I am extremely picky about content posted on my blog, so I want articles to be very well-written and a good fit. This post will serve as both a style guide and content guideline for anything that is written for me. Looking for the Content Guidelines?

Headlines & Subtitles

  • Headlines, sub-headlines, and subtitles need to be in title casing.
    Meaning The Beginning Of Each Word Is Capitalized.
  • Subtitles need to be encased in <h3>tags.
    <h3>This Is The Proper Way To Code A Subtitle</h3>
  • Use short paragraphs, with subtitles as this is easier for the reader.
  • The reader should be able to just skim the headline and subtitles, and get the “gist” of the article. Read This Article First.
  • Use lists and bullet points to keep articles to-the-point and easy to read. If you don’t know what Eye Rests are, read this.
  • Write a compelling headline that sucks the reader in. Need some help with headlines?

Images

  • Images from the Creative Commons area of Flickrare used in each blog post and credited appropriately as follows.
    <em>Photo by: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/26430891@N02/6565059041" target="_blank">StetsonHayes</a></em>

The link points to to the photographer’s profile page with the actual image we used in the post.

  • Edit blog post photos in Picasa – crop to 4×6 aspect ratio, export as 400px, with normal quality.
  • The post images link should be inserted at the bottom of the edit post page instead of inserted in edit content area.
    1. To do this upload the photo to WordPress as you usually would using the media uploader.
    2. But rather than insert the picture into the post, copy and paste the link to the image in the Post Image section further down on the page As shown in the image below.

  • Post images should be no bigger than 375 pixels wide, framed, aligned right with wrap, and before post/page content.
  • Thumbnail Images are 180x 180; framed, aligned left, above headline.

Links

  • Include 1 internal link to another article or page on the Website within each post.
  • Include at least 1 relevant outbound link to an authoritative high ranking (PR of 4 or higher) external website within the body copy of the post. For example, a news article on CNN, a Wikipedia reference article, or something similar. If you aren’t sure if the site you want to link to has a Page Rank of 4 or higher, use this tool: Free Google Page Rank Checker.
  • Include the following code on outbound links so they will open in a new window:
    target=”_blank” rel="nofollow”
  • Alt Tags should be the title of the article, for example:
    <ahref="http://www.google.com" alt="Free Language Learning" target="_blank"<Anywhere!</a>
  • Encourage readers to click on one of the affiliate links listed in article.

Foreign Language Words

  • Proper English grammar and spelling is expected at all times.
  • Use USA spelling, slang and idioms as our audience is mostly from North America. This means making sure to use the spelling of “color” rather than “colour”, and “organization” rather than “organisation”.
  • For foreign language words must have correct accent marks, punctuation and spelling! !Dámelo! , ¿Dónde? If in doubt use this.
  • All foreign language words need to be italicized, like: ¿Dónde?.

Tags

  • Each post should be tagged with the Language the post is about, for example: Portuguese
  • If an affiliate link is use in the article, tag the post with the affiliate name, like Rocket Spanish.
  • Tags should also be used to reference what the article is about. For example, learning Spanish, videos, radios, children, etc.

Categories

  • In addition to the Tag, each post should be categorized by the Language the post is about. For example, a post about how to learn Portuguese would get tagged with Portuguese as well as be included in the Portuguese category.
  • Typically each post only goes into one category.

Excerpts

  • Use the Meta Description box below the post editor (150 words) instead of the excerpts box.  The meta description is the two sentences that show up in a SERP. Make it a good summary/call to action so that people click on it.

  • Use the <–more–> tag, within the first 50 words, shows up in the preview boxes

Keywords and SEO

  • You will be given a specific keyword to write the article about. Each keyword is also assigned a number, please keep track of the number, as you will use it when submitting the finished post.
  • Make sure to use the exact Keyword in the post title. Google doesn’t read punctuation, so you can get creative with that.
  • Use the Keyword throughout the body copy (7% – 10% of word count)
  • Use Alternative Keywords (similar, rearranged keyword phrases) throughout the body copy (3% – 5% of word count)
  • Update all “alt tags” to include the keyword.

Submitting Posts

    • When submitting post for publishing, please email it formatted as a .txt or html file. Include the cropped and optimized image that goes with the post in the same email.
    • Email subject will follow this naming convention:

[New Post] - [Keyword - Keyword #] - Title of post.

    • In the first line of the body of the email, include the following information as it corresponds to the post.

[Keyword] - exact spelling, wording, and spacing of keyword.

      [Keyword #] – the keyword number that was given when keyword was assigned to you.
      [Title] – Title or headline of the post.
  • Compose a separate email for all other forms of communication.

Content

  • Reader focused language: Try to leave the word “I” out as much as possible.
    1. Instead of “I will teach you” use “you will learn”.
    2. Instead of “I speak both Spanish and Portuguese and I can attest to their many similarities, but there are important differences between the two languages.” use “There are many similarities, but there are important differences between the two languages.”
    3. Instead of “I’ve heard this linguistic insult many times…” use “We’ve all heard this linguistic insult many times…”
    4. Instead of “In all my travels, and I’ve been to over 50 countries, I saw that the better my accent was, the friendlier and more accepting locals were of me.” use “The better your accent is, the friendlier and more accepting locals will be.”

Questions, Comments, Clarity

If your post doesn’t follow these guidelines, it will be sent back to you to fix and resubmit. If anything is not clear, or if you need clarification on anything, please email me your question in writing so that I can make sure and update this page.



  1. [...] This post will serve as both a reference and guide that all my copywriters will need to know. Looking for the Style Guidelines? When someone arrives at your website, blog or article, they should know immediately what to [...]


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