New year, new ideas

I would say Happy New Year, but this email is coming to you a whole month into 2024.

Hey everyone,

I would say Happy New Year, but this email is coming to you a whole month into 2024. It’s fair to say, January didn’t go as planned.

I was a little unwell after the New Year, and it got really busy on the family front (fun fact, there are 5 birthdays in the family in January, including mine!). I also felt unmotivated after stretching myself on this newsletter in December (more on that below). So between it all, it’s been a slow start to 2024.

That said, I have spent some time thinking, planning and doing a bit of creating to lay the ground work for 2024.

Here’s a little round up…

Time to read: 2.5 mins

December’s email experiments

Last month I tried to switch gears on this newsletter, by changing the frequency and content style. (Did you like it? Please let me know in a reply).

The experiment was inspired by a challenge on Small Bets community. I didn’t quite make it to 4 weekly emails in December, but I learned a lot in the process.

I found it a little too much to do weekly, long-form writing emails, so I’ve decided to do something of a mix in future. I’m determined to inject more writing and increase the frequency, but it will be more of a gradual change this year.

This year’s side projects focus

2023 was mostly about 2 small projects for me, both designed for high learning more than profit or high growth. One was this newsletter (practising writing & publishing) and the other was Starrt, a niche content site (practising building for SEO).

I’ve learned a lot through both, and formed a better idea of the kind of projects I want to be working on (I’ve concluded I enjoy building content sites more than apps, as side projects).

And I’ve now grown to 1.5k monthly views, and 250 Google Search clicks. All of which has inspired me to build bigger, more serious content sites in 2024. One I talk about below, and I have plans for 2 others in 2024.

New side project launch

I’m excited to announce I’m building – a directory of outdoor event venues in the US. It’s only soft launched so far, as I’m building up the content.

Why outdoor event venues? Well I noticed a trend and opportunity, and found it interesting to dig into. It’s that simple. It’s a slow, steady experiment in SEO and business growth for me, with a plan to get it ranking in a few months then open up paid listings.

It’s been a bit of a journey to find the right tool setup for this kind of site, with a few test versions getting scrapped along the way to launch. I’ve settled on WordPress, for reasons I’ll go into in a blog post soon.

This year’s work focus

This is the part I’m finding hard at the moment. I’m crossing the crazy milestone of 30 years of work this year, and I’ve even been independent for 20 of them. No big surprise then that I’ve noticed my interests shifting around a bit in recent years, and my level of focus isn’t where I want it to be.

More to come on this subject in the coming weeks, as I work it all out.

Current availability

On the subject of work, I had a part-time contract finish recently so I have some availability for projects and contracts at the moment. If you’re interested in design or Webflow support, let me know in a reply. I’m still taking coaching clients too.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue. Please reply, or tag me on X if you have something to say. I will reply to every mention.


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