Within the last 15 years or so the art of blogging has developed into something so astronomical, that we never could have foreseen its rise. Blogging is a huge communication tool used by everyday people and media enthusiasts from all around the globe. This form of online communication has expanded so much it can stand in for any type of social media communication and is now a mainstream phenomenon. Now we see bloggers as salary earning and revenue producing professionals.

Bloggers who successfully use this form of communication have even gone as far as using it as a business strategy, making money from blogging, achieving fame and starting their own businesses. Due to their large following on these social media sites it allows them to make a living from it. This wide usage of social media appears to be unstoppable and ever-growing.

Social media and blogging helps launch people and their businesses by weighing out what it is that your audience wants and then working out ways to give it to them. Examples of this being snapchat star James Kavanagh and his partner William Murray who have started their own food brand ‘Currabinny’ which has received great positive feedback due to James’s large social media following. The couple have been popping up at different food markets and events and vlogging every minute of their business venture making it fascinating to watch their start-up business and their following grow. James and William are only one example of the huge number of national and international bloggers who are successfully doing this.

These bloggers show us how you can effectively use social media to engage with wide audiences, use their opinions in a productive and positive way to help you in building a brand and a business that will go places. Bloggers have become an important source for inspiration, media and product consumption, and trends. They report directly to their readers and because of this their work appears to have more authenticity than that of others.

The biggest example of a blogger who has truly utilised this niche market is British YouTuber Zoella, along with many other beauty bloggers who have formed micro industries. Last year, Google reported that a million YouTube users earn money from their videos, with more than 1,000 people worldwide earning at least $100,000 (€94179.70) per year from advertising revenues. The details, however, are hazy. Beauty blogger Anchal Seda once mentioned “I think you can get about £4 per 1,000 views?”.

Zoella’s company’s cover shoot further reflects the magnitude and influence these bloggers can have when the magazine immediately had an 87% increase in web traffic. A Google hangout with her on the day the issue went on sale received 20,000 live views. “Our site had its biggest month ever thanks to content about her. To put this into context,” said editor of the magazine, Victoria White.

Similarly, here in Ireland bloggers are skyrocketing to success. Dublin based blogger Leanne Woodfull recently gave some information on just how much money a blogger of her stature makes on a normal day. Leanne says she earns the same from four social media posts as she would for an eight-hour day in a clothes shop. Agencies pay certain bloggers they believe to fit a certain brand to advertise their product.

Since the massive expansion of social media and blogging over the past few years we see an insurgence of the use of the term “digital influencer” over the word “blogger”. The term blogging almost seems dated because it isn’t just blogging, it’s a whole digital media industry. It is hard to define blogging as one thing since there are bloggers who write their own personal blogs, vloggers, instagrammers, snapchatters and the list goes on.

Big time bloggers as well as the small time bloggers all continue to entertain us, engage us, amuse us and educate us and that is what makes this vast, ever-changing, ever-growing industry so fascinating.

Nicole Osborne