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The importance of the brief when ordering content

People think that obtaining good content is real easy. After all, how hard can it be? I just need someone to write a simple blog text over 500 words about cars. Sure, easy, but then, when I get my blog text from the copywriter, I say “No, no, no. This is all wrong! Send it back!” So how can I ensure that I get the right content every time?

People think that obtaining good content is real easy. After all, how hard can it be? I just need someone to write a simple blog text over 500 words about cars. Sure, easy, but then, when I get my blog text from the copywriter, I say “No, no, no. This is all wrong! Send it back!” So how can I ensure that I get the right content every time?

Well, the answer must be in the brief, or the briefing, or the author instructions, whatever you want to call it. We normally call them briefs or briefings here at Textbroker UK. So what is the briefing, and what does it need to look like in order to ensure that you get what you need?

Put yourself in the shoes of the author. What would you need to write the right content at the first go? You need proper instructions that touch up on the right points and answer the right questions. It has to be clear and concise. Most importantly, it must be neither too sparse nor too long. Creating a successful brief is an art unto itself.

The components of the brief:

The topic – What is the subject matter?

Type of text – Is it a blog post, a product description, a landing page, etc.?

Style and tone – First person? Third person? Formal, informal? How would you like the copy to read? This should be adapted to the target group for the text. Have you defined a target group?

Structure – How would you like the article organised? Should it have paragraphs, H1 or H2 headlines? Should there be a call-to-action?

Keywords – At what density? Where should they be placed within the article?

Formatting – Do you need html tagging? Which kind?

Tagging – Are meta-titles or meta-descriptions necessary?

Addressing the reader – Will the reader be addressed directly?

Further specifications – Have you considered corporate wording or any particular spelling of brand names? What NOT to mention? How to spell numbers, etc.

Textbroker Briefing Templates

Textbroker has implemented pre-configured briefing templates in our redesigned client area to aide you in creating your order instructions. Some pre-configured template suggestions for press releases, product descriptions, specialist texts or blog posts give you some guidance as to what to include in the instruction, for your convenience. These templates need to be adapted by you, the customer, to fulfil your requirements specifically.

Conclusion

Slowly, people are realising that obtaining good copy is not so easy and there are many things to consider when ordering or writing a “simple” article. Many of our clients make the experience as they go along that giving the authors the right guidance will lead to the best results. Of course, having said all that, it is very important that the briefings NOT be too long or confusing. This is also counter-productive as it may either scare away authors from picking up the order, or lead to things being omitted or simply wrong.  A nice balance has to be struck between explaining all requirements and allowing a copywriter the leeway to use his or her creativity.

The briefing is the binding document when ordering at Textbroker, and indeed anywhere. The better the briefing, the better the results. So we definitely think it is worth anybody’s time to invest effort into the order instructions.


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