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HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SKILLCRUSH BLOG

 

Skillcrush aims to be a capable, relatable voice that provides the most relevant content for helping our audience hack the job market, stay in-the-know on the tech scene, and learn must-know coding and design skills. We want to inspire our audience to take their tech skills into their own hands, so they can be confident, coding, business-running women who change the world.

Jump to: Audience, Blog Posts, Style & Voice, Submission, Editorial, Syndication

 

The Skillcrush Audience

 

The Skillcrush audience is made up of smart, sharp, and down-to-earth women (and a few men!) who are looking to build awesome careers and learn the tech skills they need to get ahead.

Our audience falls into three general psychographic archetypes:

  • The Ladder Climber: This user wants to get ahead in her career. She is looking for her next big job or promotion up the ladder at her company. Traditionally, she is a young professional who wants to grow beyond administrative responsibilities. Articles on productivity tips, social media marketing, success at the office, personal branding, and practical tech tips are spot on for this user.
  • The Career Searcher: This user is at a career tipping point and is striving for meaningful and/or flexible work – whether that is reentering the workforce after time off, building a freelance career, landing a part-time opportunity, or simply finding a more satisfying job. Articles on career planning, resume advice, interview tips, and practical tech resources are a perfect match for this user.
  • The Skill Builder: This user works in the world of technology in some way, whether at a technology startup or a larger company in a role that interacts with IT (especially web design). She’s felt pain, friction, and frustration when she sits at a table with developers who seem to be speaking another language. These users are actively looking to build their tech literacy and tangible skills so they can keep up with the game, stay ahead in their careers, and be successful in the new way of work. Articles on new apps, technology terms, and how-tos are exactly what this user is looking for.

Refer back to these descriptions, and keep in mind these users when you are writing. We speak to real people with real problems that we can help solve. Our goal is to connect with them better than anyone else does on the internet!

 

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What We Look for in a Blog Post

 

Useful and relevant topics that are immediately actionable. Skillcrush blog posts are about doing and acting rather than pontificating or considering. Followers can apply what they read directly to their careers and/or lives.

Ex) “How to Get the Tech Skills You Need to Keep Your Job” is better than “Is technology a prerequisite?”

 

Topics. Our posts focus on:

Freelancing and entrepreneurship
People changing careers
Women in tech
Mobile
Social media strategy
Career success
Blogging
Advice from tech experts
Inside tips for web design and web development
Tech and career inspiration

 

Personal stories and examples. Blog posts either start with or include a personal story that helps readers relate, and use examples throughout as appropriate.

Ex) Starting with “I put down the phone. Another hour of my life spent on tech support,” is better than, “We can all agree that customer service calls are no fun.”
Ex) “A spec includes all the features a product will have,” needs an example, as in, “A spec includes all the features a product will have. To give a simplified example, a spec for the iPhone might have included: touch screen, WIFI connectivity, and voice recognition.”

 

All tech terms explained in context.

Ex) Instead of, “WordPress is the most widely used CMS on the tech scene,” try, “50 billion websites are running on WordPress, the most widely used content management system (CMS) out there.”
Ex) Instead of, “If you were a fan of LESS, it might be time to start learning Sass,” try, “If you were a fan of the CSS preprocessor LESS, it might be time to start using Sass for streamlining and upgrading the way you create CSS files.”

 

Format. We accept posts structured as:

Lists
How-tos
Tech Term Definitions
Interviews/Q&As
Shortform Topics
Longform Topics

 

Research and support. Claims are backed up with links and sources are clearly cited.

Ex) “According to Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans work in freelance,” or “53 Americans work in freelance (Freelancers Union).”

 

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The Signature Skillcrush Style & Voice

 

Approachable and savvy tone.
The Skillcrush voice is like your best friend who always has amazing advice. She is hilarious and witty, but she talks more like a teacher than a sailor. Oh, and she’s really into coding, the future of women in tech, the tech scene, and ways to hack the freelance life. She is way into pop psychology and self-improvement. She loves to find shortcuts that make her more productive. You are never embarrassed to ask her a question.

 

Organized.
Posts are broken up into short (fewer than 10-line) paragraphs and organized with headings and subheadings.

 

Length.
A short post is 400-600 words.
A long post is 700-1000 words.

 

Words/Phrases We Use Frequently

Modern
Awesome
Amazing
Perfect
Timeless
Must-have
Right now
Hook into
Tap into
Dream
Imagine
Love
Passion
Need
Techie
Pro
Expert

 

Words We Use Less Frequently

Programmer
Coder
Cool
Hacker
(Swearing)

 

Other Favorite Skillcrush-Specific Tips

We love using colloquialisms to make content relatable.

Ex) Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just spent three weeks polishing my elevator pitch, and you want a what?

We also like adding funny (and sometimes cheesy) internal thoughts that show how the reader might also be reacting to the advice.

Ex) Oh great, I have to invest in some more hoodies and get used to trying to talk my friends into hiring me.

Skillcrush writers tend to plant witty quips and snarky jokes throughout.

Ex) “There’s, like, dust on my Facebook,” said Morgan Stewart, star of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Not that we should listen to anyone on the show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, but these teenagers sure do have their pulse on social media.”

 

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Submission Guidelines

 

1. Follow brand and voice guidelines (above)
2. Submit posts as Google Docs
3. Include html < h3 >< /h3 > tags around headings
4. Include html < h4 >< /h4 > tags around subheadings
5. To include links, please use this format: [text to be linked] (http://www.sampleurl.com)
6. Include an author bio of 150 words or less
7. Email submissions to randle@skillcrush.com
8. If your piece is accepted, create a WordPress Gravatar with your first and last name and headshot.

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Editorial Process & Guidelines

Skillcrush editorial staff may make edits to a post before publishing to ensure the best fit with our voice, to create a consistent narrative over our blog’s lifetime, and to maintain the highest quality of content on our site. If an article requires significant edits, we may ask you for revisions. At this time, due to our quick-turnaround to publishing, we may post an article without submitting changes to contributors for review.

 

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Syndication

Skillcrush cultivates relationships with other online publications, such as Mashable, The Muse, Levo League, Your Coffee Break, and Her Agenda. Your submission may be syndicated to another publication. We will always ask that your name is credited (and if possible, linked) in the syndication, to help you build your personal brand and expertise.

 

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