Hey gal, this is me… Melissa Ong, otherwise known as @athleticaesthetic_. I’m 25 and graduated from University of Sydney with B.A (Media & Communications). By day, I’m a marketing executive at the Australian Radio Network and all other times I’m either working out or posting about it at my fitness & lifestyle blog, Athletic/ Aesthetic.
If I were to describe myself in three words… Fashionably late, competitive, determined. Yes sorry, that was four words!
I always blow my pay-check on… Nike sneakers, new activewear and acai bowls.
I’m Currently… Trying to figure out this elusive ‘work/ life’ balance – for me right now it’s ‘work/ blog’ balance. I work a full time 9 – 5 job in marketing and juggling that with my blog commitments (on top of actually finding the time to fit in a daily workout) has been pretty taxing. More recently, my blog and Instagram account has been gaining a fair amount of traction to the point where I’m falling behind with blog posts, interview requests and emails! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good problem to have when your passion project starts to get off the ground but it’s extremely overwhelming when you get home from work and all you want to do is relax and watch Netflix instead of writing that blog post or replying to more emails. In an ideal world, I would love to spend my waking hours creating content for Athletic/ Aesthetic but I know that full-time blogging is not financially viable for me right now. It’s hard to juggle because you want to develop your professional career but you also want to devote your time to see your passion project reach its potential and unfortunately there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do both!
I got into it because… I wanted a job as a writer. Back when I was studying at uni, I really wanted to work in fashion. So I started a fashion blog as a way to keep a portfolio of my fashion writing, personal style and attempts at styling. After interning in a number of different roles within the industry, I decided in the end that the fashion world wasn’t for me and moved into marketing and branding. Sometime after graduating, I found myself working out more and paying less attention to the clothes I wore and ended up starting out Athletic/ Aesthetic with a close friend and fellow ex-fashion blogger. At the start of last year, I took it on as my solo project.
What I love about it… Working with some incredible sportswear brands (I still get excited every time I get an email from Nike), meeting inspiring people and getting to be trained by some of the best in the biz!
What I don’t love about it… Social media can be pretty narcissistic and set pretty unrealistic expectations of beauty, body image and what ‘healthy’ looks like. It’s a vicious cycle but it always sucks you back in! Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you my phone is literally attached to my hand. I have a love/ hate relationship with my blog and Instagram– some days I’ll be so proud of all the content I’ve produced and other days I feel like deleting my account and quitting social media altogether. I give myself a break when I need to and only update when I feel like it. I won’t let it get in way of me living IRL (so to speak).
What I’ve learned from the experience… Networking is important. Not just in the influencer world but also in your professional career. It’s one of my personal goals this year to be more ‘out there’ and let people know ‘Hey I’m here!’ Whether it’s turning up to events or reaching out so people know I’m keen to work with them – it doesn’t hurt to speak up and the worst people can say is ‘no’. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others and once you do – make sure you maintain good relationships with them. In any kind of work related situation, it’s all about who you know and sometimes that can get you a pretty good head start.
My advice to anyone pursuing this pathway is… (e.g. up to you)! to be realistic with your goals. It is really hard to make blogging and content creation a full-time gig. While it would be amazing and a dream come true, there are very few people that get to do it and who do it well. Don’t start out with the intention of being Insta-famous! Start small, keep your head down, work hard, don’t burn any bridges and always keep your options open.
Oh and I’m passionate about… fitness, sneakers, burgers and puppies.
And most people don’t know this about me, but… I’m really good at memorising song lyrics. Get me on the dance floor and I’ll impress you with repertoire of Kanye songs.
P.s In 5 years time I’ll be… A) Living in Tokyo and bringing something fitness related to the Asian market B) Running a small but successful food truck/ eatery with my boyfriend C) Working in marketing for Disney or Nike D) Or maybe all of the above.