Website Planning Process – Part 3

This is part 3 of our tutorial series on website planning. This tutorial focuses on planning a sustainable content marketing strategy for promoting your business online using your WordPress website or blog.

Web site DevelopmentAre you considering the idea of getting a website built for your small business?

Then this detailed guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This is Part 3 of the article where we provide essential information on planning your new website or blog.

How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 3

In Part One of this article, we’ve looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Site
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Site’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining YourWebsite Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Your Keyword Phrases
  • Step 6 – Defining Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Formulating Your Content Strategy

Planning A Small Business Web Site That Works - A Cost-Saving Primer For Business Owners

(Website Planning Process)

You’re almost done with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the site planning process, we are going to set up an initial content publishing schedule, define what kinds of content you will create for your website or blog, and decide who will do what on your website.

Step 8 – Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule

You should publish content regularly in order for your business to grow online. A content publishing system is the most productive and effective way to plan, schedule, and track your content creation and publishing process.

Create your content or blog publishing schedule

(Your blog or content 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.

Important Information

Although this step may not seem to be connected with the process of building your website, as you go through the process of creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you need and who will manage your content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services or resources you will need immediately after your site has been created.

Tip

Content Schedule Tips:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Adding fresh content on your website or blog on a regular basis is very important for building an online readership and increasing your site’s search engine rankings and results.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business online through content, and so it’s essential that you develop a habit of publishing content on your website or blog consistently.

Make a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website. Decide on a specific day of the week and the time of day that you will sit down to create your posts. 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. Keep monitoring this activity and if you need, adjust your publishing schedule accordingly.

Remind yourself when you sit down to plan or write your content that you are you are working on growing your business, instead of just simply working in it.

Tip #2: Use Content Scheduling Tools

If you plan to publish content on your site consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track your content planning and production process, or use a plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …

Editorial template created using a spreadsheet

(Editorial & content production template created with a spreadsheet)

Use this master spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, you can add the following columns to the spreadsheet:

  • Date: Enter the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when content has been published. Additionally, you can create another column to record 1) the date your content needs to be created by, and 2) the date your content is scheduled to publish on your site or blog.
  • Writer: Who will write or create this content. (See Step 10 below)
  • PostType: Record the format of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing to your blog, record the category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this particular content item designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your blog post or article headline, title of your article, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content.
  • SEO: The main keyword your content is targeting.
  • URL: After publishing 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 things simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing just these essential columns:

  • Date
  • Content Writer
  • Type
  • Category.

If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar for planning your monthly content, you can search online for “free monthly calendar” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com

WinCalendar - Calendar maker

(WinCalendar.com – Calendar downloads)

WordPress Editorial Management Plugins

If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, here are some useful content scheduling plugins you can install:

Editorial Calendar – WP Plugin

Editorial Calendar - WP plugin

(Editorial Calendar – Plugin for WordPress)

Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that lets you 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 right in the calendar and manage your entire blogging schedule.

Editorial Calendar - WordPress plugin

(Editorial Calendar – WordPress editorial plugin. Screenshot source: plugin website)

For more details about this plugin, visit this site:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow - WP editorial plugin

(Edit Flow – WP editorial plugin)

Edit Flow is a modular plugin that lets you 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 – Define the key stages to your workflow.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion between writers and editors in the admin via threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Keep track of the important details.
  • Notifications – Receive timely updates on the content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Keep your users organized by department or function.

Edit Flow - Editorial plugin for WordPress

(Edit Flow. Image source: plugin website)

For more details, go here:

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow – Editorial plugin for WordPress)

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress that lets you automate any editorial workflow process using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

Some of the features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your work flow using a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow - WordPress Editorial Plugin

(Oasis Workflow. Image source: Oasis Workflow plugin site)

It also lets you assign tasks dynamically using 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.

The plugin also has a “Pro” version that includes additional functionality, such as allowing you to set up multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto submit, revise published content and much more.

For more details, visit this site:

Step 9 – Establish What Kind Of Content To Publish

What type of content will be published on your website or blog?

(What type of content is going to be published on your website or blog?)

After setting up a content creation schedule, the next step is to establish what kinds of content you are going to create for posting on your website or blog.

Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, product reviews, PDF reports, etc.?

Knowing what types of content you plan to create for your site is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you will probably 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 – Assign Responsibilities

Who is going to handle all aspects of running your website?

(Who is going to be responsible for all aspects of running your website or blog?)

The last step in the website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various areas of your website and content and assign these to the personnel you have available, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities associated with running a professional web presence.

When completing this step, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will perform the actual content creation work (e.g. content research, writing and rewriting, sourcing and outsourcing graphic content 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 site 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 website)?

Who will be responsible and accountable for managing all aspects of your website?

Depending on your situation, it could be just one person doing it all (i.e. you), or a few people, 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.

Practical Tip

Tip: Focus On Processes, Not People When Assigning Responsibilities

Create a document (e.g. flowchart) outlining exactly who will do what in terms of looking after the processes involved in 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 team 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. You can now begin looking at options for getting your new site built.

A Comprehensive Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Tip

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. See other posts on this site or contact us for information or assistance with any of these areas.

Please consider subscribing to this site, as we will be posting lots more content, resources and useful tips on developing your website marketing strategy.

Additional images: Blogging, Laptop, Workstation, Business Startup.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Website Planning Process – Part 3.