By Greg Verdino
“Do our content reviews need to take so long?”
“Why do our writers keep reinventing the wheel?”
“Why do the articles in the same part of our website take such different approaches?”
If you’re up against questions like these, you have content messes on your hands. And you can bet that your prospects and customers get frustrated trying to find what they need hidden in those messes.
You’re not alone. We hear these things almost every time we revamp a website. A company has built a huge inventory of content, often created by multiple authors. What might have started as useful, usable content created in a consistent way has turned into a mess, which is made worse when the website’s sections are owned by multiple teams. Inconsistency reigns, and the content experience suffers — either for the whole site or for a section where a visitor might expect every page to deliver the same type of information in the same way.
What can you do?
Identify the types of content your audience needs most. Then, for each type of content, create a fill-in-the-blank template that all authors can use. A template like that — basically a form or a descriptive outline — improves the consistency and quality of your content assets. A content template is a tool your teams can use to clean up content messes.
In this article, I describe six steps to create your own content templates.
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What is a content template?
In case you’re not sure what I mean by “content template,” let me tell you about one that my team developed for a private-equity firm for a certain type of content it creates over and over: the profile of a portfolio company. This particular content template includes elements like these: