Goals

Quick Tip: Using Klout to Enhance Your Reach

Klout Suggestions

Some days my analytics suffer and sometimes they really click well. Part of the reason for fluctuations in analytics is availability to interact. Weekends and holidays are some of the reasons I might post less. Of course I can schedule some tweets and posts but I also need ways to share other content than my own. I’ve found Klout to be a source that supplements my social media, especially on the days when I spend less time on my author platform. Here are a few aspects of Klout that help my social media:

  • It suggests some Twitter followers for me. I’ve followed some of these and gotten extra follows back off this action.
  • It suggests articles I can schedule to tweet the next day. This is great to share content links that I like. I’ve gotten extra retweets on days when I’m not able to be as active as other days.

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneThese little suggestions have proven to enhance my author platform in supplemental ways that really help over weekends and holidays.

Do you have a Klout account? What do you use as a supplemental strategy to enhance your analytics when you have less availability? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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Project Management for Writers Pt 6: My Own Medicine

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is an ongoing series about managing writing-related projects. In this edition I want to get deeper into analyzing time. The original post is here, part 2 is here,  part 3 is here, part 4 here and part 5 here.

Here’s my application of my scheduling in light of analysis of my own needs.

What I needed done. Initially, I needed to complete some short story projects, jumpstart my author platform and complete a revision of my novel for my editor. Of course the details are much more complex. I calculated the amount of time I had available within a range. Next, I calculated how long each project would take in total hours and compared how much time I had per week to identify deadline dates(note: the author platform will always be ongoing but accounting for the time is necessary). Based on that information I could assign commitment to each project during a week by day.

How I scheduled. I dedicated the largest amount of time per day to The Bow of Destiny since it is the largest project and needed direct attention for a deadline. Next, I dedicated one day a week to work on a short story. Lastly, I put in a daily slice of time for my author platform development – social media updates, blogging, etc.  All of these were scheduled as a range of time since my availability might vary depending on daily situations. The point was to have a plan to address my goals.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Things changed so I adjusted. When I found out my novel deadline was delayed for two months by my editor’s availability, I then adjusted my schedule. I assigned less time to my novel and more to the author platform and short fiction.

What I needed done. However, I realized that I needed to address goals/priorities one at a time. My author platform was lagging so I wanted to draft/schedule as many blogs as possible and then work on several pieces of short fiction.

The result. Last week I focused on blogging and social media engagement. As a consequence I have published, scheduled or begun drafts of sixteen blogs and increased my social media engagement. This week, with so many blogs scheduled or in process, I need less dedicated time to my author platform so I can focus on my short fiction with the goal of submitting several stories to magazine markets.

In conclusion, due to my change in deadline with my novel, I’ve adjusted my strategy to focus on short-term goals to accomplish as many of them as I can in order to gain more focus on my larger project – The Bow of Destiny. While I intend to continue working on the novel as I can, its priority is lower for several weeks while I clear other projects out of the way. Recently, Robert Chazz at ChazzWrites.com has written about similar need by addressing marketing and how he needs to focus his writing in his post which has already been re-blogged on this site: What if What We Think We Know About Writing, Publishing & Promotion is Wrong? Check out his reasoning and conclusions.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Have you started scheduling your work? Have you already found a need to adjust your schedule? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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Project Management Pt 4: The Jigsaw Puzzle

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is an ongoing series about managing writing-related projects. In this edition I want to get deeper into analyzing time. The original post is here, part 2 is here and part 3 is here.

The following is an excerpt from the original post on comparing time needed and time available. I want to take this information and then share from the other posts to gain more perspective with these elements of project management.

Compare time needed to time available: You know how much time you have per week and how much time a project and tasks need but how do they mesh together? Perhaps you have a novel to revise and estimate 50 hours of work. If your deadline is a month away then based on your weekly available time you know how much time is available to assign per week to the revision using a little math. Now you have a reasonable expectation for daily and weekly goals. But hold on there! You also have other tasks or projects during the week to address. In this case you should scale back expectations on the revision and assign how much time you need for these other jobs. Here’s where knowing your priorities comes into play. If you know your long-term, main priority is finishing the novel then it gets both weekly and daily priority, meaning it gets the lion-share of time applied to it. However, say you need to complete blog posts during the week. Since these are shorter and need regular attention your might assign time each day to blog. Or you might develop all of a week’s worth of posts in one day and then schedule them to be published. It’s up to you to divvy up the time that meets your needs according to priorities and available time. Regardless, you must make reasonable time for each item that needs your attention during the month/week/day in order to know what to expect.

If you’ve read the other posts you begin to see that available time and time needed combined with setting prioritized goals begins to be a puzzle of sorts. But to be organized you must sort the pieces and put them together. To do that you need perspective. I’m sure most people have put together a jigsaw puzzle and used a method similar to this:

  1. Sort out all the edge pieces.
  2. Sort the remaining pieces by color or identifiable objects from the image.
  3. Frame the puzzle by putting all the edge pieces together.
  4. Consult the box-top image for clues to where the remaining pieces go.
Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Managing your writing projects is a similar function. By sorting your various pieces effectively with your survey you gain clarity. With clarity your survey provides perspective to make decisions about scheduling. As long as you pursue this with flexibility, that is, understanding what’s affecting your time, goals, priorities and schedule you can pivot your schedule to suit your demanding life and changing needs. For instance, you may find that you may need to suspend some long-term goals in order to complete a string of shorter ones. In doing so, you can clear a path to the long-term goals.

Now is the time to inspect your pieces and how they fit together. Ask yourself how will this information improve your effectiveness? Your answers should address short-term needs but keep you moving toward long-term goals.

What do you see from your survey? Can you see a way to move along daily to meet your goals? How will this make you more effective? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

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