Are you thinking about getting a website or blog for your business?
Then this detailed guide to website planning is for you.
Note: This is Part 3 of the article where we take you through the process of planning a new business website.
- For Part 1, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 1
- For Part 2, go here: Planning Your Website – The First Steps – Part 2
- How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 3
- Step 8 – Create Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule
- Step 9 – Decide 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
Up to this point, we have covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Your Goals
- Step 2 – Website Name
- Step 3 – Manage Your Web Technology
- Step 4 – Your Audience
- Step 5 – Identify Your Keyword Phrases
- Step 6 – Define Website Categories
- Step 7 – Formulating 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 kinds of content you will create for your site, and decide who is going to do what on your site.
Step 8 – Create Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule
You should publish 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)
After creating an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial blog or content publishing schedule.
Although this step may not seem to be directly connected with the web site building process, by creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you need and who will be responsible for managing your content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what kind of additional services and resources your business will need once your site has been built.
Practical Tips For New Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Adding fresh content on your website on a consistent basis is important for building an online audience and for improving your site’s search engine rankings and results.
This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business online using content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of creating and publishing content about your business as consistently as possible.
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 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. Keep monitoring this activity and if required, finetune your content scheduling 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 consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track the content planning, or use a WordPress plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …
(Content planning template created using a spreadsheet)
Use the master spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, you can add the following columns to the spreadsheet:
- Publish Date: The date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the content has been published. You can also create a second 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 or blog.
- Author: Who will write or create this content. (See Step 10 below)
- ContentType: What format of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing to your blog, record the category you will publish this item under.
- CTA: What is this particular content item designed to help you sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your blog post or article headline, the title of your content item, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content.
- Kwd: The main keyword phrase 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: 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 things really simple by creating a basic spreadsheet with only these essential columns:
- Publish Date
- Post Type
If you want to create an Editorial Calendar for help planning your monthly content, then search online for “free calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Content Management Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, here are some useful plugins for managing your content scheduling you can use:
(Editorial Calendar – WordPress plugin)
Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that lets you see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your blog.
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 inside the calendar and manage your entire content publishing schedule.
(Editorial Calendar – Editorial plugin for WordPress. Screenshot source: Editorial Calendar website)
To learn more about this plugin, visit this site:
(Edit Flow – Plugin for WordPress)
Edit Flow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Some key features of this plugin include:
- Calendar – A month-by-month view of your content.
- Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
- Editorial Comments – Threaded commenting inside the admin for private discussion between writers and editors.
- Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
- Notifications – Lets you receive timely updates on the content you’re following.
- Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups – Keep your users organized by department or function.
(Edit Flow. Screenshot source: plugin website)
For more details, go here:
(Oasis Workflow – Editorial plugin for WordPress)
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress designed to automate any editorial workflow process using a simple, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
Some of the many useful features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your workflow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow – WordPress plugin. Screenshot source: Oasis Workflow site)
It also lets you assign tasks dynamically using 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, autosubmit, revise published content and more.
To learn more about this plugin, go here:
Step 9 – Decide What Type Of Content You Are Going To Publish
(What type of content are you going to publish on your web site?)
Once you have set up a schedule for creating content, the next step is to define what kind of content you are going to create for publishing on your site.
Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, case studies, downloadable PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what kinds of content you plan to create for your website is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you may need to purchase or budget for to create the 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 aspects of your website?)
The final step in your site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various aspects of your website and content and assign these to the resources you have available, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a professional 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. fact-checking, writing and editing, 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 to ensure that everything will work according to plan?
- Who will be responsible for the actual scheduling and publishing of content on your site and update any outdated content?
- Who will promote and market the 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 managing the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of getting your website built)?
Who will be responsible for managing each of the areas of your website?
Depending on your business, it may be just one person doing everything (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 ask 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 you valuable money and time.
Tip: Focus On Processes, Not People
Create a document (e.g. flowchart) outlining 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. You can now begin exploring options for getting your 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 articles on this site or contact us if you need information or assistance with website development.
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