How editorial guidelines can lead to better content creation

Social Aim Staff

Are you looking to produce content for your blog that drives traffic to your business? If you’re like almost every other optimistic business out there, your answer is a definite yes!

You might be thinking, “My business is booming, why bother?” Well, we suggest you don’t rest on your laurels; there’s always room for improvement. Editorial guidelines help bloggers stay on track. We’re about to show you how.

Editorial guidelines benefit all writers, be it guest bloggers, in-house writers, freelance writers, or even a sole author of a blog.

What your editorial guidelines should cover

1. Goals: After research has been completed and you’ve specified your niche, getting your writers on track is the next major step for successful content creation. Brief your writers on the purpose of the blog. Are you looking for more traffic? What about potentially viral content? Would you rather have your content generate leads or provoke controversial conversation?

2. Audience: Content differs based on your audience. Specify your target. You’re most likely not blogging to teenage girls about expensive cars and yachts and we hope you’re not writing M.A.C.’s newest lipstick review for men.

3. Content originality: When accepting content from guest bloggers, it’s important to keep in mind that some of their work may have been or potentially will be published elsewhere. The editorial guidelines you set with respect to this particular issue can ensure that all submitted content is unique. As CoSchedule believes to be true, it’s as simple as putting one sentence from the content in Google to see if any matches come up.

4. Format: Both the length and tone should be specified. The length of blog posts often varies; some will deliver the message in fewer than 300 words, while some extend 400. It all boils down to the message you’re trying to pass on to your readers and your choice of words.

The same goes for the tone. According to CoSchedule, most blogs opt for a more conversational tone. However, it does depend greatly on your audience and the information you choose to share.

Images are essential for intriguing blog posts. You may require at least one visual per post, be it a diagram, infographic, or chart. Don’t forget to stress the importance of citing the sources of the used images, which brings us to our next point.

To avoid plagiarism and copyright infringement, make your contributors aware of just how important it is to give credit to an appropriate source. Additionally, encourage writers to include links to relevant material that has already been published on your blog, and discourage them from including links to competitors.

With your editorial guidelines complete, your next step is to test their success. Start by publishing them to attract potential contributors just as CoSchedule does on their website. This tells interested contributors that you’re open to newcomers.

While editorial guidelines don’t completely eliminate the need to edit content, they spare you the hassle by keeping all writers on the same page, therefore saving more time to create brilliant content!

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