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Client Order Descriptions: How Much is Too Much?

scrabble blocks out of wood with the focus on one scrabble block which says "create"

It is no secret that one of the most formidable challenges facing any Textbroker author is the ability to adhere to the instructions of a client. There are many times when clients provide us with a significant amount of latitude; ideal for fostering a bit of creativity while still addressing the topic in question. However, there are also instances when we encounter instructions entirely too long for the subject (particularly if the text will be comprised of straightforward material). How are we to know when these requests are too long and when should we look elsewhere to pick up a worthwhile order?

All About the Subject Matter

To be fair, the primary concern involves the desired subject. It is (normally) perfectly reasonable to receive detailed instructions if the article involves a complicated technical issue or if there are multiple citations required. There are also instances when a client simply feels that he or she needs to clarify a request to the author. However, we need to look at the other side of the proverbial coin.

Let’s assume for a moment that the content is based around straightforward SEO suggestions. For the seasoned author, lengthy instructions can quickly become redundant and they may even result in an order being passed over. One of the main takeaway points here is that long and verbose instructions may suggest that the client is overly demanding in regards to the request (think about a two-page synopsis for a 300-word piece that is rated at Level 3…we have all seen it). In these circumstances, adhering to overly demanding instructions may not be worth the completion time. This will naturally vary from order to order.

The Tone of the Instructions

Clients have every right to be demanding; our bespoke content is designed to reflect the value of their website or brand. Still, tonality should be taken into account. There is nothing worse than reading a 1,000-word request only to encounter the phrase “failure to adhere to my request will result in an immediate rejection” at the end of the document.

Try to take a subjective approach and as always, give more leeway to Direct Order clients. On a final note, avoid exceeding your level of comfort or your knowledge base in regards to these instructions. Leaving an article for another author may very well be better than risking a lengthy revision request or a rejection.

Also, read our blog titled “Great Briefing, Great Text“. Here, important steps are explained for placing a good online order with Textbroker. Moreover, get a visual overview of responsibilities that clients and authors have in setting up and dealing with orders in the blog titled “The ultimate Textbroker Cheat Sheet to perfect Copy“.


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