February 2018 Recap: domain change, search traffic drop & Palm Springs course retreat
I'm back with another edition of monthly recaps, the posts where I take you behind the scenes of the business, and show you what I've been scheming up, as well as the successes and the failures (*ahem - lessons learned*).
Monthly page views: 30,345
Average session duration: 2:39
I was on target to hit a similar traffic numbers as last month (40,000 page views) and then I changed my domain, halving my traffic per day as Google is a top referrer for me and changing the domain affect my search ranking position. More on that right below.
Changed my domain name:
If you want to know why exactly I decided to do this, head to this post: Why I changed my business to my personal name.
In terms of what it means for my business, read on.
I learned a lot this month, including what happens to your site traffic when you change your domain.
Here’s what happens, Google takes a few days before even noting the change, so nothing happens. After a few days to a week, Google realizes, and your new domain has 0 authority, meaning your Google traffic drops off as your domain isn’t strong enough to keep you up there in the search results. Then, you wait patiently until Google recognizes your ‘change of site address’ request and hopefully brings your traffic back.
I’m currently waiting between the traffic drop and Google realizing my domain has changed. I’ll keep you posted on how long it takes.
Most productive month ever!
At the very beginning of this month my friends who were visiting me in Bali headed out and that left me with the time to get down to work.
Which, if we’re being honest, I haven’t done a whole lot of in both December and January so it was high time I got back into the work flow. I was legitimately itching to get back to my laptop and just kill the tasks in my Asana every day. And I did just that!
It wasn't just a coincidence that this month has been my most productive yet. I’ve learned how I work best, and intentionally set up an environment to ensure I could get things done.
It helps that all I have to do every day is go to yoga, work and socialize if I feel like it. I don’t cook or clean or do laundry, and I have no obligations to family and friends like I normally do at home.
I’m ahead of schedule with creating my course content and have polished off tasks that I’ve been meaning to do for forever (hiring a lawyer in Germany, and completing my taxes - without any doubt, my most hated part of my entire business.)
You know how writers go on book retreats? Or at least, I know JK Rowling did that when family and daily life was keeping her from meeting deadlines. I planned this Bali time as a sort of ‘course building retreat.’
Just me and the laptop (plus daily tacos of course.) And it’s worked extremely well.
Takeaway: Set yourself up for success by identifying in advance what could potentially hold you up. Plan for it before the problems even arise and if you start feeling guilty and judged by others for doing something ‘crazy’, tell that little negative-Nancy voice in your head that you don’t care about its opinion.
Emerghadddd! I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed building this course!
I finally get to dump all of the knowledge out of my brain and into a step by step process that any service-based business owner can take and apply to themselves, and bam! Out will pop a client-winning website!
I’m always asked for bits and pieces of advice here and there from clients and readers and I feel that I’ve finally gotten the chance to lay it all out there and pour all of my built-up knowledge into one place.
I do have to say though, building a course in a tropical paradise has had it’s fair share of expected and unexpected hiccups.
I knew that the time zone was going to be a pain before I moved here, and I was right. I've been up every week at 5 AM for calls with my course building Accelerator program people.
I also just mapped out all the times for Facebook lives, webinars, opening and closing the course cart and manning the sales page live chat. It's safe to say, my sleep schedule is going to be wayyyy off for 2 weeks as I'll be up at all sorts of weird hours. I'm arranging everything in a way that fits best for the USA/Canada time zones, where the majority of my audience is, a 12 hour time difference.
I also had some more unexpected challenges. I went to record videos and kept getting interrupted by geckos mating calls. It's amazing that such a small animal can produce such a massive (and strange) sound. Click play on the video to hear it.
I kept having to stop mid recording for the gecko to be quiet before recording again and then editing them out.
Then, I went to record one day and found that there was construction happening on the villa beside mine, meaning lots of hammering and sawing kept getting in my recordings. I waited for the evening when it would be quiet, and what do you know, a massive thunderstorm started that sounded like the heavens were opening up. Loudest thunderstorm ever!
So, it's safe to say the unexpected noises of Bali have tried to throw off my recording schedule, but I've just been patient and juggled around my content creation calendar.
Accelerator retreat in palm springs
I don't even know where to start with this!
This event proved to me the importance of in-person business events. I'm confident in saying that I would absolutely choose spending a day in person with someone rather than chatting on the phone weekly. It's so much faster to build connections and get to know people as they really are, which I love.
It was so amazing to get to truly connect with fellow students who are going through building courses at the same time as me, and be able to get feedback directly from Mariah and Megan.
Other than all of the course building knowledge bombs, one of the biggest take aways I had was the importance of finding your dedicated supporting team member. Mariah showed example after example of businesses that succeed always having a worker bee behind the scenes that is truly a vital piece of the businesses success.
There is a super important figure that's been there with Mariah through every step of her business for years now and I had no idea they ever existed. I met them at the retreat and they gave so much insight into the behind-the-scenes of a killer business.
I've been thinking about (but not taking any action) towards hiring a team member for months now. Just after the retreat I enlisted a friend to help with the course launch. A step in the right direction I would say!
Get fully invested and in the flow with course creation
Get back into the zone with meditation and manifestation
Slacked on this
Complete my taxes
Check! So happy to have this over with
Get a lawyer to tweak some documents for me
Check! This turned out to be a significantly more time-intensive and annoying process than originally expected, but I got it over with.
Follow through on my launch plan, without getting into bad habits, eating terribly and being a hot mess
Either meet my course enrollment goals, or truly give myself grace if I don't
Spend a day completely disconnected exploring Singapore on my way home to Germany
BOOKS I'M READING:
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. This was such an insightful biography and once again reinforced the notion that in order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to just keep going, even when everything looks as bleak as could possibly be.
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. I've heard this one recommended soooo many times and it's absolutely living up to the hype. This book is dropping truths left and right! I feel the main challenge of this book is figuring out exactly how you can apply it to your business.