Popular blogger Liv Purvis on her ever-changing career and the importance of being nice
Liv Purvis is a 24-year-old Londoner with a career in the ever-growing world of the YouTuber/blogger. Her blog What Olivia Did and YouTube channel boasting over 82,000 subscribers, hosts content ranging from style to food and music. Discussing her online journey, dream collaboration and tricks of the trade, it’s time to meet your new online best friend.
WNOL: What do you think have been the key elements of getting to where you are today?
Liv Purvis: Probably determination, following my gut and I’d like to think just being nice – if that doesn’t make me sound pompus.
WNOL: What was the reason for setting up your blog?
LP: I started my blog when I was studying in sixth form in 2010. I’d been interning and doing a lot of work experience, as well as studying photography, so I started it almost as a mini portfolio of what I’d been doing. My best friend introduced me to blogging too – so I have her to thank.
WNOL: When did it really start to kick in that your blog could potentially become your full-time career?
LP: I don’t think there was ever one lightbulb moment, as it was such a gradual process going full time. When I was shortlisted for the Cosmo Blog Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ that year I did have a moment where I realised people were actually reading though – which was very cool.
WNOL: People making careers out of blogging is a fairly new phenomenon. Did this make the decision to rely on your blog as a career daunting?
LP: Not really, I never really saw it as a business venture, and being pretty un-savvy when it comes to things like that probably should have thought about it more. I was freelancing on the side at the time, so I was able to make a decision without it being too risky. Obviously, there is the feeling that it’s ever changing so you don’t know where the next few months and years may take you, but that’s also exciting too.
WNOL: You posted your first YouTube video in 2014. Did this feel like a natural step in your career and were you nervous about the response?
LP: It did. I guess it felt quite natural as people were moving across to that format around then anyway. Having never filmed anything before it was definitely daunting, it felt like it was going on TV.
WNOL: YouTubers and bloggers now play a huge role in advertising. You have worked with the likes of Estée Lauder, Lancôme, and Liz Earle, how do you choose which brands to work with?
LP: It’s always such an easy decision because it boils down to whether they’re a brand I’d use or go on to buy from organically. If something doesn’t totally sit right with a brief for me, it’s so much easier to say no than produce something your heart isn’t totally in.
WNOL: You still regularly post on both your blog and YouTube. Which platform do you prefer and what makes them different?
LP: I definitely still prefer and prioritise my blog over everything. It’s the one thing that’s solely mine and something I’ve been so invested in for years. I feel the most confident with still imagery and writing, and although filming is a fun process, it is definitely more timely. I also think YouTube viewers are far more critical too, which takes a bit of getting used to.
WNOL: Your content is quite heavily fashion based, where do you find your style inspiration?
LP: So many places. As much as I love Pinterest and Instagram, I really love films, magazines and music to inspire me.
WNOL: With your viewers and readers constantly expecting new content, how do you deal with the pressure of constantly coming up with new posts and uploads?
LP: To be honest, because I’ve been doing it for so long the only pressure I really get is from myself. It’s largely just become part of my routine and I know what I’m capable of putting out on a weekly basis, so try to not over promise and under deliver.
WNOL: Who would you love to collaborate with for a video and what would you do with them?
LP: I love working on collaborations with women who aren’t largely online and being able to chat to them in a candid way. My wardrobe series is one of my favourite things I do, so there’s always a growing list of women I’d love to have on.
WNOL: As a Londoner, do you feel the city helps inspires you?
LP: Definitely, I love being able to share new pockets of the city and new openings.
WNOL: Do you have any tips for someone starting out when there are so many creators already out there?
LP: My advice would probably be to just do it if you really love it. It’s so simple, but I think if you’re coming at it from a super strategic point of view you could end up being disappointed. I’d also say keep at it, it took me years to be able to make it a career, and I do think we’re in a world of instants. So if it doesn’t happen overnight keep going.
Cover Image: Liv Purvis