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The Drum | ‘A Flag In The Sand For Authenticity’: What Does De-influencing Mean For Brands?



The Drum | ‘A Flag In The Sand For Authenticity’: What Does De-influencing Mean For Brands?

We spoke to nine influencer marketing specialists from The Drum Network about de-influencing, the latest trend in which content creators are making anti-ads for popular products.

De-influencing – the trend of social media personalities recommending which hyped products you shouldn’t buy, undermining the messaging of positive coverage – is causing no small amount of online discourse. One thing is certain: it marks, for some, an end to phony partnerships, and another step toward a more community-led ‘creator economy‘.

The rebellion happening on social is proof that influencer credibility (and, more broadly, what it means to be an influencer) has shifted. From the inside track, influencer marketing specialists from The Drum Network tell us their thoughts – and how the industry may evolve going forward.

Hannah Turner, senior influencer account manager at Disrupt, Found

I don’t think it’s surprising that we are seeing this trend. Influencers became popular in the first place as people trusted their opinions more than traditional advertising and news. There was a hunger for the truth, seeing real people doing day-to-day things, and using products we might be interested in.

But there has been a shift. With the rise of influencer marketing and TV shows such as Love Island paving such a simple route to becoming a social media star, some of that authenticity and trust have been lost.

I don’t think it’s the end of the industry by any means. In fact, I think there is a great opportunity to make it stronger. Consumers are eager for that realness they first fell in love with when influencers burst onto the scene.

Alex Carapiet, head of social at Seed, Amplify

De-influencing isn’t the end. It’s a new beginning and a smart move for forward-thinking influencers, which will benefit brands too – especially the beauty industry. When it comes to influencer content, cosmetic brands swim in a “sea of the same”. Social platforms are awash with overhyped product reviews.

De-influencing should make influencers and brands alike sit up and think: is what we are doing different? Is it good enough to stand out? And, most importantly, is this product good enough for this sort of exposure?

Jordan Carroll, innovation director, The Fifth

De-influencing is yet another flag in the sand for authenticity. Authentic voices building genuine relationships with brands, products and services they’re truly a fan of always will be the key to influencer marketing’s longevity.

A person with influence can only be influential if their opinion is respected by their audience. The era of using people with a social media following to act like digital billboards is over. We’re expecting to see creators forge fewer, yet longer-term partnerships with brands they truly believe in.

This freedom is largely thanks to the broader growth of the creator economy, which has opened new revenue opportunities for creators including paid subscriber models, platform creator funds and own D2C brand development. De-influencing will only further the breadth and depth of the creator economy.

Naomi Barker, head of creator partnerships, 33seconds

Has one controversial TikTok triggered social influencers to stop and take note? Are paid partnership creators now jumping on the de-influencing bandwagon in a bid to appear more authentic, or does it signal a wider shift in social media marketing?

Ironically, the trend has been picked up by lots of creators who do large volumes of brand partnerships and so it feels a little like it’s a saving face exercise to push a slightly false sense of authenticity.

Rida Oyebade, digital campaign manager, BECG, LoveThat

As more and more large corporations started to hop on the influencer marketing train, influencers started to lose their “realness”. A lot of them moved toward scripted ads, at times for products they clearly had no interest in.

This is not like traditional advertising. If you want a scripted ad, do a scripted ad. Influencers should have a level of autonomy to ensure that the content aligns with their content and their audience.

From a brand perspective, your job should be to ensure the core messaging is correct, rather than dictating exactly what is said.

Olivia Grieg, influencer & branded content supervisor, PMG

The de-influencing trend is merely the latest expression of people craving more authentic content from creators. It exposes the practice of one-off influencer partnerships that aim to push products regardless of how inauthentic the content may be.

Consumers (especially Gen Z) already have a keen eye for spotting these types of partnerships. It is not a question of whether influencers will continue to exist in the capacity they do now, but rather how they will adapt and who they choose to partner with.

Our advice to brands: forge long-term, sustainable relationships with creators that organically and authentically align with their values, content style, and target audience.

Danielle Dullaghan, social media strategist, Brave Bison

De-influencing speaks to a wider issue around social media and mental health. It’s been a long time coming. Witnessing influencers (and peers) live luxurious lives that seem so unattainable to regular folk is bound to cause a rebellion of sorts.

But influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. It’s just evolving into a more authentic space.

Alexandra Whiteside, social media & influencer marketing specialist, No Brainer

If a brand chooses to partner with the ‘right’ influencer, this should have no undesirable impact on its authenticity. It’s been an all-too-common theme to see brands partnering with influencers who don’t necessarily embody the brand’s visions or principles.

If a brand’s ideals seamlessly fit with its chosen creator and they like the brand’s products (which is key), then the collaboration will weather the de-influencing storm. Now is the time for brands to revisit their influencer marketing strategy and ensure it’s aligned with the changing social media landscape.

Joe Stratton, client services director at What They Said, Pretty Green

The term authenticity is nothing new to the world of influencer marketing. It’s only been accelerated as brands evolve their messaging to engage younger audiences. While de-influencing may appear as a threat to brands, it only reinforces the most important and valuable aspects of the creator economy: advocacy and relationships.

What we’re now seeing is a fair and balanced discussion, not just a relentless product push – and that only strengthens the relationship between a creator and their audience which, in turn, will provide greater returns for brands.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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