Are you thinking about starting a website for your business?
Then this article on website planning is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you through the process of planning your web presence.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 1
- For Part 2 of the article series, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 2
Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 3
So far, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Define Your Site Goals
- Step 2 – Your Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
- Step 4 – Your Site’s Audience
- Step 5 – Identify Your Key Phrases
- Step 6 – Define Web Site Categories
- Step 7 – Your Content Strategy
(Website Planning Process)
You’re almost there with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the planning process, we are going to set up an initial publishing schedule for your website or blog, decide what type of content you are going to create for your website, and decide who is going to do what on your site.
Step 8 – Creating Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule
You should publish content regularly in order for your digital presence to grow. A content publishing system is the most productive and effective way to plan, schedule, and track your content creation and publishing process.
(Creating your content or blog publishing schedule)
Now that you have created an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial blogging or content publishing schedule.
Although this step may not seem to be directly connected to the process of building your web site, as you go through the process of creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you need and who will manage the content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services and resources you will need to have in place immediately after your website has been built.
Practical Tips For New Business Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Publish Consistently
Publishing fresh content on your site on a regular basis is essential for building an online audience and increasing your site’s results in search engines.
This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business online through content, and so it’s crucial that you create a habit of publishing content on your website or blog on a regular basis.
Make a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website. Decide on a specific weekday and the time of day that you will sit down to create your articles. Allow one to two hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each article or blog post.
Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Monitor this commitment and if necessary, fine tune your content schedule accordingly.
Remind yourself when you sit down to plan or write your content that you are investing in your business.
Tip #2: Use Content Scheduling Tools
If you plan to publish content consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track your content production, or use a WordPress plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can easily create a simple editorial template to help you schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …
(Content planning template created with a spreadsheet)
Use the master spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, in the spreadsheet, you can add the following columns:
- Publish Date: Enter the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the content has been published. You can also add a second column to record 1) the date your content needs to be written by, and 2) the date your content is scheduled to publish on your site or blog.
- Writer: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
- Content Format: Enter the kind of content you will be creating for this item. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing to your blog, enter the blog post category you will publish this item under.
- Offer: What is this specific item of content designed to sell or promote? Enter your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your blog post headline, the title of your article, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content here.
- Kwd: The main keyword phrase targeted by your content.
- URL: Once you have published the item, record its URL here. This will make it easier to find the content URL when promoting your content (e.g. on social media, emails, etc)
- Short URL: You can also add a shortened version of the content’s destination URL for promoting on Twitter, or tracking your campaigns.
You don’t need all of the above columns. You can keep it simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing only these essential columns:
- Content Writer
- Content Format
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar for help planning your content on a monthly basis, just search online for “free editorial calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Content Scheduling Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, here are some useful plugins you can use:
Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.
The Editorial Calendar provides content editors with an overview of your scheduling and when each item will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts inside the calendar and manage your entire blogging schedule.
(Editorial Calendar – WP editorial plugin. Screenshot source: plugin site)
For more details about this useful content management plugin, check out the plugin’s web page here:
Edit Flow allows you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Some key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A month-by-month view of your content.
- Custom Statuses – Lets you define the key stages to your workflow.
- Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion via threaded commenting between writers and editors in the admin section.
- Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
- Notifications – Receive timely updates on any content you’re following.
- Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget details.
- User Groups – Organize your users by department or function.
(Edit Flow – WordPress plugin. Screenshot source: Edit Flow plugin website)
To learn more, visit this website:
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress designed to automate any editorial workflow process using a simple, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
Some of the features of the Oasis Workflow plugin include the ability to configure your work flow using a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin. Screenshot source: plugin site)
This plugin also offers role-based routing, lets users view their current assignments and sign off on their tasks once it’s completed, process history for auditing purposes, task reassignment, due date and email reminders to help you to publish your articles on time, and an out of the box editable workflow to help you get started.
Oasis Workflow also has a “Pro” version that includes additional functionality, such as allowing you to set up multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, autosubmit, revise published content and more.
For more information, visit this website:
Step 9 – Define What Type Of Content You Will Publish
(What kind of content are you going to publish on your web site?)
After setting up your content creation schedule, the next step is to define what types of content you will create for publishing on your website.
Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, case studies, PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what type of content you plan to create for your website is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you may need to purchase or budget for to create the content. This could include purchasing video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.
Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities
(Who will handle all areas of your website?)
The final step in your web site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various aspects of your site and content and assign these to your in-house resources, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities associated with running a professional web site or blog.
When completing this step, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
- Who will create the content (e.g. researching, writing and reviewing, sourcing and creating images and logos, videos, audios, newsletter content, training content, FAQs, etc.)?
- How will you communicate what needs doing to others? How will people communicate with each other to ensure that all the “fingers” talk to “the hand”?
- Who will be responsible for the scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
- Who will promote and market your website with search engine optimization, online advertising, social media marketing, video marketing, etc.?
- Who will maintain and upgrade site software, install new applications, customize web templates, provide technical support, etc.?
- Who will be responsible for setting and monitoring the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your site)?
Who is going to be responsible for all aspects of your website or blog?
Depending on the circumstances of your business, it could be just one person doing everything (e.g. you), or a small team of people who also have to juggle other areas of your business, and perhaps even some outsourced help.
If you don’t ask the above questions before getting your website built, you could end up spending a lot of time and money building something that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost you valuable money and time.
Tip: Don’t Focus On People When Assigning Responsibilities, Focus On Processes
Document or flowchart exactly who will do what in terms of managing your website and content creation.
Focus on documenting which roles should be responsible for the processes involved before assigning names to responsibilities or making people in your organization accountable for managing these. This will help you understand how much responsibility and work is involved in each part of the process, explain why you are asking people to take on additional responsibilities, and assist you in planning the allocation of resources accordingly.
Congratulations! You have completed all the sections of the site planning process and are now ready to begin looking at options for getting your new website built.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. See other articles on this site or contact us if you need information or help with installation or development.
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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum