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Picture credit: @TheLittleCardiffBlog

 Influencer marketing is on the rise, especially with some of the big household brand names, but did you know that engaging and working with local influencers could benefit your business too? I caught up with Gemma from“TheLittleCardiffBlog” to chat all things blogging and how working with influencers can be a cost-effective way of increasing your brand awareness.

Hi Gemma, thank you for chatting to us! First things first, tell us a bit about yourself, what’s your blog about, how long you have been blogging for and why you started etc.

Back in 2014 I started a fitness and motivational Instagram. The account reached 28,000 followers, but after a few years, I felt like switching things up and working on something smaller. On a whim I started ‘The Little Cardiff Blog’ in May 2018
(@thelittlecardiffblog), covering local restaurants, events, theatre reviews and more.
I absolutely love creating content and having full control over it. A lot of people think I do this full time…which would be brilliant! But I have an office job 9 to 5. I spend the train journey to and from work and my lunch hour working on TLCB, plus spare time and weekends. I don’t earn much from the page so it’s important that I maintain the love for content creation and supporting others in the online community, otherwise there would be no point in doing it!

“Influencer marketing” is becoming more popular now, but gets a bad rep. How do you work alongside businesses and brands to help their marketing?
I’d be defined as a ‘micro-influencer’. This is a blogger with a smaller following than a celebrity, but one that can have a significant impact due to their niche, targeted audience and the fact we engage with people on a personal level. This can work really well for local restaurants or businesses as it’s a way for them to access that type of demographic. I’ll generally get approached by restaurants and invited in to try the food in return for posts. For more direct advertising, brands will pay to sponsor the content I create and post. Working with influencers is smart – it is cost-effective for businesses and brands, the content is more real and authentic when you give the blogger control, plus it will give you more online exposure and credibility.

What are the biggest misconceptions about being a blogger?
It’s a huge misconception that we get everything free and in return all we do is snap a photo! Not all restaurants have the budget or interest to collaborate with bloggers and
that’s not going to put me off spending money there. If it’s good, I will promote it and
I always do my best to research new openings, pop ups, street food events and kitchen takeovers that I think my followers could be interested in. And as I’ve just said, there’s more to blogging than just eating and taking pics.

Can you give us a brief overview of the process of writing a blog for a business? Its not just a matter of some freebies and a quick write up on your laptop is it?!
Definitely not! I think if you regard your collaborations with brands or businesses as
‘freebies’ you’re doing yourself and your work a real disservice. It is a two way street and you’re providing them with something they value too. If you want to take it seriously, be prepared to get very organised, there’s a lot of liaising via email or telephone. You’ll spend time setting up, taking and editing photos. Then you’ll research the company before you write the captions or a full blog. It’s important you also find your own methods of getting your posts to reach the right people and set aside time to maintain and build that regularly.

Are there a community of bloggers in Cardiff and if so, how could you become involved with that?
Having community of people who support each other is something that’s so important to me and I’ve met so many wonderful people through TLCB. I truly would have no interest in Instagram or blogging if a community wasn’t part of it. Don’t be shy, make the effort to message people or comment on their posts. Search tags such a #cardiff,
#cardiffbloggers, #cardifffoodies to find like-minded people to connect with. Look out for blogger events. Finally, make sure you follow people first sometimes, rather than just waiting for people to follow you!

Picture credits: @TheLittleCardiffBlog