How detailed are your content briefs?

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I started to outsource some content writing on my site. One thing, where I'm struggling, are my content briefs. It takes me ages to create them, and I'm not sure if they aren't too detailed.

My writer is fine with them, however it's more a rewrite, than a new article. The topics of the article are B2B topics and a bit technical. However, they should be writable with some research by a writer with some research skills.

My last content brief had 2400 words
Target word count for the article 3500 words
It took me 6 hours to create the brief

:cool:

I'm now happy that I found a good writer, but I need to improve my content briefs.

Are you giving only bullet-points for every H2,H3 etc. or are you also providing the sources? Is there somewhere a best practice I can follow on how to write a good content brief?

Thanks
 

secretagentdad

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Wut wut.

Just write the articles yourself if you got that much wind in you.
 
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Around 300 words. This includes links to the search itself and related sites.
Although for some subheadings, I write out the snippet bait myself, leaving the writer to explain further. On simpler list articles, I just make the title descriptive enough, and write 1-3 subheadings, and the writer will fill out the rest patterned after those 1-3.
It takes me around 30-45 mins to make one.

Editing is hard though, for a 2k word article it takes me around 2 hours to get it up to par.
 

Ryuzaki

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My last content brief had 2400 words
Target word count for the article 3500 words
It took me 6 hours to create the brief
This is insanity. If you're going to pay someone to do work for you, pay someone you trust isn't a moron and can use their brain so you actually benefit from paying them, you know. The point is to free you from the work.

I used to do briefs with outlines where each heading would have have some text below it explaining what should be there. Then I relaxed on my need for control and trusted they could figure out what to put underneath the headings. Then I dropped out the outlines and just had templates for each type of content and didn't customize them.

Nowadays I literally just send a keyword. The writer can open the top 3-5 spots on Google and see exactly what Google is looking for and work off of that. If they can't do that, they're idiots. And they're not idiots. Most people aren't nearly as dumb as we fear they are, while a whole bunch are astonishingly stupid, but they aren't working as writers because they're too lazy for that.

Letting go of control is the hardest thing to do for an entrepreneur but the only way to scale and grow at astronomical rates.
 
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This is insanity. If you're going to pay someone to do work for you, pay someone you trust isn't a moron and can use their brain so you actually benefit from paying them, you know. The point is to free you from the work.

I used to do briefs with outlines where each heading would have have some text below it explaining what should be there. Then I relaxed on my need for control and trusted they could figure out what to put underneath the headings. Then I dropped out the outlines and just had templates for each type of content and didn't customize them.

Nowadays I literally just send a keyword. The writer can open the top 3-5 spots on Google and see exactly what Google is looking for and work off of that. If they can't do that, they're idiots. And they're not idiots. Most people aren't nearly as dumb as we fear they are, while a whole bunch are astonishingly stupid, but they aren't working as writers because they're too lazy for that.

Letting go of control is the hardest thing to do for an entrepreneur but the only way to scale and grow at astronomical rates.
How do you handle best of articles? Do you at least pull a list of what you want to see or do you let them handle the product selection?

This was very helpful tip by the way. My briefs start with an overall template, 3 or 4 guidelines that always apply, and then I provide headings for them to write about. However even the headings take so much time I’m not spending enough in other areas of the business.
 
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On the long run, I found it more efficient to scale by having an editor that makes the basic briefs and checks the writers. He can handle briefs/article checking for around 100 articles p/m. while I can focus on other things. Writing is not my strong suit :smile:
 

Ryuzaki

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How do you handle best of articles? Do you at least pull a list of what you want to see or do you let them handle the product selection?
It depends on the stakes. I always come in with my own bias and then realize later that I did that. I'm almost always thinking about how to hit scale for low to medium competition keywords. If I was making a website with 25-50 posts, I wouldn't care about spending way more time on content briefs.

In this light, I've hired people who know the niche and paid a bit extra and told them "choose the products you prefer as long as it's obvious they're well stocked, will stay stocked, and have plenty of reviews".

A "best of" article is likely to receive more care since it will also receive a higher link-building budget or time allocation. There's no "one method for all scenarios" tactic. Be flexible.

But in general, if I'm trying to bang out 50+ articles a month per site, there's no way I can spend hours or even 15 minutes per content brief.
 
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I use both surfer and frase.
I send them the frase link, with the surfer link, along with the word count, pasted into the content brief tab.
I set the competition pages the same in both apps.
They need to hit all the clusters according to frase, and score a minimum of 90 in surfer.
They may have to a bit of toing and froing between the 2 documents, but it seems to get the job done, covers all the bases, and a brief takes +/- 5 minutes.
 

illmasterj

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My writers get a title tag and a couple of keywords. Either they can research and write or they can't. If they can't we're not a good fit.
 
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I use both surfer and frase.
I send them the frase link, with the surfer link, along with the word count, pasted into the content brief tab.
I set the competition pages the same in both apps.
They need to hit all the clusters according to frase, and score a minimum of 90 in surfer.
They may have to a bit of toing and froing between the 2 documents, but it seems to get the job done, covers all the bases, and a brief takes +/- 5 minutes.
This may sound controversial we stopped using surfer or similar tools completely. If you have a good brief/structure made by a human that understands SEO there is no need for surfer.

I do favor using keyword clustering tools and topic research while preparing a brief.