Great dream begins with a dreamer and the passion to reach for the star- Susan Mukami
By Brenda Wambui
Plenty of people who have heard the term blogging fail to understand what a blog is or how creating or reading one can impact or improve their lives. A blog is an online diary or journal located on a website. The content of a blog typically includes text, pictures, videos, animated GIFs and even scans from old physical offline diaries or journals and other hard copy documents. Since a blog can exist for personal use, sharing information with an exclusive group or to engage the public, blog owners can position their work for private or public access.
Susan Mukami, a 26 year old lady had a long –running passion for words, stemming all the way from primary school. This gave birth to her own blog – Kenyan Collective. It is an up and coming lifestyle blog that focuses on business and finance, tech and gadgets, events, food, music and travel in Kenya. She also practises public relations and marketing projects as a means of earning additional income.
“I think it would be fair to start with the time I embarked on writing because it has been my passion since I was young. I also used to write scripts in high school. At times, my classmates would ask me to help in writing letters to their significant others which enhanced my creativity,” she says with a hearty laugh.
Before she created her blog, she used to work as a project coordinator in a government ministry. She didn’t find fulfilment in her work. She expounds: “The work was exhausting, and I didn’t enjoy its staleness. It was the same thing, day in day out and I therefore started freelance writing in the office.” Young Susan researched and found out that bloggers were doing well. She figured that it couldn’t be as mundane as the job she was in, plus she could work even at the comfort of her house. She therefore went ahead and handed in her resignation. That was the beginning of her journey as a writer.
Later, she was enrolled as an intern at Potentash where she worked for almost two years. At that time, she had the chance to attend different events, meet many people and sit in rooms full of brilliant minds. “I also travelled a lot since my hours were very flexible and every day, I fell in love with what I did,” says Susan who believes in making a difference in people’s lives. She later joined HapaKenya for a while and she contributed articles to a number of local newspapers. In July last year, she started Kenyan Collective.
It was tough at first as she started her blog just around the general elections period. She set up the blog and worked on content before she could think of approaching clients. She got her first client in November last year who unfortunately didn’t pay on time and this frustrated her. Her morale down and just as she was contemplating quitting, she got a call from Safaricom this year in February to be part of their blogger team. “That opportunity catapulted me to become better and more disciplined in what I do,” she explains.
So far, her blogging business is doing so well that she has got more regular clients. For a blog that is a little over a year old, that is superb performance. Blogging is a diverse field and she is still learning a lot about the field. The fact that she does almost all the work unlike a majority of her peers who have teams has led her to do more and push herself for the sake of her personal and professional growth.
She says: “What I’ve realized sets bloggers apart is how much they want to grow. You may have the right team, a perfect website and excellent content, but if you don’t have the drive to get out of bed to go for meetings and events or to write that blog post, you’ll keep curtailling your growth,” she says. “The moment you decide to leave a permanent job and you’re not sure when your next pay cheque will come; that is courage,” she adds. Susan left a well-paying government job to start a blog which thankfully picked up very fast.
Curving a niche
When creating her blog, she encountered a number of challenges. “You should determine where your interest lies. Growing traffic and increasing the number of readers is difficult. Moreover, producing quality content consistently requires a lot of brainstorming and creativity,” she says. Top of FormTop of FormBottom of FormTop of FormBottom of Form
Susan still faces a hard time balancing between going to meetings, attending events, meeting new clients, writing, editing and marketing her blog all at once. As a content developer, sometimes she gets the writer’s block that comes in the way of her completing assignments on times.
She advises young people to follow their hearts. “It might not make sense at times but passion is what keeps you going. I know most people don’t think that their business or their passion will make them happy but it takes a lot of courage to go for what your heart wants,”