Wonderful Women Interview With Author, Crafts Blogger & YouTuber Maggy Woodley
Maggy calls herself one of those lucky few that has their dream job. Not only a dream job, but a dream job that gives her a great work-life balance (though sometimes she wonders if she works a little too much, but reasons that when you love your job, is it even work or simply, life?). Well, yes to that!
Maggy started off as Mechanical Engineering student in Bristol but once graduated, found that the engineering jobs on offer didn’t appeal. She was drawn to the glitziness of London consultancy offices and enjoyed her early years of working for prominent consultancy companies. However, by the time she was expecting her first child she was ready for a break and wanted out of traditional employment.
Maggy made the most of her maternity leave and said that she was, ” ‘Lucky’ enough to somehow land on my feet and create a job I love – Red Ted Art.com“.
Red Ted Art is a craft blog and YouTube channel where Maggy shares cute, fun and easy crafts for kids and grown ups alike. The aim is to make crafts accessible to all – i.e inexpensive and do-able. Via her blog she has a lot of parents, carers and teachers that use her crafts, and via YouTube she says she, ‘ Has “access” to kids themselves wanting to craft and be more creative, making it a great way to talk to two different sets of people, but via the same medium – crafts’.
It’s an absolute joy to welcome creative hero Maggy to my blog!
1. Describe a typical day for you?
There are no real typical days for me – as a fellow blogger, I am sure you can imagine! But if I was going to try and get a general overview of my day/ week, it would look something as follows:
As my work totally wraps around the kids and family life, the day always starts with getting the kids ready for school and the school run.
My work roughly divides into:
– creating content (be it for my site/ YouTube channel or a client)
– editing and writing said content
– a LOT of social media (to drive traffic) and
– a good chunk of admin (which includes far too many daily emails).
Once the kids are safely deposited, I usually head home, make a nice cup of tea and start with emails and some social media. “Doing” social media, means scheduling content for my Facebook page, sharing ideas to pinterest. Posting a photo to Instagram. Replying to comments on YouTube. Talking to fellow bloggers via Facebook groups about projects we are working on together or other bits and pieces.
This can easily take 2-3 hours.
Sometimes I have to consciously stop myself from the never ending hole that social media is and get up and do some creating – come up with a new craft or film a video. I am then likely to have a break for lunch and a walk (I try and get out and about at least once day and aim for 10,000 steps daily), before rushing back and finishing of anything I had started in the morning (usually some photo editing or writing of a post). Finally, it is time to get the kids and have some time with them. After bedtime, I am likely to spend another hour or so doing odds and ends. But I try to avoid that and actually have evenings off.
2. What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I could be cheesy and say – producing my two lovely children – but don’t all mothers feel that way? But if it is meant in more general terms – then definitely having built something up from scratch – that I didn’t even know COULD exist and making a living from it WHILST still be there for my kids. Though I feel lucky to have what I have… I also know it is years of hard work and dedication on my part – with a belief that “this can work”. Never losing sight of that and ploughing on.
3. What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
You know, I actually don’t take my handbag out very much.. I go everywhere with a set of keys, my iphone and sometimes a bit of cash/ debit card in my pocket! Less is more.
4. What are your ambitions in life?
If you are talking pie in the sky kind of ambitions, I would LOVE for Red Ted Art to one day be a crafty household name – a bit like Blue Peter and their ‘here is one I made earlier’ catchphrase. My catch phrase would be something like ‘Keep watching. Keep making’. I would love to have helped and inspired a generation of kids to get crafty and enjoy creating.
In terms of more general ambitions, I have what I want right now: a job I love, decent income and time for my children, husband and me!
5. What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
On a pragmatic level, I wish I had taken better photos (and edited them to the correct photo size) and been a bit better at SEO with my early work… but that is something very specific to the blogging world! In general? Looking back at my working career, I don’t really miss or regret anything or ‘wish I had known’ etc.
I was lucky to start working life in a very positive, egalitarian environment… where young starters were valued and thrown in the deep end right from the word go. I always believed in myself and knew I was capable and had a lot of support from my colleagues. I LOVED my first job (until it was bought by another company…). So things I wish I had known? Nothing. Things I would like to tell others? Believe in yourself, work hard, ask questions, ask for help if you need it and never fear failure. Seek out promotions – asks for them, don’t expect them to be given to you and stand up for your rights.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Now there is million dollar question. A while back it was ‘bigger and more’. Now I am not sure. Maybe hiring someone to do the day to day work for me, whilst I still keep a hand in doing the “fun stuff”. But I find it VERY hard to delegate.
I need to work on establishing a 5 year plan and goals. The problem also with our (blogging/ YouTube-ing) work, is that it is CONSTANTLY CHANGING. Achieving “one goal” doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. You have to constantly learn and adapt. Put you eggs in as many baskets as possible and keep on working hard! And as the online landscape keeps changing it is very hard to predict where we would ALL be in 5 year’s time… maybe I will “cash in” and live off the profits for a while. Who knows!
7. What advice would you give a budding blogger/author/ YouTuber?
Just do it. No faffing. No talking about what you will like to do and ideas you have. Just get on with it and DO IT. You will learn as you go. You will see what your audience likes/ doesn’t like (as you begin to grow). But you just have to start… and then you have to stick at it. I see many people fail before they have even started.. simply because they don’t start.. or they start and they keep at it for 3 months.. then run out of steam and stop. Blogging and YouTube take time and commitment. 3 months may seem like a long time to try something out, but it isn’t really when you are just starting out. It literally takes years.
At the same time listen to the feedback you are getting (e.g. how quickly is your audience growing, are you getting any SEO hits and if so on what? What are people reading/ commenting/ watching? Respond to these.. and see where they take you).
There is no shame in starting but changing direction as you go along. It is a process of learning.. and it is fine to adapt when you need to. Just don’t change direction every 3 months…
8. What advice would you give to new parents?
Oh wow. Now that was a long time ago – as with work – believe in yourself. Parental instincts are usually quite right. Don’t worry about what other people say and do, do things YOUR way. Don’t be scared of your child or scared of spending time with them. Spending time with your child doesn’t mean a crazy amount of activities and things to do together.. just hanging out is great. Whenever you can, slow down. Don’t cram too much in. Less is more.