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So You Want to Blog for D & A – Contributor Guidelines

Contributing/blogging for Downtown and Around (D&A) may help you build your reputation. When you write for us, you become part of our “family.” Not only will you get a lot exposure and credibility, you have the potential to connect with other contributors. Our community is a friendly and active group, and we like to help each other out.

Some of the reasons to consider blogging for D & A:

  • We have more than 2,000 subscribers.
  • On average, blog posts get 1800 social shares, primarily through Twitter.
  • Top posts get more than 3000+ shares.
  • We have 15,000+ social media followers across our platforms.
  • Contributors tell us their posts have helped them gain new clients, new opportunities, media interviews, and additional exposure.

 

WHO is D & A’s audience?

While we highlight what happens in Victoria, BC, our readers are anyone in the world that finds any article of interest and clicks through.

 

WHAT makes a good D & A post?

To give yourself an edge, consider these tips:

  • Read our blog. Develop a sense of what we publish.
  • Write for who you want to attract.   Address their needs, fears, challenges, burning questions, pain points.
  • Have, and hone, a main message. Edit your intro so that the point of your post is ridiculously clear. (Your teachers weren’t kidding about the value of a thesis sentence.)
  • Be prescriptive. Don’t just tell readers to do something. Explain how.
  • Tell a story – like a journalist. Cover who, what, when, where, how, and why. Make it personal. Share things you’ve done and seen, lessons you’ve learned, money you’ve saved (or earned), audiences you’ve grown, problems you’ve solved, etc.
  • Make it concrete. Give examples, details, metrics. Tell and show. Make it real. Deliver aha moments for readers who may be scratching their heads.
  • Make it long enough to engage and enrich readers (and no longer):  We don’t have a word-count goal.
  • Avoid or explain buzzwords. Some of our readers feel turned off by geekspeak. If you’re talking tech, help people understand – in a nonscary way – what’s possible and why they should care.
  • Be thoughtful when including links. Posts with too many links back to your domain will look spammy and will be rejected.
  • Self-promotion. Avoid promoting your company in your post. Your author bio is a good place to do that.
  • Use a friendly voice. Say I, we, you. Use contractions as you would normally (you’ll). Write as if talking with a friend.
  • Include high res images (PNG or JPGs) and/or video or infographic embed codes.
  • Incorporate utility content. Share templates, checklists, step-by-step instructions.
  • Give credit. Check your facts and quotations. Cite your sources.
  • Let your heart show. Where appropriate, share your feelings!

 

WHAT topics is D & A looking for?

In general, we are looking for posts around these categories:

  • Lifestyle
  • Art & Music
  • Food & Drink
  • Fashion
  • Healthy & Beauty
  • Motivation/Inspiration/Coaching/Personal Development
  • Home Décor
  • Personal PR

HOW do I submit a post to D & A?

Submit your full draft to info@downtownandaround.com in a Word doc (preferred) or Google doc format. You will get a confirmation receipt within a few business days.

Please note: We don’t accept pitches. While we are happy to provide quick feedback on ideas, what determines an article’s fit is its approach, its readability, and its value for the D & A audience.

Please include the following with your submission:

Your bio: Bio should be approximately 60 words and should include your Twitter handle, as well as any other relevant links you wish to display: your blog, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, website URL, etc. This is a great place to include any promotional or gated links as we generally don’t allow them in the body copy.

Your headshot: We use a site called Gravatar to manage our author’s headshots. New contributors should create an account there and upload a headshot. Once this is done, we’ll need the email address that was used to register the account, so we can associate your headshot with the author profile we will use in your posts.

Supporting images, interactive content, or videos: Don’t worry about the cover image, we’ll take care of that. But here are tips on the other kinds of media you may want to include:

  • Images (PNG, JPG): Provide any high res images you would like to include within your Word doc. When saving your images, please provide a descriptive name (e.g. home-décor-02)
  • Infographics, videos, and interactive content: Include the embed code for the infographic within your Word doc.

Got questions you don’t see answers to? Shoot an email to our blog manager, Pamela  Sylvan info@downtownandaround.com. She’ll be happy to help.

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