Ever since I moved to Australia and discovered Phoebe’s blog I have fan-girled over her work. We’ve never met in person but I feel like I know Phoebe from her hilarious personal content and regular vlogs. I’m so pleased she agreed to let me interview her for How I Make It Work. Over to you Phoebe.
Tell us about your blog and how long you’ve been running it.
I started Little Grey Box on the floor of our flat in London, completely on a whim. It really began as an outlet because I love to write. It was pretty terrible in the beginning and I wrote mostly funny pieces about experiences, thoughts and opinions. I guess it sort of organically moved toward travel because we were travelling so much. In 2013, I told my husband I wanted to quit my job and in June 2014, I did! It was the best feeling and completely terrifying but after that, Little Grey Box grew really quickly because I had the time and energy to give to it. Now, both Matt and I run our business full time!
I love all the unique experiences and opportunities we get. If we planned our travel ourselves, as opposed to it being planned for us for work, we wouldn’t get to experience half the things we do or get to visit so many hidden places. Just recently we were on this tiny island in the middle of the Stockholm Archipelago and I realised if I didn’t have Little Grey Box, I wouldn’t have ever stepped foot on that island.
And the least?
It’s very easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect – write the perfect blog post, wear the perfect outfit, get the perfect photo. It’s very easy to look around you and see so many talented people succeeding and feel like you aren’t good enough. If you let those thoughts creep into your mind, they can consume you. I really struggled with that for a long time but it’s taught me how to be appreciative of everything I have and be present.
Matt and I earn the majority of our blogging income through content creation. For us, that means we go and experience something (a destination, hotel, restaurant etc) then create written, photographic or video content about our experience. Right from the outset we made the decision not to place any affiliate marketing or ads on the website. We wanted to keep it a clean and honest space, based on our experiences.
What’s been your most popular content/campaign to date?
I honestly don’t really know! Brands often put some money behind promoting the content we create, so it’s hard to measure the organic success of a campaign. Personally, I tend to find my packing guides always perform well on the blog as do personal posts where I share my honest thoughts about something close to my heart.
(Jayne note: I had to share this video as it just makes me LOL every time)
What campaigns have you enjoyed working on the most and why?
There are so many! But, I have to say, I’ve worked with Singapore Airlines twice now, once on a trip to Germany and once to Sweden, and both times were phenomenal. They have a great ability to put together an incredible itinerary and are never overbearing or pushy. I always feel like they trust us and our work, provide a great experience for us to capture then leave us to get the job done. We have a great working relationship with them.
With hindsight, what would you have done differently on your blog?
I would’ve settled on a niche much sooner. I spent a lot of time trying to write about everything and it just didn’t work. For a long time, Little Grey Box was a really confused and confusing space. It would’ve been great if I had known from the outset I wanted to create a travel blog and had a more organised, structured approach to it.
What does success look like to you?
Happiness. This isn’t about money or status for me, if it was, I’d still be in the old job. I went after this dream because I knew, in my heart, it was what I was meant to do with my life and that it would make happy. It does. I’ve lived a life with money and all the ‘things’ we’re supposed to acquire and I was dead set miserable. Now, I have a life filled with what I love and I feel much happier and more successful than I ever could’ve in my old life.
Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?
In five years I see us with some sort of television show, sharing the really funny side of travel, the realistic stuff where a hotel room is weird or the food is bad but you still have a great time anyway because you drink too much red wine and find an amazing food truck. We’ve just started creating Vlogs for the Little Grey Box YouTube Channel so the plan is for something to grow from them. I also plan to have no less than 10 cats by then.
I can’t wait to watch that show Phoebe!
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