Formatting your guest post

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Written by: Cheryl

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FAQ page for guest post writers about post formatting.
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This page covers formatting for submitting a post — what we request and some special formats and features you may use in posts on our website.

Basic Formatting for Submitted Posts

When you submit a post on our website, here are some things to consider. Some are requirements; some are requests:

  • The post must be in English and use correct grammar and punctuation (we usually find typos in our own writing if we write and publish when we’re tired). We’re willing to make small edits but not to rewrite your post.
  • We highly recommend using headings in your writing. This is a blog post, not literature (well, unless it’s a story, and we’ll get to that), and headings help with SEO and readability for online readers. If your post is long enough, we’ll likely add a table of contents, and that’s how it’s done!

    However, if you’re submitting something, for instance, such as a story or an essay for which headings are inappropriate, we’re 100% on board with that! Some types of writing will suffer from being divided into headings and sections.
  • Like the above, please try not to write too long paragraphs. Again, online readability.
  • At the very least, we require a featured image for your post.

Special Formatting for Certain Post Categories

Some of our categories, such as product reviews, recipes, book reviews, polls, or trivia quizzes, have “special” items: recipe cards, quizzes, polls…
You may not be able to insert the item in your submitted post yourself, but if you’re submitting a post in one of these categories, we ask that you include the following:

Trivia Quizzes

First, you must create a quiz! You can do that from the “Create Quiz” tab under “More” in your member profile.

Then, you can create and submit a post. In the post body, make sure that you add which trivia quiz you want to insert here — though it will likely be evident.

There may not be any appropriate categories for your quiz and questions. Don’t worry; just put them in an existing category, and we’ll handle it.

Also, make sure you add some text to the body of the post with more information about the quiz.

If we accept it, we will likely add some formatting to your trivia quiz.

Polls

See Trivia Quiz. The process is much the same. You’ll find a Create Poll tab in your member profile.

Product Reviews

We can add some review stars if you’d like, but you need to let us know:

  • The product link
  • What should each rated area be (i.e., are you rating it on ease of use, durability, and appearance? Then tell us those areas along with how many stars each should have and your overall rating)?
  • A summary that should go in the review box.

Recipes

We may add a form to create a recipe, but we’re using the standard form for now. If you want to add a recipe, make sure you include:

  • Ingredients in US imperial units. The recipe plugin adds a unit converter.
  • If an ingredient is strange or complex to come by, explain it.
  • Add clear step-by-step directions.
  • For recipes, we’d like more than a featured image. Images for some steps are helpful, depending on the recipe, or even video clips.

Book reviews

If your post is a book review, please enter the title, author, ISBN, and GoodReads link. We will format the book review box that appears at the start of the post.

Product Comparisons

If you are writing a “gear” type post and want us to create an Amazon comparison box in your post, please let us know the products and what you want to include and we can format it for you.

Footnotes and other things you can add

Footnotes

If you want to add footnotes to your post, wrap your footnote content in brackets with this {[{ to begin and the same in the opposite direction to end. I could do this here as, even in the code block, it ended up as a footnote.

Make sure there is a space between the word and your starting brackets.

Wikipedia Content

Using direct Wikipedia content is ONLY permissible at the end of a glossary term and ONLY if that term has significant non-Wikipedia content.

However, if you’d like to try, enter:

[rdp-wiki-embed url=’http://linktothewikipediaresource’]

…where you replace the URL with the link of the Wikipedia page.

There is a chance we may remove Wikipedia content at some point if we ever find issues with loading because of doing this. This content is only meant to supplement glossary terms.

Galleries

If you want to use a standard WordPress gallery, you should be able to configure it on the post form. Or we can use our own formatted galleries feature which displays better (we think). We can put your images in a gallery with the ability for logged in users to add to the gallery and/or we can display your gallery images in a lightbox social sharing icons and a button allowing downloads OR a large lightbox with EXIF info and thumbnail strip at the bottom.

You must tell us which images you want in a gallery and how you want it to present.

Single Location or Route Maps

If you are also creating a map page or routes page to supplement your post, we prefer you create a map image and link it to the page with the map. This saves us on map loads and decreases the overall loading time of the page. Not everyone cares about the map; let’s just the people who do access it.

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