× Discover Scripted Blog Home

Managing Revisions for Maximum Output

When working with your writer(s), just like providing guidelines, it’s important to give clear and specific feedback when requesting revisions on a draft.

This post is part of the Content Coach series, a free crash course on content marketing.

Want to skip the course and put your content marketing on Cruise Control? With the Cruise Control plan, Scripted does the planning, writing, publishing, and tracking for you. It’s the all-in-one content marketing solution that takes care of everything, so you can focus on other important stuff – like where to take your next vacation.

If you’d rather do it yourself, continue through the crash course below.

High-level Feedback

First, be sure to read through the draft in its entirety and see what you think overall.

Are there any recurring issues coming up that you could address with a general comment? If anything comes up, think about what the writer needs to change throughout the piece at a higher level.

For example, if you asked for a casual tone and the piece sounds a bit too formal, you might note that the piece should have less jargon and more common phrases/terms.

Specific Feedback

Once you work through any general comments, you can move on to specific line edits.

In this phase it’s important to consider what is worth asking the writer to change versus what is just easier to change yourself.

Obviously you want the writer to learn and improve, especially if you plan to continue working with them, but it may not be worth pointing out one missing Oxford comma if everything else looks great.

Here are a few questions to consider when providing specific feedback:

  • Did the writer follow your style guide?
  • Did the writer format everything as requested?
  • Did the writer consistently maintain your desired tone/voice?
  • Did the writer hit all of the key points listed?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, be sure to show the writer where this occurred so that she can address it directly during the revisions process.

Logistics

For each draft, gather these general and specific comments all at once, ensuring that you’ve also included any necessary feedback from other stakeholders. Then send the feedback all at once so the writer can see how all the potential changes should fit together to improve the piece.

You and the writer should also have a clear idea of how you’d like to manage the revisions process from a logistical standpoint.

A platform like Scripted allows you to manage everything in one place, including comments, communication, and deadlines.

Of course if a writer does a fantastic job on a first draft and you just need to make very minimal changes, then there’s no need to have any back-and-forth. You can give the writer your positive feedback and then get started with her on the next project!

Pop Quiz

Identify the two sample comments that would be most helpful to a writer in the revisions process:

  1. Please make this content better.
  2. Thanks for this draft. Can we include a call to action in the last paragraph?
  3. Can you add five more examples to this list so that the post is double the length?
  4. Hey there! This is great. Would you mind just adding a couple more links to related news stories?
  5. I actually changed my mind and would like you to write on a different topic.

Bonus question for discussion: Why are the other three comments not helpful?

For further help on managing revisions and working with freelance writers, sign up for an upcoming webinar.

Answers: B & D

Action Steps

  1. Read through the draft in its entirety at least once, and note anything that applies on a broader level or throughout the whole piece.
  2. Move on to line by line edits.
  3. Gather all your feedback and send to the writer all at once.

Sign up to get these content marketing exercises in your inbox, plus tips for great content, all for free.

Or, continue on to the next exercise on using meta tags and auditing your content.

You might also like...

Benchmarking and Evaluating Success

With the ubiquity of measurement and analytics tools, there’s no question that marketers are increasingly pressured to be results-oriented. Gone are the Mad Men days of...