When you’re planning the content for your nonprofit’s new website, your first step should be to develop a website content strategy. Your second step should be to create your website content plan.
Your strategy is your guide; it sets parameters for the work ahead. Your plan organizes how you’ll tackle that work.
Before we go on: if you’re ready to develop your plan and just need my website content plan template for nonprofits, grab it here. If you want to learn more first, keep reading.
From strategy to a tactical plan for website content development
Among the elements of your website content strategy, you should have a list of “content buckets” – topics you need to feature on your site to support your goals. A content bucket plus specific topics might look something like this:
To create your content plan, transfer that list to a table or spreadsheet and then for each piece of content, identify the:
- Specific content needed (index page copy, article, post, page, microcopy)
- Hierarchy (I find the definitions of parent, child and grandchild pages from Wired Impact useful)
- Target audience/visitor
- Key message
- Call to action
Depending on your process, plans and the number of contributors you have, it might be a good idea to indicate:
- Timing/status (for draft, review, publication, update, etc.)
- Review/approvals required
- Target keyword or key phrase
- Other notes or instructions
Here’s a glimpse of what your plan might look like in a spreadsheet format.
Reasons why a detailed content plan is worth your time
After investing considerable time in strategy development, you might not be terribly excited about even more planning. You need the actual content, and you just want to start writing! But charting out these details will be worth it.
You’ll have an action plan for writing
The thought of tackling all of the content you need for your site at once can be overwhelming. But when you create your website content plan, you’ll take stock of the work ahead. It might not actually be that bad – but even if it is, you’ll feel more in control.
And it gets better. By planning your hierarchy of parent, child and grandchild pages, you’ll establish content priorities: you must have parent content in place, you need as much child content as you can complete and you can park the grandchild content if you need to (you can add those pages and that content later). With a hierarchy in place, you’ll know what you need to write in time for your new site’ s launch, and what supporting content you can create over time.A detailed website content plan helps you understand the scope of the work, and where to start. Click To Tweet
Delegating and assigning writing will be easier
If you have help producing the content, and if you create and complete a “responsibility” column, you can delegate and assign writing work while you plan – instead of at the eleventh hour. But more than that: since your plan indicates the purpose, audience, key message and call to action for each piece of content, you’ll also have a mini-brief in place for each contributor!
Your content will be aligned with your organization’s priorities
Your content strategy was developed in alignment with your organization’s strategic plan (yes?); as you work through the “purpose” column in your content plan, you should refer to your strategic plan, keeping it top of mind. In this way, you’ll ensure every single piece of content you create is in alignment with your organization’s priorities!
Are you ready to plan your content? Here’s my website content plan template for nonprofits
The snapshot I included above is taken from a template website content planning spreadsheet I created for you to use. In the version above, I included some completed example fields. But you can copy and adapt a blank version of the template to suit your organization’s specific needs.
Download >> Website content plan template for nonprofits
Do you have any tips about planning content for a new nonprofit website? What did I miss? Please share in the comments.How to go from strategy to website content action plan (includes template) #nonprofit #NPMC Click To Tweet