2018 has been quite incredible, truly.
Joseph here! I thought I’d give you a recap on 2018, for those who are interested and who like to follow this journey. As I write this, Content Pathway is now 34 months old, and it really is my baby. However, my baby is getting bigger.
Content Pathway has grown, with new freelance team members, more services offered, a great partnership with another digital marketing agency, more income, more clients, and more global reach for making positive environmental change through good communication.
The perfect combination
Having set up Content Pathway in 2016 as a way of doing my three favourite things – writing, travelling, and supporting environmental businesses – it’s a great feeling to see how far this has come.
The way that I designed all of our processes to support remote work and a team of freelancers means that we are able to move around freely and find inspiration in the places we visit. I don’t want uninspired workers trapped in offices. I perhaps most strongly feel the need to move around, and I thought this might be best represented by the 14 separate trips I took this year.
In order (I think)
- Bratislava (Slovakia) – Day trip
- Vienna (Austria) – Weekend
- Hamburg and Luneburg (Germany) – One week
- Zakopane (Poland) – Four days
- Budapest (Hungary) Graz and Vienna (Austria) – Four days
- Berlin (Germany) – Three days
- Balkans trip 1: Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia – Two weeks
- Bristol (UK) – Three days
- Budapest (Hungary) – Five days
- Czech Switzerland (Czech Republic) – Three days
- Bologna, Florence, Rimini, Rome, (Italy), San Marino and The Vatican – Eight days
- Semmering (Austria) – Three days
- Cyprus and Northern Cyprus (Turkey) – Eight days
- Balkans trip 2: Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania – One month
Life in the Czech Republic
What’s also interesting is that when I wasn’t on those trips, I was living in Brno, Czech Republic. I also found time to visit my friends and family, and by the time 2018 is over, I will have spent a total of 62 days in the UK, around 96 backpacking, and 207 in the Czech Republic.
If you are curious to learn more about my year in Brno, I wrote an 8,000-word guide to life, culture, love, work, food, drink, and almost everything I could think of. I then made that free to my audience, no download necessary, just click this link. There’s some great backstory of my journey and my travels there, a lot more than I would usually share.
Growing a customer base
I wrote an article in January about our last client acquisition period, read that here. For whatever reason, I feel that January is the optimal time for finding new clients. The mission was successful, and I handpicked the best leads, turned them into customers, put them on long-term contracts, and everyone has benefited from it. A few more customers have joined throughout the year, and I’m very pleased to say that almost all of these customers are continuing into 2019.
Unlike generalist marketing agencies, I’m really careful about who we work with. Not only do I only want clients who truly make the world better and whose companies are good for the environment, but I want respectful characters, a solid understanding of the remote work terms, and a lot of the creative responsibility.
A near miss
Earlier in the year, around March/April, one of the former Content Pathway customers hired me to act as their ‘Head of Marketing’. They gave me an office, an assistant, and let me put together a strategy. The strategy worked, but the role was not a good fit. Despite living close by, I still felt that commuting 30 minutes each way was a huge waste of my time and that the 5 hours per week that I lost could be used to make a real change. All of the distractions in the office and at lunchtime were a hindrance, and I knew that Content Pathway would suffer if I let it slip down my priorities.
I left them with a good strategy, but the lesson learned was that when I diverge from Content Pathway, it’s not good for my happiness. This business provides me with all of the tools for a happy life, and I think I forgot that for a brief period. Remote work is my way.
Highs and lows
There have been some incredible highlights in 2018, like seeing one of my best friends get married, and another one get engaged. I have been to some incredible concerts in different countries, like Flatbush Zombies in Prague and Mac DeMarco in Bratislava. I made some incredible new friends in 2018, like Nik, Alena, Sean, Mihir, some of my favourite Brno people. I got to travel twice with my travel buddy Ryan, first to Croatia and Bosnia, and then later in the year to Budapest. I also got to travel with my best friend Adz, so this year we saw each other in 6 different countries; the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and the UK (also briefly in Slovakia but it doesn’t count).
There have been some lows too, the main one being the very sad passing of my old and loving dog, Charlie ‘Chuck’ Kennedy, at the ripe old age of 16 and a half. I also went through a breakup, but I see this as a huge learning experience, rather than something to be sad about. In business terms, my biggest low was probably being scammed by a ‘customer’, but it only left me £300 out of pocket, so I wasn’t overly upset. My biggest travel low was either Berlin or Cyprus, but I still found a way to enjoy them.
What does 2019 look like?
I will start the year by moving to Tenerife for two months. Winter sun, surf, and hiking… perfect! After that, I plan to move to Valencia for a couple of months, and then to Bansko (Bulgaria) for a few months. I try not to plan too far ahead, but these are some of the commitments I have made.
In January I will be doing some light acquisition work, trying to find some awesome additional new customers. There are many leads in the pipeline already.
What about the interview series?
If you’ve been enjoying the interviews in 2018, you’ll be glad to know that 2019’s interviews are going to be bigger, better, and even higher quality! In 2018 I was attempting to prove the model of using interviews as a great way of serving my audience, getting traffic, and building my network. The ten interviews this year have brought in an average of 300 readers each, which I believe is a wonderful start.
We’ve got plenty of interviews under construction and a line of future guests who are eager to appear on the site. We’ve got a TV star, a ‘windtech’ entrepreneur, various CEOs, some incredible eco-investors, sustainability experts from the US, and so much more. Personally, I’m really excited about this.