Meet Whitney Rae Wilkerson.
Whitney and I met in a Communication class last year and I have been fortunate enough to follow the beginning of her blogging journey ever since. In the world of bloggers and online influencers, this girl is joining the movement, but making it uniquely her own.
She launched her blog only a month ago but is already making waves with a growing amount of followers. At the young age of twenty-three years old, she's already an active blogger, Poshmark ambassador and she's only a semester away from earning her Communications degree.
I met with Whitney to discuss her journey of transitioning from college student to a soon to be mega-successful influencer.
When were you first interested in starting a blog?
Whitney: I secretly love when I get asked this question because I get the opportunity to geek out about my life. Growing up, I was involved in many after-school music and arts activities like photography, band, and the marching band color guard (yup, I was a nerd). I loved all forms of art and explored many different realms of it, but writing is what made me feel the most at home. So I stuck with it! As I venture into my final semester of college, the nerd in me thought it would be a bright idea to get the blogging and writing experience I needed to show to future employers.
Oh my gosh, you are SO not a nerd! I was in a band in high school for maybe a year or so, too. Haha! What gave you the confidence to finally embrace your so-called inner nerd and start blogging?
Whitney: Instagram surveys. Go ahead, call me basic, but Instagram surveys can actually be quite beneficial. I dreamt of starting my own blog but didn't know where to begin, what site host to use, and most importantly if I would actually have any readers. No one cares about a local Arizona girl who works a boring desk job every day. Or so I thought. I took it to Instagram. I asked my followers generically "who reads blogs?" and the number of positive responses I received gave me the confidence to go for it.
A fellow blogger, Indy Blue, said something that resonates with me and it's "Promote what you love. Keep quiet about what you don't." So here I am, doing just that. I'm ready to make mistakes, but I'm also ready to do something courageous in my life, knowing that my friends and family have my back. The internet is full of dreamers and go-getters, and kind and loving people like myself and I know I will have their support because I believe in them too.
Has it been the life you imagined?
Whitney: 100% YES, and it can only get better from here. My blog is my baby. We are still getting used to one another and I am learning as I go, but with time it will grow into something spectacular and everything will soon flow naturally. I originally started on a free platform for bloggers thinking this would be a good place to start. Boy, was I wrong. I felt trapped. I had put so much time and effort into it, but it just wasn't what I had envisioned.
The struggle was real. So again, I pulled out my handy dandy phone and reached out to my Instagram fam. Bloggers from all over, whether they knew me personally or not, connected with me and filled me with the knowledge I needed in order to succeed. I can't explain how happy it makes me feel knowing that there are such amazing human beings in this world who are willing to help one another become successful. I took this knowledge and dug right in!
And on top of it all, you're also a student! How has Grand Canyon University influenced your blog?
Whitney: We all have a plan and purpose; one that God writes for us. I am so blessed that Jesus brought GCU into my life at a time when I needed Christ the most. I was raised in a Christian household and we attended church every Sunday in Gilbert. As I got older and my lifestyle became busier, I lost touch with the Lord. I stopped praying and I found myself making excuses to make time for Him.
My first semester at Grand Canyon was just what I needed in my life. It brought me closer to faith and I was able to meet many new friends who are also very passionate about journalism and communications. One of my GCU professors would read a devotional each day and there was one that I haven't forgotten from Exodus 18:24, "So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said."
I proceed to listen to those around me and I have been taking every bit of wisdom in and have been using this to my advantage with my blog. I constantly chase after people's knowledge and pick their brain for more information, as I am then able to offer the same wisdom to others.
You recently got married! Congratulations! Has marriage affected the blogger lifestyle at all?
Whitney: Yes! I am officially a Mrs. now! My husband, Kaden, has been my number one supporter, and when I'm passionate about something, he's right there with me cheering me on. Kade is actually the person that gave me the push I needed. I really think he was just sick of hearing me complain about wanting to pursue this passion of mine.
You know what he did? He took his monthly bonus from work, which he works so incredibly hard for, and he used it on me. He went out and purchased a new Nikon camera just for me so I could pursue this blogger lifestyle I had craved for so long. He knew that iPhone pics just weren't going to cut it. Little did he know, he just hired himself to be my personal free photographer for life.
That is SO sweet! Let's talk about Poshmark! What was your journey to becoming a Poshmark ambassador?
Whitney: I actually recently wrote about this topic and put it up on my blog! You can read about it here.
What advice do you have for the people who are looking to jump into this lifestyle?
Whitney: Put all your insecurities aside and just go for it! Be open, share your life experiences and stories, and just be 100% YOU. Real people dig the truth.