2010: One who fails to plan, plans to fail

It’s about noon on the last day of 2009 so I thought I would make last post of this year all about how to get start off 2010 on the right foot!

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”

There is a reason that old proverb quote is so popular (especially at the beginning of a new year)–It’s because it is true.

Of all the secrets being sold online having a plan of attack is one that isn’t discussed much–it’s not really as sexy as how to make a million bucks overnight without really trying. :-)

But what most successful Internet marketers have is a plan. Most actually plan out their entire year! Sitting down to plan out your entire doesn’t sound like much fun but it is something that will keep you on track in 2010. This is what separates those who are working this business for the long haul.

An important component of Alex Jeffreys $997 coaching program was to plan out your whole year. Alex has 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day planning calendars that he uses to plan out his entire year.

If you don’t have a plan you’re adrift in a sea of information that can and will quickly overwhelm you. Information overload is one of the biggest problems we face as Internet marketers. By having a clear plan in place you will ensure to keep on track and avoid distractions from the new shiny objects launched month after month in the Internet marketing space.

Blogging pro and affiliate marketer extraordinaire Lynn Terry issued a doozy of a monthly challenge for us elite members of her Self Starters Weekly Forum for December (2009):

Lynn laid out her challenge to create an annual blogging editorial calendar to ensure we keep our blogs update throughout the year.

So I’ve spent the past few weeks of 2009 planning out my entire 2010…

  • Blogging Editorial Calendar
  • Product Planning Calendar
  • Promotional Calendar

Sitting down to do this was not fun…but once I started, it easily began to fall into place. I put together my own spreadsheets in Google Docs, rolled up my sleeves (well I was wearing a t-shirt but that sounds more dramatic), and got to work on my 2010 calendars.

Blogging Editorial Calendar

The worksheets are broken down by week for all of 2010. One worksheet is an at-a-glance by topic. I then created a worksheet for each month to include more detailed information to help with the topics I will write such as category, target URL, keywords.

In Lynn’s private forum some folks have expressed wanting to see an actual calendar in action. Now I won’t be sharing my actual completed calendars but here are some screen shots so you can get an idea…

This calendar will ensure I don’t run out of ideas to blog about all year! And it has me starting 2010 with a HUGE sense of accomplishment already. That my friends is a great feeling!

I figured you might find it handy so you can download my blogging editorial calendar template below (no opt-in required, just a direct download link):

Open Office Blogging Editorial Calendar Template

Excel Blogging Editorial Calender Template

Blog About What?

In order to get ideas I’ve been hitting my favorite PLR spots. I might not use the PLR article itself but there is a treasure trove of ideas to get you going by checking it out. Regardless of your niche there is probably PLR about it so check there for ideas.

There are a lot of odd monthly observations out there and they’re great for ideas.  Just in January there are over 30 monthly observances! http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm

For example January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month…that’s a great topic to blog about!

Also looking at the topics in a time line has helped me. We all know January is when people think about making changes, new years resolutions and all that stuff so a lot of the topics in my calendar fits that theme (cleaning up your computer, getting organized, time management, etc.).

I’ve also added recurring topics such as a weekly video podcast I’m planning to do on this blog (so stay tuned for that).

Just Do It!

It’s important that you set time aside to work on it. Once you get going you’ll be amazed how it starts to fall into place so don’t over-think it too much.

Another cool side effect is in search for items to promote I’ve ordered 3 new books from Amazon on time management and taking action so you’ll find cool resources out there that will help you grow your business professionally and personally.

Flexibility Is Key

But remember to be flexible. This calendar is not the last word for my blog. It’s not like if I get a good idea to blog on Monday that I won’t because I already have it scheduled. Flexibility is key.

It’s great to know I have my blogging year planned out. No more weeks between posts. :-)

Cool Resources

Lynn Terry’s Elite Members Private Mastermind Group – this really is the best kept secret on the Internet! I’ve been a member for over 2-years and a lot of my success I can attribute to Lynn Terry. She’s a great mentor. Honest. Ethical. No hype or bull.

Andy Wibbels blogging editorial calendar. You can download his calendars as well for free.

Darren Rowse (the Pro Blogger). This is a great post on how to build your blog content.

Blogging Editorial Calendar plugin. This is a very cool plugin. The editorial calendar lets WordPress administrators and editors manage the dates for multiple posts at once. You see all of your posts in a calendar view and can arrange them via an easy drag and drop interface.

Promotional Events Calendar. This list tons of promotional events out there throughout the entire year.

Dosh Dosh blog post on blogging editorial calendars and planning. Great tips here.

Wordsell blog post on the blogging editorial calendar they used. This was of great help to get my mind around the concept.

Alice Seba’s Free Planning info. A lot of great goodies to download here!

2010 Observances. A lot of odd observances out there but these are great for finding content and planning your blogging editorial calendar.

SEO Blogger. Optimize your posts as you write. This is a fantastic Free Firefox addon.

Free Monthly Calendar. Generate a free, monthly calendar in printable PDF format.

For those of you who prefer to have an offline planner you can get some great ones on Amazon. Here is a 2010 At-A-Glance planner book and a desktop calendar.

Happy New Year!

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14 Responses to “2010: One who fails to plan, plans to fail”

  1. Hi Alan,
    Thanks for all these resources and tips. I definitely have to get to doing that. I’m so behind- LOL.
    Great resource you put together here.
    All the best,
    Eren

  2. Hi Eren! I was amazed, once I got going it just sort of fell into place rather nicely. :-)

  3. Awesome gift for us. I never used a editorial calendar before and now that it is configured to the March, it all seems so much easier. Thanks for that.

  4. Thanks so much for this!

  5. Hey Alan I just googled ‘blogging editorial calendar template’ and found your post. Thanks for offering the free download! It’s perfect for what I need.

    I’m also a member of Lynn’s elite group and remember this challenge but I never actually got it done.

    How did you do? Did having the calendar help?

  6. Hey Alan,

    Thanks a ton for the downloadable editorial calendar. I have been overwhelmed with organizing my topics, and your calender came up on google search. I wanted to +1 you but I didn’t see it on your page. I also wanted to listen to your podcast, but the image didn’t bring me to any podcast. I would love to listen to what you have to say.

    Thanks again.

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