. 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:

  • Career
  • BJJ
  • Side-projects

Let’s get to it.

Career

Lot of irons in the fire.

Freelancing

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 😉

Arete Online

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.

Rankings 

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.

Social Media

My time is getting limited when it comes to marketing the gym. Luckily, I’ve found a way to keep the marketing alive.

INSTAGRAM!

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.

Instead of each and one of us running after smaller projects, we decided to collaborate and start hunting for bigger projects.

So far things have been going well, it is only the beginning…stay tuned 😉

Check our website
www.cashcow.media

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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.

arete-bjj-malta-italian-bjj-open

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

NoGi

Gi

 

Side Project

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 beaches
  • Good places for dinner
  • Nightlife

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.

So this is what I did.

Map Based guide to Malta

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.

Final words

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.