Life At Sea: Month 2 Roundup

February was quite an interesting month. What Do You Sea’s stats fell slightly and I had some personal things going on that rattled me a bit and reminded me to choose love over anger and misunderstanding. January’s high was so grand that I thought I was going to ride it into February, but I feel like the differences in the two months were drastic: like black vs. white. I think the process of failure and success is part of running building a brand and a business. Not everything is this perfect uphill battle that resembles a stairway to heaven, but rather it’s like one of those obstacle courses in American Ninja Warrior where they fall flat on their face, only in real life we have the choice to get back up and keep going. I consider myself still a newbie when it comes to branding and advertising considering I just lept into this platform and went all in and sometimes whenever stats are bad I always think I am doing something wrong, but in hindsight, all of the things that I am implementing now are going to take a minute to work out their kinks and benefit me over time (and some things I really am doing wrong). I plan on taking a few courses on affiliate marketing and an overall blogging course that will help me gain some traction and information about how the heck you do all this. I am even going to write out a business plan… which is extremely business-y and professional sounding, but I really do need to write out a plan because, as my dad always told me, always remember the five p’s:

Proper

Planning

Prevents

Poor

Performance

Right now I have a pretty good grasp of what I need to know, but everything is still really ambiguous since different things work for different people, so I want to plan out my goals and things and also find out my advertising strategy to help build my business. I have always been one to absolutely wing everything and I want to adopt a more organized life so that I have a visual of everything I am working towards. I even plan on making a vision board after watching Sorelle Amore’s video about how she became an Armani model. I really enjoy creating things with my hands, so I know I’ll have a ton of fun doing this and it’ll help me focus on my main goals and dreams. Pinterest is my main go-to for vision board inspiration, so I have been saving a ton of photos on one of my favorite boards and really thinking about what I want out of my life and where I picture myself in the future. So my main goal for March is to get clear on my vision.

As for myself, I am feeling great. I’ve had a massive shift in my interests and recently I have really been investing a lot of time into researching van life conversions and getting more into the outdoors. I think it’s all this time spent in the concrete jungle because I need a huge dose of dirt and clean air. ASAP. Since I plan on camping in Iceland, I have been slowly adding outdoor gear to my arsenal and finding the best products for me. Right now, I have set my Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack to the side and made room for my new Osprey Eja 58L Backpack. I wasn’t going to be able to fit camping gear and cold weather clothing in 40L, so I knew it was time for a little size upgrade. This backpack does cost around $220, but I got an incredible deal off Ebags and I used Ebates to receive cash back, so I ended up getting $55 off my purchase and $28 in cash back! I also purchased a pair of waterproof hiking pants and my first pair of hiking boots, the KEEN Women’s Terradora Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots. I was trying to conserve so I tried to search for these items used, but I couldn’t find any, unfortunately, but I have found some other camping and hiking gear used that I will put to great use once I go through with purchasing it.

Obviously investing in all this gear might sound unreasonable for some, but I plan on putting this stuff to good use. When I return from Iceland, I am hoping to make it out to Arizona, Utah, Idaho, or Colorado to go camping and hiking. I think I am really set on Idaho since there is this one hot spring on Pinterest I found that I am incredibly eager to visit, but I am always changing my mind, so everything is relatively tentative. I know I did have some other places on my bucket list for 2019, but at this point, I just want to be rugged and get my hands and feet dirty. With a lot of things in my life, everything needs balance (typical libra), and everything has seemed a little bit off recently I guess. I have been questioning where I want to be, where I see myself in the future and a bunch of other things that happen in your twenties. This video really helped me feel ‘human’ and know that I am not the only one going through these thoughts and emotions.

All in all, things are well and I can hear the birds chirping outside the window. Sunshine is coming and I am so stoked to be tan again (and not be cold)!

 


 

Blogging Overview

Monthly Page Views: 1.6K

Monthly Sessions: 1.8K

Pinterest Reach: 360K

Domain Authority: 13 ➝ 14

Page Authority: 20

 


 

Blogging Highlights

My Pinterest viewership surpassed 300,000 monthly viewers! This actually shocked me since my primary focus on Pinterest hasn’t been to necessarily grow my monthly viewership as fast as possible, but it seems to be on this upward climb that I am for sure not complaining about! My main focus this month has been to organize all my pins and boards, which I talk about more below, and I think that preferring quality, beautifully displayed pins over the sheer number of pins is doing me a great service. I love using Pinterest for travel inspiration, but I had such a hard time getting together any information since all my boards were an ugly, cluttered mess, but now they are so much easier to navigate even for myself. If it tells you anything, I have deleted over 5,000 pins (and counting) and my reach has increased by over 100,000 people. Wow. This is a prime example of quality over quantity and I am going to complete the rest of my boards that I need to finish and I will be fully setup! If you want to browse my boards and see all the beauty in action, you’re more than welcome to follow me on Pinterest here!

My domain authority score rose from 13 to 14. While I wish I knew the reason behind this little bump, I really don’t, but I am excited about it! On my last four blog posts that I published, I made sure that I had gone back through and set up pingbacks to other blog posts and linked other relevant blog posts that would help you guys out with whatever you were reading about. I also tried to comment more on other blogger’s posts because I do believe that both feedback and supporting one another are essentials in the blogging world. I actually confused these numbers in my last monthly roundup so my domain was 13 rather than 20 last month, so if you’re wondering why it looked like it went down, I was just really tired apparently and didn’t pay attention to the numbers when I looked them up on my rank tracker. Nevertheless, I hope I get to see another little boost with it this month.

I made one more affiliate sale *cue cha cha slide*. I get extremely excited when people actually take my recommendations or even purchase items through my links because it truly does not only help me out but puts me one step closer to making this space my main source of income. I only make a small small percentage of the purchase you make, but making like twenty cents off one transaction gets me really stoked even though it’s not really much of anything. It’s something and I am celebrating every step no matter how small it is.

 


 

February In Review

Overall Traffic + Lack Of Extra Days

I don’t want to say that February was a flop, because it wasn’t. I think that I just had a low month with there being fewer days and my site going down for around the last week. I had four blog posts go live this month vs the six from last month, but I am extremely proud of those posts and I find them to be probably some of my best posts yet regarding information, design consistency, and the time that I put into them. My goal for March is to get around seven or eight blog posts completed and published, but I know it’ll be a little difficult with my site being down for the first week or so, but I am going to work with what I have and see what I can accomplish. With my website being down it has given me the time to have blog posts to publish ahead of time rather than working in between posts to get them written, so that is going to help my productivity

 


 

Published Blog Posts

 


 

Pinterest Traffic Increase

One thing that I am extremely grateful for was my increase in reach on Pinterest. I did a couple of things that helped push this over the 300k mark and I was stunned at how it continues to grow each day. One of the biggest things that I did was I went through every single one of my Pinterest boards and deleted ‘ugly’ pins, organized information by country, edited my board descriptions to be more SEO-friendly, updated my board images (not necessary but I like to do it from time to time), and finally combined country-specific boards that weren’t performing well into one of my general-region boards. If this sounds like it took a long time, trust me, it did, and it still isn’t over. It took me an hour just to go through my ‘southeast asia | travel inspiration‘ board and organize it into its nine sections. I still need to go through my europe board, travel tips board, sustainable travel tips board, hiking +camping board, and my wanderlust quotes board. Phew. It sounds like a few, but it’s over 5,000 pins I still need to sort through! I have become extremely picky about what I allow on my boards and I think the overall quality and monitoring of my new and improved boards has helped increase my traffic since I haven’t been posting to group boards at all in the last week and a half. A lot of people recommend having over 50 pins per board, but since I went through them some have less and I don’t mind it being that way as long as it looks nice and the information is presented beautifully.

I used to participate in daily pinning groups where a lot of the pins didn’t have, what I consider, a ‘clickable’ design. Before all of my information was clouded up on one board with ugly and good looking pins intermixed and now they’re all organized into countries and have beautiful designs on my boards that will help you all find the information you need more quickly and efficiently. I think my goal for March is going to be surpassing over 450,000 monthly viewers and 15,000 engaged pinners. It seems that this formula is working incredibly for me and so I am going to keep pinning more day by day, complete the rest of the boards that need organization, and see where it will land me in March!

Update! I finished going through my boards before this blog post went live and I ended up going through over 10,000 pins and deleting them! Also, I added a few new boards for you guys to browse: van life | inspiration, adventure portraits | travel photography inspiration, and what do you sea | travel photography. Now all of my boards feature high-quality imagery and beautiful photography to help you plan your trips! I am so excited that everything is more uniform now and it was well worth taking those hours to go through everything. I am going to be pinning a lot more to get my monthly viewership up since I lost over 10,000 pins worth of reach, but I know that the higher quality ones are going to be worth it in the long run.

 


 

March Goals

Monthly Viewers: 2,000 – 3,000 +

Monthly Sessions: 2,500 +

Pinterest Monthly Visitors: 450,000 +

Pinterest Engaged Readers: 15,000 +

Domain Authority: 21 (+1)

Page Authority: 15 (+2)

 


 

Personal Health

What I Am Learning / Have Learned

Stop focusing on what you don’t have and start focusing on what you do have. I listened to this talk on Soundcloud titled, “What Am I Resisting And Why The Fear” by Abraham Hicks and it was a brief reality check for me as I had been in a bit of a slump this month since my numbers were down among many other self-doubt filled thoughts. This was my reminder that in order to receive the abundance I am looking for, I need to focus on what is here rather than what is not. Abraham Hicks isn’t speaking in this interview, it’s a woman and (what sounds like) a younger girl, but the points she makes will give you a reality check on why you aren’t receiving what you desire most in life. Recently I have been looking at other successes and wondering why mine hasn’t come along and why my platform isn’t going at the rate I would like it to be, but I have been reminding myself that what works for some is not what works for others and I am learning how to run and online business right now. The journey isn’t going to be a staircase to the top and I gently remind myself of that each day. Especially this month since my numbers fell. I think as I focus more on just staying true to myself, writing a business plan *cue stress*, and creating an engaging community of eco-conscious, adventure travelers, the rest will follow. I don’t have it all figured out, and I am learning that that is okay. I am only 20 years old for crying out loud. I remember just two years ago I was pressured into knowing what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but now I suddenly feel like I need to already be there in two short years? I look up to a lot of people who have their lives set up in a way that lets them live freely, but I don’t think I ever followed any of them in the ‘beginning stages’. I am seeing the top of their mountain from the bottom of mine. I am so young and there is still so much to do, see, feel, and experience that is okay. I’ll get there.

Give more time to learning new hobbies, exploring interests, and letting myself unwind and flow. I am awful at giving myself a day off from all of this blogging stuff because I really crave that feeling of having a productive day, but I have found that I have this long list of hobbies and interests that I want to learn, but I am so focused on being productive with my website, that all of these things have been put on the back burner. One of my new year’s resolutions was to practice yoga and meditate every morning and while my meditation game has been better than ever, I haven’t done yoga once this entire year. Along with that, my other interests have included learning guitar, brushing up on my French, learning Japanese, reading (always a work in progress), and organizing photo shoots where I can just be creative and not worry about it being to someone else’s standard. I don’t do some of these as much as I would like to and some I don’t do at all (pretty much everything except reading and meditation), so I really want to focus more time on taking time for myself.

 


 

February 19′ Favorites

Visuals

 

Sam Kolder / The Creative Process

So, I have watched this video no less than thirty times in the last week and I still can’t even grasp the creative mind of Sam Kolder. If you have ever seen any type of adventurous travel video with a backflip and a zoom transition, Sam trademarked this whole era. He released two new videos at the end of this month and this one, in particular, gave me chills. I have had the second song (that starts around 1:20) stuck in my head for the last couple days and every part of this video was so well pieced together; and don’t even get me started about the wave transition that everyone is speechless over. The color grading? Impeccable. The music? Iconic. The video? Creamy and tasty. You need to watch it.


 

Giulia Gartner / Free – a collection of memories

Giulia recently came across my radar via Instagram and I have fallen in love with her work. Her style has a timeless moody feel and she can even make the tropics have that rainy day vibe to them. In her most recent video, she combined a bunch of different footage from her trips to Reunion Island, Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Italy, and other places for a short narrative about her adventures and love for travel. I like how it’s not the same upbeat, doing a backflip off a cliff typical travel video and it’s something with heart that has emotion put into it. Film is something that has really piqued my interest recently and it’s something that I am for sure going to experiment with whenever I head out to Iceland.


 

Nourishment

Almond Milk Lattes

Enjoy this stock coffee image, because I don’t have those fancy coffee skills, however, I have been enjoying a couple of cups of coffee every now and again and I am slowly turning into a coffee loving, nature enthusiast… Did I foresee this in the past? Absolutely, but I never thought I would rely on love coffee so much that it became part of my daily routine. My usual is some regular ol’ coffee beans, a few ounces of oat milk, and a splash of maple syrup and it’s the best tasting thing hot or iced. I haven’t found a favorite coffee yet, so if you have a solid coffee recommendation let me know in the comments below!

Seggiano Raw Basil Pesto

I don’t want to call anyone out, BUT, I felt a little bit robbed when I bought this because it’s made out of cashews instead of pine nuts? However, it is still really good and a great sauce to make pasta with. When I make pasta, I’ll either do a ratio of around 3:1 and switch off between a hefty spoonful of spaghetti sauce or a hefty spoonful of pesto. The flavors are awesome and I am always in the mood for some quality Italian food, so I have enjoyed this a ton this month. It’s also hard to find a high-quality pesto that isn’t made with parmesan cheese in it, so I struck gold with finding this one.

Culina Yogurt

I would like to personally award this yogurt for being the best non-dairy yogurt in all of the continental US, and probably the world, too. When I buy pre-made products like these, I always look for the one with the least amount of ingredients that are whole foods based. Their plain flavor only has three ingredients: coconut cream, agar, and probiotics. The flavor wipes any other competition for a non-dairy yogurt and their consistency is right on par with greek yogurt. It’s just really good and you all need to try it out even if you enjoy milk-based yogurts, you’ll still fall in love with this one.


 

Tunes

thank u, next / Ariana Grande

Fake ID / Riton

Man On The Moon / Kid Cudi

 


 

I am feeling incredibly inspired after having my website back up and running and I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you over the next couple months and summertime. This spring is going to be filled with morning lattes, folk music, and adventure planning into Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and more! What things do you do to keep yourself inspired? Share with me in the comments below!

This post may contain affiliate links for the products or services I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

Aaren

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *