Are you thinking about getting a website or blog built for your business?
Then this detailed guide on how to plan your business web site is for you.
Note: This is Part 3 of the article series where we provide important information on planning your new web presence.
- For Part 1 of the article, go here: The Website Planning Process: A Comprehensive Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners
- For Part 2 of the article series, go here: Use This Website Planning Process And Build A Better Website – Part 2
A Basic Guide To Website Planning – Part 2
In Part One of this article, we covered the following areas of the website planning process:
- Step 1 – Defining Your Website Goals
- Step 2 – Naming Your Website
- Step 3 – Managing Your Website’s Technology
- Step 4 – Defining Your 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 site planning process, we are going to set up an initial publishing schedule for your website, decide what types of content you are going to create for your website or blog, and decide who is going to do what on your website.
Step 8 – Creating Your Blogging Or Content Publishing Schedule
You need to publish 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
After creating an initial list of content ideas, the next step is to set up an initial content publishing or blogging schedule.
Although this step may not seem to related directly with building your website, as you go through the process of creating a content publishing schedule and then thinking about what types of content you will need to create and who will manage all of this (see Steps 9 and 10 below) will help you understand what type of additional services and resources you will need to have in place once your site has been built.
Useful Tips For New Business Website Owners:
Tip #1 – Be Consistent
Publishing fresh content to your website or blog on a consistent basis is important for building an online audience and for improving your website’s results in search engines.
This is the step where you actively market and promote your business with content, and so it’s crucial that you create a habit of publishing content on your site consistently.
For example, 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 time that you will sit down to create your posts. Allow 1-2 hours to create and publish (or schedule for publishing) each post.
Now, commit to making this into a regular habit. Monitor your commitment and if you need to, readjust 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 are going to publish content to your website or blog on a regular basis (and you should!), having content scheduling tools can help keep your workflow organized.
You can use simple spreadsheets to help you schedule and track the content content production, or use a plugin.
Spreadsheet-Based Editorial Templates
You can keep things simple and schedule your content creation using a spreadsheet program …
Editorial & Content Production Template Created With Spreadsheet
Use this spreadsheet to plan your content creation and publishing schedule. For example, in your spreadsheet, you can add the following columns:
- Date: The date you plan to publish the content. Tip: You can use color-coding to indicate when the content has been published. Additionally, you can create 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.
- Author: Who will write or create your content. (See Step 10 below)
- Content Type: Enter the kind of content you will be creating for this topic. (See Step 9 below)
- Category: If you are publishing content to your blog, enter the blog post category you will publish this item under.
- Offer: What is this specific 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, 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: 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 to have 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 would like to create an Editorial Calendar for help planning your monthly content, just search online for “free editorial calendar template” or download a free calendar template from WinCalendar.com …
WinCalendar – Calendar Maker
WordPress Editorial Scheduling Plugins
If you want to manage your content scheduling directly from WordPress, there are some useful plugins you can install:
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 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 content publishing schedule.
(Image source: Editorial Calendar plugin website)
To learn more visit this website: Editorial Calendar – Plugin For WordPress
Edit Flow is a modular plugin that empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team right inside WordPress.
Some key features of the plugin include:
- Calendar – A convenient month-by-month look at your content.
- Custom Statuses – Define key workflow stages.
- Editorial Comments – Threaded commenting in the admin section for private discussion between writers and editors.
- Editorial Metadata – Track important important details.
- Notifications – Receive timely updates on any content you’re following.
- Story Budget – See your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups – Organize your users by department or function.
(Images above taken from Edit Flow website)
To learn more about this useful plugin visit this site: Edit Flow – WP Editorial
Oasis Workflow is a powerful feature-rich plugin for WordPress designed to automate your WordPress editorial workflow using a simple, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
Some of the many useful features of the Oasis Workflow plugin include the ability to configure your work flow using an easy drag and drop designer interface and simple process/task templates.
(Above screenshots taken from Oasis Workflow 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.
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 about this useful plugin visit this site: Oasis Workflow
Step 9 – Establish What Kind Of Content To Publish
What Kind Of Content Will Be Published On Your Website?
Once you have set up your schedule for creating content, the next step is to define what kinds of content you will create for publishing on your website or blog.
Are you planning to publish articles, videos, audios, interviews, case studies, downloadable PDF reports, etc.?
Knowing what types of content you plan to create for your site is useful, because this helps you understand what other technologies and resources you may need to purchase or budget for in order to create your content. This could include purchasing video screen capture software for videos and multimedia presentations, slideshows, etc.
Step 10 – Assign Roles And Responsibilities
Who Is Going To Manage All Aspects Of Running 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 website and content and assign these to the personnel you have available, or consider outsourcing.
There are many roles and responsibilities involved in running a busy web presence.
When completing this step, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will decide what content gets written/published on your site?
- Who will create the actual content (e.g. fact-checking, writing and rewriting, 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 actual scheduling and publishing of content on your website or blog and update any outdated information?
- 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 planning the cost of building your website)?
Who is going to be responsible for all areas of your site?
Depending on your business, it could be just one person doing it all (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 investing a lot of time and money on a tool that will not only not help you grow your business, but cost even more of your 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 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 site planning processand can now begin looking at options for getting your new site built.
Hopefully this information has given you a better understanding of the website planning process and how WordPress can help you get better results online. See other posts on this site or contact us for information or help setting up your website or blog.
Please consider subscribing to this site, as we plan to add lots of great content, resources and useful business tips on how to develop and implement a successful web marketing strategy.
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