Like many up and coming SaaS companies today, AchieveIt has a phenomenal culture when it comes to content creation. You often hear companies tout the moniker, “Everybody Blogs in Our Company.” But very few actually execute on that ideal when the rubber hits the road.
I’m proud to say, we are not one of those companies. Our CEO, Paul, blogs. Our VP of Business Development, Joe, blogs. Our VP of Operations, Maria, blogs. Our VP of Sales, Preston, blogs. Our Director of Sales, Adam, blogs. Everybody, including me, blogs. And our company is better for it.
This is because we see content as a way to portray thought leadership, provide resources to the market about strategic planning and execution, and ultimately, help further our customers’, prospects’, and employees’ understanding of strategy formulation and Results Management. The more people that get involved in content creation for this purpose, the better.
But I can tell you first hand, coordinating so many people, with such busy schedules, around a blogging plan to ensure our content creation is consistent and of utmost quality is difficult. When I started with AchieveIt, managing our blog was one of my top priorities. And initially, I relied on email to try and communicate with everyone and hold people accountable for their posts.
Long story short, email was a terrible method for coordination and often caused more problems than it solved. I needed a better way – And that’s when I started using our own software, AchieveIt, to manage our blogging plan.
This guide to a step by step blog plan is designed to show you how to create your own blogging plan in AchieveIt, hold content creators accountable, and ultimately make managing your blog a breeze. So without further ado, let’s jump in!
Step One – Set Up Your Plan Name and Plan Levels
The example plan I am using for this post is our “Blogging Plan – (June 2015 – July 2015).” Naturally, this plan was designed to help me manage content creation through the months of June and July of 2015.
As you can see in the image above, your first priority after naming your plan is to establish your plan levels. I kept our plan very simple in terms of its structure, as I knew there were really only three elements of differentiation in the plan. I needed to structure by month (June vs July), by week (four weeks within each month), and by assignment (the content being created by our writers each week). Once you establish your plan hierarchy, you are ready for Step Two!
Step Two – Create Your Blogging Timeline by Dragging and Dropping Plan Cards
In order to consistently deliver content creation results every week, I needed to structure our plan so that it was easy for me to know what was due each week. As such, I created a “Week” card that corresponded with each respective week in June (and July).
My advice in this step is to build out your entire blogging timeline on the front end, instead of ad-hoc each week. I’m a visual learner, so it made things very easy when I would visualize each week in the context of my entire blogging plan.
Step Three – Create Your Blogging Assignments for Each Week in Your Blogging Plan
The goal of our organization was to create and publish two blog posts per week during the months of June and July. With this goal in mind, I used “Assignment” cards to outline the two posts that would be created each week, and dragged and dropped them under each respective week.
One tip is to be very specific when naming your cards. As you can see in the above image, I named each card with the responsible party and due date. That way, when viewing my plan in either the Tree View or List View, I could easily know the details of the deliverables for the week.
Step Four – Build Out Your “Assignment” Cards and Start Collaborating
After you build the structure of your plan, it’s time to start filling in the details. A good plan has both accountability and timeframes built into it. As you can see in the green box below, I assigned the card to “Joseph Krause” and established a timeframe of June 1st through June 5th.
The best part of AchieveIt is the ability to collaborate within cards. As you can see within the pink box, I was able to share my thoughts around content ideas with Joe, request updates on the card when the assignment looked like it might be off track, and ultimately let him know when his deliverable would be up on the blog. For busy team members who wear multiple hats, AchieveIt makes driving consistent results easy and efficient.