I have the honor of interviewing Kelly today! Kelly is a fellow Canadian, for now, travel blogger and creator of the blog kellyellamaz.com. I first came into contact with Kelly through her Instagram, she had posted a photo at a resort in the Dominican Republic. The picture appealed to me and I knew I had to leave a comment because I was going to be in the Dominican Republic the very next day! Small world! :)
This is Life, Love and Adventure’s first interview!
When did you create kellyellamaz.com & at that time, what were your goals for your travel blog/website? I first created my blog in December 2012, so it’s been a little over a year. I had no real goals at the time; I created the blog for myself just to keep track of everywhere I had traveled and all my favorite places. I had friends asking me for restaurant suggestions in Paris, or asking what Morocco was like… so I decided to publish everything so I could easily share my experiences. I registered my website as a business in May 2013.
What goals have you set for yourself in the last year? How have you achieved them? My recent goals have been to increase traffic on my website. I’ve tried a few things to build traffic, and some have worked better than others. I’ve become more active on social media in order to gain new followers for my website. Although I’ve successfully gained new followers, I don’t think it has necessarily increased my blog traffic. I’ve also teamed up with other bloggers to collaborate on projects. This has gotten me great success, and it’s something I will continue to do. Lastly, I had my first “giveaway” last fall where I gave out free Toronto travel guides and gift certificates, and this also gave me increased traffic.
What would you say Luxury Travel is? Luxury travel is living how you wish you could live, but only for a week or two. It’s a way to pamper and reward yourself for all the hard work you do throughout the year. Fine dining, visits to spas, and designer shopping is not something you do every week. You save these things for your luxury vacation and enjoy every minute of your week.
Have you managed to travel or receive free accommodation from your blog/blog’s profits? I’ve had a few sponsored stays, but these have been exchange for marketing and promotional work. Nothing’s quite for “free”, but working with hotels has allowed me to travel more!
In a short paragraph can you explain how you are turning your blog into a full-time business? As well, do you have any tips for your fellow travel bloggers? When my blog started growing and traffic began to pick up, I realized I had an opportunity to turn this hobby into a career. The first thing I did was place ads on my page to start earning money. I haven’t seen a ton of success with that, and I’m not sure if I’ll keep them. Lately I’ve been focusing on building a brand around my website. Offering travel planning services, selling travel-themed accessories and creating an eBook to sell have been my current projects. By the summer I’ll have apparel for sale as well as my second book in the works.
2014 seems to be a new and exciting year for you! You have a new shop opening on your blog & Etsy, your first book is being released and you’re moving!! It’s been an extremely exciting start to 2014 for me! The more projects I take on, the more exciting my business becomes for me. I’ve very proud of the accomplishments I’ve made in the last few months.
Your new shop is going to be featuring travel-themed charm bracelets, what was your inspiration for creating them? I wanted to create an affordable bracelet for other travel-obsessed girls. Something that could be worn every day, and taken with you around the world! The bracelets can be worn with casual outfits, or dressed up with more formal looks. The fact that they’re so versatile makes them the perfect bracelet to bring on a vacation – they’ll match almost any outfit!
Releasing your first book in March is a huge accomplishment!! Can you tell me a little bit about your book? The book is my personal collection of tips I’ve learned over the last few years of traveling. As a student, I couldn’t always afford to travel… but using these tips I was able to afford to go on 3-4 trips a year. I’ve stayed at some of the nicest hotels, and I’ve eaten at world-famous restaurants – no hostels or dive restaurants for me! Just because I was on a budget, didn’t mean I was going to sacrifice the quality of my trip. These tips will teach readers how to plan their trips accordingly, so that they can afford a luxury vacation on a budget.
You are moving to Barcelona! What attracts you to Barcelona as a place to live? What are some of the steps you have taken to learn how to move to Spain? Cheap wine, great shopping & the beach! Barcelona felt like “home” from the minute I stepped off the plane. I knew after a few days in Barcelona that I would be back to stay. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is how I’m going to be allowed to stay in Barcelona. Since my background is Polish, I’ve been applying for proof of Polish citizenship and eventually, my Polish passport. Once I have that, I can live and work anywhere in the European Union. If I don’t have my passport in time, I can only stay in Spain for 90 days as a tourist. If that’s the case, I’ll be going to the UK or Australia for a year after Spain on a Working Holiday Visa. After all of that, if I want to return to Spain permanently I will do so on my Polish passport that I will have by then!
You have a lot on your plate right now, how do you manage to juggle all these tasks at once without getting overwhelmed? I use an app called Evernote to keep track of everything I need to do. I create a different “notebook” for each project I’m working on. I’ll use one huge to-do list of everything I need to do in a week. But in all honesty, I’d be lying if I said I never got overwhelmed! I just try to stay organized so that nothing gets missed.
A huge Thank-You to Kelly for taking the time to answer my questions & for being my first travel blog feature on Life, Love and Adventure!! <3 Be sure to check out & follow her blog at www.kellyellamaz.com as well as her Instagram account @kellyellamaz
— Dawn Kealing <3
Come join me on this epic Adventure!
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