Freelance Copywriter and Social Media Manager Shares Her Journey – Amy Brown

Balancing the freelance life in the streets of Mother City – Durbanville, Cape Town. Amy Brown, a twenty something newbie wife navigating her way through trying to cook without killing her husband. Currently, Amy is freelancing full-time as a Copywriter, Social Media manager and Blogs over at Tea With Mrs Bee.

I’ve always been a writer. At school, I loved English and having to write essays. Originally journalism, but chose copywriting instead and haven’t looked back. Today, I write for a variety of platforms and clients in my freelancing journey.” – Says Amy.

Amy’s career professionally kicked off back in 2010 whilst studying towards a diploma in Copywriting. Another in Marketing Management, both at AAA School Of Advertising. Her hard work eventually payed off – graduated in 2011.

The diversity of online career paths allowed Amy to incorporate her burning love of writing which enabled her flourishing freelance copywriting career. Find out what’s it takes to become a successful freelancer within the online creative sphere In our Q&A below:

What does your job entails?
Freelancing tends to come in waves but most days you’ll find me constantly looking for more clients, doing any copywriting work I have for clients, blogging on my personal blog and managing the pages of my social media clients.

You’re rather a hands on woman as you juggle blogging, work and more. How do you balance everything?
Being a freelancer means I have the luxury of working from home and that my time is, for the most part, my own. This means I have more time to play around with in terms of arranging my day. I try to space my blog posts out as nicely as possible, but don’t put too much pressure on myself to constantly post something.

I prioritise my clients and their work so those always come first. Once those are done, I see to other things that can be done such as my blogging and any house work. My social media management is done at specific times in order to reach the correct audiences so that puts things into more of a routine.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home and have my time to myself which means I can do housework as and when they need to be done. This makes our home a lot less stressful than it could be as there isn’t a load of washing going on at night or ironing that needs to be done before work the next day. Moreover, I’m able to relax and spend time with my husband when he gets home from work. Our lifestyle is a rather calm one, which I’m eternally grateful for.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to kick start their online career path journey?
I’d say that the best way to kick start it is to pick an aspect that you know you’re really good at and master that really well. Be creative, curious and always ask questions.

And tips to become successful In the industry?
The creative digital/online industry is an incredibly diverse and ever-changing one so the best way to stay relevant. This means constantly keeping up to date with it. You don’t want someone coming up from behind you and doing it better than you. It can also be about who you know so if you’re not online yourself, you shouldn’t be in the industry.

You can’t expect to manage a client’s Instagram account if you’re not even on Instagram. Clients can also come from unexpected places, like ‘meeting’ someone on Twitter, and becoming firm friends with them. They could potentially refer someone to you. Don’t expect things to fall into your lap. You have to constantly put yourself out there and be looking for new clients or trends. Drive the band wagon, don’t jump on it.

Which aspect of your career (social media, copy writing & blogging) you mostly enjoy?
Well, although I do offer blogging as a freelance service, I mostly blog for my personal blog, which is obviously my biggest passion. In terms of working with clients, I prefer social media more. I’m more of a people’s person, I really enjoy building relationships with clients and seeing the interaction on social media platforms.

With a variety of online career paths. How do you find the online creative industry in South Africa, Is it growing – is there potential?
I find it fascinating. Although we’re quite advanced in terms of our own country, we’re a little behind the rest of the world. But it’s interesting to watch how we catch up and evolve. There are so many trends overseas that would do brilliantly in South Africa, so the potential is definitely there. It’s tons of fun being part of the process of catching up.

What’s in the pipeline – where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Oooh, that’s a tough one. Because the online creative and digital industry is constantly changing, it’s hard to say for definite where I’ll be. I think one needs to be fairly malleable, able to go with the trends and changes. If you’re too stuck in your ways or on what you want, you’ll get left behind. For me though, I hope it’s onwards and upwards.

Social Media is -relational.
Blogging is – personal.
Digital Media is – ever-changing.

• Instagram or Twitter – definitely Instagram!
• Games or Apps – Apps
• Gadgets or Books – books!

Get in touch with Amy Brown here: Facebook | Twitter | Blog & Instagram

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#ItBlogSA | A Thing Of Beauty by Michelle Stevens

A Thing Of Beauty is a website dedicated to finding beauty and joy.

Meet Michelle Renee Stevens (Stuyck), the blogger behind A Thing Of Beauty:
I am a 20 something year old wife, mother-to-be and PR professional. I am still on my journey of finding out my calling but maybe the journey is just as important? I have a fascination with finding goodness, love and beauty in everyday life.

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small every-day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” – Gandalf (wizard from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)

When did you start blogging and how did it all came about?
I officially started blogging in 2015 but set up the actual structure of the blog over two years ago. I work in PR and have been fascinated by the idea of blogging for a few years now but was held back deciding what my blog’s ‘theme’ would be. Eventually I realized that I needed to let this process be a bit more trial and error. I am now playing around with various types of content until I find my blogging style and niche.

Do you treat your blog like a business or it only a hobby?
At present it is really more of a hobby and a way to express myself outside of my job. Although this process has taught me quite a bit as a PR professional about what goes into blogging so it definitely is affecting my
career as well.

How did you go about choosing a name for your blog?
I know I said that I am trying to steer away from too much of a theme but my underlying vision for the blog is finding beauty in everyday life and ways to make life more beautiful. A place for me and whoever wants to join me to focus on positivity. The line “A thing of beauty” comes from a John Keats poem which I love.

How do you market your blog?
I post links to blog posts on my social media platforms. I do think that I need to put more effort into marketing my blog.

How do you grow your blog following, any tips for newbie bloggers?
• Connecting with influencers on similar topics on social media.
• Attending blogging work shops where more experienced bloggers can mentor you and you can network.
• Creating share worthy content.
• Making sure that your blog is searchable by Google (SEO).
• Guest blogging for other blogs and having guest bloggers post on your blog.

Many bloggers usually say blogging somehow impacts their lives. Do you also feel this way?
Yes, it definitely has. When you put your thoughts on a screen with the intention of sharing them publicly – it is less difficult to analyze your thought patterns more critically. You end up looking at yourself from a very different perspective. I have also realized that I am a lot less confident about putting myself out there than I
originally thought and it has forced me to question what it is that I fear.

How often do you blog?
I aim to post once or twice a week. Let’s just say that some weeks I do not make this goal.

What’s the best advise you’d give to newbie bloggers who want to succeed in the blogsphere?
Know why it is that you are blogging. Are you blogging for yourself as a form of self-expression or are you blogging with the hopes of connecting with brands and growing a brand yourself. These are two very different goals so it’s best to figure this out early on.
Give yourself time to find your voice. I bet if you scroll through the archives of even some of the most professional bloggers you will find that it took them some time to figure out their own blogging style and voice.
Have a plan and goals. But be flexible enough to change them if they are not working for you.
Know that there is no such thing as a free hand out. You will only receive seemingly free things if the brand is hoping for some exposure in exchange.

Who are your to Top 5 South African Bloggers you enjoy reading their work?
This is a horrid question as I love following many blogs for many different reasons. As I work in the beauty industry I follow mostly beauty blogs so to try and narrow my selection down I tried to select blogs that I read for some other reason than it being a beauty blog.

1. Lipgloss Is My Life – Leigh’s down to earth, humorous style of writing alwaysmakes for an entertaining read and her reviews are honest and accessible. I know this is very much a beauty blog but honestly I would read this just for Leigh’s sense of humour regardless of the topic.

2. For The Beauty Of It – I find reading Chereen’s blog so calming and comforting. It’s always beautifully presented and the content carefully selected. I have come to trust her opinions. I know Chereen could be classified as a beauty blogger but she does blog about family quite a bit too which I have loved reading since falling pregnant.

3. Alfinos – I love Cindy’s frank stories about parenthood especially as I am about to embark on this parenthood journey myself. Her writing makes you feel like she is a close friend and her stories are filled with life.

4. 2oceansvibe.com – I am sure Seth Rotherham does not write a lot of the content anymore but I love the tone and content of this blog. I rely on this blog to a large degree to keep me up-to-date with current issues.

5. Superficial Girls – I love how Carlinn has created a very definite brand for her blog and that everything is beautifully presented. This takes quite a bit of talent and discipline. I love the pretty pictures that following her blog adds into my social media and Bloglovin’ feeds.

Are they any achievements your blog has accumulated that you’re proud of thus far?
I am most proud of finally getting started and putting myself out there. My blog is still not what I want it to be but too often in life I never start something because I do not want to even try if I can’t get it done perfectly. Sometimes you just need to take the leap and fix things as you go along. I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Cindy Alfino – which was pretty cool!

Connect with Michelle Renee Stevens (Stuyck) here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

From Chemical Engineering to Digital Media – Founder of Lifestyle Digital Magazine (Xihlamariso Khosa)

Most probably, tapping into your passion and making a decent – meaningful living calls for sacrifices being made. Obtaining a qualification then securing that job whilst building a career turns to be ideal. Bills need to get paid right? However, when you’re in it for primarily paying off bills, clearly your passion lies elsewhere. Xihlamariso Khosa’s career kicked off with similar attributes.

She started off her career working in the Chemical Engineering industry as she’d studied to be amongst engineering professionals. Eventually it occurred to her how continuously draining this route turned out.

I was yearning for something different, something where I could allow myself to be creative. I remember feeling limited and bored, and realizing that it’s not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The days got boring, and I literally had to bribe myself to get up in the
morning and go to work. I knew then that I wanted a change, and I made the decision
.”

Xihlamariso Khosa, a enthusiastic Johannesburg girl finally took the leap of faith back in 2009. It was around this time where she’d began noticing a spark for Digital sphere – actively indulging to how everything operates. Started reading and taking-in her findings on WordPress, keenness then took over. She managed setting up her very own first blog in the health niche.

Back then, XihIamariso was embarking in Affiliate Marketing. She later sold the blog for R13k back in 2011. That’s when she got hooked and never looked back. Today, she’s not only the founder of Epyk Living – a lifestyle Online Magazine covering Entertainment, Fashion, Travel, Relationships, Health & Wellness news for relevant South Africans.

She’s currently juggling multiple jobs in building her career within the Digital industry. Xihlamariso is also a Digital Strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize. On her personal capacity, she’s busy developing other exiting content niche sites in the pipeline. The upcoming ventures explores Health, Insurance, Alternative Energy and Photography niches. Xihlamariso is definitely in it for the long haul.

Taking initiative to pursue your passion is the first step to opting for what you truly cherish. Find out on our Q&A below how you can take that calculated leap.

What does your job entails?
My job is deeply rooted in SEO – Search Engine Optimization. My days are spent analysing websites, and making sure that they are properly optimized to get a high ranking on the search engines, so that they attract the right kind of audience.

You’re rather a hands on woman. How do you balance everything?
The truth is, I have not completely mastered the balancing act. I try and prioritize as much as I can, but for the most part, things are still off balance. Work can be very demanding at times, and running Epyk Living is a full time job in itself, which leaves me with very little time to myself. 9 to 5 does not apply to me and I have since accepted that it will be that way for a long time.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Being in the digital space, I always have to know what is going on. And because, things can change so rapidly, and
something can happen at any given time, I cannot be offline for too long. Because, it’s possible to miss something important. This means that I must have access to the internet at all times. Also, there are certain websites that I check daily, that give me the low down of whatever is going on. Sometimes, it means my me-time ends up being work time. But because I love what I do, I can’t complain.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Digital industry?
The easiest way to get your foot in the door is by getting started. Social media and blogging have grown way beyond just sharing the lunch you had. When used properly, they can make it easier to get into the industry and to be recognised for your achievements. And there’s no better way to let a prospective employer know that you know what you are doing, than having something to show him/her.

Also, make sure you learn as much as you can about the industry. Read influential blogs, the likes of Moz, Neil Patel, Matt Cutts, Mashable and others. This way you will be clued up about what’s going on.

And some tips to become successful In the industry?
Be passionate. It sounds like a cool job, and it is, but without the passion, you will never give it your all.
Think outside the box. Great ideas are the ones that get results. This does not mean that you have to re-invent the wheel all the time, sometimes it just means adding your own twist to it.
Learn, learn, learn. This is the only way to improve what you know and to do it better.

Test. Sometimes, ideas may look great on paper, but they may not necessarily be great for yielding the results that you want. Trying out different things is one of the best ways to figure out what works well.
Ask. Ask as many questions as you can, so that those in the know can share their knowledge with you. Also, it’s one of the best and fastest ways to learn.

Social Media is – A must for companies that want to engage with the people who use their products or services.
Writing is – My outlet. It has kept me going long before I even had a blog.
Digital Media is – Powerful. It can build and sustain a brand, and expose it to the most relevant people. It’s also great for communicating what the company is about to the masses.

• Facebook or Twitter? – Definitely Twitter.
• Games or Apps? – Apps.
• Gadgets or Books? – Mmm . . . I love them both!

Connect with Xihlamariso Khosa and Epyk Living here: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+

#ItBlogSA | Tamara Metrowich By Tamara Metrowich

Tamara Metrowich is a fashion, beauty and everything in between blog. With such lively brains behind it, it’s heading for that pretty mark within the blogshere. The content it’s offers is simply captivating – award winning. 2015 took off blissfully for Tamara Metrowich, thus far it’s been awarded three awards namely, the Versatile Blogger Award, Very Inspiring Blogger Award and the Liebster Award.

If you’re a fashion lover residing in cape town, there’s currently a great competition for you up on the blog – stand the chance to join Tamara on the red carpet in VIP style to the much anticipated Mercedes-Benz Bokeh SA International Fashion Film Festival.

It’s somewhat of an online journal and represents part of who I am. It’s more than just a hobby, it’s my passion.” – Says Tamara.

Meet Tamara Metrowich, the blogger behind the self titled blog Tamara Metrowich:
“I’m a lifestyle blogger, radio presenter, communications specialist, adventurer, student of life and of course my mom’s favourite kid – but don’t tell my siblings that 🙂 . I live in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa and have a keen interest in all things fashion and (inner and outer) beauty related. I believe in dreaming big and staying aligned with your inner voice.

Radio is one of my passions and you can catch me on the
airwaves between 3pm and 6pm every Saturday on Good Hope FM. My favourite quote is by Marianne Williamson – it inspires me every time:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others
.”

When did you start blogging, how did it all came about?
I decided to take the plunge and start Tamara Metrowich at the beginning of 2015. Blogging is something that has interested me for a while but I didn’t want to rush into it. Before I started on my blogging journey, it was important for me to be clear on the purpose of my blog, the kind of content that I would include, the parameters for collaborations, etc.

That being said, blogging is an organic journey so don’t over plan . I think I’m intrigued by blogging because it’s a
creative outlet. One of the many things I love is that blogging allows you to connect with people all over the world who share similar interests. I really enjoy interacting with my readers. It’s nice to know that they find value in what I have to say and I’ve found that while I may be the blogger, I can learn as much from them as I hope they do from me.

Do you treat your blog like a business or hobby?
For me, blogging is a quite a personal journey. As a blogger I am sharing my thoughts with people all over the world – and more often than not these are thoughts that I haven’t shared with my closest friends. It’s somewhat of an online journal and represents part of who I am. It’s more than just a hobby, it’s my passion.

For this reason I believe that it’s important to apply certain business principles to my blog which help keep me focussed. For example, I schedule my posts so that my readers know when to expect new content, research is also a big component of my blogging process.

How did you go about choosing a name for your blog?
It took me a while to decide on a name for my blog. I knew that I wanted to write about fashion and inner and outer beauty but after weeks of brainstorming, I couldn’t find a name that I connected with. I was brainstorming one morning when it hit me, why not call it Tamara Metrowich.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love fashion, beauty and that I am all about inner growth and transformation. Right then and there I opened my
laptop and started Tamara Metrowich.

How do you market your blog?
I use my social media channels to promote my blog posts. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also like to collaborate with brands which I identify with and fellow bloggers. These collaborations can yield great exposure to new audiences.

How do you grow your blog following, any tips?
Growing your following takes time, so don’t be disheartened when after a few months you haven’t hit triple digits. To keep you motivated, remind yourself why you started blogging and the vision you have for your blog. If you apply these principles from the get go, I’m sure they’ll help you get where you want to be:

Know your audience:
This is the rule above all rules in my book. Understand the kind of people that are reading your blog. What are their likes and dislikes? Which posts do they prefer? Your stats page can provide helpful insights that will assist you get to know your readers better.

Stay true to who you are:
Your readers are interested in your opinion and want to get to know you, so make sure that whatever you write is authentic. You don’t need to bare your soul, but in order for them to relate to you, they need to get a sense of who you are through your posts.

Network:
It’s important to attend events which are relevant to the topics you cover on your blog. It’s also helpful to join industry groups on social media so that you can keep your finger on the pulse. The information you are exposed to will help you write more informative and contextualised posts. These networking opportunities also give you the chance to meet experts in the industry and who knows, there may be an opportunity to collaborate with them.

Collaborations:
Working with brands and fellow bloggers on a social media campaign, gives you exposure to their audiences. From the start, be clear on the kind of brands and bloggers that you will consider working with and how much control you want during the collaboration process. Your blog is a brand in itself which your readers trust and which you must safeguard.

Spread the word:
You’ve planned, researched, taken photos, written the post and now it’s time to share, share, share. Spread the word across all your networks, social media, friends and industry groups included.

Many bloggers usually say blogging somehow changed-impacts their lives. Do you also feel this way?
Blogging has certainly impacted my life. It has allowed me to reconnect with what I am passionate about and provides a platform for me to meet and interact with people all around the world who share the same interests. I feel very humbled to be able to do what I love and have the opportunity to learn from others.

How often do you blog?
I try to stick to uploading a blog post three times a week but depending on what events or product launches there are happening, or if a wave of inspiration hits me, it may be more often.

What’s the best advice you’d give to newbie bloggers who want to succeed in the blogsphere?
Most people aren’t aware of the commitment that running a blog requires. Be prepared to set aside significant time to achieve your goals. It’s not just about putting pen to paper, so much more has to happen before you get to that point – planning is key.

Who are your to Top South African Bloggers you enjoy reading their work?
1. Brett Robson – Brett Robson
2. Paula Bianca Jacobs – Ms Paula Bee
3. Jade Robertson – Just Jade Blog
4. Founder: Sandy Nene – South African Bloggers

Are they any achievements your blog has accumulated that you’re proud of?
I’m also very excited to be working with some great brands. Over the last week especially, I’ve established partnerships with some popular brands, fellow bloggers and local fashion designers. There are a few posts in the
pipeline but I can’t divulge too much information on this just yet. You’ll have to keep an eye on Tamara Metrowich in the coming weeks!

Connect with Tamara Metrowich here: Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram | Blog

Founder of Web/Graphic Design company (Design Elite) – Previsha Parbhoo

After working as a Graphic Designer for a couple of years, tragedy kicked in. One day, Previsha was faced with a decision to either find another design job or become an entrepreneur. This rather stressful learning curve brought up opportunities. She decided to take on entrepreneurship and founded Design Elite – a Web and Graphic design company.

Today Previsha designs logos and website’s on freelance basis for an array of clients; Revenue Science and Decision Inc to name a few. In her personal capacity she runs a beautiful website – My Indian Wedding, an Information hub for Indian weddings which helps provide information on all the latest trends and service providers.

Find out how you can tap into the graphic and web development industry on our Q&A below:

Which course did you study & how long was the course?
I competed a Diploma in Graphic and Web development at college campus, where I achieved the highest academic performance in all subjects across all campuses. It was a two year course.

What does your job entails?
– Mainly Marketing and Designing.
Marketing – my brand in order to stay current and attract clients.
Designing – Either creating an online presence for my client (Web design) or the graphic design part of things which is creating brochures, banners, logo’s, corporate identity, t-shirt’s etc.

You’re rather a hands on woman as you also My Indian Wedding. How do you balance everything?
It’s quite hard and I have yet to balance everything 100%. But as I go along, I learn. As a freelancer/blogger I have to market my brand, attract clients or readers, and do the actual work of designing or blogging. So it’s more then just a 9-5 job.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
One of the best parts about freelancing is that I get to work remotely. It gives me an opportunity to have a schedule that works for me.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Web and Graphic Design industry?
Keep on learning, its a never ending cycle that will help you grow. Always keep yourself updated on the latest trends and programs out there. Also subscribe to design blogs, there’s an abundance of knowledge out there.

And tips to become successful In the industry?
Be passionate and confident about what you do. Rejection is part of the job, learn from it but also know that all you can do is your best.

Social Media – is a platform to get your brand seen.
Designing – is part of who I am.
Blogging – is a great way to communicate what you love, to the world.

Facebook or Twitter – Twitter.
Games or Apps – Apps.
Gadgets or Books – Books.

Connect with Previsha Parbhoo here: Facebook | Twitter & Design Elite | My Indian Wedding

Digital Media Strategist & Entrepreneur Reaching For The Stars – Amanda Onamandla Mathe

Not only does Amanda runs a startup known as Ndlovukazi Online Media, a Digital Media company which offers brands, individuals and specialists in their fields the platform to develop their online brand message for a living, this entrepreneur also does freelance writing. She’s a proud member of The Southern African Freelancers Association contributing articles for well known online publications, namely South African Bloggers and Social Business Sessions.

Taping into entrepreneurship calls for sharp dedication all together. Having achieved such pleasant accomplishments, Amanda is initially reaching for the stars. It all began back in 2009 when she scooped yet another accolade – attending the Future Journalist Programme at the Rhodes University . This great opportunity to kick start her career was afforded by Highway Africa in partnership with Open Society.

It’s really when I got a Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile and began blogging over at Amanda Journo . From then on, I never looked back and concentrated solely on making my mark in the digital space” – says Amanda.

Amanda now utilizes her skills which are raging from content creation, online journalism , social media management including live tweeting and online reputation management. Navigating her way through within the rapidly growing digital space after completing a National Diploma in Journalism from the Durban University Of Technology and a Certificate in Principles of Public Relations from University Of South Africa.

Find out what it’s takes for you to become successful within the digital media career path on our Q&A below:

What does your job entails?
I work and provide the following: Social Media content creation, PR, analysis, monitoring and online media reputation management . I also have had the privilege to work with entities such as Global Entrepreneurship Week-GEW Durban and The Hookup Dinner.

You’re rather a hands-on woman as you also freelance. How do you balance everything?
As a freelancer I’m very strategic on keeping track of time. The other platforms such as GEW Durban and The Hookup Dinner I play a more intricate role in terms of
providing a holistic digital media outlook and support. It’s not an easy act, but I have learnt to be strategic in every decision, plan what needs to done and deadlines
often help.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Everything I do is centered around my passion, I can’t it call a job when its more than a payslip. Many a time I plan
according to what demands my time. I have sometimes found myself planning date nights with ladies, simply
because you can get caught up in your passion and not realize you haven’t seen your friends in months.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Digital Media industry?
Digital is about innovation, it’s finding quick ways that are effective and help not only you, but others. Always strive to do it better than others and when you hit a hurdle don’t hesitate to ask for help.

And some tips to become successful In the industry?
1. Engage with other industry experts in the field. You’ll be amazed how many people experienced people look to share their knowledge with young people entering a particular field.

2. Keep yourself abreast with developments globally, that’s means anything that affects digital platforms. This is made easy by the likes of Google alerts and subscriptions to industry publications help.

3. Research everything you are expected to cover as a digital person, especially if you are new person to the role. If you don’t understand what’s written in your job description, research and speak to your manager to explain it further, so that your research aligns itself to the business goals.

4. Always be strategic about your social media footprint, engage in points that can push into a position of being recognized as a growing thought leader.

5. Double, triple check everything you post, whether links or comments. Not only for facts, but also for spell check reasons.

Social Media is – my cup of coffee in the morning, lunch time and afternoon.
Entrepreneurship is – my clean canvas waiting for a masterpiece to be created.
Content Creation is – my rehabilitation
center.

Facebook or Twitter – Twitter
Games or Apps – Apps
Gadgets or Books – I can’t with these two, have addiction for both.

Connect with Amanda Onamandla Mathe here: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin & Ndlovukazi Online Media

Community Manager at Hello Pretty – Lee Geldenhuys

While it may seem inappropriate applying for a job you’re passionate about but lack qualifications for back up. You shouldn’t by any chance forget – employers are primarily interested in passionate candidates. Lee Geldenhuys always loved art and design, spent six years studying Architecture in University Of Pretoria .

That’s where she gained a great understanding of the creative industry. Today, Lee works closely with a lot of architects, interior and industrial designers. Back in 2013, Hello Pretty advertised for an Intern. Lee immediately threw her name into the ring, hopeful for the position. Little did she know that she’d be short listed.

A three month internship turned into six months which turned into a permanent position in 2014. It was a total professional love story” -Says Lee Geldenhuys.

Currently, she’s not only serving as a Community Manager at Hello Pretty – South Africa’s top designer online marketplace, where you can buy high-quality designs made right here in Mzansi. She also freelances to small creative brands.

Read our Q&A below to find some tips to become successful within Digital Media industry.

What does your job entails?
As a community manager, I’m responsible for our social media. This includes a slightly more comprehensive list of duties than a community manager at an agency or some such – including all strategy, content planning and creation, posting, engagement etc. I also deal with larger scale marketing – getting in touch with people and getting our name out there.

I attend a fair amount of events, because networking is
obviously really important! It’s also important to us to go to events to support our sellers. It makes us really proud to see them succeeding.

You’re rather a hands woman as you also Freelance, How do you balance everything?
Coffee! I have a really great support structure, with great friends who work in the industry who are on hand to dispense advice and to act as sound boards. Also spending a few days at the beginning and end of the month making sure your content plan is dealt with and
scheduled, and doing thorough reports really saves your life during the month. I work pretty long hours but I really love what I’m doing, which makes all the difference.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Working remotely and freelancing allows me to move pretty freely which is lovely – my job is more task based than it’s based on office hours. So I often end up starting at 7am, sitting on my balcony, coffee in hand. But constantly moving and loving my job does means that I do little else! Which is fine for where I am in my life right now. My work with Hello Pretty has also become a passion project, so it’s always at the forefront of my mind.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Digital Media industry?
1. Don’t be afraid to use a lo lcat. People love that!
2. Build up your own personal profiles. It’s immediate proof that you know how to use the tools you hope to be working with.
3. Research the industries you’d like to work in, and start interacting with people already in those circles. You’ll get great contacts out of it, have front row seats to relevant job postings, and learn a lot from the people already in those positions.
4. Know what’s going on in the news. It’s important to keep up with what’s going on, so you can post accordingly.

And tips to become successful In the industry?
To be honest, it’s easy to become swept up
in the amount of articles and research about social media out there, but it all changes so fast. So listen to everyone, but take advice selectively. The best way to stay on top of things is to carefully monitor your stats, and if you see something isn’t working, change it. Don’t expect a one size fits all solution.

Double and triple check which accounts you’re posting from! You really don’t want to be the next Steers or News 24 social media manager.
Be human – people respond better. I’ve gotten emails from people who were immediately in attack mode because that’s what we’ve come to think is necessary when dealing with companies – break that mold. Be better than people expect, and you’ll create repeat customers.

Never ever become defensive or aggressive when dealing with unhappy customers, and don’t take it personally. It reflects poorly on the brand and immediately further upsets the customer in question. Your job is to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Besides, there have been many articles and case studies showing how unhappy customers who were dealt with really well were converted into the most loyal advocates for the companies in question.

Negative feedback isn’t so bad – it gives you a chance to reassess and improve your processes.
Try work with companies you like. It makes selling it a lot easier! Plus you’ll enjoy your work a lot more.

Social Media is a really powerful tool, and inescapable part of the digital landscape. A powerful and inescapable part of marketing as a whole.
Design is my happy place. Design of all kinds is a search for balance, a visual solution to a problem.
Content Creation is something that shouldn’t be forced – be honest. I suppose I have the luxury of working with brands who mirror my own values, which makes them easy to write about. But I’ve lost faith in
bloggers who waxed lyrical about things they don’t believe in – you can tell.

Facebook or Twitter – Twitter.
Games or Apps – Apps.
Gadgets or Books – Books. Always.

Connect with Lee Geldenhuys here: Twitter | Pintrest | Hello Pretty

Conquering Online Entrepreneurship – Jodene Shaer

Online based businesses are relatively taking entrepreneurship by storm. Be it a Software Development, Web & Graphic Design company, Digital Magazine, or even Internet Marketing, there’s massive potential.

Women in particular are conquering online entrepreneurship, leading by example whilst inspiring the nation. After a while blogging over at Project Me about peoples development products, Jodene Shaer, Jozi girl better known as Jodenecoza picked up a gap in the market within the niche.

Took initiative, remained glued on what’s makes most sense to her. Jodenecoza first founded a people development business – Lifeology of which is about engaging people from individuals to Brands and Organisations. Project Me is still very much a focus while developing future e-books and online self development course.

I am a passionate Entrepreneur; Social Media Campaign & Event Strategist, Social Influencer, Blogger & Speaker – I never think of what I do as a job simply because I really do spend every day doing what I love” -says Jodene Shaer.

Eventually continued to starting a Social Media business – Chat Factory a Social Agency specialising in Online Engagement, Strategy and Publicity. Both these venture are very much in the online space. Between Lifeology and Chat Factory, Jodenecoza works with an array of clients including Smile Foundation SA, Johannesburg Theatre and Peugeot SA.

Currently she only holds a Secretarial Certificate, obtained straight after leaving school. “I will always be grateful for the qualification because I learned how to touch-type and discovered that I never wanted to be a secretary. Great proof that nothing is a waste of time” continued Jodene Shaer. Being completely committed to what you’re passionate about has great rewards.

Her strategies and approach sets her part from the competition. With over 55 000 followers on twitter, Jodenecoza is truly a Hashtag Queen as her bio reads. She’s the brains behind the much-anticipated #FollowSA – connecting South Africans online so they connect offline.

Find out how Jodenecoza conquers online entrepreneurship on our Q & A below:

When and how did you get into the Online Creative Industry?
It all began when I decided to blog about the philosophies that my business partner and myself teach through
Lifeology, which is living with Courage, Consciousness and a sense of humour. Between the blog and my ever growing popularity on Twitter (I took on the strategy of following people first), brands started to notice that I was doing something different in the industry and they
started to call on me to help them create more engagement online and not just focus on content.

It grew so big that eventually we split the companies and now Chat Factory is finally born. I am also a social media publicist, assisting brands in getting social media influencers to their events, alongside the traditional media they invite. I also assist in ensuring that social media is incorporated fully into an event or a campaign.

What does your job entails?
I never think of what I do as a job because I really do spend every day doing what I love. Between my own personal social media accounts and managing my team (currently two but ever growing), I am online a lot of the day. I get about 100 emails & the same amount of Tweets in between meeting with potential & existing
clients.

I am either conducting an online workshop, putting together a strategy or coordinating the social media side of an event and have had some great opportunities to be a speaker in the online industry. When that is all done, I spend a lot of my time as an influencer, attending events or supporting a cause where my Twitter voice will assist in spreading the word.

Nearly four years later, the hashtag I started – #FollowSA is still active on a daily basis and I assist in
connecting South Africans online so they connect offline. After years of blogging, Project Me is now being developed into a twelve week online program and I’m in the middle of writing an e-book.

You’re rather a hands on women, how do you balance everything?
I’m not sure that I’m very good at balancing everything effectively, but my focus each day is to not drop the ball for myself of my clients. If one is going to fall, I let it be my own. To juggle everything the way I do, I have two mobile phones, a laptop and a notebook with me at all
times.

I write everything down and never chance remembering anything. Even if something pops into my mind when I am
drifting off to sleep, I will grab my phone and put it in my notes to remember the next day. Some days I don’t get to the list as soon as I would want to, but I make sure everything gets crossed off in the best priority I can.

A great lesson I have learned is that you can’t balance everything without a team. Even if that team is your family, who makes sure you remember to buy milk, or buys it for you. I wasn’t the best example last year, but 2015 has started with me making time to do my gym,
spend time with me and get my work done. Everything Is important, but nothing that is that important.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
When I make sure that I don’t focus too much on work, then my job gives me an incredible lifestyle. Although it is hard work and a big responsibility, I get to be online all day and help my clients find their unique voice among the
million in social media.

I began as a blogger and after my Twitter following grew significantly, people asked me to start assisting them. So, my blog is still a big part of my career and that has afforded me opportunities to travel through the country, be invited to events I never would have dreamed of and be given opportunities that brands really trust me with.

I am proud to be an ambassador for some great brands, which only improves my lifestyle. There are some days
when I am frustrated that I don’t get to do enough writing or that I can’t switch off from technology for hours on end, but that will come n time. For now, I wouldn’t change my lifestyle at all and am grateful, every day, for the lifestyle I have created for myself.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the industry?
Understand the commitment before you take on the responsibility of representing a brand online, especially if it is service orientated. It really does seem like a whole lot of fun, or it looks like great money to be made, but that comes with a price.

If you manage accounts, which is a huge part of this industry, then there is no 9 to 5 and sometimes, there needs to be one eye on accounts during weekends too. One of my clients is service orientated and I was fueling a frustrated customer on Christmas morning. That is my level of commitment and the expectation I have of my team, with fair time off and reward in exchange.

And tips to become successful In the industry?
Follow first, has been my main policy. If you go to a party and stand in the corner without trying to meet anyone, you won’t. It works the same on Twitter because someone has to make the first move. If it’s you, you may meet some amazing people and have incredible opportunities.

Be engaging and not just present. When I started on the platforms we all used to talk to each other and share content or a gratitude and now the favorite button has made us lazy. Rather respond, reply and truly engage for the best results online.

Don’t get involved in the politics or drama that constantly unfolds on social media. Keep your reputation in tact and your focus on the fact that you don’t know who is watch us engage online and you don’t know what damage your negativity can do for you.

Be real. You can only fake your personality for so long and there really is no reason, so put up your real picture, tell your truth and make genuine connections if you really want to thrive in the industry.

Get to know the people of influence by truly engaging with them and not just sending them messages begging for attention. With some people getting dozens of Tweets or messages a day, the more genuine you are with them, the greater chance you will have of being noticed.

Social Media is – the place where limitless opportunity lies, when used effectively.
Writing is – a talent and gift that needs just as much attention and practice to master in order to stand out above the rest.
Blogging is – the place where you get to share your greatest passion or purpose with the world, which also test your commitment to that passion more than to keeping up the momentum of blogging.

Facebook or Twitter… Twitter
Games or Apps… Apps

Connect with Jodenecoza here: Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin & Project Me | Lifeology | Chat Factory

The Ultimate Recipe To Succeed In Entrepreurship – Digital Entrepreneurship Magazine Co-founder (Zava Nkondo) Shares Some Tips

Although entrepreneurship is a challenging career path yet most rewarding. In the current environmental state, entrepreneurship is the answer to the frequently discussed issues; unemployment and economic struggles. It’s upon us to solve these issues by creating innovative ways to meet government halfway, contribute economically and become independent. Like anything you’d eagerly want to succeed in, dedication remains the main foundation amongst others.

One constantly need to stay on the loop on whichever career path in question. Inspiration, industry leaders news, current developments and some form of encouragement keeping you going and alert. This recipe to succeed goes as far as starting where you are, using what you have and simply doing what you can! Don’t you want to archive those goals you’ve been envisioning?

I have a passion for entrepreneurship and seeing young people try something, whether they fail or succeed, it doesn’t matter as long as they try.” -Zava Nkondo.

Clearly, Zava is using the recipe effectively. As a recovered ex-wild party animal with no vision about his future whilst studying at University Of Kwazulu-Natal. He’s certainly figuring out the entrepreneurship puzzle. Partying and studying is a disastrous combination! Fortunately enough, a ” God Moment” saved him from the miserable possibilities, and eventually realised how he was wasting aways his life. This was a turning point – he’d began associating himself with positive minded people.

Amazing things started taking off. Shortly, he met his wife; Bongiwe, now business partner – together they founded Excellence SA, a Digital Entrepreneurship Magazine. Then completed his studies – Bachelor of Commerce Honors in Marketing and Media.

We started this platform because we want to serve young people by inspiring them to live successful lives, and letting them know that it is not about where you come from or how you start but where you are going and how you finish.”-continued Zava Nkodo.

Excellence SA is a digital platform that provides content which inspires young entrepreneurs and young professionals.

Read our Q&A below:

What does your job entails?
What I do is create content that will inspire young ambitious people to take action on their entrepreneurial ideas.

When and how did you get into the Online Creative Industry?
Recently, I was the Content Marketing Strategist
for SME South Africa – a online portal for entrepreneurs. Also for Adclick Africa – a diversified Digital Media company providing cutting edge solutions for the digital media industry.
My vision has always been to be a Media Proprietor, and I got my start in digital fortunately.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
I really enjoy the freedom of being able to plan my day, and that is one of the benefits of running ExcellenceSA. That is also what I enjoy about entrepreneurship.

Did you obtain any qualification?
I’ve got a B.Com Honors in Marketing & Media from the University of Kwazulu-Natal. It’s took me five years to graduate.

What did it take for you to finally loath the unhealthy lifestyle of wild partying, alcohol and drugs?
I finally realised that God put me on this earth for a
purpose, and that I was selling myself short. There’s nothing to benefit from that lifestyle. I have never lived a better life than the life I’m living now!

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Digital Media industry?
Just like everything else, you need to be committed. I only started writing articles in 2014, before that I didn’t think I was capable of being a decent writer. So… the lesson is whatever you want to achieve you can!
Never limit yourself even creatively. Everybody is
creative, you just need to tap into it.

And some tips to become successful In the industry?
1. Focus on a niche, and it should be something you are passionate about.
2. Build a community not just an audience.
3. Study different aspects of the digital landscape.
4. If you plan on making a living from digital media, you need to accept that it’ll take time.

Social Media… is the partner you need to have in order to promote your content.
Writing is… therapeutic.
Blogging is… at the core of content marketing.

Facebook or Twitter – Twitter
Games or Apps – Apps
Gadgets or Books – Books

Connect with Zava Nkondo here: Twitter | Facebook
Excellence SA: Twitter | Facebook

From Electrical Engineering To Digital Marketing – Leap Of Faith

Name: Ashraf Stakala.
Company: Soccer Laduma.
Position: Digital Project Manager.
Area: South Africa, Cape Town.

Although some of us still have our dreams on hold. Is it because sacrifices seem to be the scariest thing ever? To live a meaningful life, you’re bound to make sacrifices one way or the other. Even if it means quitting your job, relocating or staying up all night everyday doing what you love. It’s worthwhile!

It took a leap of faith. I had to make a very difficult decision. Leaving my Engineering job to chase my dream-being in the Digital world, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. I had no Digital qualification or work experience at the time. However, I’m passionate about the Digital world. I was determined to make a career out of it, and in the end it all worked out beautifully.” -Say’s Ashraf Stakala

Ashraf started out as a blogger in 2008 on Joomla. Once his blog took off, he then quickly switched over to WordPress.com. Meanwhile, Ashraf was still working in the Engineering field as a qualified Radio Frequency Technologist – a job he’d study for at Cape Peninsula University Of Technology. Something was missing though! After a few years of bliss-doing digital on the side, he knew this was where his passion lies.

In 2012 Ashraf took a leap of faith-listened to his own devices. He decided to quit his Engineering job and embarked on working in Digital Marketing full time. Today he takes his heart everyday, working at the biggest Sports Publication in South Africa – Soccer Laduma . On his personal capacity, Ashraf builds WordPress sites at Good Spaces.

Read our Q & A below:

Did you obtain any digital marketing qualification?
I completed a Marketing course and Agency Project Management course through Quirk and Red & Yellow. However, this was after starting my career in the digital marketing industry.

What does your job entails?
My job entails overseeing the development and management of Soccer Laduma’s digital properties. I oversee the development of our web and mobile sites and all new product integration. For example-building new apps or smart phone versions of our site. I also work with our sales team to maximise digital revenue and to optimize and manage our digital campaigns. I manage our data analytics team that¹s responsible for analysing our data across web, mobile and social. I find that the role of digital project manager is difficult to explain.

Essentially my role is to ensure that “everything works” on our digital platforms. I work & collaboration with our editorial and social media team, analytics, developers, and 3rd party service providers to ensure that our digital platforms are growing and that we are hitting our quarterly/yearly targets.

You’re rather a hands on man. How do you balance Everything?
The key to balancing everything is by planning and prioritizing – that is one of the most important aspects of my job. I’d love to say that I have it all locked down and that I live a perfectly balanced life. But the reality is that, this is a job that requires more than just a 9-5 focus . Sometimes you have to make personal sacrifices to get the job done.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
My job influences my lifestyle in an interesting way. Being responsible for the digital platform of a media company
means I effectively have to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because the news never stops. That’s
why I always try be connected online. This means that I always have my MacBook with me. Thus can sometimes be a problem when you are out with friends or on a date.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the Digital Marketing industry?
I think the best thing you can do is to start and grow your own profile online. Start a blog, create a profile on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or whichever Social media platform is best suited to you. I believe that the easiest way to get your foot into the door is by showing companies or agencies what you can do, and the best way to do this is to grow your own brand or digital portfolio.

And some tips to become successful In the industry.
Have a great work ethic – for me this is the single most important quality you need to become successful in the digital field. There is a misconception that working in digital is fun, but it’s is also a lot of hard work.
• You have to be willing to put in long hours if you want to be succesful.
Innovate – you have to innovate, because if you’re simply going to stick to what is already being done, you’re not going to stand out from the crowd or create any real value for your company.

Continue Learning – one of the best things you can do for your career in digital is to continue studying. Technology changes at such a rapid rate that what you learned a year or two ago becomes outdated pretty quickly.
Studying part-time is not easy but it’s a great way to expand your knowledge and will help you to advance your career.
You must be responsible and reliable – This quality is very important and I find that it often separates the average from the great. If your manager knows they can depend on you to deliver it will result in you being given greater responsibility and ultimately bigger projects.

Social Media is – a great platform for growing your brand and audience.
Writing is – A way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Blogging is – Time consuming and challenging, but very rewarding.

Facebook or Twitter = Twitter!
Games or Apps – Apps!
Gadgets or Books – Books!

Connect with Ashrif Stakala here: Facebook | Twitter | Intagram

Durban Digital Day – Save The Date

On the 4th of November 2014, you’ve got a chance you wouldn’t want to miss! Explore, discover whilst learning about the Digital World. Durban Digital Day is the KwaZulu Natal’s primer Online, Digital, and Technology Conference.

Weather you’re Web Developer, e-Commerce Manager, Digital Marketing Expert, Media Buyer and Planner, Strategist and Business Analyst, Business Development Manager, Brand Manager, Affiliate Agent, Marketing Manager, e-Payments Executive, Media Manager (interactive and new media), Content Developer, CEO, Director or Head of Brands, Blogger, Student, Graphic Designer, App Developer, Sales Executive or you’re simply interested in the Digital World. This conference is for you!

This is a great way to develop your skills, network with like-minded people and learn more about the online creative industry. #DBNDDAY promises to be a extraordinary event with variety of online creative professionals sharing some insightful information-equipping attendees. See speaker line-up at the end of this post.

All this and more will take place in Duban Exhibition Centre. Time: 09:00 AM – 10:30 PM, tickets are available now online for only R200.00 Click Here to secure your seat.

For more information find #DBNDDAY here: Facebook | Twitter | Website

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you.

#ItBlogSA | Peep South By Kelly Mthethwa

Kelly Mthethwa

Kelly Mthethwa

Peepsouth is a blog about popular Attractions, Hangouts, Lifestyle and Events in South Africa.

Meet Kelly Mthethwa, the blogger behind Peep South:
“I’m a student of life, love, academics and nature. I live to discover and explore my beautiful Africa.
I freelance for a web-based magazine-Zagossip, on Entertainment news. I love writing, people,
interesting places and ideas. I enjoy branding or forming a brand identity and awareness for business.”

When did you start Blogging and Freelance Writing?
I started blogging last year March 2013 and later
decided to write for other publications in June 2013.

Do you treat your blog like a business or a hobby?
I treat my blog like a hobby, that way it’s fun for
me to write and there is no pressure. I write what I feel, when I feel. I believe blogging has to develop from the love of writing and expression. It’s the best option as you discover what it is you love blogging about and get to learn more about your readers.

How did you go about choosing a name for your blog?
I wanted something simple and catchy, I came-up with Peepsouth – Peep as in sneak or take a peep-south, because I live in South Africa. So, for those wanting a glimpse of what’s happening in South Africa, Peepsouth and see the world from my point of view :).

How do you market your blog?
Nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to marketing; tell your friends, family and anyone who cares to listen. I also use my facebook and twitter accounts. When you start blogging you hear a lot about SEO (I personally don’t focus too much on that) wordpress has built in features that notify google search engine-this makes my job easier-when I publish new posts. Hence I do read a lot so I know what options are available for me that can make my blog
more visible. When it comes to marketing your blog I believe don’t focus too much on stats. If you do something you love you’ll impart yourself and become part of the bigger picture. That on it’s own is a great reward.

How do you grow your blog following?
I use social media tools and e-mail. I look at popular tags(topics my followers love reading about). The most important rule is to blog regularly but I honestly don’t blog as often as I wish because I have other commitments,however I’m always on the internet (which is a benefit). Plus,I love reading up on the latest everything-currently I am crazy about the natural hair journey, keeping fit and healthy. Oh! And lately, I loooove reading up on celebrity news. When you read a lot you get to find out what people love reading about, how often your favorite blogs/magazines update and how they phrase their topics and first paragraph. I will stress once more that all these things take time to
learn. Commenting on other peoples blogs is also
another great way of getting traffic to your blog. Blogs are meant to be a joy, that’s why I believe you shouldn’t focus too much on stats.

Many bloggers often say blogging somehow
changed-impacted their life. Do you also feel this way
?
Blogging will definitely change just about anybody’s life in varying degrees. For me, it’s a platform where I get to express or inscribe my point of view. I write about what I love and if someone out there likes it too, that alone makes me happy. Sometimes we don’t know our own worth and blogging is one of those things where people you thought you knew just never seize to surprise you. A lot of people don’t know I blog and when they find out and visit my blog they are actually impressed.

What’s the best advise you’d give to newbie bloggers who want to succeed in the blosphere?
Do what comes naturally to you- what you love. Don’t over think things or worry about growing your followers it’ll come with time. Read and surf the net a lot, build yourself up. Discover you. Talk, chat, comment and ask questions. The only stupid question is the one
you didn’t ask.

Who are your top 5 South African blogs you enjoy reading?
Ouch! In all honesty I follow American blogs more. It’s hard not to find blogs you love from America, they have such vibrant blogging. culture. from South Africa, I enjoy and follow these blogs below:
1. Fashion Jazz
2. Elle
3. 23Thorns
4. Busi Khaba
5. Khaya Dlanga

I also like the Quirky Stylista on blogspot, it’s very original and I love the artwork.

Connect with Kelly Mthethwa Here: Twitter | Facebook | Google+

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you.

Digital Marketing Guru | Kelly Robertson Share’s Her Journey

Name: Kelly Robertson.
Company: WildWeb.
Position: Head Digital Marketing Strategist.
Area: South Africa, Durban.

Kelly Robertson is not only a Digital Marketing Strategist, she’s also a travel Blogger/Writer at Bush Baby Blog in her personal capacity.

“My first love is the content creation and writing side of the creative media”-says, Kelly Robertson.

What’s skills should one have to be successful in the Digital Marketing Industry? Kelly is certainly the ideal person to answer this question. Kelly’s first job out of varsity-University of the Witwatersrand after completing a BA degree with Honours in English Literature, a 4 year degree, was at a small Johannesburg Creative Company, The Content Bar, where she worked as a Content Producer, Social Media Manager and Writer for their three online blog sites-JHB Live, Durban Live and Cape Town Live. Find out how she ends up landing the Head Digital Marketing Strategist position in our Q&A below:

How did you get into the Online Creative Industry?
after a short while at The Content Bar I quickly moved into Managing Editor position there and gained experience in managing the online platforms well with a team, reaching interested readers and creating good, shareble content. Then in 2012, we moved to Durban and I started as the Digital Marketing Strategist at WildWeb. The majority of our clients are within the African travel and safari industry which is right up my alley. African travel is my passion (which would explain my love for travel writing and the creation of my new personal blog about African travel and the likes:) Writing about travel and working to market clients in that field of my interest is the ideal match for me. I apply this love and interest to my marketing work for our clients. Content is a big part of our strategies used to promote the lodges and businesses to their ideal target markets and potential guests. I manage all the Online marketing campaigns for our clients along with my small team. I have always been drawn to the more creative arena, especially when it comes to expression through words and story telling. My first love is the content creation and writing side of the creative media. I have always enjoyed that and place huge value on the power of good content in the online sphere.

You’re rather a hands on woman as you also run your personal blogs, How do you balance everything?
I suppose I just try to balance life in general and make time for the enjoyment of it too. I work hard and enjoy
it but also make sure to fulfill myself by pursuing personal passions too like my personal blogging. I always make time for relaxing, travelling and spending quality time with my loved ones too. Else what’s the point to this life at all? I’ve also contribute to Getaway blog, Africa Geographic blog,iafrica travel and others.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Work takes up the majority our days but luckily for me, I get to work on content that I absolutely love and that I
am passionate about. That is African travel-focused content. It is different and interesting and alluring, everyday. I also find myself constantly aware of the methods we can use to market clients on the digital stage and considering different ways to promote them to their ideal markets through leisure mediums and others like social media and review sites and
partnerships. I often find myself coming across a site or app or channel and immediately thinking, “Ah, we could use that to promote so and so to that group!” My job fuels my love for African travel and the wilderness. It feeds my travel dreams too and my travel wish list grows every time I’m introduced to a new region or property or travel client we’re marketing. Our clients
are also awesome to work with and every now and then I manage to plan a visit to their wild locations to see them for myself and experience it first hand.

What’s the best advise you’d give to people who also want to get into the industry?
Do it! Digital marketing and the digital sphere in general is a growing industry and every sector of society is getting on board and realising they need to be active and interactive on the internet. You can be involved in that and it is exciting and new.

And the tips to become successful In the industry.
1. Follow blogs, newsletters and sites that feature interesting features and share content on the digital marketing game. It’s changing all the time and new ideas and methods pop up constantly.
2. Do online tutorials and read up on things and tools you don’t know about yet. Digital media is new and often the tools available haven’t been taught to us in traditional courses and studying. You just have to learn them and try them out, see if they are effective for you. The beauty of the online world is that there is a big community willing to help us all learn to be better and to use the available methods well. Ask them for help.
3.Try to constantly try new marketing methods and platforms, gain experience about what works for your specific client’s needs.
4. Engage with the communities you are reaching through digital marketing and make them want to interact with your client or brand. Give them reason to.
5. Most importantly, create good, interesting, well written and engaging content that you would like to read if you came across it online.

Complete the sentence:
Social Media is… powerful for brand building and engagement with communities.
Writing is… the basis of good content.
Blogging is… effective and fun.

Choose one between the two:
• Facebook or Twitter
Facebook for personal social media networking, Twitter for travel industry sharing and networking, and both for digital marketing.
• Games or Apps – Apps
• Gadgets or Books – Books, books and more books 🙂

Connect with Kelly Robertson Here: Blog | Twitter

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you.

What Are You Passionate About? Stick To IT

Last week, a established entrepreneur, Willem Van Zyl
Shared some very interesting tips and advise on how one can become successful in the software development world-Information Technology being the main focus. Click Here if you missed that article. Do you or your close friend have a Information Technology qualification but currently unemployed? Or perhaps, are you thinking of pursuing a career in this flied? Weather your answer is yes or no, you should hear this. I met up with a wonderful Information Technology Graduate on twitter a couple days back.
I am the CodeGuy and a huge fan of Microsoft

Meet Sicelumusa Sphamandla Khumalo, currently serving his last month of his internship as a software developer at Itrelated. This young, goal driven man is passionate about Web, Mobile and Software Development. Sicelumusa recently published Credbook, a App for Windows Phone. He is a newly born Durbanite hailing from Paulpietersburg.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I am a simple and humbled person. A software developer with many abilities and passionate about software development. I am the CodeGuy and the big fan of Microsoft. I have worked at Adnotes early this year, it was here where I was introduced to Web Design, Google Analytics, Google Ads Services and WebMaster tools. Adnotes helped me a lot in closing the gap between designers and developers.

Where does the passion of Web, Mobile and Software Development come from?
I like playing with technology and coming up with technical solutions to the issues that we encounter in our daily basis. So web, mobile and software development is the
weapon I use to bring solutions that makes people’s, our life easier.

Where and which course did you study and how long was the course?
In 2009, I obtained N6 National Certificate in Electrical Engineering at Umfolozi FET College which was a 18-months course. Then In 2010, I moved to Durban with an aim of furthering my studies but I realised that Electrical Engineering was not something that I have passion for. I then decided to do Software Development at Durban University Of Technology where I obtained 3 year National Diploma in Information Technology.

Which Subjects did you study in High School?
I did Mathematics and Science.

How did you find the University life? Any Highlights?
University life was very interesting, there were many temptations that could have made me loose focus, thanks God I survived! In spite of all, my 3rd year was very hectic. I was a project manager in Development Software-3. It was a bit challenging to keep the balance on the project itself, but at the end I gained lots of project management skills.

Which are your Top 5 South African Web,
Mobile and Software Development Companies you’d like to work for
?
1. Derivco
2. Multi choice
3. Chilli Soft
4. IBM
5. Microsoft

Where do you get your inspiration?
I just pick the good things that everyone does. Honestly, Matt Cavanagh from RougeCode inspires me. He keeps up with the technology and excels at what he does. After all, he manages to remain humbled.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself as the most valuable creative professional within the web, mobile and software development industry.

What’s the best advise you’d give to individuals who want to pursue a career in the Information Technology industry?
Keep up with technology, do research on latest technologies and see how you can enhance your skills.
Attend developers events, there are very useful in networking with other developers and evaluating yourself if you are still on track. Do side projects, there are good in preparing you and keeping your craft relevant. Be creative, work hard-nothing comes easy.

Complete the sentence:
Social Media is …a platform that I use to reach the target audience and also to see what the world is up to.
Internet is …my life, without it I am useless.
Blogging is ….the spread of word to the community of the same interest about the things useful to them.

Choose one between the two:
• Facebook or Twitter – Twitter
• Games or Apps – Apps, I am not a big fan of games.
• Gadgets or Books – Gadgets, life is much
simpler with gadgets.

Connect with Sicelumusa Sphamandla Khumalo Here: Twitter | Facebook

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you. Follow us on twitter @OnlineCreatives

Taking The Software Development Industry To Another Level

Name: Willem Van Zyl.
Company: Code Like Clockwork
Position: Founder| Product Developer | Managing Director.
Area: South Africa, Cape Town.

In 2011 I founded my own
software development company
“.
– says Willem Van Zyl.

How does one become a Product Developer? What’s required to become successful in the Software Development Industry as a career path? Established entrepreneur, Willem Van Zyl is the ideal person to answer these questions. Here is why, Willem Van Zyl decided to start his very own software development company “Code Like Clockwork“, where he currently serves as a Managing Director. After finishing his Business Analysis Degree in the early 2000′s, he spent a few years working in the legal industry, designing and building websites,time tracking systems, and other web-based software. He’s second business venture Productive, Not Busy is also doing exceptionally well. Productive, Not Busy is basically where he helps knowledge Professionals and Creatives to efficiently manage their time and work. Let’s hear how it all came about.

When and how did you get into the Online Creative
Industry
?
After moving away from the legal industry I became involved in the development of some of South Africa’s leading online education platforms and rights & royalty processing systems, spending several years in various management and executive positions.

Briefly, tell us what does your job entails as a Managing Director?
At Code Like Clockwork, I’m responsible for strategy and planning, technical management of the company’s resources, and the day-to-day management of software development tools, and technical infrastructure.

I lead the software development team, and I also interface with clients to help them define their requirements, or (in the case of startups – we love startups) conceptualize their business and / or apps.

Where did you obtain your Degree in Business Analysis  and how long was the course?
I did a 3-year National Diploma in IT at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, then a 1-year B.Tech degree at the same institution. Halfway through my B.Tech I also started working part-time in the legal industry building elearning, time management, and billing software.

You’re rather a hands on man, How do you balance everything?
At times it can be difficult to balance a personal life with work, but it really helps to have people in your life who understand your drive and let you do what you need to do.

I’m very process- and systems-driven (I’m a bit of a productivity geek), so when it comes to business I try to automate everything I can and systematize the rest.

Some simple things like not checking email before 12:00 (and only checking it twice a day), making a specific todo list for each day the night before, and working on only one thing at a time so the work has my full attention can go a long way.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Because so much of the software that Code Like Clockwork builds is specific to certain industries, I get to speak to and learn from a wide variety of people in many different roles; the things I learn from those conversations often seep through into my day-to-day life and give me fresh perspectives on things.

As with all technical jobs there’s a lot of in-depth knowledge required to do what we do, so all of us at CLC end up spending a lot of time stuck behind screens. The main effect this has had in my lifestyle has been that, whenever I can, I prefer to disconnect and go outdoors – I’m part of a caving club in Cape Town, and I regularly walk the mountain trails around here.

What’s the best advise you’d give to young south africans who also want to get into the industry?
• Don’t rely on just what you learnt in college / university, you need to keep learning new things outside of what you’re exposed to both while you’re a student and once you’ve started working.
Start networking as soon as you can – join meetup groups, attend talks and conferences relevant to your interests, and regularly talk to others about the work you’re doing. When you work in isolation it’s easy to fall behind on best practices or miss out on exciting opportunities.
Find a coach or mentor who can guide you in your career – it’s invaluable being able to ask questions of someone who’s already been down the road you’re traveling.

And the tips you’d give them?
Hard work is part of success, but don’t underestimate the value of having a good network and being honest.

Most importantly, work on your passion. It’s only if you’re truly passionate about something that you’ll really excel in it.

Social Media is… Great for networking, bad for getting work done.
Internet is… Wonderful at connecting people, but can easily overload you. Don’t be afraid of disconnecting or going on an information diet.
Blogging is… The easiest way to build your own brand and have people see you as a subject matter expert.

Facebook or Twitter – Twitter, it forces people to be concise.
Games or Apps – Apps, the little supercomputers we carry in our pockets have become amazing platforms for whatever developers care to dream up.
Gadgets or Books – Books, the battery life is much better and they don’t crack when you drop them. 😉

Connect with Willem Van Zyl Here: Twitter | Linkedlin | Code Like Clockwork | Productive, Not Busy

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you. Follow us on twitter @OnlineCreatives

#ItBlogSA | Things Dee Loves by Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

Today I’m introducing a new segment called “#ItBlogSA”. On this segment, I will feature blogs that are taking the South African blogsphere by storm and mingle with the amazing bloggers behind them. So, here it goes :-).

Things Dee Loves is a blog about Life, home decor, Crafts and Prettiness. Best known for it’s DIY incredible ideas it offers. With features on Buzz Feed and Flat White Magazine,
the blog is doing exceptionally well that it was a runner up on the 2013 South African Blog Awards for the Best Art and Craft Blog.

Meet Danielle Smith, the blogger behind Things Dee Loves:
“I’m a small town girl living in Cape Town with my gorgeous husband and two cats, Kevin and Cookie.  I’m a geneticist by day, but I’m also passionate about crafts and photography.  Friends and families have often asked “Where did you find that?” or “How did you make that?”, so  I started Things Dee Loves to share the creative bits and pieces of my life.  I hope that I can inspire you to get creative too!”

When did you start blogging?
In 2012.

Do you treat your blog as a business or a hobby?
Mainly a hobby.

How did you go about choosing a name or dormine for your blog?
I actually didn’t give it too much thought (which may have been unwise). I chose it because it described the subject matter perfectly. I didn’t want to be bogged down by a name, but by choosing “Things Dee Loves” I was free to write about all the topics that inspire me.

How do you market your blog?
I don’t really market it actively, apart from sharing posts on various social media platforms.

Your blog has a huge following, please give us some tips on how to gain blog followers?
– Try to figure out who your target readers are, and share you blog posts on other platforms where those readers “hang out”. For example, I blog about crafts and DIY projects, and a lot of my readers are referred to my blog via Pinterest. If your blog is about a niche topic, share your posts in forums designed for people interested in those areas (such as technology or parenting forums).
– Engage with other bloggers by commenting on their blog posts, and via social media. If you enjoy a particular blog, share it on your own social media platforms.
– Create new ways to engage with your readers. Ask questions, blog about controversial topics, or run giveaways.

Most bloggers always say blogging somehow changed their life. Do you also feel this way?
Blogging has provided a creative outlet, and has enabled me to interact with other readers and bloggers with similar interests. I’ve also been able to keep a “creative diary”, which is a nice way to keep track of all the projects that I’ve completed.

How often do you blog?
I try to blog at least twice a week.

What’s the best advice you’d give to newbie bloggers who want to succeed in the blogosphere?
Start blogging for the right reasons. Blogging isn’t an easy way to fame or fortune, and it takes a long time to build up a loyal readership.
Be original. There are hundreds of new blogs every week, so you’ll need unique, high quality content to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t compare yourself to other blogs (it’s really hard!), and try to enjoy your own blogging journey.

Which are your top 5 South African Blogs you enjoy reading?
Clever Bird Banter
Raising Men
I Want That
Indie Berries
The Pretty Blog

Find Things Dee Loves Here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you. Follow us on twitter @OnlineCreatives

Lead System Developer | Tiyani Nghonyama Shares His Experience

Name: Tiyani Nghonyama
Company: Geekulcha
Position: Lead System Developer
Area: South Africa, Pretoria

Today we take a close look at Computer Systems Engineering as a career path. What type of job opportunities are awaiting my creativity? What skills are required?. Well, Tiyani is the ideal guy to answer all these questions as he is an expert in this career path. Tiyani is a Creative Professional by profession, currently working at Geekulcha as a LeadSystem Developer. On the flip side, he is a Web Developer, Mobile Apps Developer, Java Backend aochitect, Speaker, Mentor, SocioDevActivist,  ElectronicksWednesdayTech  Events  Organizer and that’s not only. He spends most of his time at the Science and Technology park, the Innovation Hub with Geekulcha.

Read our Q&A below:

As a LeaDSystem Developer, what does your job entails?
I do various things, main focus being:
• I develop Mobile Apps(Android and Windows phone) integrating with Electronics solutions for various social relevant solutions.
Web development with focus on content management systems. 
• Part time Blogging based on tech events such as the National Electronics Week.
• Organizes tech events such as the recent Random Hacks of Kindness Hackathon with UNISA Click Here to view.
• Currently on the organizing team of TEDxPretoria
Organizing a Geekulcha Hackathon coming up on the 27th.

• Head the Internship Program at Geekulcha and mentor students on web and mobile apps development.
• Created a section called Electronics Wednesday at Geekulcha which aims at creating more interest into the Electronics space as we are fostering more Producers in South Africa than Consumers. We are currently building an app that goes with this and it should out Mid-July.
• Public Speaking: on various technology topics such as on TEDxPretoria (Innovation From Unrealized skills – Tiyani Nghonyama). Tech4Africa 2014 Speaker. Nedbank marketing summit panelist. 
• Represents the Tswhane University of Technology, in students mission such as the 2013 National Electronics Week Mpumalanga.
• Do community project where we inspire young high school pupils into the STEM field. We show case our Geography app, WetlandTrackr.
• Heading up projects, mobile app game on energy saving and integrated with electronics(consumer electronics).

You’re a man of many talents. How do you balance everything?
 The drive of social change, being part of a revolution keeps me going. Having to make my work a hobby has been easiest strategy to enable me to reach an extra mile. Influence change with one effort at a time.
 
What did you study, for how long and how was the course?
I studied Computer Systems Engineering for 3 years at the  Tshwane University of Technology

What’s the best advise you’d give to young south africans who also would like to get into the industry?
The best time to do anything is now, they must not wait for someone to take the initiative because they are the ones who hold the future and in future, we do not want to have these statements: “Should had, Could had, Would had”. With so many world problems, let’s use the least resources we have to better ourselves and the world around us.  

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
Time can be limited with the responsibility, everyday comes with new experiences and challenges. The interesting thing is the approach that come up in solving, adapting and conquering through. This has taught me lessons in both the working and personal lifestyle.

Give us some tips to become successful In the industry.
– If it needs to be done, do it now. The world does not await, do and fix later.
– Get in touch with the people, they determine your success. Use whatever resources, get in touch, know what they want, when they need it ans how they need it. User-value stories are important to consider as my Wuddy Buddy, Lehlogonolo Sathekge, would tell you better.
– Understand what innovation is, make use of it. Move with time. 

Complete the sentence:
Social Media…..power tool to change the modern world, very important in the
Internet is…very where, consists of things and in things, one needs to find the benefit with it. Let’s avail it to everyone and see the possibilities that comes with it. 
Blogging and ….doing goes together. Let’s start doing even more crazy stuff and blog about them. It’s important to share and leave the knowledge for the next generation. “Our next next generation will ask us what have we done to prepare for their future, we will show them this” – Mr Mclean Sibanda, CEO of the Innovation Hub.

Choose one between the two:
Facebook or Twitter -Twitter
Games or Apps -Apps
Gadgets or Books – Phew! Tough one but for my geeks, I’ll go with gadgets.

To connect with Tiyani, find him here: Blog | Twitter

Insightful Chat With A Young Entrepreneur | Founder of Paybook

Luyanda

Luyanda

Name. : Luyanda
Company : Paybook
Position : Founder, Community Manager and Customer Developer
Area : South Africa

Did you know that you can be paid to tweet?. Yes, there are many people earning some extra income through subscribing to Paybook. Today I’m introducing Paybook : a paid to tweet website (Internet Marketing) using the power of word of mouth to get advertiser messages across in the South african Market. The moment I discovered this wonderful business venture I eventually though of sharing it with you.

When Paybook subscribers are asked why they chose to subscribe to Paybook, this is the response I got “Mainly because I’m always on social media, I’m a student and could use a bit of extra income. Plus, Paybook are legit and hands on with clients“. To give us some insight, Luyanda, the young businessman who founded Paybook.
Read our Q&A below:

What inspired and motivated you to start your own company and why Internet Marketing?
I really think some people are born entrepreneur’s, we just have trouble following rules. I clearly knew it had to be the internet because of its reach potential.

Did you study anywhere to enhance your career?
I studied life to enhance my career. I spent four years at University of Witwatersrand, but I had more fun there than learn. I was doing an economic science degree there, and that’s has little to nothing to do with the Marketing Company that is Paybook.

Where does the Entrepreneurship love come from?
The idea of being a pioneer, the first, a changer is where the love for entrepreneurship comes from. The added benefit is that you determine your own destiny.

As the founder of the Pay Book SA, what do you do basically?
I am Community Manager and Customer Developer. I design the platform framework according to what our subscribers say, and the genius that is Lebelo(Co-Worker) builds it. We have just introduced a new creative, a Graphic Designer by the name of Musa. So expect the platform to look pretty very soon. I also source clients for the platform and deal with grievances and administration.

How is the Work environment at Pay Book SA?
What work place? These are the flat planes of Egypt. We are building the pyramids, and a lot of times we are our own whips and slaves, but we know it will take everything we have and it will be everything we want. We work irregular hours. You basically work when you want to, as long as you put in 14 hours a day, everyday.

What skills are required to become a successful Innovative Entrepreneur?
The desire to learn, coupled with the ability to absorb the world and learn very quickly.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
My job is my lifestyle.

Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
I see myself, along with my partners, as the catalyst for e-commerce. We want to be the bridge, or rather mechanism that will allow for ease of transaction online for south Africa, and Africa as a whole.

How do you find the Online Business Industry In SA?
It is very young, and filled with possibilities. The next five years are going to be amazing!

Do you see a future for individuals who want to pursue a career in the Marketing industry as a whole?
Yes, as the old saying goes “a business’ purpose is innovation and marketing!”

Which Internet Marketing companies in SA you admire?
Admarula and The Digital Media Consultancy.

What’s the best advise you would give to an individual who also want to start their own company in the Online Creative Industry?
What is it that you will be doing differently? Have you validated that your clients want this?

Any achievements you’re most proud of in your Online Journey thus far?
We are proud to have paid a few people on our platform. That makes us very happy :-D.

Any Highlights in your Online Journey?
Everyday, in the life of an entrepreneur, is a highlight! Having this world view changes how you attack each day.

Social media is – the democratization of media. The people have the power, the people will decide, the people will earn!

Entrepreneurship is – searching for problems and solutions.

Business is – executing on a set of tasks in order to make an income by adding value.

Twitter or Facebook?
I am more a facebook person, how ironic
I like that digital media is free, but I still like the none invasive nature of print media.

Digital Media or Print Media?
Digital media has too much fluff and awkward marketing.

Work as a team or individual?.
Team, definitely team.

Subscribe and connect with PaybookSA here: Website | Twitter

4 Ways To Use Internet To Your Advantage | Online Life Support

Having internet access is the best feeling ever almost similar to popping a champaign with all smiles knowing you have every reason to celebrate, the interactions awaiting those clicks at your finger tips. So, you’ve finally got the money to purchase your ticket to the online world. Now it’s time you make every cent count by using this chance to your advantage, sure you purchased those Bundles to satisfy specific needs of your interest.

I don’t know if I’m the only one suffering from the internet absence disorder “Online Deja- vu” as I call it. What an annoying disorder! When I Don’t have internet access it feels almost like I can literally see myself signed-in on Social Media platforms, sending Emails, shopping online, publishing content on my blog, drooling to my favorite online reads-Blogs and Online Magazines. I even plan on the things i’ll partake on, during utilization of my next ticket to keep my cool. That’s just me! Have you had a similar experience to this one?

The online world is quite huge, it’s should be of importance, how, what, where to utilize your bundles and time. From watching those YouTube videos to tweeting. The net amazingly reaches a big number of people-internet users in an instant. Being part of the online community is not too different from your offline life. One needs a plan on hand, perhaps if you too, would love to some day become an online creative professional. Like these two amazing ladies I recently interviewed about their careers in the online creative industry. Amanda [Web & Graphic Designer] & Clerissa [Digital Consultant]. You will have to Click all the way to the top whilst observing, scrolling up and down, all in the name of Making the most out of internet. Below are the things you shouldn’t by any chance forget to do if you’re an internet buddy. These five tips will help you enhance your online life.

1. Create a active online presence
Become a social bee, on topics interesting to you. This means you have to Share, Like,Comment, Retweet. Or reblog every update that’s reaches your finger tips leaving you with either a big smile or a long face.

2. Create relationships.
The online world is full of different types of users. Add your peers and co-workers on your social media accounts, you might land your next job through them. Internships or jobs listing links can pop-up on your peers news feeds.

3. Blog your way to success.
Creating your own blog is the best thing you can do for your online portfolio. Plus it’s absolutely free to create one. Increasing your opportunity levels on entering the work environment in the Online Creative Career Path. Blogging enhance your writing and communication skills. You can choose any blogging platform from these listed below, to start publishing posts. But first, think about what you will blog about and why you’d be blogging.
Tumblr
Worpress
Blogger
Blog.com
Weebly

4. Register to study at Online Universities (distance learning).
Traditional learning, classroom setting, is not for everyone. Perhaps you can consider distance learning. Studying towards your Diploma, Degree, and Phd Qualification online. Below is a list of Online Universities you can study at weather you’re a working professional or an aspiring one.
University Of Liverpool Online
Hootsuite University
Southern New Hampshire University
Get Smarter

Go on, reward yourself making the most out of the internet.

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you. Follow us on twitter @OnlineCreatives

Web And Graphic Designer | Interview With Amanda Niescior

Name : Amanda Niescior
Company : ATN Design Services
Position : Founder
Area : South Africa, Johannesburg
Web and Graphic Design, does that sound familiar to you? Well,here’s to tell us more, Amanda Niescior.
Amanda is not only a Beauty Blogger and Bcom Tourism Management Student. at Niesciors Notes. Without any form of professional experience her passion for Web and Graphic Design drove her to start, her very own Freelancing Design Services Company in January 2013 and ever since then, it has developed to be amongst trusted Web and Graphic Design Freelance Companies In South Africa. ATN Design Services have worked with a number of popular websites, mostly in the blogsphere. South African Bloggers, SA Directioners, Bluvara AmStaffs, to name a few.

Read our Q&A below
Why did you choose Web and Graphic Design as a career path?
Graphic and web design is not my chosen career per say. I currently “officially” work within the tourism industry. In the future, I hope to become a full-time graphic designer.

How do you find the Web and graphic design industry in South Africa? Is it growing?
I find the industry to be somewhat outdated and lacking certain skill sets, however I do see it growing slowly but surely.

Do you see the future for individuals who want to pursue a career in Web and Graphic Design?
Yes definitely. There is also room for more designers 🙂 

How is the Workplace environment at ATN Design Services?
I work from home, so there is no workplace environment vibe…

Which of the two(Web &Graphic design) you enjoy the most and why?
Web, because you work with coding and its more interesting and fun playing around with the various combinations.

What skills are required to become a successful Web and Graphic Designer?
I think you need the following skills:
•creativity
•Open Mindedness.
•Be A Good Listener.
•Computer Literacy.
•Design Visualization.
•Organised.
•Dedicated.
•Time Management.

As a Web and Graphic Designer, what do you do basically?
Basically, what I do is I conceptualize and create designs for Bloggers and Businesses that are aesthetically pleasing and also incorporate the necessary web elements that are needed to  efficiently  navigate the site.

What’s makes your Designs differ from others?
I like to think that my designs are clean, crisp & creative. I keep things simple, but still make them pretty.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
I spend a lot more time online and in front of the computer. Also, I also work longer hours in a day. I do my Tourism job from 8am-5pm and then only begin Designing around 6pm and work through until midnight, depending on the timeline I’ve established.

Working two jobs, has made more time conscious and I am slightly better at being organized. 

Where do you see you career in the next 5 years?
Well in the next 5 years?

I hope that I will be a fully qualified graphic designer.

What’s the best advise you would to South Africans aspiring Web and Graphic Designers ?
Be sure to keep yourself updated with what’s happening in the world of design (trend wise) in the USA and the UK.

http://www.s
Social media is……. a great way to connect with potential clients and interact with individuals from different parts of the world that have similar interests.
Internet is………….. the thief of time.
Blogging is……… a great way to express yourself and improve your writing skills.

Twitter or Facebook?
Definitely Twitter.

Advertising or Branding?
Branding. Without having any kind of branding, there is nothing to advertise.

Work as a team or individual?
Individual.

Connect with Amanda Niescior, Web and graphic Designer Here: ATN Design Services | Twitter | | Personal Blog | Instagram

So, what did you think of that post?, don’t hesitate contacting us. We absolutely love hearing from you. Follow us on twitter @OnlineCreatives

Digital Consultant | Interview With Clerissa

Name. : Clerissa
Company : Epic Communications
Position : Digital Consultant
Area. : South Africa, Johannesburg & Cape Town

Today we are looking closely to the Digital World, specifically Social Media and Blogging. Ever wondered who is this person busy updating Brands and Retail Stores Social Media Platforms/ Accounts, Websites and Blogs?. Do they do it for fun like myself with my personal Twitter or Facebook account? And, are they employed by somebody to give us Freebies via competitions. Well, to gives us some insights about creativity that goes into this Career Path, Clerissa, a successful Social Media Specialist and passionate Blogger who currently is a variable employee at Epic Communications, working as Digital Consultant. She shares here personal experience about her career.

Read our Q&A below

Why did you choose Digital Media as a career path?
Just to clarify I don’t  do Digital Media per say, as a  Digital Consultant  I’m more of a Social Media Content Specialist and Conceptual Writer. So I’m going to change Digital Media to Social Media. 😀

I originally studied Marketing but my passion has always been Social Media. I started educating myself with the Digital World and made it my hobby and passion and lived and breathed it!. When an opportunity  came up to work in the  Social Media  sphere, I immediately jumped on it and has since then learned so much and have become a sound Social Media Specialist.

How do you find the  Social Media industry in South Africa? Is it growing?
The social media industry is ever changing! Every day there is a new trend or new development. It rapidly changes and improves and as  a Social Media Specialist you need to keep up or you will you be left behind. Your clients wants the best and the latest so it is our job to stay abreast with every new development or update in the Digital world. There are so many Social Media news sites that helps with  staying up to date  so if you are in the industry make sure you scroll the web everyday and read as many articles as you can to keep yourself updated and informed. When a client asks you about the latest development you need to know your story.

I know you studied Marketing, where did you study, how long was the course and how was it?
I studied Marketing Communications at the University Of Johannesburg and it is a 3 year Degree with the option to do your Honours in your 4th year. I loved the course because as many of you know Marketing is a very broad term and you can do quite a lot with this degree. There are many avenues you can venture in so during the course we cover all those areas and so your knowledge of the Marketing world expands. I particularly enjoyed the Advertising aspect of the course. We learned how to put together a Strategic Marketing roll out plan which is so helpful in any industry. Being able to put together a strategy of any kind will get you far in the Corporate world. Not everyone can be strategists, it takes time and experience, but slowly learning how it works will sure help you in any industry. We also had the opportunity to hone our creative skills, which is my strongest attribute, and I loved all the creative writing  opportunities where we could think out of the box. 

Do you see a future for individuals who want to pursue a career in the Marketing industry as a whole?
For sure! It’s a huge industry with massive potential.

How is the Workplace environment at Epic Communications?
Epic is great! Everyone is very Epicy, meaning we are all bubbly, happy and hard-working individuals and we all love each other. One big happy Epic family! Not to mention our fab offices on the 10th floor in Sandton. We have a 360 degree view of the beautiful city! We all have passion for what we do and we always deliver results to our clients.

The Marketing industry have a wide range of career options, why did you choose Social Media?
Because it’s my absolute passion and it gives my creative mind free reign of creativity! *bliss*.
Plus it’s a massive industry with great potential and growth.

What skills are required to become a successful Digital Consultant?
>Definetly, creative thinking and being able to conceptualize and to generate engaging copy and content.
>Strategic thinking is also important because you need to be able to meet your client’s objectives by supplying strategic solutions.
>Creative writing, digital analytics and problem-solving skills are also a plus.

As a Digital Consultant, what do you do basically?
I generate, edit, publish and share daily content that builds meaningful connections and encourages community members to take action. I also have to develop social media initiatives and content that will improve community size and engagement as well as manage communities on all platforms and capture and analyse social data, insights and best practices and act upon it.

How does your job influence your lifestyle?
It actually compliments my lifestyle very well as i am a blogger as well so whatever I learn in my day-to-day work life I apply it to my blog. I also get to meet cool influencers and celebrities and go to many events so it’s quite a nice balance.

Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
Well hopefully climb the ‘Social Media Corporate Ladder’ and end up as a fancy  Creative Director someday. I would also want to turn my blog into my business one day so that is also in the pipeline….

What’s the best advise you would give to aspiring South African Digital Consultants ?
Work very hard, harder than your neighbours. It’s a very competitive industry so decide what sets you apart from others and build on that and milk it as much as you can. Always improve on your skills and knowledge, you are NEVER DONE STUDYING! And be original. No one likes copycats, you need to be real and creative.

Does blogging comes with your job description or you just love blogging?
I just love it. It sure helps with my job as well, because it is important to improve your creative writing skills as much as  you can and write as much as you can everyday. Blogging is my number one  hobby!

Social media is………………a necessity and totally rad!
Internet is…….. …….a giant hole of information!
Blogging is………….. totes amazeballs!

Twitter or facebook?
mmm… Facebook, just because it’s more visual and I like to look at pretty pictures. 😀

Advertising or Branding?
Tricky, tricky… I will have to say Branding, because if you’re branding is on par you won’t have to advertise as much.

Work as a team or individual?
Team!!!!!

Connect with the Digital Consultant, Fancy Clerissa Here: Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Instagram also connect with Epic Communications Here: Website | Twitter | Facebook

At the office.

At the office.

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photo credit: www.vansa.co.za

photo credit: http://www.vansa.co.za

Are you ready for some inspiration, motivation, & learning from the South African online creative professionals? Njabulo Mbutho will be bringing it all to you- blog owner (Founder).

In south africa there’s still a small number of employees in the online creative industry as a profession or careers path. Yes, you can make a living with an online based chosen career, like every other type of a job. Even better, you can even establish a online based business! There are numerous different types of careers in this context to choose from, below are just the few:
• Marketing & PR
• Creative & Design
• Social & Digital Media
• Finance & Data
which require certain skills & qualifications to pursue.

Worry no longer, you’re at the right place to have your questions of What, How, Why, When & Who answered by people who are already in this industry. Online creative professionals doing remarkable things in their fields. What to expect? Expert meaningful content raging from interviews, photos, videos , articles and much more awesome content for you. Don’t forget to follow us on our Social Media accounts for recent updates. Like our Facebook Page & follow us on Twitter