GOLD COAST STYLE WITH JESKAALEE

Published by Robina

From working in retail to becoming a fashion blogger, Jess Marshall shares the secret to her blog's success, jeskaalee.com.

Social media star Jess Marshall started her popular lifestyle blog JeskaaLee in 2013, documenting her love of fashion, health and positivity set against the beautiful natural backdrop of the Gold Coast. Even now that her blog is a huge success and she has over 42,000 Instagram followers, she still likes to keep her content and photo shoots local.

How did you come to start your blog? It was just a hobby at first. An acquaintance who noticed I was posting my outfits and things on Instagram (@jeskaalee) mentioned I should start a blog. At the time I didn’t really know a lot about it so I researched and looked at other people’s blogs and got an idea of what I wanted to do for myself; to be different and stand out. From there I started creating my own content.

How did you decide what your blog would be about? My blog’s about the things I already enjoyed – fashion, healthy living and a positive lifestyle.

When you started in 2013, what did you learn early on?  The main challenge at first was getting my name recognised by different brands. When you start out with a small following, a lot of brands don’t want to collaborate with you but there were a few prepared to give me a chance and I still work with some of them today. It’s a process of knowing which brands resonate with your individual style and what you stand for.

Do you have an accurate idea of who your followers are?  My demographic is reasonably young, probably the 16-25 year old bracket. Right now, Instagram is the thing more so than the blog. It’s more accessible and I feel like my followers can quickly jump on their phone, see the photos and get inspiration. Visually, it’s better to see the blog pics on a computer but everyone has Instagram on their phone so it’s more immediate.

How much work goes into one of your posts?  It depends on whether it’s for Instagram or for the blog. It also depends on the brand a bit but if it’s an outfit post, I have to work out the concept with the photographer, brainstorm on a location, find a day when it’s not raining… I like to try and style a look that reflects my own tastes but is also in the flow of what the brand stands for. I was originally a photographer before I started blogging so I have an eye for what I’m after – I love natural, fresh light.

Is this your full-time job? It’s getting there. I’d love for it to be my sole job. Having an agency to represent me now helps in monetising it and making it my job, which is pretty exciting.

Are you a Gold Coast native? I grew up in Kingscliff… but I’m always on the Gold Coast. Between Burleigh and Kingscliff are my favourite places to shoot for the blog. I hang out at Burleigh Social quite a lot which has great food and a relaxed atmosphere.

Would we see you at Robina Town Centre sometimes? Yes, I’m a bit if a shopaholic so I’m often at Robina… I also used to work in fashion there so that helps.

What would be your best tip for someone who might want to start a blog or gain a social media presence?My advice is always find something about yourself that stands out and work with that, and make sure what you’re creating is unique to you. Otherwise, if you’re copying someone else, people will spot it’s not a genuine reflection of you.

Check out Jess’s blog at jeskaalee.com