Effectively Communicating Your Content Needs
You've undoubtedly encountered your fair share of brokered content from across the web that wandered away from your content marketing needs. People have the ability to misunderstand each other over what they want for lunch, so you can imagine the scope of potential roadblocks encountered while successfully defining your content needs. While professional freelance authors always want their clients to be fully satisfied with the completed work, clearly communicating your needs can be tricky. We're here to help!
You’ve undoubtedly encountered your fair share of brokered content from across the web that wandered away from your content marketing needs. People have the ability to misunderstand each other over what they want for lunch, so you can imagine the scope of potential roadblocks encountered while successfully defining your content needs. While professional freelance authors always want their clients to be fully satisfied with the completed work, clearly communicating your needs can be tricky. Read on for tips on creating the most effective instructions for content creation.
Defining the Style
Style is a bit like individual taste in clothing. What flatters and delights one person might cause another person to make funny faces. Entire books have been written on the best writing styles for fiction and non-fiction works. Writing a sober treatment of drunk-driving penalties for a criminal-defense lawyer’s website calls for a completely different style than for a humorous article on the best movies about making a mint on Wall Street. Few authors will grow confused over the best styles for such starkly different projects. Still, stylistic requirements aren’t always so clear-cut. Providing a link to a favorite article on your website or an outside website can guide the author into the desired style for your upcoming article. You can also copy and paste a stylistic example directly into the order form. This tactic is especially helpful when you want to ensure some consistency of style across articles from a team of authors.
Keyword research remains a central requirement of business marketing and web optimization, but the old days of rigid keyword strings are long gone. Algorithmic updates from Google and other search powerhouses increasingly emphasize semantic relevancy and readability. A fair number of content marketing experts nonetheless continue to focus a little too heavily on the technical results of keyword research at the expense of the human aspects. For example, consider the difference between the following two sentences, each of which contains the same mandatory keyword string: “The dentists San Diego residents prefer tend to have spacious, well-lighted offices with plenty of available parking spaces.” “The most popular dentists in San Diego tend to have spacious, well-lighted offices with plenty of available parking spaces.” Limited authorial options for fitting an inflexible keyword string into a reasonably readable sentence make the first example sound awkward. Using the word “in” as shown in the second example makes the wording sound far more natural. Allowing common connecting words between individual words in your desired keyword strings is easy, and the small step of relaxing requirements for exact keyword strings realizes significant benefits for pleasing both human readers and search-engine robots.
Clarifying Your Intent
Some authors may not immediately grasp your intent. What do you want your project to accomplish? Is it meant to persuade visitors to adopt your viewpoint on the merits of a certain brand of restaurant-grade deep fryers without explicitly pushing for a quick sale through your e-commerce website? Do you want to build a business presence on popular social media platforms with consistently useful information on a specific topic such as automobile repair or perhaps flower gardens? Are you looking for a gentle sales push on outsourcing business-website maintenance that closes with a polite call to action? Specifying your goals for the article will narrow the scope for misunderstandings.
Simple Is As Simple Does
Simplicity is a widely underrated virtue in writing. Many web audiences prefer easily digestible content that doesn’t require keeping a dictionary on hand. As Mark Twain supposedly said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” Some authors do tend to reach too readily for those five-dollar words. If you’re looking for universally accessible content, you might specify in the instructions where the text should fall in the Flesch–Kincaid readability scale. Surprisingly, keeping the text comprehensible at the third- to sixth-grade reading levels seems strongly linked to commercial success for many best-selling novels and startup firms. A recent essay from Forbes casts some light on this fascinating phenomenon. Contrariwise, if you’re looking for more complex language aimed at university professors, chief technology officers and other advanced readers, then a note to that effect will help the author with word choices and other aspects. Even with more sophisticated audiences, it’s usually best to avoid unnecessary buzzwords and other obfuscations.
While basic research is part of the job for freelance authors, most knowledge domains sprawl far beyond the reach of a generalist. You probably know considerably more about your subject than the author. Providing a few research resources such as articles on other websites that are similar to the one you want will help with producing an article that immediately meets your expectations without requiring extensive revisions.
As always, the team at Textbroker greatly values your business and wants you to be happy with your finished articles. Please contact us with any suggestions or thoughts you feel like sharing with us!
We hope these tips will improve your client experience and help you get the content you want. If you have any questions regarding this post, please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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