Life in Düsseldorf is a community project. That means we work together as a team (of more than 70 different authors) to build inspirational content for expats, locals, and visitors.
I’m the Founder of the website – Jenna Davis, a Canadian-born expat who has been living in Düsseldorf since 2014.
Vielleicht möchtest Du uns ganz zu Beginn unseres Gesprächs Euer Start Life in Düsseldorf kurz vorstellen ?
Life in Düsseldorf ist die größte englischsprachige Online-Publikation in Düsseldorf, die Einheimischen, Expats und Besuchern hilft, das Beste aus ihren Erfahrungen in Düsseldorf zu machen. Wir fördern lokale Marken und internationale Marken, die Menschen dabei helfen, das Beste aus ihrem Deutschlanderlebnis zu machen.
Welches Problem wollt Ihr mit Life in Düsseldorf lösen ?
You can probably imagine that moving to Germany isn’t the easiest of tasks, and back in 2014 when I arrived, there was next to no English content on the web for me to learn more about what I had to do when getting started. This need grew and grew not just for myself, but for other internationals as well. Today, more than 30,000 people come to the site for inspiration and tips when living and exploring in Düsseldorf. We’ve even gained a number of German readers who simply come for the inspiration (I mean, how can you not click on a title like “The 20 Most Instagrammable Spots in Düsseldorf”? 😂
Wie ist die Idee zu Life in Düsseldorf entstanden ?
I began my journey as a travel writer back in 2012, so naturally, starting up a second blog was quite simple. I figured this would be a great way for me to learn how to settle in, while also helping out a few other expats while I’m at it. I had no idea it would grow to what it is today.
Wie würdest Du Deiner Großmutter Life in Düsseldorf erklären ?
Oh boy! In the simplest terms possible, I would tell her that I built up a website that helps other international immigrants, like myself, get the tips they need when moving to Düsseldorf, Germany. Don’t get me started on the question “…but how do you make any money?”
Hat sich Euer Konzept seit dem Start irgendwie verändert ?
Yes, and no. The website started as helpful advice for expats when getting started, but as I become less of an expat and more of a local, I also started writing more about things that interest me (even after living in the city for 5 years). That’s when the website started turning into not just a great place for tips for getting started, but also to find inspiration and local places to visit.
Wie funktioniert Euer Geschäftsmodell ?
Life in Düsseldorf has been a hobby of mine for the last 6 years, and it wasn’t until 2020 that I decided, in order to meet the constant demand for more content, I was going to need to find more ways to monetize the site. We make a bit of money off of affiliate marketing and local partnerships, but it is our goal in the next 6-12 months to implement an online program that helps internationals get started in Germany.
Blicke bitte einmal zurück: Was ist in den vergangenen Jahren so richtig schief gegangen ?
The hardest part of running Life in Düsseldorf has definitely been finding enough time to make it all happen. I gave up a lot of time I could have spent with family and friends, trying to help others. This was a tough position to put myself in. It was a hobby, so even though I could have stopped at any time, I felt like everyday, more and more expats needed my help, and needed more questions answered. How can you say no?
Was habt Ihr daraus gelernt ?
I was hesitant to turn Life in Düsseldorf into a business because I hated the sound of affiliate marketing. At some point I decided, well, if I mentioned brands that I love already, why can’t I add an affiliate link to them? So that’s exactly what I did. However, there are so many website publishers out there today that promote products they are not passionate about just to make an extra Euro, and it’s hard to prove to my readers that I’m any different. It’s up to the reader to put their trust in my hands and believe that I’m truly recommending them only the best possible products and services.
Und wo habt Ihr bisher alles richtig gemacht ?
If there is one thing I’ve done right since the beginning, it was continuing to build positive relationships and friendships with my readers. When you have a passion for your business, it’s a lot easier to find success in the future.
Wie ist Euer Startup finanziert ?
Life in Düsseldorf has been solely financed through the income I made as a travel writer. However, I would love to start looking for additional financing options now that I’ve turned it into a business.
Vielen Dank für das Interview.