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Content Strategy for the Web (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

Kristina Halvorson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

12 Aug 2009 0321620062 978-0321620064 1
If your website content is out of date, off-brand, and out of control, you're missing a huge opportunity to engage, convert, and retain customers online. Redesigning your home page won't help. Investing in a new content management system won't fix it, either. So, where do you start?
 
Without meaningful content, your website isn't worth much to your key audiences. But creating (and caring for) "meaningful" content is far more complicated than we're often willing to acknowledge. Content Strategy for the Web explains how to create and deliver useful, usable content for your online audiences, when and where they need it most. It also shares content best practices so you can get your next website redesign right, on time and on budget. For the first time, you'll:
 
  • See content strategy (and its business value) explained in plain language
  •  Find out why so many web projects implode in the content development phase ... and how to avoid the associated, unnecessary costs and delays  
  • Learn how to audit and analyze your content
  • Make smarter, achievable decisions about which content to create and how
  • Find out how to maintain consistent, accurate, compelling content over time
  • Get solid, practical advice on staffing for content-related roles and responsibilities
 


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (12 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321620062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321620064
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 17.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

If your website content is out of date, off-brand, and out of control, you're missing a huge opportunity to engage, convert, and retain customers online. Redesigning your home page won't help. Investing in a new content management system won't fix it, either. So, where do you start?
 
Without meaningful content, your website isn't worth much to your key audiences. But creating (and caring for) "meaningful" content is far more complicated than we're often willing to acknowledge. Content Strategy for the Web explains how to create and deliver useful, usable content for your online audiences, when and where they need it most. It also shares content best practices so you can get your next website redesign right, on time and on budget. For the first time, you'll:
 
  • See content strategy (and its business value) explained in plain language
  •  Find out why so many web projects implode in the content development phase ... and how to avoid the associated, unnecessary costs and delays  
  • Learn how to audit and analyze your content
  • Make smarter, achievable decisions about which content to create and how
  • Find out how to maintain consistent, accurate, compelling content over time
  • Get solid, practical advice on staffing for content-related roles and responsibilities
 

About the Author

Kristina Halvorson is the founder and president of Brain Traffic, a nationally-renowned agency specializing in content strategy and writing for the web.

Widely recognized as one of the country’s leading content strategists, Kristina speaks regularly to audiences around the world about how to deliver useful, usable content online, where and when your customers need it most. She has led content projects for hundreds of websites across dozens of industries. Her presentations about web content are consistently given top ratings at conferences and by clients alike.

In 2009, Kristina curated the first Content Strategy Consortium to facilitate a national dialogue about this emerging discipline. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivers what it promises 20 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
A number of negative reviews seem to be intent on punishing Kristina Halvorson for not writing the book they wanted to read rather than the book she has actually written. This is not a book about writing copy for the web or for improving your writing technique to make more sales or land more leads. It is a book about content strategy and that is what the author successfully delivers.

Anyone involved in creating business websites knows the struggle associated with specifying, creating, collecting, and updating content. This book sets out a straightforward and practical process for managing that struggle. More than that, it gives you the tools to help convince those involved in the website who are focused primarily on sales or design or databases or usability of the fundamental importance of getting the content right. Not from the point of view of wonderful copy but right in terms of fitting the business objectives.

This book is deceptively simple and the author's style and tone make it a quick and easy read. I suspect that it will reward subsequent readings by triggering greater insights. The chapters on Audit and Workflow are alone probably worth the price of the book.

Sneering at the idea of 'content strategist' as a specialist function is easy. But whatever you call it, there needs to be a role for someone to oversee the content on a site and on the distributed outposts in which it may also appear. Consistency of message and tone, accuracy of data, regularity of output: none of these happen in an organisation by default. This book is a great template for making sure that someone is on top of the work.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By K. Yau
Format:Paperback
`Content Strategy for the Web' is a much-needed book that helps to push forward the emerging discipline of content strategy.

It gives enough useful information about how to go about defining a content strategy to make it an essential addition to the bookshelf of anyone who works in or around online content. Just as importantly, it presents the case for content strategy articulately so that the book can be used as a tool to persuade decision-makers and colleagues about the importance of content strategy. Kristina Halvorson's writing style is, as you would hope and expect, very readable for what could have been an incredibly dry subject.

The book describes a three-step process for defining a content strategy - audit, analysis, and strategy - and prompts you on the things you need to think about at each stage. What you don't get, and this is a good thing, is a `for dummies' approach that gives you blank templates to fill in or a step-by-step account of how to complete each stage. So, for example, there's a chapter on measurement that tells you a bit about analytics, how to think about what to measure and what to do with your figures, but it doesn't tell you what analytics package to use and how to set up the software.

Content Strategy for the Web's strength is that it focuses on provoking thoughts without being prescriptive on what the outcome of your thought process should be. Every project is different and what you get here is a thorough description of the framework that you can adapt to your own projects.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sense, simply written 10 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
Kristina Halvorsen's book is not only a great introduction to content strategy, it's invaluable in clearly demonstrating to others why content strategy is so important. I enjoyed the occasionally irreverent tone, peppered with real life experience in dealing with clients and highlighting the pitfalls around this nascent field. It's clearly written, and follows a natural trajectory of content audit through to development. Highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Over promises and delivers very little 17 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For the sake of brevity and to avoid repeating some of the comments of others who have found this book disappointing: they are right.

As someone who manages a number of websites, I'm constantly looking for new ideas and best practices that will help me develop my websites, from content strategy through tactical delivery to measurement and analysis. The author claims from the outset that the book is "an introduction to the emerging practice of content strategy" and that it "provides a high-level overview of the benefits, roles, activities, and deliverables associated with content strategy". Sounded great.

Unfortunately, the book fails to deliver on any of these promises. What is presented is a collection of headings followed by series after series of bullet points. But these aren't bullet points providing you with information, best practices, procedures/processes, blueprints, or any sort of content strategy enlightenment - they are simply lists of questions. Do you do this? Does your organization do that? And so on, an on and on - page after page after page. A handful of reasons for having a content strategy are presented in the first couple of chapters (although these are tenuous at best). After that, the author just rambles and waffles about, well, actually very little. No original ideas are presented - whenever the author says "the following process will help do X or Y" there's always a little footnote disclaimer that the process in question was provided by someone else. To the author's credit, the topic of auditing a site is introduced - but then she simply says make a list of your webpages on an excel sheet - she's clearly forgotten that sitemaps are available.

There's a few examples - of basically some really crap and obscure websites.
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