Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon
Blogging, Location Independence, Oregon, Roundups, Washington

Month in Review: April 2017

April marked some big changes in my life. It was the first month in recent memory where I had ZERO international travel plans, not just for that month, but for the foreseeable future. April also marked my 2nd month of blogging full-time.

Everything seemed to be changing…except for the weather. Washington remained a bit too winter-like for my taste, and the cold air, rain, and occasional snow flurry left me feeling pretty blah. A change of scenery during a trip down to Oregon was just the remedy I needed.

Overall, it was a wonderful month that allowed me to really fall into the groove of living and working here in Washington, where most of you know I plan to stay for an undetermined amount of time.

Below are the highlights and lowlights of April 2017.

In April 2017…

I updated and expanded my ebook and officially released the 2nd edition!

This little project had been in the works since January of this year. I actually did start working on it while I was in Oaxaca, but as you might recall, I was still freelancing at the time and found it incredibly difficult to juggle that job, keeping up with blog content, updating the ebook, and keeping up with the social engagements I was so fortunate to have at that time.

Something had to give, and it was the ebook that got pushed to the backburner. So when April rolled around and I suddenly had an abundance of time on my side, I set myself a deadline, made the announcement to my email list, and got to work.Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence ebook

Since its re-release, it has already been a smashing success. I’ve added four new meaty chapters where I divulge a lot of secrets and details I’ve never shared here on the blog. The new chapters are:

  • Blogging 101 – My very best blogging advice, no fluff
  • Pinterest Strategies & Secrets – Why every online business needs Pinterest and how to crush it
  • How I Make Money as a Freelancer & Blogger – Details of every method I’ve ever used to make money online, including how I’m currently monetizing the blog
  • Bonus: My Social Media Services Contract – The final chapter is my exact freelancing contract that was used to onboard new Pinterest clients, and it’s yours to tailor to your own needs

Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence ebookI’ve also revisited some of the original chapters to include MORE useful info and links to powerful resources that’ll help you on your journey to location independence.

See the entire table of contents here.

There is a TON of added value in this new edition–things it took me years of trial and error to learn. For a sneak peek, download chapter five for FREE right now.

This book is my pride and joy, and I’m so thrilled to be able to offer it to those who are serious about making a life change and pursuing what they are truly passionate about. If you want to travel the world slowly and make a living online as you do it, this book can help you get there.

Get the 2nd edition of Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence now!Take Your Life Back: Finding Freedom Through Location Independence ebook

Become an Affiliate!

Are you passionate about the work-from-anywhere lifestyle and want more people to know about it? Do you love to travel and want to help others do the same?

Help me promote my book to new audiences and earn a commission for every sale you generate. As you know, affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to monetize a blog, because it can be very passive when it’s done right!

If you are a blogger looking for awesome products to promote as an affiliate, give me a shout for more details about this opportunity (leah [at] thesweetestway [dot] com).

I finally found some success with Facebook.

My fellow bloggers know the struggles of social media all too well. For me, Pinterest had always been the powerhouse, but I knew that I could still be doing far better in terms of traffic. Unfortunately, since hitting a peak in January, my Pinterest traffic has been in steady decline.

Some of you may have noticed the changes to Pinterest’s interface and algorithms in recent months, so I have to believe this played a role. It’s still my largest source of traffic by far, but it’s been frustrating lately, to say the least.

My first attempt at a solution was to invest in a Pinterest course. I figured there were some holes in my Pinterest knowledge that needed patching, so I purchased Pinterest Organic Traffic Avalanche and have begun implementing many of the changes and strategies they recommend. So far, I’ve yet to see much improvement, but with that said, I am still working my way through the content and until late in the month, I was using Boardbooster as my preferred scheduling tool, which may have actually been hurting more than helping.

So, I’m currently charging ahead with daily manual pinning to give my account a little time to get used to the changes in my activity, hopeful that one of my beautiful new pins will go viral and give me the morale boost I so desperately need at this point. I may eventually return to Tailwind for scheduling, but we’ll see.

In other social media news, I’ve seen a number of recent posts get shared around on Facebook, leading to unusually high traffic from THAT otherwise infuriating platform this month. I also experimented with promoting my page (not just boosting individual posts, but setting up proper ads in the Ad Manager) to gain new likes, which is still a work in progress.

I’m quite happy with my Facebook engagement in general and hope I can continue to drive more regular traffic from it, both from improving the posting strategies on my own page and by participating in Facebook groups for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads.

We enjoyed a getaway to the Oregon coast.

The boy and I both have spring birthdays (his is April 1st and mine is May 6th) and we both turned the big 3-0 this year, so we thought it’d be fun to celebrate together with a trip to beautiful Cannon Beach, Oregon.Cannon Beach, Oregon

The drive from our neck of the woods took about 6 hours, so we knew to make it worthwhile we’d have to spend a few days there. We found the PERFECT little cottage rental on Airbnb–it was just the right size for two people, had its own parking, was centrally located, and also happened to be one block from the beach.  Cannon Beach, Oregon

The Oregon coastline is a sight to behold in its own right, but there are also many parks in the area and we made a point of seeing as much of it as we could without feeling rushed. We sampled some of the local restaurants and found a lot to love, we built sandcastles, and generally just enjoyed the shit out of each other’s company.Hug Point, Oregon

All in all, a highly successful getaway, in spite of the fact that we never saw any puffins (womp womp!).

I attended my first burlesque show.

Turning 30 means that right about now, all my friends are getting married, having babies, and buying houses. In April, my high school friend Kelsy tied the knot, and I was fortunate enough to be around for all the festivities…Bachelorette party in Seattle

…which included her bachelorette surprise in Seattle, a burlesque show called Le Faux. The performers were celebrity impersonators and each of them sang a tune or two while shakin’ their milkshakes all up and down the yard.Le Faux at Julia's on Broadway, Seattle, Washington

It was wild, it was loud, and it was hilarious, as any proper bachelorette celebration should be. The evening was rounded out by a beautiful penis-adorned cake for Kelsy, feather boas and beads, and cocktails with names too raunchy to write here. Just kidding! Mine was called Vaginal Rejuvenation.

My Most Popular Posts

6 Airbnb Alternatives for Booking Delightful Accommodation Around the World

10 Surprisingly Affordable US Travel Destinations

My Best Instagrams

A Few Things I’m Loving

20 Essential Truths that Women Over 50 Want to Share With Us – Pure gold, right here.

This Is The Place I Was Telling You About – A visually stunning new travel blog I’ve just discovered, full of exactly the kind of photography that I myself aspire to create. Penned and photographed by R’el Dade and Marcus Lloyd, former Texans turned New Yorkers.

Plan Like a Pro: How to Create the Perfect Travel Itinerary – I got to share some of my best travel advice on Amex Essentials. The slideshow is gorgeous and showcases some of my favorite shots from the past year; plus, I share the story of one of my biggest travel mishaps to date, which took place long before I began travel blogging. Check it out!

I Am Not Your Guru – This documentary follows Tony Robbins through his 6-day program known as Date With Destiny. It’s hard to explain the magic of this film without giving too much away, but let’s just say Tony has a way of working with people that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. He is the human embodiment of love and compassion, and the way people change their lives with his methods will leave you in happy tears. A must-watch for anyone even remotely interested in self-improvement.

That’s all for April…onward and upward!

This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Reply Elizabeth May 9, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Congrats on releasing your updated book! I’m happy to hear that you are having successful sales 🙂 I hope your May is great too.

  • Reply Grace May 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Leah, great news on the relaunch. & congrats on 2nd full month of blogging… I hope to be able to do the same sooner rather than later.

    “I Am Not Your Guru,” is on my watchlist… Definitely will finish it.

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