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How Draft.dev Works with Clients

Since I started Draft.dev, our team and the number of clients we work with has grown a lot. With this growth has come the need for robust, consistent processes that help us ensure that each client gets the absolute best, highest-quality technical content possible.

One thing I value in our interactions with clients is transparency. We need clients to be transparent about their expectations, and we have to be transparent about our timeline and capabilities. In other words, if we can’t do what a client needs, we’ll tell them.

Our Process for Working with Clients

In the further interest of transparency, I’m going to share our entire client onboarding process as it stands today. While things occasionally deviate, you might find it helpful to see the whole thing laid out. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what to expect as you consider or start your engagement with Draft.dev.

Typically, onboarding takes 6-9 weeks between when we sign a statement of work and when your first article is completed.

Map of the whole client onboarding process at Draft.dev

The timeline may increase if we’re fully booked though, so be sure to check with us if you need hard deadlines.

1. Discovery Call

Before we begin working with a new client, we want to make sure we’re a good fit for you. In our 30-minute discovery session, we’ll ask you where your business is at, what your content goals are, and the type of content you’re looking to produce.

Based on this call, we’ll follow up with samples of our various types of content and next steps, or we’ll refer you to another content provider who’s a better fit.

Schedule a call with me at Draft.dev

2. Statement of Work and Timeline

We almost always have a backlog of new clients waiting to start, so once you’re ready to reserve a spot in our production calendar, we’ll send over an estimated timeline and statement of work. This allows us to ensure we have enough writers and editors ready to help maintain our rigorous quality standards, and that both parties are on the same page as far as the scope of work is concerned.

3. Topic Strategy and Intake

During the topic strategy phase, we’ll define your content goals, requirements, and the preferences of all stakeholders on your team. Your team will be able to provide examples of articles you like and any desired topic ideas you have in mind. All relevant information about your brand and content strategy is helpful to our Technical Content Specialists and can be incorporated into your content plan.

Some clients already have an idea of what topics they would like covered, but don’t worry if you don’t have any; this is not required. Our Technical Content Specialists will create multiple topic clusters through search engine keyword research and community-based research for your team to review and approve. Our topic strategy process typically takes a week.

4. Approve Briefs and Outlines

With topics in hand, we’ll create detailed briefs and outlines for each piece. By breaking down each post and detailing the exact expectations before we start writing, we can ensure that expectations are clear for our writers and editors.

Once you approve the briefs and outlines, we’ll get them into our CMS and send over a finalized production schedule. Typically, this won’t deviate much from the proposal unless you need more time to review and approve the briefs.

Your team reads and approves each brief before we send it to a writer

5. First Payment

When we lock in your outlines, we’ll arrange a payment method with you. We offer quarterly payments by default or monthly payments for a small premium. Most clients pay by credit card or bank transfer, but we can accommodate custom invoicing options as well. Usually, the first payment is due 30 days after signing the statement of work.

Payment plans at Draft.dev

6. Production Starts

At this point, we’ve already started recruiting writers, and now that your briefs are in our system, we will start assigning them to our writers. Because our writers are practicing software engineers (most with day jobs), you’ll likely have several writers assigned to your content over the course of the engagement. Our skilled editing team and technical content specialists ensure that the quality and tone of each piece are consistent with our style guide and your preferences.

Finally, if your piece requires custom illustrations or application diagrams, our in-house team creates the assets you need. The goal is for each piece to come back to you ready to publish.

7. Delivery of First Article

Your first article will usually be ready around four weeks after your briefs are approved. Additional content rolls in after that. While we invest a lot of time planning out content with each new client, we expect to accommodate minor revisions on the first article or two as we figure out your style and preferences.

You have two weeks to request revisions for each article with two rounds of revisions available, as it’s important to us that our content meets your expectations.

8. Content Promotion

Upon completion of your first article, your account manager can provide guidance on how to promote your content through social media best practices, ensuring that you are maximizing your audience reach. We will provide you with social media collateral for each of your articles so that you can easily promote your content across all major social channels, including Twitter, Linkedin, HackerNews, and Reddit. By streamlining your promotion efforts with our recommended social media automation tools, you’ll be able to schedule your social posts within minutes after you publish your article.

9. Repeat

After the first article is sent, you’ll start receiving new content every week (sometimes multiple times a week) based on your production schedule. We work hard in the planning process upfront to ensure we can deliver content consistently. That said, we do occasionally need to swap the order of articles based on writer availability and expertise.

About halfway through your first three-month engagement, we’ll start to talk about coming up with more topics and renewing your plan. Pending a signed renewal, we’ll work with you to start on the next batch of content to minimize or avoid production gaps.

Frequently Asked Questions

While that covers the basics, you may have a few questions. Feel free to book a call with us or check out some of our FAQ below.

How quickly can you get started?

Because we’re a service-based business that relies on real humans to write and edit each article, we can’t start overnight. Typically, it takes six to nine weeks between signing our Statement of Work (SOW) and receiving your first piece of content.

What if we don’t know any topics to write about?

You came to the right place. We use a proven method for generating topic clusters around keywords relevant to your business. This will help you rank highly in search engines for terms that your readers are likely searching for.

What kind of articles can you write?

Broadly speaking, we break blog posts down into four types, and we focus on content aimed at software developers, data engineers, technical leaders, and sysadmins.

Typically, we don’t write content that involves inside knowledge of your company or tool, but we can write tutorials based on public-facing APIs or the documented features of your tool. We can also write comparisons, high-level guides, introductions to technical topics, roundups (or listicles), and persuasive pieces.

Do you do ghostwriting?

Yes, but it follows a different process and pricing model.

Our standard content authors are technical experts who write to showcase their expertise and learn new things.

For ghostwriting, we’ll pair you up with a dedicated writer and account manager who will interview you and work specifically on each piece.

Can I start with a trial article?

We don’t currently offer trial articles to prospective clients, but we are happy to send you additional samples. We also offer revisions, rewrites, or refunds if you’re ever unsatisfied with our work.

How much does it cost?

Our service offering starts at $22,000 - $27,000 per quarter, depending on the scope, but we invite you to book a call for the most up-to-date pricing and service offerings. Most clients start with a quarterly 12-post pilot package and renew according to their needs each quarter.

Do you do video tutorials?

Yes, we recently launched video tutorial creation services to all our clients in the developer tooling space. Each package is custom-built depending on your needs with a minimum package size of $20,000 for 6 videos.

You can see a sample video along with more information here

Do you do technical ebooks?

Yes, we do offer ebook creation services, but it follows a slightly different process and pricing model than our technical blog post services. You can find more details and specifications on the process here.

Want to Get Started?

Now that you know exactly what to expect when you start your engagement with Draft.dev, I’d love to hear from you. To get started, book a call with us and learn more about how Draft.dev can help you create in-depth, technical content that resonates with your audience.

Karl Hughes

By Karl Hughes

Karl is a former startup CTO and the founder of Draft.dev. He writes about technical blogging and content management.