In an ideal world, all web writing projects would follow the same type of structure, management, and discipline as other projects. I personally spend a lot of time up front talking to clients to prevent any misunderstandings. A great tool to use is Basecamp; it allows me to manage a big web project by posting drafts, getting regular feedback/comments from the client, and it facilitates collaboration, for example, with a graphic designer.
Like with any other project, you should
- identify client needs and expectations
- identify milestones and deadlines
- arrange the revision process
You also need to ensure that you and your client are on the same page in terms of who the audience is, as well as what the purpose of the site is. I also find it really helpful to get examples from clients as to what style of websites they like, as well as who they’d identify as their main competition. This assists with SEO and also helps you generate a “voice” for the site. I find that it also helps me find a starting point for deciding what sections the site should include and what type of information I should cover.
A really important step, too, is to ensure that all parties know what the project process is, e.g., if you send them a draft, they must get back to you within a week with any comments or changes. You need to ensure consistency, clarity, and coherence throughout, even if the client is none of those things…