How to Write a Freelancer Content Brief

How to Write a Content Brief for a Freelance Writer

Working with freelance writers can be a cost-effective and efficient way to scale your content strategy, especially if you have a content brief template that provides clear guidance and sets the right expectations. A well-structured content brief helps you achieve consistency and quality, aligning with your brand’s voice and marketing goals.

Read on to discover how to write a content brief, including its impact on your process and the specific items to include. At the end of this blog, you’ll find a content brief template you can copy to get started.

Streamlining Content Creation

Hiring outside writers for your blog without a well-crafted content brief can be frustrating. For example, the writer might see the project differently than you intended, resulting in content that doesn’t meet your expectations. Inefficient communication and multiple revisions can eat into your budget and timeline.

A Content Brief Saves Time and Effort

With a strategic onboarding process and an effective content brief, external writers will understand your expectations, audience, and goals. This brief will help the writer create on-target, relevant content. Taking the time to set up your writers translates into fewer revisions and builds a positive relationship with your freelancers, as they have what they need to deliver their best work.

A Content Brief Frees You to Focus on Strategy

As an essential component of your successful content marketing strategy, a brief allows you to maintain quality control and preserve your brand’s identity across all content pieces.

Consistently using an effective content brief template transforms your content creation process. It frees your team to focus on high-level strategy while your freelance partners execute content that moves the needle.

A Content Brief Bridges the Knowledge Gap

While you’re in the inner workings of your company day-to-day, outside writers don’t have that context. By providing details about your company, target audience, brand voice, and approach to the topic, you bridge the gap and help them write as if they were part of your team.

Below are tips for how to write a brief, including the essential elements and why they are important. At the end of this page, you’ll find a content brief template that you can copy to get started.

What to Include in Your Content Brief

The goal of any content brief is to support the writer and streamline the process. Here is an outline of what to include.

Company Details

When working with outside writers, you want to ensure they have the context to understand your company and align with your brand voice. This includes:

  • Your company name
  • Website
  • Industry
  • A description of your company

The description may be general or include specific information about what differentiates you in the marketplace.

Content Type and Timeline

What type of content do you need? It’s important to specify whether it’s a blog post, white paper, article, email newsletter, or something else. In this section, you want to include:

  • Content type
  • Word count (often a range)
  • Turnaround time or deadline

Topic, Headline, and Content Goals

The topic and title provide a starting point. You can specify a headline or give the writer flexibility on how they want to approach the subject. Generally, it’s best to be more specific when first working with an outside writer. Once they’ve written a few solid pieces for you and understand your brand and voice, you can extend more flexibility if you’d like.

Beyond the topic, you want to communicate your content goals. Is the purpose of this piece to raise awareness, educate your customers, or drive leads? Share any specific points you’d like them to include. Don’t assume they’ll automatically take the same approach you have in your mind since there are multiple ways to discuss almost any topic.

If you have a blog article that covers the topic well, include the link in your content brief. Quality freelance writers will never copy another blog, but seeing what you consider a strong example gives them a clear direction.

Target Audience

Who is this content for? Understanding the audience helps writers tailor the content and can dramatically increase a piece’s impact. Include any of the following that are relevant:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Interests
  • Pain points
  • Preferences

Formatting and Style Requirements

Company details, topic, content type, and target audience are must-haves in any content brief. The following are optional, depending on your relationship with the writers, the complexity of the content, and your goals.

If you have a content style guide, always include it with your brief. If you don’t have one in writing, you can specify your preferred style, tone, and voice.

Examples of style and tone include informative, conversational, professional, authoritative, humorous, or inspirational. Voice refers to the point of view, for example, “you,” “we,” or “they.”

Additional formatting and style requirements may include:

  • Specific structure or format, either because they are non-standard or facilitate your workflow.
  • The call-to-action you’d like the writer to include.
  • The format your company uses for references or linking. This may include having a reference section at the end, in-line linking, and the type of websites you want the writer to prioritize or avoid.


If you are writing an SEO content brief, you’ll want to provide a list of primary and secondary keywords to include naturally throughout the content. You can outline how you want the words to be used or instruct the writer to apply best practices.

Other Helpful Information

Your content brief expresses your company and its content needs, so feel free to include items not listed above. The more information you provide about what you do, what you’re trying to accomplish, who you’re trying to reach, and your vision, the more aligned your content will be.

Additional information might include:

Pro Tip: Refine Your Content Brief Over Time

Creating a highly effective content brief is not a one-time task but an iterative process. As you collaborate with freelance writers, their questions and knowledge gaps signal where you can fine-tune your briefs.

Notice the types of revisions you frequently request. Are you often asking writers to adjust the tone to be more authoritative? Do you find yourself repeatedly clarifying industry jargon? These recurring edits indicate gaps in your brief that you can include to save time on future projects.

Over time, this feedback loop can help you craft increasingly precise and comprehensive briefs.

Creating a Successful Content Partnership

Building a successful content partnership goes beyond providing a clear brief to freelance writers. It involves developing collaborative relationships that lead to high-quality content that aligns with your brand’s goals.

Time constraints are a significant challenge for many marketing professionals. Balancing a full workload while investing time into hiring, onboarding, and managing qualified freelance writers can be stressful.

Coordination and project management add complexity. Juggling multiple projects and deadlines while coordinating with freelancers can also detract from the result, especially since consistent communication and a streamlined process are essential to the timely delivery of high-quality content.

To master the art of building invaluable partnerships, check out our comprehensive whitepaper, How to Create a Successful Content Partnership Strategy.

Streamline Your Process With Expert Partners

Quality, authoritative content drives engagement, conversions, and brand loyalty. The capacity to consistently produce high-quality, targeted content gives your business an advantage in the marketplace. Well-crafted content briefs help achieve consistent, authoritative work.

Even with the best briefs, the caliber of your content depends on your writer’s expertise and capacity to manage them. In specialized fields like finance, healthcare, or technology, writers with industry-specific knowledge are necessary to create content that relates to the target audience. Writers well-versed in your sector understand its complexities and can translate technical concepts into engaging copy.

This is where ContentWriters stands out. Our writers have specific industry expertise, whether you’re a SaaS company or a healthcare organization. Beyond skilled and experienced writers, we offer managed services to guide you through the process and free you from the operational details of content creation.

If you’re looking to access a specialized network of freelancers with a managed services team that can help guide your content briefing, contact us and get started today.

Ready to get started? Copy the template below!

Content Brief Template

Rather than providing examples of content briefs specific to an industry and topic, this reusable template captures the essential elements you need to get started. Feel free to copy and paste it to use as the first iteration of your framework.

Company Details

  • Company Name
  • Website URL
  • Industry
  • Company Description

Content Type and Timeline

  • Content Format
  • Word Count Minimum or Range
  • Turnaround Time or Deadline

Topic, Headline, and Content Goals

  • Headline and/or Topic
  • Content Goals
    • Educate Prospects and Customers
    • Generate Leads
    • Raise Awareness/Brand Loyalty
    • Thought Leadership
    • Optimize for SEO
    • Other
  • Specific Points to Include
  • CTA to Include (Include Link)
  • Links to Strong Examples

Target Audience

Include Any of the Following:

  • Age Range:
  • Gender:
  • Location:
  • Occupation:
  • Interests:
  • Pain points:
  • Preferences:
  • Other:

Formatting and Style Requirements

Attach Content Style Guide (Optional)

  • Style and Tone
    • Informative
    • Professional
    • Authoritative
    • Humorous
    • Conversational
    • Inspirational
    • Other (Specify):
  • Voice
    • First Person Singular (I)
    • First Person Plural (We)
    • Second Person (You)
    • Third Person (They)
  • How to Handle References
    • Inline Linking
    • References Section at End (Specify Format Type)
    • Other:
  • Data Sources & Linking Preferences
    • Specific Data Sources to Use or Reference
    • Internal Linking Preferences (Min # Internal Links)
    • External Links: Sites to Prioritize or Avoid
  • Any Specific Structure or Formatting Requirements


  • Primary Keyword
  • Secondary Keywords
  • Keyword Placement Instructions

Other Optional Information

  • A Competitor Analysis
  • Things to Avoid

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