Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) alumna Greta Hollar has made a career of connecting to others by sharing her unique experiences online. Through her travel and style blog and her vibrant social media presence, she expresses her fresh take on current trends, lifestyle tips and travel.
Several years ago, Hollar began her journey into the world of online marketing after graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a concentration in social media.
At the time, she worked for the Tennessee state government, coordinating the social media for the state’s insurance program. One of the exciting benefits available to Hollar through her job was the opportunity to further her education.
“The state government paid for me to take one class per semester, so I researched local state schools that had communications programs,” Hollar said. “That’s how I ended up at Austin Peay.”
To balance her life as a working professional and graduate student, Hollar found a creative outlet in blogging. She previously started her blog as a requirement for an undergraduate study abroad trip to Ireland, and as a Nashville native, it soon became a natural fit for her to post about her hometown.
She created a guide to the city’s murals and gave her opinions on the best local activities, food and drinks. As her writing gained popularity, tourism boards began contacting her to cover attractions in their areas as well.
By 2016, Hollar had been blogging consistently for more than a year. It was then that she realized she was making just as much money from her hobby as she was from her traditional job, so she left her position to pursue blogging full-time.
“I learned so much from my master’s degree,” she said. “I took so many cool classes and the instructors were really interesting. I liked the ways that they challenged me to think outside of the box.”
Hollar has now been working as a full-time blogger for three years. She currently has over 36,000 followers on Instagram, and partners with many brands on projects to promote their products.
“I like working with brands that I know and love from using their products in real life,” she said. “I also try to collaborate with brands that support diversity and are accepting of all races, religions and body types. I think everyone should be represented. When they look on Instagram and go on their favorite brand’s page, they should be able to see themselves there.”
Hollar has steadily gained loyal fans on both her blog and her social media, and she always strives to communicate with her audience in a genuine way.
“I pride myself on having an authentic following,” she said. “I’m about quality over quantity.”
Though she knows it can be difficult to grow and stand out online, Hollar is passionate about continuously producing quality work. Like many bloggers, she plans her content months in advance to stay ahead.
“I was working on holiday posts in July,” she said.
In recent months, Hollar has been working with a professional photographer to help her plan and execute many different looks and ideas in a short amount of time.
“My dream collaboration would be to work with a brand like Keds to create a sneaker line, because I love sneakers,” she said.
Her advice for aspiring online influencers and marketing students is to “sit down and figure out what you want to do, because it doesn’t feel like work when you love it.”
“I think anyone can start a blog,” she said. “People say that the market is oversaturated, but you can find your niche.”