The power of blogging influence is scary. I've personally met people who've booked a holiday in Japan or even moved to Australia based on my recommendation. Shops have sold out of dresses after recommendations by Nikki Parkinson on her fashion and beauty blog Styling You.
No wonder I say the power of influence is scary and it's easy to see how blogger influence can be abused. In fact more and more brands are tapping into our influence to enlist bloggers to sell more of their products.
Blogging and bloggers are a powerful marketing tool because our blog readers see us as friends, as trusted sources of information who can save them time and money by helping them make the right decisions fast.
But we bloggers have a duty to our readers and to ourselves to make recommendations we truly believe in and stand by.
There's nothing wrong with using your blog to make money, with using your influence to market other peoples' products if you're paid to do that because blogging takes time, energy and commitment and you should be rewarded for that.
Making money from blogging and running your blog as a business is great but what really excites me is using that influence for good.
This year's theme for Blog Action Day is The Power of We:
"a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world."
Last year at the Problogger event I went to a talk by World Vision about blogging for good and was then invited to become a World Vision Ambassador along with a small group of other Australian bloggers and mothers.
There are no hard and fast rules about how our group works or what we do to help World Vision but we each do what we can which could be anything from adding a World Vision advert to our blogs, writing a dedicated blog post or just sending a tweet.
One of our World Vision bloggers Eden Riley went a step further. Earlier this year she flew to Niger to cover the food crisis for World Vision and wrote about it on her own blog in her inimitable style sharing posts like Hey, White Girl.
Meanwhile us Aussie bound ambassadors worked to promote Eden's trip and blog posts to spread the word as far and wide as we could.
Eden wasn't the only blogger to go to Niger, other bloggers from around the world took part too and World Vision describe their initiative like this:
"Mom bloggers from Germany, Australia, and South Korea visited Niger in April 2012 to see up close and write about the growing food crisis in the country. With little or no mention of the crisis in the traditional media of their countries, the mom bloggers are here to sound the alarm, and make some noise for the mothers and children of Niger and West Africa who are in need of help."
I love that bloggers are working together in these projects and I know the power of we works. As my granny would say - many hands make light work.
There are infinite ways to go about using your blogging influence to bring about positive global change. Be creative and have fun with it.
My don't want to ask you to World Vision but I hope that by mentioning WV and global poverty or other problems here or on my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot I'm raising awareness.
I know that repeat exposure is key to clinching sales so I guess I'm hoping to plant a little seed which may one day see you use World Vision to do something like gift a friend a chicken or well somewhere it's needed. Just think about how many readers and followers the Successful Blogging have as a team and you'll realise how powerful we are when we work together.
These are some of the things I've done and other bloggers have done to use their blogging influence for you. Not all of them will be right for you, your blog and your readers but hopefully they will get your creative juices flowing.
1. Donate a percentage from your product sales. I currently donate 10% of book sales from Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps to Kiva.
2. Write a blog post about global issues that are special to you. I write a lot about Africa because I've lived there and experienced the problems of poverty first hand and I write about World Vision when there's a chance to mention it naturally.
3. Take a trip - Like Eden Riley did so you can write about your personal experiences with global issues.
4. Natalie Sisson cycled across Africa to raise money for charity and then set up her own initiative $100 Change to help other entrepreneurs achieve their grand plans.
5. Add an advertisement for World Vision or any charity you support on your blog.
I'm sure you have heaps of ideas of your own.
The power of influence is scary but it feels bloody marvellous when you use it for good.
If you'd like to find out more about World Vision, make a donation, sponsor a child or do something fun like gift a friend a World Vision chicken or lamb we'd love that. Or bear it in mind for the future.
Do you use your blogging influence for the power of good? Is that something you'd like to do?