Featured Article
All Articles

Error, Error on the Wall …

Erin Anderson

When errors occur on websites, the consequences are (usually) fairly unremarkable. Too bad the alarmists who write the error messages still haven’t gotten the memo.

Read more

Your Web Content Is Out of (Your) Control

Kristina Halvorson

Most of us are still struggling with how to effectively plan, create, and manage content for our own company's website(s). Now we have to worry about social media, too.

Read more

A-ha: Content Strategists Never Stop Learning

Meghan Casey

Brain Traffic content strategists are no exception. Find out what four of us have learned or discovered recently.

Read more

Content Strategy Can Help. Literally.

Christine Benson

Customers expect a help section to have helpful content. Make sure you don’t disappoint.

Read more

Web Content Style Guides that Don't Suck

Kristina Halvorson

The style guide is a long-overlooked tool in good content strategy. But style guides are a great investment for creating useful, usable content. Get some pointers here.

Read more

Mining for (Source) Content Gold

Amy Little

As a writer or editor, it’s ideal to get solid content strategy and background information before you start creating content. But sometimes you need to fend for yourself.

Read more

You Have Problems

Kristina Halvorson

I know. Web content hurts. But I have good news: there's a cure.

Read more

Content Creation: Quality vs. Quantity (or “A Recipe for Content Deliciousness”)

Erin Anderson

This is what happens when you write about the virtues of streamlined web content while hungry.

Read more

Content strategy is, in fact, the next big thing

Kristina Halvorson

In January of 2009, I started telling people that content strategy would be the next big focus for organizations worldwide. I even went so far as to say, “Content strategy will soon be getting more attention than social media.”

Read more

Don’t Gamble with Automatic Feedback Copy

Angie King

Think users won’t be affected by bad automatic feedback copy? Don’t bet on it.

Read more

Advice from the pros: Telling it like it is

Katie Dohman

You have less than four seconds to get your user the information he or she needs. GO!

Read more

Rupert Murdoch vs. the "Content Kleptomaniacs" and "Plagiarists" (See: Google)

Kristina Halvorson

When the religion of the Web is that you can find anything you want, from anywhere, at any time, Murdoch's plan is straight-up blasphemous.

Read more

For the Dogs

Meghan Casey

Ever struggle with creating web content that gives your audience exactly what they want? We all do.

Read more

Making the Transaction

Katie Dohman

Writing and designing for the mobile web—it’s about being pithy on an even smaller scale. It's all about making transactions and none of the so-called filler.

Read more

Content People Care About: Find your Orphaned Baby Bear

Meghan Casey

You don’t need a cuddly orphaned baby bear to create content people care about. But you do need one of those strategy thingamajigs.

Read more

Email Etiquette: You are what you send.

Elizabeth Saloka

Email can be a tricky medium. Don’t let it trip you up—personally or professionally.

Read more

This Just In: The New York Times is Way Smart!

Elizabeth Saloka

The best interactive graphics are the simplest. No bells and whistles, please.

Read more

Put a Lid on Canned Copy

Meghan Casey

Canned content is low on nutritional value.

Read more

What vs. How

Julie Vollenweider

It’s not what you do that sets you apart, but how you do it.

Read more

Are You Really Collaborating?

Christine Benson

Most people in the CS community agree on the need for collaboration, but are you sure that’s what you’re doing?

Read more

The Content Inventory is Your Friend

Kristina Halvorson

Yep, that's right. Content inventories could change your LIFE.

Read more

The Value of Content, Part 2: Nobody’s Perfect

Melissa Rach

Get 7 tips for making your content measurement plan perfectly … imperfect.

Read more

Warning: This is a Fake Warning!

Angie Halama

Don't fall victim to scareware this Halloween season.

Read more

5 Tips on Working with a Style Guide

Elizabeth Saloka

Don't let your style guide derail your sane train. Bone up on these tried-and-true tips.

Read more

When You Know Your Content Is Bad

Tenessa Gemelke

Whether you’re in a decision-making position or not, it can be difficult to figure out how to use your powers for good to defeat bad content. Fear not! If you’ve been quietly suffering the knowledge—nay, the CERTAINTY—that your content stinks, here are a few ways to take steps in the right direction.

Read more

Don’t Use That Language With Me

Angie Halama

If your writing is filled with jargon, your audience might not be getting your message.

Read more

Members vs. guests: how to label users on authenticated sites

Angie King

They say it's best to call a spade a spade. So why not call your members by name?

Read more

Bangalore, we have a problem.

Elizabeth Saloka

I’ve just stumbled on a site that offers web content for $4. Four. Dollars. That’s like, a sandwich. A gas station sandwich. Since when did web content become such a cheap commodity?

Read more

The Dirt on Editorial Calendars

Melissa Rach

Newsflash: This content strategy scoop did not require any phone hacking.

Read more

The History of IA and Other Tales

Melissa Rach

The web industry, like any other, has its own language. The difference between a good information architect and a great one is often the ability to communicate with clients.

Read more

Web Writing Is a Risqué Business

Angie King

Let's all take a lesson from this dirty little mistake, and start writing exactly what we mean.

Read more

Workflow That Works

Christine Benson

How many great ideas never get implemented or maintained because nobody ever bothered to figure out who would do the work? Or work was assigned to someone, but no one ever looked at the tasks that person was already doing?

Read more

Stakeholder Interviews: Engage the Octopus

Melissa Rach

Just like an octopus needs all eight arms to move forward, good web content needs help from people at all levels of the organization.

Read more

Contact Us: Great and Gross Examples

Julie Vollenweider

A little TLC for online “contact” can make a huge difference in customer experience.

Read more

Content Strategy Is Not User Experience

Erin Kissane

Up is down! Black is white! Marketers and data nerds living together!

Read more

Communication Tips from Client Services

Christine Benson

I learn a thing or two about effective communication from our catchphrase-loving VP of client services.

Read more

What I Learned About Information Architecture From Watching Bad Movies

Christine Benson

Unsuccessful web experiences typically happen because there are somehow barriers between the users and their goals. And some of these barriers are similar to what makes a bad movie bad.

Read more

Tidings of Content & Calm

Lee Thomas

Less really is more. Ralphie double-dog-dares you to read this post.

Read more

When Words Fail

Tenessa Gemelke

What exactly are you trying to say? How unintended meaning undermines good content.

Read more

Give Content Strategy a Fighting Chance

Meghan Casey

No stakeholder alignment. No content strategy. Get the people at the table committed to the content cause.

Read more

Online endeavors need a spare tire

Clinton Forry

Your car isn’t the only thing that should come equipped with a spare tire. Make sure you’ve got one for your content, too.

Read more

Let's get typical! Common strategy scenarios and results

Julie Vollenweider

“Tell me about a typical project.” In a consulting environment, most people understand that this is a tricky request—especially if it’s our first conversation.

Read more

An intro to metadata and taxonomies

Christine Benson

Confused about metadata? Taxonomies? Think they’re one and the same? Get an initial understanding of what these terms mean, and how they relate to each other.

Read more

Five Things Content Strategy Can Do for You

Julie Vollenweider

Have a plan. Take care of it. Look like a hero.

Read more

How to Sell in Content Strategy

Kristina Halvorson

So many of us struggle to get buy-in for content strategy. What's the best way to convince your stakeholders it's really, truly important?

Read more

Do It Like a Librarian: Ranganathan for Content Strategists

Claire Rasmussen

Although academia and consulting can sometimes seem like different planets, content strategists and librarians have a lot in common—after all, we all love content.

Read more

How Nonprofits Can Profit From Content Strategy

Tenessa Gemelke

Think your nonprofit doesn’t have the time or resources for content strategy? Here are some small steps that can make a big difference.

Read more

Curation Nation

Kristina Halvorson

To curate or not to curate? Or is curation even a thing in the first place?

Read more

The John Hodgman Approach to Web Content

Angie King

We take a page from John Hodgman’s fictional reference book and apply it to a client’s website.

Read more

Style Guide Pep Talk: Rah! Rah! Rah!

Angie Halama

Style guides are a necessity, but updating them can be a hassle. So we want to cheer you on with some helpful tips and style guide spirit!

Read more

Worried About Content "Below the Fold"? Don't Be.

David Bowen

Good news: There's no need to cram everything above The Mythical Line Below Which No Reader Ever Goes.

Read more

Can Your Content Strategy Handle the Truth About Governance?

Meghan Casey

Without governance, your content strategy has no teeth. And a content strategy without teeth may as well not exist.

Read more

Content and the Technology of Today

Julie Vollenweider

Choose your own adventure! Technology has changed the way we read. Will it change the way we do content strategy, too?

Read more

RSS in the Olden Days

Angie Halama

Back then, they had to do it all by hand.

Read more

Let Me Be Clear: Take Time with Your Words

Erin Anderson

We agonize over stuff like error messages, links, and headlines every day. Here's why.

Read more

Upcoming Seminar: Writing for Websites

Kristina Halvorson

Want to learn what it takes to be a smart, successful web writer in 2009? Register for Kristina Halvorson's March 11 seminar, "Writing for Websites."

Read more

Auditing big sites doesn’t have to be taxing

Christine Anameier

Now that U.S. tax day has come and gone, we can focus our attention on big audits.

Read more

Content needs a new home

Kristina Halvorson

Unless your primary product or service is content, you probably still lack the appropriate infrastructure to support ongoing content creation and maintenance. Get one.

Read more

"About Us" doesn't have to be all "Ugh."

Julie Vollenweider

Rather than using the "About Us" section of a site like a congratulatory press release, consider approaching it like a magazine’s Editor's Letter. And a little like a middle schooler.

Read more

By "Them" I Mean "Him" or "Her"

Angie Halama

Here's a transcript of a recent grammar conversation we had via an all-staff e-mail that was jumpstarted by Angie King (Angie 2.0). It includes such unrelated subjects as manbabies and Vitamin Water.

Read more

Useful copy in the real world

Christine Benson

On the web or out in the world, clearly communicating your message is always important.

Read more

How Not to Write (or, dwell Loses a Customer)

Kristina Halvorson

Whether or not the coming year of dwell magazine actually would "thrill, inspire, and dazzle" us as its editor-in-chief guarantees, we'll never know.

Read more

Just fill in the blank?

Meghan Casey

Content strategy--thinking done by real, live humans--makes sure your content hits the mark.

Read more

Cut!

Elizabeth Saloka

The first rule of good web writing is the first rule of all good writing: cut the fat. So, what should you do when the power of Victorian diction compels you?

Read more

Content Strategy and Responsive Design

Sean Tubridy

Not quite sure what responsive design is? Get the skinny, and learn how it can impact your content.

Read more

Content Battle of the Year

Clinton Forry

Kristina Halvorson and Joe Pulizzi face off on content, strategy, and marketing in our very first podcast.

Read more

Four free podcasts: Curation Best Practices

Kristina Halvorson

Listen in as Kristina talks content curation with IBM.com Editor-in-Chief, James Mathewson.

Read more

Brain Traffic Lands the Quad!

Melissa Rach

Watch out Evgeni Plushenko, Brain Traffic can land a quad. See our infographic describing the four key components of content strategy.

Read more

I Content Strategize, Therefore I Am

Melissa Rach

What’s the meaning of content? We’ll tell you what we think with the help of some drunken philosophers.

Read more

Lost in Translation

Katie Riddle

What you should consider before your content goes global

Read more

A Little Label Love Goes a Long Way

Christine Benson

Remember: content (rather than design) can show brand and personality.

Read more

Put the Work Before the Words

Scott Kubie

The definition of content strategy can be tough to nail down. But how important is it that everyone agrees on it? 

Read more

The Value of Content, Part 1: Adam Smith never expected this

Melissa Rach

Brace yourselves, content folks. We're going to talk economics. I promise there will be no math involved.

Read more

Avoid This Common Error

Meghan Casey

Guess what? Error messages are content. That means they require the same attention as any other words on your site.

Read more

News Flash: Social media won't fix your content problem

Kristina Halvorson

Promising social media widgets will make your corporate website relevant isn't just irresponsible. It's wrong.

Read more

With Content Strategy, There’s No One Right Way

Meghan Casey

There’s no one “right way” to do content strategy. But, we can build on what’s worked before by adapting and refining for the best possible result.

Read more

Should You Complement Your Intranet With Knowledge From Employees?

Meghan Casey

Employee intranets have traditionally been owned and managed by technology, communications, or human resources. Today, there’s a trend toward employee intranets being owned by teams responsible for internal knowledge sharing or knowledge management.

Read more

You’re So Not Welcome.

Erin Anderson

How do you help your user feel at home on your site without actually telling her to, uh, feel at home on your site?

Read more

Brown Paper Packages

Lee Thomas

The holidays are over, but there’s one more package to unwrap. (Don’t worry, it’s not socks.)

Read more

Get to the Exclamation Point Online

Angie King

Feel the excitement! An exclamation point changes the tone. Just like that! Why, then, are we encouraged to steer clear of this titillating punctuation mark? The exclamation point—known on the street as the screamer and the bang—has a bad rap.

Read more

Give Your CS Project Sponsors the Royal Treatment

Melissa Rach

It’s not “the wedding of the century,” but to your project sponsor, a content strategy project is a big— and often stressful—deal. So, show your sponsors some love.

Read more

No-poute routes: Ways to do content strategy on a budget

Melissa Rach

Small organization? Small budget? Don't get down in the mouth. A content strategy is still within reach. We'll show you how.

Read more

How Bad Content Ruined My Vacation

Emily Folstad

Ever wondered whether poorly planned content actually affects real people in real life? It does. Just ask my family.

Read more

Don't Put the Stagecoach Before the Horse

Erin Anderson

Before you leap onto the social media bandwagon, make sure these advanced tools actually play nice with your brand and your audience.

Read more

What We Say and What We Mean

Lee Thomas

Surely, We Can Say What We Mean.

Agreed. Now stop calling me Shirley.

Read more

Governance Grows Up

Erin Kissane

Content governance is always a beast—especially when it comes to ongoing contributions from subject-matter experts. But it may finally be creeping into the heart of organizations.

Read more

Content Strategy and Social Media

Kristina Halvorson

Social media proponents tell us the only way to protect our brand integrity is to "join the conversation"—get out there and pay attention to what people are saying about your products and services … But let's back up for a minute.

Read more

Personal pronouns: It's okay to own your web copy

Angie King

If you want your users to feel connected to your brand, it’s important they know you stand behind your content.

Read more

The Inside Job: Getting Started

Christine Benson

Initiating content strategy projects inside an organization can be daunting. Here are a few tips to kickstart the process.

Read more

Improving Your Content’s Signal-to-Noise Ratio

Christine Anameier

Even good content can be "noise." Here are a few tips on how to cut out the static.

Read more

Is Your Metadata Miles Away from Complete?

Clinton Forry

Duplicate content and inaccurate or incomplete metadata creates a poor user experience. And sends me into a JAZZ RAGE.

Read more

Engage Content Owners Early

Angie Halama

Do the people who review your web content undo all your web writing best practices? It's likely because they don't understand what makes good web content and why. Get them up to speed, and soon.

Read more

Sorting through the digital debris

Christine Anameier

Treatments or a cure for the common cold could be out there, but it would be hard to tell from a Google search.

Read more

Content Strategy Can Save Us All From Slobdom

Meghan Casey

Once on the fast-track to slobdom, this lady has become an organizer … of clothes and content. And I owe it all to content strategy.

Read more

Keep Your Content from Falling into Disrepair

Emily Folstad

Just like home ownership, great content requires owners who care. But how do you get content owners invested in making great content?

Read more

Attention information architects: That IS your job

Christine Benson

For a really great website, give your web writers a roadmap.

Read more

Maintaining Your Non-Text Content

Clinton Forry

We’re all for enhancing the user experience with non-text content, but only if there’s a solid maintenance plan in place.

Read more

Know Thy User

Meghan Casey

"I always open your emails because I know they'll contain something I can actually use." Ahh, music to our ears. How can we make that happen for every website and e-mail?

Read more

Workflow That Flows

Christine Benson

A key to great content? Accurate planning, prioritization, and communication.

Read more