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 DesignAre you considering the idea of getting a website for your business?

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

Note: This is Part 3 of the article series where we take you through the process of planning a new website.

Understanding The Website Planning Process – Part 3

Up to this point, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:

  • Step 1 – Define Your Goals
  • Step 2 – Your Web Site Name
  • Step 3 – Manage Your Site’s Technology
  • Step 4 – Defining Your Target Audience
  • Step 5 – Identify Your Main Keywords
  • Step 6 – Defining Web Site Categories
  • Step 7 – Formulating Your Content Strategy

How To Save Money With These Web Site Planning Tips

(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 blogging schedule, establish what type of content you are going to create for your website or blog, and decide who is going to do what on your site.

Step 8 – Your Blogging Or Content Publishing 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.

Your content publishing or blogging schedule

(Your blogging or content publishing schedule)

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

Info

Although this step may not seem to be related to the process of building your web site, 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 type of additional services and resources your business will need once your website has been built.

Tip

Practical Tips For New Website Owners:

Tip #1 – Be Consistent

Adding fresh content on your website on a regular basis is essential for building an online readership and for helping your site’s results in search engines.

This is the step where you actively market and promote your business online through content, and so it’s essential that you create a habit of creating and publishing content about your business consistently.

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 blog posts or articles. Allow one to two hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each content item.

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

You can use simple spreadsheets to help schedule and track your content planning and production process, or use a plugin.

Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates

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

Editorial & content production template created using a spreadsheet

(Content planning master template created using spreadsheets)

Use this master spreadsheet to plan your content production and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can create the following columns:

  • Publish Date: Record the date you plan to publish your content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the content has been published. Additionally, you can create another 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.
  • Writer: Who will write or create your content. (See Step 10 below)
  • Content Type: Enter the format of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
  • Category: If you are publishing to your blog, record the blog post category you will publish this item under.
  • Offer: What is this specific item of content designed to help you sell or promote? Enter 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 your content.
  • 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: 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 it simple by creating a basic spreadsheet containing only these essential columns:

  • Date
  • Author
  • Type
  • Topic.

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

WinCalendar.com - Calendar maker

(WinCalendar – Calendar maker)

WordPress Content Management Plugins

If you want to work directly from WordPress, here are some useful content scheduling plugins you can install:

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar - Editorial plugin for WordPress

(Editorial Calendar)

Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that makes it possible to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your site.

The Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your scheduling and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar and manage your entire blog.

Editorial Calendar

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

To learn more about this useful plugin, go here:

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

(Edit Flow)

Edit Flow lets you collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress.

Some key features of the plugin include:

  • Calendar – A convenient month-by-month view of your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
  • Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion between writers and editors in the admin through threaded commenting.
  • Editorial Metadata – Keep track of the important details.
  • Notifications – Lets you receive updates on the content that you are following.
  • Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget details.
  • User Groups – Helps you organize your users by function or department.

Edit Flow - WP editorial plugin

(Edit Flow. Image source: Edit Flow website)

To learn more, visit this website:

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow - Plugin For WordPress

(Oasis Workflow)

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

Some of the many useful features of this plugin include the ability to configure your workflow using a visual workflow designer and simple process/task templates.

Oasis Workflow

(Oasis Workflow. Above screenshots taken from plugin site)

It also offers role-based routing definitions, 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 create multiple workflows, copy workflow and copy steps, auto-submit, revise published content and more.

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

Step 9 – Define What Kind Of Content To Publish

What kind of content will you publish on your web site?

(What kind of content will be published on your website?)

After setting up a content creation schedule, the next step is to decide what type of content you will create to publish on your website.

Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, case studies, PDF reports, etc.?

Knowing what type of content you plan to create for your website is useful because this helps you understand what other tools and resources you will need to purchase or budget for in order to create your content. This could include buying video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.

Step 10 – Assigning Roles And Responsibilities

Who will handle all aspects of running your website?

(Who is going to handle all areas of running your site?)

The last step in the business site planning process is to decide who will be responsible for managing the various areas of your site and content and assign these to the personnel you have available, or consider outsourcing.

There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a growing web 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 do the actual content creation work (e.g. content research, writing and reviewing, sourcing and outsourcing images 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 website or blog and update any outdated information?
  • 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 planning the cost of building your site)?

Who will be responsible for each of the aspects of your website or blog?

Depending on your resources, it could be just one person doing it all (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 on a tool that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost you valuable money and time.

Practical Tip

Tip: Focus On Your 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 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 website planning process and can now start exploring options for getting your new website built.

A Money-Saving Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners

(Source: Pixabay)

Tip

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the web site 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 installation or development.

Please consider subscribing to this site, as we will be posting lots of great content, resources and cost-effective tips for small businesses on developing and implementing a successful digital marketing strategy.

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

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"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org

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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.