media posts
I started my blog and social media accounts primarily to have a platform where I can share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Of course, I thought that generating revenue from them would be a nice bonus, but if not, it’s not a big deal since that wasn’t my main objective anyway. Then, one by one, brands and PR agencies started to approach me for paid campaigns, and what was once just a possibility turned into a reality! How amazing is that?!
If you are getting paid to do what you love from the comfort of your own home, and if you are able to monetize your hobby and passion projects so that it helps pay the bills, that’s pretty amazing and that’s a major sign of success and growth as a blogger and influencer!
4) Building friendships
One of the perks of being an influencer is meeting like-minded people and being part of a community that supports you in your journey as a content creator. Being a mom blogger gave me a chance to connect with other moms (both my mom blog readers and fellow mom creators) who understand the joys and struggles of motherhood, and hence, are ready and willing to support and encourage me. My growth as a mom blogger is not just about the page views of my blog or the number of subscribers on my Youtube channel, but it’s also about the growth of my social circle.
If you were able to cultivate friendships through your work as a content creator, then you can say that you’ve flourished. Friends are treasures, after all!
5) Learning new skills
Through my work as an influencer, I gained more knowledge and experience on a lot of things, including:
- Improving my photography skills
- Writing more engaging captions and blog posts
- Using a self-hosted WordPress site for blogging
- Editing videos
- Shooting and making vlogs
- Creating and curating content for social media
- Social media marketing
- Working with advertisers, brands, PR agencies, and other content creators
- Drafting contracts
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Google Analytics
- Using tools and applications that will help me produce better work
- And more!
I’m not an expert on these things and I still have so much to learn. But the fact that I know more about these things now than I used to means that I also attained growth as a blogger / content creator.
Whenever you add to your skill set, learn something new, or improve at something, give yourself a pat on the back because that’s growth right there!
6) Helping others
In this article about blogger Dustin Ramsdell, he was asked: “At what point did you realize you were influencing others?” He answered that one of the things that confirmed it for him was when people have actually said to him that they’ve seen his site or know of his site. But more importantly, it was when they express what they’ve gained or learned from consuming his content that he thought: “Wow, this is actually having an impact.”
His answer resonated with me because those were the same instances that opened my eyes to the fact that I was indeed ‘influencing’ others. A friend of mine bookmarked my blog post about healing from a breakup when she was going through one herself. My former landlady enrolled her child in a pre-school after she watched my vlog about it. Small businesses expressed their gratitude when they received more orders for their products because I posted about them on Instagram. Our tour guide in Bali acquired more bookings after my blog readers read my glowing reviews about him. See, even if you feel like you’re just a small voice in this big world, you still have the ability to make a huge difference in other people’s lives.
In one of my earliest entries in this blog, I vowed that “I will do my best to write entries that will entertain, educate, empathize, energize, and encourage.” If I succeeded in doing that, then I can truly say that “I’ve made it.” And if you have touched the life of even one person, or made things better or easier for someone else, that is a true measure of growth as a blogger and influencer.
Measuring Growth and Success as a Blogger / Content Creator and Influencer
It’s so easy to lose sight of your little achievements because the world puts so much weight on what’s big, flashy, shiny, and impressive. But in my journey as a content creator, I’ve learned how to define growth and success in my own terms. As I reminisce about my humble beginnings and recount the progress I’ve made, I know that I still have a long way to go, but I also know that I’ve come a long way.
If you ask me again today why I am still blogging or creating content, I’d give you the same answer: “Because I love writing, taking photos, and telling stories…” But I’ll also add: “…and also because I love learning, connecting, helping others, and earning by doing what I love.” This kind of work is not always easy, and sometimes, it can get frustrating and exhausting. But if everything is always easy, how do you expect to grow?
If you are at a point where you are doubting your own progress as a content creator, I hope that this post serves as a reminder for you to just keep going and to notice even the simplest milestones in your journey as an influencer.