It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo blogger or the Managing Editor of a giant company blog. If you’re trying to scale your content marketing efforts, a blog post brief is essential.

Using a blog post brief to plan and guide your blogging can help you (and your freelance writers) produce better content and scale your publishing frequency.

The best blog post template to use is one that’s customized to your business’s brand and growth objectives. So, to help you come up with your own, I’m sharing the exact blog post brief we use to plan and outline blog posts whenever we’re producing SEO content for our clients.

Download our blog post brief template here.

Here’s what we include in our blog post brief

Here’s what we include in the Damn Good Writers blog post brief, along with a brief explanation of why we include it. If you have any questions about it, fire away in the comments section below.

Title options

Draft a few title options for the blog post before landing on one. Better yet, —A/B test two titles and run with the one that performs well with your target audience.

PRO TIP: You’ll have a better idea of what the title of your blog post should be once you’ve finished the writing post itself.

One sentence description

This sentence should sum up what your blog post is all about. This description can be used in the intro of your blog post, as the meta description of your post, in your social copy… you choose.

Blog post copy

Use this section to plan out the structure of the blog post. Providing subheads and brief descriptions of what you’d like each section to discuss will give your writers a clear understanding if what they’re expected to produce.

Intro

Short. Snappy. To the point. For web content, introductions longer than three paragraphs risk losing the reader.

Body

The body of your article is where you elaborate on the main theme. You can have as many sections as you like. Just make sure that your information is well-organized and be mindful of length. If you’re bored reading it, your audience will be too.

PRO TIP: If you’re publishing a super long blog post\, a table of contents at the beginning of your post (between the intro and the body) can help your readers find what they need faster and reduce the chances of them bouncing away from your site.

Section 1

  • Subhead:
  • This section is about…

Section 2

  • Subhead:
  • This section is about…

Section 3

  • Subhead:
  • This section is about…

Conclusion

Wrap it up with a succinct, thoughtful conclusion. Keep in mind: you can sometimes get away with omitting the conclusion section entirely.

If you do decide to throw in a conclusion section, do NOT use “filler” subheads like “IN CONCLUSION!!”. Also, avoid superfluous content that rehashes what you’ve already beaten to death in your intro and body copy above.

Social posts

Save yourself some time. Ask your copywriter to deliver social copy at the same time that they submit their post for review. If you’re writing the blog post yourself, you’ll have an easier time to write social media copy while the blog post is fresh in your mind.

  • Facebook Post #1:
  • Facebook Post #2:
  • Twitter #1:
  • Twitter #2:
  • LinkedIn #1:
  • …and so on.

If the draft will be reviewed by multiple stakeholders, you might also want to use a “sign off box”

Full disclosure: I totally made this box up out of pure need when I was leading content marketing for a SaaS company.

Click this link to check out what a “sign off box” looks like.

Working with freelance writers, in-house editors, and internal/external stakeholders, I needed a way to quickly display who was involved in the project, what they were responsible for, and track which tasks had been accomplished thus far. So a “sign off box” was born.

Feel free to use it if it will help you and your team. If not, kill it quicker than Jon Snow killed those white walkers in Game of Thrones.

What else would you add to a blog post brief?

I’m always curious to learn how other people design their content briefs.

If my blog post brief is missing something that you always include in your content brief, let me know in the comments below and let’s nerd out content together!

Author

Cameron helps SaaS and ecommerce brands grow, with SEO content that ranks and drives sales. When he's not writing for clients, he's usually drinking way too much coffee and working on his passive income blog.

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