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 DevelopmentAre you thinking about starting a website for your business?

Then this detailed guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 3 of the article series where we take you step-by-step through the process of planning a website.

Planning Your Website – A Basic Guide – Part 3

In Part 1 of this article, we’ve looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Website
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Site’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Audience
  • Step 5 – Your Keywords
  • Step 6 – Define Your Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Define Your Content Strategy

Save Money With These Website Planning Tips

(Website Planning Process)

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

Step 8 – Creating Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule

You want to 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.

Creating your blogging or content publishing schedule

(Your blogging or content publishing schedule)

Now that you have created an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial content publishing or blogging schedule.

Info

Although this step may not seem to be directly connected with getting your website built, as you go through the process of creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create 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 and resources you will need to have in place immediately after your site has been built.

Practical Tip

Content Scheduling Tips:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Publishing fresh content on your site on a regular basis is extremely important for building an online readership and increasing your website’s results in search engines.

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

For example, start by making a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your site. Decide on a specific weekday and time that you will sit down to write your post. Allow one to two hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each post.

Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring your activity and if you need, fine tune your content 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 are going to publish content on your website regularly (and you should!), it helps to keep your content creation workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track your content creation, or use a WordPress plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

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

Editorial & content production template created using a spreadsheet

(Editorial content master template created using spreadsheets)

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

  • Publish Date: Enter the date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when your content has been published. Additionally, you can add a second 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.
  • Author: Who will write or create your content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Format: Enter the kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing to your blog, specify the category you will publish this item under.
  • Offer: 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 headline, the title of your content item, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content.
  • SEO: The main keyword targeted by your content.
  • 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: 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 with only these essential columns:

  • Publish Date
  • Content Author
  • Format
  • Category.

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

WinCalendar - Calendar downloads

(WinCalendar.com – Calendar maker)

WordPress Editorial Management Plugins

If you want to work directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins for managing your content scheduling you can use:

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar - WordPress editorial plugin

(Editorial Calendar – Plugin for WordPress)

Editorial Calendar is a Free plugin for WordPress that allows you 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 content publishing schedule.

Editorial Calendar - Plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar. Above image taken from plugin site)

For more details about this useful content management plugin, go here:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow - WP editorial plugin

(Edit Flow)

Edit Flow allows you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.

Some key features of the plugin include:

  • Calendar – A convenient month-by-month view of your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion via threaded commenting between editors and writers in the admin area.
  • Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
  • Notifications – Lets you receive updates on any content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by function or department.

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow. Image source: Edit Flow plugin website)

For more information, visit the plugin page here:

Oasis Workflow – WordPress Plugin

Oasis Workflow - Editorial Plugin For WordPress

(Oasis Workflow)

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress designed to automate your WordPress editorial workflow using a simple, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

Some of the many useful features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your work flow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow - Editorial Plugin For WordPress

(Oasis Workflow – plugin for WordPress. Screenshot source: plugin site)

This plugin also offers role-based routing, lets users view their current assignments and sign off on their tasks once assignments are 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 create multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, autosubmit, revise published content and more.

To learn more, check out the plugin’s web page here:

Step 9 – Establish What Type Of Content You Will Publish

What kind of content will you publish on your website or blog?

(What type of content are you going to publish on your website or blog?)

Once you have set up your content creation schedule, the next step is to define what kinds of content you will create for posting on your site.

Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, case studies, PDF reports, etc.?

Knowing what kind of content you intend to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you will probably need to purchase or budget for in order to create the content. This could include buying video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.

Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities

Who is going to manage all areas of running your website or blog?

(Who is going to manage all aspects of your website or blog?)

The final step in your website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various aspects of your website and content and assign these to your in-house resources, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a growing digital presence.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will perform the content creation work (e.g. researching, writing and reviewing, sourcing and outsourcing 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?
  • Who will manage the actual scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
  • Who will promote and market your site 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 managing the budget for all of the above areas (including planning the cost of getting your website built)?

Who is going to be accountable for different areas of your website or blog?

Depending on how your business is structured, it may 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 investing a lot of time and money on a tool that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost even more of your valuable money and time.

Tip

Tip: Don’t Focus On People When Assigning Responsibilities, Focus On Processes

Create a document (e.g. flowchart) outlining 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 site built.

How To Plan A Web Site: A Practical Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Tip

Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. See other articles on this site or contact us if you need information or assistance setting up your website or blog.

We also recommend that you consider subscribing to this site, as we will be posting lots of great content, resources and useful business tips on how to develop and implement your digital marketing strategy.

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

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.