My Incredible Blogging Journey

It all started in 1999 -- my love for Pop Culture and all things "foreign". I went to Prep School in Jamaica which is a bit Americanized -- from the music to the t.v shows and of course the Fashion. That love for Pop Culture followed me to High School and University where I always wanted to see and do more because it was on T.V. If people abroad can do all these amazing things .. why can't I? Was always my thought that eventually became my mantra.

Fast forward to the MTV Generation when a little show called "The Hills" premiered and my life changed forever! I was obsessed and my friends and I would watch each episode and have heated discussions the day after and it was always "Team Heidi" vs "Team Lauren" (#teamlauren) I noticed that after each episode they would encourage viewers to keep up with the show by reading the MTV Blog. I followed instructions and went on on my dial-up Internet and clicked the section that said "Blog" and it was amazing! It was a unique way for fans to interact with the cast and crew + each other and I wondered if I could do this with my limited information and resources. Soon after I completed University with a Degree in Language, Communication & Society where my first job was, of course, a Call Center. Yup, I was one of those! The hours were long and they pay was short and I was uninspired -- I wanted a way to merge my love of Fashion + Writing and I immediately remembered the MTV Blog. The search began online how to set up a blog and I stumbled on (now Blogger) I used the most basic template and wrote 10 articles and launched! About a week after I received 74 views (yes I remember it well) and a week after that 150, then 220 until I got 1,000 views! I did not know 1,000 people and I was literally shocked! Who are these people and how are they reading my Blog? Do they like it? Who will they tell?  

About 2 years in I received 20,000 pageviews and heard about a website called Etsy where artisans can sell their products. This to me was like a kid in a toy store and I drafted up a generic letter and offered to feature the brands on my Blog in exchange for their products. To my surprise, they said yes and I started to receive tons of products! I put my writing skills to use and ensured there were no grammatical errors and most of all that the reviews were truthful. I then checked my stats and saw that USA was my main market so I wrote for that audience but in my authentic "Jamaican Voice" injecting our infectious humor throughout the Blog Posts. After that a UK based company reached out to me to be a Gold Ambassador where I would be sent products each week -- it was a massive company that offered hair, haircare, skincare, beauty, make-up and eventually jewelry. This allowed my presence in the UK to grow as they would feature each review (and photo) on their website and Blog. This gave me the confidence to "try it" in Jamaica (though I'm a Jamaican living in Jamaica) and reached out to a few PR Companies and contacts I met throughout the years and the event coverage aspect of the Blog grew.

Fast-forward to another 3 years ago when I thought to collaborate with local photographers to get high-quality photos to appeal to a wider audience. This started out rocky as I didn't know who I would get but I got some really talented ones and we took the Fashion + Lifestyle scene by storm! It felt like a real brand as we were being invited to so many events and we then decided to offer Photography as a service. Again, we grew and I wanted to "scale-up" again so I created content to appeal to an International audience which landed me two nominations in the South Florida Bloggers Awards in the year 2018 and 2019 --- I then got the opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week in 2018 and 2019 (February 2019) and it has been amazing!

There has been many ups and downs in my journey as a Blogger but the good outweighs the bad and I am still as passionate as I was when I first started. I still believe I have a long way to go and is always working on re-vamping the site and it is my goals to be the premier Online site for all things related to Lifestyle in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

We have a small favor to ask. People are reading the Haute Lifestyle than ever since our recent placement in the South Florida Blogger Awards but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. We do not have investors and everything Blog related is funded out of pocket– we want to keep our journalism as fun and open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Our article takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective and voices matter – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our posts, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. 

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