Anguilla is one of those places that will really capture your hearts and minds, and while you'll have plenty of options for your vacation, you'll find yourself being drawn back because of the love and lifetime friendships you will develop.
- Shellecia Brooks Johnson
Shellecia: I started My Anguilla Experience in February 2013, a few weeks before my wedding. It was an exciting time in my life. I had a few friends coming in from different parts of the world, and I thought it would be great to document the experience of the wedding and their experiences in Anguilla. While there were some outlets for information about Anguilla, I thought then that there was a definite opportunity to share great experiences in Anguilla with the world from a local perspective. Our blog covers local events as well as activities which are considered more tourism focused. It was important for me that the blog appealed to locals as well as visitors since I believe that too many locals do not really explore all that Anguilla has to offer. I knew that starting a blog would encourage us to do so. It has been an amazing journey thus far.
Since starting your blog, have you learned anything about Anguilla that you didn't know before?
Shellecia: I knew a lot about Anguilla before. I have a background in tourism, and I worked with the tourist board as a marketing officer. However, I admit that I have done so much more than I would have if I hadn't started this blog.
Sherise: I've learned so much that I don't know where to begin. I have hiked areas of Anguilla such as Windward Point for the first time and discovered natural wonders such as Abadam Hole as well as participated in water sport activities that I wasn't even aware were available on the island. Paddle boarding was super fun. Having a blog that focuses on life in Anguilla encourages you to go out there and explore this wonderful island of ours and discover all of its treasures.
Shellecia: We have Festival del Mar, which is Anguilla's seafood festival which also features boat racing activities. Some people may think we're biased, but we believe it's one of the best seafood festivals in the Caribbean. Christmas is a great time as well because so many people are home for the season, and it's just this heightened sense that people want to lime, hang out, and have fun. Sandy Ground strip comes alive, and we just put a lot more effort into that holiday. And of course people who live in the cold want to escape around that time.
Sherise: Social media is so important for reaching and engaging with your audience. We've been able to share with our readers and fans all over the world who end up loving and sharing our content with their family and friends. It has allowed us to share life in Anguilla from our perspective, a local perspective, adding another dimension to all the information on Anguilla already out there. It's also free, easy to use, and super convenient.
Shellecia: Firstly, I would like to commend the Department of Youth and Culture for taking the initiative in organizing the first National Youth Awards. I was very excited. It was an amazing night and an honor to be the first youth to receive the Outstanding Youth in Literary Arts Award. It reinforced that I was successfully pursuing and excelling at one of my passions. I will also say that since starting My Anguilla Experience, other doors have opened, and I now write for Design Anguilla, Anguilla Life, and other businesses. It's been an awesome experience.
Sherise: Get started. If you have an idea, go with it. You can easily register a blog domain for free on popular blogging websites like Wordpress and Blogger. It takes a few minutes, and you can get started blogging right away. Have fun with it. Blogging doesn't have to be a serious thing. We all have something to say, and blogging is a great way to express these thoughts and opinions. It is your personal journey, and you choose what you want to share on your blog. Follow your passion whether it's fashion, gaming, or movies. You find your creativity flows more when you're passionate about what you're writing about.
Shellecia: For those looking to use their blog as a business, definitely put some thought into your domain name and keep reach in mind. You want to ensure that your website looks professional. You want to pay attention to SEO, writing style, and the quality of your photos. These all make a difference for how easily it is for your work to be found on search engines. You can make money through advertising, but I've been cautious about how I integrate ads because I don't want my brand to be compromised. You don't want advertisements to distract your readers from the purpose of your blog. It's something that I'm still learning and taking slowly. If you're writing for others, make sure that what you produce for the business is what they want and remain professional at all times. Most importantly, be you, and be secure in your work.
What can we expect to see from My Anguilla Experience in the future?
Shellecia: The opportunities are limitless. We hope to continue building and establishing the brand as a local, diverse, captivating and informative source of content for all things Anguilla. We are also exploring merchandising and books. So stay tuned!
How would you finish this sentence? You should experience Anguilla because...
Sherise: You should experience Anguilla, also known as "Rainbow City," because there are many treasures to be discovered on this beautiful island, and who doesn't love treasure or a good treasure hunt?
Shellecia: Anguilla is one of those places that will really capture your hearts and minds, and while you'll have plenty of options for your vacation, you'll find yourself being drawn back because of the love and lifetime friendships you will develop.
Website: My Anguilla Experience
Facebook: My Anguilla Experience