At Work

The Zen of Discipline


Creating a Disciplined Editorial Staff at Feedster

Discipline is almost a four letter word. We all know what we want, we just don’t always like having to constantly focus on how to get it all done in order to actually gain the things we want.

This post is part of our content calendar. This calendar is where we have thought through what we want to post and placed it into a day by day itemized list so that we can hold ourselves accountable. This accountability process is one of the most important points of having discipline.

If you have no plan then what are you staying disciplined to? 

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While we thought having editorials about “Trending on Feedster” would be the right way to go, I also recognize that I want to leave footprints as we gain more and more traffic and user engagement on Feedster. This footprint serves as two purposes.

One is for you the reader to track through our progress. You can follow each editor and read about the struggle and what we engaged next on the site as we were building it up.

Second is for us the staff to remember the struggle and not repeat the history of it. 

We want to see the problem and then tackle it head on. We do not want to keep dealing with the same thing over and over. We follow these type of post from sites like Buffer and Tim Ferriss. They do a good job of talking through the solutions. How to “insert headline” in less time and easier than ever are often emails that entice me to read them. While these are often not necessarily true they do expand my mind to thinking more along the lines of “what if” I had the process in place to solve that issue and get positive results for now on.

Let me stay disciplined while writing about discipline.

Discipline is a two edged sword. While we know we have to focus and get the task done. We also know that we need proper motivation that will excite us to completing the daily task that get that result.

When we have to write something daily just about in order to hit our main goals on this site, you can imagine, we don’t necessarily always have the upbeat attitude to create that much content. It is tough at times. Not just to stare at a blank slate but also the act of not going out for pizza with friends etc.. when we know we have a post due the next day. There is literally something to do every day, every week, and at every hour when working on a site this size with a small staff. We don’t have time to become passive and not accomplish our task.

This brings me to my main point.

When you are wanting to become disciplined there are really on a few main points to make sure you have the path to success laid out. The rest is sheer willpower.

Will Power and Discipline

This is how we went about creating disciplined in our content creation process. Hope it helps you in yours.

  • We went over what post we would want up in a day by day.

We accomplished this mainly by simply placing an in depth post due 2 times a week by both myself and Nick. We then went through and made other types of post that would be due around those dates.

  • We worked through what the process would be creating each post.

When we looked at the fact that we would need to post something, for me every Monday and Friday, we also looked at what that meant as far as research, writing, pictures, formatting, and outreach. Disicpline

  • We assessed the days (hours) it would take in order to accomplish the level of content we wanted.

This was the hardest and we just went with a basic format of Post Day with each other task being started on a minus schedule around that date. So if I have a post due Monday 9/28/2o15 then I would need to have a “topic” picked out 14 days in advance of that. Then the keyword research, research on the topic, interviews, and all other items would need to be scheduled within that 14 days. So let me show this below in a format that you can use to build an excel sheet with the auto calc functions. =SUM(“POST_DAY”-14)

Post Day

Topic Chosen -14

Research Started – 13

Research Half Complete – 10

Research Complete – 5

Writing – 4

Formatting Started – 2

Pictures – 1

Posting Scheduled =

Outreach =

Outreach Checked + 2

  • Now while this generally works. This is hard to start as your schedule requires you have days in front of the post to get the extra work done.

We were working off of a zero sum day. Meaning we had content due tomorrow and didn’t (don’t) have 14 days to put in the work. We had to hustle and get the post done in 2 days while working on the future work as well. This type of discipline is done b/c regardless of what we feel like, that content calendar is sitting there telling everyone else what we said we were going to do.

  • We had an exciting Future that seems reachable and Amazing once realized. 

We don’t know exactly where this leads but we know for sure that once Feedster has the national recognition that it deserves, we will absolutely reap the rewards we wanted. This seems very reasonable that we can accomplish it due to the fact that the domain is already so strong. We just have to continue to do outreach and gain more and more readers. As we peak out of beta and get engagement on the post we will continue to realize more and more of our goals.

  • We had a buddy system.

We had a friend sitting there pushing us to get that post done. They were counting on us to do our part. This accountability system is one that is the most important in building discipline in your writing. When you have a gym partner that is depending on you to show up and calling you or coming by to pick you up then it is so much easier to show up. That is the same way it was for our content calendar and editors. We were depending on the other person to pick up and carry their weight.

Another great way is to have someone you text with your “life” or “discipline” updates like I do with Jason.

While we are far from perfect and not ever really great at the content creation process yet, we are continuing to make solid advancement to creating content on a continual basis. Our small team is dedicated and continues to get smarter on growing Feedster. If your team is struggling with discipline then drop a line here. We understand completely and would love to offer encouragement and let you know that we are still fighting the good fight along side of you…