Chapter 12

Planning your activity over the next few months

Now that you’ve prioritized your link building techniques, you need to plan the time to actually implement them. This is particularly relevant for those of you who operate in an agency where your time may be split among a number of different campaigns. So planning is crucial.

From another point of view, it’s important because you need to set the right expectations with your client or boss about how long it may be before they can see some results. If you have sold a contract where the client is only paying you for one day out of a month, you may struggle to put together a big piece of interactive content without going over budget.

I can’t explain the importance of having a plan. It helps you, sure. But clients love to see plans. It helps make them feel reassured that you know what you’re doing, even if the plan changes.

When it comes to planning, keep it as simple as possible. A simple Excel spreadsheet that looks like this can do the job:

Simple can work fine. You can break each of these down into more concrete steps and actions, but, broadly, this can work fine and make sure you stay on track.

More advanced tools for project management

If the project is more complex, you may want to look at a project management tool instead such as Asana or Teamwork. No matter what though, don’t over complicate things and keep it as simple as you can.

Another tool that can be helpful is Trello which is a great tool for managing projects. You can share it among team members and even share it directly with the client, who can see progress at a glance. It also works across a range of devices and the user interface is nice and easy to get used to.

I wrote a blog post in 2012 that goes into detail on how I tend to use Trello. In terms of what the board may look like, you can customize it to suit your needs but again, I prefer to keep things simple and tend to use a setup such as the following:

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You can assign people to a certain card, which sends them email notifications and reminders when the task is due.

I also have an example Trello board, which you may find useful. It is a duplicate of what I use for my personal to-do list.

Google Docs is another tool that can be used for project management. It can also be as simple or as advanced as you’d like but the key for me is that many people can collaborate on a single Google Doc.