Clients often come to us for a new website. But a new website doesn’t invent itself. People think about design and layout, and how they want it to look and feel; however, the content is a very important piece of the puzzle, which is why it’s all the more damaging when it gets left behind as an afterthought or something that will get thrown together at the end.
It shouldn’t work that way. Content is often the bottleneck to launching new sites: clients haven’t really thought carefully about it, and that creates problems. You actually need to put time and energy into your messaging and communication – time and energy that isn’t always anticipated on the client’s part.
What we mean by this is simple: it’s about putting forth a sincere effort. This doesn’t just involve coming up with an idea and then writing about it. It’s more complex than that. It’s about creating, sourcing, editing, gathering, sorting, and applying content. What you know, you need to write about. What you don’t know, you need to be prepared to source. What you think you know, you need to confirm. If it gets refuted, you need to come up with something else. And if you don’t get it done in a timely manner, you may have missed your window and you need to start over with another topic altogether. All of this sourcing and applying can cost you, either in the form of time or if you don’t have the time, then money (mainly in the form of outsourcing and/or using up internal resources).
To give you an idea, here is a rudimentary process that we go through when writing something as simple as our blog posts.
• Brainstorm ideas
• Prioritize best ideas
• Assign owners
• Source and write content
• Get others to review content
• Verify facts
• If facts are refuted, or people disagree, go back to the top
• Edit the ideas
• Add valuable content or new ideas
• Agree on the key takeaway & call to action in the story
• Finalize changes; rewrite and reformulate the story
• Make sure the piece fits with the brand
• Make sure it is written in appropriate style and language
• Make sure the piece is authentic to who we are
• Source a relevant photo
• Make sure article size and formatting works
• Create a draft in WordPress
• Have someone take a final look
We do this for every post. Given that we post something original every week, that means we do this each and every week. For something as important as your website – where you cannot afford bad messaging, misguided notions, or even simple typos – this gives you an idea of the effort you need to put in.