An open challenge to web developers: deal with the content conundrum

There is much that makes sense in online marketing. Brand strategy makes sense. User experience considerations make sense. SEO sensibility makes sense. Social media even makes sense, when done right. One thing that does NOT make sense is designing and building a smart, sophisticated web presence while ducking the whole issue of content.

Great sites need great content. Otherwise, their greatness is greatly diminished. It’s the people who are interested in the brand who actually read what’s written there. And if what’s written there isn’t as thoughtful and compelling as the site’s structure and design, well then, that very structure and design is not going to perform as well as it might otherwise.

Why then do developers so regularly avoid embracing content creation? After all, it’s their own wonderful work that stands to gain or lose effectiveness.

One answer no doubt is that the client will provide. Often clients assume this themselves, and occasionally it is true. Occasionally clients come through with solid content to fill their site with substance and meaning, and do so in a timely manner. But often they cannot, and delays ensue and frustration and comprise and ultimately, everyone is just relieved to have something there, so the site can go live. It’s hardly the high road to excellence.

Another answer is that the agency will provide. Web developers view content as another hairball they’d rather simply obit around, so they leave it to the clients’ agency to sort out. The drawback is that agencies don’t always like long copy either. Also, they can be prohibitively expensive when a full site is in need of their attention. Furthermore, these days, the web strategy is the marketing strategy, at least in large part. So there may not even be an agency in the picture.

What it may all come down to is a feeling of fluency. We like to do what we are really good at. Web developers aren’t really good at copywriting. They are really good at web development.

But if, say, just for example, they had a partner who was, like, really good at writing, and wasn’t, like, afraid of having to produce page upon page of clear compelling content. And, just speaking hypothetically here, that partner could scale their resources, and deliver such volume work at reasonable rates, wouldn’t that be a competitive advantage?

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