Ella Dvornik is only twenty-four but for her travel has been a life-long passion. Having spent much of her childhood travelling and learning different languages, it’s no surprise that Ella felt an affinity towards becoming a travel blogger. Describing herself as a hedonist, Ella uses her blog, ‘I am Ella‘ to document her adventures to places like Tokyo, Rio de Janerio, Prague and Dubai. In this spotlight Ella chats to us about what it feels like to have over a hundred thousand readers of her blog, why she decided to create a twenty-three page media kit for PRs, why she owes her success to her devoted following, and how being listed on our latest travel ranking helps her to connect with the relevant people.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? Even though I am a travel blog, I hate sightseeing typical things. I want to fall in love with the new city the same way I fell in love with mine. And I don’t love my city for the museums and viewpoints, I love it because of the culture, the food and the people. This is why on my blog I try to capture things that all people want on their vacation, relaxing and finding interesting places. I don’t like to rush my city break with all the things people already know exist, I like to enjoy the city first, so when I come back I have something to see, in other words I like to live in it, not visit it.
How do you measure the success of your website? At first, I thought it was people reading it, but actually its people feeling it. I have over a hundred thousand readers. I know for a fact that reading reviews on trip advisor can be misleading, this is why my readers more often than not stay in the same hotels I stayed in and go eat in places I ate. And I know this because they email me afterwards or before to ask me for my opinion. It is important to be available to people. Writing a blog post is just an introduction, giving more insight to people when they contact you is the key. Also, I feel my blog is successful because I have a lot of followers on my social networks where I communicate a lot as well.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Don’t try and be like someone else. There are a lot of people doing the same thing. What makes your blog different is the angle you approach it from. People are voyagers, they want to see how you live, but they also want to connect with you on a personal level. Share your opinions, be funny and be yourself.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? I get a lot of emails these days. When people contact me I like them to say everything in the first email. It saves me the time of constant back and forward. I also have a very detailed media kit with twenty-three slides so people have all the information available to them before contacting me. It is public on my blog. I am very clear on what I give in the return and what I need. Honesty is the key, but also providing relevant data that supports your story. Also, I like people who are friendly and who are willing to compromise. Just because sometimes they can’t afford to work with me, doesn’t mean I am not willing to settle. Good communication is the key of every relationship.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges? Making relevant content for your audience is the key. I interact and I make them engage with my content by asking questions and opinions. As soon as I share my article on social I get 5000 hits on my blog. I ask people what they want, where they want me to go, where they are going and by their response I tailor my content to them. They are the most important part of my blog, without them I am just a website. Catching their attention is the challenge, but practice makes it perfect. I am proud to say my social networks have five hundred per cent engagement. That means more people comment and share and interact then follow me. Engagement is more important than followers.
What can PRs do in working better with you? They lay everything on the table, they ask for data and they are professional. They should understand that my blog is my job not my hobby and like them I have bills to pay. Sure travelling is fun, but there are a lot of expenses that come with it and people should be aware of that. Being open-minded, friendly and giving ideas is also very helpful. It is my job to make sure the brand looks good but it’s their job to present me the idea of the brand. If I do a bad job it is as much as their fault as it is mine. Everything should be said in advance and that is how you make great business.
What has been your blogging highlight? This year! I have been added to many top ten lists as a travel blogger including vuelio which is a great honour. Being on those lists really helps you as a blogger to connect to relevant people. This has been my best year so far and I am so grateful to people recognising my hard work.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? I am covering off-season and hot winter destinations. Until now I was doing mostly city breaks, but now I will be focusing more on letting people know where they can go for a summer vacation when in fact it is winter in their city. Also since I only focus on couples travelling, there will be some serious romantic wanderlust involved, and I am very excited!