Basics and self-editing:
- El-Shai uses British English and not American English. Why? The Brits originated the language, that’s why.
- We’re not targeting those with PHDs in linguistic theory, nor are we targeting children. Try to find a balance with your use of words. Don’t make it too complicated, but not too simple either and have the reader bored.
- Always write as if no editor is looking after you. As a writer, it’s your job to make sure the basics are at least covered. There is no excuse for wrong spelling or punctuations.
- The editor is NOT to correct your “English”, but rather enhance the overall quality of work and to make sure it fits with the style of the publication. They definitely should not rewrite your article because it lacks the basic linguistic needs to make sense.
- Always pass your article by Grammarly before sending it to the editor. If you have an alternative, let us know about it first. And no, Microsoft word does not Count.
- All titles should be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly. This means including relevant keywords in the title as much as possible.
- Title’s Character limit is 67.
- It’s better to send multiple titles for your editor to choose from.
- When writing a news piece, it’s important not to write all the information in the title. Otherwise, no one will click on the articles, and we need dem sweet clicks!
- An average of 80% to 90% of views will be from phones. Hence, the sad reality is that most people only skim through the articles, and not actually read it. So, keep the articles phone friendly.
- Keep your article between 300 to 500 words, and straight to the point. You can exceed 500 words if needed to. However, it needs to be a topic that whoever is interested in reading will actually want to read.
- Paragraph length should remain as short as possible. Long paragraphs show a massive bulk of the text, even when it’s not on mobile phones.
Subheadings and sectioning:
- Subheadings are your best friends. What are subheadings? They’re phrases, titles, and sentences that break your article into separate pieces. In this document, for instance, Basic and self-editing, titles, article length, and article formats are considered subheadings.
- Subheadings are essential because they give the reader the option to pick and choose what is it exactly that they want to read in your article. If there’s a part they’re uninterested in or already know, they can easily skip it.
- Introductions have to…well, introduce the reader to what they’re about to read.
- What’s the point of the article?
- Why should they keep reading?
- What information will they find later?
All of this should be hinted in the intro.
- With that said, the introduction should not be the whole article, especially with news pieces.
- It is crucial to ending the article with a statement that makes the time spent reading the article worth it. It can be a final verdict, an open-ended question, a direct question, etc. Whatever it is, it needs to be something to make the reader think and want to have a debate about it.
- The featured image is even more important than your article. That’s the first thing people lay their eyes on. If it’s catchy, they’ll see the title, then click on the article.
- Featured images have to high res, and rectangular. Squares can be used in emergency cases, but absolutely no vertical pictures.
- Think of the featured image before you think of the content of the topic even. If you can’t think of an excellent picture to catch people’s eye with, then there’s no point in the article. Sad, but again, welcome to the life of commercial blogging!
- You need to have an easy to load the article. We don’t want to finish someone’s internet package so he’d read an article with a bunch of gifs that add nothing to it.
- If you needed to add photos, go ahead, just made sure they are less than 1mb each.
- Videos are to be uploaded on other services and only the link embedded to WordPress.
- If you’re covering a news piece, the article has to be submitted in less than an hour of the event.
- If there isn’t enough information to make it into an article, then it should be covered as a social media alert post only and not a report.
- News doesn’t mean the latest updates about Russian politics. News topics should only include something that would affect us directly. Did you talk about anyone you know about what happened? Then maybe it should be an article. If you’ll never talk about it in real life, then it probably has no use to talk about.
- Social issues are also news pieces.
- When discussing social issues, you MUST add an opinion, and the article has to be written within 24 hours of the event.
- We will never be the first people to cover a news piece, so if you’re writing about it, make sure it has an opinion within the article to make our piece unique and unlike anything out audience already read.
- When we know something significant is happening, we write articles in advance for all the outcomes and publish as soon as the results are out.
- Example: Ramy Malek is nominated to an Oscar. We write an article that he won in advance and another one that he lost, but we still love him. When the results are out that he won, we publish the one where he won ASAP to be the first to cover it.
General writing tips:
- Our theory on why most views come from mobile phones is that people read while on the toilet. Preview your article in the bathroom. If it takes more time than your business, then it needs to be shorter.
- Read your articles out loud. Does it make sense? Then you’re good to go. If anything sounds wrong while being read out loud, then it is weird when it’s read-not out loud.
- Keep your notes app on hold at all times. Any subject that you had a conversation about can be used as a topic for an article!
- If you can’t find enough content for your article, then maybe it should be a social media post rather than an actual article. This is to be discussed with editors.