A couple of strategies that have worked well so far:
- consider the motivations of your prospective users – identify as many questions as you can like “what is this about”, “where can I get help?”, etc. etc.
- cluster motivations until you come up with some themes – which may end up as your main content areas.
- get clear about what you are offering – services,programs, etc.
- lead with examples – always helpful to give people a gist of what your site is about.
And, find some inspiration. Here are a few sites you might find inspiring for different reasons:
Sosweet Creative: Simple, clear, aesthetically pleasing design around a theme.
This Changed My Practice: Great example of collaborative content creation – examples up front and an innovative approach to gage impact (using polls).
Mind check: Just a cool, novel approach to navigation.
A List Apart: nothing new here – just a great site with engaging posts about design (if you like to read).