If you’re a blog content writer, you know each and every client is unique. With different clients come different needs, and it’s important your work reflects each brand accurately, fulfills the desired purpose, and is written with quality in mind. One blog writing best practice is asking your clients questions.
Before you put the pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard), here are seven questions you need to ask your clients.
1. Who’s the Target Audience?
Blog content writers should always clarify who the target audience is before they start writing any type of content. Why? Because it could potentially change the approach you take to your writing.
For instance, a blog that’s being directed towards healthcare professionals will likely use more high-level language than a blog written for the patient. Knowing who you’re writing for helps you conduct proper research, have a more relatable tone of voice, and include links that are helpful to the reader.
Without such information, you’re writing to an unknown audience, which doesn’t lead to the best content.
2. What’s the Tone?
As mentioned above, knowing what tone of voice or writing style to use helps blog content writers create material that’s both helpful and relatable to the target audience. Maybe the client wants to stray from blogs that are too informal or perhaps they want to use a more conversational tone of voice. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
3. SEO or Not?
If your client wants their content to be optimized for search, this is something you need to know before you start writing. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself adding keywords in places they don’t belong and changing headlines to accommodate the late request.
To make things easier for you and more efficient for your client, know whether or not SEO should be included in the article long before you start writing.
4. Do You Have Any Reference Material?
Sometimes, your clients will have an idea of what type of content they want before you start writing. Perhaps their competitors shared certain blog posts and they need something that will position their brands competitively.
However, if you aren’t provided with any reference material, it will be hard to meet their expectations and create the content they’re looking for. Don’t forget to ask your client for any reference material or examples they have to help you create the type of content they have in mind.
5. What’s The Desired Word Count?
This might seem like an obvious question to ask, but some blog content writers forget! If your client only wants a 500-word blog and you write over 1,500 words, it’s going to be an awkward conversation when you submit the piece.
To make things easier right from the start, always ask if there’s a desired word count to reach.
6. Is There Anything You Shouldn’t Mention?
It’s always smart to create a safety net with your clients and determine if there’s anything you shouldn’t mention. For instance, if you’re writing a blog titled “Top 5 Bakery Trends” for a local bakery, you might mention that gluten-free foods are on the rise. But if your client doesn’t sell gluten-free products, it won’t work to their advantage. Clear the air before you write, and determine if there’s anything you should avoid mentioning.
7. When’s the Deadline?
Successful blog content writers are fantastic at time management—mainly because they never forget to ask about deadlines! At the close of every client meeting or email, double check what the anticipated deadline is. Not only will this help you ensure your clients are never disappointed, but it will help you prioritize work in your own calendar as well.
If you ask your clients these seven questions, your blogs will be easier to write, more relatable to the reader, and more effective for your client!