Are you considering the idea of getting a web site built for your business?
Then this guide to website planning is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article series where we provide essential information about planning a web presence.
- For Part 1 of the article series, go here: Planning Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 1
- For Part 2, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 2
- Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 3
- Step 8 – Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule
- Step 9 – Decide What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish
- Step 10 – Assigning Responsibilities
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 – Website Goals
- Step 2 – Your Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
- Step 4 – Your Audience
- Step 5 – Key Phrases
- Step 6 – Define Web Site Categories
- Step 7 – Formulate Your Content Strategy
(Website Planning Process)
You’re almost there with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the planning process, we are going to set up an initial blogging schedule, define what kinds of content you will create for your site, and decide who is going to do what on your site.
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.
(Create your blog or content publishing schedule)
Now that 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 building your web site, 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 your business will need to have in place as soon as your website has been built.
Content Schedule Tips:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Publishing quality content to your website or blog consistently is very 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 with content, and so it’s crucial that you create a habit of publishing content on your site consistently.
For example, make a commitment to add a new post each week or fortnight to your website. Decide on a specific weekday 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 turning this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring your commitment and if required, adjust your content publishing schedule accordingly.
Remind yourself when you sit down to plan or write your content that you are investing in your business.
Tip #2: Content Scheduling Tools
If you plan to publish content to your website or blog on a regular basis (and you should!), it helps to keep your workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track your content planning and production process, or use a plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …
(Blog content planning template created with spreadsheets)
Use the spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can create the following columns:
- Publish Date: The date you plan to publish the 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 your content. (See Step 10 below)
- PostType: Record the format of content you will be creating for this topic. (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 specific item of content designed to sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your article headline, article title, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content.
- Kwd: The main keyword 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: 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 Author
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar to help you plan new content every month, just search online for “free monthly calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar.com – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins you can install:
Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin 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 blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right inside the calendar and manage your entire blog.
(Editorial Calendar – WordPress editorial plugin. Screenshot source: plugin website)
To learn more about this useful content management plugin, visit the plugin page here: Editorial Calendar – WordPress Editorial
(Edit Flow – WP plugin)
Edit Flow allows you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Some 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 area with threaded commenting.
- Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
- Notifications – Receive updates on the 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 – Plugin for WordPress. Image source: plugin website)
For more information, visit this site: Edit Flow
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 this plugin include the ability to configure your workflow using a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin. Above screenshots taken from 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, auto submit, revise published content and more.
To learn more about this useful content management plugin, go here: Oasis Workflow – Plugin For WordPress
Step 9 – Decide What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish
(What type of content is going to be published on your site?)
After setting up a content creation schedule, the next step is to establish what type of content you are going to create to post on your website.
Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, case studies, PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what kinds of content you plan to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other tools 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 Responsibilities
(Who will handle all aspects of your website or blog?)
The last step in the web site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas of your website and content and assign these to the personnel you have available, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a growing 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. researching, writing and reviewing, sourcing and outsourcing graphics 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 project deadlines get met on time?
- Who will be responsible for the actual scheduling and publishing of content on your website or blog and update any outdated information?
- Who will promote and market the 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 budgeting for the cost of building your site)?
Who is going to be accountable for all aspects of your website?
Depending on the resources you have available, it could 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 know the answer to the above questions before getting your website built, you could end up investing 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.
Tip: Focus On 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 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 exploring options for getting your new site built.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. See other posts on this site or contact us for information or assistance setting up your website or blog.
We also recommend that you consider subscribing to our blog, as we will be posting loads of great content, resources and useful business tips on developing and implementing your web site marketing strategy.
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