Are you thinking about taking your business online?
Then this detailed guide to planning your website is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you through the process of planning your web presence.
- For Part 1, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 1
- For Part 2 of the article series, go here: The Website Planning Process – Part 2
- Planning Your Website – The First Steps – Part 3
- Step 8 – Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule
- Step 9 – Define What Kind Of Content You Will Publish
- Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities
Planning Your Website – The First Steps – Part 3
In Part One of this article, we covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Define Your Goals
- Step 2 – Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
- Step 4 – Define YourWebsite Target Audience
- Step 5 – Keyword Phrases
- Step 6 – Define Your Site Categories
- Step 7 – Your Content Strategy
(Website Planning Process)
You’re almost done with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the site planning process, we are going to set up an initial publishing schedule for your content, define what type of content you will create for your site, and decide who is going to do what on your site.
Step 8 – Your Blog Or Content Publishing Schedule
You want 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.
(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 blog or content publishing schedule.
Although this step may not seem to be connected with the process of building your website, as you go through the process of creating your content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will manage the content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services or resources you will need once your website has been built.
Content Schedule Tips:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Publishing fresh content to your site on a regular basis is essential for building an online readership and for helping your website’s search engine rankings and results.
This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business with content, and so it’s essential that you develop a habit of writing and publishing content about your business on a regular basis.
For example, make a commitment to publish a new post each week or fortnight to your website. Decide on a specific day of the week and the time of day that you will sit down to write your blog posts or articles. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each item of content.
Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Keep monitoring this commitment and if you need to, adjust your schedule 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 on your website on a regular basis (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 production, or use a plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …
(Content planning master template created with spreadsheets)
Use the master spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, in the spreadsheet, you can add the following columns:
- Publish Date: Type in the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the 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 or blog.
- Author: Who will write or create this content. (See Step 10 below)
- Format: What kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, specify the blog post category you will publish this item under.
- CTA: What is this particular item of content designed to sell or promote? Enter your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your blog post headline, content item title, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content here.
- SEO: The main keyword 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: 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 simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing only these essential columns:
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar for help planning your content on a monthly basis, just search online for “free calendar” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar.com – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Content Scheduling Plugins
If you want to work directly from WordPress, here are some useful content scheduling plugins you can install:
(Editorial Calendar – Editorial plugin for WordPress)
Editorial Calendar is a Free plugin for WordPress that allows you 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. Screenshot source: plugin site)
To learn more about this useful plugin, visit this site:
Edit Flow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.
Some key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A convenient month-by-month look at your content.
- Custom Statuses – Lets you define key workflow stages.
- Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion through threaded commenting between editors and writers in the admin.
- Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
- Notifications – Lets you receive updates on any 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. Image source: Edit Flow plugin website)
To learn more about this useful content management plugin, go here:
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress that allows you to automate your WordPress editorial workflow 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 a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow – WP editorial plugin. Image 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 much more.
For more details, visit this site:
Step 9 – Define What Kind Of Content You Will Publish
(What kind of content are you going to publish on your website?)
Once you have set up your schedule for creating content, the next step is to establish what kind of content you will create for posting on your website.
Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, product comparisons, multimedia presentations, etc.?
Knowing what types of content you intend to create for your website or blog is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you will probably need to purchase or budget for to create the content. This could include purchasing video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.
Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities
(Who is going to handle all areas of your website or blog?)
The final step in your website planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various aspects of your site and content and assign these to your human resources, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a successful business digital presence.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
- Who will do the actual content creation work (e.g. fact-checking, writing and proofing, 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 all the “fingers” talk to “the hand”?
- 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 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 monitoring the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your site)?
Who will be accountable for different aspects of your website?
Depending on the circumstances of your business, 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 ask 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.
Tip: Don’t Focus On People When Assigning Responsibilities, Focus On Processes
Create a flowchart showing 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 sections of the website planning process. You are now ready to start looking at options for getting your new site built.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the web site planning process and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. See other articles on this site or contact us if you need information or assistance setting up your website or blog.
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