How to Create a Practical Blog Project Planner

A Blog Project Planner will help you shape the vision of what your blog can become.  Once the completion of my Master’s Degree Plan was in sight, it was time to start making the plan for my next project.  All my life, I have been big on making and following through on plans.  My youngest daughter really takes after her father in that arena!  This blog project began with a search for opportunities to learn something new, gain a new certification or generate income through on-line ventures.  Having settled on creating a blog, I grabbed a pen and paper and started drafting a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) that would lead to me  becoming a successful blogger.  One of my favorite Habits from Stephen Covey’s book and course, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “begin with the end in mind”.

“Begin with the End in mind” -Stephen Covey

Before beginning this endeavor, I wanted to have an idea of what it would take to become a blogger, and what it would be like to have accomplished the goal.  Following solid project management principles enables the achievement of all of the project objectives, goals and key tasks while acknowledging  constraints, or costs.  It quickly became clear that the steps and tasks were numerous and cumbersome enough to group into phases.  My little POA&M had grown into a multi phase Blog Project Planner.

Blog Project Planner

Six Phase Blog Project Planner

Project Phases

The six Phases that I broke my blog project into are:

PHASE 1: LEARN & EXPERIMENT

Section one of my blog post 6 Section Strategy To Launch My Blog describes the principles and resources I used for Phase 1 of this project.

PHASE 2: DEVELOP INITIAL PLATFORMS

Focus on your first effort through to completion before moving to the next.

PHASE 3: DEVELOP BRAND

Build your brand around the first platform and make it professional.

PHASE 4: INITIAL PLATFORMS LAUNCH

You may go with a Grand Opening style launch or a low profile launch, but either way, you can celebrate a major milestone.

PHASE 5: GROW & MONITOR INITIAL PLATFORMS

Once you have got the first platform running smoothly, it is time to ‘rinse and repeat’

PHASE 6: DEVELOP FOLLOW-ON PLATFORMS

Trello as an online project planner

Rather than invest in costly project management software, I found an awesome online tool called Trello.  It has proven to be an excellent project planner without having to install project planning software.  In addition to planning the launch of my blog, I use Trello as a blog editorial calendar to schedule the post that I will work on.  A great tutorial on how to use Trello for a blog editorial calendar is written by Kara Benz and posted on Boho Berry.

Trello Blog Project Planner POA&M Template

Trello Blog Project Planner POA&M Template

Sign up to receive a detailed description of how I use an on-line tool to manage my Blog Project Planner called Trello

 

Trello allows you to create and organize checklists within cards that hang on lists.  In the illustration above, the six phases have a number of cards for each Goal that you need to reach for that Phase.  Each Goal Card can have multiple checklists that define the accomplishment of sub-goals.  This methodology really makes it easy to visualize your Plan and break it down to manageable steps that are unique to your project.  Once all the tasks on a card are accomplished, you can move them to a board called “Goals Accomplished” or “Completed Cards” Where you can easily see your progress toward your goals.

“The Goals Accomplished List is where you can get a exciting perspective of your progress toward your Dream!

If a checklist grows in significance to the level of a card or a card grows to the level of a board, Trello makes it real easy to

Blog Project Planner – Phase 2 tasks and steps to accomplish

Below are some samples of Tasks and steps that were accomplished along the way to Develop the Initial Platform, Paladin Blog:

  1. (List)Develop the Initial Platform
    1. (Card) Develop my topics
      1. (Checklist) Choose topic
        1. Make a preliminary list of potential topics
        2. Answer why this topic is interesting and appropriate for me
        3. Define your ideal reader
      2. (Checklist) Create and buy a domain name
        1. Check for open name choices per namechk.com
        2. Choose vendor for domain name
          1. Buying options:
            1. Namecheap
            2. WordPress
            3. Hostgator
      3. (Cecklist) Set up Accounts
        1. Base e-mail acct
        2. Select a theme
        3. Create email addresses with blog domain name and link to base e-mail acct
        4. Create Pages
          1.  Main
          2.  About
          3.  Contact
        5.  Privacy with a privacy policy
        6. Install a Search Box
        7. Build an E-mail list
          1. Install an e-mail opt in box
        8.  Install Google Analytics

 

Grab my Trello Blog Project Plan Template!



 

To be a Blogger, you’ve got to have blog posts

Rather than track the development of blog article drafts on my Blog Project Planner POA&M Board, I created a second Blog Editorial Workflow Trello Board.  On that board, I have lists for various article categories:

  1. The “How-To” Article
  2. The List Article
  3. The Definition Article
  4. A Technical Blueprint
  5. Present A Theory Or Argument (And A Strong Opinion)

When I come up with an idea for a blog post, I create a card for that proposed article and hang it on the appropriate list.  I have checklist templates for each article adopted from Boho Berry.

Drop me a note in the Comment section below and tell me how you Planned and Executed the launch of your first blog!

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