Case Study


Loredana Gogoescu of Destguides seated in front of a vibrant tiled wall in Cadiz.

Case Study - Destguides

In conversation with Loredana Gogescu

I’d like to think I was born to be a world traveller at times (a joke). I am a Romanian-Canadian that has also lived overseas for almost a decade in countries like South Korea, Singapore and the UK.

Before Destguides, I was pursuing a career in the mental health field in London. I completed a joint Master of Science degree in Global Mental Health from LSHTM and King’s College London.


Destguides (Destination Guides) is a digital-only travel publication that partners with freelance writers across the world to produce long-form travel articles on topics like itineraries, things to do, and more, for various locations around the world.

Considering I have been living abroad and travelling overseas for a long time now, Destguides came to fruition when I was out for coffee and brunch with my spouse at one of our local breakfast joints in London. The business seemed like a great way to combine my passion for travel and work as part of the next step in my career and life.

I didn’t feel like I was learning the skills I wanted to at the time, in my full-time role as an Account Executive in the healthcare advertising and marketing space, and I had an opportunity and the time to see if I could start and grow my own business. It seemed like everything aligned back in 2019, and it was the right time to take the leap, so I did.

The journey

It’s been very interesting and a challenging but rewarding journey so far. Nonetheless, it has been really cool and empowering to say that I taught myself everything digital marketing-related and built a successful and thriving business from scratch.

The growth curve

It took me a couple of years of working really hard and learning a new field, investing lots of my own time and money, and changing the overall business strategy, to finally see some revenue come into the business.

As a result, for two consecutive years, we were able to double Destguides’ revenue for a period. Specific actions that helped our growth were: changing our content strategy after the pandemic, partnering with a high-quality ad management company, and integrating with several top-tier accommodation and tour companies. Once we implemented the above, more revenue started coming in, which was exciting to see.


As an online publisher whose traffic mainly comes from large search engines, social media sites, and news aggregators, we find ourselves frustrated sometimes, as we’re at the mercy of the various algorithms. Algorithms can change, the competition can get tougher, and world events like the pandemic can sideline your travel business, which it did for me early on when the business first got started.


The freedom and flexibility being the owner affords me with regards to my schedule and being able to work from anywhere. If I need to take time off for personal reasons, then I can. The only person I need to report to is myself, which is invaluable.

The business is also at a point now where we have solid business processes and clear roles for certain activities. This means I can step away for short periods, and the team can continue on without me, which is really exciting. I never thought I would see this day!

The future

I’d love to continue adding more writers from around the world to the team, and eventually bring on more folks to help run the day-to-day. While it might not happen in the next year or two, although I hope it does, I hope it can happen in the next five.


Be patient, be curious, and be prepared to fail over and over again, and sometimes potentially even dislike what you’re doing and have built. All the feelings are valid, but when you do see growth, don’t forget to take a step back and celebrate how far you and the business have come.

For anyone looking to start their own digital publication, it is important to flag that starting a new publication and expecting a quick win in terms of revenue is not realistic. It takes time to build authority and to start earning an income, even for different topics on an established website like Destguides. Keeping this at the back of your mind is important even many years later, so you don’t feel disappointed when you don’t see quick growth.

Using 1st Formations

I found 1st Formations as I was looking for a virtual business address service, and also for an easy way to form a UK limited company. Once I discovered that 1st Formations offered both of those services and much more, I was almost sold. I then did some deeper research to understand how 1st Formations compared to their competition. There were a lot of positive, honest reviews out there, so after that, I was comfortable moving forward.

The company formation process

It was very easy. After completing the online self-service form, everything was issued within a few minutes. I spent more time myself researching and double-checking to understand what was required, to feel confident that 1st Formations had done everything correctly - and they had.

1st Formations today

Since the company was formed in 2020, we’ve continued with 1st Formations’ Business Address Service, Service Address and Registered Office Address services. It has been great for us, as we’ve done a lot of travelling over the years, and having 1st Formations manage our mail scanning and forwarding has provided us with a lot of flexibility.


Using 1st Formations is easy and painless compared to other platforms we have used in the past.

Sebastien Mille, Sixteen 11 View customer story
Portrait of Sebastien Mille of Sixteen 11 Media Group sitting on a soft chair with a microphone.