Glam Editorial Guidelines

Issue #1 – Welcome!

Welcome to our Editorial Guidelines Newsletter Series, a 3 week advice series to help you get published on Glam.com! We're kicking off the series on January 26th, 2012 but read on for a quick introduction:

The details:

Over the next three weeks we will be sending you tips and tricks on all things editorial – everything from headlines and images to the most common mistakes made by bloggers! Following these guidelines will not only make it easier for our editorial team, it will increase your chances of being featured on Glam’s homepage (which drives traffic to you!).

Why?

We're on a mission to find more great content for Glam.com and drive traffic to our network publishers…so we've developed this editorial series to help publishers know what we're looking for! When you “graduate” at the end of the series you'll receive specific instructions on how to submit your content to Glam for consideration.

Who can benefit from this series?

Anyone who wants to have their content featured on Glam.com! We're thrilled to have you in our network, and our editors couldn't be more excited to showcase and promote your writing style as part of our larger editorial voice. Feel free to reach out with ideas, inspiration, suggestions and comments.

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Issue #2 – Content

Ready for some great content & editorial advice? You're in luck—this is the second e-mail in a 3 week series of tips & tricks on how to get your blog posts ready to be featured on Glam.com, all in preparation for the launch of our content submission system! This issue is devoted to good content—read on to discover what our editors look for and what to avoid.

  • Make It Shareable and Spreadable

    One of the main reasons readers click through articles is to help solve a problem. “How-Tos,” “What to Wear,” and “Best Of” lists are all popular items to pass along to friends. If your goal is some viral buzz, you should try to provide readers with takeaways as well as clear, concise advice.

  • Be Timely yet Timeless

    Glam.com looks for content that walks the line between being relevant for today and still being interesting to readers several months from now. Our editors are more likely to feature something that won't be old news in a couple of weeks.

  • Include Quality Text

    Heads up! We can't feature a post that consists of only photos and links. We need at least three sentences of text in a post to feature it on our homepage.

    Don't forget the basics! Spell check your posts, read through for grammatical mistakes, and practice good copy-editing skills.

    Adding quotes, doing your research, and including more context to your post will increase it's value to a reader. For example, consider listing some other Karl Lagerfeld collaborations in your post on his latest one with Net-A-Porter.

  • We Love Original Content!
    We’re looking for original content, so avoid copying press releases, old posts, or a Wikipedia article (yes, we've seen it happen!) in your post.
    If you need to reference old posts, give some context so the reader knows what's going on. (“It's Day 7 of my closet makeover! In the last installment I got rid of some shoes that were way past their prime.”) By writing self-contained posts you keep your new readers from getting confused and encourage people to read past posts if they're intrigued.

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Issue #3 – Images

Today we’re giving you some advice on the visual appearance and feel of your blog posts. Here are a few things our editors look for when they evaluate content for Glam.com:

  • Easy to Scan

    Try to clearly articulate the purpose or topic of your post within the first sentence.

    Lists, bullet points, and headers make it easier for readers to get the gist of your article and focus on the information that's most important to them.

    Avoid large chunks of texts. It can seem daunting to readers and cause them to press the “back” button.

    To keep readers stimulated, break up long paragraphs with relevant (and high-resolution) photos.

  • Visually Appealing

    Be creative and incorporate interesting visual elements into your posts: photos, video, charts, infographics, drawings, collages, tweets, or just about anything else you can think of!

    Don't forget: A photo is mandatory for your story to be featured on Glam.com.

    Try to avoid stock images, cell-phone images, and low-resolution photos if possible. Photos must be at least 285px X 150px to be featured on Glam.com.

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Issue #4 – Headline

You can't judge a book by its cover but you can judge a blog post by its title. Well-written, intriguing headlines are key to clicks and are the first thing our editors notice when evaluating content for Glam.com. Here are sure-fire ways to reel in your readers at hello.

Craft a Killer Headline:

  • Be Catchy
    Bold & persuasive titles entice readers to keep reading, so lure them in with a magnetic, alluring headline. “Concealer I Can't Live Without” is better than “Concealer Review”.
  • Teach Something
    Hook readers by stating a big benefit. Will it teach them something new? Share something relateable? Let the cat out of the bag early on.
  • Get to the Point
    Brevity is the key to a sure-fire click through. Shoot for 60 characters or less. Think of it as Twitter on steroids!
  • Don't Cheat ‘Em
    If you bait them in the title, make sure you deliver the promised content. A duped reader is an ex fan. So no headlines that promise a “5 Minute Workout Routine!” and deliver a 1 hour cardio workout.
  • Be SEO Friendly Using Keywords
    While blog post titles should be written for humans, it’s important to attract search engine crawlers to ensure your posts get placed at the top of the indexes. This handy video will help you identify which keywords will boost your rankings!
  • Avoid Buzzwords and Jargon
    Not all of your readers are on top of the latest lingo, so write for a global audience and steer clear of acronyms. For example, use “ready to wear” instead of RTW.

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Issue #5 – Know Your Niche

Welcome back to the Glam Publisher Editorial Guidelines series, our ongoing guide to writing great content that's ready and eligible to be featured on Glam.com. Today's topic: knowing your audience! Great bloggers know what matters most to their audience and how to tap into that knowledge. So here are a few tips from the team at Glam.

Write for Your Readers:

  • Find Your Niche
    Consistency is key, so find your specialty and own it. Readers will keep coming if they know you're the go-to gal for all things Zumba, vegan, or homesteading.
  • But Don't Pigeonhole Yourself
    Don't be afraid to mix it up without loosing your own voice. So if you're a yoga expert, you can still chime in on cardio trends.
  • Know Your Demographics
    Defining your audience gives you a sense of what to say and how to say it. If most of your readers are 50-year-old women from the South, don't rave about a new pole-dancing studio that recently opened up in NYC. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are great tools to discover who your readers are, when they visit, and what they like.
  • Know Your Competition
    Familiarizing yourself with your popular counterparts helps set the bar and differentiate your blog. Take a look at some of your favorite blogs: What could you do better than them and what sets you apart?
  • Be Flexible
    Your blog’s audience and niche may change depending on your readers’ interests, so be receptive to what’s attracting new and returning fans. Growth is the name of the game—make sure newcomers feel welcome and relevant.
  • Listen Up
    Use feedback to help guide the type of content you post. What receives the most interaction within your site? Which articles get the most tweets? Who's commenting? These are great guideposts to drive your editorial strategy.

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Issue #6 – Length

Welcome to the sixth and final edition of the Glam Publisher Editorial Guidelines series! Over the last three weeks, we've given you great tips and tricks for developing your editorial voice and making your content a perfect fit for featuring on Glam. Thanks for staying tuned and enjoy our last hurrah, a look at post length and proofreading. Does size really matter when it comes to blog post length? And is a misspelling a forgivable offense? Here's the Team Glam take on it.

Long or Lean?

  • Employ the Miniskirt Rule
    Make your post short enough to keep readers interested, but long enough to cover the subject, if you catch our drift!
  • Types of Posts
    Different types of posts require different lengths. Informational posts, how-to guides, and interviews can and should dwarf posts dedicated to shorter updates.
  • Frequency of Posts
    Readers love seeing frequent posts, but respect their attention span. If you post multiple times a day, consider posting mostly shorter posts with regular longer features. If you post only a few times a week, your posts can be of longer or medium length.
  • Know Your Audience
    What do they respond to? What posts get the most comments or traffic? Study that information to help identify the best length of posts for your readership.
  • No Hard and Fast Rules
    Still, don't be afraid to switch it up. Consider experimenting with regular features that are a departure from your typical blog post. Some ideas: photo-only posts, long-form interviews, link round ups, guides, in-depth reviews, collages, “a day in the life”, weekly how-tos…the sky's the limit!

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread:

  • Edit Yourself
    Once you draft your post, step away for a breather. Then return with a fresh perspective and reread it for redundancies, irrelevant anecdotes, or anything that isn't vital.
  • Watch the Wording
    If you come across a sentence that doesn’t clearly state your idea, rewrite it. Clarity is key.
  • Spell Check
    There's no excuse for glaring grammar & spelling errors. Take the time to create typo-free posts or risk losing readers for good.