I often use something like this for briefing informational/bloggy type article content over to copywriters. It’s to help them get on-point with SEO.
For blog content especially, a frustration I’ve had seems to come from lack of detail in briefs combined with copywriters with a tendency to go in tangents and waffle. I’ve had articles come back with the topic completely changed formatted in comic sans with no sub-heading structure – no joke! So no more basic briefs.
I wrote this template to get some structure going on. Feel free to use.
Side-note: There is an assumption that you’ve already selected a topic and sub-topics based on robust SEO keyword research and content gap analysis, or something like that.
For the sake demonstrating the the below, I’ve chosen a topic at random: “how to clean a makeup brush”. You just need to replace the topic specifics with your own.
—copy below here—
1x blog (word)articles to be published on our website. Informational blog articles.
Please follow these rules
Do these things:
- Insert facts/figures/references as appropriate
- Source these with a link
- Include source name in link eg:
“Over 33% of statistics are made up, according to a study by “
- Insert partial and/or full keywords, but only when it *makes sense* in context
- Break the article into a pattern of sections –
- This means a pattern of header>paragraph or header>paragraph>subheader>subheader
- Keep close to the suggested topic tree.
- Format deliverables as a GDoc or Word Doc with native formatting
- Use native header 1 for title, header 2 for sub heading, header 3 for sub-sub headings etc.
- Write FAQ answers in People Also Ask style. This means succinct, factual, situational: (numeric, yes/no, dollar value, list). Needs to directly answer the question in first sentence.
- Some research and link to authoritative sources like: wikipedia/.gov research
- Try to use terms in “quotes” nearly verbatim like in the reccommended article structure.
- If you think it is necessary to improve readability, please tweak the sub-topic order and/or wording, but try not to stray too far from what has been suggested
- Aim roughly for a word count.
- Communicate if you think you need more or less time/words.
Don’t do these things
- Focus on our brand or products
- Write sales copy
(we will insert this ourselves, if necessary)
- Over-use keywords
- Change the article topic
- Change the FAQ questions
- Link on article topic terms. If the article is about red lollipops, then don’t link to someone else on the term lollipops, red, lollipop stick, or best lollipops etc.
- Force yourself to the word count.
|Publishing website/s (for context)||List of|
|Audience||Audience is typically female 18-65, Kiwis, Australians but also US market. Really anyone who is interested in beauty/cosmetics and looking up stuff online. Keep this in mind, you’re not writing for a science journal, but including some scientific terminology, facts and figures is ok if it is explained.|
|Word count (roughly)||~1200|
|Topic||eg: “How To Clean Makeup Brushes”|
|Things to talk about||eg:|
cleaning equipment: white vinegar, lemon, liquid brush cleaner, iso alcohol, castille soap, baby shampoo, warm water, olive oil, dish soap, paper towel
process: please go into a step + paragraph pattern with specific steps
|Competitor sensitivity||ok to mention, don’t link to them|
|Sub-topic tree||<p> intro paragraphs (2-3)|
<h2> frequency / health of cleaning makeup brushes
<p> few paragraphs
<h2> types of brushes
<h3> type 1
<h3> type 2
<h2> howto a step-by-step guide
<h3> 1. xyz
<h3> 2. xyz
<h3> 3. xyz
<h2> signs to replace your brush
<h2> How to clean beauty blenders & sponges
<h3> [step by step same as above]
<h2> FAQ’s (IMPORTANT: use PAA style answers to these)
<h3> “Can I use shampoo to clean makeup brushes”
<h3> “Why clean makeup brushes with olive oil?”
<h3> “Should I wash my makeup brushes with hot or cold water?”
<h3> “What happens if you don’t clean your makeup brushes?”
<h3> “How often should you clean makeup brushes?”