(Last Updated 27/09/2016)
So you’re interested in helping our readers get what they want so you can get what you want?
But, here’s some bad news…
It’s not easy.
So, we’ve given you a set of guidelines to make your life a lot easier.
In fact, if you follow the guidelines properly, your chances of getting your posts accepted will be almost guaranteed.
Our goal is to help entrepreneurs and business people advance faster in their careers by avoiding mistakes they can… avoid.
We don’t do it because mistakes are bad. No, they are a part of learning.
The reason we do this is because time is limited and there isn’t enough time to fall into every hole down the road. In fact, we’ve just taken a few seconds from your time already – and it won’t be coming back.
We know that knowing what NOT to do is just as important as what to do.
In fact, that’s what makes us different from all the other business blogs out there…
Where most blogs teach others what to do, we teach others what to do and what NOT to do so they can really know what they’re doing.
Let me ask you something…
How many times have you been told what to do and then end up burning a few bridges because you didn’t know it was wrong.
You start to think, “Why didn’t they tell me about this? I thought they said they’ll guide me…”
I’ve been hundreds of times too. It feels terrible.
But, telling them what to do and what not to do isn’t all there is….
Your content must be actionable. In other words, it must have at least one takeaway that readers can apply. Most of our readers don’t read for amusement… they read to get results.
If you can help our readers with what to do as well as what NOT to do… And show them how… then you’ve already passed 90% of the test.
Post Types and Topics
Since this blog is all about learning from other people’s foolishness…
We expect all articles to be on mistakes, pitfalls, failures and within the following categories…
- Product Development
- Productivity/Time Management (must be tied to business people and entrepreneurs. Make sure you’re talking to a business person while writing an article in this category)*
*These categories are part of our “limited categories”. That means we don’t publish these so often. Usually once every few months. So we’re sorry if we turn down your pitches for articles in these categories.
We like in-depth detailed content. And there’s no such thing as a short in-depth article.
So, the length should ideally be 1,500 – 4000 words.
We don’t want fluff.
That means we don’t want a 600 word article full of fluff just to reach 1,500 words. We’d rather have a 2,000 word post trimmed down to 1,500 words.
Original – Your article shouldn’t be published elsewhere. It should be your own work. We will check for duplicate and similar content.
Unique – We don’t want to hear the same stuff everyone has heard. Your article must be unique. We like to hear your own experience regarding a topic and we expect you to back it up if it’s outrageous.
Actionable – Can readers apply what you’ve written? Do you show them how to do it? Always include next steps and guide readers on what they should do.
Durable – Are you writing something that will benefit readers for the years to come? We want to promote your article and we can’t do that if it’s not “evergreen”… unless you’re talking about SEO or Social Media of course (because those change all the time). But as a general rule ask yourself, “Will this article I’m writing be relevant in the next 5 years?”.
Backed up – Can you back up your claims? Please hyperlink your sources. We don’t want links at the bottom of the article that we have to organize. Please link to ALL your sources.
Tips and Advice
- Keep your sentences short.
- Keep your paragraphs short (preferably no more than 3-4 sentences)
- Give readers a good reason on why they should click the link(s) in your bio. What’s it in for them? How can you help them?
- Start your post with an empathetic opening. That means you should make them read back their thoughts in the intro.
It’s frustrating isn’t it?
You’ve tried every piece of expert advice out there for growing a blog…
But, it just won’t work. It’s taking forever. All the other bloggers did it in much less time.
Why is it taking you so much time?
Am I doing something wrong or are they just hiding their secret from me?
Maybe it’s reserved for only the elite?
Well, today I’m spilling the beans…
That’s just an example. If you know the reader’s desire/frustration, writing these kinds of introductions will be a lot easy.
For the above example, the frustration would be “I’ve tried all the expert blogger advice out there but nothing works”.
By the way, all these are requirements.
Because we use the Facebook comments plugin, we require all writers to have a Facebook profile so they can reply to comments. Yes, we do expect you to reply to comments… at least for the first week. Of course… you could impress us and the audience by over delivering.
We don’t mind links from your own blog in the main body of the article as long as they are both valuable and relevant.
However, please avoid spamming the article with only your links.
We will replace/remove your links if we find out your links are low quality or we find something more relevant and valuable.
Product links and screen shots are not allowed in the article – this is considered as promotion and our readers don’t want to read a sales letter.
Either way, you’ll get upto 3 links in your byline to your product, squeeze page, twitter, whatever… so don’t worry.
What We Won’t Publish
- Content used for the purpose of promotion rather than education.
- Content that has been published elsewhere.
- Ideas everyone has heard of before.
- Content that is not well referenced.
- Content with excessive grammatical mistakes and typos.
- Content that goes off topic.
- Anything that we deem inappropriate or we don’t believe in.
- Abusive content.
Why Are We So Picky?
Be assured it’s for a good reason.
We want you to get traffic for your article(s) so we’ll work hard with you to create the best content.
We want to publish the best article on a certain topic, not just another article on a certain topic.
Mediocre content does not go viral, nor can it ever rank in search engines.
Of course, we can’t guarantee what you write will go viral, but we’ll do our best to make it happen.
Another thing to remember is… we’re not a massive blog like the Huffington Post (who publish over 1,000 articles a day). Huge blogs don’t care if your articles go viral or not because they know out of the hundreds or thousands that they publish… some of them will end up succeeding. In other words, they can afford bad articles – we can’t.
This means that we won’t accept a lot of guest posts from you. You may get one post published per month max. That’s because we focus more on quality rather than quantity.
So if you prefer writing mediocre content for a careless blog who doesn’t care about your success… then go ahead.
Guest Writer Agreement
If you send your pitch and agree to write for us then it means you agree to…
- Give us full rights to the content.
- Not publish it elsewhere unless we give you permission to do so. If we do give you permission then you’ll need to mention where it was originally published and link back to the source (us).
- You will receive link(s) in your byline.
- Acceptance of pitch does not guarantee acceptance of article.
- Your article and bio will not contain any terrorist/political/abusive/sexual content or anything that leads to thereof.
- We reserve the right to include any calls to action or content upgrades on posts.
If you agree… go ahead and send your pitch…
What to Include in Your Pitch
All the points here are mandatory unless stated otherwise…
- 3-5 Topic ideas (please have some well crafted headlines).
- 2-3 sentences short summary about each idea or a list of each point if it’s a list post.
- Previous articles you’ve written – the best ones.
- A link to your Facebook profile.
- Links to all your other social media profiles (optional).
- A few sentences about yourself, experience etc.
At Foolishness File, we like to stay relevant.
Things change all the time.
We don’t change just for the sake of it. We change to make things better.
So today’s guidelines may not be tomorrow’s guidelines – make sure you check the guidelines before you submit each post. (we’ll include our last updated date on the top of the guidelines)
Where to Send
Send your pitches to: write [at] foolishnessfile [dot] com
Note: If you fail to send us the required information in your pitch we will not be able to respond. So, please make sure to include all the information. Please also make sure to send your pitch to the right email. Do NOT send your pitch through the contact form.
Once you’ve read the guidelines, got familiar with the blog and sent your pitch… you should expect a response within 2 weeks (usually less).
If we approve your idea then we’ll ask you to send us all images you want to include in the post. We are rather picky with the types of images we display in our posts, so please send them to us before you write your draft but after we approve your idea.
Once we approve the images, we’ll patiently wait for your post and bio – preferably within 11 days unless we state otherwise.
Once you’ve submitted your post and bio, we’ll inform you of the outcome usually within 2 weeks (usually less).
If your post is accepted, we’ll ask you to create a WordPress contributors account and submit your draft over there. We’ll then let you know about the publish date and email you once it goes live.
After it’s published we expect you to share it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, whatever else you can get your hands on) and to reply to comments for the first week.
What Do You Get?
Now that you’ve read all that. We can tell you about the benefits of writing for us…
- You get to showcase your expertise (okay, maybe you don’t care about that so much)
- Traffic (yeah, now that’s better)
- Do-follow links (Oh yes, that’s what you’re really after aren’t you? We don’t blame you… we’d do the same too)
Okay, so these are the main benefits for guest posting on Foolishness File.
Let’s see what you got!