Are you considering the idea of starting a website or blog for your business?
Then this essential guide to planning your website is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article series where we provide important information on planning your new website.
- For Part 1, go here: How To Plan Your Website – What To Do And What Not To Do – Part 1
- For Part 2, go here: How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 2
- How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 3
- Step 8 – Create Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule
- Step 9 – Define What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish
- Step 10 – Assign Roles And Responsibilities
How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 3
So far, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Goals
- Step 2 – Your Website Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Technology
- Step 4 – Your Website Target Audience
- Step 5 – Your Key Phrases
- Step 6 – Defining Web Site Categories
- Step 7 – Create Your Content Strategy
(Website Planning Process)
You’re almost there with the initial website planning work. In this phase of the planning process, we are going to set up an initial publishing schedule for your website or blog, 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 – Create Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule
You should 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.
(Create 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 publishing or blogging schedule.
Although this step may not seem to be directly connected to the process of getting your website or blog built, by creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need and who will manage all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services or resources you will need to have in place immediately after your site has been built.
Content Scheduling Tips:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Publishing quality content to your website consistently is extremely important for building an online audience and increasing your website’s results in search engines.
This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting 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 weekday 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 article or blog post.
Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Monitor this activity and if you need, finetune your content scheduling accordingly.
Remind yourself when you sit down to write your content that you are investing in your business.
Tip #2: Use Content Scheduling Tools
If you are going to publish content regularly (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your content creation workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheets to help you schedule and track your content planning, or use a WordPress plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …
(Blog content planning template created using a spreadsheet)
Use this master spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, in the spreadsheet, you can create the following columns:
- Date: Enter the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when your content has been published. You can also 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.
- Author: Who will write or create the content. (See Step 10 below)
- ContentType: Enter the 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.
- Offer: What is this specific content item designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your blog post headline, title of your content item, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content in this column.
- Kwd: The main keyword phrase 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: 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 all of the above columns. You can keep it really simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with only these essential columns:
- Content Format
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar to help plan new monthly content, you can search online for “free monthly calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Editorial Management Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins for managing your content scheduling you can install:
Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that lets you see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your site.
The Editorial Calendar provides content editors with an overview of your scheduling 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. Screenshot source: Editorial Calendar website)
For more details about this useful content management plugin, check out the plugin’s website here:
(Edit Flow – Editorial plugin for WordPress)
Edit Flow allows you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.
Key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A convenient month-by-month look at 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 – Helps you keep track of important details.
- Notifications – Lets you receive timely updates on the content that you are following.
- Story Budget – Lets you view your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups – Helps you organize your users by department or function.
(Edit Flow. Image source: Edit Flow plugin website)
To learn more, check out the plugin’s web page here:
(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin)
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress 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 work flow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow. Screenshot source: Oasis Workflow plugin site)
This plugin also offers role-based routing definitions, 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 set up multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, autosubmit, revise published content and much more.
For more details about this useful content management plugin, visit this website:
Step 9 – Define What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish
(What kind of content will be published on your site?)
After setting up a content creation schedule, the next step is to define what types of content you will create for publishing on your website or blog.
Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, case studies, PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what kinds of content you plan to create for your site is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you will probably need to purchase or budget for to create your content. This could include buying video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.
Step 10 – Assign Roles And Responsibilities
(Who will be responsible for all areas of running your site?)
The final step in the site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas of your site and content and assign these to your in-house resources, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities associated with running a busy 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 actual content (e.g. fact-checking, writing and reviewing, sourcing and creating 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?
- 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 building your site)?
Who is going to manage all of the various aspects of your website or blog?
Depending on your situation, 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 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 The Processes, Not The 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 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 sections of the website planning process. You are now ready to start looking at options for getting your website built.
Hopefully, this information 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 if you need information or assistance with any of these areas.
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