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.

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Web DevelopmentAre you considering the idea of taking your small business online?

Then this guide to planning your website is for you.

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

Planning Your Website – What You Need To Know First – Part 3

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

  • Step 1 – Goals
  • Step 2 – Name Your Site
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Site’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Keywords
  • Step 6 – Define Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Define Your Content Strategy

How To Save Money With These Website Planning Tips

(The 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 blogging schedule, decide what type of content you will create for your website, and decide who will do what on your website.

Step 8 – Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule

You should 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 blogging or content publishing schedule

(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 content or blog publishing schedule.

Information

Although this step may not seem to be related to getting your website built, by 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 kind of additional services and resources your business will need as soon as your site has been built.

Tip

Practical Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Adding quality content to your site on a consistent basis is extremely important for building an online audience and for helping your website’s results in search engines.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business using content, and so it’s crucial that you create a habit of writing and publishing content about your business on a regular basis.

For example, start by making a commitment to add a new post each week or fortnight to your site. Decide on a specific weekday and the time of day that you will sit down to write your posts. 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 this activity and if you need, finetune your 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: Use Content Scheduling Tools

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

You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help you schedule and track the content publishing, 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 any spreadsheet program …

Editorial content master template created using a spreadsheet

(Editorial & content production template created using a spreadsheet)

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

  • Date: Type in the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the content has been published. Additionally, you can 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 this content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Format: What format of content you will be creating for this item. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing to your blog, specify the category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this particular content item designed to help you sell or promote? Specify your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your article or blog post headline, title of your article, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content here.
  • 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: Add a shortened version of the content’s destination URL for promoting on Twitter, or tracking your campaigns.

You don’t need to have all of the above columns. You can keep it really simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing only these essential columns:

  • Publish Date
  • Writer
  • Content Type
  • Topic.

If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar to help you plan new content every month, just search online for “free editorial calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com

WinCalendar.com - Calendar downloads

(WinCalendar.com – Calendar maker)

WordPress Content Scheduling Plugins

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

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar

(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 blog.

The Editorial Calendar provides content editors with an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts inside the calendar and manage your entire blog.

Editorial Calendar

(Editorial Calendar. Screenshot source: Editorial Calendar plugin site)

For more details about this plugin, visit this website:

Edit Flow – Plugin For WordPress

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow – WordPress plugin)

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

Some key features of this plugin include:

  • Calendar – A month-by-month view of your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define the key stages to your workflow.
  • Editorial Comments – Threaded commenting inside the admin for private discussion between editors and writers.
  • Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
  • Notifications – Receive timely updates on any content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by department or function.

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow – Editorial plugin for WordPress. Above screenshots taken from plugin site)

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

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow - WP Editorial Plugin

(Oasis Workflow)

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 work flow designer and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin. Image 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 create multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto-submit, revise published content and much more.

For more details about this useful plugin, visit this site:

Step 9 – Establish What Kind Of Content You Are Going To Publish

What type of content is going to be published on your site?

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

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

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

Knowing what types of content you intend to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you may 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 be responsible for all aspects of your site?

(Who will manage all aspects of running your website?)

The final step in your website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas 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 successful business digital presence.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will do the actual content creation work (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?
  • Who will be responsible for the scheduling and publishing of content on your site and update any outdated information?
  • 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 planning the cost of building your website)?

Who will manage different areas of your website or blog?

Depending on the size 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 even more of your valuable money and time.

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 steps of the site planning process. You can now begin exploring options for getting your site built.

How To Plan Your Business Web Site - A Comprehensive Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Useful Tip

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you expand your business online. See other articles on this site or contact us if you need information or help with any of these areas.

Please consider subscribing to our blog, as we will be posting loads of great content, resources and useful tips for small businesses on how to develop your web site 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.