The most critical part of the content creation process is what guidance and information is provided to a writer. Even the best writers rely on background information, context and research to optimize their work for different clients.

Here are guidelines for providing quality writer instructions.

Outline - Outlines are the most effective method for getting what you expect from a writer. If you're well-versed in the subject area, creating a traditional outline is easy. Understanding the content goals of your company, simply list out what is needed. For example:

Intro

  • Section 1

- Points to cover, supporting info

  • Section 2

- Points to cover, supporting info

  • Section 3

- Points to cover, supporting info

There's not always ample time to create an outline, and sometimes they're not needed. Here's a template for a short, one-paragraph outline:

  • Write an article about <shortened working title> that explains <what, how to, ways to, reasons why, how and why> ... <details of working title> to <general audience>.
  • Describe <terms, keywords, thoughts>, etc.
  • Mention how <your company> fits in (if applicable).

Let's try it out with a sample concept,

Other information you can provide to writers: 

Inspiration: Instead of an outline, you might provide context and a backstory to motivate a writer. For example: "Thousands of people die every day from hunger. Profile the leading individuals and businesses in this worldwide fight. This article should discuss etc."

Structural guidance: Provide what you're looking for in terms of formatting, article organization, paragraph length, links, etc.

Creative guidance: Provide relevant keywords, terms and arguments to cover, compelling notes and facts you found, etc.

What you like, what you don't like: Take a look at similar articles and list what you like and don't like. Don't make it all about X, don't forget Y, etc.

Keep in mind there are additional fields separate from the article instructions:

  • Guidelines
  • Tone
  • Persona
  • Publication
  • Reference URLs and Files
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