Over the course of this campaign, I have made a concentrated effort to showcase bloggers and vloggers who have achieved success as an online personality. This often requires comparing their work against or alongside that of mainstream media in order to provide some context. It is important, however, to note that the divide between traditional media and bloggers is not as pronounced as it was when bloggers first came on the scene. Although there are some purists holding on to the past, society has reached a place where crossovers causes some comment, but no controversy. It is now commonplace for successful online influencers to expand their reach into other, more traditional industries.
Here are some of the places you can now find influencers who started out as bloggers and vloggers:
Autobiographies, memoirs, self-help books, novels – you name it. An online influencer has done it.
YouTuber Grace Helbig hosts her own talk show which is aired on E!
Makeup guru Michelle Phan is one of the online community’s biggest success stories, raking in the rewards from a million dollar make-up line.
Merchandising company District Lines sells official merchandise from an overabundance of online talent. See here for the product lines of YouTube and Vine stars sure to whip any fan into a frenzy.
Most well-documented example: Justin Bieber.
See recently: Tori Kelly and Troye Sivan, who uploaded covers before landing a record deal.
Australian blogger and photographer Margaret Zhang collaborated with David Jones for the Melbourne Fashion Festival and is just one of many fashion, beauty and lifestyle collaborations around the world.
This content can range from the hilarious, such ‘Joe & Caspar Hit The Road’ to insightful, such as the upcoming ‘Vlogumentary’.
Casey Neistat, an American film director, producer and vlogger, has gained exposure from his short Internet films and become known for his unique visual style and personal observations.
Some actors, like Dylan O’Brien who is known for his work on Teen Wolf, posted videos on YouTube before becoming a professional jobbing actor.
That’s not to say that the shift is one-sided. Individuals who are recognised for success through traditional media are now attempting to carve out a space on blogging and vlogging platforms. The role of online influencer, in its various manifestations, is inevitable becoming another hyphenate title (‘Introducing Personality A, actress/model/musician/comedian/vlogger!’).
A few examples come immediately to mind. Novelist John Green was a published author before becoming one half of the hugely popular Vlogbrothers duo. Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the original actress-turned-entrepreneurs whose website ‘GOOP’ is integral to connecting with audiences for her lifestyle brand of the same name. ‘Pretty Little Liars’ actress Shay Mitchell launched her own blog ‘Amore & Vita’ and creates classic YouTube fare over on her vlogging channel. Supermodel Karlie Kloss created a YouTube channel this year to document behind-the-scenes moments from the fashion industry. It’s safe to say that traditional and digital media are now establishing symbiotic relationships.
What do you think about online influencers crossing over into more traditional creative industries, and vice versa? Please comment below!