1) This is not required, but pitching a couple of article ideas before simply sending a finished draft is much preferred (and will, therefore, increase the odds of your article being accepted). Tell me why your article deserves to be published. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything new or cutting-edge, but you do have to be able to explain why people need to hear what you have to say, and why your article will be better than previous pieces written on the same topic.
2) All articles must represent your own work. I will copy and paste your article into Google – if it’s eerily similar (or a word for word copy) of something that’s already out there, your article will not be accepted and there will be no future opportunities for you to write for Strengtheory. Also, if you write about an idea someone else originated, give credit where it’s due (cite your sources).
3) Tell me why you are qualified to write about the subject you want to write about. Do you have a degree or unique certification? Have you actually applied the knowledge you want to write about, and do you have proof? If you want to write about squatting, but you’re a poor squatter, don’t have a relevant degree in something like biomechanics, and have never coached any big squatters, you’ll probably be asked to think of a new subject to write about. Essentially, you need to be able to demonstrate a meaningful level of expertise about the subject you’re writing on.
4) Be straightforward about the level of evidence you have supporting your position. If your position is scientifically supported, then cite studies. If it’s based on your experience coaching, say so. If it’s simply a personal anecdote, that’s also fine, but don’t pretend like it’s Truth (with a capital T). Don’t make claims that are bigger than you can support.
5) If you cite a scientific study, please provide full text. This lets me know that you’ve probably read more than just the abstract, and it lets me make sure you’re not wildly misinterpreting it to support your position.
6) If there are particular pictures or videos you’d like in your article, please provide files or links. Additionally, if you own them, let me know. If not, please tell me the source so I can give credit appropriately.
7) Do not expect your first draft to be accepted as-is. We want the content to be as high of quality as possible, and I want to help your own writing be as effective as possible in getting your idea across and demonstrating your expertise. Don’t be offended if we suggest changes in wording or critique your argument before accepting it. It’s all to help you out.
8) If you’re not a super polished writer, that’s okay, but we expect that the article should be at least relatively free of typos, poor grammar, improper punctuation, etc. If it’s clear that your article wasn’t proofread thoroughly before submission, we’ll tell you to keep working on it until that’s taken care of, before considering it for publication.
9) If possible, submit articles as Google docs.
10) If you want to plug a product in a post, that’s understandable. But there’s a way to do it tactfully and a way to do it poorly. The article has to offer substantial benefit to the reader on its own, not simply be sales copy for your product. There’s not even a particularly fine line between the two – either you’re a competent coach educating the audience and trying to make a buck in the process, or you’re a shill.
11) Cite your sources via hyperlinks. Not in-text citation, not footnotes or endnotes. Hyperlinks allow the reader to find the source of the information easily and are much less cluttered and easy to read than other forms of citations.
12) If you’ve never written for us before, please include an author picture along with links to your personal and business website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc (whatever platforms you’re on). If you’re a returning author, adding your bio and links to the document you submit still scores some brownie points by saving us some time.
13) Although it’s not required, it’s expected that you will share your article on your social media and engage in the discussion about your article on Facebook and the comments on the article itself. This adds value to the readers and will help them enjoy your article more and want to read more from you.
14) Finally, if you think you have something to say that will educate the reader and add meaningfully to the conversation, don’t be shy about asking to write. I don’t care who you are, as long as you have something worth saying. The worst thing that could happen is that we’ll say “no,” but if nothing else, it’s a foot in the door and the start of a relationship. Effort and enthusiasm often precede expertise – demonstrate the former, and we’d love to publish your writing when you have the latter.