It’s always fascinating to me to hear other people’s stories about how they got started with their dream, where it all began, and how far they’ve come. I know a lot of people tend to look at a celebrity or some famous blogger/YouTuber and all you see is their fame and success, and not really their back story and where it all began. That’s why I decided to write out this post for you all today. While I am definitely not a famous blogger/YouTuber, I thought that sharing my story on how I got started with my blog would be a great story to share with you all, and hopefully even inspire those of you reading who are looking to start your own blog too or go after any big dream of yours! I’ll even be talking a bit about why I don’t necessarily consider myself an ‘influencer’, but rather a content creator. Let’s get started!
I was 19 years old and a freshman in college when Just Kels came to life (or for those of you who have been here since day one, my former first blog name, The Pacific Northwest Brunette). I remember sitting in my tiny dorm room one Friday night (wild, I know), thinking to myself ‘what if I started a blog?’
But first, let’s rewind.
Ever since I was a kid I have always had such a strong passion for creative writing, art, photography, all the creative things and have been that way my whole life. I always watched movies growing up about these strong and independent women working as magazine writers for these awesome fashion and travel companies and since then I had always wanted to be just like that since I always had a passion for all of those things. Because of my passions, I declared my major in Journalism and Media Production in my first year of college.
For those who are new around here or may not already know, I graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication from Washington State University! This is one of the top communication schools in the country and was a total bonus that it was in Washington too!
After taking some journalism/media production classes, the biggest thing occurred to me that I never thought would have, I actually hated journalism! I never thought that would happen because of my strong passion for the field. While it was a total shock to me at first, it actually led me right where I wanted to be. I switched my major sophomore year of college to Strategic Communication to learn more about marketing, public relations, content creation, social media, etc. and had truly found my calling. This was a place I could learn more about all the things I had dreamt of my whole life.
But back to that one Friday night in my dorm room… Since this was near the end of my freshman year, this is about when I had come to realize I hated journalism and wanted to pursue a different more creative outlet. Family and friends had told me for a couple years before then, “You should start a blog! You’d be so good at it!” but I honestly never thought much of it, and to be honest, didn’t really even know what blogging really was at the time when they had told me or how to even go about it, what to do, I never thought it’d be such a huge part of my life one day.
So I had the one thought in my dorm room that one night, and then just started! No research on how to blog or how to get started with blogging, I just went all in. It was (and definitely still is) a hobby that I would learn more about along the way. I had learned about WordPress and how to create content in a couple of classes I took in school and felt like I had some knowledge on how to go about it. While I had no marketing strategy whatsoever in the beginning, I really just went about it as a ‘learn-as-you-go’ type deal and honestly has worked just fine for me. I didn’t even know you could turn a blog into a business at the time and really just started it to put my creative passions to work in a space that was my own and I could control. I was (and still am) always taking pictures, writing about my own stories, shopping for the latest trends and makeup, traveling and exploring new places, a blog really was the perfect place to put all of my passions into one space of my own.
And now as it’s been over three and a half years since Just Kels came to life, I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities it has given me and everything I’ve learned along the way and just for a space like this for anyone to use their creative minds to share their stories. I never would have imagined I’d be doing this just 4 years ago or how it would become such a huge part of my life, but I love it so much!
With that being said, I wanted to get into a little discussion about the whole ‘blogger/influencer/content creator’ topic and why I consider myself a content creator rather than an influencer.
Recently, I’ve started listening to podcasts and was listening to Grace Lee’s (one of my favorite bloggers who inspires me so much!) podcast On the Grow where she actually talked about this same topic. And as she was talking about the whole ‘blogger/influencer/content creator’ subject, I realized how on point and similar her opinion on the subject was as it was for me too. I feel that the term ‘influencer’ is sort of abused nowadays, unfortunately, and Grace did a great job of explaining this in her podcast that I cannot agree with more. I feel that some people get into this industry for the wrong reasons and abuse the term and it’s all so different from what this industry used to look like back when I started over 3 years ago.
I consider myself a content creator because that is the reason I started my blog, to write and create content on things I am passionate about such as fashion, travel, lifestyle, and share it with everyone, and if you leave my website or social channels feeling inspired in any way, that’s great and I’m so glad to hear that!
I’d also love to know what your thoughts are on the terms ‘influencer’ vs ‘content creator’! What comes to mind when you think of influencers vs content creators? Join the discussion down below!
Thanks for reading!