This easy step can save you from creating a content model that fails

You probably want to know the answer to the following question: How do I create a content model that I know will be successful?

It's easy to understand the cost of getting your content model wrong:

  • Your content may not be reusable.

  • Your headless CMS might be worse to use than your previous setup

  • You could invest hours, days, weeks in building something that might not work for your team in the long run.

Have you ever been in a situation where you put a lot of effort into something and didn't get the result you anticipated you would?

You motivated yourself to do it, pushed yourself to execute, only for your goal to still feel far away. I've been there, and it's a pretty disappointing place to reach after putting in all of that effort.

This is not a failure, however. It's an opportunity to learn that the amount of effort you put into something doesn't guarantee a positive result.

Think of what it's like to bake something — you could buy the best ingredients, use the best tools, practice the best technique, but if you don't follow the recipe, what you're baking might come out tasting awful.

Implementing a headless CMS is a bit like baking: there's a recipe you can follow to build with confidence, knowing you're doing the right thing.

And the first step in the recipe should be planning.

Let's take a step back to the question posed at the beginning again: How do I create a content model that I know will be successful?

The success of your content model will be determined by the people in your organization who use it. Your content editors, designers, developers, and marketers.

To make a successful content model, you have to understand what your stakeholders need and want from your headless CMS.

You have to talk with your stakeholders and ask them about their needs, wants, and workflows.

By doing this, you'll be able to come up with an accurate, agreed-upon set of requirements that your headless CMS should meet. This will lead you to understand how to shape your content model to meet these requirements.

Teams that invest time in developing requirements are far more likely to set up a successful Contentful project than those who don't

Why? Because they use their current challenges to inform a vision their entire team can work towards, and make Contentful the tool to pull it all together.