August, you’ve been good to me. I didn’t always know what I needed, and yet you found a way to give it to me anyway.
You were a month of extremes–weeks with nothing but work and little social interaction, followed by a big blowout of all play and no work.
You were a month of quiet solitude and contemplation, and also a month of collaboration and friendship.
You were a month of pain, a month of release. You were everything I needed you to be.
Here’s everything I’ve been up to in the month of August, 2016…
I’ve been island hopping!
I arrived in Fuerteventura at the end of July and spent the majority of the month of August in the town of Corralejo, co-living and co-working with Hub Fuerteventura. It was an experiment for me, to see how I would take to working alongside other digital nomads and whether I would draw any benefit from a more focused working environment and the potential for collaboration with other creatives.
The general takeaway was that it was indeed beneficial, if perhaps for different reasons than I expected. But more on that in an upcoming post.
It wasn’t all work in Fuerteventura, though–there were days here and there that were spent out and about exploring the island as well as neighboring Isla de Lobos, a “natural park” accessible by a 15-minute ferry ride. The sand dunes of Fuerteventura and the strange moonscape of Lobos were major highlights. The Canaries are strangely beautiful!
And by the end of the month, I’d become quite close with my roommate in the shared apartment, so when she half-jokingly invited me to join her the following week on Ibiza (another island belonging to Spain, but this one in the Balearic chain in the Mediterranean) I thought, “Why not?!” and eagerly booked a ticket the next morning. Brooke and her friends welcomed me to their group with open arms, and it was a week full of warm and fuzzies that I won’t soon forget.
I’ve been busy blogging “behind the scenes.”
You may have noticed that in the last two months, new blog posts have been fairly sparse. While this might lead many to believe that I’m not working very hard on the blog at all, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
SO much of what blogging entails goes on “behind the scenes,” so to speak, meaning there are roughly a million and one tasks to complete aside from publishing new posts, and it is those million and one tasks that have taken up most of my time and energy these past few months.
For the non-bloggers reading this, that includes but is in no way limited to: promoting existing content, promoting existing products, optimizing existing content for SEO or updating with more timely information, creating new graphics (with my new logo, for example), joining new affiliate programs and adding affiliate links to existing posts, corresponding with new affiliate program managers, pitching bigger publications for guest blog posts, writing guest blog posts, switching to a new email marketing service, creating automated email sequences, creating opt-in incentives, taking courses to learn new skills, curating and testing new types of content on social media, and on and on and on.
So, if it ever seems quiet around here in terms of new content, just know that I’m actually still busting my bum behind closed doors to keep this little engine running and to improve upon it every day. I’m certainly fortunate that I love what I do, but it’s more work than sometimes meets the eye!
The particularly exciting thing about the last few months has been anticipating a drop in traffic as a result of this decrease in content output, but instead seeing my traffic hold steady and even begin to increase. I used to believe churning out as many new posts as possible was the secret to building and keeping a healthy flow of traffic but I’ve rarely had it in me to keep the pace, so it’s liberating to find out that there are other, more efficient ways to grow your audience (and subsequently increase your revenue).
Leave a comment below if you’re interested in reading more thorough posts on any of the topics I mentioned above (email marketing, affiliate programs, traffic building strategies, etc).
I’ve been practicing self-care.
Self-care means different things to different people. To me, self-care means, above all, knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no.”
It means saying “yes” to the things I genuinely want to do, the things that make me feel good, the people who make me happy to be around. It means saying “yes” to the unexpected opportunities (like going to Ibiza) and the business opportunities I’d otherwise overlook. It means saying “yes” to taking chances on myself and doing the things that scare me (even if that thing is just writing a simple email to someone I admire) because I’d rather not have regrets. It means saying “yes” to daily practices of gratitude, mindfulness, and meditation (centered around yoga).
It means saying “no” to things that make me feel tired and run down. It means saying “no” to excessive alcohol and foods that don’t make me feel amazing (both physically and emotionally). It means saying “no” to late nights staying up working and “no” to the social interactions that feel forced and drain me of energy. It means saying “no” to negative self-talk and “no” to worrying about things that are beyond my control.
If you want to join me on my self-care journey (which I fully intend to continue beyond this month), these are a few of the books I’ve been reading that have helped put me in the right frame of mind:
I also just found this blog post that beautifully explains what self-love really means, and I think it should be mandatory reading for everyone!
My Most Popular Blog Posts
My Best Instagrams
A Few Things I’m Loving
ConvertKit – This month, my email strategy got a complete overhaul. Bye bye, Mailchimp, hellooo ConvertKit! My email list has grown substantially since my rebrand (hooray!) meaning it was time for me to start paying for a premium mail service with useful features like the ability to segment my list and add tags to subscribers based on their interests (so people only get emails that they’ll care about) as well as unlimited opt-in forms, automated sequences, and more. This is my new secret weapon, and I’m so excited to really get things moving!
The World Can Learn a Thing or Two from Canada – This piece by Dave and Deb of The Planet D oozes with Canadian pride, and it really makes my heart smile. Our neighbors to the north are truly kind-hearted and generous, and it shows in everything they do. And I just can’t get enough of Justin Trudeau…can he please lead our country too??
5o Paulo Coelho Quotes That Will Soothe Your Aching Soul – Particularly this one:
“Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.”
That’s it for August…onward and upward!
This post contains affiliate links.