Consultancy

Are you looking for a second opinion on your publication, website or blog? A fresh pair of eyes to provide an objective opinion on your content and how it can be improved?

I have plenty of experience of doing just that. I’ve spent nearly 20 years of my career working on monthly magazines. I that time I participated in more than 100 debrief meetings with editorial teams. I have also been the consultant editor of BBC Focus magazine.

I can provide content consultancy in just two days. It takes me one day to read several issues of a publication or to immerse myself in the website or blog, and the second day to write a 1-page summary report. Time permitting, I may be able to spend longer — visiting you in person and writing a more detailed report.

Here are some of the questions I set out to answer when I analyse a publication or website.

Printed publications and digital magazines

  • Does the publication meet readers’ needs?
  • What is the desired tone and is it being conveyed?
  • Who are the best writers and what makes them good?
  • Are there simple ways to improve the articles?
  • Do the sections make sense?
  • Are layouts, fonts and images used effectively?
  • Does the cover entice readers and reflect what’s inside?

Websites and blogs

Most of the above still apply, but there’s an added consideration:

  • How good is site navigation, and how readable is the content on different devices?

For websites, of course, there’s another question: is the content optimised for SEO?

As far as content is concerned, SEO is no longer a simple matter of including as many keywords as possible. According to Search Engine Land, “Onsite optimization includes far more than just keyword optimization, and even keyword interpretation relies more on Google’s sophisticated understanding of human language than it does on your specific word choices.”

My interpretation of this, having read about Google updates such as Hummingbird, is that a good way to optimise your site is to commission good quality, original content.