Are you thinking about starting a website or blog for your business?
Then this detailed guide to website planning is for you.
Note: This is Part 3 of the article where we provide essential information about planning your web presence.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 1
- For Part 2 of the article series, go here: Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 2
- Planning Your Website – A Basic Guide – Part 3
- Step 8 – Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule
- Step 9 – Decide What Kind Of Content You Will Publish
- Step 10 – Assign Responsibilities
Planning Your Website – A Basic Guide – Part 3
So far, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Define Your Goals
- Step 2 – Your Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Web Technology
- Step 4 – Your Website’s Target Audience
- Step 5 – Your Keywords
- Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
- Step 7 – Your Content Strategy
(The 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 publishing schedule for your website or blog, define what types of content you will create for your website, and decide who will do what on your site.
Step 8 – Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule
You want to publish content regularly 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 blog or content publishing schedule)
Once 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 related to getting your website built, as you go through the process of creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create 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.
Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Publish Consistently
Adding new content to your website regularly is very important for building an online audience and improving your website’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 crucial that you create a habit of creating and publishing content about your business regularly.
Make a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website or blog. Decide on a specific day of the week and time that you will sit down to create your posts. Allow one to two hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each item of content.
Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring this activity and if you need, finetune your content scheduling 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: Content Scheduling Tools
If you plan to publish content to your website 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 process, or use a WordPress plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …
(Content planning master template created using spreadsheets)
Use this spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can add the following columns:
- Date: The date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when 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.
- Author: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
- Format: Enter the type of content you will be creating for this item. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, record the category you will publish this item under.
- CTA: What is this specific content item designed to help you sell or promote? Specify your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your blog post or article headline, article title, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content in this column.
- Kwd: The main keyword phrase 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: 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 with just these essential columns:
- Publish Date
- Content Writer
If you want to create an Editorial Calendar to help plan your content on a monthly basis, you can search online for “free editorial calendar” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar – Calendar maker)
WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins
If you want to work directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins for managing your content scheduling you can use:
(Editorial Calendar – WP editorial plugin)
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 blog 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 blog.
(Editorial Calendar – WordPress editorial plugin. Image source: Editorial Calendar website)
For more details about this plugin, check out the plugin’s web page here: Editorial Calendar
Edit Flow is a modular editorial workflow plugin that empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A convenient month-by-month look at 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 – View your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups – Keep your users organized by function or department.
(Edit Flow – WP plugin. Image source: Edit Flow plugin website)
For more details, visit this website: Edit Flow – WordPress Editorial
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin that lets you automate any editorial workflow process using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
Some of the many useful features of this plugin include the ability to configure your workflow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow – WP editorial plugin. Images above taken from Oasis Workflow website)
It also lets you assign tasks dynamically using 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.
The plugin 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.
For more details about this plugin, go here: Oasis Workflow – Plugin For WordPress
Step 9 – Decide What Kind Of Content You Will Publish
(What kind of content is going to be published on your site?)
Once you have set up your content creation schedule, the next step is to decide what kind of content you will create for publishing on your site.
Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, product reviews, downloadable PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what kind of content you plan to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies 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 – Assign Responsibilities
(Who is going to be accountable for all areas of running your site?)
The final step in the business site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas of your website and content and assign these to your human resources, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a professional digital presence.
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 proofing, 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 actual scheduling and publishing of content on your site and update any outdated information?
- 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 site built)?
Who is going to be responsible and accountable for all of the different areas of your website?
Depending on the circumstances of your business, it may be just one person doing it all (e.g. you), or a few people, or perhaps even some outsourced help.
If you don’t know the answer to the above questions before getting your website built, you could end up investing 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: Focus On The Processes, Not The People
Create a flowchart document showing 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 steps of the website planning process and can now start looking at options for getting your website built.
Hopefully, this information has given you a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. See other articles on this site or contact us for information or assistance setting up your website or blog.
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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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