2017 4th quarter challenge
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It’s already nearly the end of the first week of 2018, so this post is a tad overdue. Just a tad.

The past 3 months has been nothing like I expected. I was planning on focusing on all these goals and achieving them all with a good amount of effort. I had this firm belief that I would be able to give my undivided attention to these 4 simple goals until the end of 2017 and meeting each goal will thus be a breeze.

Needless to say, I was wrong. I underestimated how much mental and physical energy a newborn baby would take. I also underestimated my own feelings of wanting and needing to be there to help out. I could have easily ignored my nephew and took off to a co-working space to concentrate on my work, but I couldn’t. I felt like I should be there to help around, and so I did.

The result.

I went from a dramatic drop in productivity, but at least trying – to not even attempting to squeeze work in. You read all about my nanny baby rearing adventure here. 

The good news is, my nephew is a healthy, smart and extremely cheeky boy. So I would say the past 3 months have been the most productive and meaningful in the grand scheme called life. But don’t think my challenge has been a complete flop. I’m writing this post because I’m surprised at the progress made from my lack of work!

1. Hit 600 subscribers on Youtube

When I started out this 4th quarter challenge, I had 237 subscribers, 37,211 total views and $9.1 in total ad revenue earned. Humble numbers, but also extremely promising considering the speed of progress. So I had set myself a goal of hitting 600 subscribers by the end of the year.

By the second update I had already thrown in the towel. Now I know that might sound like a weak attempt, but I had a new born baby in the house that needed round the clock attention. So I figured I’ll put the video production on pause for now and resume in February. That’s when my nephew won’t be living with me anymore and I don’t need to be part-time nanny on call.

And now it’s the early days of 2018. I have 359 subscribers, 66,598 total views and $24.88 in total ad revenue earned.

I didn’t hit my 600 subscriber target at all. For obvious reasons, but I wanted to share my results because it shows how powerful passive income can be. I put in roughly 2 months of active work and been absent for 3 months, BUT I’m still growing! Sure it’s slow and it’s not exactly significant numbers, but I was expecting my channel to get completely wiped out.

I mean come-on! I’ve been inactive for longer than I have been active and I’m still growing and making adsense! It’s the best definition of passive income I can possibly give you.

I have one more month of absence before I can start working on it again. I’m super excited on getting it back into accelerated growth and hitting that first $100 from adsense.

2. Dominate 5 keywords on Amazon

The last quarter of a year is usually the busiest and most profitable for any type of retail. So I was pretty excited to take advantage of this time of year and push the royalties.

I didn’t get the time to do it fully, but I did manage to implement some of the things I wanted before little Lucas took all my attention.

My books are still ranking high and I enjoyed a steady increase in royalties earned month after month. I earned roughly $6xxx over the past 3 months. I’m honestly surprised by this since everyone knows your royalties go down once you don’t touch anything, and I didn’t touch anything since mid November.

I know I managed to get these results partly due to holiday shoppers spending more than normal and partly because I took an aggressive stance on my AMS campaigns in October for selected keywords. I managed to only really dominate 3 out of the 5 keywords I wanted, which is basically the same from my last update. I’m happy with the result if I take into account everything else, but I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed as well.

Maybe I was being too greedy with my expectations, but I was use to doubling my royalties in November and December last year and figured it only made sense to expect the same this year too…

2018 will be better!

3. Finish setting up this blog

This blog is pretty much in working order now. It’s obviously still a work in progress and it always will be, but at least I can say this blog has all the needed features to function properly.

All the static pages, categories, sections and newsletters are up and running ready for any reader that drops by.

I’m currently using Aweber to manage e-mails, and I have a basic autoresponder set-up to meet the immediate needs for now. However before my e-mail list becomes bigger and more elaborate I’ll be swapping over to Getresponse. The price difference isn’t much but the ease of use with Getresponse is so much easier and the whole interface is a lot more up to date compared to Aweber.

Another change I’ll be undertaking in the next month or two is to speed up the page loading time. I use rather big files for my images and it’s started to slow down the loading time, which is a big no no for any website. God forbid someone needing to wait anything more than INSTANT for anything nowadays. But in all seriousness, I need to improve the loading speed to improve user experience.

I also have some exciting new projects coming up in the first quarter of 2018. So keep an eye out for that.

4. Get involved with the digital nomad scene in Hong Kong

Nothing, na-da, zero.

But I did change my mind on the whole co-working space arrangement. I don’t have to work at a co-working space and the commuting time is actually not too ideal since I don’t leave in the heart of the city. BUT I really do want to get more involved with the community that exists in my own backyard.

I’ve decided to work part-time in co-working spaces. I’ll be trying as many out as possible until I find one I like and hopefully I will meet some amazing people along the way. Scrap that. I KNOW I’ll be meeting awesome people along the way.

I wrote a Hong Kong post for digital nomads thinking about visiting, but my post didn’t have much input on co-working spaces. So keep an eye out for my reviews on all the co-working spaces I visit in 2018.

Other resources you should check out:

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