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How to Get a Derailed Digital Project Back on Track

This post is for all my DPM peeps out there. That stands for “digital project management” in case you manage projects from under a rock. So, while I no longer work full-time in digital project management (I only dabble, as now I am a strategist/writer full-time), I’m still passionate about client relationship management and making sure our lovingly crafted digital projects go smoothly. I’ve found that now being on “the creative side” has given me even more passion for project management, as I feel like I have a better idea of what it’s like for the people I used to schedule and plan for, both internally and externally.

How to Get a Derailed Digital Project Back on Track

 

But we’ve all been there: the digital project that goes completely off track and looks like it’s destined for the rubbish pile or worse, public consumption as a warped, ugly version of its formerly wonderful concept. Let’s face it, it’s usually a website.

So what do you do? How do you tackle this seemingly insurmountable beast and tame it back into a (oh god here comes a cliche) beauty? By following these oh so useful tips of course.

But first, we need to identify the signs of a project going off the rails… We’ll assume it’s a website for the purposes of this example because, well, it probably is.

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Blog Post Planner: A Free Template to Channel Your Ideas into Awesome Blog Posts

If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle to come up with new ideas to write about. Or, even if you happen to have a decent amount of new ideas, you struggle with getting them down on paper (err… screen) and just writing it all down into some sort of format that makes sense. Fear not, fellow blogger, I got ya covered today.

Free Blog Post Planner Template: Channel Your Ideas into Blog Posts Quickly!

 

I have like 17,000,000 drafts started in WordPress right now, with a title and maybe a one sentence idea of what I wanted to write about so that I’ll remember later when it comes time to actually write a post. I thought that was a good strategy for awhile. And for awhile, it worked.

But I soon realized that my system wasn’t enough to keep me constantly inspired and writing quality shiz for this blog thingy all the time. I felt very accomplished jotting down my headline ideas and rough article ideas, but when the time came to actually write, I was often lost and felt rather meh about it. I spent a lot of time procrastinating (sometimes that can be goodĀ because my house is pretty clean now).

There are lots of great blog post planner templates out there to download, so I got some. But I found that a lot of them were kinda what I was already doing – jotting down the gist of your idea, or the headline, and planning those out for the month. But I wasn’t able to find anything that captured all the pieces to think about for each post in a way that was quick and easy to write down, and that still motivated me to actually write the damn post sometime this century.

So I made this template today. Wheeee.

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Learning to Care Again When You’re Out of F*@ks to Give

I think the hardest thing about working in an industry you’re really passionate about is the eventual feeling of “Is this worth it?” that creeps into your mind. If you’re like me, you’re a 110% kind of person. All in or all out, there is no in between.

Learning to Care Again When You're Out of F*@ks to Give

 

I’m happy and proud to be doing something I love for a living. I love the sense of accomplishment my work provides, and being surrounded by so many talented people with big ideas. It’s fantastic and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But sometimes, it still gets tough like anything else.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing, sometimes I think, “Can I keep going?”

Field of Fucks lol

I guess some people call that burnout, but that’s not really what it is. To me, true burnout is when you are literally so done that you cannot be any more done. You know it’s time to walk away, find a new path, burn bridges to the ground, whatever. You want out of where you are.

But that’s not what I feel sometimes at all. Like I said, I wouldn’t change a thing. So it’s not burnout, it’s just a temporary case of a lack of fucks to give.

Once your supply of fucks to give is restored, all is well.

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Boost Your Bounce Rate: How to Block Spam Referrers in Google Analytics (+Free Spam Filter!)

Your bounce rate is an important indicator of your website’s performance and how interesting your target audience finds your content. A high bounce rate, bad. A low bounce rate, good.

Boost Your Bounce Rate: Google Analytics Tutorial

Blocking spam referrers in Google Analytics will cut out the noise and show you your true stats — allowing you to make actionable changes and decisions for your blog or biz to improve your site, retain your audience, and get new leads.

 

But first, let’s tackle the basics.

Psst! Already a seasoned Analytics Nerd?Ā Skip to the good stuff —>

What is a Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate in Google Analytics refers to the percentage of your website’s visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page.

So, you want to aim for as low a bounce rate as possible. Low bounce rate = more people exploring more than 1 page on your site, meaning they are most likely engaged in your content and liking your shiz.

A high bounce rate is a surefire sign that people aren’t liking your site, or the wrong audience is viewing it.

 

How to Get Your Bounce Rate Low, Low, Low

shorty get low

So blocking spam is a huge way to lower your bounce rate. Cutting out all the spam means that you’ll know the actual stats of your website as it relates to real, live, breathing human beings visiting your site, not crawler robots or phishing scheme drones.

But blocking spam only helps you see the REAL stats of your website. If your bounce rate is still quite high after blocking spam referrers as described in this article, then you need to buckle down and do some serious work.

Maybe it’s just that you’re attracting the wrong audience. Try thinking more about your target audiences, where they hang out, and promote your blog or website there.

The other quite obvious reason is that… well, your shit’s boring. So re-read your articles and look over your website from your target audience’s point of view. Pretend you’re a potential customer or blog reader who has just landed on your site. What do you think of it? What draws you in?

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What I Learned at CIMC: Canadian Internet Marketing Conference 2016

I was recently lucky enough to attend CIMC 2016, a superfabĀ digital marketing conference in beautiful Squamish, BCĀ (about 45 minutes outside of Vancouver). I haven’t been to that many conferences in my time so far but I really wanted to attend this one because of the world-class speakers involved.

CIMC 2016

 

Surprisingly,Ā a few of the talks that I didn’t think would be very relevant to me ended up being my favourite ones, and the ones that gave me some great new ideas to take back to work with me.

I also gained like over 100 new Twitter followers, so yeah, I guess you could say it was kind of a big deal.

big-deal-gif

I’ve listed a few of my highlights from the conference below, based on my over 57 pages of notes that I took. ????

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How to Motivate Your Digital Project Team (Without Booze)

Good digital project management is about more than just getting things done, it’s also about keeping all your stakeholders engaged, on the same page, and generally motivated and happy. That means not just your external stakeholders (clients), but your internal ones as well: your internal project team.

motivate-digital-project-management-team-nerdy-organized2

I truly believe that keeping your internal project team happy and motivated is of the highest importance. Sure, you need to make your client happy too, but you will never be able to accomplish that without your internal peeps.

They are the ones who slave away, making your project a real, living, breathing THING out there in the world. They create LIFE. Then they have to watch their meticulously crafted project baby take its first steps and walk away, out of their lives forever and into the great unknown. It’s like March of the Penguins but with less (more?) crying.

Let’s take a brief pause and applaud the creative talent in our lives.

Applause GIF

So yes, the old expression “Happiness starts from within” — I believe this applies to agencies as well. Without happy, productive, insightful and inspired creative people, no awesome client work is going to get done. Your project team is literally your lifeline.

Now this doesn’t mean fetch them coffee every five minutes or slowly fan them and feed them grapes while they toil away designing, writing or developing your latest web project. Although, personally, I do appreciate when this happens for me. (Hint to any colleagues reading this.)

It means keep them motivated. Keep them engaged. Then client happiness will take care of itself.

But how do you keep a diverse project team motivated and engaged?

I’m so glad you asked. Let’s get started.

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When You Totally Want to Have a Nervous Breakdown But Don’t Have Time

saving-cry-for-help-ecard-someecards

We’ve all been there. It’s one of those jam-packed days, full of demanding requests, urgent tasks, ringing phones, beeping devices and just not enough snacks.

In other words, hell.

Luckily for you, I am an expert in concealing stress levels that border on breakdown territory (not exactly a plus?) and am here to guide you on how to deal with your imminent nervous breakdown when you just don’t have the time to indulge it.

 

Step 1: Remain Uncalm

Your first instinct when trying not to throw items around you in a fit of rage may be to tell yourself to stay calm. Don’t do this. In fact, do the opposite. Be uncalm. Be angry. Think about which items you would most enjoy hurling from your desk and most excitedly, at whom you would like to hurl them. Especially if they aren’t physically present at the moment.

I find this is the most enjoyable part of the exercise. Then later when you see that person, you can respond in a socially acceptable passive aggressive way instead.

Keep-calm-and-hate-everyone

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How to Find and Implement Your Brand Voice (+Free Worksheet!)

Today’s post took me a hella long time to write! I hope you find it interesting and useful for your business and/or blog. At the end, there’s even a free worksheet for you to download to discover exactly what you want your brand voice to be, and how to make that happen!

Find + Implement Your Blogging Brand Voice!

 

I’m psyched about this pieceĀ because it took me a long time to put together. So any thoughts or feedback you have on this post and worksheet would be so useful! Hit me up via email, or on social to let me know what you think.

Anyway, onto the good stuff!

 

What is a Brand Voice?

Your brand voice, put simply, is the style in which you communicate with your customers, followers and target audiences.

It’s the tone you use, the language you use, and a large part of your overall brand recognition and how people remember you.

 

Why is Brand Voice Important?

Your brand voice sets the tone for all interactions with your customers, followers and target audiences.

It lets them know what kind of company/person you are and most importantly, it allows them to feel connected to you and recognize you in a sea of other brands out there.

It makes you unique and inspires loyalty and trust.

 

How Do I Get One of Dem There Brand Voices?

It’s really not hard at all. For some people, it just comes out naturally.

If you’re a blogger writing about your true passions, your brand voice is going to develop very naturally because that authenticity and passion is going to shine through no matter what.

If you are writing for another business, or are wanting to keep your business attracting a specific, or niche, clientele, then you may want to think more about your brand voice and how you’re coming across.

Regardless of who you are or what you’re writing for, the free worksheet I’ve prepared for you will walk you through finding your brand voice and putting that voice into action immediately.Ā Check it!

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