Graciela Rivera Pereira landed her dream job through her blog, ModaChela, in February 2017 – despite only launching the blog a few weeks earlier in January.
That’s right, this fresh-faced San Juan-based blogger (with an academic background in communications) was able to secure a position in the marketing department of Puerto Rico’s most prominent shoe brand, Novus Shoes, shortly after launching her blog.
“The blog has actually served as my resume,” Pereira says, in a Skype interview with IFB. “When I was offered the job I was like, ‘Oh My Gosh!’ Because, this is what I was working towards. [Through ModaChela, I wanted to] establish my brand while [still be able to showcasing my professional capabilities].”
Pereira publishes content surrounding a number of topics from beauty and fashion, to the role that public relations play in the fashion industry. She also runs a Women That Rock! series on the blog, where she profiles women in fashion – and doing so all while working towards obtaining her Master’s degree in digital journalism.
Wondering how Pereira does it all? We spent some time chatting with her about everything from staying organized to creating content in two different languages.
Congratulations on landing your new role at Novus Shoes! How did that end up happening?
I was actually recommend via word-of-mouth. A designer friend of mine was approached by the director of the Novus marketing department, and she was looking for someone experienced to fill the role. I was put in touch with the director, gave her a call, sent through my resume, did an interview and got the job! It's great, and I'm really enjoying it – some of my responsibilities include creating content for our social media accounts and help out with campaigns, the styling, casting, etc. [which all ties in with what I was doing with ModaChela.]
Before you landed your role at Novus Shoes, you were essentially blogging full-time and beginning to establish ModaChela as a brand. How did you stay motivated throughout earlier stages of founding the blog?
ModaChela, to me, was never just a business or a hobby – it was an opportunity to connect with other people and big companies [within the fashion industry]. That was what really motivated me.
In Puerto Rico, it’s very difficult to find a job due to the economic crisis. A lot of young university students, like myself, are leaving because there aren’t many opportunities. [When I decided to start the blog, I told myself] if there isn’t an opportunity available, then let me create one . . . I knew that if I wrote good content and kept consistently posting, I would get to a good place.
Now that you are working full-time and studying for your Master’s degree, how do you manage to find time to work on ModaChela?
I am trying to write at least once a week, because [with everything else going on] it’s very busy. I’m focusing more on the quality of the posts, as opposed to the quantity, which I think is very important for the readers. On the weekends, I select topics I’d like to write about, write posts, and do a social media schedule as well . . . I take a day to shoot and edit all the images for the week and organize myself [in general].
It can be a lot of work, and sometimes I just want to sleep, but I also have to study for my master’s degree during week nights. So, I’m quite busy to say the least.
Do you use any apps or techniques, to help with time management and to stay organized?
For Twitter, I use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets. Facebook gives you the opportunity to schedule content as well, which is an absolute lifesaver. And for Instagram, I use Laterapp. It won’t post the content automatically to your feed, but it will set a reminder and let you know when to post it at a later time/date.
ModaChela is a bilingual blog – you write your content in both English and Spanish. Isn’t that quite a challenge, creating content in two different languages?
I decided to make ModeChela a bilingual blog, not only to engage a larger audience, but also because I know most of my followers are Puerto Ricans. They do speak English [as well as Spanish]; I also wanted to be able to reach out to the likes of Spain, Mexico and other Latin American countries [where Spanish is the main language] and have more variety of content, in general.
I attended school in a bilingual education system. Creating content across two different language isn’t difficult for myself, but it does take a lot of time. I can’t just go and use Google translate [to switch everything over], because it obviously does not capture the essence of what I am trying to say. While it can be challenging, [writing separate content in both Spanish and English] is not something impossible for me.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers or individuals considering starting a blog?
Choosing the right name is key [if you want to really brand yourself and your blog.] I didn’t want [my blog] to have a “common” name . . . because I wanted to use this opportunity to create a brand, not just a platform.
It was a bit of a nightmare, but I guess it was worth it. Once I had settled on a name, that was it; I couldn’t change or edit it [if I wanted to keep it consistent for branding purposes.]
I wanted [the blog’s name] to be something that represents not only who I am, but the content discussed in the posts. In this case “Moda” is a term for fashion in Spanish, and “Chela” is my nickname. ModaChela is short and consistent. Anybody can say it – that was another challenge, finding a name that can be easily said in both English and Spanish.
*Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
**All images and (unedited) captions taken from ModaChela.com