Winter in Leavenworth, Washington
Blogging, Roundups, Travel

Month in Review: January 2018

This month really got away from me–so much so that I almost forgot to even write this recap!

I guess I’m just excited about what’s coming up in the next few months…and for winter to be over already! I’m ready for warmer weather and for this snow to melt away, along with my troubles.

But, that doesn’t mean January wasn’t eventful! Like most months, it had both ups and downs. It was tough at times. Real tough.

However.

I’m feeling optimistic about the future and doing my best to take things day by day because sometimes you just gotta accept the fact that you CAN’T KNOW what’s going to happen next.

So let’s get to it, shall we? Here are the highlights and lowlights of January.

In January 2018…

We made travel plans! Lots of them!

So, this is actually both a blessing and a curse. While on the one hand I’m super duper excited to get back out there and explore, it’s also kind of stressful because Hans and I are trying to save up money for an impending move (more on that in a second).

We’re trying to be really careful and make our travel plans happen without dipping into our savings, but this is turning out to be easier said than done, especially when new opportunities just keep on cropping up.

What we’ve got planned so far: 

  • Feb 10th-11th: Seattle
  • Feb 28th-March 2nd: Seattle again
  • March 10th-11th: Vashon Island (Seattle, again)
  • March 14th-25th: Maui
  • April 12th-16th: Virginia

Also tentatively planned is a trip to Minnesota later in April for a few events with Hans’ extended family. It will most likely be happening, but we are still working out the most cost-effective way to do it and just haven’t purchased flights yet.

I’m actually quite grateful that we’re not traveling internationally anytime soon. This domestic travel schedule looks hectic enough!

But I have no doubt these trips will be worthwhile. First, we’re meeting up with Nick and Maggie of Living to Roam this weekend and taking our online friendships to the next level (real life)!

They’ve never been to Seattle and since they spend a lot of their time on the opposite side of the globe (in Australia), I couldn’t pass up the chance to see them while they’re in this neck of the woods.

Seattle, Washington

At the end of the month is an event that I’m unable to disclose at the moment (mostly because I don’t have all the details just yet) but I’m really excited to be a part of it and will hopefully be able to share more with you soon.

My third trip to the Seattle area is to attend a mini women’s retreat with other boss babes and creatives. It’ll be a great opportunity to connect with other women in an intimate setting, take part in some self-care/wellness activities, and have new portraits taken by the fab photographer who’s putting on the event.

Just days after what’s sure to be an amazing experience, Hans and I are joining my mom for a trip back to Maui to help her look at both rentals and properties for sale. There’s really no wrong reason to go to Maui in my opinion, but this one feels especially important.

The trip to Virginia in mid-April is to attend the wedding of two of our dear friends, and we’re elated to be a part of the celebration. Love is why we’re here, people!

We’ve decided to move to…

Okay, so we don’t actually know yet. After our trip to Maui last October, we were dead set on moving to the island as soon as humanly possible.

But then, you know, life happened and that plan suddenly didn’t seem like the most practical choice.

You see, Hans is the lead vocalist for a band that’s based in the Seattle area. For the last year, they’ve been recording their new album and rebranding and shooting promotional content and so forth.

He wasn’t 100% sure he’d stick with it, but they’ve really picked up momentum in the last few months and all the members are pretty stoked and ready to make this project their top priority.

They’re getting all their ducks in a row to start rehearsing and booking shows around Seattle, which will be a heck of a lot easier if Hans and I aren’t a whole mountain range away from the rest of the band.

Seattle, Washington

We’ve been scoping Craigslist for affordable places to rent, and while Seattle prices are a bit out of reach for us right now, the city of Tacoma (roughly 35 miles south of Seattle) looks far more promising.

So I can’t confirm anything yet, but there’s a pretty good chance that’s where we’ll end up in the next few months.

It will be fun to discover a new city while supporting Hans’ musical career (he is the #1 supporter of my blog, after all), and it would provide me with some new opportunities to create cool travel content as well.

If anything changes, though, y’all will be the first to know!

My blog hit a new traffic milestone!

I figured I should throw some blogging updates into the mix since I’m no longer writing income reports (which I hope isn’t too terribly disappointing!).

I’ve seen an interesting trend the last few years where my blog traffic sees a spike in January, and this year was no exception. I crossed a new threshold of 70,000 monthly page views for the first time!

It’s still not where I’d like to be, but it’s encouraging to continue to see upward progress.

My organic search traffic has been stronger than ever thanks to the behind-the-scenes efforts of my SEO consultant Meg from Clapping Dog Media, and my Pinterest traffic has been on the rise as well.

In past years, my traffic has always taken a dip following the January spike, and that’s a trend I’d like to reverse this year. I want to finally cross the 100,000 mark in 2018 and I’m hopeful that it’s within reach!

And as you might imagine, more traffic means more income!

My ad revenue is increasing month over month (thanks in part to Mediavine increasing their publishers’ revenue share from 70% to 75%, so I’m keeping more of what my site earns) and I’m stoked to have that extra cash coming in.

Even if I decide full-time blogging isn’t for me (which it very likely won’t be when all is said and done), I’m grateful for this source of passive revenue that I’ve managed to build and can’t wait to see what else I can achieve this year.

My Most Popular Posts

30 Non-Cliché Travel Quotes You’ve Probably Never Heard Before – Turns out, you guys are tired of the same old travel clichés, too! This post got a lot of love and quickly racked up a ton of shares on Pinterest.

From Freelancers to Course Creators: How Nick & Maggie Scaled Their Business While Traveling the World – I’m really excited to see my interview series is still so well-received! So many people reach out to tell me how much they enjoy it, and I love reading them, too. Especially when they are chock-full of useful advice like this one!

Your Questions Answered: Blogging, Photography, Eating Well & More – You guys asked for more personal content this year, so I’m doing my best to deliver on my promise of writing honestly and vulnerably. In this post, I answered questions from my Insta-fam and people seemed to really enjoy it!

My Best Instagrams

As a creative entrepreneur, I deal with a lot of fear in my daily life. For any creative person, perhaps the most pervasive fear is, “What if I put all this time and energy and love into this thing I’m creating, and nobody cares?”⠀ ⠀ Because we want to create things that make people feel something. We want to create art that makes people think; art that challenges people’s beliefs and makes space within them for new perspectives.⠀ ⠀ We want to create things that are beautiful, but what is beauty anyway if there is no one to experience it? How do we ensure our art reaches the people it’s intended to reach and how do we maintain our dignity in the process? ⠀ ⠀ Creatives feel as though they can’t ask people to take notice–the fear is that doing so will devalue our work. “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention,” as the saying goes. ⠀ ⠀ So can we be content with simply creating for the sake of creating? ⠀ ⠀ It becomes far more complicated when your creative endeavors are supposed to pay your bills. Suddenly the need arises to ask for attention (or in other words, to market yourself and your art) and suddenly, we can no longer afford to be afraid of what others will think.⠀ ⠀ We can’t afford to be ashamed of taking pride in our work or asking for what we deserve.⠀ ⠀ After all, the world needs art, does it not?

A post shared by Leah Davis | The Sweetest Way (@thesweetestway) on

A Few Things I’m Loving

THIS:

Hans and I have watched The Office from start to finish, seen every episode about 50 times, and STILL resort to watching it when nothing else sounds appealing.

We recently got into Black Mirror on Netflix but I have to admit, some of those episodes MESSED ME UP and I have been hesitant to watch more. But I can’t get enough of the lighthearted-yet-highly-inappropriate humor of The Office.

Any other great Netflix recommendations for us??

How to Get 260.7% More Organic Traffic in 14 Days – Ever heard of “relaunching” old blog content? I hadn’t either, but after reading through this case study, I’m excited to try it and see what kind of results it can produce. If you’re struggling with organic traffic and have lots of old content that could stand to be updated, you might want to try this yourself!

That’s all for January–onward and upward!

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2 Comments

  • Reply The Curious Frugal February 17, 2018 at 10:42 am

    70,000 page views is amazing! That yoga/rock climbing retreat looked so fun, I love the mix. I actually met my husband at a rock climbing gym 🙂 But he’s not really into yoga so that wouldn’t be a retreat we would do together. For shows to watch? I love Portlandia! Also lighthearted but inappropriate and quirky.

    • Reply Leah Davis February 18, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      I haven’t really watched Portlandia, but I will have to give it a try! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

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