When discussing what a Web Content Strategist does, it is very easy to get bogged down on all of the different requirements of a role that spans so many disciplines. It is a very useful exercise to reduce it to its most important elements. In the excellent The Web Content Strategist’s Bible, Richard Sheffield outlines 4 key qualities for a content manager which have nothing to do with technical requirements. He contends that the individual must be:
- A decent writer and editor
- Someone who understands how to plan and implement a project
- Someone who really wants to do this kind of work
- Someone who understands the bare basics of how the web works technically
And that’s it. Everything else is ‘gravy’.
Different jobs will have different emphases and technical requirements. I would fully agree with the above. Of course I can think of half a dozen other attributes to add to the list but that is self-defeating.
A Web Content Strategist needs to love the job
It can be assumed that this is important in any job but particularly so in a job which is not glamorous. Now, whatever else can be said about the role of web content strategist, it is not perceived as being glamorous. Few people understand precisely what it is, and most assume it to be simply writing stuff without having any idea of how complex the role is or how few people have the range of skills to be successful at it.
So the web content strategist will not be the envy of many people. The job has other, unseen benefits. You more often get to create something great over a long period of time, rather than roving from site to site as many web designers and programmers do. The job is massively varied and has a nice mixture of teamwork and solo work. You can work in almost any industry as everyone needs a web presence. And what you do is important for your company and will be increasingly so in the coming years.
Those are the things to love about the job.