Preparing new website content is an exciting stage of the project! As you gather text, photos and other supporting materials, it gets easier to visualize how everything will look on the site. The biggest task left to do between now and your launch date is filling your site up with great information. Staying on track means sticking to a schedule and strategy for your web content creation.
Stay Focused on the Goals
Everyone wants their website to be a good one, but how will you know if your site is effective?
While each organization is different, the only way to to measure success is by setting goals and tracking results over time. In the early stages of building a website, we ask our nonprofit clients to pick the top three actions that they’d like website visitors to take. From there, decisions are made about design, page structure and navigation.
Now that you’re ready to tackle your site’s content, these same goals will influence the information that goes on each page and how the pages work together to move someone toward action and deeper knowledge.
If you’re still struggling to set goals for your website, start with your organizational goals. What is your nonprofit hoping to achieve this year? From driving more donations to recruiting skilled volunteers, your website probably has a role to play in many of your big picture goals.
And last but not least, don’t forget about the goals of your visitors. A site that is too focused on the needs and internal structure of your nonprofit becomes a virtual brochure rather than a welcome mat. As you gather and write content, think about the types of people coming to your site, what’s most important to them and the actions that they might take to learn more about your cause.
Need a little help fleshing out your target audience? Start by creating personas.
Create a Timeline for Web Content Creation
Unlike print projects, a website is a living piece of collateral that can (and should) be updated on a continual basis. But this flexibility also makes it very tempting to put your content writing and editing work on the back burner as you create a new site.
Break up the task with personal deadlines. Completing three pages a week doesn’t seem quite so daunting as a twenty page website, especially if you can delegate to multiple writers. Also be sure to add in extra time for review and editing as well as approvals, if you need them from other staff or your board of directors. Managing feedback from stakeholders should definitely factor into your planning.
By setting and sticking to a deadline for web content creation, the rest of your website project can stay on track and launch with its best foot forward.
This page is Chapter 2 in our Beginner’s Guide to Nonprofit Website Content.