SFM Blogger Guidelines

So you want to be a Simply Family blogger…

We are looking for parents and family-minded people to reach out and support our readership on our website between print issues of Simply Family Magazine. 

There are two ways that you can contribute: 

Regular Contributors:  Upon acceptance our regular contributors must commit to writing weekly or semi-weekly blog posts and will be compensated as follows:

Approved-Published Posts:

  • Reflective Blog Posts: $15/post
  • Informative Blog Posts: $15/post
    • Blog Posts containing crafts, recipes including step-by-step instructions and original photos: $20/post
  • Out & About in Billings/Event Blog Posts: $15, regular submissions OR $20 if assigned to attend an event

(Please email an invoice for the current month’s blogs to the Assistant Editor by the 20th of each month. Payment will be provided the month following publication. i.e. blogs published in January would receive payment in February.)

  • While we promote all of our content via social networking, we ask that our regular contributors promote their own work as well. You will be notified when your post is approved.
  • If you are accepted as a regular contributor, please set up a “Gravatar.com” account and notify the website editor of the email you used to create your Gravatar. This allows your image to appear with your name on your blog posts. 

Guest Bloggers:  We are also seeking contributions from local business owners / professionals / educators / non-profit agencies / etc…willing to share their expertise or provide information regarding upcoming activities and events with our readers. The information contained in blog posts must be relevant to the families who read our magazine. Products and services can be mentioned in the article, but they should not be the main focus of the blog. While these posts will not be compensated, we encourage our guest-bloggers to showcase their business / event / etc… via a 2-3 sentence author bio. Upon approval, your blog submission will appear on the Simply Family website and the link will be emailed to you.   

STEPS FOR SUBMITTING YOUR BLOG POST:

1).  If you have not already been approved as an SFM Blogger / Guest Blogger, please send links to previous work or  a brief 250-500 word sample post to blog@simplyfamilymagazine.com

2). Once you receive confirmation that your preliminary idea was accepted, subsequent posts should be sent in either Word or html format (no PDF files, please). The post must include the title and your name. Please include a minimum of one photo (as an attachment). Please see below for more information regarding legal use of photos. We will also need a short (2-3 sentence) bio on you and your blog or qualifications – whatever you want the readers to know.  Please note that your post will be reviewed and we reserve the right to further edit for content, length, format and grammatical and spelling errors.  For more information on content guidelines, please read the section below.

3). If your submission is approved, you will receive confirmation when it has been published.  Your post may go live quickly, or it may take a few weeks to post depending upon the number of articles we have in queue. A maximum of 4 paid SFM blogger (regular contributors) submissions will be posted each week.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

  • All content must be family-friendly.  Any links (this includes to your own blog as well), photos and content must fit the content and be appropriate in nature for an audience of all ages.  Submissions will not be accepted if this is not followed.
  • Posts can be informal, but please still keep them professional.
  • The length of your post should be at least 250 words but not more than 800 words.
  • Search-engine friendly headlines.  Focus on including keywords in your headline so that readers can find your articles in search engines.  Another way to think of it is that your headline should accurately sum up the content of your article.
  • All posts must include at least one relevant and clear photo.  Make sure to credit the appropriate (legal) source (if it is not your image) with a hyperlink.
  • Bloggers are welcome (and encouraged) to use a 2-3 sentence biography at the end of their post which can include a business website / link / contact information, etc… Affiliate links will not be allowed.

TOPIC IDEAS:

While we accept a variety of content and want to encourage you to write about subjects you are knowledgeable and passionate about we want to share some of our more popular topics with you to generate some ideas. 

  • Holiday Crafts / Activities / Kids Projects – these are especially popular when they are timely. Submit holiday-themed content 2-3 weeks before the holiday for maximum exposure! 
  • Step-by-Step Tutorials and Recipes. Visit Pinterest.com for tutorial and photography ideas!  Original photos (showing steps) are especially popular!
  • Local Events / Activities
  • Children’s Crafts / DIY Projects and Resources
  • Money Saving Ideas & Tips
  • Parenting Humor

Need more ideas?  Pick up a copy of the current issue of SFM and take note of the monthly theme.  We would love submissions that relate to and / or expand upon the current month’s print edition!

The website editor will also be sending out additional content ideas via email to our regular contributors. 

PHOTO GUIDELINES:

Ideally we prefer personally-taken photographs that will perfectly and professionally fit our blog posts, however that is not always the case. Those times when you find yourself searching, it is so very important that you only use photos you are legally allowed to use and that are properly attributed. Many people think any image they find on Google Images is free to use simply because it is on the internet; this is not true.  PLEASE DO NOT SEARCH GOOGLE IMAGES AND USE ANY PHOTO YOU LIKE.  The majority of those photos belong to someone else, and should the person or company who owns the photo discover you’re using it, you are legally liable.

  • Photo Xpress is a potential resource in finding usable, royalty free photos: http://www.photoxpress.com/Info/FAQ
  • bigstockphoto.com (If you find an image that you would like to use, send the image information with your blog and Simply Family Magazine will purchase that photo).
  • Attributing Photos: After downloading a legal photo, the next most important thing you need to do is attribute it properly. Please include attribution information either in how you’ve saved/named the picture, or highlight it at the end of your submission, so it can be properly captioned. DO NOT use the phrase “courtesy of” unless you have received explicit written permission from the photographer.  The most common way to attribute a photo is to write, “Photo by John Smith/Associated Press.”  Or, “Photo by ljleavell/Stock Xchng.”
  • This article does a great job of explaining the best ways to make sure you’re using online photos legally: http://lifehacker.com/5992419/the-best-ways-to-be-sure-youre-legally-using-online-photos

Questions?  Please email blog@simplyfamilymagazine.com  

 

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