Last Edited 5/30/2017
Postard Media’s commitment to deliver high-quality articles means that we expect a lot from our writers. Anyone can write for this website if they want to. However, all writers must follow these guidelines and meet our writing standards.
All articles must be written on Postard.com – not using Microsoft Word or another word processor.
If you are interested in writing for Postard.com, contact us. Be sure to read everything on this page first.
- Original Articles
- Author Bios
- Spelling and Grammar
- Advertising Within Your Article
- Article Subject Matter
- Choosing Your Article’s Featured Image
- Article Readability
- Pictures in Articles
- Links in Articles
- Article Word Minimum
- Overwhelmed in the Editor?
- Reviews and Lists
- Finalizing Your Article and Social Media
- Publishing Your Article
All articles submitted to Postard.com must be completely original intellectual works. Editing or using someone else’s writing as your own is not allowed unless in the context of a quote. Postard.com will only publish original articles. Do not repost articles you have posted on Postard.com elsewhere or your Postard.com article will be removed and your authorship reviewed or possibly revoked.
Accountability in journalism is important. People want to know who’s writing the stories they read online. Once you have registered for an account and are logged in, click here to go to your profile page. In the contact info fields, link to things you have done in the past that build a portfolio around your writing. Do not feel pressured to put personal contact information, such as your email or IM information. Link to your social media if you wish. As always, make sure the websites you link to abide by our guidelines (including your social media pages. They will be subject to scrutiny).
Fill out the “Biographical Info” field with at least four sentences about who you are as a writer. Talk about your beliefs, your experiences, and the things that shape how you think. Author bios must always be written in third person. Finally, upload a picture of yourself (preferred). Anonymity is an option for certain journalistic reasons, but in general, you will need to reveal your face. You are a professional and will be held to a professional standard.
Spelling and Grammar
Good spelling and grammar are critical to an article’s readability and appeal. Postard’s writers are expected to demonstrate a competent understanding of the English language. Give thought to the way you write your articles. Visualize the “flow” and structure of your words. The easier it is to read, the better the article will do.
Important grammar resources:
Advertising Within Your Article
The only time it is ever acceptable to advertise another company’s blog / website in your article is on a case-by-case basis. Postard.com is always willing to make new, mutually beneficial business contacts. Speak to editors before “plugging” another blog or website.
Article Subject Matter
You can write about anything you want so long as it is appropriate for someone to view at work (SFW) and falls within at least one of our categories: News, Politics, Entertainment, Tech, Gaming, Tips, or Other Stuff. Use care when deciding to write about something in the “Other Stuff” category. Try your best to find a more appropriate category first. The Tips category is only for articles that give a person advice or explain how to do something. Make sure to tag your articles as appropriate and to include them in the relevant categories. Furthermore, for articles that are in more than one category, make sure that you set the primary category as the one that is most relevant to the article.
To set an article’s primary category, look to the right sidebar in the editor. In it, you should see the “Categories” drop down menu. Select the categories your article falls in by ticking them as appropriate. Next, set the primary category by clicking the “Make primary” link beside the category you think is most relevant. Finally, scroll down the page in the editor to the “Post settings” menu (under the text editor). In the “General” tab, notice the “Primary category” option. Change it from “Auto select a category” to the category you chose as your primary category.
Postard is made better by the diverse opinions our writers hold. Everyone deserves a voice, and we want to give it to them. We also want to give our readers a mix of opinions like nowhere else on the internet.
Your article should have no more than 8 tags. Think of tags as extensions of your article’s categories. They should fit into the “theme” of the article’s category and help users navigate the website. If your article category is Entertainment and you’re writing about soccer, soccer would be an appropriate tag.
Tags must always be written in lower-case. Also make sure that tags are reused as often as possible. If it can only be used once, it probably shouldn’t be a tag – although there are exceptions.
If you were writing a News article about the 2016 US Presidential Election, some good tags would be: hillary clinton, donald trump, us presidential election, race for the white house, barrack obama, etc. Do not use variations of tags, e.g. “donald trump, trump, donald j trump.”
We believe giving writers the ability to write about what they want increases their productivity and writing quality. Everybody wins.
Authors can decide to either express their personal opinions or present their article with a neutral third person tone. Articles may be written in first, second, or third person. When writing an opinion on any topic, be sure not to write anything that could be considered libel or slander.
In every case, try your best to include sources that support the points you’re trying to make. Use only reputable sources (Wikipedia does not qualify). What is a source? Note that no special formatting is required to include sources in your articles. Simply link to them as has been done in this paragraph.
Hate speech and harassment are not permitted. Use wit to make your points, not insults. Authors who fail to abide by this will have their work relationship with Postard terminated.
Choosing Your Article’s Featured Image
The featured image will be readers’ first impression of your article. It should be relevant to what you’re writing about and visually interesting. For example – if you’re writing about a movie – use a picture of a scene from the movie, not the movie’s logo, for your article’s featured image. To set the featured image, click on the link to the right of the writing interface, “Set Featured Image.”
Make sure to caption the image with the image’s source and the name of the author / photographer. More information.
Postard.com uses the Yoast SEO plugin for SEO management. The plugin also features tools that tell authors, on the editing page of their articles, how “readable” their articles are.
Click on each picture for an explanation of the interface.
Subheadings for articles are optional but highly advised because they improve a visitor’s reading experience. They also serve as a way to help you organize your thoughts for your articles. Finally, subheadings improve your article’s SEO score (explained later).
The Flesch Reading Ease test is a simplistic measurement of how easy to read your article is. You should aim to score 50 and above on the Flesch Reading Ease test for each of your articles. A result higher than 70 means that the vast majority of people can easily understand what you are writing, and that is our goal.
Pictures in Articles
Authors are responsible for finding appropriate pictures to use in their articles.
Always cite the picture’s source and its author at the beginning of the image’s caption (no exceptions). “Google” is not a source for images found using a Google search. Format captions as follows: “(Flickr / John Doe) Kanye West seen performing on stage.” You don’t have to include a descriptive caption for each image; that’s up to you. But you always have to cite the image’s source and author.
Every article should preferably contain 3-6 relevant pictures for every 500 words (including the featured image). Authors must work to find a balance between too many pictures and too few pictures. Your articles shouldn’t appear crowded nor should they appear empty of visual stimulation. Experimenting with alignments (left, right, center), picture sizes (thumbnail, medium, fullsize, custom), and image galleries will help you discover what works best for your articles. Understand that your articles should be informative, interesting, and visually appealing to read.
Before you upload a picture, change its filename on your computer by right-clicking the image and selecting rename. Use the following format: “donald-trump-smiles-smugly”. Always rename images. The Alt Tag of the image should be a short, plain English description of the picture that includes the article keyword (when possible). For example, “Donald Trump smiles smugly while posing with Pentagon officials.”
To upload pictures, click the “Add Media” button in the top-left above the text editor. Once you’re in the media management menu, be sure to select “Upload Files” and then drag and drop or browse for the file(s) on your computer there. Uploaded images can be resized. Images inserted from a URL/link cannot be resized; therefore, it is preferred that you always upload images directly to Postard.
Links in Articles
External links (linking to something outside of Postard.com) can be useful when citing facts to support a point. However, external links should be avoided wherever possible. Additionally, all external links must open in a new window. Click on a link and then the pencil that appears. Finally, click the cog to open the link interface. Tick the checkbox that says “Open in a new tab” for each external link in the article.
Internal links are links to other articles on Postard.com. They should be placed in the article wherever possible and when relevant. Unlike external links, they must open in the same window. Refer to https://www.postard.com/2017/04/23/le-pen-will-win/ for examples of the proper use of both external and internal links. The “President Donald Trump” link roughly 1/3rd of the way down the page is an example of an effective internal link.
The best piece of writing in the world is only worth as much as its audience decides it is. With that in mind, building and maintaining an audience is important for any organization hoping to produce media content for consumption. While we allow our writers to make many of their own creative choices, we must also remind them that their writing needs to be seen.
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
To help do that, Postard.com uses the Yoast SEO plugin. The Yoast SEO plugin tells authors how well their articles score when it comes to their SEO. The Yoast SEO menu can be found near the bottom of the article editing page, in the tab next to the “Readability” menu.
There are some critical SEO related rules to keep in mind when you’re writing an article. The first thing you should do when you decide to write an article is pick what topic you’ll be writing about. Next, pick the keyword that people will use to find your article in Google searches, etc. This is critical.
Keep in mind that specific keywords / keyword phrases rank better than general keywords. For example, for this article, the keyword is “trump’s tax returns”. “Trump’s tax returns” is a better keyword than “Trump” because it will target a specific group of people actually interested in Trump’s tax returns. It also has a better chance of ranking higher in search results because “Trump’s tax returns” produces fewer results than “Trump” and is therefore less competitive.
Your article’s keyword should relate to your article and it should help people using Google find it. Unless the topic is really popular, avoid generic keywords. For example, if you were writing about “writing stereotypes,” “stereotypes” would not be an appropriate keyword. People would not be able to find the article using Google. However, if you were writing about Donald Trump, “Trump” would be an acceptable keyword. But Remember, specific keywords are always better.
Your title and article URL should include your chosen keyword. Going back to the example article, the URL is “https://www.postard.com/2016/09/13/trumps-tax-returns-whats-hiding/“, which is more than good enough. (Note that apostrophes cannot be included in any URL, so use them sparingly when choosing your keyword, title, and URL.) The title is “Trump’s Tax Returns: What’s he Hiding?” The title, URL, and chosen keyword compliment each other to raise the article’s search engine ranking.
Your article should also mention the keyword 5-10 times within the actual article body. Make sure that the keyword is included in a way that compliments the article. Avoid inserting the keyword without context or “rhythm.” Take a look at the example article again to see how the keyword “Trump’s tax returns” is included in the article’s body.
Note also how the example article uses the keyword “Trump’s tax returns” in some of the article’s subheadings. This is a factor that increases the article’s SEO score.
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Don’t oversaturate your article with your chosen keyword. The Yoast SEO plugin will tell you if you’ve used it too much (or too little).
Finally, notice the preview of what your article will look like to someone searching on Google at the top of the Yoast SEO menu. It is critical that before you finish writing your article, you click on the highlighted yellow area, which will then show a “Snippet editor.” In the “Meta description” text box, enter a short description that will make people want to click on the article. Do not lie about, misrepresent, or exaggerate your article. Put effort into it. It should include the keyword once. Do not edit anything else here.
Article Word Minimum
All articles should contain at least 400 words. You must try your best to produce a high-quality article. If you can’t get 400 words down in one sitting, save your article as a draft and try again later.
Overwhelmed in the Editor?
If you find yourself overwhelmed in the article editor, you can help eliminate distractions by only showing what’s relevant to the task at hand. Menus following the text editor, such as the Yoast SEO menu, can be collapsed by clicking their header area.
Reviews and Lists
The post settings menu, under the text editor, has a tab labelled “Reviews” that can be used to show a review score on an article.
Smart lists, also in the Post settings menu, can be used to format your article as a top ten list. This format is popular on websites like listverse.com. Be sure to follow the instructions and preview your article before publishing it.
Finalizing Your Article and Social Media
At the bottom of the article editing page, you will see the “NextScripts: Social Networks Auto Poster – Post Options” menu. Expand it by clicking the header area if it is hidden. Next, edit the Facebook and Twitter posts that will be created automatically when your article is published. Make sure your posts describe the content of your article and are interesting enough to make people want to click. Do not lie about, misrepresent, or exaggerate your article.
Your post for Facebook should be two sentences long (but can be up to 5 sentences) and should have proper punctuation. Your post for Twitter should be one sentence and should not have a period at the end. Remember that the Twitter description cannot exceed 85 characters. Do not remove the “%SURL%”.
Your social media posts are an important part of your article’s success. Put effort into them and assure they are completely original. Avoid using your article’s title in your social media posts as much as possible. Do not use the same post for Facebook and Twitter. Do not use the same post for your social media and SEO Meta description. Change things up.
Do not edit anything else in the social media menu.
Before publishing your article / saving it as pending:
- Always preview your article (using the article preview button at the top-right) to make sure it looks visually interesting (without being cluttered) and “flows” well
- Never remove or change the sidebar configuration in your posts
- Check for grammar and spelling mistakes
- Make sure your links work by clicking on them
There are many more powerful tools within the article editor that will empower you to make great content. Feel free to experiment and find out what works best for you and your article, but be certain what you’re doing abides by these guidelines.
Publishing Your Article
All articles must be published between 1 PM and 10 PM EST / EDT except in the case of major breaking news. Depending on your writing contract with Postard, you may be required to publish your articles the same day they’re written. If your contract allows, you may choose to publish your article right away or schedule your article to be published at a later time.
Note: It is acceptable for writers who are required by contract to publish their articles the same day they’re written to schedule their article to be published later that day. This can be preferable if an author believes having the article published later in the day will be beneficial to the article’s reach. Understand that Postard’s Editors may decide to publish your articles at specific times to best maximize their audience reach.
Congratulations! You’re now ready to create great content with Postard that will make people think and get them talking.