How to Contribute to GBD
GBD contributors are invited by the editorial team only.
GBD accepts contributions from professionals in DIY, woodworking, garden buildings, home improvement, landscaping, trades etc.
Ad hoc slots are granted on a case-by-case basis and these columns run when there is an opening on the editorial schedule.
All contributors at GBD are expected to digitally sign a basic contributor agreement before posts can be published.
Posts Must Be 100% Original to GBD
Columns accepted for publication must be exclusive to GBD and 100% original. This means:
- No plagiarism! We use plagiarism checkers and it is at the Executive Editor’s decision whether the offense warrants a warning or removal from the Contributing Experts roster.
- No self-plagiarism: You can’t “borrow” sentences from your own prior published content, or from company blog posts (or other written materials). If you’re going to use someone else’s words/thoughts, it must be properly attributed.
Note: We do not accept syndicated posts.
What to Write About
There are two ways to claim a topic for your next submission:
- Pitch the Managing Editor.
- Choose an approved title from the editor’s list (ask for titles).
GBD is a resource for garden buildings owners and DIY enthusiasts seeking in-depth, expert advice and educational content. Always try to go beyond the basics/obvious.
The most successful articles tend to be:
- Lists (e.g., examples, tips, tools, tactics).
- How-to articles/guides.
- Explainer posts (e.g., what is…/why x matters).
- Expert roundups.
- Thought leadership.
- A solution to a problem.
Always provide actionable tips and practical advice.
Share your own experiences. Don’t rely heavily on quoting influencers, experts, or authorities from other sites.
Be the expert!
What Not to Write About
GBD does not publish content pertaining to gambling, weapons and firearms, pornography, or other industries/topics that may violate Google’s content policies.
Posts Must Be Pitch Free
You aren’t writing to sell a product or recommend a particular product or service.
You’re writing to share your expertise, information, insights, and ideas with our audience.
Our audience of digital marketers can smell a sales pitch or gratuitous client mention a mile away.
How long should your post be?
- Our minimum post length for Contributing Experts is 1,000 words.
- Most posts that appear on GBD are between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
- If you want to write an in-depth post that is 3,000 words, 4,000 words, or even longer, please ask for approval from your GBD Editor first!
Note: Longer posts tend to get more page views, better time on page, and social shares. However, they also burn you out a lot quicker. Remember, you could probably turn that monster post into 3 or 4 more targeted posts instead!
The best posts are clear, concise and only as long as they need to be. After all, our readers are busy. Tell them what they need to know and get out.
Try to be concise.
Always try to keep your paragraphs short.
One sentence is fine.
Two sentences are typically OK. But no more than three sentences (or four lines of text in a paragraph). Please.
Short paragraphs are easier to understand and digest (particularly on mobile), help drive your point across, and encourage reading in this age of information overload and short attention spans.
All these elements may be subject to revision at the discretion of the editor.
Your headline should be interesting enough to entice people to click on it. It should be optimized for search and social media and have a character count of 70 characters maximum.
You can suggest your preferred URLs (Permalink). Use this to highlight important keywords.
- Captions are optional – But linked credit to the image source must be provided.
- Always provide Alternative Text. This can be the post title or a succinct description of the photo that fits the post’s topic.
- Please optimize your image file names. IMG_123454646572.png or screenshot3.png is bad.
Links to third-party authoritative sources tell the reader that you are incorporating third-party perspectives and evidence in support of your argument. Otherwise, all you’ve got is a theory without substantiation.
Having said that, our editorial team is always on the lookout for links that appear promotional. We’re marketing to marketers, so if we don’t sleuth it out, our very savvy community eventually will.
Our editorial team looks for links to clients, friends, or appear self-serving in some way. In some cases, the promotion may be unintentional, but it will still have the same effect.
- No self-promotional calls to action (“Our new blog post covers this topic in detail. Click here to read!”).
- No linking to gated content.
- Any links that appear promotional or superfluous will be removed by editorial staff.
- We reserve the right to add rel=”nofollow” to any link or remove a link at any time, before or after an article is published.
- No links to websites in these areas: pills/RX, porn, gambling, and payday loans.
- Include external links with optimised anchor-text (You may include a maximum of 3 links to your own site/content)
Buying, trading, or selling links is strictly prohibited.
Formatting & Grammar Tips
- Use H2 headings for your subheadings.
- Use H3 headings for sections within your subheadings. If you need to go another level deeper, it should be bold (not H4).
- No span tags.
- No div tags.
- No filler/font formatting that affects content appearance.
- Write out single numbers “one..nine.” 10 and up are written as digits. Percentages are written as digits.
- One space after punctuation.
- Example URLs (e.g. http://example.com) need to be plain text (not hyperlinked).
- We use start case (also known as initial caps) for all titles and subheadings. Start case is a simplified version of title case where every word is capitalized regardless of its function.
- Examples of start case:
- A Technical Guide To Google’s PageSpeed Insights Reports
- 3 Scripts For Automating Google Ads Reports In Spreadsheets
- How Google Responds To A Site Move
- Examples of start case:
Stock photos from Google commons licensed photos, Pixabay, Unsplash or similar.
No transferring licenses: We do not accept stock images licensed by another person or organization via other paid stock photo providers (e.g., Adobe Stock, Getty Images).
Branded images: These are only acceptable in a news context, or in the context of a contributor citing a reputable source (e.g., Forrester, Gartner). Promotional images are not acceptable – images cannot include your company/agency logo or branding.
Disclose any business relationships: If there is an association between the contributor and the copyright owner for a branded image (e.g., contractor, brand ambassador, brand employee) this must be disclosed to the Managing Editor and Executive Editor.
Your own images: You can use relevant, unbranded images in your articles that you created (or your company created on your behalf – as long as any created images do not contain any copyrighted material), such as photographs you took.
- Removing/replacing images: The Search Engine Journal editorial team reserves the right to replace or remove any images that you include without notice prior to publication. This could be because the image is deemed offensive, irrelevant to the post, has a negative connotation, or may violate these guidelines.
- No memes and GIFs. While we love them, there is debate on whether they fall under ‘fair usage‘. We prefer to play it safe. So avoid these gray areas that could potentially cost you and us time and money.
- Instagram embeds: Embedding something from Instagram? You need to obtain written consent from the account holder. Otherwise, we can’t include it. (We also cannot accept screenshots of Instagram content to get around this due to potential copyright infringement issues.)
- All in-post photos must be center-aligned, unless they are aligned with text.
Republishing Content Guidelines
In order to avoid duplicate content issues with Google, we permit content to be republished 14 days after publishing on GBD. You MUST use a canonical link.
Editorial Review and Corrections
- If we find out authors aren’t writing their own posts, we reserve the right to reject or delete the post, as well as prohibit the author from writing for GBD going forward.
- We may add a disclaimer at the end of any article to disclose any relationships (or lack thereof) that either GBD or the author may have with organizations mentioned in the article.
- In the instance of corrections to byline, facts, or updates to published articles, GBD reserves the right to edit any post at any time. Post changes may be noted with a note from the editor about the change and the reasoning for the update or change, if applicable.
Our Publishing Process
- Ad hoc contributors: Our goal is ~2 weeks turnaround from the time you submit your post draft to publication.
So what happens next?
Post Status: Submitted to Editor
When you’ve finished a post draft, you’ll give access to and send across the draft Google doc. Your post will go through the first round of copyediting, link checking, and whether it passes our editorial rules above.
Post Status: Copyeditor Reviewing
This stage is where our Copyeditor gets out a red pen and corrects for:
- Typos, grammar, content flow
- Links. If the link is germane to the content, it stays. But include a link four times? Use keywords or calls-to-action? Too self-promotional? The red pen will spring into action.
- Full disclosure. If you reference your company in the article, your connection as the author needs to be made clear. So instead of “ABC SEO published a case study…” it should read “My company, ABC SEO, published a case study…”.
Post Status: Ready for Scheduling
Get on your mark! This post will be sanity checked one last time by our Executive Editor before it’s sent out on its way into the world.
Post Status: Scheduled
It’s gonna go live!
If you’re going to miss your deadline, please give us a heads up.
We know you’re busy. Stuff comes up.
Just let us know. It only takes a couple of minutes to send us an email or private message.
If you miss 2 deadlines in a row, we’ll contact you to make sure you want to continue on as a GBD Contributor.
If you miss 3 deadlines in a row, and fail to respond to communications from us, you will lose your status as a GBD Contributor.
Please contact email@example.com.