LUBBOCK, Texas – Since the creation of Instagram, there are now over one billion users online, and from that worldwide network has emerged Instagram bloggers.
The bloggers, or also known as ‘influencers,” have started partnering with local and national businesses to promote their product.
James Hodgins runs Texas Tech’s social media lab, and said people are more likely to buy from people they feel like they can trust, and less from obvious business advertising.
“When you build up that trust and that relationship with people, you can kind of use that to try to promote the products and businesses that you believe in,” Hodgins said.
Hodgins said businesses are recognizing blogging as a real profession, that goes way beyond the pretty pictures.
“You have to be able to take good digital content, take good photos and videos, you have to be able to sell yourself so there’s a sales component, a public relations component,” Hodgins said.
Audrey Stowe, a local blogger, said she has been working hard at building up her brand in the last three years.
“For the one instagram photo I’m spending like eight hours of work on my computer coordinating, signing contracts, figuring out what I want to do, taking the actual photo, editing the photo,” Stowe said.
Stowe said some bloggers can make $30,000 a month, it just depends on the amount of partnerships, and who they are with.
“It’s a lot of work, and it’s very tiring and there’s a lot of friendships that I put on hold because I’m catering to my audience,” Stowe said.
Dellanie, Dettl, an employee at T.C. Ellis said they started partnering with bloggers a year ago, and have since seen their online sales double.
“Typically they have to post one to two pictures a month in the items that they purchase with their store credit,” Dettl said. “And then they have to do a story.”
Dettl said they pay bloggers an upwards of $300 a month, but find that it is money well spent.
“I started working here about a year and a half ago and our followers were 27,000 ” Dettl said. “And we’re about to hit 60,000.”
Stowe said she hopes to continue her blog for as long as she can, and hopes it remains a positive place for her followers.
“I hope my website is something people go to and read and take 10 minutes out of their day and just be fully indulged in whether it’s fashion beauty or something,” Stowe said.