All blog posts on one site

Few month ago I wrote about my passions and businesses in blog post Who am I and what is my purpose? . Over the same few month, I had internal fight between two thoughts. I should work on all my projects vs I should focus only on one. I did find solution to some of my project by finding the right and talented people to help me with some projects. However, my plate is till full.

Currently I have 4 blogs where I would love to post content on regular basis and I have 4 youtube channels as well where I would love to do it. I can do blog post and/or video every week and each week to post to different blog/youtube. However, it would be 1 content every 4 weeks. I spread myself too thin.

In addition to all my blogs, I have accountability partner Vira Sadlak from Travelization. We agreed to create one blog post per week and keep each other accountable. At first, I was planning to focus only on one blog (this one). The personal site. However, I realized that my main business Email Marketing NYC is lucking consistent content.

Here is what I decided to do.

Hold on. Before I tell you what I decided to do lets cover my websites, blogs and youtube channel so you can understand the load of work. By the way, my sister always

  1. Email Marketing NYC – this is the main business where I invest 80-90% of my time and I get 80% of my income from this business. I have blog which I need to keep fresh every week and youtube channel.

  2. Digital Consulting NYC – this is the secondary business where I have partner. However, my responsibility is to create content. I do not need to write here weekly but the content I create for this site needs to be in “guide” style. The average length 3,000 – 6,000 words.

  3. Immigrant Porada – this is my passion. This is the online platform for Ukrainian Immigrants. After writing 300+ blog posts on this site, I do not write here anymore often. However, I post an article here and there about our family trips.

  4. Also, I have few real estate website where I wrote blogs posts in the past. In addition, I have few blog post which I have to write since it will help other people and many people ask me for that information.

  5. AndriyBoychuk.com – this is personal brand site. I know a brand lives in me and I want to develop it. However, I know everything can not be done in one day.

So what did I decide to do?

No matter where I write a blog post I would write a short summary on my personal brand website and add a link to the full blog post on the original site. It includes guest posts, Ukrainian posts, other businesses and etc. This way I have record of all my posts in one place.

What do you think about it?

Here why I decided to do it.

First of all, I want to see how much work I do. I do a lot but if you check each of those companies, there is not much there but if you combine all efforts it is a lot.

Second, we go through seasons in life. Today my main business Email Marketing NYC is important but it might change in few years. The great example is the real estate businesses. It was very important to me few years ago when it was only business I have. Today, I invest in real estate only passively.

Full disclosure. I am not 100% sure how it will affect SEO but it is not my main focus. The biggest goal of keeping everything in one place is for myself to see what I do in general and for my daughter and future kids to see what was in their father head many years ago 🙂 .

Oh, I was inspired to write it because my accountability partner wrote to me “Стаття кльова, але я думала, що ти планував свій власний сайт розвивати, нє? “ It means “The article is cool. However, I thought you want to develop your personal brand website”. It was her response when I sent hear an Ukrainian blog post.

Things to do in Cancun and near by for families

We have friends who live for the last 8 years in Cancun. They used to work as the city guides and now they own their own exotic photography business and they still do private tour guides. They helped us a lot with telling where we should and should not go. They saved our time and improved our experience.

Beaches In Cancun and near by cities

All beaches in Cancun are public.

However, there is not always access to the beach since many hotels are joined properties with other hotels.

Here are the hotels we visited with public access. 

The first day we went to a beach near Alebris bar .

You park your car on supermarlet parking and the beach is across the street. You can buy something in the supermarket even somewhing very small and the parking will be for free. After you cross the street you access the small beach and you can go left. We personally did not like this beach it was very small and not cozy. We were there for 1-2 hours and since it was our first day we were happy to be there anyway.

Another beach which we loved a lot is by the old port. It is very busy when you just enter but you can make left turn and walk little bit further and there is very cosy beach. 

Our favorite beach was on Isla Mujeres. We were there second time (the first time was 4 years ago) and we love it more and more. It is a small paradise on the earth.

We spent there half a day and watched sunset on the beach. The water is very calm and warm. There is a lot of yacht parked by with some Music. The vibe on the beach is calm and cozy. 

Isla Mujeres

We love this island.

It is 18 minutes by the ferry from Cancun. It cost $8 both ways per person and parking is $3-4. The ferry is comfortable with AC and fast.

After arriving to the island we rented a golf cart for the whole day. It cost 700 pesos per day.

I highly recommend to Visit the island as early as possible so you can see the Island and spend some time On the beach.

So we rented two golf cards since there were 7 of us and our friends showed us around. First we went to a pier which is not a popular tourist place but it had great views and we took some pictures there.

Then we stopped by the overview to take few pictures 

After that we went to popular tourist place. We spend a lot of time there and walk by the bottom of the cliff where water was very wild. It was scary but amazing experience with priceless pictures. We were tiered and hungry. The sun was at its peak.

We decided to go for a lunch and our friend said that they know an amazing place for lunch. While going there we drove through the cemetery. I love how sparky, and funny their cemeteries are. You do not feel of sadness there.

We stopped at the restaurant by the oute with the ocean view. The restaurant had rustick and authentic feel and food smelled sooooo good. After 2 bottles of model i felt like in paradise. Everything what we ordered (burgers and rise bowls were amazing and tasty). 

The final destination is the beach. As i described above in the beach section.

The beach is like paradise on the earth it is like those perfect pictures you see on a postcards.

We were there until sunset. There was a guy who was there almost every day (according to Our friends) and blow big bubbles and allow others to do the same.

From the one fancy bout all the time played an album of Freddie Mercury. It hard to describe the feeling and the picture but it was one of those days which you can describe the best one in the world.

Since we had to return the golf cart by 5pm. Our friends retuned and we walked all together from the beach to the ferry. This day we did not have a chance to walk the famous street on the island but we did last time four years ago. Our daughter fault a sleep and the music was very loud on the street so we did not want to disturb her. However here some pictures from  4 years ago.

Playa De Carmen

The city is the city 60 minutes away from Cancun.

It is one of the destination I highly recommend for you to visit. The most famous thing in the city is the 5th avenue. There is not much else to do except the beach which is not so nice because of the sea weeds.

However the street is live and there many activities. I enjoyed the city very much and would love to there in an evening as well.

We age Our lunch at La Cueva del Chango . The food was delicious and highly recommend for you to go there is you have chance. We found it on google and at that time it had 3,000+ four and half star reviews. 

Places to eat in Cancun

We did not eat out a lot in Cancun since we traveled a lot and eat out in different cities.

First day when we went to a beach we parked by supermarket. There was a food court on 2nd floor with the lagoon view seating area. You order your food and self service yourself. The baguette and pizza was Ok but our daughter spaghetti was delicious.

Tulum And Cenotes near Tulum

Our friends had a day off on Sunday and we went to Tulum.

One of the most luxury vacation destinations for celebrities.

On the way there we agreed to stop by by a cenote. Our friend offered us a cenote which not know by tourists. It was very exclusive. We drove 15-20 minutes by bumpy road. There was a caves where he gave us a tout.

After cave we went down to the cenote and there was 10-15 minute tour in the water in caves which were lighten up by light fixtures. The experience is unforgettable. And the best part we were there alone. No other people. Cenotes cost 350 pesos per person.

After the cenote we all was hungry and they offered us to eat in Talum in local cafe.

It is not popular tourist place but very popular for Tourists. The food was delicious. The price was very low for the whole bill we paid around $40 including tips for 5 people. The restaurant is El Camello Jr.

After the lunch. We went to see the famous Talum. The vibe in the city, tourists and hotels are very different from Cancun.

There are more rustic hotels and close to nature. All fancy and luxury hotels.

We stopped in one hotel to enjoy the ocean view and to have some drinks and we paid more for 5 drinks (3 alcoholic and two none) more than we paid for the entire lunch. Prices are high there.

It was evening and we stopped by one more location to get ice cream. And we were on our way back to Cancun (2.5 hours drive).

One day in Xcaret

Xcaret is one of the most famous parks in Cancun area. It is one hour drive from cancun and right by Playa De Carmen. 

It cost $99 per adult and kids are free up to 4 years old. You can save 10% if you buy tickets online in advance. There two packages regular pass and plus. We get the regular one but we ended up eating at the buffet. So, It might be cheaper just to buy the plus because it includes buffet. The buffet cost is $29 per Person and kids are free up to 4 years.

The park is well design and has great way finding system by using colored lines on the ground. We started from the white route.

The beaches in the park were small and shallow. We did not like them much. 

The views in the park and from the park on the Mexican golf was amazing.

We bought package at $150 for 3 person to play with dolphins. There were two families us and one more. We pet the dolphin, we took pictures with her “Maya” and we learned a lot about them. She was 32 years old.

We were little bit surprised for picture prices $39 per picture. You can buy all for $189. But we decided to buy only two.

Also, there is strollers (double and singles) for rent. I rented for our daughter since it was hot and she was already tired. $15 per day rental  + $15 security deposit or you can leave your ID.

There is underground river in the park which spans across the whole park. Our friends highly recommended to experience but it closes at 5 pm so we did not make it because our experience with dolphins ended at 5.

Also, there is famous performance about Mecican history. We did not make it as well because we were tiered and our daughter usually goes to sleep between 7 and 8 and the show starts at 7.

Historic sites

This time we did not take any kind of tours to Historic sites.

We went to Chichen Itza 4 years ago. It was amazing experience. We went to Chichen Itza .

We visited cenote and other cities. We had a lot of fun then.

Cancun and other cities/places near by has a lot to Offer. We did not been in many places but everywhere we been i highly recommend each and every one location to visit. Also, if you do not have much time and feel free to choose and pick from places we cisited.

Andriy’s Bucket List

  1. Attend burning man
  2. Attend Earthshipacademy
  3. buy tesla x
  4. Crosss county with family
  5. Complete Iron man Hawaii
  6. Learn how to solve cubik’s rube.
  7. Quit full time job (completed 12/2/16)
  8. Climb pip ivan when it is in snow
  9. Run NYC marathon
  10. Take a road trip with my wife down the PCH
    (completed February 2018)
  11. Take spartan challenge – the full one – hawaii
  12. Walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain and France
  13. warren buffett annual shareholder meeting
  14. Get stunned by the Great Pyramid of Giza
  15. Walk along the Great Wall of China
  16. Visit Hong Kong
  17. Trek to Machu Picchu
  18. Hike to Christ the Redeemer
  19. Sail on Ha Long Bay
  20. Enjoy yourself at Sydney Opera House
  21. Visit Australia Melborne
  22. Participate in a Hiking Tour in the Grand Canyon
  23. Boat Tour throught the europe (viking)
  24. Admire Big Ben’s mighty clock
  25. Walk around on Cinque Terre
  26. Discover Venice on a Vaporetto
  27. Visit the mighty Sagrada Familia
  28. Hike through the Antelope Canyon
  29. Walk along the Canals of Amsterdam
  30. VIsit Saint petersburgh
  31. Walk on Golden Gate Bridge
  32. Admire the view from Burj Khalifa
  33. Visit Fiji island
  34. Hike on Trolltunga
  35. Route 66 road trip
  36. Finger Lakes road trip
  37. Visit Prypyat
  38. Attend Leningrad Concert
  39. Attend Wunderland concert
  40. Sleep at Ice Hotel
  41. Build a earthship
  42. To have six pack like zac efron
  43. 50 mathons in 50 states by 50
  44. BP podcasr guest
  45. Spi podcast guest
  46. cococay island
  47. Work from 8 to 3 pm max
  48. Stay at Marina Bay Sands Singapore and swim in the pool
  49. Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
  50. Cherry Springs State Park
  51. Speak Spanish Fluently
  52. Live in Mexico for 3 months

Cancun all inclusive family vacation vs not all inclusive

Each year on my birthday we take a vacation and leave the city (NYC). I try to complete something from my bucket list on my birthday.

This winter we had low budget for vacation so we were not sure were we can go.

My wife wanted to visit some warm city. I wanted the same indeed. I was little bit sick and tired with the winter in New York City. However, all deals on groupon and other sites for outside of our budget.

All inclusive resort for the family of three will cost us around $6,000+ for 5-7 days.

At that moment our budget would not allow us to take this kind of trip. So I offered my wife just to rent an apartment on airbnb, rent a car and buy our own food and cook.

She agreed and we bought our tickets in 1 day.

Cheap airline tickets to Cancun (and any other city)

We used app called skiplagged to buy tickets for airlines.

It is a unique app and not similar to any other app. It is not your typical discount or deal finder app. This app finds hidden city flights. By using this app you pick two way airfare and it shows you price for two ways airway but you buy two one way tickets. We paid total for 3 person $990 and we bought 2 months in advance of our flight.

Just be aware about baggage prices and weight limits. For spirit airlines we paid $55 for overweight because their limit is 40lb vs 55lb the standard one. 

Cheap car rental In Cancun (or anywhere in the world)

I alway use Hotwire for car rental. I do not use this site for any other service but for the car rental only. They have the best deal anywhere in the world.

We paid $3 per day for full size car. It was the cheapest rate i ever got in my entire life. However there is a catch. Car rental is $3 per day but required minimum insurance (liability) was $19 for the car per day.

No insurance is not an optional you have to get it. I believe you can get the liability insurance from Hotwire cheaper 9.99 or $15.99. I am not sure you have to check. So the total for the car was $275

Apartment for Our stay

We love airbnb.

Recently they changed their customer service and we do not like some of the changes but we still love them. Great apartment were on the market from $35-65 per night.

I am not talking about high end, luxury and etc. i am talking about great, clean and cozy apartments (according to our standards).

We booked apartment for  $45 per night. The total with the cleaning fees and airbn was $438.60

Lets sum up the cost Without the food yet.

We paid $1,705 for the flight, apartment and car vs $5,000-6,000 resort
“Unlimited food”

Since we lived in apartment we had our own kitchen.

If you never been to Cancun, it has all the stores you need. There is walmart, sams club, costo and other American stores which look exactly the same as in the US.

At the first day we went there and bought food for the whole week. We spent around $100.

We knew that we would eat in restaurants and cafes but bought food for breakfasts and lunch/dinners sometimes. 

All other days we eat at different restaurant.

We did ordered everything we wanted in all the restaurants and the total bill every time was around $30-45 for 3 people including tips and 2-3 alcohol drinks (sometimes i was very thirsty so drink 2 beers instead of 1 🙂 ).

What kind of beer? I drink Corona or Modelo.

If they did not have either of them i had Sol which is very similar to corona beer.

We even celebrated my birthday at upscale restaurant with my friends. 5 adults and one child. The total bill was $180 for everybody.

The rule of thumb that we come up with is the eating our is 40-50% cheaper than in New York. 

The total expense on food (groceries and eating out was $1,000)

Beach access.

One downside of traveling on your own vs resort in Cancun you do not have direct access to the beaches from your apartment.

All hotels are in hotel zone with access to the water.

In our case we had to drive few minutes to the beaches. We were fine with this con.

Experience 

We were in Cancun four years ago in Riu Peninsula.

We had great time but nothing to compare to this time.

Resorts are great and comfortable but there is no experience of culture. Any resort anywhere is the worlds probably the same so there is no real experience of culture.

The last time I learned zero Spanish words in the resort. You just do not need it.

This time. I learned a lot and i love it. I do not like to learn languages but this time I decided to learn to speak Spanish fluently.

It will be on my bucket list and i will do It.

I enjoyed Mexico so much I am thinking of buying an apartment or house there one day.

Lets sum up expenses.

You Should exclude gifts and entertainment from the sum since you have to pay it anyway.

Selling courses on udemy (Pros and Cons)

In summer of 2017 I released my first online course. It was a course about how to start making money on Upwork.

I did not want to invest in LMS (learning management system), so I posted the course on Udemy for $97 and sold 50 courses in less then a month. After that, I recorded two more courses.

Therefore, in this post I want to tell you about my personal experience about selling courses on Udemy. All three courses were on three different languages, and in two different industries. So trust me, I have some interesting information for you below:).

Selling courses on udemy (Pros and Cons)_1
Selling courses on udemy (Pros and Cons)_1

Lesson 1:  Record and sell your course in English.

If you sell the course in different language (other than English), it will be more challenging to get sales with smaller audience.

My first course was in Ukrainian. I am the founder of the Ukrainian online community for immigrants in the USA. So I have a decent-sized audience.

When I released the course, I sent few emails to my followers, and sold the first fifty courses in the first month. After some success (fifty courses in one month was my personal success), I took all money I made, and reinvested in translating this course from Ukrainian to Russian, since Russian language has a bigger population.

I invested $600 in translating the course and voice over it. I sold only two courses. I did zero marketing, since Udemy promotes it on your behalf. Also, I do not have Russian audience, which means I could not drive traffic to the course. Udemy is a popular platform in English, but based on my experience is not as popular in other languages.

Therefore, lesson learned – I should sell only courses in English next time.

Lesson 2: Udemy controls your course price.

The third course I recorded was in English, and with zero English audience I have 1-3 sales per day. Which is amazing for me. It is extremely cool to make money in your sleep.

However, how much do you make?

My English course is exclusive – there is zero competition on Udemy, or on the internet.

The course is about ecommerce email marketing software Klaviyo (it is not important what course it is).

What important is the price factor.

Since there are not many courses in that field, I posted it for $99 per course. However, all my sales are ranging from 10.99 to 12.99.

Why?

Udemy constantly does promotion. Even if you specify price of $1,000 per your course, Udemy has a right to sell it for $10.99. Yes, it is crazy but this is what you agreed to do. They focus on the quantity and not the course price.

There is an option to turn this option off. I mean you can control the price of your course 100%. But in this case, Udemy will not promote the course on your behalf. I tried it for few weeks, and  got zero sales. So I turned it back on.

Thus, lesson learned – if you want Udemy to promote your courses, you should agree to sell it for 10.99 – 12.99.

Lesson 3: Revenue vs profit.

In the lesson 2, we covered that Udemy controls your price but they need to make money too, so 10,99 is not what you make. It is the total revenue. From this Udemy has to get a cut, they need to pay the promotional channel (if any), and the remainder is yours. In some sales, I get $2 per course. Yes, this is after those 100s of hours of experience and recording. Here is the snapshot of the last month revenue breakdown.

This is how you can be in control of your prices on Udemy

Step #1 – Click on your profile PAYOUT SETTINGS

Step #2 – Click on Manage Promotional Agreements

Step #3 – Un-check Percentage Promotions and Fixed-Price Promotions boxes below.

Step #4 – Scroll down and click save.

So, lesson learned, – if they promote it, you get close to nothing.

Lesson 4: Indirect marketing.

I have to  give credit to Udemy for all their marketing efforts.

Few clients reached out to me because they found me via Google and Udemy. It resulted into a project with one client, which added $3,000 of revenue to my ecommerce email marketing agency.

Therefore, indirect marketing is a huge plus.

Lesson 5: The audience is not yours.

You are not allowed to market to your course students.

It means they are not your customers. They are Udemy customers. It might not be important for you when you start but it will be later in your business.

Here is an example for my company.

Those 100+ students in my course might be interested in personal consulting, or next course I have, or maybe want to get service from our email marketing agency, but we can not promote it because it is against the rules.

So what do I plan to do next after all those lessons are learned?

First.

I turned off the option where Udemy controls the price. I have my standards. I rather sell one course for $100 then 50 courses for $2.

Second.

I build the course on my website by using LearnDash MLS platform.

In addition to the price controlling, I want to market to my students and see who purchased and who did not on my list, so I can re-market later.

Third.

I will not post any other courses on Udemy, unless I have some kind of service where I need indirect promotion.

For example, if you have SAAS, you can create course how to use it. Manychat (facebook chat bot) did it for their software. They created free course how to use their software.

What is your experience on selling courses on Udemy? Are there any other pros or cons which I missed?

7 tools for marketing and sales we use in our digital marketing agency

We are email marketing agency. If you try to identify which category we are in, it is either marketing agency, or digital marketing agency. In this article, I will tell you about tools we use in our business for marketing and sales.

Before explaining the purpose behind each tool we use, I would like to provide you with their list below.

  1. Pipedrive
  2. ActiveCampaign
  3. Thrive themes quiz builder
  4. Thrivecart
  5. Zendesk Chat
  6. Yandex Metrica
  7. Calendly

Furthermore, below is in depth description of each tool and its purpose.  

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM (Customer-relationship management). I personally used many different CRMs in the past, such as Zoho, SmartSheets, Simple Spreadsheet and others. However, when I tested pipedrive, I fell in love with it. Why? It is “iphone simple”.

How do we use pipedrive? We have multiple pipelines. In pipedrive, pipelines are the sale funnels. Here is the snapshot of our most common pipedrive which we use every day.

This is just one pipeline. In this pipeline we have six stages:

  1. Lead in
  2. In contact
  3. Meeting
  4. Proposal
  5. Negotiation
  6. Follow Up

The general goal of this pipeline – is to close a deal. The sub-purpose for this and any other pipeline – is to move a deal from one stage to another (left to right). For example, if I chat on Zendesk chat or via email with a prospect, my next goal is to get on a call with him/her, the end result of which should be them hiring me to write a proposal for them. After I submit the proposal, there are three possible outcomes:

– They want to negotiate the price.

– They end up hiring us.

– They become cold prospect.

If you open any specific deal, you can see how long they have been focusing on each stage.

Pipedrive has simple reporting feature, which gives you a report, based on how you performed at a specific period of time.

Based on this report, you can see how much effort you put in, and how much money you made. This way, if you want to double what you make, you know how much work you need to do.

ActiveCampaign

We use ActiveCampaign as our marketing automation tool, as well our email marketing.

Most of our leads we manually add to Pipedrive, same as characteristics of each lead, as well as its status – like Prospect, Client and past client. See below.

This information is passed on to ActiveCampaign as well, which in turn triggers different kinds of automations. For examples, if an existing clients becomes a past client, it triggers automation which is called emNYC | 99 | Review and Referral Request . There are three emails in this automation. In first email, we ask for a review, in the second – we ask for referral, and in third – we offer them a continuation service.

We have many other similar automation in ActiveCampaign, especially, if somebody opted in via our website. We have different kinds of funnel.

In addition, we have Welcome automation, where we do not sell but nurture our lead.

ActiveCampaign does the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing. Even more, we get some conversion via ActiveCampaign. Typically, we convert customers via phone/skype conversation or in person meeting, but sometimes, it happens via automatic emails we send.

Thrive Themes Quiz Builder

We use Thrive Themes Quiz Builder as the main automatic funnel. First, we capture visitors’ email. Second, we collect information based on their answers in quiz builder. And third, we offer customized solution based on their answers.

At the back end, I created a logic with 10 different landing pages, and 10 different videos. Based on the people’s responses, they land on one of those 10 different landing pages, every single one of which has a specifically designed personalized video.  

By the way, for video hosting in this case, I use paid Vimeo account vs free one or youtube. I have more control with the video player. I just do not want people to be able to redirect to different platforms, like they can do with youtube videos.

If a visitors go through this funnel and do not buy, they go to ActiveCampaign, where the system  follows up with them automatically.

Thrivecart

We use Thrivecart for cart checkout. It integrates nicely with services like Stripe and PayPal. Also, it integrates nicely with ActiveCampaign for marketing purposes. We use Thrivecart because it is simple and easy to set up. Aslo, it is one time fee and no subscription needed. In addition, we can use it for many businesses and not just one.

Zendesk Chat

After we added Support service to our site, we added chat option as well, so people could ask us any kind of questions at any time. In the first day after we did it, I got two new clients, which came to $6,000 revenue for both client. I was surprisingly shocked how well it worked. Now, we have this chat window on 24/7, and it is linked to my phone, in case I am not in front of the computer, so I could respond immediately.

As one of my clients said: “I wrote inside of this chat window and expected the automatic response from a robot, and I was not expecting to hear from anybody live”. It is great experience, and I love that we provide it. In today’s world, it is easy to automate a lot of things, but something like direct communication with the client – should not be automated.

Yandex Metrica

We use Yandex Metrica to see how well our site performs in terms of positioning buttons, links and etc. Yandex Metrica tracks all your visitors behavior, and provides you with easy to understand heat maps, scroll maps, and even replays of unique customer visits.

Based on Yandex Metrica reports, we sometimes revise our menu options, to improve the customer experience. For example, if nobody clicks on one menu option, it is unuseful to keep it.

As you can see from the image above, nobody clicked on Tools and Contact Us. The Contact Us option is new, so it does not have enough data, but Tools we might remove, since nobody used it.

Calendly

This is the simple but the most powerful tool, which helps us schedule appointments with prospective clients. After we send either cold or warm messages to our prospects, close to 40% never respond to us. However, they schedule appointment directly through the app, which is a shocking number, but it is true. We love Calendly for its features and simplicity.

Those are  the tools that we use for marketing and sales in our agency. How about you? What tools do you use? I would like to learn more, please provide your recommendations below.