Are you considering the idea of starting a website for your business?
Then this article on website planning is for you.
Note: This is Part 3 of the article series where we take you step-by-step through the process of planning your business website.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 1
- For Part 2 of the article series, go here: A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
How To Plan Your Website – Understanding The Process – Part 2
So far, we have looked at the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Website Goals
- Step 2 – Your Website Name
- Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
- Step 4 – Your Target Audience
- Step 5 – Identify Your Key Phrases
- Step 6 – Defining Website Categories
- Step 7 – Formulate Your Content Strategy
You’re almost there with your initial website planning work. In this phase of the planning process, we are going to set up an initial publishing schedule for your website, establish what type of content you are going to create for your website, and decide who will do what on your site.
Step 8 – Create Your Content Publishing Or Blogging Schedule
You need to 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 Or Blog Publishing 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 website building process, by creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will manage your content production and publishing areas (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services or resources your business will need to have in place once your website has been created.
Tips For Business Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Adding quality content on your site on a regular basis is extremely important for building an online audience and increasing your website’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 crucial that you develop a habit of publishing content on your site on a regular basis.
Make 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 commitment and if required, finetune your schedule 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: Use Content Scheduling Tools
If you plan to publish content on your site on a regular basis (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 creation process, or use a plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using any spreadsheet program …
Editorial Content Master Template Created Using A Spreadsheet
Use this master spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can create the following columns:
- Publish 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 add 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.
- Writer: Who will write or create your content. (See Step 10 below)
- Type: Enter the kind of content you will be creating for this item. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing to your blog, specify the category you will publish this item under.
- Offer: What is this particular content item designed to help you sell or promote? Specify your offer or call-to-action here.
- Headline: Enter your article or blog post headline, title of your content item, etc.
- Description: Enter a brief description or purpose of the content.
- Kwd: The main keyword phrase targeted by your content.
- 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: 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 with just these essential columns:
- Content Author
If you would like to create an Editorial Calendar to help you plan new content every month, then search online for “free editorial calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
WinCalendar – Calendar Maker
WordPress Content Management Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins you can use:
Editorial Calendar is a Free WordPress plugin that allows you to see all your posts and drag and drop them to manage your site.
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 blog.
(Screenshot source: plugin site)
To learn more visit this site: Editorial Calendar
Edit Flow is a modular editorial workflow plugin that allows you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A month-by-month look at your content.
- Custom Statuses – Define the key stages to your workflow.
- Editorial Comments – Allows private discussion via threaded commenting between editors and writers inside the admin section.
- Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
- Notifications – Receive updates on the content that you are following.
- Story Budget – Lets you view your upcoming content budget details.
- User Groups – Keep your users organized by function or department.
(Image source: Edit Flow site)
To learn more check out the plugin’s web page here: Edit Flow
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 this plugin include the ability to configure your work flow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.
(Screenshot source: Oasis Workflow plugin site)
It also 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 much more.
For more information visit this website: Oasis Workflow
Step 9 – Establish What Kind Of Content To Publish
What Type Of Content Will You Publish On Your Web Site?
Once you have set up your content creation schedule, the next step is to define what kinds of content you will create for posting on your website.
Do you plan to publish articles, videos, audios, slideshows, product comparisons, multimedia presentations, etc.?
Knowing what type of content you plan to create for your website or blog 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 Responsibilities
Who Will Be Accountable For All Aspects Of Your Site?
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 the resources you have available, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a successful business site or blog.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
- Who will create the actual content (e.g. content research, writing and editing, sourcing and outsourcing graphic content 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 site and update any outdated content?
- Who will promote and market your 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 monitoring the budget for all of the above areas (including budgeting for the cost of building your site)?
Who is going to be responsible and accountable for all aspects of your website?
Depending on the resources you currently have available, it could be just one person doing everything (e.g. you), or a few people, or 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 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 When Assigning Responsibilities
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 site planning processand are now ready to begin exploring options for getting your new website built.
Hopefully this post has given you a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. For information or help with any aspects of web development, see the other articles we’ve published on this site or contact us.
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