There’s nothing I love more than talking with fellow bloggers and like-minded people! That’s why I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a serious chat about blogging, business, and freelancing with fellow blogger Lizzie Davey from Wanderful-World. Lizzie is a professional business and lifestyle writer who helps brands grow loyal communities around their content. She also runs Wanderful World, where creative freelancers can find detailed guides and courses that will help sky-rocket their businesses. You can also follow Lizzie on her other social media outlets: Twitter , Facebook , Instagram, and even YouTube !
You’ve had your website for a long while now! It’s pretty impressive that you’ve stuck with it and are now successfully freelancing and teaching others. What’s kept you going? Is this what you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes, four years seems like a long time in the blog-o-sphere! It’s kind of been a case of “I can’t quit”. I’m really not a quitter and, although I’ve had plenty of moments where I’ve wanted to pack it all in, I’ve stuck at it because I absolutely love it. There definitely has to be an element of love and passion involved, otherwise it can turn into a chore pretty quickly!
I’ve always known that I wanted to work for myself at some point. Both my parents are self-employed, and their lifestyles were a huge inspiration to me. I grew up with an entrepreneurial mindset because of this, so working full-time for someone else for the rest of my life just wasn’t an option!
I was always a writer, too. At school I loved English and I always managed to get top of the class without much effort (wow, it really sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet!). I’d been writing stories ever since I could hold a pen, and my “ideal career” always involved writing in some way for as long as I could remember. The teaching part came naturally. This definitely wasn’t something I planned, because I always thought I’d make a terrible teacher. It’s the helping people out and changing people’s lives that inspired that part of my business, and I’m really excited for the way it’s turning out.
For people who are just starting out with their first business, what is your number 1 all time tip and why?
Have a plan.
Seriously, plans are so underrated! I went into freelancing without any real idea of where I was going or what I wanted to do, and that wasted a lot of my time.
If I could go back now, I’d sit down and write down a 1 year plan, a 5 year plan, and so on. Having that blueprint to work to (and something to work towards) keeps you on track even when it feels like you’ll never succeed.
Can I offer one more tip that kind of goes hand in hand with having a plan? I’d suggest doing one thing every day that moves your business forward, even if it seems like the smallest thing in the world. At the end of a month, you’ll have done 30 things to boost your business without really realizing it.
I noticed through some investigating (super blog sleuthing!) that you started seeing a huge increase in traffic to your blog. What do you attribute that with? Did you take any special training or courses to teach you new “tricks of the trade”?
Yes! It was around October/November last year when things really started to take off, and I think it’s a combination of two things:
1. I narrowed my focus on certain freelancing topics and started creating really in-depth posts. Before then I was writing vague, inspirational style posts, but I wanted to become known as a resource that actually offered valuable, actionable advice. So now each post is between 2,000-3,000 words and I always plan what I want readers to get out of it.
2. I started networking. Being a freelancer, it’s really easy to lock myself away and not talk to anyone all day. But late last year I realized I couldn’t carry on like that. I started joining Facebook groups with like-minded people, and joining communities of freelancers. It’s really helped having people to turn to for advice!
I didn’t take any courses, no, but I have a background in marketing and blogging (and four years of doing something teaches you a lot!), so I started applying things I’d learned in the past.
When you’re not freelancing, blogging, or running your Facebook group, what do you do for fun?
I’m currently about 15,000 words into my second novel (please don’t ask about the first one… I’ve well and truly shelved it!), so I like to keep up with that. I’m also training to run 10km next month for charity, so I’m really into running at the moment (it helps that the spring weather is starting to arrive!).
Aside from that, I’m learning Spanish, I love country walks and pub lunches, and my guilty pleasure is crappy American dramas.
What does the future hold for you and Wanderful-World? Do you have a 6 month, 12 month, or 5 year plan?
So far I’m up to my 12-month plan. I have it written out month by month, including what products I’m going to release, my subscriber goals, and how I’m going to continue offering value to my audience.
I’ll be releasing more courses this year (the next one’s coming up next month!), and I’m going to start hosting free, live workshops and webinars soon. At some point, I’d love to put together an in-person event for freelancers, but that’s still a pipe-dream at the moment!
Last Question: What is your favorite blog to follow and why?
Oh wow, I don’t think I can name just one! I love Jeff Goins’ blog for inspiring posts about audience building. I love Mariah Coz’s Femtrepreneur blog for no-BS advice about building a business, and I love Nesha Designs for awesome freelancing advice. There are LOADS more I read regularly (my Feedly is fit to burst), but I won’t name them all here!