University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

Lisa Ng

Class of 2006 – CSI

Innis Alumna, Lisa Ng, is the Founder + Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart + stylish women that launched in June 2013. She also works as a freelancer, specializing in Digital Content and Social Media Strategy. Recently, Lisa developed coffee lifestyle content for Van Houtte Coffee by producing how-to videos and blogs with Sid Lee – an advertising firm that was recently named ‘Agency of the Year – 2013’ in Canada.

What inspired you to create a lifestyle blog for women?

I was constantly getting emails from friends and family for restaurant recommendations, travel questions and just really random things. I’m a super detail-oriented person and I’m always on the hunt for the best taco, best dim sum or something equally as ridiculous. I decided to take all that knowledge and create a blog where I could refer people.

This Beautiful Day is a lifestyle website for women, where myself and my team curate and write daily on topics such as food, travel, style, beauty and life advice.

What are some of the difficulties you have faced when developing your blogs? How do you begin to develop your fan base?

I have learned that blogging as a business is 50% actual blogging and 50% hustle. If you work for yourself, you have to constantly be promoting yourself and your work. Yes, writing the blog post is great – but you have to spend the rest of the time sharing it on all your social media channels, attending blogging conferences, networking with brands/PR and other bloggers, following-up on emails, going to events. It really goes beyond just writing. It’s all the other little things that you do that help to develop your fan base.

That and by being your authentic self. You can’t please everyone and be every thing to every audience. So just aim to be the best that you can be and don’t worry about what other people are doing. The cream always rises to the top and if you’re good – people will notice.

Do you have any advice to share with those who are beginning their own blogs and websites? How do they begin to make it profitable?

My advice for anyone looking to start a successful blog or website is to blog consistently and be original. It’s very tough to make a living off blogging, I see it as part of my bigger freelance career and found that blogging is what led me to bigger and better writing and social media jobs. The blogging world is also very saturated so pick a niche, create amazing content and have magazine-worthy pictures on your site.

How do you manage working from home? How do you create a balance between personal and professional time?

I am a night owl and I find that I am most creative at night. So during the day, I’ll answer a few emails and do the most pressing deadline first thing in the morning and work until about lunch. In the afternoon, I run errands exercise and take care of a few personal things and spend my nights blogging and writing. I think finding a perfect balance is very difficult. You have to do what works best for you.

I do work from home but I also travel a lot. As long as I have a fast and consistent Internet connection, I can work from anywhere in the world and that was a non-negotiable for me when choosing this career and freelance lifestyle.

What is the most important lesson you have learned during your career?

I think it’s important to be extremely picky about the people you choose to surround yourself with. Steer clear of any distracting drama, negative attitudes and small thinkers. You want to have people who are you always on your team, cheering you on and offering support in any way that they can. At the same time, you have to be that person for them and give back to the people who give their best to you.

Also, go with your gut – always. It’s right 90% of the time. So if you get an off feeling about something or someone, you are probably right. Walk away – it will save you time, stress and money in the long run.

What is your favourite memory from your time spent at Innis College?

My first year at U of T was very overwhelming and Innis was such a nice, cozy college that I always felt at ease there. I loved studying and grabbing lunch at Innis Café in-between lectures and tutorials.

How has your undergraduate experience helped you with your career?

I think it helped me respect deadlines and shape my writing skills. Writing all of those essays made me a better writer and I truly appreciate that now. If you get a chance to take a writing class, I highly recommend that you do it as soon as possible during your undergraduate career.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with current Innis students?

Travel as much as possible while you are young; I took a five-week backpacking trip across Europe the summer after graduation and I have never regretted it. I learned so much about myself and about the world. Finding time to travel when you are stuck with only 3-4 weeks of vacation, a mortgage or even family obligations makes travel harder as you get older.

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