Did you know that creating a well-structured and effective content brief can significantly impact the success of your content marketing efforts? Your experienced writers have the power to craft compelling narratives and engage your audience, but without a solid roadmap, their words may fall short of their potential.

Enter detailed content briefs—a strategic tool that empowers you to build content that captures attention, showcases your unique style, and drives results.

In this guide, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of how to create a content brief that is tailored to your needs and unleashes the full potential of your freelance writer.

Let’s go!

What is a Content Brief?

A content brief is like a blueprint for your content masterpiece. It’s a roadmap that helps guide writers, like the creative geniuses they are, to craft amazing pieces that hit the right chords with your audience.

Think of it as a cheat sheet that combines your unique content style, important keywords, headings, and the magic of SEO.

By providing clear instructions and objectives, content briefs empower writers to create engaging and impactful articles that stand out from the crowd.

So, if you’re looking to level up your content game and make sure your message shines through, a well-crafted content brief is your secret weapon.

Why is having a content brief a good idea? Here are some reasons:


1. Stay On Track

Stay on track with a content brief that provides a clear path for the writer to follow, ensuring they stay focused on the essential content without veering into unnecessary fluff. This approach helps the piece become more concise, to the point, and better able to achieve its objectives, delivering a more impactful and engaging reading experience.

2. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Why put in extra effort when you can work smarter? A content brief lets writers outline the key points and structure in advance, helping them avoid the time and energy wasted on irrelevant sections. By doing so, they have more valuable time to dedicate to other important tasks, making their workflow more efficient and productive.

3. Keep Your Brand Voice Consistent

It’s important to keep your brand voice consistent, and a content brief can be a big help with that. By providing guidelines for tone and style, the brief ensures that the content stays true to your brand’s personality and message. This not only keeps the piece focused and on track but also ensures that it accurately reflects your brand’s image.

4. Create Better Quality Content

When you create a piece of content with a perfect content brief, you’re setting the stage for high-quality material. The brief prompts you to conduct thorough research and verify facts, resulting in credible and valuable content for your readers.

This approach ensures that your piece becomes informative, useful, and effective in achieving its intended purpose of providing valuable information or solving a problem for your audience.

5. Connect With Your Audience

With a content brief, your writers can gain insights into their target audience, allowing them to tailor the content to be more engaging and relevant. This approach increases the chances of capturing the reader’s interest, driving higher engagement levels, and ultimately achieving better outcomes for your content goals.

How to Create A Content Brief Effectively: Step-By-Step


Here are 14 simple and actionable steps to create content briefs, along with what a content brief should include:

1. Define your objectives

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your content. Define your objectives and goals. Are you aiming to educate, entertain, or drive conversions? Knowing this will provide a solid foundation for your content brief.

2. Identify your target audience

To write a content brief that truly resonates with your ideal readers, your writer needs to know who they’re writing for. Share detailed information about your target audience—their demographics, interests, pain points, and decision-making process. This knowledge will enable your writer to craft content that speaks directly to your audience’s needs.

2. Do Keyword Research

When crafting your content brief, it’s important to clearly identify the main focus or topic of the piece. Alongside that, include the target keywords that will help your writer understand what the content should be optimized for. Keywords are like compasses that guide your content toward its intended audience.

One keyword tool that I myself have trusted and used until now is SEMrush. This tool provides you with detailed analytics, allowing you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your content for maximum impact.

3. Find a Suitable Content Length

You should clearly indicate the desired length or word count for your content in the brief. Whether you need a concise blog article or an in-depth guide, providing this information will help your writer deliver the right amount of content to meet your needs and objectives.

4. Search Intent

Understanding the search intent behind your target keywords is key. Are people looking for information, products, or solutions? Communicate this search intent in your content brief, so your writer can align the content with what users are searching for.

One example of search intent is when users are looking for the “best smartphone under $500.” In this case, the search intent is to find information and reviews about smartphones within a specific budget.

Users are likely in the research phase and seeking recommendations or comparisons to make an informed purchasing decision.

By understanding this search intent, you can guide your writer to create high-quality content that provides detailed reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for the best smartphones under $500.

5. Craft a compelling headline

The title of your content plays a crucial role in its success. It’s like a spark that ignites the curiosity of your readers. Provide your writer with suggestions for catchy and attention-grabbing titles that encapsulate the essence of the piece. So, let your ideas flow and inspire your writer to create a captivating headline that piques the interest of your audience.

7. Develop an Outline

You can keep your content organized and easy to follow by providing an outline or suggested sections in your brief. This gives your writer a roadmap to follow, ensuring a logical flow from the introduction to the conclusion. A well-structured piece makes it easier for readers to digest and engage with your content.

8. Relevant keywords

Help your writer out by providing a list of relevant keywords they should incorporate into the content. These keywords will be helpful for content optimization for search engines and increase their visibility.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found to discover relevant keywords efficiently without sacrificing productivity is by utilizing reliable content brief software. These powerful tools can streamline the keyword research process, providing valuable insights and saving you valuable time.

If you have relevant content or resources within your website, include those links in your brief. Internal links not only enhance the user experience but also provide additional context and credibility to your content.

10. Research sources

If you have specific research sources or references that you’d like your writer to include, mention them in the brief. Providing reputable sources helps to support the claims and arguments made in the content, adding credibility and value to your piece.

11. Include tone and style guidelines

If you have a preferred writing style or tone, mention it in the brief. Whether you want a friendly and conversational tone or a more formal and authoritative approach, conveying your desired writing style will ensure that the content aligns with your brand’s voice and resonates with your target audience.

12. Any specific formatting or visual elements to be included

If you have specific formatting preferences or visual elements that you’d like to see in the content, make sure to mention them in the brief. Whether it’s bullet points, subheadings, images, or infographics, visual elements can enhance the readability and engagement of your content.

13: Include Calls to Action (CTAs)

Now that you’ve provided valuable information and engaged your readers, it’s time to guide them toward the next step. Calls to Action (CTAs) are essential in prompting your readers to take a specific action that aligns with your content’s goals.

Think about what you want your readers to do after consuming your content. Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter, leave a comment, make a purchase, or share your content on social media? Your CTA should clearly communicate this desired action.

14. Set deadlines and deliverables

Congratulations! You’ve almost completed your content brief. Now it’s time to establish clear deadlines and deliverables to ensure a smooth content production process.

Setting deadlines is crucial for managing expectations and keeping your content creation on track. Determine when you need the content to be completed and communicate this deadline to your writer or content team. Consider factors like publication schedules, marketing campaigns, or any other time-sensitive requirements.

Content Brief Template


  • Title: [Insert title of content piece]
  • Type: [Blog post, whitepaper, video, etc.]
  • Objective: [What do you hope to achieve with this content piece?]


  • Target audience: [Who is this content piece for?]
  • Persona: [Provide a detailed description of the target audience's demographics, interests, and pain points]

Content Details

  • Topic: [What is the main topic of the content piece?]
  • Key message: [What is the main message you want to convey?]
  • Main points: [List the main points you want to cover in the content piece]
  • Supporting details: [Include any supporting facts, data, or examples that will help make your point]
  • Internal links: [Are there any relevant pages or sections on your website that you can link to within the content piece?]

Format and Tone

  • Format: [What format will the content piece take?]
  • Tone: [What tone do you want to convey? Professional, conversational, humorous, etc.]

Style Guide

  • Brand voice: [What is your brand voice?]
  • Keywords: [What keywords should be included in the content piece?]
  • Style guide: [Any specific style or formatting guidelines that should be followed]

Call to Action

  • CTA: [What action do you want the reader/viewer to take after consuming the content piece?]
  • Landing page: [Where should the CTA lead?]

Feel free to customize this template to fit your specific needs. Good luck!


Should your content brief include an outline?

Yes, including an outline in your content brief is highly beneficial. The outline serves as a roadmap, guiding the writer through the structure and main points of the content. It helps maintain focus, ensures a logical flow, and enables a more organized and efficient writing process.

What are the most important parts of a content brief?

The most important parts of a content brief include clearly defining the objective and purpose of the content, identifying the target audience and their needs, specifying the desired tone and style of writing, outlining the key topics and subheadings to cover, and providing any specific instructions or requirements. Additionally, including research sources, word count guidelines, and deadlines can help ensure a comprehensive and effective brief.

The goal is to provide writers with all the necessary information and guidance to create engaging, informative, and on-topic content that aligns with the overall objectives of the project.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, mastering the art of creating a content brief is a game-changer for your content strategy.

By following the step-by-step guide we’ve provided on how to create a content brief effectively, you can streamline your process of creating content, connect with your target audience, and achieve your content goals.

But why stop there? To take your content brief writing to new heights and unlock even greater success, I recommend harnessing the power of Surfer SEO.

With its advanced features and user-friendly interface, Surfer SEO empowers you to effortlessly optimize your content briefs for maximum impact and visibility.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to supercharge your content strategy. Take the leap and start using Surfer SEO for easy content brief writing today.

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About the Author Millie Pham

Meet Millie Pham - an SEO content marketer and video editor who loves exploring the latest tech and AI tools. She provides honest reviews and demystifies the world of AI, SEO, and blogging, making these complex topics accessible and easy to understand for everyone. Her work has been featured on Marin Software, jobillico, Nicereply, and other sites.

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