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Website Project Management: Getting the Best From Content Developers

written by: Haley Montgomery • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 4/30/2009

Part 2 in this series of articles on project management tips for website development projects offers help for working with multiple website content contributors and tips for combining content from various sources to build effective website final content.

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    Working with Multiple Website Content Contributors

    Following are five tips project managers can use to effectively execute website content development when managing multiple website content contributors.

    1. Pair content sections with appropriate writers. Take into account the individual writer's level of expertise in each content area as well as their writing skills and knowledge of the company or organization in general. Pairing human resources with appropriate tasks is key.

    2. Provide a comprehensive content structure. Make sure all writers are aware of the overall content and linking structure of the website and how their content will interface with the content of other contributors. Make cross-linking suggestions for specific content areas.

    3. Outline clear content goals. Review the relevant content parameters for each website content section and provide specific guidelines to each contributor.

    4. Encourage collaboration. Depending on the size of the website project, the lead writer for each content section may need a resource team to accomplish the required tasks. Also, collaboration between writers of various content sections can foster a more cohesive voice and tone for the text.

    5. Set intermediate deadlines to review first drafts. Project managers will be best served by reviewing content outlines and drafts at least once before the final product is produced. This allows managers to gauge effective use of key words, consistency of tone and adherence to content goals. Allow time to review drafts carefully. Offer a constructive and specific critique. Provide ample time for content revisions.

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    Pulling Together the Final Website Content

    Use these five website project management tips to ensure website content is effective, correct and consistent even though it originates from multiple sources.

    1. Request workable digital files and hard copies of all content from the writers. Both formats allow the project manager flexibility in noting or making edits. Be sure to label each hard copy and file name with "DRAFT" and the date so there is no confusion when final content is compiled.

    2. Evaluate against content outline and goals. Read each piece of content weighed against the specific project goals laid out at the beginning of the website project. Remember that a website user's online "reading" is sparse. Ensure verbiage is directly related to the goals for each content section and edit out superfluous information.

    3. Create a consistent format, tone and voice across content areas at each level of information. This is perhaps the most challenging task in managing content with multiple authors. Consistency of voice and tone will give website users a sense of cohesiveness that will reflect positively on the company or organization. Edit content so that it appears to come from a single communicator.

    4. Utilize good general editing practices. Although the volume of specific key word repetition is greater than generally recommended in other types of writing, writing for websites should still be good writing. Be sure the use of key words does not impede the reader's understanding of the information. Check for parallel structure in paragraphs, bullet points, and titles bridging various content areas. Give priority to proofreading for spelling, grammar, and accuracy.

    5. Don't forget the fine print. Be sure to address photo and image captions, reference lists and links, photo or graphic attributions, author credits, copyright information, and any overall site disclaimers.

Website Project Management: Content Development

This series features tips on how project managers can manage website content development effectively, including an overview of website content best practices, tips on working with multiple content contributors and website contractors, and last minute content checks before website launch.
  1. Website Project Management: Getting the Best From Content Developers
  2. Website Project Management: Website Content Checklists
  3. Website Project Management: Managing Ongoing Website Maintenance