Free 60 page guide

Content Strategy: Sustainable Content Governance Guide

Take control of your content and manage it effectively on an on-going basis.

About this guide

No one thinks outdated, irrelevant, reputation damaging content is a good thing. So why is the Internet littered with it? The truth is: sustaining good web content is hard, but it is achievable and in this guide will teach you how.

Learning outcomes

This guide is full of practical advice based on many years of experience.

You’ll learn:

  • What content governance is and why it matters
  • The 5 truths of content governance
  • The content governance hats you or your team need
  • What content ownership model is best for you
  • How to create a content inventory
  • How to review existing content effectively
  • Why you need an editorial calendar for your content
  • How style guides can help you
  • How to evaluate content performance
  • How to sell content governance to bosses, stakeholders or clients

We’ll introduce you to the key ideas and techniques for sustaining a great content experience:

  • Reflect on what sustainable content is and why it matters
  • Recognise the common causes of unsustainable content
  • Launch a sustainable site in the first place
  • Understand the people and skills needed to sustain content
  • Apply effective techniques and tools to sustain content
  • Learn how to enforce content standards over time
  • And how to evaluate content
  • Recognise (and deal with) unsustainable content
  • Sell in content governance services to prospective clients (as an agency)

Who is the guide for?

This guide is for anyone responsible for the ongoing quality of an organisation's content – consider it a springboard into the much bigger world of content governance.

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Table of Contents

1 Design for sustainable content in the first place

Discover the 5 truths about sustainable content and why people fall out of love with content once it has been published.

2 Governing live content

What hats do you need to govern content? We outline the roles involved and look at content ownership models, content style guides and how you can take control of your content.

3 Evaluating content performance

This chapter outlines why you should bother to evaluate content and shares how you can design and implement a content evaluation plan.

4 Selling content governance to clients

What can you sell in? What are the benefits to clients? This chapter answers both these questions, arming you with the power to sell governance to your clients.

Here’s a peek at what some industry experts think about the topic:

Scott Kubie

Governance is a system, and like any system, it’s easy to design something very large and complex. Gall’s Law tells us that this doesn’t work; we instead have to design simple systems that can evolve over time. If your content machine is already rolling, identify the biggest pain points and start with some very lightweight editorial practices to alleviate that pain.

Scott Kubie
Designer and Digital Strategist
Paula Land

The value of content governance is that it creates a predictable, repeatable process that ensures that all content is created and managed to a defined and communicated set of standards.

Paula Land
Content Strategy Consultant
Margot Bloomstein

If you’re making a case for budget next year for a new website, consider this. Content is a commitment. You wouldn’t buy a car unless you had plans to maintain it. Same thing goes for content.

Margot Bloomstein
Principle, Content Strategy Inc.

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About the author

Liam King

Liam is Founder of Lagom Strategy, a UK consultancy specialising in digital user research and sustainable content strategy.

With over 15 years of content production and strategy experience in the UK and Australia, Liam has built up a wealth of practical knowledge on how to put content back at the heart of web projects.

He has led content strategy work for many organisations including the Royal Air Force, Health Education England, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, UK Department of Health and Social Care, UK Parliament, and the UK Foreign Office.

Liam also has a Master's degree in Web Journalism.