HOW RELIABLE IS A 3RD PARTY APP AS YOUR SOLE SOURCE OF INCOME?
If there’s one thing I took away from “The Great Outage of 2019”, it’s that having your own platform as a content creator is not only valid but necessary. Third party platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest have become income generators for influencers and content creators in recent years. The era of the Instagram Model, and Instagrammer as a profession is here, but is it here to stay?
Recently I spoke with some fellow bloggers and content creators that I value as peers in the business and we all came to a similar conclusion regarding the relevancy of blogs in 2019. That conclusion was: We’re here, our value is evergreen, and we’re not going anywhere.
Now I get the appeal of Instagram. Heck, I freaking LOVE Instagram and dedicated way to much of my day to scrolling and double tapping. But Instagram will never be my main, or sole focus for Girl Loves Gloss, for many reasons:
ALGORITHMS SUCK! Hands up if you’re sick and tired of being a slave to whichever way Instagram’s algorithm is working each month? Smaller influencers barely get seen, brands are splashed all over the place and every week I end up unfollowing accounts I KNOW I never followed in the first place. Hashtags work some days and not others… oh and don’t forget you’ll get shadowbanned if you use them incorrectly. Do I put hashtags in the comments or the caption? Does anyone actually read my captions? Who else gets spammed constantly with “Get More Followers Now!” accounts? It’s a bit of a sh!t show if you ask me.
GOOGLE DOESN’T GET IT. Did you know that the vast majority of Instagram content doesn’t show up in google searches? That means growth from outside the app is near impossible unless directed. It also means that brands can only benefit from a return of interest within the app and its already existing users. There’s a glass ceiling on the audience and reach when you are relegated to a single app.
YOU’VE GOT NO ROOTS. Just like many influencers found out the hard way in ‘The great Crash of 2019″, a 3rd party app can go down at any time. You can get accidentally locked out, flagged, or suddenly lose half your followers. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook also bring a disposable nature that means the next big app that comes along might knock you on your feet. Remember Snapchat? My point exactly…
I VALUE THE WRITTEN WORD, AND I KNOW MANY OF YOU DO TOO. I love to scroll through Instagram for gorgeous pictures, shelfies and amazing makeup skills just like the rest of you. How often do you really read the captions though? Given my some of the comments on my posts, not often. I’ve posted pictures of ‘fail’ products before, clearly describing why only to have comments like, “OMG best products ever good to see you love them too!” and “Do you love that mascara?” (When I’ve already reviewed it in the caption). It’s a flip of the thumb platform which is great for instant visual gratification, but not where I go when I want to learn about products. Then I hit my favourite bloggers, which come up in a quick google search.
MAKE THAT MONEY, HONEY. Sure you can monetize Instagram… if you get past that elusive 10k milestone of followers and they bestow the much desired ‘swipe up’ feature. Currently, Instagram doesn’t allow links in photo captions and only a single link in your profile. If you have the swipe up feature, you can put affiliate links in your stories (and for the love of God, please disclose they are an affiliate!). Otherwise, it is a paid partnership and ad placement that will earn you money. I’m not going to lie, sometimes that can be lucrative for big influencers, but it is significantly harder to gain a sole income from just Instagram or Facebook.
So when it is all said and done, I am grateful I have continued to put so much love and attention into GirlLovesGloss.com. My blog is my passion and while a labour of love, it’s a labour that is all mine to reap the rewards of. If you’re an Instagram only influencer, you may think blogs are a dying art, but I promise you, they aren’t. While some brands are a year or two behind, focusing mainly on Instagram follower counts, many have caught on to the fraudulent world of it all and are setting their sights on the quality return of interest and engagement.
So I’ll keep scrolling on my favourite 3rd party platforms, there’s no doubt. But my main focus will always be on a name I’ve carved out for myself here at www.girllovesgloss.com.
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