Like most start-ups, we want to engage our audience and to do this, we need to write great content.
To help us with this, we need to be able to communicate our material to writers, and we thought we’d get the top tips from our writer to understand how we can all produce the best content.
By thinking carefully about the structure of your request you can make sure that everyone wins. Here are a few top tips from us at New Motion Labs that you can use when sourcing content on any topic…
Keep Your Briefs… Brief
There’s nothing that turns a writer off faster than a brief that tries to write the article for them. For a writer, every second that they spend reading an overlong or confusing brief is making the job worth less and less to them, and you’re also getting less of their creative skills in with the bargain by being too prescriptive. One of the easiest ways get the best out of writers is to plainly state what you want using bullet points and examples if you need them. Don’t be afraid to send them a list of wants, needs, likes and dislikes — but always try and avoid being too prescriptive or trying to write it for them — it’s what they’re good at!
Many people who use writers are often looking for original content that can be used to improve their SEO ranking online rather than for something for a specific purpose, and are flexible on the topic as long as it relates to their industry. While writers are flexible, it can be a lot easier to get what you’re looking for if you have a content plan in place with a few topics to start them off, even if you don’t want an article on exactly what you suggest. Don’t be afraid to link to other, similar blogs or stories too — it can mean the difference between success and disappointment for both writer and you.
Think About Your Keywords
Contrary to popular belief, writers don’t mind lots of keywords. Plenty of requests have up to 15 or 20 mandatory keywords for clients particularly keen on SEO, and the writers are actually SEO specialists who are experts at getting these in. The golden rule, however, is that the keywords have to make sense. Anything that is difficult to fit into a sentence will, at best, end up with some reader unfriendly tortured sentences, and at worst they’ll end up not doing the SEO job you wanted them to do. So, despite what your research into keywords tells you, it’s always best to give simple and short keywords that are easy to use than highly specific ones that don’t work in context.
Keep a Diary
It’s always a good idea to keep track of what you like and don’t like to receive from writers. It might be that you have something specific you want, or it might just be that there are some pitfalls you don’t want writers to fall into. Whatever they are, putting a short, polite list of bullet points on what not to do can be a useful guide for writers and make it more likely they’ll give you what you want. You should also never assume — if you have a specific idea of what the structure should be, attach or draft a guide that writers can work off.
Good luck to our fellow start-ups in writing the brief for your content, this is one of the first of a series of articles we will be publishing.