I think the biggest error clients have when sending over content is not separating content from instructions. Having to read though instructions and having to pull out content ends up make what should be the easiest part of web development, the most difficult. Content changes should be easy. I feel that when changes are hard, the person sending over the instructions are doing it wrong. In my experience, copy/paste is pretty efficient and reliable. Once you have “change this” or “but leave this” instructions coming in, it makes what should be a simple task more difficult.
Power of a CMS
One of the major benefits of using a CMS versus a static site is the ability to easily change content without the help of the programmer/developer. There will be cases where some styling or CSS/HTML help maybe needed but most of the tasks can be accomplished easier from the admin panel, rather than sending out instructions.
Copy / paste always works:
The easiest way for the developer to handle migration of content is with clear instructions that reference the page and a document where it can be copied from or pasted on. This way the developer does not end up becoming a content editor. Mixing instructions within the content always leads to disaster.
Teach the end client how to send content changes over:
If the work is being sent to a web development company, a little upfront time and a basic template can go a long way. In most cases the end clients will be providing the initial content even if it is being optimized by the web development company. If there is a system for handling of content, the process with flow smoothly.