Guest Author Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in becoming a guest author for one or more of our family of guest blogs (see list below)! This document covers:

  1. How to apply for an account (it’s easy!).
  2. How to submit an article for review (we moderate all articles so that they meet our guidelines to keep our blogs consistently high quality).
  3. And, of course, a detailed list of requirements for articles!

Please read this entire document carefully!

If you have not already done so, please email your preferred username, and we will set up a Guest Author account for you. We require guest authors to submit articles directly through the WordPress Dashboard.

Once you have sent us an email with your request for a guest author account (please include an alternative in case your favorite is already in use by another author), we will set up your account and send your login credentials. Please read the rest of this guideline post to learn how to submit articles, and the criteria we use for accepting articles. Along with other information you will find helpful.

We require guest authors to submit articles directly through the WordPress Dashboard.

Links are no-follow by default. If you wish to have “do-follow” links for your article, there is a charge of $10/month, minimum 3 months, maximum 1 year. For one year paid in advance, there is a $20 discount, for a total of $100. This charge is per article, but if you have a regular series of articles, we can work out a quantity discount.

There is never a charge for articles with no-follow links. The use of do-follow is a somewhat controversial topic, and there is evidence that having only do-follow links to your “money” site can actually get you penalized by Google.

We provide some basic back-linking and other SEO services for all published articles,  either do-follow or no-follow. There is never any charge for this service. Of course, we encourage guest authors to do their own SEO as well.

Publication turnaround time depends on the number of articles in the queue, but is usually within one to two days (may be longer on weekends or holidays). If it’s going to be longer than that, we will let you know.

General Guidelines For Articles

These specific guidelines for guest authors supplement the general guidelines in the section below. From time to time, these requirements are updated, since we occasionally get submissions that marginally follow the rules, but would cheapen the image of this site.

Occasionally, we have been getting submissions that “sort-of” meet the guidelines, but have almost no real content at all. It’s hard to come up with a rule that would automatically exclude this sort of thing, but as a general rule of thumb, if your article has no specific actionable points, links to something unrelated to your article, or leaves us wondering just exactly what your point is, we will reject it. The type of article that we most want to see is one that expresses an opinion, and backs it up with solid references and persuasive argument.

The general principle that we will follow when revising the guidelines is to insure that our site continues to be a high-quality site, and not a site for promotion of products with dubious merit. Always include the license information for images in the image caption. If you use public domain photos, be sure to note the source in the caption for verification. We do not publish articles without this information.

Articles with the following characteristics will be rejected/deleted:

  • Article copied from another source (whether plagiarism, or multiple submission of identical articles; please submit your own, original content). We use Copyscape to enforce this for article content, and we also check sources for photos.
  • More than 3-5 links in the body or 2 links in the author’s profile bio (if the article is well-written. We are fairly lenient about this, especially if non-commercial links, e.g., WikiPedia, PubMed, etc., are used to provide useful information, or the article is long) — but don’t make your article look like a link-farm.
  • Vulgar or profane language
  • Gibberish, poor spelling, or poor grammar
  • Obviously intended for search-engine fodder and not for human reading
  • Come-on for an MLM
  • Promoting a product using known false claims. In the case of controversial or highly unusual claims, We will do some background research. Rest assured that we quite good at it.
  • Sexually-oriented content, or links to sexually-oriented sites, either in the article or in the author bio.
  • Not on-topic. Sometimes an article that is not directly on-topic may need a minor ‘tweak’ to meet this requirement.
  • Not in English
  • Obvious “article spinning”
  • “Hot-linking” of photos on any other site (See exception below).
  • Promotion of any product or activity that is illegal in the US or in the Guest Author’s country of residence

We use “featured images” in excerpts on the main page, so images are a requirement for publication. You should use a topical illustration at the top of your article. As mentioned above, the Guest Author must own, or have permission to use, any such photo or graphic.

Photos and other graphics should be sized for fast loading prior to uploading them to the site. Limit the size of photos to 300 pixels in the longest dimension. We don’t have any upper limit on the number of photos, but if a post loads slowly because of many photos, we will ask the Guest Author to remove some of them or optimize them. Photos may be linked to appropriate websites, but do NOT “hot-link” to a URL on any other site. Instead, upload a copy of it to the WordPress Gallery for your posts. Off-site linking may cause trouble with the source of the photo because it uses bandwidth from another site — and there is no control if the owner of the other site decides to change or remove the link.

The exception to “hot-linking” is a site that actually encourages it, for example, Amazon.com (for their affiliates). However, if a link goes stale, you will be asked to update, replace, or delete it, so it’s generally best to upload a copy of the image instead of hot-linking.

If you don’t have a suitable image, we can supply one — but if *we* supply the image, *we* will chose where it links (and we will use one of our own affiliate links), whereas if *you* provide the image, you can supply either an affiliate link or a link to your “money” site. Fair enough?

One thing we will not use as a criterion for acceptance is agreement  with the contents of the article. You are welcome to disagree with our editorial point of view, or with any other guest author. Controversy is a good thing. Just keep it civil.

A Guest Author should use the user profile bio field in the profile section to create a “resource box” which will appear at the end of all of posts (don’t put your resource box in the article itself). The bio may contain up to two links to sites unrelated to the article — but NOT to sites that promote things like HCG, Acai Berry, or other forbidden links including (but not limited to) pornography, sexually-oriented merchandise, gambling, or any site that promotes illegal activity in the United States. Guest Authors not in the US need to avoid linking to anything illegal in the Guest Author’s country, as well.

We do not have a minimum word count for articles, but bear in mind that (as of this time) most search engines typically give more weight to longer articles. However, if it’s obvious that you are just padding or keyword-stuffing an article to provide search-engine fodder, your article will not get approved. A practical maximum length is about 1200-1500 words — if it’s much longer than that, it would probably serve the author better to break it up into a series of articles for more exposure.

Guest authors are required to maintain correct and up-to-date contact information in the user profile. Failure to do so will result in account suspension. If we can’t contact a Guest Author at all, we may delete all of that Guest Author’s articles and terminate the account. Guest authors are strongly encouraged to respond promptly to comments made on their articles. This will increase readership of the article and traffic to the linked site.

We realize that guest authors may move on to other projects, and may not be interested in the occasional email updates that we send to all active authors. If you request to be moved to an inactive status, we will take you off our mailing list, and update your account to subscriber-only, and keep your articles for the life of the site, which we hope will be many years. If you are on “inactive” status, and a link goes stale, the link may be removed or replaced at our discretion.

We occasionally make minor edits for formatting purposes (e.g., re-position a photo or change spacing), but will not make editorial corrections to any Guest Author post without the Guest Author’s permission. Our only editorial control will be that we will delete any articles not meeting the guidelines. If we find anything else that needs to be changed, we will ask the Guest Author to change it (sometimes WP makes that hard for published articles, and we will make agreed-upon editorial changes if the author can’t).

What counts as a high-quality article?

The following quote is from Google Webmaster Central.  It has a list of questions that can be used for determining whether a site is high or low quality, which is quoted below verbatim. Please take a look at these questions, and think about what answer a reader of your articles might give.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++ begin quote ++++++++++++++++
Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

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P.S. We run several guest blogs. If you are interested, we can set you up as a guest author for any of the following sites:

The guidelines are the same for each of these guest blogs. To apply for a guest author account for any of these, send an inquiry to EDITOR@<name of blog>

Finally, if you need any technical help with WordPress or your article, just ask!

Application process:

  1. If you have read through this complete guidelines page, you have completed step 1!
  2. Step two is to email your preferred username. If you don’t have a distinctive name (that hasn’t already been taken), you can use your real full name.
  3. Step three is to log in, update your bio information, and use the WP dashboard to start submitting articles. Be sure to adhere to the criteria we use for approving articles, especially the parts about image credits.

Thank you for your attention to these guidelines. We look forward to seeing your first guest article, and we hope that you will become a regular contributor.