When you’re putting together a project, especially a creative one, the content you’re showing your audience is important.  Targeted content is key if you are trying to grow readers, sell products, or inspire viewers.  Now that you know your audience and the type of ideas and visuals they will respond to, do you have the corresponding visuals?

Creating authentic content takes much more time and effort than it seems.  Writing blog posts, snapping photos, and shooting and editing videos takes both passion and patience.  When you’re running a successful business and you go online, you need some combination of pictures, videos, and copy to effectively represent your brand to your audience.  Maybe you have this piece prepared and ready to go; maybe you don’t.  Below, I’ll outline what it’s like working with a web developer at every stage of having your content prepared.

You have your content completely prepared.

Since your content is edited and ready, the developer can use what you have and hit the ground running.  Because of this, development will be relatively quick (project depending), thus saving you time and money.

You have some content prepared, and you are still looking for pictures that represent your brand.

At this stage, it’s important to communicate with your developer up front and let her/him know where you are with your content and when you expect to have it, as this will affect the development timeline.  I worked on a project where the content expectations were not explicit; thus, the project’s launch was delayed.  I extremely enjoyed working on the project so there wasn’t an issue, but both parties would have liked to meet the launch deadline.  Overall, it’s difficult for a developer to build the perfect site for your company if you don’t have all the pictures, videos or copy you want on the site.

You don’t have your content prepared and are hoping your developer can help with this.

This is one of the first questions many developers ask in the discovery period because some studios help with content and some don’t.  If you want help with creating content, be clear with this expectation because this will affect the development timeline and your budget.  Developers may have stock photos at the ready, but you will likely need to purchase licenses to photos.  This cost can range anywhere from $15-$100 per photo.  If you have a larger budget, I suggest hiring a photographer to produce specifically targeted, one-of-a kind photos for your site.  Your developer may be able to connect you with professionals in the area.  Additionally, there are a few websites with free stock photos, but these are highly coveted so you run the risk of seeing these photos on multiple sites, which can dilute your message.
Whichever stage of content preparation you are at, it’s best to communicate clearly with those you are working with.  With open lines of communication, you’ll work fast, save time and money, and get the best product.

What has been your experience with creating content?  What is your process and how do you collaborate with others while working on a timeline?


x  Haley