Content Types And Deliverables: What Are They?
Draft.dev is a content creation agency, meaning process optimization is critical to our success. But process optimization isn’t just about efficient growth. It helps us to deliver consistently quality material for our clients, and ensures the smooth running of our day-to-day operations.
Defining what content type a specific article will be—and what deliverables clients can expect to receive as a result—is a key component of this process.
In this article, we’ll break down the content types and deliverables we currently use at Draft.dev, and—importantly—why we use them.
Content Types and Deliverables
Defining content types and deliverables is an ever-evolving process. We believe our current set effectively communicates to our clients and writers what a finished article should look like. Let’s take a deeper dive into what these are.
What do we actually mean by the term “content type”? Different articles fall into different categories, and these categories determine how each article is written.
If an article is supposed to be a tutorial, it should include clear, step-by-step instructions for the reader. If the reader can replicate what was done purely from the provided instructions, your article has done its job.
If your intent is just to introduce a concept to the reader (rather than provide instructions), it’s likely your content type is a guide. This could be a high-level overview of a technology, representing a suitable starting point for the reader to begin learning.
Broadly, the content type sets the overall tone of an article. Content type helps the writer to understand what perspective they should write from. They also help to set client expectations; if a content type has been agreed, there will be no surprises upon article delivery. You can read more about the specific content types we use on our Content Types page.
While content type helps set the overall article tone, content deliverables define the actual contents of the article. We currently select from the following options when defining content deliverables:
- stock image
- rough architecture diagram
- code samples
It’s important to note that articles can often contain more than one of the above items.
For example, tutorials often include both screenshots and code samples. For a guide, you may only want to use a stock image. It’s all about efficiently communicating to your client and writer what should be included. Let’s break down some specific content deliverables.
Screenshots shine when text can’t explain what’s going on, or when a text-based explanation would be too complicated to read. If you’re comparing five different performance testing tools for an article, screenshots would help the reader to distinguish different sections.
Imagine you’re writing a tutorial where you’re teaching the reader to place four buttons in a grid on the screen. You could just include code samples, since if the reader copies that code they’ll get the desired result. But oftentimes readers aren’t just copying and pasting your code—they’ll write it themselves as a way of training muscle memory. Including a screenshot of how the buttons should look will let the reader verify if they’re correct.
It doesn’t always make sense to have a screenshot or code samples in an article. This is typically the case for guides or persuasive writing pieces. However, an article without any images or illustrations can sometimes become tedious to read. If that’s the case, we’ll ask for a stock image to be included to hook the reader from the beginning.
Rough Architecture Diagram
Writing about some topics can get complicated—fast. This complexity can quickly become too much for the reader, so rough architecture diagrams are extremely useful.
As you probably noticed, we specified rough diagram. While our talented writers are excellent engineers, they’re typically not illustrators—at least not professionally. If you do want a professionally illustrated diagram included, we can provide that. Reach out to learn more.
We sometimes ask our writers for code samples. This is common for tutorials where the writer provides step-by-step instructions. In this case explaining a concept isn’t usually sufficient—we want concrete examples of how something should be written so the reader can replicate it.
Why are Content Types and Deliverables Important?
Content types and deliverables significantly help define our expectations for both our writers and clients. While you can certainly run a content creation agency without these concepts, adopting them will allow you to more consistently deliver quality content without sacrificing speed.
Some writers are good at persuasive writing but not tutorials, others are the exact opposite. Defining content types and deliverables helps us assign articles to the writers best suited for them, resulting in great content.
Content types and deliverables are essential when it comes to setting expectations for writers and clients.
If you’re a writer, you should now have more insight on how best to deliver on content outlines. If you’re an existing client, hopefully you now know how content types and deliverables allow us to create the best content possible for you.
Build a Blog that Software Developers Will Read
The Technical Content Manager’s Playbook is a collection of resources you can use to manage a high-quality, technical blog:
- A template for creating content briefs
- An Airtable publishing calendar
- A technical blogging style guide