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December 11th, 2014, 06:44 PM #1Planning Ahead Is Overrated
There was a post made today in an old thread where the person writing today tried making a strong point about the importance of planning ahead, knowing in advance what specific tasks you will be doing the next day, and thereafter, and following through with that plan.
I say hogwash.
Plans like that can only bog you down, and keep you from getting done what is really important at the moment.
When I finally go to sleep for the night, I sometimes have a general idea of something I want to accomplish the next day, and I have many long range ideas, but I am extremely flexible, and frequently never get to what I thought I would be doing that next morning, or even the next week or the next month.
This is generally because of the following:
1. I write a few blogs, and my posts are generally based on what is in the news about each of those niches at that moment. For example, a day ago I had planned to write a specific basketball post the next morning for my sports blog, but the Dodgers have taken over the LA sports world with a series of trades over the past day and a half, and I've spent much of my time writing a series of posts about these deals. Write about what is on people's minds and what they want to learn about NOW, not what you planned a month ago to do today.
2. My oldest sites are created around individual product links and datafeed displays. I try to check which pages of the sites are getting the most visitors each day, and for pages that I have not recently updated, I check those pages to see if the products are sill available and if the prices are still accurate. I end up spending an average of around two hours per day updating such products and info, and I almost never know what products or what pages I will be doing this for beforehand. If potential customers are shopping for that product today, update it NOW, don't write it down to do in 30 days.
3. Expect a crisis to happen - it could be a tech problems with a site, it could be a merchant for whom you have links all across numerous sites and pages being deactivated, closing their program, changing networks, or firing you, or any number of similar problems that should get immediate attention, as opposed to being calendared to tackle three weeks from now.
I'm sure many of you like to plan things out and need more structure, but this is my methodology.
December 12th, 2014, 08:43 AM #2
I don't know Phil. I stay flexible because of all the things we have to deal with when running a business, but I usually update my "Plan for World Domination" (PFWD) at the beginning of each year and try to stick to it, as much as possible. The PFWD is my "big idea" list and usually involves tasks that take more than two weeks to accomplish.
My PFWD list is where my home runs come from. A home run is something that say, doubles your revenue. Unfortunately, I haven't had a home run this year. My list from 2014 didn't do much. Just for grins, here are some items from my 2014 list:
1) Build a social media following (did that, didn't see much benefit...)
2) Build a mobile version of the website (did that, but mobile traffic sucks, yay, I have more sucky traffic...)
3) Work with a graphic designer to modernize website (once again, no effect on conversions)
4) Split test the UI in an attempt to improve conversion rates (no effect, my previous split tests were pretty good, new incremental improvements are difficult)
I'm starting to contemplate my 2015 PFWD list. I need a big home run. So I look at my 2014 list, think about what went wrong, and plan, plan, plan for a better outcome next year.
Last edited by isellstuff; December 12th, 2014 at 08:52 AM.Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!
December 12th, 2014, 09:35 AM #3
Think long-term goals is one thing - being flexible in your day to day operations is another.
Have to have goals/a plan -
Have to be flexible in your daily routine -
Least on our end...Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
December 12th, 2014, 10:45 AM #4
December 12th, 2014, 01:03 PM #5
I don't necessary believe it's 'hogwash', but I can certainly see your point. Similarly, I tend to plan for the next few days vs. an entire year (for example). Of course I have goals, milestones, and ambition to reach a certain level by a certain time. But I've found myself looking at each week as a new challenge and tackling it day by day. So far it's been working.
Alternatively, my wife is a HUGE planner. She already has half of 2015 mapped out. And in her self-run business, she believes her more recent success is due in part to the amount of planning she did to get here. -Joe
December 12th, 2014, 01:13 PM #6Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!
December 15th, 2014, 10:29 AM #7
Mix and match as appropriate. I need some long term planning too or I just don't get things done, but one thing I like about this business is that I can drop all of that for a while if something pops up.
For instance a long lost and forgotten Christmas page that I wrote years ago has suddenly found favour with the SE's again, so I've updated it and it's showing results. Also a number of things I have on my sites sometimes come up in the news, if they do and those pages start to get traffic as people search around the subject, then again I can expand and improve them at a moments notice.
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