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The best websites are organized websites. Plan your pages with a content analysis before you write one word. Here’s how to start:
Define your writing style.
You might appear in some of the most distinguished academic publications in the nation, but is that what your website visitors read? If they’re teens looking for activism opportunities, probably not. Think about the writing style (serious, academic, slangy, sensational) they’re most likely to respond to before you start to write.
Divide your existing or to-be-written pages into main categories. They may align with your menu options, but don’t think too much about that yet. Just group pages into the most important categories. Better to be general at this early stage than overly specific.
Make a content inventory.
Take a close look at the pages you already have and decide if they fit into your categories. If there are gaps, plan for new pages. Add all pages – existing or planned-for – into a spreadsheet. Add columns for categories, intended audience members, who’s responsible for writing each page, importance, topics, keywords or anything else you might notice.
This kind of analysis takes work, but it’s the best way to know that you’re saying what you need to say. It will also help you enlist the right authors and give you a clear understanding of the most vital – and outdated – information on your website.