Content is Expensive

By Deane Barker on December 25, 2010

Content is Expensive: While I realized that content strategy has taken off like a rocket in the last 18 months, how many projects do you think include content development and production in their budgets?

This is a good post, written back when the Amazon/MacMillan dustup happened earlier this year.  The Web is full of “content,” and it’s gotten us in the mode of thinking that content is free – I mean, it’s all over the place, right?  So it much be free.

It’s not.  Good content is expensive.  Budget for it.

Many organizations are beginning to realize that they need to include content planning, production, and maintenance in their budgets as well as in their project schedules. (Well…production, at least. And sometimes planning. We’re still working on it.)

But this is really a core part of the argument that people like Kristina and Jeffrey have been making: you have to plan for content, and you have to figure out to pay for it—not just immediately, but over the long term.

Most of us have worked for clients who loved the idea of “fresh” content, but had no idea what it would cost; many of us are also connected with publishing and media outfits that need to find a way to keep the lights on. We need to help our clients figure out how to pay for the content they need, and how to match their content plans with the realities of their budgets.



  1. Content has been punted as free to develop and produce by the “experts”, who doesn’t tell you that half the content developed in their own companies are not developed by themselves and that they in fact have teams of people doing it.

    Anybody that read that and couldn’t see the (un)logic in that is pretty much a moron.

    Writing a simple press release takes hours of thought alone, and whether it costs you money or not.. it costs you something.

    This kinda ties in with the notion that social media is the ultimate marketing silver bullet. Misconceptions are running wild in the ether..

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