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.

Website DesignAre you thinking about getting a website or blog 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 provide essential information on planning your website or blog.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 3

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

  • Step 1 – Define Your Website Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Website Audience
  • Step 5 – Keywords
  • Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
  • Step 7 – Formulate Your Content Strategy

Planning A Web Site For Your Business - A Practical Guide For Business Owners

(Website Planning Process)

You’re almost there with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the site planning process, we are going to set up an initial blogging schedule, establish what types of content you are going to create for your website, and decide who is going to do what on your site.

Step 8 – Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule

You should publish content regularly in order 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.

Create your blogging or content publishing schedule

(Creating your content publishing or blogging 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 connected to building your website, by creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will be responsible for managing all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services or resources you will need once your site has been built.

Practical Tip

Content Scheduling Tips:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Publishing new content to your website or blog regularly is vitally important for building an online audience and for improving your site’s results in search engines.

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

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

Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring this activity and if you need, fine-tune your schedule accordingly.

Remind yourself when you sit down to 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 regularly (and you should!), it helps to keep your workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track your content creation, 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 …

Blog content template created with a spreadsheet

(Blog content planning template created using a spreadsheet)

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

  • Publish Date: Record the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when content has been published. Additionally, you can create another column to record 1) the date your content needs to be written by, and 2) the date your content is scheduled to publish on your site.
  • Writer: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
  • ContentType: What kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, record the blog post category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this particular item of content designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your blog post headline, article title, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content.
  • SEO: The main keyword your content is targeting.
  • 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: 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 things simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with just these essential columns:

  • Date
  • Content Writer
  • Post Type
  • Topic.

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

WinCalendar.com - Calendar maker

(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)

WordPress Editorial Management Plugins

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

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 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 inside the calendar and manage your entire blogging schedule.

Editorial Calendar - Plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar. Image source: plugin website)

To learn more about this useful content management plugin, visit this site:

Edit Flow – Plugin For WordPress

Edit Flow - Plugin for WordPress

(Edit Flow – WP editorial plugin)

Edit Flow lets you collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.

Key features of the plugin include:

  • Calendar – A month-by-month look at your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define the key stages to your workflow.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion with threaded commenting between editors and writers inside the admin section.
  • Editorial Metadata – Keep track of the important details.
  • Notifications – Receive updates on any content you’re following.
  • Story Budget – Lets you see your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Keep your users organized by function or department.

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow – Plugin for WordPress. Screenshot source: plugin site)

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

Oasis Workflow – WP Plugin

Oasis Workflow - Editorial Plugin For WordPress

(Oasis Workflow)

Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich WordPress 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 the Oasis Workflow plugin include the ability to configure your workflow using a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow - WP Plugin

(Oasis Workflow. Screenshots above taken from Oasis Workflow plugin site)

It 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 set up multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto-submit, revise published content and more.

To learn more, visit this website:

Step 9 – Decide What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish

What kind of content is going to be published on your website or blog?

(What type of content is going to be published on your website or blog?)

After setting up a content creation schedule, the next step is to establish what types of content you will create to post on your website.

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

Knowing what type of content you plan to create for your site is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you may need to purchase or budget for in order to create your 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 accountable for all areas of running your site?

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

The final step in your site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various aspects of your site 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 web site or blog.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
  • Who will do the 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 to ensure that there is no miscommunication?
  • Who will be responsible for the scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
  • Who will promote and market the 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 budgeting for the cost of building your website)?

Who will handle all of the various areas of your website or blog?

Depending on your resources, it may be just one person doing it all (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 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.

Useful Tip

Tip: Focus On The Processes, Not The People

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 steps of the site planning process. You are now ready to begin looking at options for getting your website built.

The Website Planning Process Explained: A Basic Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Useful Tip

Hopefully, this article has given you 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 articles we have published on this site or contact us.

We also recommend that you consider subscribing to this blog, as we plan to add loads more content, resources and cost-effective tips for small businesses on developing and implementing a successful web site marketing strategy.

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

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"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com

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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.