On June 20, 2009, I was reading Copyblogger and I got a new idea: I should write an ebook.
At that point, my writing and editing business was less than a year old, and I had never written anything that resembled a book.
Could I actually do it?
I knew I wanted to try, so I established a plan on July 1 that would help me write, design, and self-publish an ebook on my website by September 15.
Iâ€™m going to share that plan with you today, so you can adapt it to any type of content project youâ€™d like to finish by the fall. Youâ€™ll also learn some habits I like to avoid when there is a specific goal I want to accomplish.
Select the right topic
Writing an ebook could easily take a year or two … or five.
But launching it as soon as possible was an important step for my business. The ebook would help:
- Establish my authority as a writer and editor
- Build my email list
- Strengthen my author bio when I wrote guest posts
The last bullet point above was especially critical because I didnâ€™t have my own blog yet. Iâ€™ll explain that in a bit.
In order to complete the project by the end of the summer, I decided to create a short guide to avoiding common writing mistakes.
If I had chosen a more complex topic, either the quality would have suffered or I wouldnâ€™t have been able to release it on September 15.
Carefully select a project you have the time and resources to finish.
Set final deadlines
On July 1, I set these deadlines …
- August 1: complete draft
- August 15: complete editing
- September 1: complete design
- September 8: complete guest posts for promotion
- September 15: launch ebook
As you can see, I had a pretty weak promotion strategy. It made me nervous, but since my goal was to produce an ebook, I didnâ€™t worry about it too much.
The project taught me countless lessons about writing, content creation, and marketing that I could apply in the future.
If you don’t try something new because you donâ€™t feel confident about every aspect of it, youâ€™ll never learn those lessons.
Work on weekly goals
After I marked my calendar with my final deadlines, I outlined weekly goals for how I was going to meet them.
Even though I made daily to-do lists to keep me on track, I preferred to measure my progress at the end of a week. Daily goals are often too strict for my creative process.
Sonia recommends forming a support group with other entrepreneurs to help manage your stress and keep yourself accountable. If youâ€™re more of a lone wolf, adopt a no-excuses attitude.
Donâ€™t treat your deadlines as options. Meet them like your job depends on it.
But also recognize that no project goes perfectly. If you have a week that doesnâ€™t quite go as planned, simply reschedule the tasks you didnâ€™t work on.
Itâ€™s possible to have a flexible attitude each week and still finish everything by your final deadlines. Find the space where hard work and fun co-exist.
My website didnâ€™t have a blog
How embarrassing is this?
Although I donâ€™t regret spending a lot of energy in the summer of 2009 on that ebook, it would have also been wise to set up my own blog.
I had already been guest posting on other websites, but my online home was a basic “brochure” site that described my services.
I missed out on a lot of opportunities to build my audience (and business) but came to my senses about a year later when I was ready to blog regularly.
Whatâ€™s your next project?
It could be:
Think about where you could be one year from now if you start today, and let us know in the comments about a new goal you’re ready to focus on this summer.
The post A Simple Plan for Managing and Completing a Content Project appeared first on Copyblogger.
Source: New feed 3