For some reason, today I had a massive itch to write. It’s been over six months since I last wrote something here.I’ve been very fortunate to experience so many new situations. Life has been very exciting for me.
Here’s a quick summary of the things I’m working on.
Our project, Casino Professor is doing well. About a month ago, we won the Best Affiliate Newcomer award at IGB Awards in London. That was a special night for us. It took only 7 months to get to this point. I feel really proud of this achievement. It is also worth mentioning, that positive PR is really good for SEO 😉
We also experienced a little bit of turbulence in January. Our site got negative SEO attack. For those who don’t know what a negative SEO means, it’s basically your competitors doing spam attacks on your site. This is done mainly by shady competitors trying to improve their positions in search queries by doing damage to their competitors.
We were able to fix the issue, but this attack taught me something. There’s always going to be competitors who want to take your spot. It’s a game of “I’m going to eat your lunch and what are you going to do about it“. And in order to beat the competition, you have to keep improving and do your best to stay ahead of your competition.
I really love my work now. We have absolutely blast at working together and we’re constantly testing new and innovative staff. Also, the flexibility doesn’t hurt.
And this brings me to….
Being a Digital Nomad in Asia
This was something that originally got me into the world of online marketing. I wanted to have the possibility to work wherever I wanted to.
I and my business partners spent the whole month of January in Asia. We met up each other in Singapore on January 3rd. We spent few days in Singapore strolling around and then we traveled to Bali. We spent a couple of weeks together in Bali. We worked, exercised, had fun and just chilled.
After Bali, I flew to Thailand. I was so excited to go back to Thailand. It’s been 3 years since I left Bangkok. I was really looking forward seeing my friends and of course, train Jiu-Jitsu at Arete HQ in Bangkok. I was also going to meet my first SEO employer.
I decided to spend my first few days in Hua Hin. I used to go to Hua Hin for weekend trips when I was still living in Bangkok. I also wanted to visit my favorite Guesthouse. It was 3 years ago when I decided to move back to Finland, and that decision was made in that guesthouse. I still remember that night, I felt like a complete loser. I felt that I had failed myself. It felt almost surreal to sit in that same spot 3 years later. Looking back, it was just a necessary evil and it played a purpose.
After a few of days in Hua Hin, I took a bus back to Bangkok. It was amazing to see how much some of my old friends have achieved in the last three years. Most of them are running successful businesses and building wealth. It was very inspiring to see how hard they were working and improving. Training Jiu-Jitsu in Bangkok was an awesome thing to throw in the mix. It was cool to train with Mitsu and Andrew after these 3 years.
It was nice to be in Asia, but I think this will be my last trip for a while over there. It’s time to start going to some new places. I’m already planning a trip to New York this summer.
Arete BJJ Malta will move to a new location
Finally, we found new place for our BJJ-team. The place is going to be well needed – we will finally have a space just for us. Our new place is located right in the hearth of Pacceville. In case you don’t know about Pacceville, it is The Bar Street in Malta. We will have showers and locker rooms and there’s regular weight lifting gym in the same complex.
This summer the gym will turn 2 years old, and what better way to celebrate it then to get our own venue.
I also had to get some people to help me out with running the gym. I’m really happy about the community vibe we have in our BJJ-group. People are willing to help out in order to keep the place up and running.
Learning how to handle my finances.
I’ve had my struggles in the past when it comes to handling money. I’ve never been good at saving or investing. This is something I wanted to improve for a quite long time.
It took just a single book to change my view on money. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is an outstanding book, that explains by examples of how differently poor people and rich people view money.
The most important lesson from the book was:
“Limit your liabilities and increase your assets”
The formula is very simple and very easy to follow. Get rid of your credit card debt and start investing that money to something that will produce more money.
It has been a year since I started working for myself
Wow! Time really flies! It has been a great year and I’m really happy where I am currently in my life. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to start relaxing more, quite opposite. Now is time to hammer the iron, since it is sizzling hot.
. It has been exactly close to 5 months since I left my day job and somehow I’m still here and doing quite alright. So much has happened in the past months, that I’m going to have to break it down to different parts:
Let’s get to it.
Lot of irons in the fire.
I am truly happy the way things have turned out. When I left my day job, I estimated that I can survive with any kind of income for good 4-5 months. It was literally my fourth day working for myself when I landed my first long-term freelancing in SEO. I got contacted a company called Croud. Croud is a digital agency, which has offices in UK, US and in Australia. Possibly even in few other cities, hard to keep up as they are growing very rapidly.
I’m mainly doing reporting and auditing for their client’s websites. I’ve been very happy to work with them. They have clear system and processes set up. The biggest perk working for them is, that I actually have few recurring tasks, so that is providing somewhat steady income.
I also did a consulting gig for one of the affiliate marketing companies here in Malta. They had a Finnish Casino affiliate site, which hasn’t been worked with for a while. I audited their website, did keyword research and designed an SEO strategy for them. The site is sailing into right direction now.
Arete BJJ Malta
My baby turned 1 year old! I can’t believe that it has already been a year since I started this team of ours. The gym is doing very well. We’re getting new members in all the time.
We actually started 3 new classes:
2 weekly sessions for people who don’t have any experience of BJJ
1 weekly session for kids
The sessions for beginners have been a major success. Jiu Jitsu might be bit intimidating, especially when you’re coming in for the first time. The beginner’s classes are an excellent way to get to know jiu-jitsu in an easy manner.
Kids classes are pickin’ up well. At first, I thought I would be losing my mind with the kids, but these guys have turned out quite nice bunch rascals. 🙂 During the kid’s classes, I always work out with them and the kids just absolutely love it. Kids almost seem to push themselves a little bit harder, when I’m sweating alongside with them.
I started to collect data from the sessions. How many persons are in each session. The average participants per session (based on the numbers of the month of May) is 11 people per session. That is a pretty dang good number.
We’re getting more and more visitors each week, which is a massive resource for us, as we are learning techniques from people who visit us. I also set up a goal, to get at least 4 black belts to come and train with us this year. We’re half way through the year and we’ve already had 4 black belts. Hopefully, we’ll get 4 more 😉
This is something that I’m truly proud of. Building an online presence for our team has been a fun thing to do. It is safe to assume, that our online presence plays a big part when it comes customer acquisition and branding.
The website is in top 3 with all the local BJJ related search terms. 45 percent of the traffic is coming from Organic search, which is very good considering, that the search volumes for BJJ related keywords in Malta are fairly low. My number one goal with the website was to get it in the top spots with relevant search queries. That process has been an extremely valuable learning experience, as I did it only with onPage SEO. Looking back it, the site could be much better, but it actually was the first site I build from the ground.
The site is also producing little revenue from affiliate sales.
My time is getting limited when it comes to marketing the gym. Luckily, I’ve found a way to keep the marketing alive.
Why Instagram? It is very much of a love cost & huge reach social media. I started the account in February. The account has almost 2000 followers the average. That is pretty good since I haven’t put a dime into it. How I did it? That’s a whole another different topic.
I’m estimating, that with current growth rate, we’ll be able to reach 5000 followers by the end of the year.
Co-Founder & SEO @ Cashcow Ltd
This is something that I’ve been dreaming for years, to have my own digital agency and now it is true. We literally got the company registered a week ago and we are operating in Portomaso. We have a tiny little office there, where I and my business partners operate from.
What do we do?
All of us involved in this company has a unique set of skill-set, that compliments each other.
First of all, I got promoted to purple belt. It took good 3.5 years from blue belt to purple belt. Getting purple belt in my own academy felt something special. The make the whole thing sweeter, I got promoted by Antti Mannila, who is a Black Belt at Hard Knocks Training Center. Antti came for a holiday and was kind enough to come train with us.
Here’s the video from the promotion
Italian BJJ Open 2017
The promotion came 2 weeks before the Italian BJJ Open -Tournament. I was so happy and excited to get to compete as a purple belt.
Italian BJJ Open went down in Florence. This time I didn’t have to go to the tournament by myself. I was accompanied by four other guys from the gym.
I didn’t get placed this time. In fact, I didn’t win a single match. I didn’t get completely mauled, I was able to keep up with the pace. I simply lost, because the other guys were better on that day. I absolutely loved competing in the purple belt -category. The guys were much more technical and there wasn’t too much spazzing going on. I’m really excited to get back out there again.
The guys who joined me did very well. For most of them, this was a first tournament they’ve ever done. Two of them got medals. I was so proud of these guys. Winning and the losing is irrelevant, what matter is that the guys were willing to go out there and do their best. And they sure did.
I think I managed to insert a “competition-virus” on these guys, as we are already planning for the next tournament.
Here are my matches from the tournament
I’ve been living in Malta for good year and a half. There are quite a few people asking questions related to Malta
What sights should be seen
Good places for dinner
and so on.
Answering to these questions is fine, once or twice. But after a while, I started to feel like god damn parrot. I was repeating the same thing over and over again.
I created a guide to Malta in Google Maps. The guide has everything from bars and restaurants to beaches and sightseeing spots.
I’ve also registered a domain for this project – Maltaholic.com. The site is till not live, but you can still check out the map below.
By clicking the icon in the right corner, you’ll be able to see the full version of the map.
This map is still work in progress and I’m not looking to gain any financial benefits from it. It is just fun thing to do.
All though the days are sometimes really long and as a result, I look like a zombie, I still love it. I’m going through very exciting period in my life. I’m doing the things I really enjoy with the very good people.
Today I resigned from Catena Media. We still have a good relationship, but I just want to move forward now. They handled the situation very maturely, and I have only good things to say about them. Catena was a wonderful place for growth and development.
Now, I have two months to figure out what to do. I’m not worried, as I’m putting my own back against the wall, I will make something happen.
I happened to come across an interesting job opening. I immediately got excited about the job, it looked exactly the kind of challenge I was looking for. Outreach SEO.
Holy smokes! Based on the description job seemed very interesting!
So, I clicked the apply- button. And guess what happens…
You check out my full CV from this link. You can even download my CV from there in case you want to save into your system.
Looking forward hearing from you.
I felt so happy about what I did. I want to differentiate myself from other candidates by being the “unorthodox candidate”. I’m so happy that I restructured my own website, as it seems to be a valuable tool.
In case you have tips on SEO positions in Malta (btw I’m Finnish), let me know! I’m open to all the opportunities.