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Writing Guide

This page is intended for SLR Lounge writers only. If you have stumbled upon this page on accident, the information on this page is probably not relevant to you.

Welcome to the writing team! Here’s a quick guide to get you started. If you have any questions along the way, please post it on the Writers Group or Email [email protected]

 

A – Title

A great title is clickable without being clickbait.  It includes the most interesting element(s) of the article content and sparks the reader’s interest.

A great title also includes keywords, words and phrases that a person might search in Google to discover your article.  If you’re new to SEO and would like more information on keywords, we recommend this resource by Moz.

If you need help with your title, please Slack or email one of our editors.

B – Permalink

The permalink is the URL of your article.  By default, your permalink is your title separated by dashes so most of the time, you can leave it as is.  If your title is too long, however, you may want to edit your permalink to eliminate unnecessary words.  Be sure to keep the main keywords in the permalink.

Example:

If your title is the following:

“The Ultimate Nikon D850 Real World Review for Wedding Photographers”

You may want to consider trimming the permalink to the following:

/nikon-D850-review-wedding-photographers

C- Introduction

Start your article strong with an understanding that most users don’t finish an entire article.  Your 1st sentence should be catchy and appeal directly to the needs of the reader.  Within the first paragraph, your reader should understand what they are going to read and why it’s important to them.

 

WRITING

  • Write at least 2-3 Paragraphs (Target 200-300 words minimum)
  • Properly Name Images
  • Insert Images and/or Video
  • Insert Affiliate Links for any products that you Mention (email [email protected] for instructions)
  • Add [via] links for any rehashes (Photo/Video Credits – Names and Links)
  • Spell & Grammar Check your Writing
  • Add a REWIND to your article
  • Select Featured Image
  • Add Relevant Tags
  • Add a Catchy Yet Descriptive Title
  • Fill in Short and Shortest Title
  • Check “Featured” Box

PRE SCHEDULING/PUBLISHING

  • Double check that all links are correct and working
  • Double check Tags, Title and Featured Image
  • Spell Check Again

SCHEDULING/PUBLISHING

  • Preview Your Post
  • Schedule FB Post (If Applicable)

Table of Contents – Article Contents

  1. Characteristics of Good Articles
  2. What are Rehashes?
  3. What are Originals?

Table of Contents – Posting Instructions

  1. Setting Up Your Profile
  2. Setting Your Profile Picture
  3. Setting Your Bio
  4. Titles
  5. Images (Naming and Sizing)
  6. Categories
  7. Categories
  8. Tags
  9. Headings
  10. Lists (ul,li)

Random FAQs

  1. How Do I Remove the Pinterest Pin?
  2. What is a “Rewind” and why is it necessary?
  3. How Do I Add a Poll in my Article?

Characteristics of Articles

Characteristics of Articles – The goal of SLR Lounge is to create content that is 1) interesting, 2) relevant, 3) inspirational, and 4) educational. Though all articles will not fall under all 4, every article should have at least 2 of the 4 characteristics.

      1. Accurate but Not Overly Technical – The strength of SLR Lounge articles is that they are approachable by people of all levels of skill and technical proficiency. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be technical, but it does mean that you should present it in a visual, everyday kind of way.
      2. Concise – You will hear us use this word a lot. Do not ramble and cut to the point. More importantly, make sure you HAVE a point.
      3. Use Headers – Your use of H3 Tags will help you organize your content. Be sure to use anywhere between 2-6 H3s in any article.

Rehashes Explained

What are Rehashes? – There are 2 types of articles in SLR Lounge Rehashes and Originals. Let’s go over rehashes first.

Rehashes – The first is what we call Rehashes. The overall goal of these is to be among the first to report major news in the industry. These are typically called “rehashes” that we’ll get into later. If you are new to writing for SLR Lounge, we suggest you start with these.

      • Overall Length: 200 to 500 Words
      • Estimated Time to Complete: 1 Hour
      • Overall Structure: Introductory Paragraph + Image + Additional Info (summary of the info) + Links to the original source (conclusion)

Note: You should rarely (or even never) go more than 2 Paragraphs without an image. Keep in mind most people on our site have short attention spans and tend to be very visual. Great images every couple of paragraphs will keep the interest. Do not dump all of the images at the end of an article (or even at the beginning). Spread them out!

Typical rehashes include the following:

      1. Gear Announcements – These include product releases, software updates, etc
      2. Featured Projects – These include featuring a cool project or photography related philanthropy
      3. Inspiration – These include sharing articles with our community from other sites.
      4. Non Original Videos, BTS, etc – These include sharing videos created by others and explaining why it’s relevant.

Note: Be sure to obtain permission before featuring someone’s work. Click here for the standard email that we use to send out feature requests.

Rehash vs. Plagiarism – We want to share interesting information while avoiding plagiarism. To do so, be sure to do the following:

      1. Link To the Original Source – Please be sure to give proper link credit to wherever you find the information.
      2. Add Your Own Opinion – Make sure you’re not only sharing the content, but you’re also adding your opinion as to why it’s relevant and interesting. This typically goes right at the beginning of the article in 2 or 3 sentences.
      3. Use Proper Quotation Marks – If you’d like to quote part of the original source, limit it to one or two sentences at most and put them around quotation marks
      4. Summarize Instead of Restating – If the article you are rehashing is teaching a concept, then instead of restating their points, quickly summarize their overall point (in one short paragraph) and link to the article for more information. For example, if the original article is “top 10 reasons ____” then do not list out all of the reasons and do not reword all 10 reasons. Instead take one or two of the points and explain why those particularly stood out to you, and then link the readers to that article. Restating points can get us in trouble!

Finding Content for Rehashes
The 2 best places to find content to rehash are 1) RSS feeds and 2) Our SLR Lounge Writers Group. The video Below will give you more insight as well:

Note that the video below is based on the old system. Though some aspects will still apply to the current version of the site.

How to Write Rehashes

Note that the video below is based on the old system. Though some aspects will still apply to the current version of the site.

Original Articles

What Are Original Articles – Note that we have a high standard when it comes to the images on our site. Here are a couple of standards to go by: 1) Lauri’s Composite, Joe’s Fashion Shoot, Matt’s Slow Shutter Speed. Though your photography may be above average, we’re looking for something more than that.

We generally categorize originals into two types, “short” originals and “long” (or approved) originals. Long originals need prior approval by an editor, while you have much more freedom with “short” originals. There are many types of original articles, but they generally fall under the following:

      • “How We Shot It” Articles – These articles detail how you shot a particular image. In these articles, you typically show before and afters, you use lighting diagrams via sylights, you list the equipment used, and you share your camera settings. Keep in mind that only outstanding, best-of-the-best images will work here. For example, you may have taken a solid headshot with great lighting and a great expression, but unless a new technique was used or another creative element was added, it probably won’t be a good image for this type of article.
      • Opinion Pieces – These include opinions on the current state of the industry or debates on business practices, shooting techniques, etc. These are considered “short” originals.
      • Equipment and Software Reviews – See these examples of gear reviews. Digital Goods and Physical Goods that are under $200 are considered “short originals,” while Physical Goods over $200 are considered “Long” Originals. Long Originals require approval by an editor.
      • Business Advice – AJ Coot’s Path to Pro series is a good example of these. These are considered “short” originals.
      • Shooting and Post Production Tutorials – Keep in mind that these need to be super comprehensive and be a standard for the particular topic. In general, “10 ways to ____” type articles aren’t going to cut it here. If you are giving tips, these are considered “short” originals. If you are teaching comprehensive tutorials, they are considered “long” originals, which need prior approval.

Posting Instructions

Setting Your Avatar and Profile

Setting Your Avatar and Profile

Setting Your Avatar and Profile – Please log into your wordpress account and click on the “edit my profile” button in the top right corner. The Biographical Info is the part that will be displayed at the bottom of your posts. The thumbnail used is whatever image is associated to your email according to gravatar. Please register your email there to display a thumbnail.

Writing Your Bio – Your Bio should be 3-5 Sentences and include two links of your choice. To link your website, please use the following format. <a href="http://www.yourwebsite.com" target="_blank">Your Visible Text</a>.

When listing your website:

1) Use “<ul><li></li></ul>” so that each site falls on a different line (see image)
2) use the abbreviated versions of the websites (do not list the full “http://www”)
3) use “target=”_blank” so that your links open in a new window

Profiles

Posting Procedures

Titles

The 3 Different Titles – There are 3 Different Titles. The Main Title, the Short Tile and the Shortest Title.

      • Main Title – No Length Limit. These need to be concise and to the Point. For example, if you’re reviewing the Nikon D800, the title should be “Nikon D800 Review.” If Sigma is releasing a new lens, the title should be “New Sigma 24-1000mm F/1.0 Announced” (fictional example). If you have any knowledge of SEO, this is where you apply your knowledge. Try to think of Keywords that people are searching if possible. If you don’t we will get you there with each post that you contribute.
      • Short Title – Around 50 Characters
      • Shortest Title – Around 30 Characters
      • Short Excerpt – Around 100 characters Characters or 2 sentences (Can be simply the first two sentences of your article).

titles

Images

Image Count – Keep in mind that our primary audience is fellow photographers, a very visual group. Every article needs at least 1 image. Most should have around 3-5.

Image Naming – To properly name your images, please use straightforward concise keywords in the following format “keyword-keyword2-keyword3.jpg” For example “wedding-photography-tutorial.jpg” or “Canon-vs-Nikon-Comparison.jpg” We should never see IMG0293.jpg or any obscure naming. Click here for more info on proper naming conventions.

Image Dimensions – Images should be 650px wide. Resize them so that Image may be smaller but not larger or else they will hang off the page. The featured image (the one used for the featured slider on the front page and also the same image used as a thumbnail for the article MUST be in a 4×6 Landscape format or else it throws the formatting of parts of the site off.

Image Linking – Be sure your images do not link to anything.
image-link-none

Alt Text

Be sure to include something between the Alt Text quotes. You can do this upon upload or manually. The alt text can be exactly the same as the keyworded image name you come up with.

Upon Upload:
alt-text

To insert after upload, simply write the alt text in between the quotes in the following alt=””

Featured Image
In the right column of the post page, you’ll see a “featured image” section with the link to “set featured image.” Please choose the best image from the article that is in a 4×6 format. This will be the image displayed in the slider on the front page as well as the thumbnails throughout the site.

featured-image

Categories – Please place your article in up to two categories. As you check the categories, be sure to check the best sub-category as well as all its parent categories. Do NOT create our own categories.

Tags – Do not add unnecessary tags. Only use tags to label your article as part of a series. For example, put the words “how we shot it” in the tags of an article that would belong in this series.

titles-slrlounge

Headers and Formatting

Headings– Please do not use H1 or H2 in your articles. Please use H3s for your section titles. For example, for the section title above “Formatting,” we used the following code <h3>Formatting</h3>

If you bold within a header (h4,h3, h2,h1) it will turn out funky.

993808_10102723565424863_865881354_n

Lists – Please use either ul or ol for your lists. If you need help, please see the wordpress guide to lists.

Blockquotes – If you would like to highlight a quote in your article, please use the following <blockquote>Your Quote</>

This results in the following: blockquote

Our WordPress uses a default URL of the title, but removes certain elements that it deems superfluous (a, an, etc).  If you’re scheduling your Facebook posts or Sharing Links before publishing, you will often copy the wrong link.  To solve this, please use the shortlink”  See Image below.  This link will always remain constant, regardless of changes made to the url.

shortlink

All Articles must be reviewed before publishing

Steps to get your post reviewed:

1. Write your post , add images, and get to the point that you think it is ready to be published.

2. At this point your post is ready to be reviewed.

3. To have your post reviewed change its status from “Draft” to “Pending Review”
4. The Managing Editor will receive an email notification that your post is ready to be reviewed.

5. The Managing Editor will log in and review your post, leaving any notes and changes that you need to make in this new “Editorial Comments” section of each post. (As seen below)
6. You can reply to her comment to let her know the changes have been made.

7. She will confirm everything looks good and that you are free to publish

8. You are then able to publish right away or schedule your post as you see fit. (Do this the same way you always have done it, pressing the “publish” button or setting its scheduled time)

FAQs

How Do I Remove the Pinterest Pin?
Please add the word “nopin” to the class of your images to make the pinterest button not appear. Do this if it is covering odd parts of the image or if the image is not meant to be pinned. Do not do this unless necessary.

What are Rewinds and why is it important?

Rewinds are ways to bring attention to our top articles. Please see our Guides and products and reference then whenever available. These should be mid-article reminders of our popular articles and products.

rewind

How Do I Add a Poll?

Making-a-poll

When embeding a Vimeo video, drop the last <p> section:

1506068_10102709599018653_752431776_n

Additional (superseded) Resources

How to Complete and Post an Article

Note that the video below is based on the old system. Though some aspects will still apply to the current version of the site.

Before and After PSD Templates

Download: 650×650 Before and After Template
Example:1622026_10152237085765199_1849526171_n

Writing and Formatting Using a How You Shot It Article Example

Note that the video below is based on the old system. Though some aspects will still apply to the current version of the site.

How to Write and Embed a Video for a BTSV Rehash

Note that the video below is based on the old system. Though some aspects will still apply to the current version of the site.

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