What do I put in the Assignment Instructions box?

Outlines, templates, and other information

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.

There's not always ample time to create an outline, and sometimes they're not needed. Here's an idea of what writers are looking for: Keep in mind, (most) writer's cannot read minds. More information is better. 

  • What, How, Why Information on the piece. 
  • Target Audience
  • Keywords
  • Competitors to avoid, words to avoid

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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