Contributor Guidelines

We ask contributors to follow the guidelines here to help ensure that their articles meet the expectations of our readers, and are consistent with the Web Retailer brand and goals.

We also appreciate that every contributor has their own writing style and personality, and don’t expect every article to sound the same. These guidelines can be relaxed where necessary, so please contact us with any questions.

This is not intended as an extensive style guide. We will edit articles to match our preferred spellings, grammar and punctuation etc.

Contents

Article goals

We ask contributors to provide in-depth, accurate, actionable information that helps businesses that sell on online marketplaces to:

  • Grow their sales and profits
  • Be more efficient
  • Lower their risk
  • Have a stronger business overall

Readers should see our articles as reliable, authoritative, thought-provoking and motivating.

We aim to publish articles that are “evergreen” and not related to recent developments or current events.

Voice and style

We like contributors to write in a style that is:

  • Positive
  • Practical
  • Balanced
  • Constructive

We aren’t trying to convince readers of a particular point of view – they should be informed and educated rather than sold to.

The writing style should be relaxed, and not be either very formal or very casual. It should be easy to read and comprehend for a wide range of readers.

Articles should be written in American English.

Length

The quality of information is more important than article length, so we do not ask contributors to achieve a specific word count.

However, as we like to publish in-depth and practical articles they tend to be at least 1,500 words.

There’s no real upper limit, as long as the article contains valuable information that remains on-topic rather rather than superficial commentary or filler. We regularly publish articles of 2,000-3,000 words and more.

Readership

We have a range of readers visiting the site, but we typically target owner-managers of small to mid-sized businesses selling physical products through online marketplaces.

They have a range of business models including retail, private label, liquidation, used items etc.

Articles are usually aimed at an intermediate to advanced level. Contributors can assume that most readers are established sellers and that they understand the main concepts of ecommerce of how online marketplaces generally operate.

The audience is global but primarily English-speaking. Readers are mainly from the US (50%), UK (18%), Australia (4%), Canada (3%) and India (3%).

Article introductions

Articles should start with an introduction that explains what the article will cover and what the benefits are to the reader.

If the topic needs to be put in context for the reader, this should be kept short. Many readers arrive from Google, having already searched for the main topic or a related term, so we know that they are already interested in the content and are motivated to learn more. Lengthy statistics and background information should be avoided.

Formatting

Articles can be provided as Google Docs or Word documents.

Elements such as headings, bullet lists, numbered lists, images, videos, tables, quotes etc. should be used appropriately to make the article easy to navigate, read and understand.

It is helpful if contributors can use the built-in heading styles, and avoid double spaces and double paragraph breaks. This is not essential, however, as we can correct it in the editing process.

Images

We prefer images which are specific to the content of the article, such as screenshots, charts, logos relevant to tools which are mentioned etc.

Stock photography and other images which are not specific to the content should be used sparingly, if they are used at all.

It is helpful if images can be provided as separate files, without being cropped or resized.

Links

Links should usually be:

  • Further reading on a topic that is relevant to the post
  • References to back up statistics or explain concepts

Do not link more than necessary, or add links for SEO purposes.

The anchor text chosen for a link should make it clear to the reader what they should expect to see after clicking on the link. They should not be surprised or confused after clicking a link. Short anchor text of 3-4 words is usually best.

When referencing tools, services or companies that have a listing in the Web Retailer directory we will usually link the first mention to the directory listing. We may also add links to other Web Retailer articles where relevant topics are mentioned.

Avoid linking to your own site, or businesses you are associated with, except in your attribution and bio.

What you need to provide

A Google Doc or Word file including:

  • A title
  • A subtitle (optional)
  • An attribution line (“This article is by…”)
  • The article body
  • A longer bio paragraph

Also provide separate image files.

Any questions?

Please email your usual contact or you can send a message through the site here.

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