No matter how long you’ve been with BlogMutt, you’ve probably heard how important it is to communicate your needs and expectations to our writers. After all, bringing on a new writer is similar to onboarding a new employee. To bring them up to speed, you must provide them a deep understanding of your company and clearly communicate what you want from them.
One way to do this is by creating strong, descriptive topics. But topics aren’t the only place where writers can learn more about your company and read your guidelines for posts.
The ‘additional info for writers’ field allows you to store all the information you want our writers to know in one place. Perfecting this section will not only get you great
Why do I need an ‘additional info for writers’ section?
The 'Additional Info' section is the first field writers check out when considering writing for a new company.
That’s right! You may think that writers only pay attention to your topics, but most writers will check out your ‘Additional Info’ section even before checking out your topics.
Writers need to get to know your company before they can dive into your topics. The ‘Additional Info’ field is the go-to place where they can learn the basic information about your company, what you want your posts to be about, the style and tone your posts should have, and any other specific guidelines for your posts.
It’s the clearest indication of your company’s voice—if filled out mindfully.
Today's online world is full of content, making it that much more important for your company to have a memorable personality and a unique voice in order to stand out from competitors. If you aren't quite sure yet of how to define your company's voice, check out this article.
A blog is an extension of your company, so your posts need to exemplify your company's voice and personality. Use the 'Additional Info' field to display that voice and show our writers the personality that your posts need infused.
It’s the perfect place to communicate any information that applies to ALL posts.
It just doesn’t make sense to include your guidelines in every single topic description if they apply to all of your topics. Save yourself the effort and write them in the ‘Additional Info’ section.
You probably have a set of guidelines in your head that you run through every time to review a post, including criteria to accept or decline a post, rules about industry-specific jargon, and even minimum word counts.
Jot those guidelines down in the 'Additional Info' section. Writers can view all of your guidelines in one place and refer to them every time they write a post.
If you really want to earn extra credit with the BlogMutt writers, create your own style guide and provide writers with your basic rules for writing blog posts. You can get started with this template from HubSpot.
You get posts you love quicker!
In doing a good job filling out the ‘Additional Info’ section, you may be able to eliminate excessive feedback for writers and reduce the rounds of editing required before you have a post that you really love.
If you find yourself requesting edits or declining posts for the same reasons almost every time, perhaps you can eliminate the disappointment altogether by optimizing your ‘Additional Info’ section.
Need help getting started? Here are the "a la carte" makings of an A+ ‘Additional Info’ section:
- Essential reading about your company (“About Us” page, sales collateral, product pages)
- A style guide that you can share via public link
- Anything that is a must for you in order to buy a post
- Anything you don’t ever want a writer to include in a post
- Other blogs you’d consider to be on-par quality to what blog posts you need
- Other blog posts you’ve developed in the past yourself in-house that are a great marker for quality, tone, and style
- SEO requirements including keywords, use of external links, etc.
- Calls-to-action that every post should include
- A list of specific sites/resources to reference for the source of
all-truthin your industry
- Guidelines for how you’d like writers to use sources including citation requirements
- List of competitors that you don’t want writers to reference
5 Excellent Examples
OK, so you have a few ideas for sprucing up your ‘Additional Info’ section, but we all know there’s no better way to learn than by example.
Here are some ‘Additional Info’ sections from actual BlogMutt customers. Check them out and see how you can take your account to the next level.
1. A customer with all-around good, detailed information:
From background information about their company to a list of SEO keywords, this customer didn’t skimp on information for writers.
By listing three web pages of reading material for writers to check out, this customer leads with a good starting point for writers to get up to speed about their company.
Throughout the text, you’ll notice they provide plenty of guidelines related to writing. For example, this customer wants at least 650 words per post and each post should get to the point with no unnecessary words. (No “fluffy” words!)
Later, they hit on industry-specific terms that writers should and should NOT use, and they provide a list of SEO keywords.
Most importantly, this customer informs writers about their own customers and identifies their pain points. This customer explains why their customers work with them and what they have to offer in their industry. Blog posts need to speak to a customer’s target audience in order to be effective and this customer provides plenty of information on how to do just that.
2. A customer who knows what keywords they want to use:
So, you don’t need to list pages and pages of keywords for writers to hit on your SEO goals. But if you’ve already done your research and know which keywords you want to use in your blog posts, feel free to list them in the ‘Additional Info’ section.
Writers can quickly scan your list of keywords and make sure their post hits on your SEO goals before hitting the “submit” button.
3. A technical customer with clear expectations:
This customer starts off strong by identifying a target audience and defining the goals of their blog. As you may already know, clearly defining your blogging goals goes a long way toward getting writers on the same page as yourself.
What really sets this ‘Additional Info’ section apart from the rest is the customer’s use of examples. Not only does the customer do a great job of describing the tone that posts should have by referring to a conversation with a “professional software developer friend,” the customer provides a link to another website and says:
“My audience, tone, and article topics will almost mirror this site.”
Writers checking out this customer’s subscription will follow this link and gain a crystal-clear understanding of the customer’s expectations for style and tone.
4. A law firm customer that keeps things organized and to the point:
Law firms need to show their clients that they are up to date on current events and that they can provide solutions to legal questions. This customer makes that need quite clear.
This one resonates with writers because it provides useful information yet gets to the point. The customer makes sure to clearly describe the topics they want to cover, their geographic focus, the tone they expect, and the voice that the posts should have in just a few words.
The takeaway here is that you don’t need to write a 10-page essay to communicate your needs to writers. Just include all the necessary information in an organized structure to really hit it home.
5. This customer who clearly demonstrates their unique voice:
If your company’s voice comes through loud and clear on your website and through your existing forms of marketing, you need to make sure your blog posts have that same voice.
This customer gets it right by demonstrating their company’s voice in the “Additional Info” section. Writers can easily get a feel for what the customer is all about and make sure their writing encompasses the personality of the customer.
Now, it’s your turn!
Take a look at your ‘Additional Info’ section and compare it to the examples above. (If you never filled out this section, you’re at least at a good starting point.) To get there from your dashboard, click under the 'More' tab, select 'Business Info', and scroll down to the last field, 'Additional info for writers'.
The best part about the ‘Additional Info’ field is that it’s unstructured, and as such, you can express pretty much anything you need to here!
Write whatever you want, any way you want it—as long as it will help writers learn about your company and what you need as a customer.