Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Web writing: 7 tools you need right in front of you
My favorite part about conferences and Meetups is hearing how my peers manage the actual nitty gritty details of what we do. I love hearing how different content strategists and Web writers work and what tools, reference materials and other guides they use while writing fresh, sparkling Web copy.
In the spirit of sharing, here’s a list of what I always have in front of me while writing a new copy deck:
1. The architecture—that is my map, guidepost, my everything. I also love checking off those pages as they are written.
2. Content analysis and content auditing map—my favorite is to keep this in a window, as I can easily click on the links I need to get to those pages.
3. SEO software—I just need to check and recheck my keywords. Sometimes I do this research before I start writing, but inevitably I go back in because another thought occurred to me. Usually I have multiple windows open on different SEO programs I like.
4. Style guides—whichever organization I’m writing for, I like to have their style guide in front of me, so I can double check if I have questions. I also keep AP Stylebook by my side at all times (while I’m working). I'm not a complete and total loser.
5. Any printed companion pieces—brochures, ads, fact sheets—they are all helpful in creating and refining content.
6. Post-its—I have them in all colors—they help tag things you need on paper and are great for scribbling down ideas.
7. The website—even though I’m usually writing new content from scratch, you never know what you might find on the old website that you can use for the new copy.
What do you use when Web writing? Any new and great ideas are helpful!!!