Blog: Content writing and content strategy insights

The simple governance strategy that will help web teams succeed

If you've worked on a fairly large web project, the story in this blog post will be all too familiar. It's the terrible tale of why web teams struggle time and time again to get content ready.

Look at your governance structure and you'll find some clues. One person in your company can make a big difference to the web team's content crusade. The answer is surprising to many: the CEO. I'll explain why. And I suggest four simple things your CEO can do to help your web team achieve its goal of going live with great digital content. 

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Nine digital content skills that open up many job opportunities

People who know how to write well for digital media — websites, intranets, social media, blogs, e-newsletters — have amazing career opportunities.

Today when you write for work, you need to understand 'digital'. Digital technology is a game-changer for writers and communicators.

People who write for work must know how to:

  1. attract online readers
  2. improve search rankings
  3. use metadata and keywords
  4. follow web standards
  5. use a content management system properly
  6. write for mobile devices
  7. write plain English
  8. write for Google Translate
  9. publish on multiple channels.

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    The careers of five best friends begin to merge in a digital workforce

    When I grew up I had four besties. Together we were just like Blyton’s Famous Five. Sure, we didn’t roam the countryside solving mysteries and capturing villains. Golly gosh no! But we did freely roam our cul-de-sac for hours enjoying jolly adventures — at least until dinner time.

    After university, we all dispersed into very different jobs — one into journalism, one into strategic planning, one into advertising, one into corporate comms, and I moved from solicitor to information designer.

    But in the last five years or so, something funny has happened: all our job descriptions are starting to look the same. Disciplines are merging. My friends and I are doing similar tasks and use the same skillsets.

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    User testing your web content leads to happiness

    One of the UXNZ 2015 Conference highlights for me was the opening speech by legend US information architect and publisher, Lou Rosenfeld. He talked about how he came up with the design and layout for the books his company publishes. Quite simply, he took his books out and tested them with real people. He wanted to learn whether he could make an age-old product like a hardcopy book easier to use. Turns out you can.

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    Grammar: If I were the only editor in the world

    Rachel answers an age-old grammar question about was and were. Old grammar rules stick in our minds like chewing gum in the hair. The rule you remember is no longer a rule (perhaps it never was) but a choice. Rachel tends to use ‘were’ out of habit, but 'was' is now more than acceptable—it’s the norm.

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    Writing tip: Editing web content

    Editing is always a step-by-step process. And always you start by asking the big questions, such as:

    • Is this web page really necessary?
    • What is this page for? 
    • Who needs it?
    • Is the same information on another page?
    • What do you want people to do after reading this page?
    At work when the pressure’s on, what do you do? You apply the 80:20 principle: you skip to a simple Contented system that will fix the majority of problems very fast.

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    Interview with a web content pioneer

    I was recently interviewed by Media Shower as part of their Expert Interview program.  I am always interested to see what comes out of my own mouth in an interview.

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