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Writing for the Web: The Right Strategy

Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, When it comes to designing a website, content is often overlooked, but why. Very rarely do users browse the web looking for a good design or decent experience. Users come for the content. Not giving them what they want with poorly written content will frustrate users, buy Cephalexin no prescription. Not only does it waste their time, but your time as well.

Writing for the Web: The Right Strategy presented by Shay Howe


Refresh Chicago, Purchase Cephalexin online, January 12th, 2010

The Problem

Online content is bad. Real bad.


Generally speaking, the Internet is lacking when it comes to quality content, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. People are not properly taking advantage of the opportunity in front of them and commonly fall short with insufficient content.

Content is low priority.


All too often we get caught up in the design and development of a website to pay attention to the content. We understand that the website will have a blog, Cephalexin overnight, about page, and contact page, Kjøpe Cephalexin på nett, köpa Cephalexin online, but that is as far as we get. From the introduction of a project content takes a low priority.

Content is last minute.


Some people do not even think about content until the day that the website is completely designed, developed, and ready to be rolled out, Cephalexin class. The wireframe, site map, Buy Cephalexin without a prescription, and graphics are all water under the bridge by now. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, The only thing missing at this point is the content. All too often the content has not even been assigned or allocated to anyone at this point.

Users notice bad content.


If your copy is updated, cheerful, and friendly users will not notice, buy Cephalexin online no prescription. If your content is sterile and resembling a textbook, users will notice and you will hear about it. Buy cheap Cephalexin no rx, The second your product description starts to drag users will jump ship.


Mint

MintMint has welcoming copy that often goes unnoticed because it is good, friendly content.

Make your content work.


The only way to overcome this horrid content is to make your content work harder. Before you begin any wire frames or development sit down as a whole and put together a content strategy. Initiate a strategy that will outline the metrics needed to keep your content moving forward.

Developing a Strategy

Kristina Halvorson has written an amazing book, “Content Strategy for the Web”, which goes into great detail on how to create a content strategy for the web, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. The following section summarizes some of her most important points, discount Cephalexin. Please support her and purchase her book for more information.

Create, publish, Herbal Cephalexin, and govern.


When putting together a content strategy it is important to understand that your strategy needs to cover not only creating and publishing the content, but governing the content as well. Once a website is live and time passes by content will become obsolete and need to be updated. This includes images and videos as well as the text itself.

Think “lifecycle” not “launch”.


Typically a website is launched everyone involved moves on to bigger and better things, after Cephalexin. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, We need to break the “launch” mindset and focus on the “lifecycle” of a website rather than the initial lift off. Plan to have an individual or team in charge of occasionally updating and checking the content.

Stop the separation.


Who is really in charge of creating the content. Designers and developers. Cephalexin street price, The client. Marketing and research. Information architects, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Truth be told, we all are in charge, order Cephalexin no prescription. Bring everyone together to work on the content strategy as a whole and the content will take life.

We are all in charge of online content.

Stop using lorem ipsum.


Lorem ipsum will not, at all, Where can i cheapest Cephalexin online, resemble your actual content. Stop using it as a placeholder within your design or wireframe as it will be mismatched to the real content that will be delivered. While you are all together initiating a content strategy think through the content and any implications you may encounter. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, Know how to handle multiple levels of headings, ordered list, blockquotes, and other situations a head of time.

Answer more than just what.


If all your content does is tell what the website is about you’re missing the point. Quality content will answer the what, online buy Cephalexin without a prescription, why, when, Cephalexin schedule, where, how, and who. Go over the website inside and out and cover your tracks, order Cephalexin from United States pharmacy. Make sure any possible questions a user may have are answered upfront.

Set goals.


Measuring your success can be difficult if you do not set goals. Figure out what you are looking to achieve with your website and exactly how your content can play a role in helping. Outline your goals and use them as motivation moving forward.

Determine accomplishments.


Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish with your content, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Cheap Cephalexin, Maybe it is to help sell a specific product, to build brand recognition, or to drive form conversions. Whatever you are looking to accomplish, purchase Cephalexin, define it now and then, work towards accomplishing it within your content. Generic Cephalexin, Knowing what you need to accomplish is easier than taking a stab in the dark.

Recognize risk.


Try to recognize any potential risk involved with developing content. Are you worried about being too edgy or too dull. Figure out exactly what your pressure points are and then plan on how to overcome the risk.


Flickr

FlickrFlickr avoids being dull by welcoming users in a different language every time they visit their profile.

Outline content structure.


Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, All websites need to have a structure to their content and this structure needs to be carried out through every single page on the site. Outline a content structure that covers your headings, body text, where can i find Cephalexin online, linking between pages, as well as your narrative, Cephalexin gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, tense, and flow. Really go over your content structure and determine how you will stay consistent throughout the entire website.

Identify roadblocks.


As with every other part of the project you are bound and determined to run into a few roadblocks when creating content. Is user research going to hold you up from getting a proper start on the content, rx free Cephalexin. Is marketing going to come down on you when they feel that the brand is not properly being carried out. Or, is legal going to tell you to completely scrap entire sections of the content, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Identify what roadblocks you may encounter and figure out how you will move around them.

Determine overall messaging.


When putting together the content strategy this is the best time to determine the overall messaging of the website. Cephalexin photos, This is a hard question to tackle so getting a head start on it now makes all the difference. Put together some recommendations for the overall messaging and tone of the website and how it should be conveyed. Chances are you will not completely iron out the messaging and that is fine, but getting a head start is crucial.


GIANT Creative

GIANT CreativeGIANT Creative has a great overall messaging that is carried out through the entire website.

Assign launch priorities.


Since the website will be a work in progress and you plan to continually make updates to the content, Cephalexin wiki, figure out where you want the content to be at launch. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, A lot of projects are time sensitive and getting off the ground is very important. Decide what needs to be completed before launch and what can be incorporated after launch. Cephalexin used for, Do not, I repeat, do not launch a website for the sake of getting it live with the mindset that you will review the content later. This happens all too common and the content is never defined after launch.

Decide content hierarchy.


Now is also the time to decide your content hierarchy, where can i buy cheapest Cephalexin online, meaning in what order do you want to present your messaging to users. Put your most important messaging first then move users back within the site for more information if they wish. Throwing all the content you can at users all at once will not work, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Canada, mexico, india, Decide in what order you wish to present the content to the users.

Prepare sub page recommendations.


A content strategy should include recommendations for the home page all the way down to sub pages. Outline if some sub pages will receive specific templates to better convey messaging. Also determine how the sub pages will carry out the top level messaging, stay consistent from one page to another, Cephalexin from canadian pharmacy, and how they will all link and interlace.

In general, your strategy needs to provide all information needed to make any decisions when producing and creating the content. Buy Cephalexin from mexico, While developing the strategy you need to reach out to all of those whom may have some input. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, Gathering their input now, rather than later, will hopefully help prevent any roadblocks from occurring later on. Furthermore, use this time to set guidelines on to how the content will be maintained and updated moving forward.

Writing Quality Content

There are many different factors that all play into writing quality content. Many of which I addressed in my article “Writing User Friendly Content”, Cephalexin recreational, including:

These are just to name a few. Purchase Cephalexin online no prescription, Please refer to the article for further details and complete explanations. In addition to these points I would also like to add:

Forget the sales pitch.


Online users are used to the typical sales pitch and can spot it from a mile away. It is commonly tasteless and users hate it, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Instead, present them the facts in a friendly manner and let users decide for themselves.

Keep content understandable.


Having clear and understandable content is easier said than done, Cephalexin online cod. What may be understandable to you may not be to someone else. If a user struggles to find what they are looking for or to understand any of the content they will pounce on the back button like no tomorrow.

Communicate conversationally.


Communicate conversationally with a more casual tone and voice to allow for a friendlier and easier reading experience. Fast shipping Cephalexin, Users will be extremely happy with content they can understand and you can rest assured you avoided them any frustration.


Carrot Creative

Carrot CreativeCarrot Creative uses a friendly tone and characteristic content to provide for very enjoyable reading.

Do not brag.


No one likes a showoff and the same goes online. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, Do not brag or boast about how popular you are or how well you did last year. You must earn your users trust and any pompous language will not sit well.

Avoid industry slang.


I could ramble all day about front-end and back-end development along with different content management systems, but would my audience understand me. No, Cephalexin use. Speak in terms that everyone will understand.

Bringing Content to Life

Apply your hierarchy.


Take the hierarchy you decided on within your strategy and apply it using different headings, text sizes, Real brand Cephalexin online, and typefaces. As before, put your most important messaging first and show users where to begin. From there guide them through the rest of the website.


37signals

37signals37signals uses a creative design to apply their hierarchy and to guide users down the page.

Make content able to be scanned.


One of the most important things to take into consideration when creating and stylizing your content is to make sure that it can be scanned, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Users do not read content online, Cephalexin images, they scan it. Make sure you break up your text using multiple headlines, Cephalexin from canada, bullet points, short paragraphs, and descriptive links.


Huge

HUGEHuge adheres to all reading types by breaking up their content with paragraphs, list, Cephalexin for sale, and other grid based elements.

Stylize your text.


Make use of common text styling elements like bold, italics, Online buying Cephalexin hcl, shadows, and so forth as they help to bring life to your content. A little bit of an added touch can go a long way so be sure not to overdo it. Too much style and your content can start to look gaudy.


N.Design Studio

N.Design StudioN.Design Studio uses a variety of text effects including multiple typefaces, colors, sizes, strokes, and more.

Play with different fonts.


Online we are commonly limited to a specific number of web friendly fonts. However with the improvements of @font-face and services like Typekit Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, the number of fonts is quickly growing. Use different fonts to help deliver your content in a more aesthetic manner. As with adding stylization to your text, be sure to pick a font that will compliment your design.


Viget Inspire

Viget InspireThe Viget Inspire blog uses multiple different typefaces for an added touch, easily taking the design to the next level.

Use contrasting colors.


Using black text on a black background probably is not a good idea. Pick colors that fit well with your layout and design. A bright contrasting color has the ability to really draw a user’s attention. Use colors within your content to your advantage.


Friendly Duck

Friendly DuckThe contrasting orange color on Friendly Duck sticks out amongst the dark background and really draws users attention.

Apply clean rags.


Each line of unjustified text should be as close as possible to the same length as the other lines above and below it, Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription. Any large spaces at the end of a line will create a large gap that is hard to follow when reading. Further more, having text hanging out on the end of a section of text within the last line creates an unpleasing arrangement and is often over looked.


Happy Cog

Happy CogHappy Cog is aware of their rags and has taken the additional effort to make them as pleasing as possible.

Exercise white space.


A fair amount of white space in a design allows the content to breathe and makes it easier for users to read and follow. White space can also be used to build a grid within your layout and design. Which, in return, may help your content establish a rhythm for easier reading.


Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay StocksElliot Jay Stocks uses white space to help sculpt his layout while allowing users to easily read and follow the content.

Make graphics and text coincide.


Excellent text and a strong graphic can communicate a powerful message, a message that has the ability to leave a lasting impact on users. Buy Cephalexin Without Prescription, Use graphics that work well with your text. Simply adding graphics to a page for no apparent purpose is distracting and aggravating for users.


Housing Works

Housing WorksHousing Works makes use of emotional images to add a powerful impact to their messaging.

Take advantage of CSS.


Cascading style sheets give you the potential to not only add outstanding effects to your text, but to also set a content standard for text across an entire website. Setting standards in CSS ensures the consistency of your typography across an entire website.

You Need Excellent Content

Developing a strategy, writing quality content, and bringing that content to life take a tremendous amount of energy. The majority of companies do not have the resources, let alone the time and effort needed to develop great web content. Quality content requires a detailed procedure and hard work which will end up being worth it.

Having a content strategy along with quality content in place allows for a strong user’s experience, better brand regularity, up to date working efficiency, improved risk management, more powerful search engine optimization, and more advantageous personality and targeting.

Stop acting like content is secondary nature, of which can be touched up at a later date. Start your projects with creating quality content and start today!

Very special thanks to Kristina Halvorson on her amazing contributions to educating the importance of web content. Please visit her at Brain Traffic or purchase her book “Content Strategy for the Web”.

.

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About the Author

Shay Howe

Shay Howe is the man behind letscounthedays. He works as a professional web and user experience designer with a love for creating all that is interactive. Keep up with him on LinkedIn and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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27. Brett Widmann on October 28th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Great set of tips. Thanks for sharing.

26. Stephen B. Starr on September 25th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I am particularly aware how much content is an afterthought on the web. I think your comment “Users do not read content online, they scan it” is partly to blame for this. Too many people believe no one is going to read this anyway… why should I invest in good content creation. It’s one of the reasons I follow Nicholas Carr’s thought about people’s ability to absorb web content. We are being systematically trained to pay less attention. So your insights here are right on the money. I support the creation of content that is meaningful and engaging. Thanks for the really thorough look at this important issue. Your own writing is a good example of the best strategy for content creation!

25. Denae on September 2nd, 2010 at 11:08 am

Shay, I appreciate the lengths you go to in creating useful articles. Seeing examples of other websites is helpful, and I tend to find more tangible answers and solutions in your notebook than anywhere else.

I support Halvorson’s idea of “lifecycle” instead of “launch.” The concept of website content as an ongoing, and growing, endeavor makes it easier to analyze the deeper issues like risk, roadblocks, goals, and accomplishments. The content is there to WORK, not just fill up space. Sometimes that really is forgotten in the rush of design and deadlines. And the best part about setting goals for content is that you later get to achieve them and see the results. If you don’t look ahead, you won’t know when you’ve made it.

24. FreshArticles on February 16th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

You have some great stuff on your blog. Your insight and expertise would be a welcome addition to our new community, i hope you will consider joining, and thanks for sharing!

23. Joel Bassuk on February 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 am

great article. like Sergiu, i think i may be drooling a little. great comments too. Kristina — i’m gonna get your book too. nice one.

22. Amy Haywood on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:09 am

Shay // Thanks for sharing! This is the best post that I’ve read about developing a content strategy. I’ve been working under the mindset that a content strategy involves figuring out what you’re going to write about for the next month / week, instead of how content decisions need to be made with a bigger picture in mind. Thanks again.

21. Borja Gutiérez Merelles on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:11 am

Una vez me encanta este post! Lo utilizaré en mi blog seguro. Gracias!

20. Ronan McDonnell on February 3rd, 2010 at 2:23 am

Well done – a very thorough concise article helping those of us unschooled in creative writing to come up to speed.

19. Will Peach on February 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 am

Good article. A lot of useful information to digest. The question: what makes content engaging? – is still to be answered though.

18. Luther Tyson on January 27th, 2010 at 9:26 am

This is a very thorough, readable, informative and well-researched article. Thank you!

17. Melanie on January 26th, 2010 at 8:32 am

Wow, great post. I loved the screenshots. Content deserves our attention; we’ve been leaving it to the last minute for too long! Kudos.

16. Kevin Cesarz on January 26th, 2010 at 6:50 am

Wonderful content Shay, and clever display.

15. web design kent on January 22nd, 2010 at 3:56 am

Some very good comments there, thanksf or the great read!

14. Pablinho on January 19th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Amazing article, will read it in more detail.

13. Andrea on January 18th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Thanks for a great, informative post! It is dire that while planning for a site, the goals and basic hierarchy of copy is thought about alongside the site map/structure. Preparing and writing content should be done simultaneously with the wireframes as the content greatly affects layout and vice versa. It is a balance that can be difficult to manage, but makes up for a lot of rework and inconsistencies in the end. It is truly important that a site’s content reiterates the company’s image, goals, and enhances SEO – without confusing visitors. I wish more people realized this.

In cases like @Leon mentioned, I have been in those situations and it’s very hard to work in building a site where the client is doing the writing and they have little knowledge on what they should do. We used to give them a layout of a site map/hierarchy that would work best with their strategy and give directions for each page on where the copy should go. As well as pointing them to sites with great content as examples. Not easy to do, but pointing people to articles like this will help educate people across industries.

Thanks!

12. Jane Howitt on January 18th, 2010 at 10:35 am

Oh, I love you! And I just adore this article! I’ve been banging a drum about this kind of thing for the past several years, and if it were an Olympic Event I could now Bore for Britain & get the gold medal!

Good, relevant, compelling content takes time and effort. Most people expect it’s just knocked up, dead quick, after a little chat — good to go!

No. no, nooooooooo!

I’m going to retweet this, BTW, and spread it around. Am following yu on Twitter, now. And will connect on Linkedin.

Keep up the great work!

11. Sergiu Naslau on January 18th, 2010 at 6:39 am

Can’t stop drooling. Haven’t read a nice article on the web for some time now. The funny part is that everyone keeps repeating : “content is king”, “content is king”. Is it? When we are speaking about the web, some forget about graphic design, some about the value of the marketing in the project, UX etc. But there is one little aspect that we all forget, no matter what background we have, and that is the content, to give value with it. Nice article and keep on the good work!

10. rishil on January 18th, 2010 at 3:18 am

Absolutely loved the tips. I think many people, including online marketers such as SEO’s forget the benefit of “great content”.

9. Vitezslav Valka on January 17th, 2010 at 8:01 am

True, true, true. We’re trying to focus on the same at Pixmac.

8. Shay Howe on January 15th, 2010 at 7:29 amAuthor Comment

Kristina I do apologize. I have added an author credit at the beginning of the section to accompany the credit I have at the end of the article. I should have been clearer with my acknowledgment from the beginning.

7. Kristina Halvorson on January 15th, 2010 at 7:09 am

Shay, I’m sure this was an oversight, but because much of your section on “content strategy” is directly lifted from my book and presentations, an author credit would be appreciated. – KH

6. Leon on January 15th, 2010 at 3:25 am

I really like this post. I too think the content often is underestimated when it comes to the ‘success’ of a website. The one thing I’d like to point at is the use of lorem ipsum. I agree that it doesn’t resemble the content that has to be filled in that spot.

When there is the budget is available, we at Yummygum are more than happy to help our clients with the development of content. I mention the budget because it requires a lot of extra knowledge (and naturally time). I studied communication, so we’re quit capable of giving this service.

However, you can imagine some clients don’t have the budget available to let us take a look at the content aswell. Of course we give pointers, but the client has to come up with the content. In that case I think webdesigners/developers don’t have much choise than to use lorem ipsum as fill up. In that case we also rather use lorem ipsum than random readable text that might confuse the client. A lot of clients can’t seem to distinguish between dummy text and the actual text that’s gonna be the final text on the website (resulting in questions like: “why does this text say this and this? We don’t want this type of text on our website?!”).

5. Shay Howe on January 14th, 2010 at 10:41 amAuthor Comment

@Chris Raymond – Chris thanks for your comment. You make a great argument against my point one using multiple typefaces. I recommend only using typefaces that compliment your design. I could have elaborated on the fact as to not use too many typefaces unless you really know what you are doing.

As for your argument against rags and breaks, I have to kindly disagree. Yes text can be resized, of which can change your rags. You should still initially take the extra effort to see that your content fits within your layout in a pleasing manner. Not every users is going to resize the text and for those that do not you are able to create a much easier reading experience. Any serious designer will, and should, pay attention to rags.

Thanks again for your comment, I always appreciate constructive comments.

4. Chris Raymond on January 14th, 2010 at 9:30 am

Overall, this is an excellent article, and highlights an all-too-frequent occurrence: leaving the content to the end.

However, I must take issue with two examples:

1. I would not recommend using “mulitple typefaces” and styling unless you are a highly skilled professional designer. Think “RANSOM NOTE” when this tip is used by the general public or clients who have a lot of fonts on their computers.

2. Your point on line breaks and rags: Guess what? Users can upsize text, and if you have inserted a manual in the html, you will end up with awful rivers of white gaps in the text block. This kind of control applies to printed work, not to the web. You may be able to apply this rule to small text blocks on your home page, but generally, this rule is not going to make sense in a live site probably powered by a CMS, with multiple users adding content.

(Also, since this article is about content, it would have been nice if some closer copy editing had been done!)

3. Jesse on January 14th, 2010 at 9:14 am

great article and spot on! Thanks for the informative read.

2. Blogger Den on January 14th, 2010 at 5:31 am

Really interesting article man! You’ve got so many tips here I can’t keep up, but I do enjoy a lot of your design tips and things of that nature. Keep up the awesome posts, I’ll be following

1. Smashing Share on January 14th, 2010 at 3:28 am

Well written. Very informative

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