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I ALWAYS mention the fact that I understand that he/she has the design concept and integrity as his/her first priority and underscore the fact that we need to work together with him/her in order to accomplish both our goals.
I then stick to my word and consult with him/her often. I usually give general instructions about what we need in the way of text. For instance, "We need 3 or 4 more paragaphs at the top focused on red tennis shoes."
So far, it's always worked for me.
Do you usually have access to the logs so you can do keyword analysis?
Sometimes. It depends upon the client and their policy.
Do you write the content yourself and do you have write permission on the site's directory?
I don't. I am not a copywriter, and I make that clear. I leave the copywriting to professionals. I simply point them in the right direction.
You will find that many large companies and all federal government departments cannot allow you to have write access. I say good! Leaving the uploading to them cuts back on headaches and time and also ensures that they have the correct working copy.
For a small site, it's probably easier to just hand the designer some modified version of their html and let them put it on the server.
In my experience, it is always easier to do the tags myself, recommend the copy changes, and let them do the rest and notify me when they're finished.
It sure makes things more complex but you can add version control in comment tags within each page.
Page updated by xx on yy changes to zzz