Conscious blogging is something we think about all the time here at CSC, with all three of us having been lifestyle bloggers before we really started considering what conscious living meant or how it benefited us and the world. To someone who is active in support of social and environmental change, the lifestyle space can seem really trivial. And I totally get why. But to me, knowing the influence that bloggers can have on a wide range of audiences, this is a space that we can truly use to better the world. I know–right now, as far as consumerism goes, with bloggers making livings off of promoting fast fashion and wastefulness, it doesn’t seem like that–but we truly feel that what each person posts on the internet is important, and has the power to make real, lasting change.
Having worked professionally in the lifestyle space, too, with and for influencers with a greater social reach than I have, I am hyper-aware of this influence. I’ve seen it used in positive ways, and in ways that are a little unsettling to me. But the fact remains: conscious blogging can make a difference, and there are endless ways to do it. Here are 5, specifically for the lifestyle blogger in any niche:
1. Be intentional about what affiliate programs you join. Affiliate programs help bloggers generate an income. It’s empowering to see words and creativity generate enough of a readership to support the author. Many affiliate programs are based off of whether a reader purchases an item via a custom link on the blogger’s site, and the commission is usually 10% or less. So if they’re making a profit off of this, they have a lot of readers who respect and appreciate their expertise. This is pretty incredible. But not all shops have programs, and often the ones that do are large corporations. These commissions, as well as product and other compensation, are exactly why so many bloggers promote fast fashion. Conscious bloggers can still generate income, however. They just need to be more intentional about those links. We are in a few affiliate programs ourselves, like Ten Thousand Villages + Trunk Collective (as explained here). It will take an effort on both the brand + blogger’s side to get conscious shops seen in place of unethical ones, and you can play a part.
2 Add a banner or donate button. We recently added a banner to the top of our site (click over to the directory if you missed it) after seeing similar banners used for announcements and newsletter signups. This is a great opportunity to get your readers interested in something you’re passionate about right away. It doesn’t have to be invasive (I like it more than a standard popup) and you can take it down whenever you want. Lately we’ve chosen to support the NRDC for their efforts in regard to environmental justice. We’re grateful for all they’ve done and wanted to spread the word. Thanks to our developer Jenn of Earl Grey Creative for getting this up and running and making it pretty!
3. Partner with social enterprises, nonprofits, and other “good” organizations. As a blogger you get to choose who you collaborate with. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t go through with it! Instead, choose to partner up with those you wholeheartedly support. Whatever “good” means to you, do that. For us, it’s small, independent brands with environmentally and socially sustainable business practices. We love meeting people who believe that small steps cause big change. We’re also big on connecting with creatives who want to use their talents in the best way possible. Who you work with is up to you, use that wisely and you can enact change for the better!
4. Write something personal. With lifestyle blogging, it’s very easy to stay surface level. You get a lot more done when you don’t spend several hours crafting a post. You can still gain a following and even make money without being vulnerable or letting readers in on your life. That’s fine and there seems to be a place for it. I don’t think your blog needs to be a tell-all. However, if you like the idea of conscious blogging and want to make a difference, I think it’s important to be transparent. Whether it’s admitting what areas you struggle with when it comes to conscious living or letting readers know that you disagree with some popular point of view, as long as you’re open to receiving feedback, your personal thoughts can spark a discussion that gets people to consider their lives in a whole new way.
5. Lift each other up! Along with that, it’s important to maintain an encouraging and open atmosphere with your blog. You get to do whatever you want with this space and your voice matters. Be an encourager. Give advice. Share your story. Ask questions. It might seem small, but this moves us all toward a more compassionate, conscious world. And isn’t that why you’re reading right now?
We’d love to hear about some bloggers that you feel help enact real change with their platforms. Share your faves below! And read more about how to make your blog more conscious here.