August 2017 Writing Roundup

Every month I summarize my work during the previous month.  I hope that by pausing to reflect on my activities and reviewing my progress that I can learn how to do better in the future.

August was my second best month ever.  I’m excited to tell you about it and hear your reactions and comments.  It’s only through your feedback and support that I can continue giving you my best service.

Below I review the articles I published, the progress made working on my book and updated traffic statistics. This month has been truly surprising and satisfying.

Blog Posts

This month I published 3 articles.  That’s not quite up to my expectation.  I’d normally hope to be writing at least 1 article each week.  Instead, I spent much of the time working on my book, about which I’ll say more later.  The Excel BTS Project Tracker series of articles, which I started publishing in late August, gives me a reliable source of topics for my articles, which means I don’t lose much time wondering what to write about.

A Technologist Tackles Digital Marketing

Published 3 August 2017.  In this article, I wrote about the challenges I’m facing as I learn how to share my knowledge and the experiences of my Telecoms career.  As a Technologist, so many of the skills needed to do this are quite foreign to me.  I’m learning to appreciate what marketers and salespeople do in their careers. There is so much to learn.

One of the people I called out in this post was Nathan Barry.  He was the first person I heard to say “teach everything you know.”  Maybe he was not the first to say this, but he is the one I first heard it from. I’m grateful to him for this and his many other insights.

Excel Project Tracker (with the Coolest Excel Function Ever!)

This was the first article in a series I’m writing about using Excel to create a BTS Project Tracker.  This series does 3 things:

  1. It gives you a functional project tracker that you can use immediately, right out of the box.
  2. It also teaches you more advanced Excel capabilities so that you can begin using them for yourself.
  3. By developing your Excel skills, you make yourself a more useful contributor to your organization.

My high-level objective with this series is to show you how to create Excel workbooks which follow my 3-step mantra: Update, Refresh, Share.  I covered this concept previously, using different words, in Stop Monthly Report Madness.  I like to create Dashboards and Trackers which can be completely updated using only these 3 steps.

In the first Excel BTS Project Tracker article, I created a useful project tracker from scratch. You can download the tracker for your own use, or simply to follow along in the article.  I also introduced Excel Pivot Tables and the wonderful GETPIVOTDATA function. I’ll be writing more about this function later in the series.

Excel Project Tracker with Task Weighting

The second article in the series.  I introduced Named Ranges and Lookup functions. You should be using both of these in all your workbooks. They are fabulous for simplifying and automating.

In the next article in the series, I’ll add the ability to regionalize the tracker.  Regionalization tracks and reports groups of BTS separately.  This will be published later this week or early next.

Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile

This is the title of my new book, which is taking much longer than I wanted.  It’s my own fault.  I originally wrote most of the manuscript over a period of a couple months.  By the time I finished, some of my thoughts had changed and I needed to revise some of the earlier writing.  But the book is long enough that it is hard to maintain consistency between what I wrote in different parts of it.

Luckily, I found a tool which seems to offer a solution. It’s called Scrivener, and it’s purpose-built to help authors structure a book and compile it for different media.  Scrivener is a fairly sophisticated tool, so the learning curve is a bit steep.  I hope I understand the basics well enough now to complete the book quickly.

Here is the introduction to the book I wrote last month: Create an Awesome LinkedIn Profile is a more detailed treatment of the blog post A LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Noticed. The first draft of the book is finished and I’m working on revisions.  I expect to complete and publish the book later this month.  Sign up for updates about the book and I’ll give you a nice discount.

August Traffic Summary

August was my second best traffic month ever!  The Excel BTS Project Tracker series articles have been very popular.  They were read and shared pretty widely.  However, the Page Views/Month trend is down at 281.  The metrics I track are the average of the last 3 months of traffic.  The decline in Page Views resulted from the month of May, my best-ever month, dropping off the averages.

On the other hand, Average Visitors/Month number actually increased, to 189. In general, this means more people are coming to my site, which is fantastic, but each of them is reading fewer pages.  Visitors is a more important metric than Page Views because it means I’m able to help more people improve their skill sets and enhance their careers. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Till next time.

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