Last updated May 2018
We regularly update this page. Here’s what you need to know about being an SEJ contributor:

How to Contribute to Aelieve

Posts Must Be 100% Original to SEJ
Search Engine Journal accepts contributions from SEO professionals, search marketers, and digital marketers. There are two ways to contribute to SEJ:

What to Write About

You are welcome to draw from your own experiences to come up with your own ideas and topics. Please discuss the idea with the Executive Editor to make sure nothing else similar is being worked on by another author.
We also have a private Facebook Group just for SEJ Writers. Once a month, the Executive Editor shares a list of topics with the group. If you aren’t yet a member of this group, you’re on Facebook, and you’re contributing to SEJ, please let the Executive Editor know to add you!
Always try to go beyond the basics/obvious. The most successful articles tend to be:
Always provide actionable tips and practical advice. Share your own experiences. Don’t rely heavily on quoting influencers, experts, or authorities from other sites. Be the expert!

Posts Must Be Pitch Free

You aren’t writing to sell a product or recommend a particular product or service.
You’re writing to share your expertise, information, insights, and ideas with our audience.
If you write about an experience involving a client or business partner, you must disclose the relationship in the article.

Disclosures

If you have a relationship with a company or someone mentioned in your post, you must disclose it. Some examples of disclosures:

Post Length

How long should your post be?
Note: Longer posts tend to get more pageviews, time on page, and social love. However, they also burn you out a lot quicker. Remember, you could probably turn that monster post into 3 or 4 more targeted posts instead!
The best posts are clear, concise and only as long as they need to be. After all, our readers are busy. Tell them what they need to know and get out.

Paragraphs

Try to be concise.
Always try to keep your paragraphs short.
One sentence is fine.
Two sentences is typically OK. But no more than three sentences. Please.
Short paragraphs are easier to understand and digest, help drive your point across, and encourage reading in this age of information overload and short attention spans.

SEO Best Practices

Let’s practice what we preach, folks.

Headline

Your headline should be interesting enough to entice people to click on it. It should be optimized for search and social media.

URL

You can edit your URLs (Permalink). Use this to highlight important keywords.

Images

A Caption is optional.
Always add Alternative Text. This can be the post title or a succinct description of the photo that fits the post’s topic.
Optimize your image file names. IMG_123454646572.png or screenshot3.png is bad.

Categories

Pick, at minimum, one WordPress category for your article.
You may pick up to two relevant categories (e.g., if your post covers both SEO and Content Marketing).

Content Types

Typically, you will choose “Posts”.

Excerpt

Please add an excerpt (maximum: 20 words) for every post. It can be similar to your meta description. This is the description that appears on the SEJ website when it publishes. If your excerpt exceed 20 words, it will end with a … The Excerpt is located below the Yoast SEO box. (If you don’t see it click on screen options in top right and click Excerpt.)

A/B Testing of Titles

We A/B test headlines – your main headline and two alternates. Alternate headlines must be less than 50 characters.

In-Article Links

Links to third-party authoritative sources tell the reader that you are incorporating third-party perspectives and evidence in support of your argument. Otherwise, all you’ve got is a theory without substantiation.
Having said that, our editorial team is always on the lookout for links that appear promotional. We’re marketing to marketers, so if we don’t sleuth it out, our very savvy community eventually will.
Our editorial team looks for links to clients, friends, or appear self-serving in some way. In some cases, the promotion may be unintentional, but it will still have the same effect.
Buying, trading, or selling links is strictly prohibited. If someone approaches you to buy links in your articles, we’d appreciate you tipping us off (anonymously) via this form.

Formatting & Grammar Tips

Conjunctions

Images

PNGs or animated GIFs only, please.

Featured Image

Required: Upload a featured image (found on the right sidebar) that is 1600 pixels wide and 840 pixels tall. Please preview your post before submitting it to make sure your featured image is formatted correctly.
To use a Shutterstock stock photo, please email your chosen photo’s link to SEJ’s Editorial Assistant, Angel: angel [at] searchenginejournal.com. She’ll download it for you. (Note: Follow the same process if you want to use Shutterstock for any in-post images.)

In-Post Images

Image Credits

Republishing Content Guidelines

In order to avoid duplicate content issues with Google, we permit content to be republished 14 days after publishing on SEJ. You MUST use a canonical link.

Editorial Review and Corrections

Our Publishing Process

So, what happens when you’ve finished an awesome post and pressed that blue WordPress button “Submit for Review”?

Post Status: Submitted to Editor

When you’ve finished a post draft, you’ll press the big blue button. Your post will go through the first round of copyediting, link checking, and whether it passes our editorial rules above.

Post Status: Copyeditor Reviewing

This stage is where our Copyeditor gets out a red pen and corrects for:

Post Status: Ready for Scheduling

Get on your mark! This post will be sanity checked one last time by our Executive Editor before it’s sent out on its way into the world.

Post Status: Scheduled

It’s gonna go live!

Your Bio

Head to “Edit My Profile”.
Make sure to fill out your Biographical Info.
Upload a color Profile Photo – use a headshot so people can clearly see your face.
Add links to your personal Social Profiles:
Add your Company Details:
Note: You are eligible to get a followed link from your SEJ profile page if you meet some basic criteria:
If you meet these criteria, and haven’t yet received your followed link, please let us know!

Missing Deadlines

If you’re going to miss your deadline, please give us a heads up.
We know you’re busy. Stuff comes up.
Just let us know. It only takes a couple of minutes to send us an email or private message.
If you miss 2 deadlines in a row, we’ll contact you to make sure you want to continue on as an SEJ Contributor.
If you miss 3 deadlines in a row, and fail to respond to communications from us, you will lose your status as an SEJ Contributor.

Questions?

Hit us up here.
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