When submitting instructions for the article you desire, you are, in a way, entering into a collaboration.
That word sounds so time consuming, imagining a musicians in the studio, or actors and directors on set taking time to craft their work. When requiring an article for your company it doesn’t need to be time consuming at all though. The collaboration, in this instance, places you more in a hands off producers role, and it is the writer who takes all the hard work off your hands.
However, there are some important things to remember in order to ensure you get the article you desire. At the start of the process, for the most stress free outcome, it is essential to provide the writer clear and concise instructions as to what you require the finished article to contain.
Here are some guidelines so you can quickly and efficiently help the writers working on your article produce work to the standard your company requires.
The most important aspect of your article is what information it contains. This usually boils down to ‘What is the message that you want to get out there?’. It is important to be clear in regards to this.
Sometimes information can allude to what the article should get across in a very ethereal way, almost like it’s embarrassed to reveal the true message.
I’ve come across a few instructions which seem to be modest about the company, like it’s embarrassed to celebrate their triumphs. If you underplay certain information the writer has to work to interpret that and pull it out of the article. So, be up front, bold and stamp your message out there.
A good article draws the viewer in with information regarding something they don’t already know.
Why would you bother reading something if you already knew the outcome.? It’d be like watching The Sixth Sense when you already know that Bruce Willis’ character is…. I’ll stop there in case you haven’t seen the film.
The best way of doing this is to pose questions with your article. What are the questions that your article will answer for it’s reader. What will they learn?
This could be obvious, and what they need to learn may be to use your company to help out in a particular situation, but having the questions there helps the writer in knowing the thrust of your article.
You may not know this up front, and that’s fine, the writer is there to shape your article, but if you do have any ideas of what structure you require it is helpful to writers to state it in your instructions.
Some articles require subheadings, whilst others would work better if the piece flowed as one complete section. If you have a preference it’s always better to know.
If you do require subheadings it is sometimes useful to state what they are. It allows the writer to understand fully which exact elements you want them to explore further. Please keep in mind all articles work better when they are allowed a paragraph to introduce, and a paragraph to conclude.
All instructions I’ve seen have come with a word count, but please consider how realistic the word count is. I’ve seen tremendously large word counts on the minutiae of something that wouldn’t fill 300 words, and vice versa, given 150 words to explore a huge question in depth. Leave room for introductions and conclusions and, above all, be flexible.
This one splits writers down the middle. Some of them like examples of similar articles that you’re looking for, and others find it difficult to break away from those articles and offer a fresh perspective if there’s something that’s been done in a similar vein previously.
This one is entirely up to your discretion, but if you’ve seen an article that has inspired you to have something similar I’d suggest including a link tot he example. Most writers find the more information they have to work with the better.
This may be an aspect you hasn’t considered, but it is amongst the writers first worry when beginning the article – what tone is required? Humorous? Informative?
There are so many ways of approaching writing articles in so many styles and tones that it can be difficult to meet a clients needs unless they know what they want. So, if you do know what you’re after please state this in your instructions.
Information – The Sequel
As you can see, the strength of the article comes down, not only, to the writers expertise, but also to the information provided to send them on the right path when writing the article. In this respect it is an important aspect of the collaboration which leaves you stress free as to the outcome of the article.
All writers want to do the best job they can and if you provide them with clear and concise instruction to your needs they will produce something that will blow you away. All the while they’ve been working hard on your article you’ll be able to get on with your own work, all it takes is that moment of preparation to make the job run smoothly for everyone.
Hopefully these instructions are helpful to making your next article, and your business, a success.