How to create a content outline for successful content outsourcing

Content outlines and ways to assess quality of content are critical if you’re going to get content that’s great AND produced in volume without huge amounts of editing.

The following is the result of a discussion on a FB thread that helped sum this up really well.

Instructions for a website content writer

…I will share a few things that I do put on the instructions sheet for the writer:

1. The Topic that is about

2. The Title of the post

3. The tone and Voice to use (and I give him/her example from sites that have the same tone as mine)

4. Tell them to use a LOT: “I, Me, Mine, You, Yours” and avoid using words like ” WE, OUR TEAM”. Avoid this if you are a one guy/girl team.

5. I explain them a little bit WHO is the persona behind the website is so they can get into the role.

6. How short or long the paragraphs need to be.

7. Tell them how to format the article: section 1: introduction, section 2: mini-reviews (include details and features, pictures and so on) section 3: conclusion and what to include.

8. I have taken pictures from my site and other’s to include in the instructions about how to format the PROS and CONS using bullet points or numbered lists…

And it goes on and on and on 🙂

It’s the worst job for me so far … to keep a record of exactly what you do and how you do it. And improve it over time!

But it’s worth every bloody second you “waste” on doing that. It really shows you your progress over time.

9. If the target keyword, or associated keywords such as LSI’s have an associated “Google featured snippet” on the search results page – make sure the article addresses the content for the featured snippet AND all of the “similar questions” listed under the featured snippet. (These pieces of content within the article should be optimised for being picked up as featured snippets)

10. If the target keyword, or associated keywords such as LSI’s have questions related to the topic on make sure the article addresses the questions directly, within the article

Tools and Reviews

Check out this review

list of Quality Control areas for outsourced content

Gents, when you outsource articles, how do you judge quality other than the obvious. Here’s my list of thoughts:

1. Grammar, punctuation, spelling (obviously of high quality native English etc.)

2. Keyword (search term) density optimisation

3. Check the use of target search term(s) (search terms with the same search intent) in key areas, title, H1, H2 etc.


Use of attention grabbing headlines like those used by Buzzfeed. For example:

  • 25 ___ That Will Change The Way You ___
  • I Tried ___. And Even I Was Surprised About What Happened Next
  • This ___ Makes ___ 10x Better
  • Here Are 11 ___ That ____. And They’re Backed By Science
  • Use These 20 Simple Hacks For More ____. #5 Is Awesome
  • When You Learn About ___ You’ll Never ____ Again

See more examples of how to use this at Backlinko here:

4. Check that links out to reputable, relevant websites have been included in the article

5. Check that “commonly associated words” (found by scraping competitor articles and cross referencing common terms) have also been included in your article (not found a tool for this one yet)


Jake Morley – use ahrefs to find the top 5 keywords my competitor articles are ranking for and sprinkle those into the article.


Use LSIGraph to find related keywords to use


type the main kw into google and scan the search results for the “bolded” words – these are what Google are indicating are LSI keywords and synonyms

(Explained in more details here:


check what keywords reddit users are using on your topic and combine them into the mix using which scrapes reddit for keywords (again mentioned in the above Backlinko article)


check what “question” keywords are associated with your seed keyword using Buzzsumo Question Analyzer

Add these keywords to the list of associated keywords to use (like LSI KW’s)

6. Check article is written in line with the website “tone-of-voice”

7. Check that opening sentence and paragraph contain good “hook” content…


Use a formula for the introduction that keeps people reading, e.g.

The APP Method. (From Backlinko)

Here’s what it looks like:

As you can see in the graphic, “APP” stands for: Agree, Promise, and Preview.

See more detail here:

Additionally: make sure sufficient use of “bucket brigades” – short sentences that are questions or statements with semicolons after them.

For example:

  • Here’s the deal:
  • Now:
  • What’s the bottom line?
  • You might be wondering:
  • This is crazy:
  • It gets better/worse:
  • But here’s the kicker:
  • Want to know the best part?

This concept was on the backlinko blog here:

8. Check that links to other internal pages of the site have been included and anchor text distributed in-line with linked page target keyword (but not over optimised)

9. Check that terminology to describe the products being reviewed has been mirrored from real customer reviews online.

I.e. if a common problem with mattresses is that “after a few years they can look like a terrible pile of junk” and an Amazon reviewer has written those exact words “terrible pile of junk” – use those words in the copy

The writer should highlight how they have utilised these words within the copy.

10. Have the intended products being highlighted in the article (if a product review article) in a natural but conversion rate optimised way?

(Whether Amazon or other affiliate programme)

How else do you measure the quality of your outsourced article writing?

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