Planning Your Article Writing Campaign for 2014

Wrap Up 2013 and Plan for Next Year!

Have you ever played chess with someone who is really good? If you have, then you know you can’t win by brute force (throwing your pawns on your front line and trying to take out every piece your opponent moves). You win by strategically planning how to effectively and efficiently place your opponent’s king under an inescapable threat of capture: checkmate.

Many authors feel as though they should approach their article writing efforts with brute force: toss hundreds of articles on the Internet front lines and try to capture every click. Success-track authors don’t worry about reaching every reader, nor do they worry about matching each of their competitor’s moves. By creating remarkable content with value that strategically targets relevant readers, success-track authors know they are one step closer to achieving their goal.

Use this guide to strategically plan 2014 and get on the success track!

Phase I: Take a Look Back

Create a summary that measures how your articles did this year and whether you met your goals.

Check out the Performance tab of your member account, which includes the following article stats:

  • Views
  • URL Clicks
  • Click Rate
  • EzinePublishers
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Emails
  • Monthly Summary*

Estimate what this data and other sources of information means by answering the following questions in detail:

  • Did you meet your goals for the year? Why or why not?
  • What was your biggest success and what elements led to it?
  • What was your biggest disappointment and what led to the downfall?
  • Was there anything that surprised you?
  • What do you plan to continue doing in the next year?
  • What do you plan on ending this year?

Phase II: Set SMART Goals

Using your 2013 summary as a guide, set SMART goals that are conducive to your efforts:

  • SSpecific: Your goal should be precise and unambiguous.
  • MMeasurable: Set benchmarks and incremental milestones to help measure your progress.
  • AAttainable: Be realistic with your goals by inventorying resources and identifying obstacles.
  • RRelevant: Your goal should contribute to your vision for your future.
  • TTime-bound: Commit to a timeframe and stick to it by setting:
    • yearly deadlines
    • quarterly deadlines
    • monthly deadlines

Phase III: Create a Strategy and Do It

Start by chunking down your goals: Write your goal down and create a list detailing all of the elements needed to achieve it. Once you have your list, prioritize it in a sequence of events and due dates.

Ready? Do it:

Phase IV: Create a Content Plan

Begin by creating an annual Editorial Calendar that includes the basics:

  • Industry events or your organization’s events
  • Relevant holidays and monthly themes
  • Pop culture and entertainment events relevant to your audience
  • Other noteworthy dates
  • Your goal deadlines

Plan monthly themes to help guide your content. For example, people in the health and fitness industry might assign themes like “weight loss” for January, “heart health” for February, and “women’s health” for March.

Ensure your content plan is flexible and create a stockpile of content. A stockpile will help you have content ready:

  • when what you originally planned falls through.
  • if the content you originally planned may be considered insensitive based on current events.
  • the content you planned is no longer relevant based on major industry trends.
  • for all of those unknown obstacles that fall onto your path.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the competition. Remember that earlier chess analogy? Don’t allow each of your articles to be reactive to your competition’s articles or you will consistently fall behind. Keep an eye on their movements so you can use their successes as benchmarks for your own improvement, but plan your next move based on what’s going to get you closer to your end goal and stay one step ahead.

Be flexible! Track, measure, and tweak your plan as needed. Create a monthly summary like the yearly summary in Phase I: Take a Look Back, which will help you a year from now when you look back on all that you accomplish in 2014 using this guide.

Are you ready for 2014?

*This feature is available for Premium Members only. Click here to find out how you can take advantage of this benefit and more by becoming a Premium Member.

20 Comments »


1
Alan Okina writes:

Nice reminder. Thanks.

Comment provided December 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

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2
Rahul Bansal writes:

Thanks for the sharing this post about article writing campaign it very useful..

Keep it up..

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 6:33 AM

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3
Robbie B writes:

Love the chess analogy. Bit late for me this year, as I just started self-authoring. That said, the rest of the planning is a neat approach to stay ahead of the rest. Especially, “stick to them like glue”.

Cheers on the advice, and all the best in the new year to all the EzineArticles staff, and authors here too.

Robbie

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 8:13 AM

[Reply]

Thank you, Robbie!

All the best to you in the New Year as well.

Happy Writing!
~Vanessa

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4
Mike Andrews writes:

I think I should be trying to get people who are deliberately looking for information about the subject of my website or article instead of those who just happen to visit. However by getting more visits I would increase the chance that someone would be interested.

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 8:35 AM

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5
kabir writes:

I suppose that I should be hoping to get people who are deliberately trying to find information about the main topic of my website or article as opposed to those who just eventually visit. However by getting more visits I might increase the chance that someone could be interested. thanks

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM

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6

The post is a ” Happy New year” wish of your site. Thanks for the nice tips.

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

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7
Norma Holt writes:

Thank you Vanessa for your inspiring advice. One thing I would like to know is how much benefit is there to be gained from BestEzine Submissions and should that be done for each of our articles.

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 5:30 PM

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8
Gracious Store writes:

Thanks for this article, indeed writing requires a lot of time and planning. Unless you have a good plan you may end up not writing enough articles as you would have liked to write

Comment provided December 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

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9
Matthew Morris writes:

I have not written a huge number of articles this year, but those I have written generate a continuous flow of reads and flow-through to my website. I’ll call that success.

Comment provided December 20, 2013 at 8:41 PM

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10
Serge writes:

Valuable post!
This is a quite interesting analogy you provided. I agree, your content strategy can (and maybe should) be built according to chess rules. At least partially.

Comment provided December 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

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11
Karleen Lindsey writes:

I barely know how to play chess and haven’t actually played with anyone really good at it. But I get the analogy. And I understand the importance of really good quality content. I haven’t written any articles for quite some time because the website I was previously writing articles for has bit the dust.

However, after groveling in self-pity and frustration for some time, I am back at it with a new site I hope will last for years to come. So I appreciate this article and the subsequent articles mentioned such as organizing a weekly writing plan.

I will take this and each article mentioned above to heart and work on coming up with some quality content to share. Thanks again for getting me inspired.

Comment provided December 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM

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12
SIVARAMAN writes:

Will certainly follow

Comment provided December 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM

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13
giay the thao writes:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Comment provided December 25, 2013 at 4:22 AM

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14

Really like this article, especially the focus on taking goals within different time constraints (weekly, quarterly, yearly), and the focus on NOT making so many reactive posts. Some of my “competition” seems to thrive on reactive posts, and it gets tiresome.

Comment provided December 29, 2013 at 11:03 AM

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15
Sastonepal writes:

I have also planned to follow these excellent rules while writing articles. I think 2014 will improve my writing skills. Thank you for sharing nice post.

Comment provided January 2, 2014 at 5:21 AM

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16
maxwell ivey writes:

Hello Vanessa; This was a most excellent post. I’m only sorry that I didn’t read it sooner. I am a blind computer user, and for most of 2013 i couldn’t comment on these articles because the audio captcha option was broken. I love reading good articles like this one, but i feel less motivated when I cannot comment and take part in the conversation. So I also didn’t write as much for EzineArticles this year either. I concentrated on my website and blog. I did improve quite a bit though. My last two posts received over ten comments and an interview post i did got over 1,000 views. I will definitely be doing more of those in the new year provided i can find more quality subjects to participate. I am also hoping to start recording regular video posts. the site ended the year with an alexa ranking in the top 525,000 worldwide and sales of amusement equipment were up. I believe 2014 will be even better in part thanks to your great advice. hoping to post more on EzineArticles too now that the captcha issue has been solved. thanks and have a blessed new year, max

Comment provided January 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

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Hi Max,

Great to hear that your website is doing well.

I’m sorry to hear that you had issues with our Captcha. If you ever have any issues in the future please let me know and I will be happy to look into them for you.

All the best in 2014!

~Vanessa

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17
Michael Wheeler writes:

Good practical advice. Will prepare a proper plan now. Thanks

Comment provided January 3, 2014 at 8:19 AM

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18

I am willing to write some articles following these excellent rules. This time around I will improve on my article writing skill. Hopefully I will be able to publish few of them in EzineArticles.com

Comment provided September 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM

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