How to Create a Transparent Order Brief: Providing Insight and Clarity from the Start
I have enjoyed the privilege of working with Textbroker as an author for the past eight years and indeed, how time flies. During this period, I have completed nearly 21,000 orders and developed long-term relationships with countless clients. These observations are by no means intended to represent a self-aggrandising statement. They are instead mentioned to highlight the simple fact that during my tenure, I have encountered a kaleidoscope of different customer briefings.
Any author who has worked with the team at Textbroker for an extended period of time is likely aware that some instructions are clearer than others. This is also when problems may arise on occasion. While there is no doubt that our cadre of writers is often able to exhibit a syntactic alchemy capable of transmuting grammatical lead into gold, we have never been mind readers or diviners. Customers should appreciate this fact in order to truly leverage the talents that our team has to offer.
This leads us to a handful of important questions. What material should be included within a client brief? How should the brief be structured? What steps can clients take in order to ensure the timely completion of a project? Are there any communicative approaches that work better than others when engaging with a Textbroker author? Whether you are a new customer or you have been working in tandem with our team for years, the suggestions below are just as valuable.
The Rough Order Outline
Although this may seem akin to teaching an Eskimo how to build an igloo, some customers fail to define the basic parameters of an order. As a result, Textbroker authors are essentially forced to grope in the digital dark while hoping that the correct material will be curated. This is why some fundamental information always needs to be presented including:
- The website where the material is intended to be published.
- Examples of acceptable writing styles.
- Whether or not HTML is to be included.
- The preferred length of sentences and/or paragraphs (if applicable).
As HubSpot rightfully notes, it is also prudent to point out the persona of the intended reader. Authors can then modify their writing style in order to better resonate with the audience in question.
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Keyword Counts: How Much is Too Much?
We are all aware that keywords are critical in terms of SEO and online exposure. Creating an article with no focused keywords is similar to constructing a billboard in the middle of a forest and miles away from the nearest motorway and expecting to attract viewers. However, we need to keep in mind that more might not always better. A fictional example will help to reinforce this observation.
Let’s imagine that you require a 500-word article discussing the topic of female outerwear. Common keywords could include “women’s jackets”, “faux fur coats” and similar phrases depending upon your niche market. Problems can nonetheless arise when the very same 500-word article is laden with 15 or even 20 different variants of these words. Why is this troublesome?
Authors will be obligated to include the required keywords within a relatively short block of text to meet the order stipulations. As a result, the article itself can feel forced and clumsy when read by the average individual. Not only will this detract from the products or services that you have to offer, but these practices may even be penalised by search engines such as Google and Bing. To put it simply, include a reasonable number of keywords in relation to the length of the order.
A final suggestion involves the types of keywords and keyword combinations that are listed within the briefing. Here are some examples:
- Women’s jackets London
- Outerwear females
- Leather faux fur women
As we can see, these three illustrations are grammatically incorrect. However, they still may be suggested if you happen to employ tools such as Google Analytics. Be sure that the keywords and phrases actually make sense when placed within the context of an article. One effective way to provide our authors with more leeway is to allow them to use connecting words and plurals. This offers them a greater amount of latitude when curating your content.
The Intention of the Order
In my experience, the majority of clients tend to be quite clear in regards to what type of content is required. However, there are also times when the ultimate goal of the order is not adequately highlighted. This is also known as the takeaway message. Some typical objectives can include:
- To advertise a product or service.
- To establish a brand identity.
- To connect with a prospective audience.
- To stimulate some type of action (such as making a purchase or requesting additional information).
Once again, our authors are not mind readers. Try to include the ultimate intention of the order so that our team can create the appropriate tonality from the very beginning.
Where Will the Content be Published?
Perhaps one of the most profound and pervasive mistakes when publishing content is addressing the wrong audience. Unfortunately, I have encountered this approach on more than one occasion. Some businesses still embrace the outdated belief that bulk marketing campaigns will produce viable results. This policy is similar to blindly throwing a handful of darts at a dartboard. While the initial release may be impressive, the chances are high that the bullseye will remain untouched. An example will once again serve to better illustrate this point.
Why post an article relating to the latest online casino trends within a website focused on herbal remedies? Does it make any sense to request an order involving home gardening trends that will subsequently be posted on a portal devoted to rugby? There are two significant pitfalls with such a strategy:
- The website host may reject the material due to its irrelevance.
- It is nearly impossible for an author to find common ground between two extremely disparate subjects.
As opposed to embracing what can only be called a “one-size-fits-all” approach, it is much better to identify your audience in order to better understand where the content will garner the most interest.
Using Numerous Editors
This is a rather rare occurrence, but it should still be mentioned before moving on. One of the many strengths of the Textbroker team is that authors are equally capable of addressing the needs of freelancers as well as large multinational corporations. In either scenario, it is not uncommon that fruitful relationships develop over time. However, problems can still germinate.
One rather frustrating example can be seen if multiple editors become involved. This may occur when a larger project needs to be completed within a short period of time. The main issue is that the order requirements might not have been elucidated to all of those who are associated with the editing process. As a result, authors can suddenly find that some texts are sent back for revisions while others have been accepted. This is confusing and altogether redundant. In the event that multiple editors are needed, please make it a point to brief your team so that everyone remains on the same (digital) page throughout the duration of the project.
Lost in Translation
Textbroker authors cater to the needs of countless clients from around the world. This is one of the main reasons why we may be asked to write an English text variant that will be subsequently published on a foreign website. Our writers are more than capable of addressing such a task and yet, the briefings themselves can be confusing if not translated correctly.
Customers will often utilise free online services such as Google Translate when sending an order briefing to our authors. While this could very well illustrate the “broad strokes”, it may fail to address the finer points. The unfortunate fact is that core concepts and requests will be lost in translation and as a result, the article may not meet your expectations. In the event that you need to translate a briefing, please feel free to contact one of the team members at Textbroker.
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What to Expect from Textbroker Authors
Textbroker is a trailblazer within the world of online content marketing, and for good reason. Our cadre of authors represents the best of the best and their skills have been thoroughly vetted in order to ensure superior levels of customer satisfaction. You can therefore fully expect to enjoy bespoke benefits including (but not necessarily limited to):
- A second-to-none attention to detail.
- A client-centred approach to every order.
- The completion of articles on or before the due date.
- A friendly and engaging mindset.
- The ability to tackle even the most challenging of topics.
Having said this, there are still some limitations in regards to order requests such as:
- Presenting unreasonable deadlines for lengthy and/or highly technical articles.
- Failing to provide authors with the necessary background information.
- Not highlighting the intended reader persona.
- Irrelevant or grammatically incorrect keywords that need to be inserted within the text.
Our ultimate intention is to create stellar content within a short period of time while still adhering to your discrete requirements. Considering our previous track record, we are quite confident that our writers will be able to meet and exceed your desires. However, transparency is necessary in order for us to deliver these results. This is why the fundamental importance of an order brief cannot be overstated.
Would you like to learn more about how to create such a targeted presentation in no time at all? Do you have a challenging article that requires a professional touch? If so, please feel free to reach out to the team at Textbroker. We are always happy to provide you with guidance and tips whenever they may be needed.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.