We need to have a 100-page website written, could you have it finished by Monday?

Content strategy means web copy that works.

Writing websites can be complicated. So as your website could be the first contact potential customers have with you, it's worth planning carefully to get it right. And that's where a good content strategy helps. Here's a rough outline:

1: Put your audience first.

Who is your site talking to? You may have a rough idea of the kind of things you want to say on your site. But ask yourself what sort of content your audience wants to see. I can help you work out who they are, what they need, and how you can help them.

2: Prioritise your site's copy.

Content comes before design. It's great to have a gorgeous, responsive design that looks beautiful on any device. Just make sure form is serving function, not the other way around. Or you could end up all fur coat and no knickers. Brrr.

3: Answer the nice copywriter.

This is where I interrogate you. In a nice way, obviously, with comfy chairs and biscuits. But be prepared to answer lots of questions throughout the process – about you, your competitors, and the way you do things. Nobody knows your business better than you, so I'll need to pick your brains. 

4: Keep the good content coming.

Content strategy is about your brand's ability to keep creating effective content. Sometimes you'll want to hire a content writer to do this (hello). But there are some writing tasks you may want to carry out in-house. So I can give your teams training on how to write effectively using your brand's tone of voice, with style guides to keep you right.

And there are a few things you can do within your organisation too...

Involve the decision makers from the start.

Ask an opinion from everyone who makes a decision on your website from the start. It can be like herding cats, but it's worth doing at the beginning rather than the end. Otherwise you can find yourself almost finished,  then having to start from scratch because of a last-minute comment from Bob in Marketing, who 'wasn't CCd'. Pesky Bob.

Give your content the time it needs.

Allocate time to meet internally and decide what you want to say. Then make sure you allow enough time for the content to be produced - too many sites fail because their content was rushed at the last minute. A good strategy will also allow time for training your team (or freelance writer) on how to write using your brand's tone of voice.

Remember - too many cooks spoil the web copy.

Don’t involve too many people though, as writing by committee just doesn’t work. Your job as a business is to tell the copywriter what you want to communicate, so pick as few people as possible  ideally one  to funnel down the facts from the rest of the company. Or the writer could interview them, if the numbers are manageable.