Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!
While I’m travelling back down to London today after Christmas with all the family, I’m sure you’ll be getting in the mood for a party tonight. As it’s Sunday, I’m bringing you another guest blogger Q&A, so I hope you have time to have a read. Especially as this week’s featured blogger is the super lovely Jen Lowthrop of She Gets Around.
I’ve known Jen since I met her on a press trip which took us around the Med on a Silversea cruise. It was super luxurious and we visited some gorgeous locations including Valletta and the beautiful island of Capri. If you know Jen, you’ll know she’s a lot of fun! And she knew a lot more about the blogging world than I did when we met, so I learnt a lot from her in the early days of blogging. She’s also introduced me to some great people along the way.
I admire Jen for her brilliant networking ability and general drive and determination in what she does. I hope you enjoy reading her Q&A as much as I did!
If you haven’t checked out my blogger Q&A before, do have a look through the archives. Recent featured bloggers and travel writers include the fabulous Becky Wiggins of EnglishMum.com, Rebecca Hall of Life Beyond Borders and Melvin Boecher of Travel Dudes.
If you’re a travel blogger or travel writer (or even travel photographer) and fancy being featured, then do get in touch.
But for now, it’s over to you Jen…
Guest Blogger Q&A, Jen Lowthrop, She Gets Around
Tell us about yourself
Hey, I’m Jen a travel blogger and freelance digital marketer and trainer living in Derbyshire. Though often still found in London! I’ve been blogging at She Gets Around for 6.5 years though wrote a couple of holiday blogs a couple of years before that too. Wow that’s a long time!
Why did you set up your blog?
It all happened the same day I decided to go travelling, I was having a Sunday roast with friends, saying I sometimes feel like just quitting my job and going travelling and they said ‘Well why don’t you? You could write about it, you could date your way around the world, you could call it She Gets Around’. It was all in the space of a five-minute conversation and within a few weeks I had quit my job, set up my blog and was preparing to travel long term. The dating bit didn’t really go to plan, but the blog and the travel bug has stuck. It’s the only ‘job’ I’ve stuck with for longer than a couple of years.
Tell me about your typical week
This year has been a bit more structured than last year, as I have had a large client I have been working for 3-4 days a week. Monday is generally my day to catch up on blogging and my smaller client work, I work with a range of charities on their social media campaigns and various travel clients on my blog. Tuesday morning, I wake up early and drive to London from Derbyshire (by early I mean 4.30am!) and I work in an office Tuesday – Thursday. It’s great to catch up with friends in London mid-week, or I spend my evenings doing more blog and client work. It’s been my busiest year in business so there has been a lot of working, but it has all helped pay for my house renovations! Thursday night, I head back up north to my new home and work from home Friday. Weekends I am either on a press trip, renovating my home or hanging out with my boyfriend or friends… oh or working!
What do you love most about blogging / writing?
Definitely the opportunities it has brought to me and the people I have met. I’ve met some fantastic friends through blogging who I consider some of my favourite people. I love that we are so alike, all craving travel, adventures and also always working on so many different projects, something my ‘normal’ friends often find a bit crazy about me.
I can’t answer the question ‘what do you do?’ very easily and I know most of my blogger friends find it hard too, as we all do a mix of things to make an income. I’ve also been to some incredible places, I wouldn’t have so easily got to without my blog. Just last month I spent 4 days in Japan on a press trip, somewhere that has been on my bucket list for so long and so I am thankful for this and so many other opportunities my blog has brought to me.
What do you think is the key to a successful blog?
I wish there was an easy answer, if there was I would be doing it. For me the biggest thing has been networking. So many opportunities come through the people I know and meet at various events over the years. Also, just remembering you are there to help people is important. So, try to answer questions through your blog and be helpful to your readers. That way they will keep coming back for more useful (and fun) tips and inspiration.
What kind of content can readers expect from She Gets Around?
I’ve started writing a bit more about freelance life and running my own business, so readers can definitely find some tips and advice and the highs and lows of working for yourself, alongside many travel adventures. I like to write a mixture of story type posts about my travels, alongside more useful tips and advice. Not to mention a few funny stories that are perhaps sometimes better left unsaid.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know..
I’ve had a range of careers in my short(ish) working life, including running the family deli for a year a few years ago. I thought perhaps running a deli and cafe could be for me, but I soon realised the restrictions of having to be in the same place every day just didn’t suit me. For a year I made hundreds of coffees, sold pounds of cheese and could talk about different hams and breads until the shop counter was empty! It was certainly fun and I learnt a lot about running a business, but the freedom that comes from the digital world and having multiple clients suits my lifestyle much better!
What’s been the best trip you’ve ever written about?
Ooh, so many to choose from. One of my all-time favourite trips was visiting Guatemala and Belize last year, two places I was desperate to visit. The colours of the buildings, the turquoise ocean, the friendly locals, the delicious food, it had everything and I still want to write lots more about it!
What are your 3 favourite travel blogs?
My favourite travel blogs are often my friends’ blogs, who are often also my inspiration. Monica from The Travel Hack never fails to inspire me with all she has achieved through her blog, Vicky from VickyFlipFlopTravels always makes me laugh whilst providing great travel advice and a more recent favourite is SophieCliff. I went to Ibiza on a press trip with Sophie last summer and have watched her blog grow from strength to strength ever since. I love that she writes about anything and everything and her posts are always short and manageable to read.
What’s in store for She Gets Around over the next few months?
As always, before the New Year, I’ve started making big plans for the blog and my travels, but reality may kick in and it won’t all happen. The BIG trip that is definitely happening though is I am heading to the other side of the world, to New Zealand to be Maid of Honour for my friend’s wedding! I’m so excited, both to see my friend and her little baby girl, and visit a country I have been desperate to visit for years. I am hoping to tag on a trip to Australia while I am over there and maybe a stop off in the Pacific on the way home. I’d like to visit more of Eastern Europe later in the year too and perhaps another big trip next October. I never plan very far in advance and am excited to see what new adventures and new countries 2018 will bring.
All images provided by Jen
If you’re a travel writer or established travel blogger and you’d like to feature in my guest blog Q&A series, get in touch.