Cathleen McCarthy is the Founder and Editor of The Jewelry Loupe.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
The Recession — when I launched The Jewelry Loupe in 2009, I had time on my hands. In the years leading up to that, I was burn-out-level busy as a magazine freelancer. Everything fell through that year, including a contract to write a coffee table book on jewelry. Waiting for the market to come around, I started two travel-related sites with partners and well-published travel writers. To my surprise, it was my quirky little jewelry blog that took off, built and produced by myself. I learned from all these projects, even the failures. It was like going back to school, only instead of being stuck with student loans a couple years later, I had built new revenue streams. Blogging taps into a lot of skills I’ve amassed along the way, including photography, graphic design, curating, and interviewing.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I don’t have a typical day anymore. Some are much like they were a decade ago. I’m still an active freelance writer but I pitch much less than I used to. Editors and clients find me through my blog and social media. I juggle more roles now. Even as I deal with editors and publishers as a writer, I’m responding to inquiries as an editor and publisher myself. When not working on a project for someone else, I’m typically building the site and online marketing.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
I rely on my MacBook Pro at home but when I’m on the road I work on an iPad Air with a portable keyboard and rely on my iPhone for everything — notes, photography, video, interview recording, social media, communication, and billing. Most used work-related apps include Instagram, Facebook, iRecorder, Wave, SignNow, Kindle, and Stitcher for podcasts.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
Walk or run in the woods. Look at beautiful things made by hand and talk to the artists who made them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
I’m a fan of Cal Newport’s Deep Work.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Learning how to delegate!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Things evolve so rapidly. Leave time to experiment and to market. Watch what’s working for everyone else but focus on finding your own groove. Have a plan in place before you launch but be prepared to throw spaghetti at the wall. Take stock regularly and get rid of time wasters.