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Meet Award-Winning Croatian Blogger Ella Dvornik

Ella Dvornik

Her father Dino Dvornik was a huge music star in the region – known as the ‘Croatian King of funk’ – but it is social media and blogging that Ella Dvornik is making a name for herself.

Ella runs ‘I am Ella’ – a lifestyle and travel blog which has won her multiple awards – including best youth travel blogger and Top 3 lifestyle blogger in the UK at the UK Blog Awards.

With close to 500,000 fans on social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), she is one of the few bloggers from Croatia who is able to make a career out of it. We caught up with her.

Hi Ella, could you introduce yourself and your blog?

Hi everyone, my name is Ella, I am a travel and lifestyle blogger based in London but originally Croatian. I am 26 years old and before starting my blog I had no idea what I want to do in my life except write and travel. I have been blogging for 2 years almost now and it has changed me as a person.

I am Ella (Screenshot)

What inspired you to start your blog?

I lived in London with my fiance and I had a hard time finding a full time job. My fiance travelled for work and he was really the reason why I started writing about it. In Croatia blogging was not very popular but in the UK it was a big deal. I thought if i choose a topic I’m passionate about it will always be my passion not my job.

How would you describe your blogging style?

I am very spontaneous. I don;t really have a blueprint. The only problem I have is that my foreign followers don’t know me as well as my Croatian followers do so I am not putting my personality so much in the posts which I am trying to do now more. I guess my style of writing is more lifestyle oriented.

What has been the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

Getting noticed for sure. There are so many bloggers out there creating amazing content and it is hard to come to the top. I had to really dedicate 24/7 into this so people would remember at least something about me. Getting the readers is definitely the most challenging part.

You have large social media following on Instagram and Facebook – what have been the key to this success?

Well on my Facebook I tend to promote me as a person more rather than my job. I try to connect to people following me and entertain them as well as gift their loyalty. I wanted a personal connection with them so I reply to them ,talk to them and we joke a lot.

I wanted a platform full of positivity and enthusiasm as I was tired of bad news and so are other people. I think people like it cause they actually get a response from me. I don’t schedule my posts, everything is real time.

Instagram however is more focused on my blog and it has a completely different following , I’m still trying to figure it out so I don’t have much advice on that one.

How much time do you spend blogging?

Well I try to blog twice or three times per week, but sometimes I don’t have inspiration. I write columns for newspapers and also my social takes a lot of my time. I need to do more on my blog but I cant travel everyday, I wish I could!

What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?

Definitely Facebook groups related to my topic. A lot of people seek advice on travel so I try to be very active on social media. I write about other cities as well and collaborate with travel companies so they share my content frequently.

You have a travel blog so the obvious question is where was your favourite destination you have been to so far?

I guess Bali is one of those places I admire the most. It is a paradise and I’d go here over and over again but Barcelona is a place I could see myself living in. I like the combination of city and sea, nice climate friendly people and great food and prices. For me Barcelona has it all.

What destinations which you have not visited but want to tick off the list?

Russia, China, Bora Bora, Ankor Wat , Mexico… I mean the list goes on, I want to see the whole world!

Would advice would give to those people keen starting on a blog?

Just start and see if you like it. You can’t win a lottery if you don’t buy the lottery ticket.

Are you able to make a living from blogging and what are your tips in making a blog make money?

Blogging is my full time job, but social media is where the money comes from. Obviously readership is very important so you have to produce content quickly and in good quality in order to make money from it and make it your job. Beautiful thing about blogging is that there are no rules. You are your own boss and people who read you will like you for you, so my greatest tip is be yourself and be enthusiastic about it.

Things are moving so fast these days – what do think the blogging/social media scene will look like in 5 years?

Oh my… I guess everyone will have to have much more followers then they do now. To be honest I have no idea, but I am scared for the future to be honest.

You are one of Croatia’s leading bloggers – can you give some advice to travel bloggers coming to Croatia – what are your top 5 favourite places they should check out?

I would definitely suggest the Istria Region. It is not so popular like Split and Dubrovnik but if you ask me it has it all. Beautiful towns, amazing food and the sea. It has great connections to Italy and it is an amazing place.

Rovinj in Istria (photo; CTB)

I would not rule out the Slavonian region either as the towns there are gorgeous and there is lots of history there. Tourism is not so big there but continental tourism is something that I foresee blooming in the future.

Mailath Castle in Slavonia (photo credit: Osijek-Baranja Tourist Board)

Of course I’d add some less popular islands that are still affordable like Brac or Vis or Brijuni. Go see something other people ignore. Those are the places that are still untouched and beautiful and real. I would avoid big touristic attractions because they have lost it’s originality.

(photos: Facebook)

You can follow Ella on Instagram here.

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