April 13, 2016 Career Is Blogging Dead? This past weekend I was in Dallas for the RewardStyle conference. Since RS is truly a leader in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogging industry, I always look forward to the opening panels — I love hearing about what’s happening, what direction it’s going, what’s changing and what should we expect moving forward. This year, I was looking forward to it more than usual because lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about how blogs are dying. So, is it true? The short answer, no. The long answer is still no, but yes, it definitely changing, but is it going away? Don’t count on it. I think we can agree that the landscape of blogging has already changed a lot. What started as an online journal of sorts, has turned into editorial sites with gorgeous photography, products, affiliate links and inspired writing. It’s a saturated market and it’s tough to make a name for yourself out there, but I still like to think that there’s enough to go around. Let’s not forget that the world has about 7.2 billion people living on it, so yea, there’s plenty of room for everyone. Anyway, back to the state of the blog. Whether you like it or not, things are changing and will continue to change. If you want to be relevant in this space, I suggest welcoming change with open arms and look at change with a positive perspective instead of just hoping it will go away. I wanted to share a few takeaways from last weekend’s conference, several were repeated numerous times, that should remind or convince you that blogging isn’t going anywhere and that if you’re still trying to make it in this world, it’s totally possible! 1. Influencers accounted for 12% of total traffic to major retail sites which means that retailers see the importance and power of publishers and are willing to set aside ad dollars for those types of promotions and collaborations. 2. Your blog should be your hub. While social media can be a great way for you to generate extra income and drive traffic to your site, they’re known to change and that’s not something you have any control over. And you should expect them to change! If you’re investing in your business, it should be on your blog because that is the only thing you own 100%. If Facebook and Instagram die tomorrow, your blog will still be there. FYI! If you’re on Blogger, you do NOT own that site. Blogger could also be shut down and with all that goes your content. If you’re still on Blogger, I highly recommend moving to self-hosted WordPress to guarantee that you have total control and ownership over your website. 3. Know your value and don’t overcharge. I’ll admit for a long time, I was undercharging, which is annoying now that I look back on it, but it’s equally as important to truly know your value. What can you realistically provide a brand? More and more campaigns are focusing on ROI (return on investment) and if there’s a low ROI, a retailer probably won’t be interested in paying a high fee for a sponsored post. If you already have a relationship with a brand and decide to raise your prices, make sure you can justify that price increase with real numbers!