I think I’ve been on a high because of the Google ads finally working. I’ve been doing this business officially for six months. It has barely made any money so far, though I can see the money on the horizon. Google ads and I have had a tumultuous relationship. A long time ago, they accused me of clicking on ads on my website and kicked me off. The appeals process was difficult. I finally got back on, but I was so fed up, I didn’t use them. They never made much money anyway. A couple years ago, I put them back on. They only made coinage to a couple dollars a day. But it steadily increased. It first took two years to get my first $100 threshold payment. Then six months. Then I was on a steady three-month cycle. Suddenly this month, the income has shot up many times over, and it’s still increasing. It’s not get rich money. It’s not even living money. But it can help pay student loans and be used as investment capital to promote and improve the business.

I think this was part of the reason that I’ve had a little more motivation to get a lot done this week. I’d been in a rut in putting together tours. It’s been lack of self confidence. Yes, I can show people around. But can I actually be a tour guide? Do I have enough stuff to say?

Yeah, I do. I just doubt myself.

So I had a few epiphanies for some new tours. My ongoing survey on the Food Journal shows that people are most interested in traditional food tours. I have a real liking to this 1970s village at the Children’s Museum at the back of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Then things started linking together, and I put together a solid narrative for a romantic nostalgic tour. Romantic in the sense that it’s a westerner’s romantic idea of Korea. Nostalgic in that a Korean on this tour would feel that way with where we go.

I also made a seasonal tour–the Chilly Summer Crawl. It’s a tour based on my “10 Ways to Survive a Korean Summer” post.

I knew most of the places on the tours, but I had to do some research to fill in the gaps. I’ve become pretty good lately at digging through Korean language food blogs for info. The trouble is they’re not that reliable. Some really underwhelming places get ga-ga’d over.

Nonetheless, I only went to one dud. It was a boribap place in Insa-dong. Very dull and sterile. The next day I found a much better folksy place. My favorite folk-style restaurant got converted into another copycat coffeehouse. So I was desperate to find a replacement. The one I found was not a great as that one, but pretty close. In fact, I think they have some of the old place’s bric-a-brac.

So most of the week was footing it around Seoul, finding and testing places. I even used a stopwatch to time the routes.

Today (Thursday) was the first day I had to sit down in front of a computer. And I had a lot of work to do. I’ve been behind on my other duties anyway. Now I had the tours and all my other projects to catch up on. So from dawn to now (10 p.m.) I got the following done.

  • Worked out the details and ticket prices for the new tours
  • Rebranded the Mapo BBQ Tour into the Ultimate Korean BBQ Experience
  • Made Facebook ads for the new tours
  • Made Google ads for the new tours
  • Promoted the tours through social media
  • Put together the first four episodes of the reworked “Jen’s Teaching Tips” podcast
  • Registered the podcast with major directories
  • Published the first episode of Jen’s Teaching Tips
  • Fixed a lot of issues with Jen’s Teaching Tips, SeoulPodcast, ZenKimchi Food Journal, and ZenKimchi websites
  • Worked a little on OhmyNews International (the only steady paying gig in the bunch)
  • Sent the ZenKimchi Events newsletter
  • Wrote a new review for ZenKimchi Dining
  • Wrote a new post for ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal

And frankly, I’m proud of all I’ve gotten done today. Jen’s new podcast sounds good. It’s funny. We have a subversive tone with it. The new tours look great, and I think they’ll be tight. Right now I’m not so happy with the Google banners I’ve put together so far, but I’ll work on it. I’m also still behind on Food Journal posts. I have one that’s been sitting there since early May.

I want more days like this.

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