Interesting Response From 2 Editors - Content Briefs and Outlines

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Hey guys,

So I'm slowly getting my production team together and as I look for an editor I found some interesting responses.

Editor 1
Has experience with a lot of SEO projects and wants to emphasize skimmable content. I gave him an article to edit (3000 words) and didn't provide many guidelines. He added a 'Key Points' box right after the title. Added a bunch of other standard SEO stuff as well (internal links and FAQs).

Editor 2
Left the article for as is with no summary points, added TOC and other SEO related stuff (internal links, videos, images). Nothing out of the ordinary but also what I was looking for.

Ultimately, I want to ask how do you all structure your content outlines and briefs? How much time does this usually end up saving when it comes to final editing? Do you find adding as much detail in your content outlines will reduce time in the editing/proofreading process? Are your article outlines moving towards more skimmable content?

I'm not sure if I should include a key points box at the top as it could reduce my time on page but I also understand its better for user experience.
 

illmasterj

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I don't have a perfect system, but I personally find that outlines are mostly disregarded by writers. They cost time to produce and don't save time on the other end.

Now I provide the keywords, guide word count, title tag and that's it. Quick and efficient. Great writers produce a great article. Bad ones produce bad articles. Same result with a detailed outline.
 
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Thanks for the response @illmasterj.

In that case, when you do your final proofread and edits, do you follow a specific format for your article? For instance,

Intro (4 sentences)
Image 1
TOC
Summary Box
H2...etc

Or do you instead format according how the writer wrote the article and don't add any extra SEO stuff? I'm curious how different formatted articles would perform
 

illmasterj

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There are formatting "rules" that I follow, but not in a way that the articles all look the same when compared side by side.

More like hierarchy is correct, keyword density isn't aggressive, meta description is well written, etc. All the standard boring stuff.
 
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what about making content briefs that tell writers about points to mention based upon what other competitors have? Do you guys do this?
 
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I can't answer your question, but man, Editor #1 sounds like a winner to me!
 
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Thank you for your replies everyone

I will be working with editor #1 to really improve SEO for my whole site

Any other suggestions would be great.
 
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Thank you for your replies everyone

I will be working with editor #1 to really improve SEO for my whole site

Any other suggestions would be great.
Check out the content on https://www.contentharmony.com/resources/ I think they did a good job explaining content marketing and content briefs.

Basically, if you're writing about Air pump reviews and competitors all talk about X, Y and Z and a new competitor is taking about I, you need to add I to your content too.

They also mentioned about how the writing guidelines would shape the content and, for my site, I want the articles to just funnel people to the sales pages as well as appear on search so it is optimised to answer the question and then tell them to go to the order form, as they need the product. For example, "Do you need a new battery if your battery is leaking acid? Yes. You need a new battery. Your batter is corroded and can explode. Click here to find a new battery for your vehicle." The rest of the article is just LSI and words to compete with the competitors.

IMO this is good as my time on site is 1 minute and 30 seconds. I don't think they're reading that deep into the articles and just *showing* them the answer would be the best.

Funny how cheating on a test in school or helping people cheat on a test is quite useful later in life (lol).
 
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Excellent resource @Philip J. Fry

I will incorporate some of these ideas going forward and report back. Thanks for all your help everyone
 
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Thanks for the link @Philip J. Fry - super cool!

I usually just gather good keywords, set the tone/voice of the article, and provide a few H1/H2 headlines.
Of course, if I want something special, I will say so (for instance, don't include a certain topic/info).
A good writer will always know how to write a good one. Bad writers will always mess it up.