Planning and managing your online content


Planning and Managing Online ContentManaging content for your website or social media can be a tricky business and time consuming especially if content is created by more than one person. Using tools to plan and manage your content can save you time and energy and often helps to generate ideas for future posts.

There are many online tools that you can use to manage your content such as the built in wordpress tool. However, if you’re just starting out or if you need to be able circulate to people outside of the team then a simple spreadsheet can do the job nicely (If you are the stage of still needing a website and really don’t where to begin, I’d highly recommend you take a look at the FirstGuide How to Make a Website Guide as your first step).

To give you a head start, I’ve included a template you can download to edit and use for your own content planning. Your needs may vary slightly but the template covers the key planning tools to help you not only manage your content but also review the popularity and engagement rates which can help you to identify which posts are attracting the most attention.

I’ve laid out the table under the following headings:

Publishing date
Speaks for itself but you may also want to consider a ‘Submission date’ as well if you need to give yourself time to edit content before it’s published. This way, whoever is responsible for creating the content can plan for a set date and it doesn’t hurt to allow extra time for late submissions.

This is the person responsible for writing the content, there may be an additional field for ‘Editor’ if you have more than one. Covering this in the planning stage means you can ensure the editing part is spread evenly.

Completed and Posted
Mark these off when posts are submitted and when they go live, you can add in ‘Approved’ if you have this step in your process.

Hopefully you will have a list of categories already defined for your content. Enter these on the publishing schedule so you can keep track of which ones you are using the most. If you’re just starting a blog, always aim to get an even spread across 3 or 4 so users aren’t finding empty pages.

Blog topic
A brief description of the content in just a sentence or two. E.g. A review of Brighton SEO event. If you can’t nail it into a short description it may be that you’re aiming too big so consider splitting the content down into sections and publish them individually.

Blog Title
A working title for the post, doesn’t need to be exact just a general starting point. Always consider your keywords when defining the title as this will help with your SEO and also help the user to decide if they want to read it.

Topic notes
This is where you can make notes about the content e.g. For the Brighton SEO event we may have a review of 3 main speakers, links to video content from the day and an interview with the organiser. Again, once you start delving a bit deeper it can generate ideas for other posts which you can plan in for a later date.

Blog type
Define the type of blog you are posting, is it an article, a video gallery, a Q&A or a review? If you get stuck for ideas then check our our guide to beating bloggers block.

Sounds obvious but define your keywords before you start writing. Asking people to keep these in mind when they are writing content can save you time editing later.

Links and Images
Any key links or images you want to use or that your content managers want to include can be included here.

Most blogs will predefine the Tweet text from the post title so if you want it to say something else just write it out here.

Keep a track of how long each piece of content takes to produce, edit and upload, this will give you an idea of the value you are getting back when it comes to review stage.

The last four columns are for monitoring feedback, keep a track of the number of comments, tweets, pingbacks and pageviews each piece of content generates so you can spot which content attracts attention from your audience.

You can download the template and start using it or recreate it as an online version such as Googledocs. It’s simple and straightforward and can really help you get organised if you don’t have anything in place at the moment.


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