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Research, Copywriting, Copy-editing.

A high-volume package of original long-tail content covering stations, destinations and attractions across the UK

Trainline is a leading seller of rail tickets to British and European destinations, operating through, and a mobile app with over 9 million installs. In early 2015 Trainline approached Melt to support new on-site copy requirements covering a wide range of UK locations, from major rail hubs to little-known local attractions.

Refining the page recipe

We used search analysis and social listening to inform a series of sample pieces for Trainline, producing copy that blended practical information, station trivia and inspirational content on qualified areas of interest for rail users, including local football teams, shopping and theatres. Our in-house writing team developed a lively, informal tone consistent with Trainline’s public communications, and set a level of detail that balanced local detail with the requirement for low-maintenance evergreen pages.

Building the brief

Our challenge was to replicate well-received sample copy at scale, and within a tight timeframe. We assembled a team of writers and created extensive briefing notes, including templates, keyword requirements, research and style guidelines and sample copy. We tested and refined it throughout the project, subsequently adding further documentation to standardise travel and pricing information on POI pages.

Solid writer management and QA

With the project scheduled to run for 10 weeks, we gave each writer a personalised, week-by-week content calendar, helping them to plan ahead and  work flexibly within their weekly quotas. Melt’s in-house editors read every piece, ensuring all content maintained the tone and level of detail of our samples. We provided regular group and individual feedback to the writing team, and kept archives of all original copy to help resolve problems or queries.

Delivering on quality and volume

Built on considerable editorial experience, our approach allowed us to deliver substantial weekly packages of content to a high standard. After an initial ease-in period designed to identify and iron out problems with the brief, we worked at a rate of 115 pieces per week, delivering to Trainline’s specifications in a custom CSV template. In total we provided Trainline with 1,000 pages of high-quality, keyword-optimised original content over a 10-week period.

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