Quarterly Review: 2018 Q1

01 April 2018

Welcome to the first of my quarterly reviews!

What is a quarterly review?

This is a reflective review on what I’m working on, my stats, what’s working and what’s not.

I’ve decided to start writing these reviews after getting a lot of value and inspiration from other people who do the same.

Since I find it difficult to write extended articles, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. In future I might go back and expand on these articles.

I haven’t yet figured out a template for what I’ll put in these reviews. But it’ll usually be about my projects, my traffic and any revenue reports (LOL).

I’m sharing these in the interests of transparency and to show what a “real” journey looks like for a blogger and wannabe product creator, when starting from scratch.

I hope that it inspires you if you’re considering a similar path!


So let’s jump in to my roundup for the three months of January to March 2018.

My current projects:

  • Clever Builder - This is my main side project. This is my blog where I write articles on programming, specifically around Java and, even more specifically, Apache Camel.

  • Flat Haus - I’ve started a small home decor website and Instagram account called Flat Haus. I enjoy looking at home design and finding designers, and it seemed like a nice focus for a side project that didn’t demand too much time or effort.

Clever Builder

This quarter I reached over 13,000 users.

Clever Builder 2018 Q1 stats

My traffic this quarter is up almost 100% on the previous quarter. Which is kind of insane. I think this is partially due to the holiday season being quieter at work, but also perhaps Clever Builder is making its way up the rankings.

Clever Builder 2018 Q1 trend

My traffic is almost exclusively from organic search.

Clever Builder 2018 Q1 referrals

I have an email list, and my list has grown to 165 members:

Clever Builder 2018 Q1 subscribers

This quarter, I wrote the following articles:

Revenue: £0.


  • I’m not writing as much as I want to. I’d like to aim for one large article per month, but I find it difficult to find the time to achieve even that.
  • I’m really happy with my mailing list growth. This is largely due to re-offering my Introduction to Apache Camel free ebook.
  • I think my bounce rate is pretty high. I would like to reduce that.

Overall I’m happy with progress this year and I’m really encouraged by my visitor numbers.

Flat Haus

I started Flat Haus because I couldn’t find a decent place to search for home decor inspiration online, which focuses on UK suppliers and shops.

Currently there are no stats of note for Flat Haus. I hope to get this project seriously off the ground soon.


For the next three months, I’d like to:

  • Increase visits to Clever Builder by 25%

  • Write 3 new large articles for Clever Builder

  • Start creating a small product

Thanks for reading my quarterly review! I hope you found it interesting.

If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.