Digital Marketing,  Earn Money Online

Bloggers and Influencers: Differences, Profitability & The Best Choice In 2024

For many, bloggers and influencers are the same breed. However, those who pack these two categories in the same box couldn’t be more wrong.

The reality is that bloggers and influencers are distinct species. In many cases, they can even be considered from different worlds.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The overall differences between a blogger and an influencer
  • Which one makes more money
  • Which one monetizes faster
  • How to choose the best option for you

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Notice: Please note that this article does not talk about influencers who are also celebrities. E.g.: Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber. On the contrary, this article refers to the possibility of ordinary (non-famous) people becoming influencers.

What Is The Difference Between Bloggers and Influencers?

Bloggers and Influencers - Differences, Profitability and The Best Choice in 2022

In a nutshell, a blogger is someone who writes blog posts, maintains a blog, and in many cases, makes a living by monetizing their blog. An influencer, on the other hand, is a public figure on the internet who has the power to influence opinions and create trends within their social media bubbles.

Some influencers make a full-time living through their social networks, but not most of them.

In a way, bloggers also influence the decision-making of their audience. However, the way bloggers do it tends to be more educational

That is, bloggers often write long articles impartially explaining how to accomplish a task and comparing the best ways to do it. They also describe the pros and cons between two or more options, so their audience doesn’t need to collect the information scattered on the web. From there, it is up to each individual to make the choice that best suits them.

Influencers, on the flip side, have a greater influence on the personal lives of their audience. That is, they are able to influence their followers with their personal opinions about all sorts of things: lifestyles, politics, travel destinations, diets, fashion trends, etc.

That said, some people successfully manage to be bloggers and influencers simultaneously.

Digital Creator vs. Blogger

Bloggers and Influencers are both Digital Creators. But they create different types of content for separate platforms.

While every blogger is a digital creator, not every digital creator is a blogger. Redundancy aside, a digital creator is one who creates any type of digital content or content to be shared online. You name it: videos, photos, informational graphs and tables, illustrations, blog posts, vlogs, etc.

Bloggers, YouTubers, freelance writers, illustrators and designers (who exhibit their work online), Instagram or TikTok Influencers, and Twitch Streamers — all of them are digital content creators.

What Makes Someone an Influencer?

Bloggers and influencers play a pivotal role in public decision-making, but bloggers tend to influence in an educational way, while influencers often influence in a personal way.

Two factors make someone an influencer: 

  1. The number of followers on social media 
  2. How much credibility the person has with their audience

Thus, those who grow their social media accounts using shady strategies are unlikely to have much credibility with their followers.

Shady Strategies refers, but is not limited, to the following practices:

  • Follow-Unfollow other users manually (a practice that, by the way, Instagram penalizes)
  • Use of third-party apps that Follow-Unfollow, comment, and like posts through one’s account
  • Buying followers, comments, and likes to make one’s account look bigger than it is.

Years ago, these dubious tactics, to say the least, were effective in the rise of many Instagram influencers. Nowadays, however, Instagram and other social networks have already identified the practices and classified them as toxic. Penalties can include significant cuts in your reach and even termination of your account on the platforms.

Also, everyone who has been on Instagram or other platforms for a few weeks has been through this. Including you, probably. You know, when someone follows you and comments on your posts as if they are genuinely interested in interacting with you. Then they unfollow you the following week. Unpleasant, right?

How can you trust someone who does this to you? 

In other words, using shady methods to grow your audience as an aspiring influencer is actually destroying your reputation and credibility.

What makes someone an influencer are followers that grow organically and an audience that looks up to you. Not bought followers or followers who just followed you back, as if to return a favor.

Can You Be an Influencer Without a Blog?

You don’t need to have a blog to be an influencer. Most influencers don’t have blogs, by the way. The main platforms used by influencers are those that are highly visual and focus on social interaction. That is, the best platforms for influencers are Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

However, creating a professional website is in your best interest if you intend to make money as an influencer. 

A website is the best way to showcase your portfolio effectively and professionally to brands and companies. Sometimes a website is even a requirement. 

As an example, most Affiliate Networks require a website and email address @ your domain name to join their network.

Can Bloggers and Influencers Make The Same Amount of Money?

Bloggers and influencers can alike make a living from their work, make a fortune, or earn nothing at all. But making money blogging is more about commitment and consistency. Meanwhile, influencers are always at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm, regardless of their commitment.

Some bloggers get 10,000-20,000 visitors to their blogs every month and make $7k-10k monthly. Differing from them, some influencers have 100,000+ followers and have never been able to make a minimum wage from their social media. Everything depends on the platform, niche, reach, credibility with the audience, and monetization strategy.

Can Blogging Be a Career?

Yes, blogging can be a career, even though it’s just a hobby for some. What differentiates hobby blogs from professional blogs is the targeting:

  • Professional blogs target a target audience with high-profit potential
  • Hobby blogs focus on personal interests instead of monetization

Many bloggers who blogged as a hobby realized they were missing out on a great opportunity to earn money online and turned blogging into their career. 

However, not all personal blogs convert well into a profitable business. As a result, you need to start a new blog in a profitable niche.

How Do People Make a Living Blogging?

Bloggers make a living blogging by monetizing their blog content or using their blog as content marketing.

There are several effective ways to monetize a blog. Among the most popular are:

  • Displaying Ads
  • Partnering with Affiliate Programs 
  • Digital Products
  • Paid Memberships
Bloggers vs Influencers: 4 Effective Ways to Make Money As A Blogger
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However, making a living blogging doesn’t happen overnight. Blogging requires commitment and persistence. Also, just writing articles on random will not work. You need to write genuinely helpful blog posts that convert.

As a result, the expected lead time to make money blogging is 1.5-2 years, if everything is done right.

Blogging is also very effective as content marketing for those just trying to promote their products and services. When you blog about topics that are of interest to your target audience, you make it easier for them to find your products or services.

Furthermore, blogging as content marketing also helps you or your company gain awareness and authority in your niche.

How Do Bloggers Get Paid?

Bloggers don’t have a fixed payday as those with a traditional job. Commonly, bloggers receive their monthly salary in several separate payments throughout the month via PayPal or bank deposits. That is, bloggers have multiple paydays throughout the month.

The reason is that full-time bloggers usually have several income streams, each with a different payment date. For example, some Affiliate Programs may take 15-90 days to pay your approved commissions. 

Ad Networks, however, can pay every 30th of the following month or just after 40 days. On the other hand, bloggers who sell digital products can receive payments equivalent to their sales immediately.

Also, every blogger is self-employed. As a result, it’s up to the blogger to pay their taxes properly. Or search for an outsourced service to do so. 

As a blogger, you can also turn your blog into an LLC to protect yourself, but this is not beneficial in all cases. Depending on where you live, opening an LLC for your blog may have you paying even more taxes.

Can a Personal Blog Make Money?

A personal blog can make you a few bucks throughout the year, but certainly not a full-time living.

To understand why this happens, first, you need to comprehend that personal stories do not drive traffic and generate sales in blogging. 

If you are a social media influencer and blogger, you may get some sponsorships. But that will be due to your exposure on social media, not your personal blog.

There are only two things that attract quality free traffic and convert the audience into buyers:

  • SEO-optimized content
  • Genuinely helpful content for your audience

In other words, you need to optimize your content to make it easily findable in search engines. However, this optimization is only possible if you write about topics that are in demand

Also, these topics should be questions you can point out the solution to. In other words, to make money blogging, you need to help people. Whether answering their questions or teaching them what they need to learn, you must be helpful.

So if you’re looking to quit your 9-to-5 job to go full-time blogging, you need to treat your blog as a business — not a hobby.

Do Influencers Get Paid?

Yes, many influencers get paid, but not all of them. And often not enough to make a living. That is, it is not uncommon for people you follow on Instagram who have 50k+ followers to have a 9-5 job.

To make a living as an influencer, you need to nurture a good relationship with your followers so that your account has good engagement. Besides, influencers must learn how to negotiate with brands and companies or become affiliate marketers and make valid sales.

Bloggers vs Influencers: 4 Effective Ways to Make Money As An Influencer
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This is the only way to get paid as an influencer because influencers don’t earn from displaying ads like bloggers. Even influencers who are popular on TikTok, as TikTok only pays around 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views on a videoHowever, bloggers generally earn around $12 to $40 per 1,000 page views on a blog post.

Can Bloggers and Influencers Make Money Fast?

It’s much faster to make money as a blogger than as an influencer. Bloggers who post 2 SEO-optimized blog posts per week can start making a full-time income in 1.5-2 years if they’re truly committed to doing so.

In the case of influencers, it is not possible to predict when they will start making money. It may easily take 5+ years or never happen at all.

The influencer business is unstable because platform algorithms are always changing. Also, violating the platform’s guidelines can get your account banned, no matter how popular it is.

In addition, blogs attract an audience that is more likely to convert. This is logical: how many times have you turned to Google to read reviews before buying a product? This audience profile already has an intention in mind, which makes bloggers play a pivotal role in buyer decisions.

But influencers deal with an audience that is just scrolling through their social media feeds to pass the time, getting distracted by random things.

It is much more difficult to capture the attention of this audience profile.

As much as bloggers and influencers are constantly lumped together in the same box, the environment in which each works and the audience of each could not be more different.

Also, influencers deal with the exposed number of their followers appearing to everyone. That is a hindrance because most people who enjoy following influencers prefer to follow influencers when they’re already popular. Consequently, when wannabe influencers are not famous yet, the rejection level is higher.

What’s Better? Being a Blogger or an Influencer?

Bloggers and influencers can alike make a living from their work, make a fortune, or earn nothing at all. But making money blogging is more about commitment and consistency. Meanwhile, influencers are always at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm, regardless of their commitment.

If your goal is to make a living stably and safely, and you don’t want to wait half a decade or more for that to happen, then becoming a blogger is the best option for you. 

But to become a successful blogger, you must commit to 1.5-2 years of consistent work. That is, until blogging becomes your only job, you have to dedicate unpaid weekly hours working on your blog. However, after two years of work, you could make $5,000+ monthly. And it is consequence — not luck.

Bloggers and influencers seem similar, but bloggers have much more stable careers than influencers.

Blogger vs Influencer: Which One Makes More Money?

On the other hand, if you like your current 9-5 job, are in no rush to make money online, and are just interested in the glamour of being an influencer, then this is the best option for you.

Blogging is not very glamorous, by the way. For example, as I write this article, the sun is really inviting outside. But I’m typing indoors in my pajamas. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Of course, this is a matter of personality. Between glamour and the stability of a high-paying job, I chose the latter.

Another option for you could be starting a blog to protect yourself financially while trying to become an influencer as a hobby. So you have the best of both worlds.

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Instagram Influencer FAQ

How Much Money Do 1K Instagram Followers Make?

1K Followers on Instagram probably make you $0. This number is too low to monetize an Instagram account.

However, some brands invest in micro-influencers because they are considered more authentic by the audience in some niches. In this case, a sponsored Instagram post will probably earn you around $10.

Does Instagram Pay Money? Does Instagram Pay Its Influencers?

No, Instagram does not pay its users and influencers. To make money on Instagram, you need to negotiate directly with brands interested in sponsoring your content because your audience is valuable to them or sell your own services/products.

Do You Get Paid for Instagram Views?

No, Instagram does not pay per views. Social networks that pay per view are YouTube ($1-$6 on average per 1,000 views) and TikTok ($0.02-$0.04 on average per 1,000 views).

However, if you create a self-hosted blog, you can trade directly with Ad Networks to display ads on your blog. Bloggers usually make $12-$40 per 1,000 page views.

What Is Better, Instagram or Blog?

To make money, creating a blog is better than having an Instagram account. In a blog, you own your platform and can create your own guidelines. Also, in a blog, you can profit from views and have a steady source of traffic and income.

Now, if what you want is to casually share snippets of your daily life and lifestyle with like-minded people without too much commitment, then Instagram will better do the job.

Does Instagram Count as a Blog?

Although Instagram has an area for writing text, it is not a platform for publishing blogs. The actual purpose of Instagram is to share photos and videos, not connect through written content.

How to Become an Influencer?

To become an influencer, you need to choose a niche and a social media platform in which you can excel. From there you need to post content frequently and interact with people in your niche to gain notoriety and grow your reach.

If you want to make money as an influencer, you need to find brands that are interested in your niche and offer to promote their content.

How to Become a Blogger?

To become a money-making blogger, you need to choose a profitable niche and create a self-hosted blog. Do not use free blogging platforms as they do not allow you to monetize your content as you’d like.

Next, you need to write quality SEO-optimized blog posts for your blog. Then create content that is educational and helpful. And don’t forget to apply for affiliate programs in your niche that pay high commissions.

Post at least 2 quality blog posts per week on your blog for 1.5-2 years and you will be able to start earning a living from your blog.

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Final Thoughts

Bloggers and influencers are both digital content creators, but they have more differences than similarities.

And while both occupations can be extremely profitable, bloggers are more financially stable than influencers.
Therefore, if you are looking to make money online in a stable and relatively fast way, becoming a blogger is the best option for you.

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Published on June 16, 2022. Last updated on December 8, 2023.

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