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Content Modeling 101: Everything You Need in 3 Steps

Gillian Mays
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Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

Content modeling is the process of breaking your assets down into general content types and their individual attributes. Using this approach to define content structure makes it more organized, streamlined, and easy to work with.

Organization isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a crucial part of any team’s success. According to one study, organized marketers are 674% more likely to report success. If you want to apply this impressive statistic to your content, then content modeling is crucial. Let’s take a look at why this strategy is so important and how you can get started.

Section titled What is content modeling?

To understand content modeling, try to picture your current site. Your content probably comes in a variety of formats, such as

  • Blog posts
  • Photo galleries
  • Landing pages

These are called content types. If you’re like most sites, these aren’t built with just one big text field. They’re probably built by combining individual content attributes. Some examples of content attributes include:

  • Text fields
  • Images
  • Author boxes
  • Contact forms
  • FAQ blocks

The process of defining these types and attributes is called content modeling. It breaks your assets down into easy-to-understand, straightforward components that you can then use to compare and connect your content.

An example of content modeling: a rectangle representing a product page with the whole thing labeled 'content type' and the smaller aspects labeled 'attributes'.

Content modeling relies on a simple structural design, but can have impressive benefits for your business.

Section titled 3 reasons why you should use content modeling

Content modeling offers its users some serious benefits. Let’s take a look at the top three.

Section titled 1. Efficiency

Time spent trying to figure out your own content system is time wasted. With so many things on a typical to-do list, eliminating unnecessary friction is a priority. Content modeling lets you understand any asset on your site at a single glance. It also helps when you’re building new ones as you can reuse a structure you’ve established. It saves time and resources for focusing on the content itself, not the way it’s built.

Section titled 2. Consistency

Customers need to instantly understand your brand regardless of where they see it. If your work is inconsistent, you risk confusing them or putting out an unprofessional image. Content modeling lets you keep the content types streamlined while letting you customize them with content attributes. That way, you get unique content produced quicker and with less room for unintended variations.


Consistency is especially important if you’re pursuing an omnichannel strategy. Learn more here.

Section titled 3. Collaboration

Content modeling provides a clear blueprint that everyone on your team can reference and understand. It eliminates the need to run between departments that might have different ideas of what your structure is. Instead, it acts as an accessible resource that keeps everyone on the same page.

Section titled How to create a content model in 3 steps

Fortunately, content modeling is as straightforward as it is helpful. You just need to follow a few essential steps to get started with this strategy. Keep in mind that being simple doesn’t mean being fast. The process’s speed will depend on how much content you have. But don’t be discouraged - it’s worth it in the long run.

Section titled Step 1: Take stock of your content

The first step is to understand what content you’re working with. Start at the top: what are your most frequently used assets? If you’re a text-based site, it’ll probably be blog posts. Visual pages are more likely to be photo galleries and so on.

Try to get a good idea of what role they’re playing on your site as well as the things you struggle with. Are the attributes hard to reuse? Does every FAQ look a little different? Problems like these are often solved through the content modeling process, but having a focus as to why you started in the first place can be a helpful way to make sure you’re getting the results you want in the end.


A digital asset manager with robust organizational tools makes this process a lot easier.

Section titled Step 2: Outline content types and attributes

Next, it’s time to break things down one by one. Start with the content type, such as a blog. What are its main attributes? Text fields and titles are probably the most common, but look at what else is commonly there too. Some examples may include newsletter sign-ups and tables of contents.

By the same token, look at what isn’t there. Do you only promote the newsletter sign-up in some of your blog articles? If so, now is a good time to decide whether they should always be there or not. Take this opportunity to streamline your site and get an accurate idea of how you’re presenting yourself to visitors.

Section titled Step 3: Define relationships

Once you’ve determined what your content types and attributes are, it’s time to start connecting them. You can begin with finding common ground between the most frequently used pages: for example, what do your blog articles and photo galleries have in common? They may both use photos, author boxes, or even something as simple as text fields.

Knowing this overlap can help you define relationships and what they should look like going forward. Following the previous example, a gallery and a blog post might both use photo attributes, but a gallery might use dozens whereas a blog only uses one or two. You might decide you need an entirely new component to distinguish between the size difference. This helps your site remain consistent while also catering to the needs of each of your content types.

Finally, try to consider what future content types you may produce. If you one day decide to build an ecommerce store, you’ll need many new content attributes. Try to think of what those might be and if any of your current attributes will serve those needs. That way, you can skip the process of starting from scratch and begin on a solid foundation instead.


Content modeling is just one part of organizing your site. If you want to apply this straightforward, valuable approach to your technology as well, consider investing in a CMS with composable architecture.

Section titled Key takeaways

Content modeling is at the heart of a well-organized, easy-to-use system. It structures your content into manageable chunks that clearly define what each piece of content should look like to help clarify your process. It guides content creation, makes it easy to reuse, and creates a more efficient streamlined result without sacrificing quality or personalization. Content modeling isn’t just a surface-level strategy: it’s built from the ground up to ensure an optimized, efficient approach.