I had just received my Project Management Professional certification in June before my company (LandAmerica) befell massive layoffs and ultimately bankruptcy late 2011.
Richmondmom.com was a fun hobby and something to keep my head busy at night, but not a focus until that pink slip arrived.
It was raining with no post-storm rainbow in site. Either way, it was a painfully emotional & financial time of my family. Losing half our income & having the bulk of savings tied up in a 401k plan did not make for a strong safety net.
One thing I’m extraordinarily grateful for is that project management training which helped me stay focused once the decision to launch Richmondmom.com as a business was made.
“Requirements” are the building block of any project; what was missing in the marketplace & how could we deliver? What tools did I need to make this happen? For starters, a professional web designer and social media education were paramount.
“Risks”: falling flat on my face, not growing our readership & advertisers, not seeing a return on my investment: not options.
To avoid all of these, I made a plan & remained über-focused in listening to what readers & advertisers wanted.
1) Readership: Capture our audience’s desires via Google Analytics & increase unique visitor growth 20%+ each year.
2) Advertising: Innovate & continue to offer options that aren’t readily available elsewhere.
How could I prevent any PM’s nightmare, “Scope Creep?” The site content had to grow, but we couldn’t be all things to all people. This has continued to be a challenge as our reach has expanded & requests to post information flood in.
“Team” is one aspect I couldn’t afford the luxury of early on, but as we grew, hiring smart, creative folks to manage various aspects o this growing blog has been a win-win.*
Admittedly I do not always follow the plan & tend to veer off for fun projects but for the most part, this PM stuff has served us well! The pot of gold at the end of our rainbow also includes over 1M page views in 4 years, .5 million visits and almost 300,000 readers we’re thrilled to have stop by.