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 considering the idea of taking your small business online?

Then this detailed guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article series where we take you through the process of planning your website.

The Website Planning Process – Part 3

So far, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Defining Your Site Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining Your Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Identify Your Main Keyword Phrases
  • Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
  • Step 7 – Formulating Your Content Strategy

How To Save Money Building A New Web Site For Your Business With This Web Site Planning Process

(Website Planning Process)

You’re almost done with the 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 are going to create for your site, and decide who is going to do what on your website.

Step 8 – Your Content Or Blog Publishing Schedule

You want to publish content regularly 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.

Your content publishing or blogging schedule

(Your blogging or content publishing schedule)

After creating an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial content or blog publishing schedule.

Info

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

Tip

Content Scheduling Tips:

Tip #1 – Publish Consistently

Adding fresh content to your website regularly is important for building an online audience and for increasing your site’s search engine rankings and results.

This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business online using content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of publishing content on your website or blog as consistently as possible.

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

Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring this commitment and if you need, fine tune your content 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 to your site consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your content creation workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track the content creation process, or use a WordPress plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

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

Content planning template created using a spreadsheet

(Editorial & content production template created using spreadsheets)

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

  • Date: The date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when content has been published. You can also create 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.
  • Writer: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
  • ContentType: What type of content you will be creating for this item. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, enter the category you will publish this item under.
  • Offer: What is this specific item of content designed to sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your article headline, content item title, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content.
  • Kwd: The main keyword phrase 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 it really simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing just these essential columns:

  • Date
  • Author
  • Type
  • Topic.

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

WinCalendar.com - Calendar downloads

(WinCalendar.com – Calendar downloads)

WordPress Content Scheduling Plugins

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

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar - WP editorial plugin

(Editorial Calendar)

Editorial Calendar is a Free plugin for WordPress that makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your site.

The Editorial Calendar gives you 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 - Plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar. Above screenshot taken from Editorial Calendar site)

For more information, visit the plugin page here:

Edit Flow – WordPress Editorial

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow)

Edit Flow is a modular plugin that empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.

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 between writers and editors in the admin section through threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
  • Notifications – Receive updates on the content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget.
  • User Groups – Organize your users by function or department.

Edit Flow - WP editorial plugin

(Edit Flow. Image source: Edit Flow site)

For more information about this useful content management plugin, check out the plugin’s website here:

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow - WP Editorial Plugin

(Oasis Workflow – WP plugin)

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 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. Image source: plugin site)

This plugin also offers role-based routing definitions, 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.

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

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

Step 9 – Decide What Kind Of Content You Will Publish

What kind of content will you publish on your web site?

(What kind of content will you publish on your site?)

Once you have set up a content creation schedule, the next step is to decide what types of content you will create for publishing on your site.

Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, product comparisons, PDF reports, etc.?

Knowing what type of content you intend to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you may need to purchase or budget for in order 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 is going to be responsible and accountable for all aspects of running your website or blog?

(Who will manage all areas of your site?)

The final step in the business site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various aspects of your site and content and assign these to the personnel you have available, or consider outsourcing.

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

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. content research, 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?
  • 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 managing the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your website)?

Who is going to manage all aspects of your website?

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, or 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 on a tool that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost even more of your valuable money and time.

Practical 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 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 exploring options for getting your site built.

The Website Planning Process Explained: A Comprehensive Primer For Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Useful Tip

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. If you need information or help with website installation or development, see the other posts we’ve published on this site or contact us.

Please consider subscribing to this blog, as we plan to add lots more content, resources and practical business tips on how to develop and implement your digital marketing strategy.

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

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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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.