April 2018 Recap
Oh heyyyyy, May! Can’t believe you’re here already. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Before we kick off a new month, I’m going to share my April 2018 recap with you. This is the second post in a new series on the blog where I share monthly recaps to give you a “behind the scenes” look at my business and life away from my laptop. If you haven't already, be sure to read the March 2018 post that started it all.
Until recently, I’ve kept the content on my blog strictly professional and business related, focusing on web design & development, Squarespace and business tips. It has worked out well but I was thinking about how I want you to get to know me better.
I really enjoy getting little glimpses of the personal lives of my fellow business owners and entrepreneurs because it helps me feel like I know them as real people, not just as peers or someone I look up to. And if I like reading these types of posts by other people, maybe YOU (my dear reader) would like to read one by me! Business can be professional AND fun, so I figured why the heck not let you in on my life away from the computer screen. Have you ever heard of the like, know, and trust factor? Yep, it’s real.
As such, I’m looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of running a website and building an online business with you every month. These recap posts are going to be a mix of business and life outside of office hours, and I hope you enjoy them and get a better feel for who I am :)
Let’s dive right in.
Business and website news
April was a funny month on the work front. There were times when I felt like I was in a funk, feeling really blah and unfocused. But then the rest of the month was really good and there were times when I was bursting with energy, creativity and drive. I completed all my client work (duh) but I didn’t do as much work as I would have liked on other areas of my business (think: content creation, marketing and admin).
Considering that my mood and attitude towards work was all over the place, I tried to lean into the high vibes as much as I could and still power through when I felt low. There’s a great quote by Jim Rohn that says “motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going”, and I really took this to heart in April.
I’m still working out of a co-working space in Ubud, Bali called Hubud and it continues to be a wonderful experience.
There's a great community of people working here who all have similar goals and work ethics. We're all here to get sh*t done and build our businesses, but we also prioritize having fun in our spare time. I plan to keep co-working as long as I’m here!
April was my fourth month (!!!) as a “digital nomad” and while I still don’t love that term, I LOVE the lifestyle. I’ve settled into a regular routine and keep a normal work schedule, which is serving me well. During the week, my life is pretty normal (work, yoga, visit with friends, etc.) but I like to have fun and play tourist a bit more on the weekends. More on that below.
Most of my client communication is done through email or Asana so I don’t have to worry about scheduling a lot of meetings at weird hours to accommodate different time zones. Sure, it happens every now and then, but I consider it a small price to pay to live and work this way.
I had several Skype dates with my online business friends in April and that was SO much fun! We had previously connected online but hadn’t met virtually but I’m thrilled to report that it was a great experience. Creating a community of likeminded business owners is something I definitely recommend - it makes the internet feel a whole lot smaller and I love knowing that I have other people who “get it” that I can turn to for support and encouragement. If you think you would vibe well with someone you know/follow online, reach out to them and start building a real relationship!
Pageviews to my website were UP in April, an increase of 9.5% mo/mo in fact! I think a large part of that is because I have been really dedicated to blogging and sharing those posts on social media since the beginning of the year. My email list is also growing, which is great to see. I track all my stats in my Website Growth Tracker and it’s really fun to see my progress every month (<--- shameless plug).
I continued working on several Design & Development websites in April and I look forward to adding them to my portfolio when they are live. I haven’t updated my portfolio in way too long (why does this seem like such a huge task?!) but trust me, these new projects are awesome.
Back in March I also pitched my services to “ideal clients” and I’m happy to report that I’ll be taking on several new projects with them as a result! Pitching your services can be scary (you know, fear of rejection and impostor syndrome) but I truly believe that it’s a great way to work with the kind of people and businesses that you want. This in turn helps you to build a strong & focused portfolio which ends up attracting even more of your ideal clients!
Website consulting sat on the back burner again in April. I had a couple of potential clients reach out to inquire about working together but ultimately they didn’t pan out. I originally put this service on hold while I am in Bali because I wasn’t sure how reliable the internet would be or how the time change would play out with meeting times, but I now realize that those concerns were silly and I should open it back up again. If that’s something you’re interested in, hit me up!
Did you know that I have TWO digital products for sale on my website? I do, and they are both awesome!
The first is my OG product which I released in summer 2017, the Website Growth Tracker. This has been super popular and sales have been way higher and steadier than I ever expected them to be when I first created it. I’m also thrilled with how much positive feedback I continue to receive about these spreadsheets. People really love them and it feels great knowing that I’m supporting people as they build their websites and grow their online businesses.
I released my second product, the Income Tracker Spreadsheets, in March 2018 after getting so many requests for a deeper dive into the income and revenue part of running a website. These spreadsheet templates cover income and expenses related to websites and online business, and so far sales have been solid. There are other income tracker tools available online but mine is special because it was created specifically with website and online business owners in mind. One customer wrote me and said that Income Tracker Spreadsheets actually inspired her to experiment with different website monetization ideas and that is just music to my ears! Take a look the Income Tracker Spreadsheet, watch the video demo and let me know what you think!
Building products has turned out to be a really FUN process and I’m looking forward to creating even more useful products/resources/goodies for you over the next few months! I want to learn more and do a better job at marketing and promoting products once they are live, so please share any tips you have!
I published 6 new blog posts/video tutorials in April and got back into YouTube after a brief hiatus. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all those new posts on my blog or binge the archives.
My goal for 2018 was to publish at least two blog posts every week, so as you can see, I fell short in April. Blame it oh the April blues! I plan to make up for that in May and already have a lot of really great posts lined up in my drafts folder.
I also sent out weekly emails to my newsletter subscribers, which is still one of my favourite things to do. I love having the newsletter as an extra place to talk shop with website & online business owners who share my common interests, and I genuinely enjoy reading all your replies. Keep ‘em coming and sign up to join us!
Real talk : It takes a lot of time and effort to create quality blog posts (here’s what the process looks like) and newsletters on a consistent basis but ever since I set up a system and planned out my content in advance, it has been much easier and more enjoyable. I know that blogging and growing my email list is time well spent because I can see a direct correlation between the posts I publish and how it increases traffic to my website, which in turn helps me to grow my business.
Health and fitness
Like any good Bali boho babe, I practice yoga on the regular at the various studios around town. If you ever find yourself in Ubud, be sure to check out Yoga Saraswati, The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive and Ubud Yoga Centre. My co-working space also offers yoga classes every week which is a total treat. I've also taken classes at The Practice in Canggu and Power of Now Oasis in Sanur and really enjoyed those studios as well.
I also go surfing at least once a week, which I LOVE!!! I have a few friends that I go with and we have a blast trying out different waves around the island. We make the 45 minute drive down to Canggu at least one morning a week and then usually head out on the weekends as well. In April I also surfed down in Uluwatu/Bingin beach, Serangan, Keramas. I even got to watch the Japanese surf competition hosted at Komune Hotel at Keramas beach which was a total treat.
Sunset walks along the Campuhan ridge are one of my favourite ways to unwind after a busy day of work. I put on a podcast and make the trek out along the trail and past the rice paddies, it’s glorious.
^ L-R : Keramas beach, early morning walk through the rice paddies, sunrise at Bingin Beach
I had a lot of fun trying out several spas around Ubud, one of my favourites is the hot/cold plunge. It feels amazing and I know there are tons of health benefits too! These spas are pretty pricy back home but here in Ubud, they are super affordable so I am making a point to check out as many as I can.
Another one of my goals for 2018 was to stick to a plant-based diet as much as possible and I’m happy to say that living in Bali makes that ridiculously easy. I’ve also majorly cut down on the amount of alcohol I drink (can probably count the number of drinks I had in April on one hand) and although I didn’t intend to “quit drinking”, it feels good so I’m going to keep it up.
I had fun exploring Bali in April with trips to Canggu, Sanur, Bukit peninsula, Tegallalang, Seminyak, etc.
I also went on a (short but sweet) visa run to Singapore, which is one of my favourite places ever! People either love or hate Singapore but I’m firmly a “love it” fan of the city. Highlights include eating tons of delicious food, visiting the botanical gardens (my fave!) and the National Gallery, watching the lights show at Gardens by the Bay, and a longgg walk around the waterfront at sunset. I clocked about 25K steps every day and am now at the point where I can navigate the main city centre without a map, yahoo! Already excited for my next visit.
Here are a few pictures from Singapore :
Events & Activities
As I settled into a regular routine in April, I also made a point of getting out and taking advantage of all the fun activities taking place around town. I went to a movie screening put on by the Ubud Documentary Film Club, watched another film at Paradiso - "the world's first organic vegan cinema" (soooo Ubud it hurts haha), cheered on my friends who presented at the Pechakucha night, attended a few lunch & learn and skill-share sessions put on my by co-working space, celebrated birthdays and going away parties, and said yes to dinner and drinks invites that came my way. I took it easy but was also pretty social in April, so it was a fun mix and a good balance!
Blog twice a week (or more)
Send out weekly newsletter email
Complete first draft of bigger digital product (outlines, section info, wireframes, etc.)
Update portfolio with recent Design & Development projects
Improve copy on my Services and Free course pages
Books I read
New on the blog in April 2018
I'd love to hear from you, do you enjoy these monthly recap posts? Is it something you'd like to see more of on the blog? Do you like seeing photos of my work, travels and life abroad? Leave me a comment down below!
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