One thing that I find when working across brands and bloggers is the amount of people that look for a specific type of blogger. Most brands will have a target that they want when it comes to the influencers they work with and typically they’ll fall into one of a few categories, travel, food, fashion, parenting and lifestyle. Within these categories, it’s pretty common to have more specific niches which are often influenced by the person or people creating the content. In travel and within travel blogging you’ll find niches such as responsible travel, solo travel, female travel, adventure travel and many more.
What we at Traverse have found over the past two years is just how many blogs are not able to be pigeonholed in the overall niches. That is to say that there are a lot of influencers out there now who’s blogs are not just about one of the major categories, this for us is very interesting to as this number seems to have rocketed in the past few years. There are now bloggers who on the surface may look like food bloggers, but when you see their content it is just as much about travel as what you eat. Some of the best mum blogs around look at fashion as much as they do parenting, and so on. So why have these blogs seemed to pop up so much recently? We did some looking into this and the answer was actually very simple; they haven’t.
The blogs and vlogs have always been there, what has changed is the content going into them. Let’s take an example and look at the blog of Monica Stott. Monica started her blog, The Travel Hack, back in 2009 as a 21 year old. The content was strong from the start and took Monica from being fresh out of uni to working with a variety of fantastic travel brands before eventually leaving all ‘normal work’ to focus on the blog full time.
“I wanted to be a journalist so I was interning with my local newspaper. I then left to go backpacking and the newspaper asked me to write a blog for their website. There were a few local people writing blogs on the site such As a local councilor, a local teacher. I was the local girl who went travelling. I kept blogging as a way to help my writing portfolio as I knew I’d need some examples of things I’d written when I wanted to apply for journalism jobs. I was conscious that having two years out to travel would be a big gap on my CV so I wanted to make it count. I had no idea at the time that I’d never be applying for journalism jobs and that blog would become my full time career,” Monica explains when I asked about how she got started. She now lives in Chester with her young family, her blog is as great as ever, the focus is now more on weekend travel, but also has categories such travelling with babies and a bit more of an overall lifestyle feel to it.
Many of the more established bloggers have now been blogging for a few years, often upwards of five and sometimes north of ten. This means that their personal circumstances have changed just as much as most people’s would have in that time. What we are seeing on their blogs and YouTube channels is nothing more than a reflection of this. Some of what I would consider to be the best blogs on the internet are the ones that still follow a relatively personal narrative, I, the reader, feel like I am following along with the life of the blogger. When you have this style of blog, the published articles and videos tend to have a more personal side to them than the magazine style review that some blogs go for. Monica is one example, but there are thousands more out there. A mum blogger may have started to write about her life as a mother of a new born, but that baby is now five and they are going on more family trips and weekends away, that blog is now as much travel as it is family content.
An argument could even be made that looking at the more niche blogs will often lead you to those that do not have as much experience in being an influencer, as personal progression in life is more or less a given, although the likes of Becki Enright, from Boarders of Adventure, show that sticking in a niche for a long time doesn’t have to mean diminishing quality.