Hello editorial genius,
Thanks for being a part of the inBali.org family. We may be new, but we are on the fast track to creating something very special and we are thrilled you are joining us for the ride.
This page will give you all the nitty gritty on writing for us. Some parts may sound a bit demanding or overwhelming, but the truth is, we have been inundated with requests to contribute, so only those writers who are truly passionate about what we are doing will make the cut.
Once editorial topics have been approved, please ensure they are written with the reader in mind. This is not purely a platform for witty banter and unique observations. First and foremost, the content must always be useful and something people will be inclined to share.
Please, when you are writing, always ask yourself: “Am I giving a unique value to my readers? Is my post useful for them? If it was me reading it, would I spontaneously share it?”
Rest assured your dedication to creating incredible articles will pay off. We have huge plans, and plan to take those who wholeheartedly join our family with us.
What you can expect from us:
- A link out to your blog or social media account.
- Openness to your creative input on article ideas, imagery and development of the blog.
- Nurture for long-term contributors.
- Perks and rewards whenever opportunities arise.
What we need from you:
When you have to link something the following will help you to make the right decision:
- Inter-Link to other pages within inBali.org whenever possible, but at least twice per article. Get creative and if nothing jumps out at you, make an opportunity by adding a few more sentences. This shouldn’t come across as spam, given our huge archive of articles, there is always an opportunity for good additional content and links.
- Link out to other sites. But BEFORE you start writing, we suggest you do some research and put some thought into what businesses you are featuring and supporting. Facebook pages are good only when there is not a proper website, and we only want a maximum of three link-outs per article.
- Check if the site you are linking out to is keen on linking back to us. When you are doing your research prior to writing the article, reach out to the business / organisation and gauge whether or not they will share the article once it is written.
2. USEFUL ARTICLES
- When mentioning a place, give an address and explain how to get there. Use well known landmarks as a reference.
- Any other info to make the article useful is a bonus. People need to come to inBali.org and find all the information they could possibly need.
- It is imperative that articles are brought to life with beautiful images. Original photos are always better, but if you can’t muster anything up, please source from the internet and add a descriptive caption and credit.
- We prefer landscape shots
- Photos must be resized to a width of 755(px) x 427(px) – size not bigger than 150k
- The feature image needs to be 912(px) x435(px) – size not bigger than 150k
4. SHARING ON YOUR WEBSITE AND SOCIALS
- This is compulsory
- Please share your articles wherever you can – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
- When posting on your own blog, share a snippet then link out to the full page
5. COMMENTS AND RATINGS
- When you share the article, you may wish to ask your audience to comment, rate it and share it
- When you get comments on your articles, please jump in and reply
- Please provide an invoice detailing your Bank Account details (Account number, BSB, Account name) and SWIFT code (can usually be found on your bank’s website) to be paid.
- Send an invoice at the end of each working week
- Articles are to be submitted on WordPress.
- Each article must follow the normal, general SEO and WordPress rules: bolds, links, italics.
- Look at this detailed guide to understand how to correctly insert content, images, links, etc.
- Once in WordPress, please go to “Profile” and upload a photo of yourself at a height of 300 pixels and a width of 290 pixels. If you don’t have a Gravatar, add a few lines in the bio section. This will appear at the bottom of each article you write as well as on the Authors page. Once yours is complete, please check the Authors page and make sure it suits (ie. not too short / long, image seems suitable). Let’s also keep these in third person please. No: “I love coffee and I’m really amazing”.
Examples of articles we love:
Below we’ve picked a few articles that really impressed the pants off us. They were well written, SEO friendly, super useful, included interlinks and nice images and captured our attention. Use these as a template and you can’t go wrong:
- Potato Head Parties: beats, bliss and bespoke cocktails
- A nature lover’s guide to Bali
- Heron heaven in the tiny village of Petulu
- First and foremost, when you write something, always ask yourself: “If I read this article would I spontaneously share it?”
- Ensure all words, all paragraphs and all points are 100% interesting, necessary and relevant. I know it’s hard because we pay by the word, which makes it very enticing to just type out every thought that comes to mind, but it’s critical to keep things interesting. There is no point being SEO friendly if we can’t capture a community of devoted readers and have people recommending us as a killer site.
- Keep a nice balance of facts and analysis / opinion / personality. Anyone can jump on google and research where to eat, where to stay, where to get a massage. The benefit of jumping on our site needs to be that reading the article is fun, emotive and makes you feel like you are actually there.
- Use lingo at times, talk in a very conversational tone. Pick little details and describe them in great detail and feel free to use humour.
- Do not use first person unless it is specifically for the “story” category only, and try to write in past tense wherever possible.
- Most people are going to scroll through the articles very quickly, so sentences and ideas need to be very digestible – not too long.
- Make sure you have a few headings in most articles, unless it’s completely irrelevant.
- When putting points in block quotes (which every article needs), make sure the quote alone makes perfect sense (imagine that it’s the only sentence the person reads). And also make sure the body of the article makes sense without that quote, as the block quotes become quite disconnected to the article once published.
- Write so that people who read the articles feel like they have just received an e-mail from a (very intelligent, very funny, very knowledgable) friend.
- Don’t try to be overly intelligent – just a normal human being is fine.
- If you have personal anecdotes that you want to include, instead attempt to position the reader as the character of the story. Something like… “With surfers dragging their sopping bodies through the cafe on the regular, you may want to walk with caution – save falling ass over tit.” …. could work better than telling the audience your funny story about falling ass over tit. A very rough example but hopefully you get the gist.
- And speaking of words like tit – let’s keep swearing slim to none. Ass and tit would be fine – anything above shit can be left out please.
- Feel free to interview people and pick topics that are a little left of centre.
- We currently have quite a few top 10 / top 5 articles which is great! But now we can start balancing it out with some more in-depth stuff – gig reviews, spotlight on one particular cafe, bio about a particular person of interest etc. etc.
- Many writers start their piece with a strong – but brief – anecdote that introduces the general feeling, tone and point of the trip and story. Something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. Don’t start with the journey to the airport – start with something interesting, not what happened first.
- IT IS FORBIDDEN to sell links towards external websites – links shall be given to useful external resources in an unbiased and fair way. Articles suspected of doing this will not be published.
A few tips from Guardian Travel
- Early on you need to get across the point of the story and trip – where you were, what were you doing there and why. If there is a hook – a new trend, discovery or angle – make that clear within the first few paragraphs.
- Try to come up with a narrative thread that will run throughout the piece, linking the beginning and end; a point you are making. The piece should flow, but don’t tell the entire trip chronologically, cherry pick the best bits, anecdotes and descriptions, that will tell the story for you.
- Avoid cliches. Try to come up with original descriptions that mean something. Our pet hates include: “bustling markets”… “azure/cobalt sea”… “nestling among” … “hearty fare” … “a smorgasbord of…”.
- Check your facts! It’s good to work in some interesting nuggets of information, perhaps things you’ve learned from talking to people, or in books or other research, but use reliable sources and double-check they are correct.
- Quotes from people you met can bring the piece to life, give the locals a voice and make a point it would take longer to explain yourself. Quote people accurately and identify them, who are they, where did you meet them?
- A few tonality references to go by: Timeout, Thethousands, Junkee, Lifelounge.
- Obviously the site is brand spanking so there may be some trial and error and the positioning & personality may continue to evolve. Please be a little patient through this process and understand if we request you to rework one of your articles.
- If you are unsure of any ideas, words, thoughts – just send me an e-mail. Even if it’s as simple as “Can I use the word XXX“, I do not mind being heckled one little bit. Especially if it’s for the purpose of getting the content right.