I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who follows along with The Urbanite Insight, both on my blog & Instagram. As I mentioned on my Instagram post, it’s really amazing to see my dedication & work payoff with this milestone of reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram. It’s definitely not always easy & fun, as often times if I’m not in the mood for writing or creating photos & content. It often feels like work -- but knowing that I have 10,000 people who are interested in the content I'm producing is something that inspires & motivates me to share my travels & experiences!
So, what’s the importance of building a social media following & how does it relate to my blog? Today I’m going to share all the different things I do to grow my network & blog in order to build out this travel community & little corner of the massive internet with like-minded people such as yourself! If you haven’t read why I started my blog, make sure to check out that post here.
Instagram is truly a way to market myself & my blog -- to build my personal brand essentially. I’m a very open person as most of my friends know, and share pretty much everything and anything. I love to share about what I’m up to, and in doing that, it also encourages me to always be trying new things! I also like to follow other travel bloggers, along with all my friends & family, to be inspired. Seeing others’ visual creativity & travel plans definitely gives me inspo for my future travels. Instagram is typically how I do my research for trips!! Secondly, I took a photography class in San Francisco & have been obsessed with cameras & photography ever since (more on that here), so it also is a platform to share some of my work with those who are interested. Finally, building out a reader base on Instagram helps me from a marketing perspective to drive traffic directly to my blog, which helps me to in turn, monetize it through various channels.
Although this is more of a passion project, and I’m nowhere near making money to support me full time (nor do I necessarily want to do it full time, at least for now while I continue my career in tech sales!), it is an awesome way to experiment & continue my digital marketing education -- while I make a few bucks on the side as I go! As you’ll see in some of my posts, I host ads on my site. Additionally, I’ll promote and share products, hotels I like, etc. in individual posts & on the SHOP page of my blog. Each click through on these is how I make money from brands. Instagram starts letting you to use your Instagram Stories to allow users to "swipe up" which can link them directly to your site, or to an affiliate marketing link. More followers are directly correlated to more traffic to the blog as it's become much easier for readers to click through.
Sponsored posts on both Instagram & the blog both are also ways to make money working directly with brand partnerships. I'm sure many of you have seen my include "ad" or "sp" or "sponsored" on an instagram post or a disclaimer on a blog post. These are required by the brand and by the FTC laws, but what that means is that the blogger is typically getting paid for that specific post. In order to engage in these types of partnerships, brands will look at the amount of followers + engagement on your Instagram posts, and # of unique visitors, page views, etc. on the blog. In addition, sometimes bloggers will be asked to provide demographic information when starting partnerships. That being said, more followers + more blog readers typically determines the types of brands you engage with.
Working with brands has been an amazing learning experience! I've worked with global brands like Perrier, Minted, Benefit and Whole Foods Market, to hotels like Hotel VIA, Nick's Cove and Oz Farms, to tons of San Francisco restaurants & food brands like Off the Grid, Rambler, Roam Burger, & Cypress Grovers, to Napa/Sonoma/Oregon/Australian wineries like J Winery, Siduri Wines & Little Things, to tourism boards like Travel Salem & many more brands.
What this partnership entails from the blogger side is to ultimately 1) produce content for the brand to reuse while also 2) sharing the experience with readers in 3) hopes to reach a specific result on a campaign. Brands create campaigns around various goals like increasing their # of followers on a social media channel, build brand awareness, or generate revenue. Most of the times, brands or their PR agencies will approach bloggers to work with them, but if there are brands I want to pitch I would reach out directly as well. I will often do this when planning trips to see if they'd want to team up or have any partnership opportunities around the time of my visit. I enjoy working with brands & continuing to further my partnerships in the travel, food & lifestyle industry. More on how brands can work with me here.
So, I just wanted to share a peak into to the blog as a business world, for those who are interested. That being said, this is a great milestone for me because it's amazing to see that people are actually interested in the content that I'm creating in the first place. This is the most meaningful part about this milestone for me! When I first started the blog, I literally thought my mom, aunts & a few of my besties would read it. It's amazing to see that it helps inspire people's travels whom I've never even met. I love getting direct messages telling me how helpful this or that was! It means the world.
Thank YOU to everyone who reads along. As you can tell by all the photos I chose for this post, I'm very EXCITED for a new challenge & new goal for 2018. Cheers to you & here's to the next 10K urbanites in this travel tribe! :)