create content brief

How To Create A Content Brief [Clarify Instructions]

This guide goes over how to create a content brief outline to start creating your blog post. A well-instructed content brief outline should provide the writer the target keyword, subheadings, and specific instructions.

Here is how to get started.

Make A Decision To Target A Specific Keyword

Use SEMRUSH or Ahrefs to find a target keyword to use in the content brief. The content brief should specifically instruct the writer to do the following:

  • The exact keyword has to be grammatically correct to be used in the content
  • Include the exact main keyword within the first 70 - 150 characters in the intro for the search engine to pick up
  • Instruct the writer to focus on one keyword at a time

Emphasize Serving User's Search Intent

For content ranking on the search engine, it's important for the writer to be clear on the search intent of an individual user before start writing.

Please instruct the writer to do the following on the content brief:

  • Quickly answer the question to the query in the most simple language
  • Use active voice writing
  • Do not provide long winded info to people who aren't looking for that.
  • Provide a separate SEO training to the writer if needed

For example:

The main keyword is: "How to cook Chinese southern style fried rice"

Good content that clearly provide what the searcher is looking for:

This guide shows you how to cook Chinese southern style fried rice in just less than 5 mins.

You will need: ......

Step 1..

Step 2..

Step 3..

Bam! this is good content that clearly serves the readers what they want when they land on the page. They want the list and instructions, so give it to them right away.

A confusing content with long winded answers: 

"Everyone loves fried rice. Fried rice is made from eggs.......etc Before we get started, here is some history of how fried rice is popular in other countries...etc"

This is horrible content that doesn't get to the point, filled with content fillers and the visitor will leave once they see it.

Not everyone, but most will leave.

Gather A List Of LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are latent semantic indexing keywords that are semantically related to the main keyword. These keywords should be sprinkled across the content naturally to help define the topic of the page.

For example: if the main keyword is basketball. LSI keywords should be included are: Basketball court, free throw, score, basketball referee, points, hoop...etc

LSI keywords help the search engine understand the context of the page.

The best way that helps the writer add LSI keywords naturally is to have the text editor automatically suggest keywords.

SEMRUSH or SurferSEO content template editor can help do that.  Check it out here

Research All Relevant Subheadings

Adding subheadings to the content brief gives the outsource writer exact focus points. The content brief should have all relevant subheadings to the main topic.

The best way to find subheadings is through an actual Google search or using a keyword tool.

For Google Search

Search a keyword and extract recommended subheadings from "Related Searches". This can be a rabbit hole as you get deeper, make sure to only use relevant queries.

The way to help determine if a query is relevant or not is to ask the following question:

  • Is this query repeating the same thing already mentioned?
  • Is this query slightly off-topic?
  • Is this query adding more insightful information to the main topic?
  • Is this query a deeper query than the main topic?
  • Does this query need to be on a separate article?
  • Is the intent of this query closely match the main topic?

Learn More: 15 Best SEO Practices

For Keyword Tool

A keyword tool like Ahrefs can help reverse engineer the content brief process by examining content that is already ranking on the internet. The tool will show organic keywords ranking, related terms, and search suggestions. In many ways, it's similar to finding LSI keywords to sprinkle across the content.

It's important to understand that a piece of content can rank for many keywords (not just one), and some keywords may get more search traffic volume than the intended main keyword.

Learn how to research keywords that rank here

Organize Subheadings In A Logical Flow

Organizing subheadings on the content brief is very easy. All you have to do is list the most important subheadings on the top that answers the question to serve the searcher's intent.

Add Relevant Resources

At the bottom of the content brief, please add relevant references and source links for the outsource writers to use.

Please instruct the writer to only model these resources without literally copying from them.

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