Writing Guidelines

Please review the writing guidelines thoroughly before applying.

1. Your Information

Guest contributors (not ghost writers) are required to include the following in your biographical information box:

  1. Personal LinkedIn profile and any one of the following social media accounts:
    • Google+
    • Personal Twitter account
    • Facebook (only if public)
  2. A 200 x 200 pixel profile picture, unless your e-mail is connected to a Gravatar account.
  3. Your profile picture must be an image or illustration of yourself. No logos or abstract designs.
  4. A short three sentence bio. If you’re working for a company or agency, please add your role/position and company name.

Note: you’ll be granted access to a contributor portal and write directly on our website.

 

2. Post Length and Depth

  1. We’re finding that the longer the post, the more page views, time on page and social love it will get. 2500 words is good. 3000+ words is better. Good writers do not count words, they exhaust the topic and provide real added value to the reader!
  2. Make sure you’re bringing added value to our readers! Shallow posts made to only meet a certain word count will be rejected. Teach something, describe how-to, and tell them about new discoveries. We love research and guides!
  3. Your writing needs to meet the minimum guidelines of web content writing: https://goo.gl/yTT5vP (read thoroughly) 

 

3. SEO Best Practices

  1. Include Alt tags on all images.
  2. Don’t use the collective “we” when stating an opinion unless it’s to showcase your own study findings.
  3. Link at least once to an internal relevant page/blog post.
  4. All external links should open in a new tab.
  5. In-post links:
    • If you have a relationship with a company or someone mentioned in your post, you must disclose it.
    • We don’t allow links to other websites’ homepage for quotes or cited sources.
    • No call-to-actions that are self-promotional.
    • Any links that appear promotional or superfluous will be removed.
    • We reserve the right to add rel=”nofollow” to any link or remove a link at any time, before or after an article is published.
  6. Yoast SEO plugin needs to show a green light indicating it is optimized.
  7. No tags please but one – guest-writer. If you are a ghost writer, no tags at all.
  8. Choose one (only one relevant category) and uncheck all others.
  9. Never link back to competitors! Get familiar with what we do.
  10. Your writing needs to meet the minimum SEO writing guidelines: https://goo.gl/tfiHa5 (read thoroughly)

 

4. Formatting (use word document heading options)

  1. Headers in H2 tags (not bold).
  2. Sub-headers in h3 and h4 tags, as needed  (not bold).
  3. Headings cannot be hyperlinks.
  4. Add double space before all H2.
  5. Do not use H1 in the post body. H1 is reserved by the system for the post’s title only.
  6. Headings should not be bold.
  7. Write out numbers one to ten. 11 and up are written as digits. Percentages are written as digits.
  8. Only one space after all punctuation.
  9. Make sure example URLs (e.g. http://yoursite.com) are not hyperlinked.
  10. Title/heading case: First and last words in a heading are always capitalized. Every word is capitalized except: articles (the, an, a), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions of three letters or fewer (describes a relationship between words in a sentence: in, on, at,etc).
  11. Include an introduction paragraph. Introduces the main idea and captures the interest of the readers telling them why your topic is important.
  12. Include a closing paragraph. Restate the main idea, summarize the main take a way, and leave the reader with an interesting final impression.

 

5. Images

  1. All images have to be processed with tinypng.com
  2. Upload at least two images on your post. Place your first photo after 150 words or so.
  3. All in-post photos must be center-aligned, unless they are aligned with text.
  4. Contributors are allowed to use images from Shutterstock and sites that release all licenses (e.g. Death to Stock Photo, Unsplash, and Pixabay) only.
  5. Contributors can also use images they created or photographs they took, as well as illustrative screenshots.
  6. Contributors are not allowed to upload charts, illustrations, and graphs from other websites. Create your own or give credit to the image in small gray text that is centered and italic below the image.
  7. No overtly branded featured images or in-post photos that will make the post look sponsored.
  8. External links on images are prohibited.

 

6. Editorial Review and Corrections

  1. If we find out authors aren’t writing their own posts, we reserve the right to reject or delete the post.
  2. Any member of the editorial team has the right to reject a post on any grounds.
  3. In the instance of corrections to byline, facts, or updates to published articles, we reserve the right to edit any post at any time.
  4. The post or article cannot be published anywhere else online, before submitting or after we publish. Your post could be removed if we see it published elsewhere. Everything should be CopyScape approved before and after publishing.
  5. If a word is used in a title or post that we believe puts negative attention to the content (e.g. a curse word), we reserve the right to replace the word with one that is just as descriptive, but with a less negative connotation.

 

7. Important!

  1. We reserve the right to reject completed posts on any grounds:
    • Poor grammar
    • Depth of writing
    • Low added value (teach the readers something new, how to do something, be interesting)
    • Duplicate content or spam
    • Other
  2. How to Avoid This?
    • Keep close contact with your editor and share every step of your writing:
    • Ask for a review of your post outline when ready (blog heading and sub heading structure).
    • Ask for a review after writing the first few paragraphs (5-6).
    • Ask for a review midway writing your post.
    • Ask a question when not sure about something.

You’ll usually be asked to apply revisions. In the extreme event that your post has been rejected, you will be able to publish it elsewhere or use it however you want with no obligation to us.

 

8. Our Publishing Process

  1. Copyeditor review for: Typos, grammar, punctuation, content flow, content depth, links, etc.
  2. Full disclosure. If you reference your company in the article, your connection as the author needs to be made clear. So instead of “ABC SEO published a case study…” it should read “My company, ABC SEO, published a case study…”.

 

Schedule

Our goal is ~2-3 weeks turnaround from the time you submit your post draft, but could be sooner.

 

Apply Here


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