You’ve got information. Do you have content?

It’s a common refrain, professed by organizations large and small to their content strategists [or perhaps explaining how everything is under control]:

Oh, we’ve got lots of content. We just don’t have it on the website. We just need to put it up there.

Sometimes, it’s even true.

But what happens far more often is that the organization has a lot of information, little to none of it web-ready.

This is not always a popular statement, but information isn’t the same as content. For your web content to be effective, it must be designed and edited specifically for your business purposes, and optimized for web reading to meet your audience’s needs.

Information does not magically become effective web content by the circumstance of appearing on your website.

Another related, unpopular point: People with access to information and Microsoft Word do not automatically become writers.

I think I sound more negative or critical than I intend to do. If it seems like I’m talking straight to you, let me just encourage you by saying that you are not alone. Many, many organizations are dealing with these issues.

Often, we get into a situation like that because we’ve left the content until the end.

Save yourself from the content/information dilemma:

  • Craft a strategy for your content with your business goals in mind.
  • Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that your information is web-ready.
  • Get experienced web writers to work with your topical experts to shape your information into web-ready content.

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