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Rising Stars: Meet Morgan Jackson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Jackson. 

Hi Morgan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have always had a passion for food and photography. Naturally, I had been drawn to food blogging for a long time, as it combined two of my most prominent interests, but it was not until I read a Washingtonian profile on blogger Justin Schuble that I became absolutely certain this was a commitment I wanted to dedicate myself to. I was inspired to try to capture the soul of small businesses through my posts and help promote them to whoever I could reach, no matter how small my audience was when I first started. It was motivating to watch my audience grow as well as my skills improve and it really helped me to dedicate some time in my life to doing something positive. My blog also motivated me to return to higher education. I will soon have a degree in digital audiences and my blog has been a great outlet to test out every new strategy my courses have introduced me to. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My biggest challenge has been growing my audience. When your goal is to bring more eyes to small businesses, your growth is going to be gradual, and that can feel discouraging at times. Most people want instant gratification and expect to see huge jumps in your followers, views, etc. However, you really have to play the “waiting game” so to speak— it takes a lot of hard work and even more patience. What I have learned through this process is that you get to grow with these businesses. So, if you start out with six unique followers and you tag a business that also only has six unique followers of their own, you could double their followers. Then, if they tag you or repost your content, they have brought their six followers to you. You participate in different communities and become part of this type of wonderful social media ecosystem. The success I have had has never come immediately; I have had to evolve with the growing organisms around me. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I run @east.coast.bite, which is a food blog on Instagram that mainly focuses on food, but occasionally promotes lifestyle products and other small business. I would say that the blog is what I am most known for. I have also freelanced as a social media marketer and graphic designer for some small businesses. When I enjoy the goods and services from a small business, I want to see it survive, succeed, and grow, so my the goal of my posts is always to bring positive attention to these businesses. I try to use framing, lighting, background, and any other tool at my disposal to treat a dish or product as something that deserves to be on the front cover of a magazine, whether I want to highlight the art of the plating or sometimes just catch the delectable textures of a meal. I do a lot to build my audience, but my blog is built on the foundation of directing my audience to all of these other creators and entrepreneurs. Through that, I have been able to build very positive relationships with restaurants and businesses. It becomes symbiotic: they extend a helping hand to me and I do what I can to keep their seats filled. Plus, my audience gets to learn about where all the great places are, whether it be where they live or somewhere they might be visiting. 

How do you think about happiness?
Family, friends, food, art, and my dog are the main things that bring me joy and comfort in life. My family and friends have shown me so much love, support, and encouragement; food and art inspire me and fulfill me, and my dog does all of the above. 

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Image Credits
Morgan Jackson

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