*The guest post is by Gab Goldenberg*
This is an exercise in asking “why,” learned from Joel Spolsky of Inc Magazine, which apparently got it from Toyota. The idea is to get to the bottom of a problem to avoid repeating it again in the future.
I was asking myself why a contract that was due to have X# of links hadn’t yet been fully delivered on, despite my best efforts (and then some!). Here’s what happened, and what I’m trying to get to the bottom of.
1. The ads were written hastily and not as targeted as they could have been. As a result, I got many unqualified applicants. That was the first time waster.
2. The second time waster was that I took the first qualified writers rather than ask them to prove that they were reliable. Consequently, when they went MIA, I was left holding the ball, and wasted time.
… Why did they go MIA? Jacquie was probably uncomfortable with me asking her to post articles to a site she was already writing for. Besides that, because she’s a flake. What about Chris? He was a high school student and didn’t take it seriously, and wasn’t interested in interacting with an editor. It wasn’t a good fit either – I should have spent more time finding him an appropriate fit.
Why did their going MIA leave me hanging? Because I had no backup writers that I’d put the editors in touch with, and I hadn’t already gotten their paypal addresses to buy the samples they’d sent me.
Why did certain editors’ going MIA leave me hanging? Because I had no backup sites prepared to put the authors in touch with.
Why didn’t I have backup writers ready? I’d only experienced reliable writers until now, so I assumed that these would be, too. Why didn’t I have backup editors ready? I assumed they’d be willing to take any pieces we sent them.
- You need to have more potential sites to target.
- You need to have backup email assistants.
- You need to split said sites between email assistants.
- Must have backup writers – introduce 2 to any given editor, but never the same pairing to multiple editors.
- Must have backup editors – introduce different pairs of writers to different editors.
- Post the tagline for a backup writer to use in any given month, or for separate author bios that are unchangeable, what it should be, within basecamp.
- Templatize instruction emails for writers.
- Templatize explanations for editors.
- Try offering pay in the $20 – $30 a post range (instead of $25/post), depending on quality, pics, style etc.
- See if clients would be comfortable buying links.
- Have more reporting done on Basecamp.