The purpose of these guidelines is to give all of our contributors the tools to write compelling, informative posts that engage readers and maintain quality across all Epic! Spark content.
Goal of Epic! Spark
It’s important for all of our guest posts to support our goal of being a valuable, trusted resource and community for educators (and parents!).
Submission Review Process
- Submit your idea: We welcome all of your great ideas! To suggest a topic for a guest post, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once reviewed, the Epic! Editorial staff will either approve your idea for publication or suggest alternative ideas to better serve our audience and/or content needs.
- While drafting your post, please follow the guidelines on this page.
- Submit your completed draft for editorial review.
- Following editorial review, either approve or request changes to your post prior to publication.
What to Submit
- A draft of your post in rich text or MS Word format
- A brief bio (if not already provided)
- A high-quality headshot or appropriate lifestyle image (if not already provided)
- Social media and blog links to imbed in your post
Style & Formatting
- Capitalization: In general, avoid unnecessary capitalization. Reserve caps for proper nouns, proper names and titles of books, movies, songs, TV shows, blogs and periodicals.
- Commas: Use commas to separate terms in a sentence, but do not use serial commas. The only exception is when, in a longer list, leaving it out would be confusing.
- Dashes: Review correct dash use and be sure to employ them correctly.
- Exclamation points: Avoid excessive use of exclamation points as it can appear overly emphatic (particularly when placed in close proximity to the Epic! name).
- Grammar and spelling: Always use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation and proofread your post before submitting for publication.
- Hyphens: When a spelling is correct with or without a hyphen, err on the side of omitting the hyphen.
- Numbers: Always use numerals in headlines. In running text, spell out numbers lower than ten and use numerals for numbers 10 and above.
- Paragraphs: Limit paragraphs to 3-4 sentences and make liberal use of headings to break up sections.
- Spaces: Do not indent paragraphs or use more than one space after a period.
Headline Writing Tips
- To get the reader’s attention quickly, the ideal headline should be 6-8 words or less.
- When you’d like to convey the topic of your post in more than 8 words, add a brief subhead.
- Headlines in the form of a question are a great way to engage readers.
- When possible, make an emotional appeal.
- Starting with a keyword or phrase followed by a colon and added detail (i.e. “Recipe: Cinderella Rex Dinosaur Eggs”) is great for grabbing interest at a glance.
- Numerals, particularly odd numbers, tend to perform well in headlines.
- Research power words to make your headline more powerful, energetic and descriptive.
- Check out this article from HubSpot, 13 Types of Blog Headlines That’ll Get You More Traffic for in depth tips on writing amazing, clickable headlines.
Post length is important because it correlates to higher search engine rankings. Please also keep in mind that our chief priority is to keep posts to a length that people actually want to read. For instance, posts with 1900 words rank well, but that is most likely more than an average reader has time to read.
So as a rule, only write enough content to bring value to the reader. We recommend at least 500 words and no more than 750.
- Make sure your bio is a minimum of 40 words.
- Include a high-quality headshot or appropriate lifestyle photo that prominently features your likeness and showcases your personality.
- Do not include other people in your photo.
- Size requirements: Minimum 500px x 500px; maximum 1500px x 1500px.