May 2018 Recap
May 2018 recap
Another monthly recap coming your way!
This marks the third post in my new series where I share monthly recaps on my business and life as an entrepreneur and digital nomad. I love that I have this space to give you a look a “behind the scenes” look at my business and how I spend my time away from my laptop.
I really enjoy seeing little glimpses of the personal lives of my fellow business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs because it makes me feel like I know them as real people, you know? I’m hoping you enjoy reading these posts from me too! I’m a firm believer that business can be professional AND fun and I’m so excited to share what I get up to every month.
May was a crazy busy and eventful month so let’s dive right in, shall we?
Business and Website News
My biggest news is that I gave my website a facelift in May! I hadn’t touched my website’s design in way too long and the more I thought about how I wanted improve the homepage’s layout, I realized that it made a lot more sense to just tackle everything in one large overhaul.
I switched from the Pacific template over to Rally which, considering I build almost all of my clients’ websites on Brine templates, is something I’m ashamed to admit it took me so long to do! I also embraced a much more minimalist design and layout. I majorly toned down the colours I use in my branding (goodbye bright yellow and pink, hello muted golds and dark blue), switched fonts, and added lots of cohesive stock photos that will tide me over until I get my own branded photography done this summer. The website redesign came about because I wanted to highlight my offerings in the clearest way possible and ensure that visitors had access to all my most important content from their very first visit. I’m so glad I can check this off my list!
I still had a wonderful time working remotely from Ubud, Bali in May but I decided to mix things up on the co-working front. Up until now I had been co-working out of Hubud but in May I hopped over to another space in town called Outpost. I really enjoy how bright, open and chill the space is, and the fact that they offer free weekly massages and delivery from all my favourite restaurants around town doesn’t hurt! Hubud and Outpost are both amazing co-working spaces and I recommend either, but they have very different vibes. Hubud feels like more of a community centre - it’s very social, there are daily events for members, and it seems to attract a lot of people who are starting out or in the early stages of launching and building their businesses. Outpost, on the other hand, is more of a place to focus and get serious work done, and the members here seem to have more established businesses and are here to take things to the next level. Hubud is also very popular with short-term co-workers who are spending just a few weeks in town whereas Outpost seems to attract a crowd that lives in Ubud long-term. It’s been neat to work at both spaces and compare the two - how lucky am I to have such great places to choose from?!
May was my fifth (!!!) month working remotely and I have to say it was my best one yet. I still don’t love the term ‘digital nomad’ but I’m falling even more in love with the lifestyle every day. I keep a regular routine and normal work schedule, which is serving me well. During the week, my life is pretty straightforward (wake up early, work, yoga, visit with friends, etc.) but I like to have fun and explore on the weekends. More on that below.
In wild news, my page views were up over 19% from last month so it’s safe to say that I’m doing a good job at growing my website and reaching a wider online audience! I credit most of this growth to blogging and getting even more referral traffic from Pinterest in particular. 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 had a great time working on several custom Squarespace websites and these particular projects were all so different so it kept things fresh and interesting.
I took on several website consulting and strategy clients in May, mostly related to SEO and adding monetization streams, which felt great! You might remember that I had held off on this service over the past few months because I wasn’t sure how reliable the internet connection would be for live sessions and I was worried that the time change might be a turn-off, but I realize that I was overthinking things and making excuses. I’m very glad I opened this service back up again because I honestly love working with other website and business owners this way, so if this is something you’re interested in, let’s talk !
I shared a pretty honest blog post about what I learned from launching my second digital product so be sure to check that out if you’re interested in reading about my biggest takeaways!
In other exciting news, I have 3 new digital products ready to launch very soon! I worked hard outlining the products and getting all the content ready, now it’s just a matter of tidying up the design, writing up the sales pages, and publishing them. I can’t wait to roll those out over the next few weeks - stay tuned :)
It turns out that building products is a whole lot of FUN and I’m pumped to create and release even more useful products/resources/goodies! I still have lots to learn about marketing and promoting products once they are live, so if you have any tips or recommendations, please share them below.
Remember how I was in a bit of a funk in April and didn’t reach my goal of publishing at least two articles every week on the blog? Well, I totally knocked it out of the park this month and was a content creating queen - yahoo!
I published 14 - yes, FOURTEEN - new blog posts and video tutorials which is a record high for me! I felt majorly inspired to write, share and publish in May so I had no trouble working my way through my editorial calendar and cranking out those posts. I also did a great job at writing and scheduling posts in advance, thanks in part to batch writing blog posts when I was in the zone, and this is something I plan to keep up moving forward.
I also sent out weekly emails to my newsletter subscribers and it continues to be one of my favourite things to do. Not to brag but I have the BEST email subscribers - you guys are so smart, funny and seriously crack me up with your replies. Keep ‘em coming and sign up below to join the fun - I’ll even send you my website pre-launch checklist to say thank you.
Ever since I set up a system and planned out my content in advance, it has been much easier and more enjoyable to publish these posts. I know that blogging and growing my email list is time well spent because I can see a direct correlation between the content I create and how it increases traffic to my website, grows my audience, and in turn helps me to reach new business milestones.
Health & Fitness
I’m still a #BasicBaliBabe and have zero plans to change that any time soon! I practice yoga at several studios around town (because I’m that nut who picks favourite teachers and classes) and have noticed that I’ve majorly increased my flexibility and strength over the past few months. If you ever find yourself in Ubud and fancy a yoga class, I recommend checking out Yoga Saraswati, The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive and Ubud Yoga Centre. The Practice and Samadi in Canggu and Power of Now Oasis in Sanur are also wonderful studios.
My surfing addiction got a little bit stronger in May and I’m not mad about it. I make the early morning drive down to Canggu at least one morning a week and then usually hit up another surf spot on the weekends as well. I’m so happy that I’ve made some friends who are just as keen to hit the waves and embrace their kookiness! More surf updates below.
I accepted defeat on the running front and gave up on that while I’m living in Ubud. There are just too many dogs, a lack of sidewalks, crazy motorbikes and insane traffic to run safely around here. Instead, I like to go for sunset walks along Campuhan ridge and unwind after I’ve been at my desk all day. It’s so nice to load up a podcast and take a stroll around town and through the rice paddies, such a great way to chill out and get those steps in.
Spas trips and massages continue to have a regular spot in my calendar and I can’t help it, I love to pamper myself. Treatments are quite expensive at home but here in Bali they are just so affordable that I have a hard time passing it up.
I kept up my plant-based, low-alcohol diet in May and it feels GOOD! It couldn’t be easier to eat vegetarian/vegan in Bali, there are so many restaurants, cafes and shops that make it totally painless. This also marks another month of basically not drinking alcohol and although I never intended to move to Bali and ‘quit drinking’, I'm digging it and plan to keep with it.
Travel & Exploring
This marks the first month since I’ve been here that I didn't leave Bali and that’s because I opted to get a 60-day visa extension when I returned from my last trip to Singapore in April! Since I didn’t have to exit the country on a visa run in May, I travelled around the island and even had a total homebody weekend instead.
On top of exploring Ubud and the surrounding area, I took a few trips to Uluwatu, Canggu, Padang Bai, Sanur and lots of visits to Keramas beach. I also drove up to the mountains of central Bali to visit the famous Ulun Danu Bratan temple and neighbouring Bali Botanic Gardens, which were lovely.
An old friend visited for a long weekend and we spent our time road tripping and beach hopping around the Bukit peninsula, which I’ve decided is my favourite part of Bali. So many great beaches, restaurants and spots to visit down there! If only there was a co-working space with good wifi, I'd move down to Ulu in a heartbeat.
Events & Activities
Hands down, the highlight activity of May was going to see several days of the Corona Bali Protected surf competition put on by the WSL! The comp runs through 'til June 9th and it’s hosted at Komune Resort at Keramas Beach which is only a 25 minute drive from my villa in Ubud so I’ve had a blast checking it out. I even got to meet a few of my surf heroes and crushes (Hi John John! Hi Steph!) which left me beyond happy and smug.
Apart from my growing surf obsession, I hopped around Ubud and took full advantage of all the fun activities going on around town. Apparently I have become a cinemaphile: my friends and I go to the Ubud Documentary Film Club’s weekly screenings and I also saw Call Me By Your Name at Paradiso - “the world’s first organic vegan cinema”. My co-working space hosts loads neat events, skill-shares and lunch & learn so I checked those out and even made some new friends. I had lots of dinner dates, went to an open mic night (didn’t subject anyone to my signing, I was purely there to support friends), cheered on friends who performed at Fuck Up Night, danced at the only night club in town, and generally had a busy but fun month.
- Blog twice a week (or more)
- Send out weekly newsletter emails
- Launch 3 digital products
- Update copy on my Consulting page and Free Course page
Books I read
New on the blog in May 2018
- 6 ways to totally WOW your clients
- Pretty vs Performance : What to prioritize in your website’s design
- How to get images on your Squarespace website to show up in Google image search results
- Here's what I learned from launching my second digital product
- Do these 7 things to instantly improve Squarespace SEO
- Everything you need to know about permalinks and Squarespace SEO
- Benefits of backlinks for Squarespace SEO
- How much does it cost to run a Squarespace website?
- How to add or remove a contributor to your Squarespace website
- Why do people struggle to monetize their websites?
- Everything you need to know about monetizing your website
- Announcement : Income Tracker Spreadsheets are now live!
- Here's how I increased my website traffic by nearly 30% in 4 months
- April 2018 Recap
Now that you’re all caught up on what the heck I’ve been up to lately, it’s your turn to fill me in on how things are going with you! How was your month? Anything new and exciting that you’d like to share? Do you like these monthly recap posts or do you have zero interest reading about my escapades? I’d love to know so leave me a note in the comments below!
LAUNCH YOUR BEST SITE - FREE ECOURSE
Interested in learning more about what it takes to get a website up and running? Sign up for my free 7 day e-course!