Writing Guidelines Template

Looking for a writing guidelines template to track requirements and preferences across your clients? Here’s a free one from the Society of Writers!

Our writing guidelines template is updated for 2023 and has room for:

  • Client overview
  • Stylistic preferences
  • SEO preferences
  • Messaging
  • Link requirements 
  • Image requirements 
  • Social snippets
  • Scheduling info

By typing in your client’s information, you’ll instantly have a professional looking template that you can easily reference when working on their projects! Plus, you can share it with them and have them help you maintain it, turning it into a true marketing asset. 

Get The Template → 

You can edit this template using Google Docs (free) and then you can share it using a link or download it as a PDF. If you need help using this template or if you’re looking for additional advice on how to smoothly collaborate with your writing clients, keep reading. 

How to Use This Template

  1. Open the template in Google Docs
  2. Make sure you’re logged in to Google
  3. Click “File” and then “Make a Copy”
  4. Edit the template to your heart’s content
  5. Share the finished guidelines with your clients

Psst… If you want to be a superstar, grant your clients editing access to your blank document and let them insert information for you, then you’ll just need to polish it up! Giving them access is also a good idea in case they need to update/add requirements as time goes on. 

Common Questions 

Can I let my client fill out these guidelines? 

Absolutely! You can save a lot of time (and look pretty professional, too) by sending the blank template to your client and asking them to fill things in. Once they do, you’ll want to go through and clean things up a bit so that this document is easy for you to reference later. You’ll also want to get clarification on any thing that was left blank or written ambiguously. 

How can I find this information about my clients? 

This template is super handy to share before your kickoff call with a new client. Going through it over a phone/video call is a good way to collect all the information you need and get clarification on the spot, but you can also send it via email. Some information may already have been shared with you in the form of a content brief or brand book, in which case compiling that info into a template like this one just makes life a little easier for you as a writer. 

What do I do if my client wants these guidelines? 

You shouldn’t hesitate to share these guidelines with your clients and you should give them permission to use them for all of their projects going forward (yes, even projects with other writers). By openly helping your clients get organized and grow, you will make yourself a more valuable asset to them, so don’t worry about being replaced!

How often should I update these guidelines? 

This should be a living document. Grant your clients the ability to edit or comment on the document so that you can ensure it’s always up-to-date. Also, get in the habit of having it handy whenever you’re in a meeting so if changes or additions come up, you can add them right away before you forget. This really should become your master document that you reference whenever working on a client’s projects. 

How can I collaborate with my client on this document?

If you’re using Google Docs, you need to go to “Share” in the top right-hand corner and then you can:

  1. Easy Method: Add their email address so it sends to them directly
  2. Harder Method: Copy the link with the permissions set to either “Viewer,” “Commenter,” or “Editor”

If you’re using the link, it’s best to change it from “Anyone with the link” to “Restricted” and the client will have to request access before they can view it. Once you grant them access, it should always allow them to access it as long as they’re logged in with the same email. 

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Sydney Chamberlain
Sydney Chamberlain
As Founder of the Society of Writers, Sydney Chamberlain is devoted to helping women navigate the complexities of freelancing and hone the skills they need to build a thriving business. Her expertise is rooted in nine years as a content writer where she earned first-hand experience with the personal branding, finance, and negotiation tactics that she now teaches the Society.