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.

Web site DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website or blog built for your small business?

Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.

Note: This is Part 3 of the article where we provide important information related to planning a web presence.

How To Plan Your Website – What To Do And What Not To Do – Part 3

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

  • Step 1 – Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Website Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Website’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Your Audience
  • Step 5 – Keywords
  • Step 6 – Defining Your Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Formulate Your Content Strategy

How To Plan A Web Site For Your Small Business - A Money-Saving Blueprint For Non-Technical Business Owners

(The 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 content publishing schedule, establish what kind of content you are going to create for your site, and decide who is going to do what on your website.

Step 8 – Create Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule

You need to be publishing content regularly in order 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

(Create your content or blog publishing schedule)

After creating an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial blogging or content publishing schedule.

Important Information

Although this step may not seem to be directly related to building your website, by creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will manage your content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services or resources you will need once your website has been created.

Practical Tip

Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1 – Publish Consistently

Adding quality content on your website on a regular basis is extremely important for building an online readership and helping your site’s search engine rankings and results.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business using content, and so it’s essential that you develop a habit of creating and publishing content about your business regularly.

Start by making a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website or blog. Decide on a specific weekday and the time of day that you will sit down to write your post. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each article or blog post.

Now, commit to turning this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring this activity and if required, readjust your content 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 plan to publish content on your site regularly (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your content creation workflow organized.

You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track your content planning process, or use a plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

You can easily create a simple editorial content master template to help you schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …

Blog content template created using spreadsheets

(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 add the following columns:

  • Date: Type in the date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when content has been published. You can also 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)
  • Content Type: What kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, enter the category you will publish this item under.
  • CTA: What is this specific content item designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
  • Headline: Enter your article or blog post headline, the title of your article, etc.
  • Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content here.
  • SEO: 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 to have all of the above columns. You can keep things really simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with only these essential columns:

  • Publish Date
  • Content Author
  • Type
  • Topic.

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

WinCalendar - Calendar downloads

(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)

WordPress Editorial Management Plugins

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

Editorial Calendar – Plugin For WordPress

Editorial Calendar - Editorial plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar)

Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin 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 inside the calendar and manage your entire content publishing schedule.

Editorial Calendar

(Editorial Calendar – WP editorial plugin. Image source: Editorial Calendar site)

To learn more about this useful content management plugin, go here:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow)

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

Key features of this plugin include:

  • Calendar – A convenient 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 through threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
  • Notifications – Lets you receive updates on the content that you are following.
  • Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Organize your users by department or function.

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow. Image source: Edit Flow plugin website)

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

Oasis Workflow – Editorial Plugin For WordPress

Oasis Workflow - WordPress Plugin

(Oasis Workflow – WordPress editorial plugin)

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

Some of the features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your work flow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow - WordPress Editorial Plugin

(Oasis Workflow – plugin for WordPress. Screenshot source: plugin site)

This plugin 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.

The plugin 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.

For more information, visit the plugin page here:

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

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

(What type of content will you publish on your website or blog?)

Once you have set up a content creation schedule, the next step is to define what type of content you will create for posting on your website or blog.

Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, case studies, multimedia presentations, 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?

(Who will be accountable for all areas of your website or blog?)

The final step in the web site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various aspects of your site and content and assign these to the resources you have available, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities associated with running a busy site or blog.

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 rewriting, 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 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 budgeting for the cost of getting your website built)?

Who will be responsible for each of the areas of your website?

Depending on the resources you currently have available, it could be just one person doing everything (i.e. 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.

Useful Tip

Tip: Focus On Processes, Not People When Assigning Responsibilities

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

A Money-Saving Guide To Website Planning 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 get better results online. For information or assistance 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 lots of great content, resources and practical tips on developing a successful web site marketing strategy.

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

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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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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.