4 things to do before you launch anything

4 things to do before you launch anything

One of the hardest things about growing as a blogger or small business is creating and launching new things. Many times we let doubt creep into our minds and keep us from following our dreams of launching a newsletter or creating an ecourse. If it’s not doubt it’s just procrastination. How many times have you said, “I’ll start working on that new ebook… in two or three months.” and then that time rolls around and you still haven’t started on it, and you “can’t” because you’re so busy with other things? That happened to me so many times. I would put off my main goals because I was scared of how they would be received and I never had enough time to work on them.

I’m finally putting my foot down to that though. Why not go after our big dreams, especially if they scare us a little? In honor of saying “NO!” to not working towards what we dream of doing, I’m sharing four simple steps to help you start working towards launching those dream ideas. (P.s. Keep reading to the bottom of the post because there may be a fun freebie involved!)

Step One: gauge interest This one is simple and a no brainer. You’ve got to start with interest. You want to host a workshop on a certain topic, which is great, but if no one is interested, it’s going to a dud all around. So before you start planning out your idea, run a survey to gauge interest. See what people need and want from you. See if any of your existing ideas align with those responses. Go with the one that you’re passionate about and people want your help with.

Step two: develop your idea Another no brainer. Obviously you can’t start selling something if you don’t know the in’s and out’s right? I haven’t even started selling my ecourse, Brand Catalyst, yet, but I already have the idea planned out quite a bit. Developing a service or product? Think about what exactly you’re selling. What will you charge? Who will be the target market? Wanting to start a blog? Think about the name, where you’ll host your blog, and how often you’ll write.

Step three: create a plan Nothing can get launched without a plan. Nothing. Without a plan you’ll find yourself stumbling around trying to do things that you think you should be doing, which may be wasting your time and money. So, start with a launch date. Having a date always encourages us to get our butts in gear, doesn’t it? Then create a list of things that need to be done before that date. Do you need a website? Do you need sales copy? Will you hire those things out? Then create a timeline. What can you do over the next few months as the launch date approaches?

Step four: start marketing One of the scarier parts of launching something is when you actually start telling people about it. This is when you start to get scared, if you haven’t already. You’ll wonder, “Will people like it? Will people think it’s worth what I’m charging? Am I really experienced enough to talk about x, y, and z? Don’t let those thoughts hold you up. Before you can even get scared, start telling people about what you’re doing. Email your subscribers, post to social media, and generate buzz all around.

There you have it! Four super simple steps to do before you launch anything. If that’s not enough, sign up for my newsletter now to receive a free copy of my 4 Steps To Launch Mini Guide. I talk more in depth about these four steps and share free worksheets to help walk you through each one, no matter if you’re launching a new service or product or a new blog! It’s 19 pages of content and worksheets pulled directly from Idea To Launch, and it’s absolutely free for newsletter subscribers. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up below!

process / adored by alex

process : adored by alex | by kory woodard

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any work in process around here, so I thought I would jump back into that with the process on this project. Y’all may remember this moodboard, which was what kicked off this project. I was super excited about starting this project, and I’m still so excited while working on. Alex and I spent a little extra time working on her logo, and I’m so happy with how it wound up (it’s displayed here, can you guess which one it is?!).

We’re playing around with keeping a very minimal, editorial vibe for her blog while still popping in a little bit of color. The minimal look is a no brainer for me, but it’s especially interesting to be working with a primarily black and white color scheme while adding in just the tiniest bit of color into the blog design.

Can’t wait to share the final project!

P.s. Are you interested in getting a new blog design before the end of the year? Now’s your chance. I’m booking projects to begin in mid-October. If you’re looking to get a refreshed look, get in touch

weekend reading | 9.26.14

weekend reading | grab a cup of tea and check out these posts!

Hey y’all! I hope everyone has had a great week. I have spent the last week working on some fun things (including the ecourse). One of those things was sent out to my newsletter subscribers yesterday, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all next week. Working on stuff for myself has been so rewarding, which makes me even more excited about it all.

Anyhow! For now, let’s focus on some great posts from this week, shall we?

I really love this post from Megan on why she runs. Running really is so much more than an exercise; I can’t wait to get back to it soon.

Angel shared some great tips on getting local with our businesses this week. It’s such a great thing to consider, especially when most of us are working primarily online.

Kathleen shared some great points on moving past fears and making a decision after her talk at Circles. I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, but her post is making me excited to check it out.

I’ve said it again and again: I love seeing the way other creatives’ do things, so when Corina posted a little on how she stays organized, of course I loved it! I particularly like the idea of working from temporary desktop files and cleaning those up at the end of the day. What a good idea!

I talk a lot about going after your dreams, so of course I had to share Meredith’s post with 4 steps to living the life of your dreams.

I really enjoyed Bri’s tips on reimagining your workspace. Also – those photos just left me majorly dreaming for my own workspace!

Lastly, here’s a bonus for this week: I wrote out this post while listening to this song. I just love this version!

productivity while working from home

tips on staying productive while working from home

Well, y’all, it’s official. I’ve been working as a full time freelance from home for nearly five months. That’s crazy and somewhat hard to believe. While I was still in Clarksville there was an abundance of coffee shops that I could pop into and work. However, now that I’m back in my (very small) hometown, there are no coffee shops. So, that makes things a little more difficult, ultimately meaning that I’m working from home every day (or driving 20+ minutes to get somewhere that does have a coffee shop).

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining here. I love working from home! I get to hang out in my running shorts or yoga pants, throw my hair up, and have unlimited chai lattes oh and lunch for free. That’s the life, y’all. However, there are some days where it’s hard to feel inspired to work, especially since I don’t have a desk (never got around to following through with my goal of having a dedicated workspace here, oops). I know I’m not alone in my situation, so today I wanted to share some tips to help you stay productive while working from home.

Set designated work time and stick to it This has been a big one for me. If I didn’t have a set work time, I would probably work all the time on some days and never work on other days. After being home for a couple of months I settled into a routine where I found myself jumping into work around 9AM and quitting work around 5PM (or a little earlier if my schedule was light). Now I have those times as my set “office” hours, and that’s when I do all of my client work. Some days I go a little slower in the morning, but if at lunch I look at my to do list and feel like I haven’t done anything, I’ll step it up afterwards to make sure I can still be done when I’d like to be. Having these set hours can also help with family. Although mine know I’m able and willing to take breaks to run errands throughout the day, they also have a good idea of when I’m working and tend to let me work instead of popping in every few minutes for a conversation.

Take several short breaks throughout the day As studies have shown, the Pomodoro method works and actually helps us be more productive. I don’t use a set timer for this, but generally throughout my day I’ll work for about an hour and then take a break to see what people are chatting about on Twitter, making another cup of whatever my drink is for the day (in case you’re wondering, recently it’s been Vanilla Chai Lattes and Apple Cider!), or just catching some news. Don’t be afraid to take breaks throughout your day. If you work nonstop from the minute you start in the morning until the second it’s time for dinner, you’re going to find yourself getting burnt out within a week or so. Give yourself room to breathe. Take a break to go for a walk, meet a friend for lunch, or just watch an episode of something. For example, recently, I’ve been watching a few episodes of Community during my lunch break to make sure I give myself plenty of time to get away from my projects and relax.

Get a calendar and track your to do list This has been another big one for me. Partially because if I don’t write something down I forget it, and also because it helps me stay on track throughout the day. I use a cheap planner (pictured above) and every time I say to a client, “Okay, this will be done and I’ll shoot it over to you on ____.” I immediately add it to that day so I remember to do it. I also jot down when I need to do things for the blog like take photos or schedule tweets. Having a to do list is great for productivity not just so you actually know what you need to get done, but the act of crossing something off or checking it encourages you to keep going. I mean seriously, how many times have you checked off something on your list only to feel so ready to get to your next task? Having this sort of set up also helps keep track of your work in a way that can keep you from taking on too much. For example, a few weeks ago my MTW were stacked with things to do, but the end of the week was pretty open. So, when someone contacted me needing something turned around in that period, I knew when exactly I’d be able to get to it.

Those are just some main things to help you stay productive while working at home. I’ve read that getting dressed like you’re going to work somewhere else can help (though really, who wants to wear real pants all day?). I’ve also read that having a designated workspace can help you be more productive!

If you have any tips of your own, feel free to share in the comments below!

5 Reasons Why You Need An Editorial Calendar

Hi friends! I am so thrilled to have Bri of Simply Savvy on the blog today talking about editorial calendars! This is something I’ve talked about in the past but a lot of you mentioned in the survey that you’d love help with this area, and honestly, y’all: Bri is the woman to go to! So without further ado, here she is!

5 Reasons You Need An Editorial Calendar | post by Bri Towne for korywoodard.com

1. Sanity. If your blog is more than just a hobby you need an editorial calendar. You can’t expect to churn out post after post without a proper plan in place. Especially if you’re posting more than 3 times a week. But even then, knowing where you’re going and where you’ve been is so incredibly helpful when planning blog posts. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll forget your past posts, what you were planning for next month, and you’ll start to lose your awesome ideas. Keep track of everything in an editorial calendar and you’ll thank yourself later.

2. Traffic. Readers crave consistency. Consistency creates trust. Trust leads to loyal blog readers. Loyal readers share content. Shares lead to more pageviews.

Having an editorial calendar in place will create that consistency for you and lead to more pageviews. If your readers know that on Mondays you post recipes and on Wednesdays you post free wallpaper download and on Fridays you post a weekly round-up of links around the web, they’re going to trust you more because they know what to expect. Readers want to like you, trust you, want to feel comfortable when they come to your blog. If you’re posting willy-nilly about anything and everything they’re going to get confused. Confusion can lead to fewer pageviews which, for us bloggers, is kind of bad. Keep your readers happy by staying consistent and watch your pageviews grow!

3. Streamline. You can streamline your blogging process by creating a killer editorial calendar. Similar to #2, knowing what kind of post you always do on Monday, Tuesday, etc is going to help you plan you entire calendar and alleviate some stress of planning blog posts. Coming up with ideas can be hard but if you know on what days you post what kind of material, it’s a lot easier to nail down.

4. Organize. Have you ever been to a blog and seen that they have 50 different categories? It’s confusing and pretty difficult to navigate. You are obviously welcome to blog about anything you like, that’s the beauty of blogging, but if you have well organized categories it’ll be a lot easier for your readers to navigate. And again, this will create more comfort and lead to more pageviews. Your editorial calendar should reflect your blog categories. Take your categories and place them on your calendar and then fill in specific posts. Think to yourself: Mondays are for blogging tips so this Monday is ‘how to create pinterest-friendly photos’ . It makes your blog more reader-friendly and keeps your categories from getting out of hand.

5. Free time. Do you feel like you’re freaking out over your blog posts and your planning? Having a well thought out editorial calendar will free up so much time in your day. Instead of sitting there trying to think about what to post for tomorrow or next week, you’ll just look at your calendar and get to work! Not only will this give you loads of extra free-time but it’ll make your content better because that’s all you’re focusing on. I know your content is already amazing, but think of how much better it could be if you weren’t worrying about planning and coming up with ideas, just writing and taking photos and creating! Awesome, right?

So do it. Sit down right now and plan out your next month of blog posts. Remember to organize it by category and stay consistent. Then take all your free time and create something new and fantastic! Or go out for ice cream! Or do some yoga! Or call a friend! Enjoy your newfound free time. And if you’re still having trouble creating a well-functioning calendar for yourself, I’m always here to help!

(worksheets in the image are by Amber Burns!)