Throughout the past year, I have heard vigorous discussions revolving around the recurring topic of bloggers signing with agents. This past weekend was no different. A post on the Global Bloggers Network Facebook group tallied over 110 comments, proving that the topic of blogger agents is still hot.
While attending various community events over the past year, I heard many agent proponents profess how agents allow bloggers to focus on their craft, provide direction and focus for the blog and act as invaluable intermediaries or negotiators. On the flip side, I heard concerns over agents influencing the work of bloggers in such a way that the integrity of a blog could be compromised.
Meanwhile, over the past year, I have also observed an increase in the number of travel bloggers who create content as a full-time job, represent brands, and publish blog posts that are marked as sponsored.
So what does this mean for the travel industry and travel blogging?
A New York Times article published a few months ago regarding fashion bloggers might lend a bit of insight. The article focuses on several bloggers who recently signed with a new agency in New York that represents fashion and lifestyle bloggers. According to the article,
The [Digital Brand Architects] agency, which represents about 50 bloggers who publish sites like The Glamourai and Bag Snob, operates out of a small office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Like any talent agency, it takes a cut of its clients’ earnings, in this case 15 percent.
In the NY Times article, Lindsey Calla, the 27-year-old behind the fashion blog Saucy Glossie, addresses the the fact that “‘Anybody that [sic] renders their services wants to be compensated.’” Admittedly, Calla has always shied away from the money topic, concluding that, “‘If somebody else is handling the negotiation, you’re left to do the creative stuff.’”
Besides your typical fashion or Hollywood agent, another common type of talent agent that springs to mind is one who represents those on the speaking or literary circuit. These speakers and authors, one could argue, are somewhat akin to power bloggers. Perhaps a look at the relationships between these clients and agents and their effect on the respective industries can provide us with some more insight into what the future holds for the travel industry.
It could reasonably be concluded that if someone had connected the dots sooner between influential bloggers and companies looking to get their message out, the travel blogging landscape would look very different than it does today. No matter how you look at it, the emergence of agents who represent bloggers unequivocally points to the evolving influence that bloggers have in their chosen vertical.
What do you think? Will blogger agents change the future of blogging?
IMAGE: Ezra Wolfe