I’m happy to write a guest post for your blog– or to host your guest post on mine. Hopefully we’re both trying to share our different perspectives and build our audiences.
Here’s what’s working for The-Military-Guide.com:
– Write in a conversational, informal, first-person format. You can be cheerfully irreverent or even a tad snarky.
– This is a personal finance blog for a family audience. Please: no profanity, sex, religion, or gore. No recoiling in horror from the monitor. But spewing coffee on the keyboard might be all right.
– Original content only, not published anywhere before. (Otherwise it’d be a “guest link”, right?) Tell us why it’s really different this time. It’s probably not going to be original if it’s a post about “Top Five Ways to…” or “10 Tips for…”
– Please do more than “reporting the news”. If you’re going to summarize a topic then you’ll have to come up with your own unique spin.
– Tell us your personal story, not how everyone else should do something. Tell us what worked for you– or what didn’t. If you’re going to write about a famous public figure then you should probably actually BE that famous public figure. If you’re going to make fun of somebody, it should probably be you.
– Your post should answer these three questions: “What’s your point?” “Why should we care?” “What should we do?” You can make fun of this requirement in your post.
– Military medical & disability financial issues are good. I’m weak on those subjects and we need more of them. Please focus on the lifestyle and financial aspects of those topics.
– If you’re writing about a financial product then please include the cons as well as the pros. Give your readers both sides of the debate and let them make their own choice. I tend to favor low-cost DIY investing, so paying for a product or a service is probably a con.
– Most readers will scan your post, so use headings to separate it into sections. Break up the page and make it easier to read. Use numbered points or bullets. Use an occasional bold, underline, or italics. Fancy fonts or different colors are fine for emphasis, but they’re optional.
– Use as much space as you need, but don’t pad it. If it’s 500 words, that’s great. If it’s 1000 words, that’s good too. 2000 words might be pushing it. Make every word count.
– Read your post out loud. Seriously. You can mutter it to yourself if this sounds embarrassing– but it’s the best way to check that you’re writing in a conversational, informal, first-person format. It’s the only way to detect if you’re repeating a word or if you’re using jargon. If you sound like an after-action report or message traffic, then try again for that conversational informal first-person format. Talk to your friends around the dinner table, not from the stage of the briefing theater.
– Submit your guest post in HTML format.
– Photos & images are optional. I don’t use them very much, and when I do they’re from my camera. If you use them then please own them outright– no copyrights. You can suggest images from sharing sites, but they have to allow derivative rights so that I can resize them.
– Please cite your sources with a link. You’re writing for a skeptical (perhaps even cynical) audience who’s heard it all before. If you can’t support a claim with a link then you probably shouldn’t make the claim in the first place. Wikipedia might be a suitable reference but please don’t link to e-zines or free content sites or other “blog farms”.
– No affiliate links.
– This is a personal finance blog. No politics. No personal names of the elected politicians or appointees. No flag-waving. Don’t even kvetch about “promises to our veterans”. We try very hard here to avoid political keyword SEO triggers. If you need to mention part of the government then refer to the office, not the person. “DoD” is fine, and “SECDEF” is good, but not “Secretary P_____”. If something is deemed unsatisfactory then it should probably be judged from a financial perspective. If you’re going to use words like “conservative” or “left” then they should be in the context of financial assumptions or driving directions.
– This is a personal finance blog(!) oriented toward military financial independence and military retirement. I usually don’t write about weapons systems or military strategy/tactics. I might make fun of the other services, but I probably shouldn’t. My audience can get enough of those things in milblogs.
– Give yourself a link to your blog or to your site, but please don’t be spammy. Give yourself a short bio, too, but please keep it to a few lines.
– E-mail your HTML file to NordsNords at Gmail. And thanks!