November: Member of the Month

Winter is coming! To bring you a little bit of sunshine today straight from Australia, we have found the perfect treat. Here is our member of the month, drum roll…. Alice Griffin. She’s here to tell us all about her passion for writing and share some amazing tips on how to write great content.

Hey Alice, thank you for letting me interview you today. Let’s kick off by telling us a bit more about yourself.

Hey guys, I’m Alice, a Content Writer and Editor. I just started a full-time freelance business. Before that I was working as a Content Editor for a travel start-up in London and, before moving to the UK, worked as a journalist for lifestyle magazines in Sydney. I moved from Australia to the UK in 2015 mainly because I wanted to travel more. My parents are British so it was easier to move to the UK rather than America, and it’s nice and easy to travel around Europe from there as well.

Do you think there are more opportunities for your area of work in the UK? What about in Liverpool?

I would say there are the same opportunities available in England as there are in Australia for my line of work. The difference for Liverpool is that it is a lot more affordable to live than London, which is vital when you’re going out on your own — that’s why I decided to move here a few months ago. The move has given me the financial leeway needed to be more creative and think outside the box.

It sounds like you really like living here! Is Launch22 part of the fun? How did you hear about us?

I heard about Launch22 a few years ago when I came to an event here. I really liked the event, so when I moved to Liverpool I thought of you guys straight away. It’s a really nice, light space. I think that if you are a freelancer or someone working alone it’s important to have somewhere to go to every day, rather than working from home all day alone. I have been lucky enough to always work in cool offices that help boost my creativity. As for Launch22, the events are really nice, the yoga is cool. There are also mentors and people that you run ideas by, which I love.

That’s great to hear. So, you are a content writer? Can you tell us a bit more about what that involves?

I do lots of different things day to day. I’m always writing and editing online content for brand’s blogs and digital magazines, as well as print pieces. My background is in journalism and I still write for magazines now. I mainly work with design, travel and lifestyle-related publications based in Sydney and London. I also work with brands, helping them to find their voice and enhancing their communication across all platforms; social media, email marketing, blogs, all that. It’s all good fun and I’m very lucky to work with some amazing companies and publishers.

How did you get into writing?

I never thought I was going to be a writer. I studied media at university and got an internship in Sydney at Universal Magazines, where I first started writing professionally. After a few months they offered me a full-time job — which I juggled with my uni work — so I kind of fell into my career I guess.

Until recently, I have always worked for companies. Earlier this year, I started a new job as a Content Manager for a leading hotel group in London, but the work culture wasn’t quite right for me. I decided to hedge my bets and start freelancing full-time. If it wasn’t for the situation I was in, I might have left it for a few more years before going out on my own, but it has turned out really well — it made me take a risk and push myself where I may not have otherwise.

What advice would you give to someone who want to start as a freelancer?

Going freelance is really tough, especially when it’s unexpected. I would say to other people; make sure freelancing is something that you absolutely want to do and are 100% committed to. Don’t have a backup job if you can avoid it. Part-time jobs are great for some, but I didn’t want to be reliant on that position and take away my focus from what I’m really passionate about. I’ve seen lot of freelance friends stuck in that in-between phase.

Growing your network before you go freelance is important as well. Reach out to your contacts, and ideally have a base of clients at the ready for when you do go solo.

Blogging is becoming increasingly popular; can you give us some tips on how to write an effective blog article?

There is no one size fits all. My first ever editor told me that people respond best to other people and their stories, and I always try to stick with that. For example, when I’m writing an blog article on a home renovation project, the design of course is super important, but it is how that design will inform people’s lives that makes for a great story. Also, don’t be too serious, play around with ideas and words and be original. People want to read something that is relatable, so don’t try to sound clever for the sake of sounding clever. Big words aren’t always best.

Where do you see your career going?

While I’m busy at the moment, I always want to be busier. I only have a few Liverpool-based clients currently — most of my work comes from clients in London and Sydney — so I’d love to work with more local businesses here, that’s a short term goal of mine. And long term, I’m not quite sure yet. I definitely want to continue working with the brands, businesses and publishers that inspire me, and create more connections along the way. So far, so good!

Check out Alice’s latest work here, and you can follow her on LinkedIn too.

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By Thomas Abbate