The Perez Hilton of the East Coast

edgepic1For recent University of Miami graduate Jessica Marquez, life after college can be pretty sweet: the free dishes in New York’s most craved eateries, a guaranteed spot on the impossible guest list, modeling for Reebok and appearing on Fox News.

The woman who seems to have it all is not an heiress or pop star, but rather part of a new breed of bloggers. By writing about the celebrity lifestyle on her blog, “As Good As It Gets,” Marquez gets to live it. Indeed, the city’s numerous wannabes offer Marquez the A-list treatment in hopes that she’ll blog about their product or business.

Marquez’s life isn’t all shopping and partying. As The Miami Hurricane discovered, Marquez hasn’t given up her day job in advertising, and she uses her UM education to distinguish her site from the multitudes of others in the blogosphere.

THE MIAMI HURRICANE: How did you make the transition from a college graduate to popular blogger?

Jessica Marquez: I was always interested in fashion and how nightlife worked, how one place could be cool and another place wasn’t, and how it’s all about the guests who are there. I came to New York and somehow ended up getting a job in entertainment. I met club owners and restaurant owners from networking. Eventually, I would go to a top restaurant and get my meal for free or go to a club and get a drink for free. All of my friends were always saying, ‘I can’t believe this is your life and you’ve only lived in New York for three months.’ I started out e-mailing my friends updates on what was going on in my life. They were like, ‘We can’t read e-mail all the time. Is there any way you could start a blog?’

TMH: Would you say that as an entertainment blogger you have to feed off of people’s insatiable need to attack others and be critical?

JM: Definitely. It’s 100 percent about what they want to read. The more people that want to read it, the more they tell their friends to read it. That’s how I get advertisers, by the amount of visitors that come to the site. That’s the only way I’m going to profit from doing this.

TMH: Do you get satisfaction out of writing for your audience or is there something else you’d rather be writing about?

JM: It’s a mix. I do throw in some things that I personally would like to write. I also was a poetry major at UM. Sometimes I’ll throw in a little poem on there just to see what people think.

TMH: How has your UM education helped you with your blog?

JM: [Broadcasting professor] Andrew Barton definitely taught me a lot. For his class, we’d have to go out and do everything by ourselves – the interview, the questions, everything. We focused on what the story was and how to generate interest. For me, it definitely helped with my blog and being able to make a profit from this. Anyone can write about anything, but if you find stories that no one is writing about that you’re interested in and you think can generate interest, you can make money from it. It’s crazy that the blog is my personal opinion on things and I get hundreds and hundreds of e-mails from people who take it seriously.

For information about Marquez, her appearance on Fox News and her upcoming Reebok ad campaign, visit her blog at www.asgoodasitsguests.com.

January 28, 2009


Nick Maslow

Of the Staff

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.