Organization Strategies for Niche Marketing

May has been insanely busy for me.  I moved.  I had massive problems getting my internet reconnected (a story for another day.)  I’ve had a ton of new business come in for my “day” job, which is awesome, but combine that with moving and internet issues, and the phrase “insanely busy” is a major understatement. 

During all of this, I’ve been trying to keep everything organized and on top of everything.

For my business, I have a ticket system to keep track of client updates that need to be done.

I use Klok to track time on projects.

I use WHMCS for billing, invoicing, and all client details (Tip: a free license is included with a Hostgator reseller account.)

I use Excel spreadsheets to track tasks.

I have a notebook that I take notes throughout the day.

I have folders in Outlook with rules to automatically sort almost everything that comes in.

I have Word documents for each niche site and client project with the pertinent details and journal changes.

So I have my own system to plan where I want to go and keep track of what I’ve done and where I’m at.    When you have kids, a business, and your own niche sites, you have to have a system.

But It Wasn’t  Enough

As I mention in the page about this site, I have a business where I do marketing services for other people and then my own niche sites. 

But I recently started offering a promotion package on the community site that originally got me started on the path of SEO, affiliate and niche marketing.  It is a combination of advertising, publicity, SEO, and online promotion.  It merges the services I provide with what I’ve been doing in niche marketing.

Personally, I think it is pretty awesome Smile

I’ve started getting businesses signed up as sponsors/advertisers (which is part of my increased business for this month,) but I’ve felt stymied by not having a good way to track everything that goes into this package.

Basically, I am creating a niche promotion channel that is targeted to the sponsor’s business that centers around my community site.  But there are several elements to it, and up until just yesterday I felt scattered getting it published.

I have to not only do it, but also be able to see it and track it, otherwise I feel complete disorganized. 

My Solution

microsoft-onenote

Microsoft OneNote

I had looked at this briefly before, but I didn’t come back to it again until I started looking for a research aid for writing articles.

A lot of people have been recommending Instant Article Wizard from Jonathan Leger.  James recommends it as one of the tools that helps him write quickly, and it is actually one of the recommended resources in the SEO Mumbo course (which I think is great by the way.)

I don’t know what it is about Leger’s programs, but they just don’t jive with the way my mind works.  I did a trial of the program (you can try it for $7 for 7 days, after that it is $77 for a year’s subscription,) it didn’t speed anything up for me.  The one thing it does is pull a related keyword list and let you quickly search for results on those, which is nice.

I also tried Instant Article Factory from Leger last year, which is kind of a fill-in-the-blank, write-by-numbers web based program.  I didn’t like that either.  It actually took me longer to write an article because it broke up my flow.  Jason Fladien’s method described in his report, “How to Write an Article in 7 Minutes” is more effective for me.

I think what it is is that I want a program that helps me research and compile the information so that I can compose my own content, while the Instant Article programs are designed more to rework existing content. 

Now that I think about it, either one of those programs would probably be great for fast articles to use in SE Nuke or other link wheel programs.  I just wouldn’t use it on my money sites and definitely not for articles in this particular promotion program I am putting together.

So back to OneNote, I opened it back up again after seeing it mentioned in searches for programs to help with research and writing.  Part of this promotion package includes articles.  I’ll probably outsource some of it, but the first ones I want to do myself.  These are topics that I’m not familiar with, so I need to do a lot of research and I didn’t want to end up with an unmanageable mess of Word documents.

The cool thing about OneNote is that it is essentially a digital notebook, but not just one that can contain text, you can paste in images, videos, draw sketches, embed spreadsheets, basically any program that Microsoft has, you can link to and embed.

If I want to clip a portion of an article or resource from the web, all I have to do is highlight it, copy, and paste it into OneNote, and it will automatically include a link to the original source.

Rather than having to dig through countless file folders for different Excel, Word, and PDF files related to this particular project, I can just include a link in the OneNote Notebook to instantly pull it up.

How I’m Using OneNote

For this particular promotion I’m putting together, I’m creating a notebook for each topic/channel.  I have a tab for the following:

  • An overview with all of the main elements
  • Sponsor information (this may change from year to year).  The sponsor tab will have subpages for each sponsor with their information and creative.
  • A publishing schedule which will link to files for the individual articles.
  • Research.  There will be a subpage for each keyword that will be covered.
  • Promotion.  The channel will be promoted in several different ways.  I’m still tweaking this, but the other cool thing is that I can embed these spreadsheets that I am already using.

using-onenote

OneNote Templates:  The other cool thing is that as I am creating and fleshing out the package, I can save a template of the entire notebook itself as well as individual pages.   This will make it really easy to put together the package as I add new channels and sponsors.

So this isn’t your typical post on niche marketing and this isn’t an IM specific tool, but this is what I’ve been working on and what I’m using.  I’m still tweaking my system and learning all the features of the program, but I’m really excited because I think it will help me pull together what I have already been doing.

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