6. State your structure & subheading demands
As readers, we skim through article subheadings and intro sentences, to check whether they’re worth our time.
In fact, according to Hubspot, nearly half (43%) of us skim blog posts instead of reading them.
It’s true. Subheadings and structure are crucial to engagement.
Reinforce this in your brief, and make sure to ask for actionable, memorable, and search optimized subheadings.
Along with a headline, subheadings are basically a sales pitch for your content. You want to Support-The-Skim with engaging, specific, and search-optimized TL;DR subheadings.
Curating structure and subheading inspiration for your freelancer takes time. Using an automated outline tool like BuzzSumo’s Brief Generator can help.
And if you have any other key rules on structure, add them here (even if you’re also including them via an attached style guide).
An example structure outline to include in your content brief:
- Intro: Keep your intro short – no more than two sentences.
- Table of contents: Include for scannability.
- Subheadings: Include throughout for scannability, optimize for search engines, and give the gold up-front by making them specific, actionable, and unique.
- CTAs: Include up to three throughout.
- Internal/External links: Feature 3-5 throughout. Link to content in “X” cluster.
- Sentence and paragraph structure: Write in sentence paragraphs, and keep each one to the point.
- Conclusion: Recap bullet points and write summary statement – no more than two sentences.