Do you set a start date for your projects? Or, just a due date?
For a long time, I’ve just marked my calendar with a due date for each project.
A few weeks ago, though, my husband and I got into a long and detailed discussion about productivity. He’d recently just read an article about setting a start date for each project, and eventually our conversation wound around to that point.
It wasn’t something I’d ever considered doing or even heard of doing, but I could see right away the potential benefits. Since then, I’ve been setting start dates, and I’ve found a start date does several things for you.
- It gets rid of the mindset that you have plenty of time to start a project. When you have a project due in two weeks, it’s so easy to think, “Hey, I’ve got time,” and then to work on more urgent things. Before you know it, you’ve left yourself with only a couple of days to work on a project you’d intended to have two weeks for. If you set a start date, on the other hand, you give yourself a reminder that you need to be putting in time on that project each day after a certain date.
- It helps you get started. That might sound redundant, but it’s an important point. About 80 percent of procrastination happens at the beginning of a project (according to Harvard Business Review).
- It gives you a better at-a-glance feel for your schedule. When you look at your calendar, you don’t just see how many projects you have lined up, but also which ones are active and which ones are coming up.
- It helps you plan better further out into your calendar. This means you can book clients earlier with confidence that you aren’t overcommitting yourself.
- It allows you to look back and see the average timeline you’ve used for certain types of projects. That means in the future, you’ll know how much time to budget for new projects of the same type and scope.
Overall, I’ve been very happy with the benefits of using a start date. I feel more productive and more organized. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
If you missed these …
… you should take a few minutes to read them. They are each packed with great information that can help your web-writing career.
First, check out Kellie Craft’s article on QR codes. She tells you what QR codes are and how to make one, and then shows you eight different ways you can use them to market your business or your client’s.
Then, give Susanna Perkins’ latest Roving Report a look. She recaps Steve Slaunwhite’s recent event, showing you the hottest B2B Opportunities and how to land them.
Finally, don’t miss out on Mindy’s take on transitions, why we fear them, and why they are so important to our success.
Wealthy Web Writer Events
If you missed Lori Haller’s presentation on QR codes this last week, the playback is now available.
Mindy also did a live Reality Blog update, and if you didn’t have a chance to hear it, you can check it out here.
This week, make sure you mark your calendar for the Monthly Member Update, hosted by yours truly. The event is on Friday at 3pm, Eastern Time, and I hope to “see” you all there.
Gearing up for the August Challenge
This month’s Wealthy Web Writer Challenge is an SEO challenge. So, in this weekly update, I’ll be sharing some SEO tips and strategies you can use and benefit from whether you’re participating in the Challenge or not. (You should participate in the Challenge, though, because it’s fun and you could win a cool prize.)
So, this week’s topic is on crafting a good web page title. The title is different from the headline. The title is the line of text that appears at the very top of each web page. If you look at this image from the Wealthy Web Writer home page, you can see the title at the very top is “Make More Money from Your Web Copy.”
If you don’t customize your title, most online content managers, like WordPress, will fill it in with whatever it perceives as your headline. It’s better to customize it, though. Here are five things you can do to make your web page title stronger in terms of SEO.
- Include your most important key phrase in the title. Google and other search engines look at the title tag when returning results. Including your target key phrase will help you get ranked for that phrase.
- Keep to the recommended character count. Most browsers will truncate titles that are more than 70 characters, including spaces.
- If possible, write your title to include a benefit or a call-to-action directed at your target audience.
- Make sure your title is easy to read and makes sense at a glance. You want to appeal to search engines, but you have to connect with your target audience, too.
- Put your key phrase as early in the title as you can while still creating a title that makes sense to your audience and will encourage them to visit the page.
That’s all for this week. Make it a great one!