HubShout SEM System Help

Writer Instructions

  • SPP Reply

    I am filling out the section for my first campaign and it is asking for writing instructions.

    What instructions do you need exactly? :)

    For the client I am entering, I could write pages of writer instructions about what the brand stands for, what to say or not to say, what to not imply or suggest, etc...

    ...but what instructions do you need exactly?

    I think there should be some hint or explanation of what information you actually need. When looking at the pricing sections of front end site, I can hover over the items and see what it is about. Yet, in the reseller dashboard I am left on my own trying to work out what you really mean (and really need) in each section.

    Suggestion: Have a list of questions there that we need to answer, to provide you with the writing instructions that will be most effective for you. Or, have a hover over "tool tip" there for each item of information that you need/are asking for.

    I don't want to waste my time or your time writing unnecessary instructions if you only need to know about "this" or "that" specifically.

    Please tell me what you need specifically under the "Writer Instructions" section.

    Thanks
    SPP

    P.S. Apart from getting stuck with this basic stuff, Hubshout is FANTASTIC (and light years ahead of other seo reselling firms I've looked into). I am honored to be a part of this community and I look forward to bringing on many clients and having Hubshout as my trusted provider.

    I have Andy as my account manager and he has been very helpful and professional all the way.

    01/14 at 10:49 PM (12655)
  • Adam M Reply

    Hello again. Another awesome question.

    Generally, for writer instructions, the more the better. However, pages might be excessive.

    What I generally tell resellers is that 5 bullets on what to write, 5 bullets on what not to write, and a general tone of the articles and blogs is a great set of instructions.

    Again, if you think it is a complicated brand, please feel free to provide more!

    Adam M

    01/15 at 12:22 PM (12669)
  • Mari Reply

    from a writer's perspective: 5 bullets is great! Pages are too much information and encourage skimming. An idea of audience is good, as well as ideas for potential topics so that there's a starting point for research etc.

    Keep in mind that writers aren't supposed to really endorse companies, a lot of times that doesn't seem to make it into how people construct their instructions...?

    01/15 at 02:45 PM (12677)
  • Raven Reply

    I'd just like to second Mari. Brief is better, but keep in mind that you and the client know their business best. If there's some nuance that isn't apparent to most outsiders, that's important to include so that the writer doesn't waste time writing something that, unbeknownst to them, is totally unusable. For example, if the client sells air conditioners, but only to commercial facilities, then that changes things! A writer wouldn't necessary know that from the keywords that are given, which is why instructions that touch on audience, and possible ideas for topics are so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to put some thought into answering these questions!

    01/15 at 03:08 PM (12679)
  • Svea Shout Reply

    Hi SSP,
    I actually have a concise writer instructions form that I can have Andy forward to you if you would like. I'd like to weigh in as well. Brief is better, but there are a few "main ingredients" I like to see in writer instructions for both the research process, and content creation. First off, tell us the tone you would like your articles to have, any concepts or topics you would like covered in your content, and what demographic the business is targeting. Second, please tell us what you would like to inform. The writer instructions i love to work with most are brief, and easy to read through (A.K.A- not the website's "about me"). Its great to see people weigh in on this subject- thanks for the heads up Raven!

    01/15 at 03:15 PM (12680)
  • SPP Reply

    Thanks for the input.

    Okay, so what I get from all that is to provide the following writer instructions:

    - 5 bullets on what to write.
    - 5 bullets on what not to write.
    - The general tone of the articles (for the actual website, or for out there on the web? I assume for the actual site).
    - Any specific concepts or topics to cover.
    - The demographic of the target audience.
    - Things to inform the reader of.
    - Any special nuances about the business (e.g. client sells air conditioners, but only to commercial facilities).
    - Ideas for potential topics.

    Suggestion: In the writer instructions area, instead of it being blank, have questions there that a reseller needs to fill in to provide that information. If I had those set questions, I would build it into a form that a client would fill in after purchase.

    Also, it needs to be made clear whether these writer instructions are for the articles placed on the client's website or out there on the web.

    About this comment, “Keep in mind that writers aren't supposed to really endorse companies” - thanks for adding that. It would be great to see an example article (even a 300 word snippet) in the dashboard, with a reminder that the writers aren’t out there promoting the business, but are writing about the topics and linking back. Is that right? If so, it makes a big difference for the writer instructions and the information I will be asking for from my clients.

    01/15 at 09:12 PM (12699)
  • Svea Shout Reply

    SPP.
    From my perspective, you are absolutely correct. The information we write is not advertising content. It is written on topics and subjects relevant to the client's business, and then the links are placed accordingly. This is not a place where businesses talk about the benefits to their products and services specifically as that would be promotional advertisement. We simply write engaging and well written pieces on the realm of topics and subjects, and services that the client works with, and then the links to their sites are placed within.

    01/16 at 10:25 AM (12706)
  • Raven Reply

    [quote]Svea Shout said: SPP. From my perspective, you are absolutely correct. The information we write is not advertising content. It is written on topics and subjects relevant to the client's business, and then the links are placed accordingly. This is not a place where businesses talk about the benefits to their products and services specifically as that would be promotional advertisement. We simply write engaging and well written pieces on the realm of topics and subjects, and services that the client works with, and then the links to their sites are placed within.

    [/quote]


    Wholly agreed. Just to add to this- we want real people to actually find these articles, read them, and find them helpful or thought-provoking. That's when the content proves to be really valuable. It gets shared, the links get used, etc. etc...that's what sets HubShout and its content writers apart. We're not writing for search engines, we're writing for people, and that's one reason why these instructions are important, but also a little tricky.

    01/16 at 10:29 AM (12707)
  • SPP Reply

    Okay thanks.

    Can you please confirm: Are these writer instructions for off site articles or the articles Hubshout will write for my site?

    If it is only for off-site: I filled out the "Business Interview Questionnaire" today, which took about 3 hours to complete (the 3 page Word document supplied by Hubshout turned into a 17 page document when I finished filling in all the answers). It had loads of great questions, which really got me explaining a lot about the history of business, what it stands for and what it doesn't. Those answers could definitely be used as a reference for the writers. Do you refer to the answers in that document?

    If the writer instructions in the dashboard are only for off site articles, then I am struggling to see the point of providing the information because Hubshout writes content for the reader and doesn't post up promotional articles about the business that is having SEO done.

    Are there some cases in which it is not necessary to supply writer instructions? I want to know so I don't waste time for myself and for my clients.

    If the writer instructions are only for the on site articles, then please let me know.

    Please advise.

    SPP

    01/22 at 10:50 AM (12788)