Time Management For Success in Any Enterprise (including Niche Websites)

One of the main problem for a lot of people when they start a business is to do it as a commitment, especially because at first you don’t make any money at all. Building a business is actually often the opposite: it requires some capital. For example, to create an affiliate marketing system, you want to get a domain name and a website that you host somewhere such as BlueHost. Such costs are minimal at first for a simple affiliate website. Other types of business models may require a lot more capital (some can easily be in the millions.)

In other to achieve your goal of having a working Niche Website with affiliate links that get clicked is to make sure you will find the time to work on your website and do the right things. In our case, one of the most important parts is going to be to write the content. This takes quite a bit of time. On my end, I can get 100 ideas in a day, no problem there, however, writing each page with at least 2,000 words, can take me a good 8 hours if that’s not a subject I’ve already worked on before. This is because I’m going to do some serious research on the matter before working on it.

For example, for this very post, you can continue to read it, or if you prefer to have a book to read, I would suggest you check into The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others do in 12 Months (click that link to immediately find the book on Amazon, for which I’m an affiliate!) This book talks about goal settings and accountability.

In many cases, people set goals such as “I want to become a millionaire”, and that’s a good goal in itself, but they do not include the intermediate steps in how to reach that goal. So it never happens.

In order to get somewhere, you have achievable goals. Things you can do within one week or one month. Actually, that works on a daily basis too. Today you have to do these very things and if you do them all, know that there are some more to do so you won’t have to work over the weekend to finish up and yet reach all your goals.

The other important part of goal setting is accountability. It’s nice to set a goal, but if you just sit there and don’t do anything about it, it won’t make you move forward. You have to be accountable, either to yourself or to someone who can help you with it. When you are by yourself, it’s certainly the hardest. No one is going to push you to take that goal to completion but yourself. Yet, if you do want that million dollars, that nice carrot, you probably want to look into how to make yourself accountable for all your goals and accomplishments.

I suggest the following as a way to motivate and set up goals for yourself.

Step 1 — Final Goal

Have a good idea of what your final outcome is going to be.

As I mentioned above, many people dream of becoming millionaires. I think that’s not the best way to look at it, although once you have one or more millions you are likely to be where I would want to be: have a constant income without having to work daily.

Some people make a distinction between being rich and being wealthy.

“Rich”

The French Kings were rich beyond measure and when they lost the throne. Their descendants did not invest any of that money. It got spent and dried out in about 200 years (yes! the last French King descendant to inherit a large lump of money and could just spend it over time died in the late 1900’s!)

Many of the people who earn the lottery have the same problem. They will spend the money as if it were a never-ending fountain of cash. Once they went through it, they’re poor again.

Inheritance is often spent by children and grandchildren. There was a study showing that someone who makes a lot of money (let’s say $300 million) will have rich children and grandchildren, then their great-grandchildren are likely to just be middle-class citizens…

“Wealthy”

On the opposite side, there are the Wealthy. In many cases, people see the words “Rich” and “Wealthy” as the exact same thing and I don’t blame them, the dictionary definitions are pretty much the same. For sake of argument, I will say that I did not invent the distinction I’m making here.

Business people think differently than the Rich. It’s cool to inherit $1 million if you know how to invest it and make more money and thus grow your capital instead of just burning it. I can understand that some people may need to spend some of the money. Maybe they have some medical bills accumulating. Unfortunately, if you use your capital to pay your bills, it shrinks and it gives you a lot less of an opportunity to be wealthy.

So say you can find a way to get 10%/year with your $1 million. You will get paid about $100,000 a year (minus taxes). Say you need just $50,000 to make a living, paying all your expenses, go on a vacation, do some work here and there. Now you have $1,050,000 of capital that will get you another 10% next year for $105,000 (again, minus taxes).

If instead, you pay off your house, which is another $200k, you end up with $800,000 in the bank as capital. You get 10% for one year, that’s just $80,000 instead of the $100,000 mentioned above. That’s a difference of $20,000 when paying your existing mortgage could have been less (with taxes, it can be difficult to know how you will benefit, it’s generally a good idea to pay off a mortgage, but there are pros and cons, you should check with a professional accountant.)

Another way to be wealthy is to have businesses that make money. The best types of businesses are those with low maintenance, which is why so many people turned to the Internet to make money. After all, many websites (such as evergreen Niche Websites) have the potential to earn you good money on a monthly basis for years.

Having the $1 million is one thing, on my end, having a set of businesses that together give me a good income without me having to work hard is a much strategy than one large lump of money. If you could get $5,000/mo, would that be enough for you for a while? Wouldn’t that allow you to then turn around and create other businesses that generate an even larger monthly income?

So, that’s the difference I make between being just Rich and being Wealthy. The 1% of rich people have businesses that generate recurring income. They don’t have to work 40h/wk to get the income. It gets there because they have employees working for them and a business that makes enough sales to pay all those employees, the investors, and themselves.

Note: for those who know about Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki talks about a quadrant which looks like this:

EmployeeBusiness Man
Self EmployedInvestor

It’s already good to be an employee since many are unemployed, but…

Being a Self Employed is already better because you gain a certain amount of freedom and you can offer services that you charge for a lot more than what you would otherwise get as an employee. You also get certain tax breaks. However, you continue to have to find work and you spend countless hours doing said work… when you stop, money stops coming.

Business Man is the next step up. Here you have two main differences. Instead of being Self Employed, you find work and you pass it down to your employees. This can be a difficult task if you’re not a good salesperson. However, you could employ salespeople to grow your business. It’s difficult to start a usual brick and mortar business. However, it’s much easier with a Niche Website because (1) you don’t need to do the sales, you write content for that purpose (2) you don’t need to have staff to get started (although that means you have to write the content, although you could hire others to do it for you, that requires a little more  capital to get started, though, and you need to find a good writer!)

Finally, investors are people who have enough capital that it makes sense for them to invest it in the market and get a 6% to 10% yearly return. If you have even more capital, you can invest it in other various ways such as Real Estate, Startups, etc.

Note: Some people say you can start investing with just $100/mo. It’s true and after so many years you can even have a full $1M in the bank that way. The truth is that it’s very difficult to keep going and put that $100/mo. in that investment account when you need to pay this or that bill or would like this nice vacation overseas with all your kids, etc. If you can invest a lump sum, however, you see real returns quickly (it should be within 1 year) and thus it makes you feel a lot better about investing such amounts.

So, by now you should have an idea of your final goal. Next, let’s talk about how to achieve that final goal.

Step 2 — Shrink the Objective(s)

This step is to look at the final goal and see how you can achieve it by breaking it down into much smaller goals. If you are on my website, you probably want to use a few Niche Websites to create your income and longer-term achieve your goal in Step 1 above.

So, first, you want to be realistic and think about having ONE Niche Website. If you are just starting, trying to get 20 things going simultaneously is not going to work. Actually, even large businesses tend to do things serially because it is just too difficult to follow up on 20 different things happening all at ones. That’s also one reason so many don’t like upper management because they don’t know anything about what you’re doing… Right?

Therefore, the first shrinkage is: let’s work on one Niche Website until it has enough content to grow on its own.

Second, you want to look at all the tasks you need to accomplish to get that Niche Website a reality. This link sends you to a recap of various pages to read on this website in order to get done. A simple way for you to get this Step 2 done is to tell yourself: I will read and act on each page, in order, and then see the results as money starts to come in!

My list of things to do are not measured in any specific amount of time, however, you can absolutely realize one Niche Website in 3 months or less. If you could spend 30 days in a row writing all the content for the website, then it can be done in just over a month (including 2 or 3 days to refine the Niche Website idea and to set up the website at the start, and probably 1 or 2 days when you just cannot find the time at all.)

Remember, though, that a Niche Website does not give you income instantly. We use the really cheap solution of posting pages on your website and no work on social media, no advertising, no launches, just writing content and let Google and other search engines find your sites and index them appropriately. What this means, is you can write the site in 30 days, and yet Google will take a good 3 months to get those pages high enough to where you start seeing clicks coming your way.

So… Step 2 can be resumed in let’s see those pages on Alexis’ websites as my goals for the next few weeks.

Step 3 — Write Down Your Goals

For you to run through your goals, a good way is to write them down and go through them. You can have several levels of goals. As mentioned earlier in Step 1, that is a goal that you may or may not want to write down. In Step 2, I tell you that I already have a set of goals led out as a set of pages, but you may want to go deeper than that and write your own schedule (it does not have to be time bound, though.)

So, for example, there are 3 main goals:

You can further break down the goals as I describe below.

The idea at this point is to break down all your goals (tasks) in such a way that one task can be accomplished in about one day (assuming about 8h of work or less.) Tasks that will take you weeks or months to accomplish are not good as a goal.

As an example, you want to buy a Fixer Upper to make money. There are also a few main goals: find, purchase, fix, sell. Sounds easy enough, right? Only what you need to think about is what each step takes. Finding a Fixer Upper is not that easy… The purchase may require loans… The fixing part may sound easy, but you want to be timely so you need to look into that part carefully before you enter into a contract and buy that property, finally selling also require a buyer and a price at which your future buyer will likely purchase the home. You’ll need to really work on it for a while before you get all those things going. With your Niche Website, you have a similar problem. You need to lay down your main goals (as I have up here,) and then take up each main goal and write each task within that goal to get to completion. Without that, you are likely to spread yourself thin and not make real progress in the right direction.

Search For the Perfect Niche Website

As mentioned in the First Step in Creating a Niche Website, you want to make sure that your website is going to do well enough. There are three main parts to that:

  • Are there products in the $100 to $300 price range sold on Amazon to resolve the problem?
  • Are the products evergreen enough?
  • Is there a lot of competition?

Obviously, if you want to have your own store, you don’t need them on Amazon… but right now I’ll assume you just want to be an Amazon affiliate.

Evergreen products last a long time. Your main Niche Website products shouldn’t disappear within a month or two. Such products are fine if you know how to handle them. However, keep in mind that your site will take forever to really get started, so you want to first handle products that are to last a long time.

Lastly, products with fierce competition are difficult to get a part of the pie. This does not mean you shouldn’t include such on your pages if they make sense, but if your entire Niche Website is about something that several hundred thousand wannabe rich people are already tapping into, you probably won’t get much in return.

Get the Website Setup

Even if you’re not technical, this is probably what is going to be the easiest for you. If you know a little bit about Internet technology, even better, but even without knowing that much, you can get started really quickly.

Here too, there are about three parts to consider:

  • Determine your Niche Website domain name and purchase it.
  • Determine your Hosting Company—although I recommend BlueHost, on not just because I’m an affiliate, you may have your own idea of what hosting company you’d like to have and that page I wrote gives you pointers on how to take a decision on that one.
  • Finish Up your WordPress installation by installing a few helper plugins (some necessary [or at least strongly suggested] for your Niche Website.)

These three steps assume that the Hosting Company is to install WordPress for you. If you are an engineer who knows how to do that, you may want to add such a step there and some additional time…

Write Content

Now we’re finally at the step of writing the actual content. Note that if you get ideas as you are reading this, at work, while driving, while under the shower, etc. don’t hesitate to write those ideas down so when you come to the computer you have material to work on. This makes it a lot easier to write a lot of content without having to think too hard about it.

Contrary to the two previous goals (Find Perfect Niche Website and Getting Website Ready), this task does not have just three simple tasks. It has more like 30 to 50 tasks depending on how much content you want to create for your website.

The first task, though, should probably be to determine a list of posts you want to write. It is often easier to work on that at once because those posts will include your long tail keywords. Those keywords that one uses to attract people searching for their content.

With WordPress, you can start writing content and then use the “Save Draft” button instead of “Publish” until you are done writing the whole article. I would use that capability to create my content directly on my website. Later you can edit each such post and enter the necessary full 2,000+ words for each page. If you find it easier, you could also use a tool such as a Spreadsheet which can give you a list of all your website pages on a single computer screen (if you have a desktop computer… one advantage for those!), which can be practical too.

What I do as well is enter some info about what I’m going to write there if I already have some ideas. Don’t put insults or offensive words, just in case you were to click Publish inadvertently. Plus, frankly, you should be nice to yourself and talk to yourself in such nice words as to improve your mood so when you starting writing that article, you’re happy.

That list of mostly empty posts will be your TODO list. List that you have to go through to write all your content. Once that is done, this step is done.

So, I would write the following steps as what you do to create your content:

  • Prepare All the Posts
    • (a) search for long tail keywords that we are going to write about
    • (b) create the post and put the long tail keyword as the title, tweak as necessary
    • (c) repeat (a) and (b) until you have at least 30 pages, 40 to 50 is even better if you can do that!
  • Write the content
    • (a) Go to a Post that was not yet completed
    • (b) Write the actual content (at least 2,000 words long for all posts, Google loves such and Google is your Niche Website best friend!)
    • (c) Publish that post
    • (d) repeat (a) to (c) until you have at least 30 pages written

Note that you do not have to follow that scheme at all. If you prefer to think about one problem and write about that one problem first, then it’s probably best for you to do it that way. For this very website about Internet Affiliate, I had the main goal of writing how to create a working Niche Website first, then decided that if I thought of some side projects, I could just write some additional pages. This very page is actually one such side project (i.e. it is not part of the core which will give you the information on how to create your Niche Website, it’s just a talk about how to accomplish that goal because I know a lot of people won’t believe that it can be done and drop out of it too soon, before they start seeing the first $$$ coming in their wallet.)

Step 4 — Goal Cleansing

Assuming you aren’t following my Niche Websites goals to the letter or you have a somewhat different end goal (something else than a Niche Website), then you want to go through this important step: Cleansing.

This part is to review your tasks and removing all those that do not look like they are necessary to make things work. It is often not self-evident when you get started, but I think you can quickly think of some of those things on your own. There are a few I can think of that some people have mentioned before:

  • Get an LLC (or some other type of company)—unless you have employees and a large number of expenses, forget about  this one; although in a state like California, you need to pay an $800/year of tax whether you made money or not, on top of the costs of hiring a CPA…
  • Register or trademark my new brand—unless you already made enough money to cover these costs, don’t do it, it’s a huge waste at the start; there are only a very few brand names that can be sold for money (I got $5,000 for one I registered, only one…) Note that you can always put ™ after a word, it does not need to be registered for that purpose. What you can’t do is put the Ⓡ sign unless it is registered.
  • Buy one of each of the products you want to promote on your Niche Website—unless you have the money and the need… otherwise, I would suggest that you avoid doing this because it’s going to cost you a fortune! Now, it is definitely better to have some such things because that way you can take pictures and talk about your real first-hand experience with the product making it much more likable and people are more likely to follow your affiliate link and purchase a copy for themselves. However, if you have 30 pages each describing at least one product, that’s going to cost you at least $3,000 for $100+ product… (remember that products that are $100 to $300 are your best target, you can include some lower priced items too, and a few at a higher price than the $300, but if you want to test each one first and you do purchase 3 or 4 to test each time, that’s actually going to cost you more like $10,000+ in test products!)

In many cases, you want to eliminate any goal that involves spending yet more money in an attempt to control costs better.

Cleansing with a Niche Website

One thing that will be left, though, assuming you got the complete list of all the pages you want to write, you can sort the pages in a certain order, with the 10 most important pages first, the next 10, the next 10… and the others (Assuming you went a bit overboard and added some 40 to 50 pages…) can be left at the very bottom. Whether you work on them won’t be too important.

Remember that a Niche Website needs about one-third of each of these types of pages:

  • How To—pages that explain what to do, they do not directly sell something (although if parts are needed, you should put a link there!)
  • Reviews—these pages are much more sale pages, where you review an article for sale and praise it very much, the page gives various reasons why you like that specific item
  • General Pages—more general pages talking about your subject; these are very useful for attracting more viewers on your website, once they show interest in these pages, they are much more likely to move to the other more specific pages where you have your affiliate links

Once your website has about 10 pages of each (it could be 8 to 12, it does not need to be exactly 10) for a total of at least 30 pages, then you’re set. Cleansing of the other 10 to 20 pages you thought of can happen. At least (see Step 6) place those tasks at the very bottom so as to make sure your website takes shape as early as possible.

Step 5 — Do Your Best To Assign Dates

Although this is your own work and you are welcome to do it at your own pace, having things finished in a timely fashion will give you the opportunity to also see an income coming out of that work in a timely fashion.

So to make sure that you start seeing $$$ coming your way soon, I strongly advise that you put your goals on a timeline. Knowing how long a certain goal takes will help you accomplish it. With all your goals led out, you get an idea of how long it will take you total to accomplish all of the work.

Any goal should be about 1 day or less. Note that here when I say 1 day, I mean about 8 hours. If you have to spend 3 days to find 8 hours because you are still working full time, then use 3 days for that task. It will make more sense because if you were to put those tasks on a calendar, it would span over 3 days.

Note: for tasks that are over 8h of work, you should consider breaking them down further; that being said, I’m a software engineer too and some of my software development tasks are taking weeks. I could break them down to the nitty gritty, but that work would be very much equivalent in writing the code directly and often writing the code directly you see mistakes in your first level thinking and thus having goals for each tiny part can also become a waste of time. You can pan yourself into a corner which is never going to be reached.)

The idea is to then place your goal on your calendar. If you do not accomplish one task in time, the best is to look into catching up. In other words, don’t push all the work by one or two days. Instead, make the time to accomplish that task you missed during your spare time instead. Say you do not want to lose your weekends, you’d have another 16 hours available to accomplish tasks that you could otherwise have done during the week. (Unfortunately for me, I work 24/7 so I don’t really have the luxury of being able to catch up anything without pushing my tasks further, at least for now that’s how it goes for me… Argh! And if you first plan to work on your Niche Website in your spare time, you obviously are not going to be able to find more spare time to catch up on a missed task. For your first Niche Website, that will most certainly be okay, though.)

Note that it will be easier to have a Due Date to make sure you get things done on time. Then anything that is behind is clearly and easily visible on your schedule. With just a list of tasks, you are much more likely to just let go of one here and one there…

Step 6 — Two to Three Months Plan

As mentioned above, we should get a whole Niche Website done in 2 to 3 months. Here is your chance to check your schedule and make sure that it indeed fits within that goal. If you can get each one of your Niche Website done within 3 months or less, you can create 4 a year. Assuming a minimum of $1,000/mo per Niche Website, within 1 year you will have an asset representing a good $4,000/mo.

Since getting the Niche Website idea and the website ready are things that should not take you more than 3 or 4 days, I would not worry about those too much. The content is what will really take you a long time. As mentioned above, I would write all the posts ahead of time and then later just process through them, writing all those pages. However, for some of you, having something on your calendar could be helpful. Yet, I think calendars pose a problem, they’re bound to time and it’s difficult to adjust many tasks in an electronic calendar. Instead, I would use a spreadsheet or even just a word document. Write down the tasks, one per line. As I’ve done above, probably in a list with sub-tasks indented, you could also have sub-sub-tasks and sub-sub-sub-tasks… Then use the Strikethrough to mark those tasks that are done. (deleting the tasks that are done does not give you the same feeling: you can’t see how much you’ve accomplished!)

In case of the 30 to 50 posts, you should include the title of each one of those posts in that list and strike them as they get written. Again, it will show you progress. At first, it will look like a tantalizing task, once you are over 10 posts, it will look better, once at 20, it will look easy. And at 30 you can stop if you’d like! (assuming that you entered the 30 most important posts, of course. See Step 4 in that regard.)

Step 7—Write the Entire Plan

It may sound silly or too early, but having your entire plan setup now will allow you to execute it step by step without having to think about it over and over again. This is what most companies do. They have people doing planning all the time and others executing the resulting plans. This is the most effective method we’ve found so far (we as humans…)

Just one thing, at this stage your plan has to be things you will pretty much know how to do or have a way to find out how to do them (i.e. with your Niche Website, I have all of that right here so you have 100% of the info and this will know exactly what to do. The amount of time it will take you the first time you apply all of these instructions is the only thing where you may be a bit off, but it should not be that bad in the long run.)

For a complete Niche Website, the total number of days should not exceed 60 for 30 pages. It, of course, depends on the amount of time you can find to write about all of these things you want to talk about on your Niche Website. That being said, if it takes you 90 days, it won’t be the end of the world. Just have it written down to make sure you make progress as often as possible. Whenever you have a minute, instead of wasting your time on Facebook or Twitter or in front of the TV, go to your website and get your writing done.

Note that if you are doing this full time (i.e. you were just let go from your work, you decided to quit, you had a contract coming to an end…) remember that you want to have breaks, like remember to have lunch, and some buffer time blocks should appear in your schedule because you’re going to have unexpected tasks coming up along the way (i.e. pay a bill, make a phone call, source an item you need to continue work effectively, etc.) Having some spare time built into your schedule will allow you to circumvent such unexpected tasks.

You can maintain good concentration on a task that you like comme-ci comme-ça for about 45 minutes. After that, you tend to lose it. A task that you love, you can probably maintain your concentration for 4 to 5 hours without much of a problem. (Actually, I often have a hard time to go to the restroom when I’m working on my software because… I don’t want to lose my train of thought, even after hours of work.) So breaks can appear once an hour, but they have to be controlled. Don’t have a 2-hour break watching a movie! 5 to 10 minutes is what you should get, roughly. You should work on your content any time you can, but if you have a full block of time, think of working on it for 3 to 4 hours. If you’re like me, though, you’re not unlikely to work on your content for 8 hours straight and wonder where the time went! It’s not a bad thing at all if you’re just building a Niche Website and all your content was already laid out and you just have to write it.

Now… you’ve done all that planning work and you have a schedule. Each week, or for some of us, each day, you should spend a little time on what is going to get done over that period. If you know what you’re going to do today, it’s going to be a lot easier to get it done efficiently. No gathering around wondering what you should do next. You have a clear plan. You work on it. The time spent each week (or day) allows you to remember what is happening and puts you back on track.

Step 8—What’s Your Score? (Optional, good practice, though)

This is part of your own accountability! Although optional, by doing this task, you are likely to improve your accountability and thus your work in general.

Looking into how well you’re progressing is a task in itself. It should be part of your schedule to see whether you are progressing at the right pace or not. If not, you’ll want to quickly adjust your schedule in order to improve your progress. If you are always behind, maybe your schedule was too aggressive, or maybe you are procrastinating, or like many who need to write: you have writer’s block (frankly that is not very likely because you worked on those 30 to 50 pages using Google who gave you 100% of those page titles already!)

One reason my websites always get their content a little slower than I would like them to is that I often end up doing more research than I thought would be necessary for all of those pages. That being said, if you know your subject quite well, you should still be able to stay on schedule. Once you start working on websites where the subject is not one you are the top master of, it will be a bit slower, but you’ll still be making progress, I’m sure.

So… this task will look at what you’ve done and what you wanted to do and compare the two. If you did more than was expected of you, fantastic, but don’t take an early vacation. Finish all the tasks first. If it gets done in 45 days instead of 60, you’ll be more than happy at that point. At the same time, if you had more pages plans (so you’re done with the first 30 but already had another 20 ready to go), that’s where you can finish up your entire website within your 60 days!

In most cases, though, you’re going to be somewhat behind. This means you may need additional buffer time built into your schedule to make sure it gets done as per your calendar. If you are full time on this project and often get behind and see that you’re not going to beat your end goal (i.e. get the website finished within the total number of days planned), then you should revisit and possibly work overtime: nights and weekends are there just for that!

By doing this exercise, thinking about what has been accomplished and looking into the very reasons why some tasks could not be completed, you will be able to improve your planning. The concept is really simple, but you need to do that to make sure you make good progress in all your planning. (and if you’re like me you probably have several things going in parallel… getting the kids to the dentist, going to get your haircut, work on your Real Estate business while working on your Niche Website and finishing up a Software Project…)

IMPORTANT NOTE

This task can be rather negative if you did not meet your goal(s) for that week. Be prepared to feel bad/sad that things did not go quite as planned. Psychologically, you’re likely to take your toll on that task and this is why many skip it. After all, why feel bad/sad all the time?! If you’re not alone in your business, I strongly suggest that you do that on Friday afternoon all together. This makes it easier to manage the problems you bumped into during the week.

For sure: DO NOT PUNISH YOURSELF for unattained goals. That’s totally, completely, utterly non-sensible to do such a thing. What you want in the end is to accomplish all the goals at some point in time. The sooner the better, but once in a while you’ll want to reschedule and it will take you a little longer, but you’ll still end up there because each time you spend on your Niche Site, it makes progress, no matter what. And if it takes you 3 instead of 2 months to finish up your Niche Site, you know what? You’re still going to get an asset that makes you money. Now, if after one year you still have only one or two posts, something went really wrong… and I don’t think I can help you there. The carrot is the potential automatic income, obviously, and that should be what drives you. Work on it and be positive! This task is for you to get better at following your schedule. It’s not for you to blame yourself.

Software to Track Your Tasks

There is also software that can help you with such tasks, although I find paper a lot better. If you are a Mac lover, you may want to look at Be Focused on Amazon (where I’m an affiliate, remember?).

A screenshot of a spreadsheet used to track my tasks on my Stargazer Rock website.
Example of tasks one can write down in a spreadsheet. Here I show some that are done in green and others that are still to be worked on. (Click to see the larger version of the image, or download the original.)

However, I think that just a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet will be more than enough for you working on your Niche Website. A spreadsheet is practical because you could have a column to write the current status of a task. You can also change the color of the cells to green once the task is done.

You can enter the amount of time you are thinking it will take and then the amount of time it took. Have totals, do calculations… or just have a sheet of paper and write each task on that piece of paper and have than by your computer. Make sure to not get that piece of paper buried! Maybe stick it on the wall. Then scratch each task as it gets done.

As a software guy, I have a tool called Jira. It tracks tasks. You can enter the amount of time it should take and mark whether the task is still To Do, In Progress, In Review, Done (once marked done you can re-open it too! In case something changed and needs additional work.) This type of software is quite practical. I don’t always use it, but having a task written down in such a software makes it easy to quickly move on that task.

This is a screenshot of the top-left corner of the All Posts administration page.
First go to Posts » All Posts, then at the top-left click the Draft link. This will change your list from showing all the pages to only showing your drafts.

This is very similar to creating a draft for each of the 30+ pages of your Niche Website in your WordPress installation. Then you can see the list of drafts (see screenshot on the left) which represents the pages you have to finish up.

Work on the page until it gets done and publish it once you feel like it is done. Once you grow and have other people who can help you, you may want to increase the process by adding a review process. WordPress actually allows for such a state: Draft, Review, Published. The Review process is when you have one or more editors reading your page and making sure the content is perfect for the purpose. Although note that a totally perfect post may be construed as a work by a company trying to make money on your reader’s back… and thus your readers may close that tab and you make no money. Perfect does not mean the best pictures ever or not one mistake in your grammar and spelling. Perfect means all your links work as expected (especially your affiliate links) and the content flows properly on Desktop, Tablets, and Smartphones.

So in other words, what I’m saying here is that you don’t really need much more than your actual website and the drive to go there every time you have 30 min. or more and work on your content on and on and on… until you have those 30 pages.

This is a habit I picked up from my mom. Writing my To Do list on an envelope like this.

The only part missing is the first few things: finding the Niche Website idea, finding the perfect domain name, finding the hosting company, then off you go writing your content so you’re not going to need much more than a piece of paper such as an envelope to write these tasks and then finishing the content is your list of drafts.

As we can see in this example, I have a few tasks that I wrote down. I scratch them (strikethrough) once done. Then work on the next task. The order is “whatever”. Once all the tasks as scratched, I’m done and can throw that envelope away, at last!

If you have different solutions for tracking your To Do list, please share below in the comments section. I’d be happy to know how you handle this part of the business. Thank you in advance!

The Controversy of Goal Settings

If you’re versed in all things like me (I read a lot of things…) then you may have heard of the controversy of setting goals.

This is often because many people set goals that make no sense, or rather, they have a problem that they want to circumvent and their goal is the result of fixing the problem. The goal is not a step by step plan on how to accomplish that fix.

So, my example at the top of “I want to make $1 million” is a quick solution to the problem: “I’m not wealthy [yet]”. In itself, that statement is not a goal at all. However, moving forward in building a business, a Niche Website or otherwise, and making it profitable, requires daily accomplishments and having a list of tasks that need to be done is your best bet to get there. On my end, I’ve been working as an independent programmer for 30+ years and I have no problem in staying on track for most things. Note that doesn’t mean that your list of goals and tasks has to be 100% accomplished. In some cases, you may just have to eliminate some tasks you were first planning to do because your business changed en route. This happened to many companies. A good example is Twitter which when created had nothing to do with small messages you posts every hour… (it seems that to really get a big following on twitter you need that type of rhythm!) It was in link with communication between people, but their first service was a total loss so they switch to what Twitter is today.

A (long) list of small tasks is manageable and you will be able to go through them, although when the list is really long, it can look really scary. So try to make sure you understand that no one gets there by magic. Work is involved…

This is explained by Aubrey Daniels in her book Oops! 13 Management Practice That Waste Time & Money. Planning very long-term goals is extremely ineffective. Only 10% of the people can achieve such goals. The very short-term goals or tasks, however, give you quick gratifications and give you a way to move forward quickly and with good results, which is why I spent a lot of time on that specific point here.

Conclusion

So, if you’re like me, having a goal just means rehearsing the same idea in your head over and over again. That makes you reach your goal because you definitely keep in mind what needs to be done. I also make notes on my used envelopes and I have tools such as Jira and Spreadsheets (you can get a totally free spreadsheet software at Google Spreadsheet or with LibreOffice if you prefer a Desktop application. LibreOffice includes a Word Processor, you can Draw Presentations, write Math Formulae, manage a Database, write HTML, XML, Labels, and Business Cards. All in one!)

Let me know how you handle your own day to day tasks.

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