How to make creating and delivering content easier

10.14.2010

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The #1 reason for a delayed site launch is usually because there is a delay in having all of the content created, approved, gathered and delivered. It's just one of those things that always seems much easier than it really is. So clients and web teams usually don't pay as much attention to it as they should. Especially early on in the process.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The #1 reason for a delayed site launch is usually because there is a delay in having all of the content created, approved, gathered and delivered. It's just one of those things that always seems much easier than it really is. So clients and web teams usually don't pay as much attention to it as they should. Especially early on in the process.

Sure, they know what kind of content will go on the site pretty early on. It wouldn't be possible to complete the site structure without knowing that. But knowing that there will be a "What We Do" page, and having final copy for that page are two completely different things.

So how do you make this process easier?

First, get started on content right at the project kickoff. Most clients haven't worked on as many website projects as a web team has, so if you are leading the web team it is really important that you provide your client with tips like these. Part of the value of a great web team is that they not only execute their end of the deal, but that they guide the client in what they need to do on their end.

Secondly, create a copy deck template. This doesn't have to be complicated. Just take the items in the site structure documents as a guide and create a very straightforward Word or Pages document that can be filled in. (Keep in mind that Word is more universal and that if you create in Pages, some involved may not be able to work in that format.)

For instance:

HOME PAGE

POSITIONING STATEMENT:         [postioning statement copy goes here]

FEATURED CONTENT:                  [copy for featured area goes here]

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:                [list of social media links that will be included
                                                      along with URLS for each here]

This may seem too simple, but just having a document like this to serve as a checkoff for content, helps save a ton of time and headaches in tracking down different pieces of information. Keeping it all in one docment will also help when it comes to dropping content into the site, and it will help the client during the approval process since the approval team can be provided with one central copy deck to review.

Lastly, web teams, check in with your client during other phases of the process. Don't wait until you are ready to drop in the content to ask how it's going. Follow up will serve the client as a reminder and it will help you address questions earlier on. Clients, along the way don't be shy about reaching out to your web team with any questions that arise in regard to the content.