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Use social media to become an influencer in your field



Use social media to become an influencer in your field

You can spend hours watching dermatologists pop pimples, furniture restorers fix aging cabinets or crane operators move heavy materials from hundreds of feet in the air — all from the comfort of your own home.

Many types of professionals have chosen to spotlight their careers on social media, whether it’s to garner interest in their work, correct misconceptions, attract clients, earn supplemental income or just have fun. And audiences are loving it.

Are you thinking about making the leap to becoming an online expert? Do you want to connect with other professionals in your field and share resources with the masses?

The Times talked to Morgan McSweeney, known on TikTok as Dr. Noc; music producer Chris Ju, or “Kato On The Track” on Instagram; Anthony Barbuto who is “The Lawyer” on TikTok; and plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, otherwise know as “Doctor Youn” on TikTok. Here are their tips on how to create your personal brand using the expertise you’re already building at your job.

McSweeney, who holds a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences and immunology, said he started posting online because there was a lot of misinformation proliferating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media struck him as an opportunity to spread knowledge from a reliable source.

Now, his goal with his account is “to increase public awareness of important health and scientific information,” adding that ideally he can “make people feel like they can do something, like they can take their health into their own hands.”

But you don’t have to be completely civic-minded. There are many reasons that becoming an online expert can be useful to your career.

For example, consider Barbuto, the self-proclaimed “first lawyer on TikTok.” Licensed to practice in California, Florida and New Jersey, Barbuto says that, like McSweeney, he started posting because he wanted to correct misconceptions.

“People think of the practice of law as just this kind of cold and serious profession — and not a profession [made up] of actual human beings with emotions and a sense of humor,” said Barbuto.

But showing passion for his job brought him lots of new clientele, Barbuto said. And being popular on social media opened up new ways to make money.

Once you’ve amassed enough of a following, you could get brand deals — this is when a company asks an influencer to make a video with its product. You could also make money directly from the platform. Ju works on campaigns with brands like Wingstop and Capital One, while McSweeney’s popularity on social media led to work with the White House, the World Health Organization and more.

You can also build your own community of like-minded people through social media.

Youn started his social media account as a way to market his practice. As a plastic surgeon based in Michigan, he faced an empty office during the pandemic.

“There was no practice to promote,” he said. “I didn’t have patients to show ‘before and afters’ because everything is closed. So I just started creating stuff that I thought was fun to watch, and everything exploded from there.”

He has since evolved from the goal of promoting his practice into something more altruistic.

“I’m in a situation now where I feel like I can just be that best friend, that counselor, that person that can help people feel better about themselves,” he said.

His new mission is to help people understand that a lot of the perfection shown on social media is not real. What many viewers don’t realize, he said, is that “these celebrities, these social media influencers have teams behind them to perform plastic surgery, to get Botox, get injections, to get facials. They’ve got personal trainers, they’ve got nutritionists, they’ve got dieticians, they have professional makeup artists.”

Whether or not his viewers decide to have plastic surgery is their choice, but “if they do, then hopefully they do it in a way that is beneficial for them.”

McSweeney said he wasn’t sure at first that he had anything to offer. “I was like, who wants to follow an immunologist for pharmaceutical science on social media?” he said. “And then it turned out a lot of people did.”

Check your employer’s social media regulations. Before you begin your journey as a professional influencer, it’s important to note that there may be rules surrounding social media at your place of employment. Make sure you understand them and ask questions.

Start by figuring out what you like. Just be a consumer first, Ju said. Once you find people who inspire you or content you find interesting, “you start to get ideas of, ‘Oh, this is a dope video. This could work for what I’m doing,’” he said. “And then you just find creative ways to apply it to what you’re doing.”

Chase your passion. “Doing things that you love — to me, there’s sustainability in that,” Ju said, adding, “I think if you’re chasing money, then you’ll eventually get burnt out, especially if you’re in a creative field like music.”

Choose one app to begin with. Youn recommends focusing your energy first on one app where you’re most likely to find an audience that will like your content. Rather than spreading yourself thin trying to keep up with a bunch of apps, learn the ins and outs a single one. If you try to be a jack of all trades (or apps), you’ll be a master of none, he said.

He made some suggestions about how to navigate your options: If you like to create short videos, go for TikTok. If you like creating long-form educational content, go for YouTube. If you love getting into the nitty gritty of your profession and talking about a subject for two hours, make a podcast. If you love writing but don’t want to be on video, go to a platform like Medium or Substack.

Know your audience. Barbuto said his audience differs depending on the app. He started on Facebook, where his audience was mainly older people. When he went to Instagram, his audience skewed younger, and on TikTok, the viewers were even younger.

You should also think about whether you want to aim your content at other professionals in your field or a more general following. “I used to just super-serve my niche, which is like other music creators,” Ju said. But now his goal is to reach as many people as possible.

He asks himself a question to avoid playing just to a niche audience: “How do I make this message appealing to [the masses] and not just [end up] nerding out on the technical aspects of the music production?”

Think about how to be engaging online. Simply showing what you can do is not enough to get popular, Barbuto said. He emphasized the importance of having an engaging personality. Imagine someone scrolling through lots of similarly themed TikTok videos. Even if the professional they’re watching is qualified, “if she’s boring, I don’t wanna contact that person. I don’t wanna work with that person,” Barbuto said.

Be authentic. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your viewers, said Youn. “They know if you’ve hired a company to create your social media stuff,” he said. Even if you have a team, you’ll want to make sure you’re involved in the final product.

Youn believes that if you don’t have passion for social media, there is no way you can replicate the success of someone who does. Think of social media as a hobby and do it because you love it.

If your content gets stale, change directions. McSweeney urged people not to be afraid to evolve. Once he started to notice that people were less interested in his COVID-19 content, he switched to other topics, putting out videos such as “This is how your diet affects your microbiome” or “This is how physical activity affects your risk for various diseases.” These usually offered “pretty actionable tips, like maybe three things you can do to improve your sleep,” he said.

Think hard about how to sustain your viewer’s attention. Social media algorithms favor people who can get users to stay on their video for the entire duration, McSweeney said. He thinks a lot about how to “design a video to make people want to watch the whole thing.”

Having a good hook is important, he said. He also recommends paying close attention to visual elements of your story and the editing to cut out dead space.

Use the right titles. McSweeney suggested phrasing your video titles in an engaging way. For instance, he said, compare “Three ways that vegetables are good for your health” with “This is what the food industry doesn’t want you to know about XYZ.” He said the second one will always perform better because it draws attention and gives users a reason to click. Just make sure your content supports that clickable headline.

Be confident. People need to get out of their own way, Ju said. His biggest advice to creators is to relieve themselves of the pressure of going viral. “There are some days where I just don’t feel like creating or posting or doing a video and, to me, that’s OK … as long as you show up most of the time and create when it counts, right?” he said.

Don’t let the fear of embarrassment stop you from starting a social media account, Barbuto said. “Take baby steps, start off with private posts and show your friends and see how that’s received,” he said. “And then maybe make one public and see how that goes.”

Scale your efforts. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Ju said, it doesn’t necessarily take an incredible amount of time and energy to be successful on social media “If you’re someone that is just looking to get started, I’m a very big believer in just keeping things practical and manageable for your lifestyle and for the things that you want to achieve,” he said.

Consistency is key, Barbuto said, though he acknowledges the extra effort professionals have to put in because they already have full-time jobs.

McSweeney had a tip on how he has made his schedule more manageable. He said he spends a day or half a day writing scripts and filming multiple videos, so he can polish and edit them throughout the week.

“It’s not necessarily about the quantity of your output, but it’s more about the consistency of your output,” Ju said. “So even if you’re just creating one video a day, I feel like that’s pretty manageable for most people. And the hard part is not getting too caught up in the number side. Like paying attention to the metrics and letting that kind of dictate your content flow because most people will be like, ‘Oh, well, my last video only got 100 views. So now I’m kind of hesitant to create new videos moving forward.’”

Have realistic expectations. McSweeney warns not to put all your eggs in the social media basket, because the income is not consistent, especially as you start out.

Depending on your salary at work, he said, you could wind up making even more on social media than you make at your job. “However, there’s a very long ramp-up period,” he added. “It’s sort of like either you’re going to be super successful in terms of income as a content creator, or you’re probably gonna make basically nothing …. [But] you’re in the basically nothing category for a really long time when making content.”

Youn agrees with the “don’t quit your day job” sentiment. He’s held on to a piece of advice that he got years ago from a peer, who told him it can all go away very quickly. “You can have a platform like TikTok that gets shut down by the government,” he said, “and all of a sudden those 8.3 million followers you’ve lost in the span of like an instant.”


©2023 Los Angeles Times. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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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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