Then this basic guide to website planning is for you.
Note: This section continues from the previous article where we take you through the process of planning a web presence.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: Planning Your Website – The First Steps – Part 1
- For Part 2, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 3
In Part One of this article, we looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Website Goals
- Step 2 – Your Site Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Web Technology
- Step 4 – Defining YourSite’s Audience
- Step 5 – Your Keywords
- Step 6 – Defining Web Site Categories
- Step 7 – Plan Your Content Strategy
(The Website Planning Process)
You’re almost there with the initial website planning work. In this phase of the site planning process, we are going to set up an initial content publishing schedule, decide what kinds of content you will create for your website, and decide who is going to do what on your site.
Step 8 – Create Your Content Or Blog 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 content publishing or blogging schedule)
Once you have created an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial content or blog publishing schedule.
Although this step may not seem to be connected to the process of building your website, as you go through the process of creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you need 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 as soon as your website has been built.
Useful Tips For New Business Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Publish Consistently
Publishing quality content to your site regularly is important for building an online readership and for increasing your site’s results in search engines.
This is the step where you are actively marketing and promoting your business online through content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of publishing content on your site as consistently as possible.
Start by making a commitment to add a new post each week or fortnight to your website or blog. Decide on a specific day of the week and the time of day that you will sit down to write your articles. 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 to, fine tune your content publishing 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 are going to publish content to your website or blog consistently (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheet-based Editorial Templates to help schedule and track the content planning and production 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 a spreadsheet program …
(Blog content template created using spreadsheets)
Use this spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, you can add the following columns to the spreadsheet:
- Date: Record the date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when your content has been published. Additionally, you can 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: What type of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing to your blog, enter the blog post category you will publish this item under.
- Offer: What is this specific content item designed to sell or promote? Record your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your article headline, content item title, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of your content.
- SEO: 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 simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing just these essential columns:
- Publish Date
- Content Author
- Content Type
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar for help planning your monthly content, then search online for “free editorial calendar” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
(WinCalendar.com – Calendar downloads)
WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins
If you want to work directly from WordPress, there are some useful content scheduling plugins you can use:
(Editorial Calendar – 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 blog.
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: Editorial Calendar website)
For more information, visit this site:
Edit Flow is a modular plugin that empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.
Some key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A month-by-month view of your content.
- Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
- Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion via threaded commenting between editors and writers in the admin.
- Editorial Metadata – Keep track of the important details.
- Notifications – Receive updates on any content that you are following.
- Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups – Helps you organize your users by function or department.
(Edit Flow – Editorial plugin for WordPress. Image source: plugin site)
For more details, visit this website:
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin designed to automate your WordPress editorial workflow using a simple, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
Some of the many features of Oasis Workflow include the ability to configure your work flow using a visual work flow designer and simple process/task templates.
(Oasis Workflow. Images above taken from plugin website)
This plugin 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 much more.
To learn more, go here:
Step 9 – Define What Kind Of Content 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 type of content you will create to publish on your website or blog.
Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, case studies, multimedia presentations, etc.?
Knowing what kinds of content you intend to create for your website is useful because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you will need to purchase or budget for to create your content. This could include purchasing video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.
Step 10 – Assigning Responsibilities
(Who will be accountable for all areas of running your site?)
The final step in your web site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for various areas of your website and content and assign these to your in-house resources, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities associated with running a professional digital presence.
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 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?
- Who will manage the actual scheduling and publishing of content on your posts and pages and update any outdated content?
- 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 planning the cost of building your website)?
Who will be responsible for managing all areas of your website or blog?
Depending on the resources you have available, 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 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 you valuable money and time.
Tip: Focus On Processes, Not People When Assigning Responsibilities
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 sections of the site planning process. You are now ready to start looking at options for getting your new website 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 help with any of these areas.
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