No one thinks outdated, irrelevant, reputation damaging content is a good thing.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.
Who is the guide for?
This guide is for anyone responsible for the ongoing quality of a website’s content – consider it a springboard into the much bigger world of content governance.
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)
What will I learn?
This guide is full of practical advice based on many years of experience.
- 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
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
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:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
About the Author
Liam is Founder of Lagom Strategy, a UK consultancy specialising in UX and sustainable content strategy.
With over a decade 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.
Liam was previously Senior UX Architect / Content Strategist with Sydney agency, Digital Eskimo, where he introduced and led the agency’s successful content strategy services. Before heading to Australia in 2009, Liam was a Web Producer at the UK Parliament and the Senior Web Editor at the UK Foreign Office.
Liam also has a Masters degree in Web Journalism.