Quick question: have we reached “peak blogger?”
Even with the many variations of bloggers (beauty-centric, streetstyle, lifestyle, foodies, DIY-ers, etc.) is it possible for a newbie at ground zero — with a following of zero, to boot — break through? One blogger thinks so.
If you haven’t yet met Marianna Hewitt, she’s an Influencer (oh yes, capital I) who’s worked with everyone from Armani to Allure. Her #spon game is on point, enough so that she’s partnered with top tier brands like Dior, Glossier, NARS, and OUAI. She created a beauty box with Revolve that sold out twice, starred in a Colgate commercial, filmed tutorials for the Kim Kardashian app, and appeared in Vanity Fair and Vogue.
In addition to her YouTube channel and Life With Me blog, Marianna has launched a new platform to connect with her followers, aptly named Blog With Me. As of now, Blog With Me is an Instagram page, but we have a feeling she’s got plans for expansion. The newly-created platform is full of tips, including how often to post and how to stand out from other bloggers, while making for a perfect space to connect with other content creators in your city.
We chatted with Marianna about Blog With Me and why the internet actually needs more bloggers.
HelloGiggles: The blogosphere seems pretty hush-hush. What made you want to start a platform spilling all the secrets?
Marianna Hewitt: When I started out I really had to guess everything. There weren’t really online courses and if there were, they were just the basics. I’ve learned so much, and I love the community of bloggers and influencers, so I wanted to share to empower them to have the best blogs and social medias they can have.
HG: Tell us about how it was when you started blogging officially. Without a resource like Blog With Me, how did you navigate the industry?
MH: Google was my best friend. I didn’t have the resources to spend money on camera gear let alone a photographer or video editor. So if I wanted to learn how to do something, I would google it and teach myself. This was a huge learning experience for me.
HG: You shared a story on the Blog With Me Instagram Stories about cliquey bloggers. Do you think this is still an issue or are people like yourself more open to sharing knowledge?
MH: I definitely think there is still that cliquey factor. It happens naturally in any working environment but with ours because you are so close to people — you travel with them around the world, sit next to them at dinners, and work together on projects — it’s much more personal than other working environments. Bloggers are really open, I find, speaking at conferences or sharing tips on social.
HG: What’s the most important thing a new blogger can do to stand out?
MH: Be unique. Don’t copy someone else format or style of photography because there is already someone doing that. The influencer world is very saturated but there is always room for new people. Instagram stories is a great way to show your personality and get your community to engage with you personally so they have to come to YOU for your content and can’t get that from anyone else.
HG: One Blog With Me post encouraged aspiring bloggers to consider careers like photography. Can you speak more about how aspiring bloggers can find creative outlets in other ways?
MH: People want to be a blogger because they like makeup, clothes, photography, or writing, but being a blogger isn’t the only way to have those career paths. If you love clothes and writing, you can look for jobs as an editor. If you love blogging because photography interests you, try being a photographer! A blog is a great platform, but you have to be committed to all aspects of it for it to thrive: writer, editor, stylist, photographer, social media coordinator, model, publicist. We are many titles in one.
HG: What does the future of bloggers on social media look like to you?
MH: I don’t think they are going anywhere. Instagram is only growing and I think anyone who has a business needs to focus on that platform. Bloggers are businesswomen and we are seeing more and more of them start their own companies. I see that as a logical next step for a lot of influencers. I definitely think you’ll see bloggers in the future being hired by media outlets and magazines to come on board. I think brands will also hire influencers to come on to oversee digital strategy since they are the experts.
HG: How can new content creators stay ahead of the curve?
MH: For new creators, it’s really important to create quality unique content no one can get anywhere else and to focus on your community. Really engage with them, meet them, talk to them. Having a personal connection will make them want to stay and it, in turn, will grow your following.
HG: If you could break down a beginner’s guide to blogging in three commandments, what would they be?
MH: 1. Come up with a good name and trademark it. By trademarking it, you know it’s free and clear to use and you’ll never come up with issues down the line because you never know how big your site could become
2. Be yourself. It’s easy to want to emulate others but take inspiration from them, not a copy.
3. Be consistent. Post frequently so your audience comes back often and expects new content. If they see a drop in your posts and you don’t post often, they’ll stop coming back.
HG: What is the future for the Blog With Me platform?
MH: I started it as a platform to share my tips through social. I now know that some topics need more in-depth posts and my followers on Blog With Me have asked for a conference, a book, or an e-course, so this is definitely something I am considering for the future — when I have some time!