All your Blogging Questions Answered -- The Truth About Blogging in Jamaica


This post was inspired by Chriselle Lim an amazing Blogger of The Chriselle Factor who comes with years of experience and was able to grow her Blog into a legit thriving and scalable business! 


As a Lifestyle Blogger here in Jamaica, I get so many questions about the whole Blogging "thing" as they call it and I thought I would answer some of those questions.


1. HOW CAN YOU FIND OPPORTUNITIES FOR FASHION IF YOU LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN?

The question asks "small town" but try living in a small country like Jamaica that nobody knows about except for Bob Marley and Usain Bolt. 

I live in Jamaica's capital city of Kingston and got my first and most of my Fashion Opportunities through volunteering! I know a lot of people will not want to work for free, but how else are you gonna gain skills and knowledge and meet important people? Whenever a Fashion Event came up in my city of Kingston, instead of asking to attend as a guest, I asked to volunteer and work behind the scenes.

This also helps you to hone in on what you truly love! For example, I volunteered to assist Designers at one Fashion Show and I realized I hated assisting backstage. There was fabric flying everywhere, It's hot and there's a ton of people inclusive of models, designers and of course stragglers -- I could not stop sneezing!

I would also recommend having some sort of credentials Degree or Certificate and a body of work! I use my Blog as my body of work so people can see my writing style and events I've covered. Have something for people to see!



2. HOW DO YOU STRUCTURE YOUR TEAM MEETINGS? DO YOU HAVE AN AGENDA? DO YOU MEET WEEKLY?
There was a time when I had team meetings at a nearby Cafe' central to where we all lived -- but then I realized how much I hated meetings and decided to create a group on Whatsapp. In our group chat, we mainly discuss blog related issues and occasional random stuff but we are mindful of each other's time (and sanity) so we never, ever send annoying un-necessary messages.
As it relates to the Agenda, We use Google Calendar -- it's so easy to use and it will automatically save to your phone, email and all devices you have your Gmail account linked to. As a backup,  I'll send an email of all the events, with the time date and location and people will select the ones they can attend so I know how to find a workaround.

We talk about our individual roles and what we want to accomplish at the event -- for the larger events I try to have a full team (3 photographers) and we'll break it into arrivals, audience, and crowd shots/backstage and the overall look and feel we want for the photos. Since it's a Lifestyle Blog there is a certain look that we aim for so we always discuss this.

I would say I have a team "meeting" at least 3 times per week.
We also talk about hits and misses- and what we can learn from them moving forward. Here, the team will tell me events they are interested in attending and I will reach out to the organizers.

3. HOW DO YOU NETWORK AND KEEP CONTACTS?
Like Chriselle, I have a blog post dedicated to Networking but since this is a Lifestyle Blog I get invited to a lot of events and here in Jamaica it's often with the same people. Since we go to cover the events, I have to ask people their names and occupation to "caption" the photos so after seeing the same people at different events, I over time learn their names and address them as such. 
I usually stand right at the entrance as they come in and introduce myself, take their photos and when I go inside the event I would have already known their names, the conversation would flow naturally. 
I keep contacts by asking for their social media handles and post their photos on the Blog and our Social Media and they remember us as the people who take amazing photos so It's quite an interesting exchange.



4. HOW DID YOU BECOME SO INTEGRATED INTO THE FASHION WORLD/lifestyle world? WAS IT NETWORKING? TIMING?
Definitely a bit of both! With all my years of volunteering to cover events, it somehow became a natural transition! The major key that got me super-integrated, was that I ensured I met the Project Managers, CEO, Chairman etc at events and all the people who were upper level rather than trying to get pictures with the popular people at events -- do you understand what I mean? I never get caught up in the event and being there so people could know I was actually there. I see a lot of people in my niche who often get caught up in these events and have nothing but photos and no opportunities to show at the end of it.

As it relates to timing, I don't think I've piqued but I always try my best to stay prepared so when the time comes I'm ready.
As they say, it takes 10 years to be an overnight success and 20 years to build a lasting brand so I'm still learning.

5. HOW DO YOU HANDLE SELF-DOUBT OR QUESTIONS IF YOU’RE DOING THE RIGHT THING AT WORK?
It's definitely natural to have doubts -- after all I am human but my faith helps me a lot with self-doubt. There are so many scriptures that speak against fear and doubt so I always find one of those and I'm good to go!
Other than that, it's all about constantly pushing myself to do better than the day before and sticking to the plan! Once I go off plan that's when self- doubt creeps in.

6. HOW DO YOU MANAGE A DAY JOB WHILE CREATING CONTENT ON A REGULAR BASIS?
When I had a traditional job where I commuted daily to work -- I started at 8am so I ensured I arrived at work by 6am the latest and I ensured the posts and Social Media was published. I brought my laptop to work and did all this from my car but used their WI-FI.
I would not recommend using the work computer to create content or for your personal side-hustle gigs as some companies can track Internet usage and it might not look that productive when your browsing history shows " how to wear coats for winter". Just be mindful of that -- remember you need this day job until your side-hustle can pay for itself.
It's all about time management and how badly you really want to succeed. And yes, sometimes you might have to sacrifice lunch -- whatever works for you.
I also do mass content ( like Chriselle) so I have my dedicated writing day which is usually the weekend where I publish all my posts for the week/s ahead.

7. DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW THE PATH YOU WANTED TO TAKE OR DID YOU FALL INTO IT?
Yes and No! I started out doing all Science subjects in High School because I was told that I needed to be a Doctor and make money .. but! That took so much of my time and energy as the grades had to always be on point and it was just not fun. It was not until my mid-twenties that I knew for sure I wanted to seriously pursue a career in Lifestyle and Fashion.


8. HOW CAN I START MAKING AN INCOME THROUGH MY INTERESTS?
Put in the work! Be clear on what you want to accomplish! Make a plan and pursue it consistently and never give up!
Also, try to figure out how your interests can actually help people and what sets it apart from people who have similar interests in your field. There are people who take a leap of faith and quit their jobs and things work out while there are others who do the same and fail. Be realistic, if you decide to do this, you might need to quit your job and move back home just to ensure you have a roof over your head and food to eat as well as the basic necessities.
Please, be realistic! Do not go off others who have done it on the Internet who only show the good part of their life.

9. WHAT WAS THE GREATEST BUSINESS RISK YOU TOOK IN YOUR EARLIER DAYS?
Partnering with Photographers and an "Agent". I read online that all the famous Bloggers have agents who get these amazing job opportunities and I thought I needed one and ended up being stressed! He found the jobs and short-changed me big time --I will never do that again unless it's from a reputable business with a proven track record of success.
Any decision that involves another person coming in and telling me what to do I (personally) consider a risk.

10. WAS THERE EVER A TIME YOU WERE REALLY STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY AND HOW DID YOU GET THROUGH IT?
Yup! This was when I jumped and quit my job without a plan or any knowledge of the Lifestyle and Fashion Industry -- IN JAMAICA! I was a sucker at watching people in first world countries quitting their jobs and not realizing I lived in a 3rd world country. I was broke, hungry and skinny ..lol
I, of course, got a job shortly after, saved some money then quit the right way ...lol. We all go through financial struggles, the Internet just makes situations look more glamorous than they actually are

11. HOW DO YOU CREATE BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS? HOW FORMAL/INFORMAL ARE YOU WITH YOUR TEAM?
I keep things on Whatsapp -- My home is my personal space and I leave it at that. I never invite anybody from my team to my home and we all have a similar understanding. We all drive so there is no need to carpool so we really only keep it on Whatsapp

 We are a mix of formal and informal depending on the situation.

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