Back in September I spoke to students from Temasek Polytechnic Singapore who study for Diploma in Leisure & Events Management. They were in London on a study trip and invited me to speak about blogging and social media, sharing my personal story and how I started the blog. In the end we used Sli.do for the Q & A. I love using Sli.do during my presentations because students always have the best questions. Let’s see what they asked.
How do you generate revenues from your blog?
There are several ways I generate revenue from the blog and these include
- Lecturing about blogging and social media for events
- #EventPlannersTalk LIVE event sponsorship and ticket sales
- GoogleAdsense, these are the adverts you see on the right hand side
- Sponsored post
Do you blog on a full time basis (Is it a job? Are you paid?)? Or is it solely based on your own interest and hobbies?
Yes, since 2016 I blog full time. A lot of what I write about is based on my own interests and hobbies, such as the destinations I travel to, events I attend and the content I choose for #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat and LIVE events.
After how long of blogging will you then start earning from blogging?
It depends! It took me five years to start earning from blogging, but I also wasn’t doing it full time and wasn’t pro-active on sales.
What keep you working on your blog consistently?
My desire to share knowledge and because I love this industry keeps me working on the blog. From reporting about events, I have now the desire to create and decide on event content myself, and this I achieve through #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat and LIVE events.
I believe when you started blogging, you would definitely encounter many negative people or I would say, “haters”. What keeps you pressing on and blogging?
I try and associate myself with positive and supportive people, who are as passionate as me about the events industry and collaborative.
What is unique about your blog that make it popular?
These are two things that make my blog unique. First is the very specific niche I’m covering. I have very strong focus on meetings, incentive, conferences and exhibitions. Secondly, readers love that my blog is very visual, on the blog and across social media channels.
What is your ultimate goal of blogging? Is it to network more with event lovers? Is it to gather more event lovers together or..??
Multiple, and they are constantly evolving. I started the blog back in 2011 as a way to connect with like-minded people, but now it’s also a way to build my personal brand and create a community. Blogging goals vary from person to person, and can be a cost effective way to grow and monetise the business, promote business (though sharing expertise and case studies), “Break the news” – such as publishing the press release on the blog and don’t have to rely on industry magazines, drive traffic to website and SEO, networking and last by not least making it a full time job.
How do you attract followers to your blog?
I use multiple techniques to attract followers and these are
- Guest authors, crowdsourcing and interviews
- Collaborations with major MICE suppliers who have larger database than me
- Popular topics, such as event management education attracts new readers and shared more
- Post regularly and consistently
- #EventPlannesTalk Twitter chats
- #EventPlannesTalk LIVE events
Do you engage with professionals to produce your photos and videos? Or do you learn Photoshop and after effect and produce the visuals yourself?
Both! This is something I had to learn and I’m still learning to take good photos. When I have budget from a sponsor I will always work with a professional (so I can pay them) so I can focus on other things, such as talking with event organisers and gathering more content.
It took you five years to start earning from blogging. How did you keep the passion alive?
I worked in events and studied event management therefore it was always a passion. First when I realised that it opens new doors, such as event invitations or networking opportunities, I kept doing it to build my profile and personal brand. Only later I realised that I can also monetize the blog through organising events or sponsored post because there was suddenly demand for it.
What are challenges when you 1st started the MICE blog?
When I started I didn’t have challenges because no one knew who I am. Only now, as the blog grows I encounter challenges. There are minor challenges, such as exceeding data space on the server and needing an upgrade, when updating a plug-in it messes up my google analytics and I lose stats for couple of days until I fix it, or some features on the blog don’t work properly because a plug-in is not updated. A bigger challenge I see now is how to innovate in this space and keep the content fresh and interesting.
How do you ensure that you content is interesting so that the blog is always active?
As mentioned above, it’s a constant challenge! It’s important for me to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry and be the first to report about a topic, event, destination or a venue.
How do you go for holidays if you have to blog weekly?
I cover many MICE destinations on the blog, therefore I can often combine holidays with blogging. This was the case when I went to Monaco and Nice.
Monaco, September 2014
Do you actually share things on what you like on your blog or do you share what others want to see, or know about on your blog?
A mix of both, but more about what I like or personally experienced, as this what also makes my blog more personal and unique.
Since you know that in the fashion or food industry, bloggers earn more and are more known there. What makes you still want to get into blogging about events?
I didn’t start the blog in the first place to earn money therefore I enjoy doing this.
What was the best event you have been in your life and why?
The best one was the Meetovation training in Copenhagen in 2014. For me, that was the first time I experiences and learned about meeting design and the three day training was very intense, interactive and engaging. The training covered five elements of the Meetovation: active involvement, creative set up, local inspiration, responsible thinking and return on investment.
Case study is a fantastic method for participants to implement their knowledge. We got a case to organise a strategy kick off meeting for HR managers from car accessories sector and plan an event around the purpose of the meeting: present the new HR strategy, develop on subjects such as internal communication, recruitment process, motivation of staff and individual development planning. Lastly to include social elements that help people to get to know each other better. In addition to that – the event needed to reinforce three company values: loyalty, excitement, and development. After the initial brainstorming session we got a kit from out instructor Ann – “meet in a box” that is to visualise our meeting concept. This kit included all major venues in Copenhagen, seating styles, catering, transportation etc. to possibly visualise the meeting to potential clients. This is was the result.
Would you consider coming to Singapore?
Thank you for the great presentation and interesting way of Q&A!:)
Great post, Irina! You covered many of the questions I have myself. Thank you so much for sharing. And I’m happy to know that your best event experience was in my ‘hood’, Copenhagen 🙂
Thanks Anne! Hope to visit soon again the capital of sustainable meetings 🙂