In the current digital and social media climate, beginning a blog can be an intimidating dive into an oversaturated market, but Qri Montague has used one of life’s most basic attributes to build her social platform — asking questions. The 22-year-old senior at Georgia State University has put a modern twist on the classic advice column with her blog, “Questions with Qri.” Instead of answering questions in a typical blog forum, Montague uses a green screen and editing skills to make simple questions come to life, with a bright and animated background and theme music that matches Montague’s lively personality.
Rolling out sat down with Montague to discuss how she transformed “Questions with Qri” from a small idea on her social media stories into an advice column that serves individuals from all walks of life via the radio and social media.
When did you decide to start “Questions with Qri?”
Around June or July 2017. It started by us playing around at work, but with riddles as questions and then random questions. [My co-workers] would ask silly riddles that I never knew any of the answers to so it was kind of like I was the butt of the joke as a comical thing. Then one day I was like, “you know what, I’m tired of y’all making fun of me.” So, I started thinking about how to turn “Questions with Qri” from something funny to something that could actually benefit people. I think what really made me want to do it is because no one believed in me. One day, I went in the studio and just started recording myself. The first few questions I got from a site by just googling “most asked questions” and then I gave my answers. I just used that to launch it.
Tell us about the process of producing your content.
I literally do everything. I schedule all the shoots, book all guests, shoot, direct and edit all the content. I just decided to book some events, so I booked the dates and the flights and I found and secured all the sponsorships. Pretty much whatever needs to get done, I handle it.
What gave you the confidence to feel like you have the answers to all these questions?
I was surprised, but then again I wasn’t. I wasn’t because I know people have questions. Life is a question, so I know everyone has questions. I felt like I could answer these questions because I spent a lot of time in college being very introspective and reflecting on life and myself. That time allowed me to become very empathic and compassionate and open to hearing and learning about things and people. So while I’m still learning and figuring it out, I want to help other people do the same. And I’ll be honest, if I don’t have the answer I will ask my network and community and get back to you but I will get you the answer. I never try to act like I have it all together.
Are there any boundaries for the questions?
As of now, there aren’t any boundaries. Not until I get that one question that is just too extreme. I think the boundary is me. So I guess I have certain limitations to the questions people will ask me about myself.
Do you answer every question you receive?
I may not make a video for every single question, but I answer every question. I email or DM them back as soon as I see it or as soon as I get the answer.
On average, how many questions do you get?
I think it depends. The other day I got flooded and I got hit with like 40. For this upcoming event I’m going to at the University of Florida, I had about 90 questions.
How did you end up booking a gig in Florida?
I just DM’d people. I pride myself on knowing people or getting to know people and I literally DM’d people I know at different schools and asked them to put me in contact with people over student events. I network through my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, but it’s all about general networking. And finding an angle in whatever is going on at that campus. Whether it’s mental health or whatever, I find an angle and then pitch myself.
Do you ever plan on monetizing your brand?
I was literally just thinking about this! I honestly don’t know how I would make that happen, but I’m a firm believer that if you do something that you love, the money will come. It was literally not even on my mind until like a day ago, but at the end of the day that’s not even my focus because I know what it’s like to have so many questions and feel like you can’t get an answer. So my focus right now is to just be there for people and let them know that someone cares enough to listen.
What is your overall goal with your brand?
My goal is to enlighten people on the power in asking their questions and utilizing their voice because I feel like going through college, we silence ourselves. We are either scared or we silence ourselves or we just keep it bottled in and cooped up in our rooms. I just want to show people that I’m still a student, I’m still figuring it out and it’s OK to work hard. You don’t have to succumb to society’s “new normal.” You can still stay true to yourself and become successful. In five years, I want to have a television show where I’m raising the awareness of what it is like to help people whose life or lifestyle is a question. I want to take cameras into homes and answer questions like, “what is it like to be a single mom?” or “what is it like to wear a hijab?” or “what is the life of a student-athlete?” I just want to be an outlet for people [who] have questions and are seeking answers while allowing people to unapologetically live their truth.
Continue to follow Qri’s journey by following her on all social media platforms:
And submit questions to: [email protected]