How is it Monday again? That weekend went so quickly! The good news is that means it’s time to feature another fantastic writer for my Q&A blogger series. And this week it’s one of my personal faves – Lucy Sheref, a fellow travel writer and journalist and founder of the Wanderluce blog, who I personally love for her beautiful instagram feed, honest approach and great tips on mastering the ‘techy’ and social media side of your blog.
If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve caught up with my other recent blogger Q&As with Bonnie of Bonnie in Wonderland, Alex of Gingey Bites, Hadas of The Fashion Matters, Sophie of Sophie Cliff and Char of Memoir Musings.
But for now, let’s find out about Lucy and her site Wanderluce.
Over to you Lucy…
Tell us about yourself and your blog, Wanderluce
I’m a thirty three year old freelance journalist by trade and have lived in London for over 15 years. Although I guess travel is my specialty (I’m a former staff writer at Express Online & Lonely Planet) I also write about health and motherhood too. I run my blog and blog mentoring services alongside my ‘day job’ and I’ve recently had a wee baby.
Why did you set up your blog?
I’ve always loved writing, but only started my blog about 4 years ago when my (now) husband and went travelling for six months…..which turned into three years! I initially blogged solely about our travels, but when we came home to London last year to get married I branched into writing more about lifestyle in general. Now, while I still write about travel, I concentrate a lot on sharing blogging advice and my journey through motherhood too. I resisted being a ‘blogger who blogs about blogging’ but actually, helping new bloggers find their feet (or get their writing published) has become one of my favourite things ever!
Tell me about your typical week – do you blog part-time or full-time?
Freelance journalism is my ‘day job’ I guess, so about 80% of my time is dedicated to pitching stories to editors, and hoping they’ll commission me to write something! I have a few regular gigs, and editors I have a good relationship with — Telegraph, BA High Life, Mother & Baby, The Pool and Stylist are all regular pitching grounds for me — but these don’t always turn into commissions, so it takes a lot of work nurturing those relationships.
Alongside that, I try to regularly write on my blog, and stay on top of client work — I mentor bloggers who are keen to develop their blog, or get their first byline — and l’m also putting the finishing touches to my podcast!
Like most freelancers, I work from home so my typical week involves lots of procrastination, and trying to avoid Netflix ;) I’m currently on maternity leave, so I’m pretty much solely working on the blog….and spending far too much time on instagram, my main source of joy (other than my baby & husband!)
What do you love most about blogging?
I love the creativity of it. In journalism, there’s always someone else in charge — even when you pitch the story, an editor dictates the angle and might come back after you’ve written wanting to change things. But with blogging, it’s all you. I LOVE the freedom to play, write long form rambling essays, or little how-to pieces.
I also LOVE the community! I’ve been esconced in the travel blogging community for a long time now, and some of my closest friends were made online first. Whenever a new blogger tells me they’re a bit nervous about networking I always tell them to go to a Travel Massive event (which are all over the world) – get drunk, make friends….it’s the best.
What do you think is the key to a successful blog?
Hmmmm I guess first off it really depends on your measure of success. I’m a big believer in understanding your goals first, before measuring anything so you don’t fall into the trap of stalking numbers for numbers sake. For example: If you’re blogging about luxury travel and you ultimate goal is to get a press trip, you need different metrics than if your ultimate goal is to use your blog as a stepping stone to get published. Understanding this can free up a whole lot of time, and stress! I see lots of bloggers chasing traffic or social media followers so they can put it in a media kit without actually knowing why.
Having said all this, I love to read a blog by someone comfortable in their own voice.
What kind of content can readers expect from your site?
My blog has three main topics: motherhood, travel and blogging advice. My travel style has definitely changed as I’ve got older, so you can expect affordable luxury and posts about packing (my favourite topic!)
I like to share all of my knowledge on blogging too, so I regularly write long-ish posts about different aspects of blogging, like how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog. The motherhood posts are a pretty new foray for me, but I love writing about my journey & even people who don’t have kids seem to like them!
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know…
I’ve lived in Thailand, Australia and Saudi Arabia as well as London!
What are your favourite travel/lifestyle blogs you most like to read?
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
INSTAGRAM! I was an early adopter of this platform but didn’t take it seriously until late last year (annoyingly!). I love photography, and find myself inspired daily by the awesome people I follow (including you!) but honestly, it’s just the most wonderful community. I’ve never liked Facebook, and Twitter is fab for work…but instagram is where I’ve found my tribe. I’ve met the nicest people there and, despite not having an easy interface to promote your blog, Instagram provides a solid stream of traffic to my blog too.