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Writing blog post content briefs can help you save time, effort, and money when sourcing articles to publish on a niche site. Outsourcing content gives you more time to work on other parts of your business, such as SEO. But you can’t expect a writer to know what to do with a keyword you give them. Writing thorough blog post content briefs will ensure your writer exactly understands the article they need to create.
Content briefs can help you organize the endless stream of thoughts running through your mind about a particular topic, so your writer can make them cohesive. Here is how to write awesome blog post content briefs for your freelance writers.
What Is a Blog Post Content Brief?
A blog post content brief is a document that outlines what your content should include, who the audience is, and how the content should be delivered. The brief guides the writer so they know who they are writing for and what information to include in the blog post. It’s also used as a reference guide for the editor to use when reviewing the draft and making edits. Finally, you can review it and make final edits before scheduling or publishing the post.
Why You Need a Content Brief
Writing a content brief is the best way to ensure your article is of the highest quality and takes as little time as possible to edit. Here are two reasons why you should write a content brief.
1. Get Higher Quality Articles
When you have a content brief, you figure out exactly what you want your article to cover ahead of time. It’s a clear explanation for your writer so they’ll be able to write an article that has all the information and language you need without wasting time writing anything extra.
2. Reduce Time Spent Editing
A clear content brief also helps your writer focus on the important things to you, which means there won’t be as much for you or your editor’s team to fix when you get the piece back from them. A good brief makes for a far simpler editing process.
What to Include in a Content Brief
The content brief is meant to be a clear, concise source of information for the person writing your content. It should include everything they need to know to create the best content possible. The more information you can give them, the better. Here are things to include in the brief.
What Your Blog is About
Your blog is a platform for you to share your voice. It’s an opportunity for you to get your message out there and for people interested in the same things you are to find you. That’s why choosing the right topic for your blog is so important.
You have to love it, and it has to be something that will sustain your interest and attention over time. You also want it to be something that many other people are interested in. Some topics are too broad (for example, “politics”), while others might not attract enough of an audience (for example, “my favorite recipes for preparing monkey brains”).
Your Target Audience
To create a content brief that will help you write effective materials, you must first know the people for whom you are creating them.
Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach? You need to know this before you begin writing, so you can use the correct tone and focus your content on the areas of most interest to them.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, start thinking about your product or service. Who might find it useful? Who might be interested in it? Can you think of specific groups of people that would like it? If you’re having trouble thinking of any, ask yourself who might buy your product or service if they were in the market for it.
Once you have some ideas about your target audience, start doing research! Find out as much as possible about these groups of people—what their backgrounds are, what their interests are, and what appeals to them. This information will guide how you write everything else in your content brief.
Your Target Keyword
The target keyword is the term you want to rank for in search results. For example, if you wanted your guide to show up in search results for people looking for “what to include in a content brief,” then “what to include in a content brief” would be your target keyword.
It can be helpful to create a list of keywords that you would like your content to rank for. If you have several pieces of content with similar topics (like guides on writing), you might want them all to target different keywords so that they don’t compete against one another.
If you’re not sure what keyword you want to target, many free online tools can help. Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush provide insight into which keywords are being searched for the most and how much competition each keyword has.
Article Word Count
When writing a content brief, the article’s word count should be your first consideration. Most online articles need to be at least 500 words long, but the word count can vary considerably depending on the type of content you want and the topic you’re discussing.
It’s important to know the purpose of your piece and who it’s intended for. Is this going to be a blog post for your website? A landing page for your new product? An educational piece for an industry publication? The length of the article will depend on how much space you have to fill and what information you need to get across.
This may seem like a minor detail, but the length of an article can have a big impact on its readability. The average reader spends less than 15 seconds on a web page, so if your article is too long or too short, they might not bother reading it all.
The article word count is also closely related to the other elements of your content brief: tone, style, and structure. After all, if you don’t know how long an article should be, it will be difficult to determine what type of voice or format would work best for it!
Keyword Density You Want
Keyword density is the number of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words. A higher density means there are more instances of the keyword relative to other words on the page. For example, if a keyword appears three times in an article with 300 words, its density is 1%. If it appears ten times in an article with 1,000 words, its density is 1%. We suggest including a range of densities (e.g., “the keyword should appear between 2% and 4% of the time”) rather than a specific number (e.g., “the keyword should appear three times”). Your writer can strike a good balance between optimizing for search engines and keeping your content readable for humans.
You should also include a post outline with your brief so that writers know exactly what they’re supposed to cover in their content. This will save them time and prevent them from getting stuck on an idea or topic that isn’t relevant to the post. It also helps ensure that all writers stay on track throughout the process because they have something specific to work toward instead of just writing whatever comes into their head at any given moment (which can often lead down rabbit holes).
What formatting do you prefer? Make sure to specify any design elements you need and their purpose. If certain fonts, colors, or image sizes need to be used, make sure to specify them in brief (and send along any images or logos that need to be used). You should also specify if there are source or reference links that need to be included.
This is an important part of any content brief as it helps both parties understand when work will be completed. Without this information, it’s more difficult for your team member to understand how much time they have available for the task. If there’s no due date, then there’s also no way to know if they’re completing their tasks on schedule or not!
Content Brief Example
Here is an example of a content brief I would send to a freelance writer. Your content brief shouldn’t be too long if your writer has multiple clients. They have things to do and they want to understand your needs as quickly as possible.
This is for a WordPress advice blog. The readers are hobby bloggers who write about their passions. Please aim for a 1% keyword density. HTML Headings as described in the outline are a must. Please do not bold any text at all. Do not use bullet points in the article.
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I hope you learned how to write successful blog post content briefs!