Chia Kougianos is a half Lebanese/half Greek freelance content writer and TV presenter based in London. When she's not travelling and exploring new areas, she writes lifestyle and travel content for various digital publications including Holr Magazine and Immigration News.
Hi Chia! Where in the world are you based?
These days I call London home and I am based in a gorgeous little town in Surrey. I was born and raised in South Africa though and being a freelancer I am fortunate enough to still travel home a few times a year to visit family and friends while I work.
How long have you been a freelance content creator and what drew you to this profession?
It will be 9 years this year and I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love engaging with people and being able to meet new faces and document experiences. I worked as a journalist first and mostly in print and then made the move to digital publications and have never looked back. I also really love the freedom that comes with being a freelancer. Being Lebanese we’re quite family-oriented and thanks to a bit of planning and working around deadlines I am able to sneak in a few visits with my grandmother during the week which I would never be fortunate enough to do in an office job.
What does your average week look like?
No two weeks are ever the same and this is one of the reasons I enjoy being a freelance content creator the most. These days I juggle writing lifestyle and travel content for Holr magazine, working on creating content as a freelance political correspondent for Immigration News and as a social media creator for the Surbiton Golf Studio.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
Maintaining a work-life balance is one of the hardest challenges of being a freelance content creator. I think for me personally it’s a combination of great planning, copious amounts of coffee and endless support from my fiancé.
What’s your ideal way to spend a day off?
If I am in South Africa you would most probably find me on the beach or spending the day at the pool and when I’m in the UK I enjoy trying out new cafés and coffee shops or exploring new towns that I haven’t visited before.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction in your work?
I think seeing my work published is always an amazing feeling and to be able to flip through the pages of a magazine and see an article that you have worked on is the best feeling. As a result of Covid-19, I happen to work a lot more with online publications than print but seeing an article shared online and reading the comments it brings is quite rewarding in itself too.
If you could go back to when you first started writing, what advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself to buy a weekly planner! I have become a lot more organised (some may argue OCD) these last few months and it has really paid off. I feel like I have been able to manage my time a lot more efficiently and there’s no better feeling than crossing things off a daily checklist.
What are your goals for 2021?
I would love to have another weekly column in a regional newspaper. I used to have The Socialite published in South Africa in the Sunday Tribune and it’s definitely one of my career highlights. I’d also like to get back into travel content. This year has been quite challenging with Covid-19 and the travel restrictions happening all over the world but hopefully 2021 will bring some new opportunities.