I read questions all the time of influencers asking if you need to be in a big city in order to really “make it” as a full time blogger, and every response I read was varied between yes’s and no’s. It wasn’t until I was able to fully experience it from both sides to know the differences of each.
If you’ve been following me for a while now you’ll notice I was living in New York for most of last year. My time spent there was a total of 9 months before I moved back to a smaller town in Canada with the hubby. My reason for moving down to New York was to pursue this digital dream job of mine full time. I truly believed living in a big city like New York was a requirement for making it “big.” After having been back in Canada for 8 months now, and working on myself, which was a long road to recovery I still have yet to share, I can finally see with a clearer viewpoint that you don’t need to be in a major city to make blogging your full time job. And no, Edmonton isn’t where I plan on living for the rest of my life, raising kids, etc. but it’s certainly great for where we are at in our lives now!
So here’s the sitch: New York and LA are where you see the majority of “big” influencers live. So, naturally, I thought moving to the big city would change things for me. To me and my experiences, the only pro- and a very big one at that -in moving to those places are the connections. Connections are major in this industry and befriending PR firms/ being able to attend events can certainly help you gain credibility. I managed to meet tons of PR friends, was attending super cool events with world-renowned DJs, famous people, open bars, and all that fun stuff. It sounds like a dream, right? Not really. It seriously deteriorated my mental health but more on that later. As soon as I moved back to Canada, 98% of those connections dropped off like flies. If you want to maintain those relationships, and it takes work, trust me, you need to consistently be going to these places each season and emailing those people to keep up with that network. I didn’t do this but I’m okay with it. New York is a tough city to live in with tough people, and I’m quite happy where I’m at right now.
With that being said, you can most certainly make your blog full time by living in a small city- yes, you might not have the advantages as those who live in those bigger cities, and you definitely won’t get as many gifted goodies, but that’s not what it’s all about. You have a niche those influencers don’t have- the ability to stay relatable to your following. In fact, I’ve actually experienced more growth being back here than I ever did while I was living in New York. It’s most certainly entertaining watching influencers attend cool events but, to me, the reason influencers exist is to inspire, to connect with your audience on a deeper level, to touch the lives of your readers, to educate… This can definitely be done without attending cool events. Heck, I won’t even attend NYFW anymore partially because I can’t handle the stress but also because I’ve found that’s just simply not what my readers are interested in; including myself.
Bottom line is, just because you’re not living in a major city like many influencers you see on Instagram does not mean you can’t gain a following of your own! Take it from someone who experienced both sides of the spectrum.
“Bloom where you are planted.”