I hope you're experiencing lovely May weather wherever you are! Meanwhile, we've been stuck in a rainy weather rut here in Minnesota. But, that's supposed to start looking up here soon!
All in all, April was a great month! I've really started to make it a point to work on my productivity recently and I think I've finally fallen into a good groove. It couldn't have come soon enough, either! The start to the second quarter was crazy. I had existing clients increasing the frequency of their content and potential clients reaching out left and right. My month was spent shifting from crafting content to writing up proposals and I'm glad things have finally started to slow back down.
The good news is I managed to balance everything without dropping the ball. I even took an accidental vacation for a week when I went back home to visit my family. A few months ago having so much going on would have left me in a panic. I would have said no to plans because I felt I needed to be working and I didn't want to fall behind. But, I'm happy to report my business didn't implode from taking a week off!
Freelancing full-time has truly changed my life for the better.
- I'm able to prioritize how I spend my time and who I spend it with
- I can work from pretty much anywhere
- Overall, I feel happier and less anxious than I have in a long time
If you've been dreaming of turning your side hustle into a full-time gig, don't let anything stop you. Even if you're balancing a full-time job while you do it, it is so worth the extra effort and time you put into it! Are you feeling inspired yet? I hope so!
Now let's get into the April roundup, shall we?
April Goal Review
There were a few hiccups but for the most part, I hit my goals for April.
Revamping my email list! ✅ I'm a big believer that An email list is a must-have for bloggers and businesses but I hadn't been making it a priority for quite some time. In April, revived my list and sent out two emails. I even created a survey to see what kind of content my subscribers want to see. If you'd like a say in the type of content I create, feel free to take the survey yourself!
MONTHLY ACTION ITEMS
- Create a survey to send to my email list ✅
- Send 2 emails in April ✅
- Create a content calendar for Facebook pages (House to Home & K. Jenison Writes) ❌
WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS
- Publish at least 1 new blog post each week ❌ – Rather than publishing new blog posts, I focused on updating old content in April. I have plans to do this in May as well but am hoping to publish a new post plus update a post each week.
- Post 2 times to Facebook and Instagram ❌
- Invite 2 people to participate in Creatives in the Spotlight series ✅ – YOU GUYS! I somehow worked up the nerve to ask my freelance writing idol, Elna Cain, to interview and SHE SAID YES! When I got her email back, I dropped everything to run downstairs and tell my boyfriend the exciting news.
DAILY ACTION ITEMS
- Approve and reply to blog comments ✅
- Daily gratitude list ✅
- Read from a personal development/nonfiction/business book ✅ – I'm currently reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. I'm only about halfway through the book but I'm enjoying it so far! It's very similar to Girl, Wash Your Face in that Hollis uses a tough-love, no excuses approach. Once I've finished Girl, Stop Apologizing I am planning on reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I'm super excited about this one! I read a preview on Amazon and was pulled in right away.
Have you read any of these yet? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so let me know in the comments!
BLOG POST I PUBLISHED IN April
All in all, I published two new posts, one Creatives in the Spotlight interview, and two updated posts.
- Best of March 2019 + Powersheets Progress
- How to Grow Your Side Hustle With This Simple Habit
- An Interview with Lysandra Joy Leary: Passion-Driven Entrepreneur & Esthetician
- 10 of the Best Free Plugins Every Blogger Needs
- 7 Must-Have Tools for Freelance Writers
FREE TOOLS I’VE BEEN LOVING
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant – This is an add-on feature you can get for Google Docs and works similarly to the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. I've been using for about three months now and it's been great!
Grammarly – Grammarly still continues to be one of my top tools. It saves me so much time with editing and I really love the built-in thesaurus feature! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you definitely should!
MY FAVORITE BLOG POSTS FROM April
I read a lot of great blog posts in April but these are four of my favorite ones.
- 100+ Attention Grabbing Blog Post Title Templates (Twelveskip)
- Self-Care for Freelance Writers (Contenta)
- Understanding the Financial Side of Your Side Hustle (Pep Talks for Side Hustlers)
- The Secret to Writing When You Feel Stuck (Bethany Rutledge)
BOOKS I LOVED IN April
While I read six books in April. Of the six, these are my top three:
- A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
- The Winter Sister by Megan Collins*
- The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott
*These were my Book of the Month choices for April. Interested in getting a FREE book? Use my link to sign up for a Book of the Month membership and you’ll receive a free new release hardcover book of your choice! I always look forward to the first of the month when the new selections are released for Book of the Month. Check it out here!
MAGIC MOMENT OF April
My favorite part of the month was going home to visit my family. Easter happened to be the same day as my nephew's third birthday, so we combined celebrations. Seeing my two nephews and the rest of my family was so great. I haven't seen them since the beginning of January so it's safe to say this was a much-needed trip!
While I was in town, I also spent a whole 12 hour day meeting with some of my original clients as well as some friends. Between meetings over coffee and happy hour after, I was exhausted! But, I love connecting face to face with my original clients so it was nice to catch up and talk about their content strategies in person. Plus, I can never turn down a good happy hour with friends!
One thing I've noticed in the last few months is that I tend to plan to do too much each month. There's always so much I want to achieve but life and client projects often get in the way. So, I'm trying to be better about picking out 2 or 3 specific goals. (Which is easier said than done, sometimes!) Anyways, here’s what I’ve got planned for May and how I’ve structured my Powersheets planner.
Creating a brand-new, better than ever resource library! I've been wanting to update my resource library FOR-EVERRRRR but I always end up putting it off. I'm making it a priority this month though so be on the lookout for the launch!
MONTHLY ACTION ITEMS
- Update 3 old blog posts (content, titles, SEO, and pins)
- Read Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Send 2 (warm) pitches
WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS
- Publish at least 1 new blog post each week
- Update 1 blog post
- Send 2 emails to my list in May (bi-monthly)
- Invite 1 person to participate for Creatives in the Spotlight
DAILY ACTION ITEMS
- Daily gratitude list
- Read from a personal development/nonfiction/business book
- Start working by 9 AM (during the week)
Alright, I think that’s everything! If you'd like to check out my previous roundups to see the other freebies and goodies I’ve recommended in the past, click here.