Can you believe we're about to head into the final 90 days of 2019? I sure can't!
With another month in the books, it's that time again—taking a look back at the month and planning for October.
September is always a bittersweet month for me. I love it because it's the official start of fall, which means crisp, cool air and crunchy leaves. As much as I love this time of year, it's also a really hard and emotional month for me. I don't want to dive too deep into it, but my brother passed away on September 21, 2019. Exactly a year earlier, a very close family friend passed away unexpectedly. So, needless to say, that day is always difficult.
This year was the 5th year anniversary and also the first time I wouldn't be spending the day with my family. It's safe to say I was an emotional wreck from September 13th-21st!
Some days, I felt okay and managed to get a lot of work done while others, I felt so drained mentally and physically that I couldn't bring myself to do much more than sit in front of the TV. Luckily, as a full-time freelance writer working from home, I didn't have to worry about calling in sick to a 9-5 office job or a reduced paycheck.
On the days when I felt my lowest, I was able to take time to just feel what I needed to feel and put my energy into doing something that made me feel a little better. Sometimes, you just need to put work aside and practice a little self-care so you can come back stronger and healthier.
The emotional rollercoaster and an intense cold aside, I still had a fairly productive month business-wise. I signed two new clients, cut ties with a bad freelance client, and threw myself into growing my blog.
Here's a peek at how my month went.
September GOAL REVIEW
My September was actually pretty productive despite a few short weeks and getting sick. I managed to complete most of my goals for the month, with the exception of reading a personal development book and creating a new landing page for my business website.
Create a new landing page for my freelance writer website and portfolio. ❌
MONTHLY ACTION ITEMS
- Establish an onboarding process + contract template for new clients ✅
- Read 1 personal development/nonfiction book ❌
- Invite 4 people to interview for Creatives in the Spotlight ✅
- Send 2 emails to my list ✅
WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS
- Approve and reply to blog comments ✅
- Publish 1 new blog post ✅
- Post 3 Facebook posts ✅
DAILY ACTION ITEMS
- Gratitude ✅
- Practice hand lettering ✅
- Read from a personal development/nonfiction book ❌
BLOG POSTs I PUBLISHED IN September
FREE TOOLS I’VE BEEN LOVING
Canva + Pixistock – I've been using Canva forever to make anything from blog graphics to pins to my opt-in freebies. I actually tried to switch to Pic Monkey a couple of times but I didn't think it was quite as easy to use as Canva, so I'm sticking with it. Anyways, Canva made the list for me partly because of Pixistock.
If you're not familiar with Pixistock, it's an amazing stock photo site by Alicia Powell. I've been a member of Pixistock for almost two years now and have loved it. Recently, Alicia and her team overhauled their membership to include thousands of free Canva templates.
The new templates include:
- Social graphics
- Pin templates
- eBook templates
- Price guide downloads
- Email signature
- + so much more!
My favorite templates are the eBook templates and since they were released, I've started overhauling my opt-in freebies. I just finished updating the Pitch Perfect Checklist and made a brand-new opt-in freebie, The Client Breakup Roadmap.
Note: You can find all my freebies in the Resources Vault.
I really love the combination of Canva + Pixistock. They're so easy to use and the templates are beautiful, easy to customize, and save so much time! If you're not a Pixistock member, you should definitely check it out! Click here for more information about Pixistock.
Moz Keyword Explorer – This has been a lifesaver when it comes to finding keywords and phrases. It shows you how difficult a keyword or phrase is to rank for, how often the term is searched for, and relevant keywords. In addition, it pulls a SERP analysis so you can see the top sites ranking for that keyword. The only downside is the free version only gives you so many searches a month. So, you either have to be selective about you 10 “credits” or upgrade to the paid version of Moz.
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 September
- How I Wrote 36 Canned Email Templates in One Day (Ashlyn Writes)
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur (A Self Guru)
- 16 of the Best Youtube Channels for Freelance Writers (The Write Life)
- Email Marketing: A/B Testing Made Simple (Mailerlite)
BOOKS I LOVED IN September
While I read 10 books in September. Of the 10, these are my top four:
- Well Met* by Jen DeLuca
- The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
- Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
- The Turn of the Key* by Ruth Ware
*These were my Book of the Month choices for September. 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 September
I was invited to write a sponsored post for Basic Invite in September. This was the first time someone has reached out with a sponsorship offer, so it was a really cool experience. I thought Basic Invite would be a great company to work with as well because I always send my freelance clients thank you notes throughout the year, as well as business holiday cards.
If you've been thinking about doing the same, I recommend checking out my blog post, 5 Tips for Sending Holiday Cards to Your Freelance Clients.
In September, I also drafted the biggest proposal I've ever sent in the two years I've been freelancing. The moment I hit send was a terrifying and surreal experience. But, I'm excited to report that it was accepted which is a huge milestone for me!
It's crazy that I just filled out the first month of the 4th quarter in my Powersheets planner! I think once I've finished, I'll do a final review on my Powersheets planner, so check back in December.
In the meantime, if you're curious about Powersheets, I've got good news! The 2020 edition will be released on October 16th and now is the perfect time to get your hands on it. If you're not ready to go all-in on the 202o Powersheets planner, I suggest the 6-month undated planner if you want to test it out. You can find it here.
I have several new client projects starting and will have family visiting in October, so I'm keeping my goals on the lighter side for the month.
MONTHLY ACTION ITEMS
- Publish 4 new blog posts
- Send 2 emails to The Quiet Type subscribers
- Read a personal development/nonfiction book
- Take 2 classes on Skillshare
WEEKLY ACTION ITEMS
- Check + respond to blog comments
- Post 3 Facebook posts
- Publish 1 new blog post
DAILY ACTION ITEMS
- Practice hand lettering
- Read from a personal development/nonfiction book – My plan was to read Get Scrappy by Nick Westergaard in September but I just didn't get around to it. So, I'm rolling it over to October.
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.