One useful technique to inspire improvements to your content is to carry out a competitor analysis. This involves assessing how direct competitors communicate similar content including:
- tone and language
- key messages
- format preferences
- content types
- content structure (information architecture)
A competitor analysis can range from a full report on several sites or just a few annotated screenshots highlighting good and bad points. The extent of this depends on how much time and resource you have for your new website or redesign project, but it is always worthwhile to do some kind of analysis. One of the main benefits is that it will really help you to break free of the Imperial bubble and think about your content from a different perspective. To illustrate this, I have included a couple of examples of basic competitor analysis that I have done at the bottom of this post.
This technique is all about discovering who your audiences are and what they need so you can map this to the content on your website. Doing this is a really important when creating user-led content.
One great way to get started with this is to run a content discovery workshop.
Get your sticky notes ready! (more…)
In my last post I talked about pair writing. This is a really great technique for creating effective content, but there is one potential challenge – it can be difficult to find a slot in the diary when you are both free, and even if you do, you’ve then got to find an available room. This is true of any collaborative working, but once again technology saves the day.
There are many different tools that you can use to collaborate on a writing project in real time, and in this post I will talk about some of the ones I have used over the last couple of years. I will also go through some of the pros and cons of each. This is not a comprehensive study of all the tools available; it’s based on my experiences, so I would encourage you to do some further research and try out the tools yourself. (more…)
Whether you are creating a new website or simply adding a few new pages; one of the most important things to do is to bring the right people together to actually write the copy. There are a number of ways you can collaborate on content writing, but pair writing has proven to be a very popular technique in recent years. In this post I will talk about the technique and how it can improve collaborative working and the output on your website.
Pair writing, unsurprisingly involves two people sitting down together and writing copy in real-time. It really is as simple as that!
A user story is a useful method to help you focus your content on what a user wants to achieve when they come to your site or web page. Thinking about the content in this way can also help you with the tone of your writing and creating page titles and summary paragraphs. (more…)