How To Write A Content Brief In 2023: A Comprehensive Guide [Free Template]

Updated: August 31, 2023

Written by Eddy Ballesteros Personal Finance & AI Expert: Learn More

Are you looking for a comprehensive guide on how to write an effective content brief?

My blog post will provide answers, from understanding objectives and expectations to defining scope, audience, and tone.

I'll also explore fundamental principles of writing effective briefs that enable you to rank higher on Google with SEO-focused content.

You'll get everything you need to know, from outlining measurable strategies to setting deadlines and conducting regular reviews.

Get ready to learn essential skills that can help make your work life easier.

Best Content Brief Software

Surfer SEO Tool

Surfer SEO

  • Free Chrome Extension
  • Keyword Research
  • Topical Mapping

What Is A Content Brief?

A content brief is like a roadmap for content creation, guiding the journey to high-quality content.

It's essential to any content marketing strategy and helps define the target audience, objectives, and editorial direction.

Content briefs can vary in complexity depending on the type of content being created, from blog posts to ebooks or SEO-optimized pages.

Content briefs save time and provide clear instructions that ensure everyone involved in the project is on board with a specific direction.

They also set expectations regarding quality and give guidance for creating great content that readers will love. Plus, they can be tailored to fit each particular project.

If you are using content brief software like Surfer SEO, their detailed content briefs will provide you with the following:

  • Keyword Suggestions
  • Word count
  • Competing articles
  • Target keyword optimization
  • Shareable link for your blog writing team
  • Suggested title and meta description length
  • External and internal links
  • Get valuable insights on relevant content

Unlike creative briefs that apply to many projects, such as landing page copy or video production, content briefs are designed explicitly for written pieces, including elements like audience information, brand voice, language, and meta descriptions.

These documents help create unique pieces and save time and money by eliminating back-and-forth between clients and freelancers, so deadlines are met quickly without sacrificing quality.

Key takeaway:

A well-thought-out content brief is invaluable when crafting successfully written pieces. It provides detailed direction while helping streamline the process so you get top-notch results faster than ever before.

My Content Brief Example And Template

As a full-time content creator and blogger, I ensure my content writers follow the same brief every time. My content brief includes the following elements:

  • Create my document using Surfer SEO or
  • Make sure the search intent is correct
  • Add SEO-optimized title and meta description
  • Pick the top competing articles to rank against
  • Write down internal or external links
  • Include branded images and alt text for each
  • Add product placements for affiliate or digital products
  • Add FAQ section for Google snippets
  • Check for plagiarism and spelling mistakes
  • Run the article through an AI content detection tool
  • Get A Surfer Score of 70+
  • Hit publish
  • Then perform an SEO audit using an SEO audit tool

Eddy's Content Brief Template

That is my entire content brief template, and I always use a content optimization tool to ensure I follow best blogging practices.

With this template, I know my content is optimized for users, and Google is happy. This is one of my top blogging tips for anyone new to article briefs.

Why Are Content Briefs Important?

Content briefs are essential for crafting the perfect blog post and differentiating between a successful project and a flop.

It is necessary to create a content brief for any project, large or small, as it helps to clarify project goals and develop efficient and compelling content.

Writing a content brief helps to avoid common problems such as inconsistent drafts, failure to meet client requirements, and lack of correct keywords.

If you perform SEO audits or run an agency, you'll understand how important it is to start with a detailed brief.

Why are content briefs important?

A content brief can be helpful in various situations, such as creating list items, outlining project goals, defining a target market, setting a timeline, or assigning a budget.

This document helps your experienced writers stay on the same page and is the critical link between research and planning and your content strategy.

Content briefs provide structure to the content creation process, reduce room for misinterpretation of goals, and provide direction on creating content that aligns with the brand's voice, narrative flow, formatting, and content.

A content brief helps creation by ensuring everyone follows the same standards and that the content production machine runs smoothly. It also helps to stock an editorial calendar with high-quality content consistently.

Marketing departments and agencies use content briefs to provide clear guidelines for creative professionals when creating content.

This includes advice about what should be included, how the outcome should look, etc. Creating content briefs can be an efficient approach to streamlining a process. It helps save not only time and money but also reduces stress levels during the creation of a final article with better quality.

When producing SEO content, content briefs can help guide you to higher rankings on Google.

They Help You Clarify Your Goals

A detailed content brief will help you with the outcome of your blog post creation. It enables you to identify who your target audience is, research relevant keywords, and create a consistent message.

Plus, it can be used for the search intent of your blog posts, giving direction on the post's primary keyword, word count, and other elements.

Keyword research? Content briefs make that more accessible, too. They help you find related keywords so your content has a better chance of appearing higher in search engine results. And they can even uncover long-tail keywords more likely to generate organic traffic.

Are you working with freelance writers or a blog writing service? Content briefs give them an idea of what you're looking for, helping them produce content that meets your goals.

They Help You Save Time and Money

A content brief is like a map, guiding you in the right direction for your content. Crafting content can be arduous, but well-crafted briefs can help streamline the process and save time and money.

They also act as a filter, blocking irrelevant traffic that could waste precious resources. When working with an agency or freelance writer, sharing a content brief ensures you get precisely what you want.

Content briefs are especially useful when creating SEO content. Keyword research plays an integral role here. These briefs can help pinpoint primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords that generate targeted organic traffic.

A keyword research tool can also be employed to find the best words to include in your brief.

When constructing a content brief, there are several factors to consider: top-ranking articles in your niche, the average word count of those articles, the search volume of relevant keywords, and the keyword intent for your content.

They Help You Create Consistent Content

Content briefs can be likened to a roadmap for content creators, helping them stay on-brand and focused on relevant keywords.

They also ensure that all content managers or blog owners are in the know, saving time and resources.

Editorial teams and content managers can use briefs to review articles quickly, making sure they meet outlined objectives without any unnecessary revisions.

Content briefs provide clear instructions to writers, so there's no need for back-and-forths - Plus, they help organize ideas, research, and keywords when working alone!

AI-generated content briefs can even speed up the process while providing accurate information based on what is ranking on Google. Creating a blog post template for the brief is a bonus, saving time and money.

You want to use AI SEO tools for your content writing business.

Ultimately, well-crafted content briefs reduce stress by ensuring that content meets specific goals with minimal effort from everyone involved.

Some of the best AI tools, such as Surfer SEO or Dashword, will help you identify keywords and write an article optimized for search engines.

How to Write a Content Brief: Step-By-Step Guide

Creating a content brief is like having a roadmap for success. It's essential for your content writers to research keywords, outline structures, include images, and complete SEO tasks.

Well, let's start with understanding your audience. Knowing who you're writing for will help inform the tone of voice and topics that should be included in the content brief. Plus, it'll help differentiate your content from competitors in the same niche.

Next up: keyword research. This step helps you understand what people search for when they use search engines.

You want to select relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. You can leverage keyword research tools for this part of the process.

Now that we've got our foundation set up, let's move on to outlining the structure of our content piece. We need a title that captures attention and an outline that organizes all our ideas into an easy-to-read format. 

Providing example articles can also give writers a picture of the expected style and tone, which is always helpful!

Visuals are vital to engaging readers, so include them in your content brief. Place them strategically throughout text and name according to company conventions - remember alt tags, too, so everyone has access regardless of ability level.

Finally, adding SEO elements will optimize your content marketing efforts making it more likely to rank on SERPs.

Step 1: Identify Your Audience

Identifying the target audience and researching keywords is essential in content creation. But why? Knowing who you're writing for helps inform your article's tone, topics, and length.

Plus, standing out from other articles in the same niche is essential.

To identify your target audience, consider age, gender, location, income level, education level - even interests! You can also use Google's search query interpretation to guide your intent.

Understanding the search intent while writing the article

Learning keyword research and the intent of the blog post is key. It'll help you understand what people search for when they use search engines.

Select keywords based on the following:

  • Relevance
  • Search volume
  • Competition

Tools like SurferSEO or Ahrefs can help find keyword clusters for your brief.

Remember the 'People Also Ask' section or 'Related Searches' from Google, which suggest topics related to the main keyword. Long-tail keywords have higher conversion potential, too, so keep that in mind.

Creating a blog post outline is another crucial step which includes:

  • Title
  • Content outline
  • Linking
  • Provide example articles
  • Image recommendations
  • The buyer persona

Step 2: Research Keywords And Competition

Researching keywords is critical to content creation since creating content briefs with the proper target keywords is essential.

Primary keywords should be used as the focus of the brief, while secondary keywords can provide additional context and information.

Tools like Writerzen and Ahrefs can help you find the best words for your brief.

Constructing an outline for your content is integral to content briefs, as they should include an SEO title, structure, and link opportunities.

ChatGPT SEO Keyword Clustering

I was using ChatGPT for SEO opportunities 

Providing example articles will give writers an idea of what style/tone is expected, which helps ensure consistency with brand identity & meets audience needs.

SEO elements need to be added to briefs for any SEO content strategy. Getting feedback and revising briefs is critical when producing quality material meeting target market needs.

Step 3: Outline the Structure of the Content

Creating a solid blog post outline is essential for crafting content that satisfies the needs of your readers.

But how do you make sure it's up to scratch? Consider the length and breadth of the topic, and use example articles provided by clients as a guide.

Start creating the content brief

Visuals can be used to customize content and make it more engaging think of featured images before introductions or screenshots throughout.

Don't forget SEO elements like semantic keywords in titles, headings, and paragraphs.

Finally, get feedback from stakeholders to ensure their needs are met, audit existing content to keep it relevant, then send it off for final review once approved.

Step 4: Include Any Necessary Images

Visuals are essential for crafting quality content that captivates the target audience. They can be used to illustrate ideas, break up blocks of text, and customize the content.

Strategically place visuals throughout the article, such as featured images before the introduction, screenshots highlighting key points, and tables when discussing data.

Name visuals according to company conventions and include alt tags for accessibility purposes. Share visuals with the design team or other stakeholders by uploading them into a specific folder, hosting on a file exchange system, or sending them as attachments.

Optimizing content for the SERPs requires SEO elements like primary and secondary keywords, which should be included in titles, headings, and paragraphs in the correct order.

Also, add sufficient internal and external links to relevant articles within your site. This would be one of the most important content optimization strategies for your blogging business.

Create a meta description summarizing the article's contents to entice readers to click to click the search results page link.

Step 5: Add SEO Elements

Adding SEO elements to a content brief is essential for optimizing it for search engine results pages (SERPs).

Titles, headings, and paragraphs should include primary and secondary keywords. The primary keyword should appear once in the introduction, body, and conclusion; while secondary keywords provide extra context.

To add more context, internal links are great. External links can also increase organic traffic and help with ranking. Remember, word count matters! And so does search intent.

Step 6: Get Feedback and Do A Skimcheck

Getting feedback on the content brief is like a puzzle - it's essential for completing the picture. It helps to ensure that what you create meets the expectations of your target audience and addresses their needs.

To get an accurate view, involve stakeholders such as editors, writers, and clients in the feedback process. Additionally, review existing content to ensure it meets both the goals of your brief and your readers' goals.

Incorporating feedback into your content brief can be done in several ways: tweak its outline; add or remove sections; change its structure; refine keywords; or add a call-to-action (CTA). All these steps will help tailor it to your target audience.

Finally, audit existing content to identify gaps in coverage and areas for improvement. Ensure accuracy, relevance, and consistency are up-to-scratch to create functional, engaging material for readers.

Examples of Different Types of Content Briefs

Content briefs are essential tools for copywriters, content creators, and SEO specialists, like a map guiding them through the creative process.

They provide direction, focus, and objectives to ensure that the content created is consistent and high-quality.

There are many different brief templates that a business can use, such as:

  • Blog post briefs
  • SEO-optimized briefs
  • eBook briefs
  • Ad Copy briefs
  • A style guide is also essential when creating content briefs

Content brief templates are documents containing sections for all information needed to write a blog post: the purpose of the project; target audience; word count; primary keyword etc., depending on the type of content being written.

Creative briefs are used for various tasks such as ad campaigns or web design, providing background info on objectives & timelines, etc.

Copywriters can find free templates from resources like Surfer SEO, which provides downloadable brief templates for upcoming projects.

Blog Post Content Brief

When creating a blog post, it's essential to tailor the content brief to your niche. What should you include?

Think target audience, topics, outcomes, and primary keywords.

You want to ensure you link to related articles such as TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU blog posts.

Linkable Asset

To ensure your readers are engaged, focus on their interests, pain points, and preferences. Then use SEO elements like keyword research.

High-volume keywords in subheadings and low-volume ones in paragraphs.

SEO-Optimized Content Brief

But what exactly is SEO?

 It stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the practice of optimizing web content to ensure it reaches its target market and increases visibility on the web. Including SEO elements in the content, the brief is essential for SEO-optimized content.

So, how can you optimize a content brief for SEO? Start by researching keywords related to your niche and sub-topics.

Then identify their search volume and competition levels. Then include primary keywords in your title, high-volume in subheadings, and low-volume in paragraphs.

You'll then use a blogging tool such as Surfer SEO or Rankmath to know which keywords to use while writing your blog post. This can be done using a tool like chatGPT or, used as AI copywriting software.

eBook Content Brief

EBook content briefs are like a roadmap for writers, requiring an in-depth understanding of the target audience.

To create one, you must include elements such as who your readers are, what topics to cover, how many words it should be, and which primary keyword to use.

Plus, you'll want a detailed content outline so everyone knows where they're going.

When crafting an eBook content brief, take your readers on a journey - think about their problems and questions and provide solutions they can use. Ensure the content is tailored to them so they feel they've learned something new and valuable.


Creating a content brief involves understanding the target audience, researching keywords and topics related to them, outlining the structure of that content, incorporating visuals and elements like SEO, and hiring a content writer.

A content brief is an invaluable tool for content creation, helping save time, money, and valuable energy from team collaboration.

It is essential to provide writers and other professionals involved in the content creation process with a framework of resources and goals to work with. Consists of related keywords and topics, outlining the content's structure,

Content briefs help streamline the creation process and motivate writers and content creators, provide teams with a project plan to assemble around, and set the standard of expectations to follow.

A successful content brief will result in quality content created smoothly while meeting deadlines, objectives, and standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a content brief template?

Creating an effective content brief template requires careful planning and the correct elements. Start by outlining the details, which include the title, keywords, competition, goals, images, target word count, and deadline.

Once the document is created, include any additional strategy components and seek feedback from your SEO team before publishing.

How do I write an SEO content brief?

To write an SEO content brief, identify your primary query target and the piece's intent. You'll then start to write the content in an SEO-friendly format and rank on Google.

Specify format, audience segment, funnel stage, goal action, word count range, and brand voice and style. Finally, ensure internal and external link opportunities are included in the brief.

What is a creative brief for content writing?

A content brief is a crucial document used by writers to create pieces of content that match the intended goal accurately.

It provides the core information necessary to develop a content piece, including subject, audience, and word count.

Content briefs help writers to create quality content that meets all the specified requirements. You can also use an AI writing tool with this entire writing process.

About the Author

Eddy Ballesteros

AI & Marketing Nerd

Eddy is an AI, SEO, and personal finance blogger who uses and tests products to help others improve their lives through AI and financial literacy. With years of experience in online business, he deeply understands the latest AI and SEO trends. Eddy is also well-knowledged in personal finance and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers.