Content Production
May 13, 2020

How to Write a Blog Post Brief (Free PDF Template)

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.

If you're in a hurry and want to use a readymade template, download a PDF of our SEO content brief and get cracking.


What to include in a blog post brief

The ideal brief contains everything your writers need to know to deliver A+ work every time.

Here’s everything we include in the Damn Good Writers blog post brief. 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.


Post outline

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.

Will multiple stakeholders be reviewing this draft? 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. 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.

Use it if it will help you and your team keep track of who's reviewing what. If it just adds clutter to your blog post brief, kill it quicker than those Game of Thrones showrunners killed their fandom's hopes and dreams.

Download our SEO content brief to see what a “sign off box” looks like.

What else would you add to a blog post brief?

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

If the DGW blog post brief is missing something that you always include in your content brief, hit me up on Twitter and let's nerd out about it.


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