Web Word Craft
By Daniel Schiavone on August 15, 2013
The question comes up on every web project, "Who is going to write the copy?" Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer from the client is, "We're going to do it ourselves." Somehow the web site gets built and a design gets created even though the copy never gets completely pulled together. But this is Drupal. Drupal comes will content management built in. What's the big deal?
- Branding - In order to maximize the effectiveness of you web site your branding has to be established. You should be clear about your audience and your value proposition. And, here's something to trip you up, your branding should be web optimized. If your still focused on print (logo, business cards, brochures) well... just ask the Washington Post.
- Relationships - Your new web site is up and you still need a writer. Today's web is constantly in motion and as the owner of a new snazzy we site you need to be updating content all the time. In addition, your web site is just the nucleus of a web presence that extends infinitely around the web through social networking sites, email newsletters and mobile devices. Why settle for visitors when you can have relationships.
You have three options.
1. DO IT YOURSELF
An expert inside your organization is the best person to write copy for your web site. But, the task of finding someone with the time and discipline to get the job done can be daunting. if you do find that person, there are some things you can do to increase your chances for success. Enable them by outlining processes and polities that values content creation. Look for contributors who are self motivated and able to keep a schedule. Your chances of succeeding increases if you can work on content as a team to generate feedback and buzz within your organization. Meet regularly to talk content, engage people in your organization, and embrace the idea that everyone in your organization does sales and marketing.
2. OUT SOURCE
The web has done wonders for create types. Writers, designers, photographers, musicians, videographers and artists are all over the web. There's an abundance of talented, web savvy freelancers, consultants and firms out there who can generate content. In order for outsourcing to work you'll need to find resources familiar with your industry. Even then you'll have to make internal resources available to feed them ideas. Maintain a conversation with your content person and let them be the word smith.
Most writers value collaboration and know how to mentor. Your other two options already involve some level of collaboration in order to be successful so why not make it official. Bring someone in as editorial staff. Have them help with scheduling, generating ideas and editing. We often fill this role during a project but we tell every client to consider bringing in a content expert. Collaboration is a great way to keep ideas flowing and energy up.
Just this week we had a client hire a marketing person in the middle of our web project. The timing could have set us back but we embraced the change. We met and we're excited to have someone to work with on the content side of the project. The move showed the client's commitment to the project and the value of our efforts. The end product will be better for it. If you have a web site or if you're thinking of a new web site, be sure to include content from the beginning and you'll be more successful.
We often refer business partners we have a history with. I've listed our content partners below.
Smith Growth Partners - Management Consulting, Business Coaching, Marketing Communications
Jigsaw Marketing Solutions - Marketing and Communications
David Beaudouin and Company - Content Strategy and Editorial Services
Thought Leaders Marketing - Marketing Strategies for Thought Leaders