Last updated January 20th, 2015 at 03:41 pm

Planning Ahead for Success text and notebooks

It’s the time of year we look back and start planning for the year to come. It’s not only an opportunity to celebrate our successes but to use a positive attitude to look at our failures in a favorable light. We can work out where and why we went wrong, learn from our mistakes and set up systems for improvement.

Without looking at the good and bad, in a critical way, we can’t create an action plan for the future.

It’s tempting for us to forge ahead with successful projects, without change, but is this sensible? Maybe we could do better? Was there an element of luck involved that’s unlikely to be reproduced? Is the success sustainable or repeatable? Failures don’t need to be rejected out of hand. Can any of the techniques used be transferred to something else? Were there elements that were successful?

Do your groundwork

Spending some time getting organized, setting up systems, and working out what’s going to work best for you, will pay dividends.

  • Take time to do analysis.
  • Write notes and lists and get yourself organized.
  • Clear out what’s unnecessary.
  • Work out if you need more training in any areas.

Planning by Analysis

Look at the programs you belong to and, the blog(s), landing pages and the tools and resources you use.

Are you paying out for for affiliate programs (programs, products, tools and resources) that aren’t working for you. Can you work harder or smarter to make them work, or is it best to discard them? It’s tempting to keep going because you feel that you’ve wasted money if you don’t, but they might be taking time and effort best spent elsewhere.

Are you working with sub standard tools and resources? Consider investing in pro tools which will, over time, pay for themselves because of improved results. My recommended resources page  is a good place to find reliable, tried and tested products to help you.

Which of your social media and marketing strategies worked best?

Has your target market changed and if so have your methods and systems followed suit?

Take a close look at web site stats. Which posts were the most successful and why? Are you ranking for the right keywords and reaching the right people? Which areas need work? How To Use Analytics To Build Your 2015 Marketing Plan talks about how to use your data to make meaningful changes to your business and marketing.

What about your landing pages. Are they working for you. If you don’t do any split testing start setting it up.

Getting Organized

Work out a plan of action based on your analysis and write it down. Make notes on your long and short term goals and the methods you are going to use to achieve them.

Decide on your upcoming social media strategy. Research and collect links and content so that you always have something to post, on a regular, consistent basis. Planning ahead to have plenty of content to post will grow your followers and lead to increased sales. Work out which social media platforms suit your market to bring you the best results and make sure you know these well.

It’s easy to stray off task with so many distractions online. Procrastination and putting off the harder tasks can hold us back. Determine on a course of action to prevent this. Setting yourself schedules and reminders, using timers and restricting your time on social media sites all help. Use tools to schedule your social media posts in advance (including Facebook’s inbuilt scheduler) to reduce your visits.

Clear out those email inboxes, reading what you need to, discarding or unsubscribing where necessary.

How about writing some blog posts in advance so that you can post regularly?

Planning and researching upcoming blog posts will improve the quality of your posts and you’ll not be stuck for ideas when your next post is due.

Do you have older blog content that you could reuse, update or re-purpose elsewhere? Were there any posts that are thin on content that you can add to to improve your search engine standing? Social Media Today talks of 5 Content Marketing Trends to Fuel Your 2015 B2B Marketing Plan based on statistics in the report 2015 Benchmarks,Budgets,and Trends—North America.

Start work on any e-books, video tutorials or free giveaways you didn’t quite find time for this year.

Training

Are you missing any marketing, SEO or blogging knowledge? Consider setting aside time to research and investing in some coaching and courses.

I highly recommend the training and tools that come with Networking Superstars. Learn exact steps to grow your social media presence, develop trust and increase your followers and sign ups. If you join MLSP, Networking Superstars is free. Join MLSP under the Networking Superstars link above as there’s a charge for people who don’t.

I’ve been a member of the  Problogger community for a few years and recommend it for learning to blog smarter, growing your network and collaboration with other members. Community membership offers forums, free training, webinars (which are recorded), live Q and A sessions, and free and discounted tools and resources. Darren Rowse and other expert bloggers are there to help and support you.

With planning and foresight your New Year is bound to be more successful.

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Have you done any planning ahead for next year and have you documented it?  Please comment and add your own tips.