Arianwen Morris is the Scientific Editor of Beyond Blighty.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I worked as a scientific editor for seven years after graduating and eventually became fed up with the daily grind of being in an office environment. I started my travel blog as a way to gain experience and potentially move into travel magazine publishing. Somewhere along the way, I realized I preferred working for myself and I’ve kept the travel blog going for the past six years. Ten months ago, I started working as a freelance science editor, which means I have a steady income, but can work from anywhere and still have the flexibility to attend press trips for the blog. I love being able to work my own hours and make my own decisions.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Some days I mostly work on the science editing from home. Others I’ll be exploring a foreign country or trying out a new adventure sport. I always spend some time each day on email admin and social media for my blog, but sometimes I will have content to write and this will take precedence. It’s a real mixed bag, but that’s what keeps me on my toes!
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
I use WordPress for blogging. Aside from that, I have a few tools to help schedule social media updates, but mostly I do these as and when they seem relevant. I use my email inbox as my ‘to-do’ list and everything that’s been dealt with gets filed. There are still some spreadsheets in use as well, so I guess you might say I’m pretty ‘old school’!
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
Deadlines really motivate me. I hate to not deliver on something I’ve promised, and with a publishing background, I’m used to time pressures. Otherwise, I get most of my inspiration from my peers. I read a lot of travel blogs and frequently network with bloggers. These are some of the most incredibly talented and entrepreneurial people I know.
Their content inspires me to travel to the places they’ve been to, and their success pushes me to strive to achieve
more with my own website.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
Many years ago I was watching the film ‘The Last Samurai’ and was quite moved by the exchange: Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny? Algren: I think a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed. This is exactly what life is about to me. Rather than waiting for things to happen and believing that whatever does is fate, we should take actions towards who or what we want to be. This is why the phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’’ irks me so much, and also why I’m a little annoyed when people say ‘Oh, you’re so lucky’ when they hear I get paid to travel.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I’ve been really impressed by how quickly Sarah Richard has grown an online community of female scuba divers. She has a blog called Girls That Scuba and the linked Facebook group alone has over 16,000 members around the world. It’s a place where people can seek advice, share anecdotes, photos, and tips, find a dive buddy, promote
environmental awareness, and benefit from discounted gear. In a very short space of time, Sarah’s really dominated this niche market, quickly developing a recognizable brand and becoming a household name.
WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Regularly posting engaging content to my blog’s social media channels despite now being UK based and dedicating a much larger proportion of my time to freelance editing.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Networking has always been key for me. I’ve learned a great deal from blogger conferences, meetups, online forums and Facebook groups; it’s been a way to connect with brands I’ve gone on to partner with, and it’s led to collaborations and life-long friendships with other influencers.