Creating a website is extremely easy these days. You sign up for a service, get a host, and just start building. There are step by step tools that can help even the most inexperience wannabe webmaster put together a professional grade site in hours, something that many people who would otherwise never have dreamed of owning a site take advantage of regularly.
The complicated part comes with maintaining that site. In particular, managing the content can be a stressful proposition. If you are planning on monetizing or growing your site, it is even more of a daunting take. Not only do you have to present high quality content at regular intervals, but you have to deal with marketing and promotion, on top of all of the daily maintenance that is necessary to run any website.
Your only hope is to minimize the work involved from the very beginning, and having some useful resources that can help you along the way. With these tips and tools, you can better manage your web content, whether you just started your site yesterday, or you have been running it for years.
Know What Constitutes As Content
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of content? Probably the posts on your blog, right? Which is fair enough, as that can be some of the more valuable assets in an overall content marketing and growth strategy.
But the term web content actually encompasses many things. It is a blog post, or a newsletter, or an automated thank you email for a subscription. It is the About Me page, or the ad copy that lists skills and services. It is even the posts you make to social media profiles.
In addition to being within many different categories, it is also within many different forms. Content can be text, images, videos, graphics, podcasts, and a more.
When you are trying to manage your web content, you have to include all of it. This will keep you on track, so the task doesn’t pile up on top of you.
Know Your Goals
“Having a successful site” is a very broad goal, and it isn’t enough to keep you focused on what is needed to achieve it. What are your content goals? Do you want to come out with something viral? Post at least three blog posts a week? Create a video a month? Post more to social media through an integrated social-content strategy? Make an ebook?
By knowing where you hope to be in the future, you can manage your content with that final destination in mind. This will change how you go about creating and managing your content, altogether. You may find that some management practices you were using (or were being advised to use) no longer fit in view of that goal.
Know Your Social Strategy
Because social media posts count as content, you have to have an idea of your social strategy moving forward. This is important because it will inevitably change your content on the site itself.
For example, say your strategy involved using Pinterest more to drive traffic. You will have to begin creating and posting content that is Pinterest friendly, so very image-based. Or if you were planning on using Twitter, you would need to be connecting to more thorough posts.
Keep your social profiles and how they will be used in mind as you manage your content. It will save you a lot of time and energy later, while effortlessly crafted a workable marketing plan.
Know Your Schedule
You need an editorial calender, plain and simple. Even if you don’t have a blog, you will need something akin to this resource to manage changes to adcopy, reviews from other sites, and newsletters or emails sent to subscribers. Otherwise, you won’t be able to remain organized.
Half of managing content is just knowing when it is going out, when it has to change, ect. Have an established editorial calendar, whether that is through an interactive tool, or just a template. Make sure everyone who works for your site has access to it.
- WordPress: WordPress is still the number one content management system, because it is so user friendly. You have the option of their basic site, which pretty much builds it for you, or the more advanced version that allows you to build from scratch and add plugins. They have many features and tools that make managing web content easy.
- Joomla: One of the other popular content management systems, mainly due to the extensive features that allow for a more customized website, is Joomla. Companies like eBay and Ikea use this platform, and for good reason. It is more supportive than WordPress, with easily contacted customer support and an integrated help system.
- Drupal: The Drupal system isn’t terribly impressive when stacked against other CMS platforms. But what brings people to the table is not the system itself, but the community. Drupal has a very dedicated user base, and you can really benefit from interacting with others who use the brand.
- Editorial Calendar: As mentioned before, having a solid editorial calendar is a must if you want to effectively manage your content. For those who are using WordPress, this is a long time and beloved plugin that helps you visually manage, plan, schedule and post all blog posts on your site. It then gives you an overview on your dashboard of what is scheduled to post through the month, with quick access to each post.
- Buffer: There are a number of social scheduling programs out there, but they tend to be pretty complex with their analytics integration and other features. Buffer is a cheaper and simpler option. You sign up and connect your Twitter, Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn accounts. Then add in posts to release at set times through the week, based on your preferences. It is a very easy way to manage social content without having to do it manually.
Managing your content is a big job, but a necessary one. These tips and tools should help you to get more organized, and so do it with less time and effort involved.
Have any tips? Let us know in the comments.
- Image source: SmartPhotoStock
- Image by Smart Photo Stock
- Image credit smartphotostock.com
- Photo credit: smartphotostock.com
By Jessy Troy
Jessy Troy is the WAHM and writing geek covering a broad scope of topics. You can see her tweeting as @JessyTroy