March 2018 Recap
Gather round, my friends, because today marks the start of a new series on the blog! From here on out, I plan to share a monthly recap post to give you a “behind the scenes” look at my business and life.
Up until now 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 so far but I was thinking about how I want you to get to know me better.
I love 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. 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 know, like 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
March was a great month for my business and I really feel like I accomplished a lot in Q1 2018. Yippee!
I’m still working out a co-working space in Ubud, Bali called Hubud, and it’s been such a wonderful experience. There’s an awesome crew of people who are here to work hard, get sh*t done, and have lots of fun in their spare time. It’s a motivating and social environment and I feel very productive here.
This is my first foray into “digital nomading” and now that I’ve been at it for a few months, I’m settling into a pretty normal routine and it’s starting to feel like regular life (not like a holiday). I keep a fairly traditional work schedule and since that’s serving me well so far, I plan to keep that up. 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 :)
In other exciting news, I got to meet one of my internet friends Paige Bruton in real life this month! We connected online last year and when I realized that we were both working in Bali, I reached out to her and we decided to meet up. I’m thrilled that we were able to connect in person because it made us way closer than if we had just touched base over the internet indefinitely. 10/10, would recommend!
Page views were UP again in March and I think a large part of that is because I was really dedicated to blogging and sharing those posts on social media. 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 worked on two new Design & Development websites and I’m looking forward to adding them to my portfolio when they go live (something I’m behind on updating, ugh).
I also pitched my services to several “ideal clients” and it looks like I might end up working with a few of them later this year! Pitching yourself can be scary (you know, fear of rejection and all that) but I’ve found that it’s a great way to work with the kind of people & business that you can help the best and it helps build a strong portfolio - which in turn attracts even more ideal clients!
I didn’t do any website consulting this month but I might start that service back up again because I miss the strategy sessions with website and business owners. 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!
I also launched my second digital product this month, the Income Tracker Spreadsheets! I was inspired to create this product because the Revenue section of my Website Growth Tracker is hands down the section that I get the most comments and positive feedback on, but those customers also say that they wished it could dive deeper into the income breakdown. Ask and ye shall receive, my friends! Take a look at the Income Tracker Spreadsheets, watch the video tutorial that walks you through how to use them, and let me know what you think.
Sales of my Website Growth Tracker were steady again this month, which is always great news. I also saw a little spike in sales on the day my Income Tracker Spreadsheets launched, maybe because people were in the shopping mood or because they bought both at once? Not sure why but I'll take it!
Now that I have two products for sale on my website, I added a Products page to the main navigation of my site. Building products is so much FUN and I’m really looking forward to creating even more useful products/resources/goodies for you over the next few months.
I was insanely productive on the content front this month. I published ten (10!!!) blog posts/video tutorials in March which is almost a record high for me. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all those new posts on my blog or binge the archives.
I also kept up with my weekly emails to my newsletter subscribers. I love having the newsletter as an extra place to talk shop with people & business owners who share my common interests, and I genuinely love reading all your replies. Keep ‘em coming!
It takes a lot of time and effort to create quality blog posts 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 increases traffic to my website and helps me to grow my business.
March was also the month that I settled into life in Bali and established regular routines again. After a lot of travel and bouncing around in January & February, it felt GOOD to get grounded and back into a somewhat normal schedule.
I moved into a villa with some wonderful friends and our very own house dog here in Ubud ! Our house is about 10 minutes outside of the city centre and backs up on a gorgeous path that meanders through the rice paddies so I’m getting out for my beloved morning walks again and it feels amazing.
Back in February I learned how to ride a moto/scooter which was scary but a total game changer, you should see me now - I’m ripping around the island like a true local! I've nicknamed my scooter Rojo Caliente which, if you lived in Toronto or knew anyone that went to Queen's about 10 years ago, should trigger a LOL. It turns out that driving a scooter isn't that hard or terrifying once you get the hang of it, and I love the independence having my own vehicle brings. I feel inspired to get my full license when I get back to Canada too!
Health & Fitness
Like any good Bali boho babe, I’ve been practicing 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’m tried to get back into running but it has been a slow slog because I keep coming up with excuses : the sidewalks aren’t great, it’s super hot/muggy, there are tons of dogs on the road, and I might very well get hit by a rogue scooter. I have gone running at the Campuhan Ridge a few times which is lovely, but I haven’t been disciplined enough to do it regularly.
I’ve been out surfing a fair bit which I LOVE and plan to keep up! It's a totally different experience surfing here from where I learned (Pacific North West, where a thick wetsuit is absolutely required) and I am very happy that I've found friends who are eager to go out with me every week. Blue crush, here I come.
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’m also drinking way less alcohol than I normally do at home (people in Ubud tend to prefer green juice or kombucha) so that has been a really nice change too. I don’t plant to give up alcohol forever but for now it has been a pleasant habit.
Travel & Culture
I went on several day/weekend trips around Bali (Sanur, Canggu, Uluwatu) and also spent 5 days in Hong Kong. What a trip! I was there for a long weekend/extended visa run and had a blast exploring such a dynamic city. Here are a few pics from HK:
March is also the month where Bali celebrates Nyepi (basically New Years) and it was such an incredible experience that I am so happy I was here for. The island essentially shuts down from Friday night until Sunday morning (even the airport is closed!) and everyone stays home and is totally quiet so as not to attract the bad spirits. There’s no noise (I swear even the dogs, birds and roosters chilled out) and at night you can see all the stars perfectly because everyone keeps their lights off. It’s a day where you’re forced to slow down, relax, and spend time with your thoughts and I enjoyed it more than I can say!
- Blog twice a week (or more) and send out weekly newsletter
- Update portfolio with recent Design & Development projects
- Create outline for bigger digital product
Books I read
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain : Couldn’t resist a re-read.
City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare : Yes I occasional read YA novels, what of it.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton : Not bad, not great, definitely not required reading.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill : LOVED this and can totally see why everyone raves about it!
The Tristan Betrayal by Robert Ludlum : I have a thing for vintage thrillers.
New on the blog in March
I'd love to hear from you, are you into these monthly recap posts? Is it something you'd like to see more of on the blog? Leave me a comment down below!
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