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 site DevelopmentAre you thinking about taking your small business online?

Then this essential guide to website planning is for you.

Note: This section continues from the previous article where we provide important information on planning your new business website.

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

In Part One of this article, we covered the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Naming Your Website
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Your Keywords
  • Step 6 – Define Website Categories
  • Step 7 – Creating Your Content Strategy

Planning A Website For Your Small Business - A Comprehensive Guide For Business Owners

(Website Planning Process)

You’re almost there 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 types of content you will create for your website, and decide who is going to do what on your website.

Step 8 – Create Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule

You need to be publishing 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.

Your content publishing or blogging schedule

(Create 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 blog or content publishing schedule.

Info

Although this step may not seem to be directly connected to getting your web site built, by creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will manage all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services or resources your business will need to have in place as soon as your website has been created.

Practical Tip

Tips For New Business Website Owners:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Publishing fresh content to your website on a consistent basis is extremely important for building an online readership and improving your website’s search engine rankings and results.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business online with content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of creating and publishing content about your business as consistently as possible.

For example, start by making 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 write your posts. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each post.

Now, commit to turning this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring your activity and if required, fine-tune 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 are going to publish content to your website consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your content creation workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track your content production, or use a 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 template created with a spreadsheet

(Editorial & content production template created using spreadsheets)

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

  • Date: Type in the date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the 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 your content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Content 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, record the blog post category you will publish this item under.
  • Offer: What is this specific item of content designed to sell or promote? Specify your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your blog post headline, content item 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: Once you have published 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 to have all of the above columns. You can keep it simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with just these essential columns:

  • Date
  • Content Author
  • Format
  • Category.

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

WinCalendar - Calendar downloads

(WinCalendar – Calendar maker)

WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins

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

Editorial Calendar – Editorial Plugin For WordPress

Editorial Calendar - Editorial plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar – WordPress plugin)

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 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 right in the calendar and manage your entire content publishing schedule.

Editorial Calendar

(Editorial Calendar – Editorial plugin for WordPress. Screenshot source: plugin site)

For more details about this plugin, visit this site:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow - WordPress editorial plugin

(Edit Flow)

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

Some key features of this plugin include:

  • Calendar – A month-by-month look at your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Lets you define key workflow stages.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion between writers and editors in the admin through threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
  • Notifications – Receive timely updates on any content that you are following.
  • Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by department or function.

Edit Flow - WP plugin

(Edit Flow. Screenshot source: Edit Flow plugin site)

To learn more, visit the plugin site here:

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow)

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich WP plugin designed to automate any editorial workflow process using a simple and intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).

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

Oasis Workflow - WP Plugin

(Oasis Workflow – plugin for WordPress. Above screenshots taken from Oasis Workflow plugin 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 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 create multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, autosubmit, revise published content and more.

To learn more about this useful plugin, visit this website:

Step 9 – Establish What Kind Of Content You Will Publish

What type of content are you going to publish on your web site?

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

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

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

Knowing what type 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 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 will manage all aspects of your site?

(Who is going to be responsible and accountable for all areas of your site?)

The last step in the website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the 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 growing site or blog.

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 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 different parts of the project get completed on time and on budget?
  • Who will manage the scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
  • Who will promote and market your blog 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 will be responsible and accountable for all of the various areas of your website or blog?

Depending on how your business is structured, it could be just one person doing it all (i.e. 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 know the answer to 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 even more of your valuable money and time.

Tip

Tip: Focus On The Processes, Not People

Document or flowchart 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 are now ready to begin exploring options for getting your website built.

The Web Site Planning Process: A Useful Guide For 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 installation or development.

Please consider subscribing to this site, as we will be adding lots of great content, resources and practical tips on how to develop a successful online 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.