Editorial Guidelines

Editorial Guidelines

If you have any questions at any time, please contact Crystal: crystal@internationalfreelancersacademy.com

Our Audience

Audience Profile: Our audience is comprised of self-employed service professionals in multiple disciplines. Everything from writers to designers, software developers, virtual assistants, translators, PR specialists, accountants, SEO consultants, business consultants, WordPress experts "” you name it!

These folks tend to be very good at what they do. But they often struggle with the "business side" of self-employment. Namely, attracting clients, selling their services, pricing, quoting, negotiating, positioning, messaging, personal productivity, invoicing, managing cash flow and so on. That's where we try to help.

In terms of experience, roughly one-third of our audience is freelancing part time while they hold a day job. Another one-third has been freelancing one to three years. And the other third has been freelancing four to 10 years or longer. So we have a good mix of newbies and seasoned pros.

What We're Looking For

We refer to each article/video/podcast as a "training episode." Here's what we're looking for in these training episodes, regardless of its format:

Top-Notch Content:  Awesome "how-to" content is at the heart of everything we do. Above all, we aim to help solo professionals transform their solo businesses. We're not here to entertain or to theorize. Instead, we want to leave a lasting impression with our readers by offering them the best ideas, strategies and tactics.

Fresh Ideas and Viewpoints: We realize that some topics will always be relevant and useful. But what our readers are looking for are original and interesting ideas on those topics, not a rehash of the same advice everyone else is writing about. Specifically, they want detailed how-to information they can start applying immediately to improve their businesses.

Action Item or Takeaway: All episodes MUST end with an action item or takeaway. One of our differentiators at the Academy is that we stress action. Ideas and inspiration are important, but they're useless if the reader doesn't execute. Think of one or two simple steps or takeaway items readers can take immediately to put your information into practice, and leave them with that action step.

Applicability: All contributed blog posts must either focus specifically on freelancers or service-based solo professionals in general (or be highly applicable to solos).

Revisions: In order to maintain the high standards our members expect from International Freelancers Academy, most of the episodes we publish undergo some degree of editing. It's not personal. In fact, this includes content that we create ourselves. We hope you understand this and are willing to work with us in the editing process.

Core Topics: We like to publish a wide range of article topics. However, keep in mind that our audience is looking for useful business-improvement content they can apply. Topic categories readers have indicated they struggle with include:

  • Marketing their services more effectively
  • Attracting more and better clients
  • Selling more effectively
  • Increasing overall income
  • Eliminating the feast-or-famine cycle
  • Boosting their personal productivity
  • Pricing/quoting projects more profitably

We also welcome case studies and "lessons learned" articles. Powerful ideas that come straight from the trenches often make for a compelling training episode, as long as you include detailed actionable ideas or steps.

Self Promotion: Please limit any mentions of products, services or websites to the author bio box. We give authors ample room to mention those resources in that area (see below).

Author's Bio Box: Please include a bio or "about me" copy when submitting your episode (70 words or less, please). Feel free to include a link to your website or to a landing page.

Ownership: Copyright is retained by the author, NOT International Freelancers Academy.

Exclusivity: We recognize that you may want to leverage content you've published in the past. That's fine with us. Just make sure to customize and edit your article based on the guidelines on this page.

Also, you're free to publish your episodes on your site or use them as you wish (it's your content, after all). However, whether you're sending us new content or something you've previously used, we ask is that you give us a two-week exclusivity before republishing it on your site.

Article Episodes

In the past, we published a mix of video, audio and text-based training episodes. However, we're quickly moving to article-based episodes. In a recent survey, our audience clearly indicated that they prefer the article format over video and audio.

Article Length: Articles should be at least 1,000 words in length (about 2-1/2 full pages in MS Word). This is another area where we're quickly changing direction. Here again, our audience stated that they want more detailed and in-depth how-to information from us.

Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs: Most online readers are skimmers, so please accommodate them.

Add Lots of Subheads: Break your sections using Bolded Subheads. Try to get creative, as subheads lure readers to read your content.

Highlight Key Text: Please bold or italicize key points. Feel free to mix the use as needed. Also, use bullets when you can. That helps skimmers navigate your content better.

Link to Sources Whenever Possible: When you can, include a hotlink for any name, company or quote, so readers can go discover more.

At the End of Your Article: To encourage discussion, always conclude your article with a question such as "What do you think?" or "What's been your experience?" Then encourage readers to comment: "I'd love to hear from you, so please enter your comments below."

Short Article Summary: Please include a 1 "“ 2 sentence description of your article. This snippet is used as summary information on the front page of the Training area.

Examples:

Submitting Your Article: To submit an article, please email a Word or XML document to crystal@internationalfreelancersacademy.com before the deadline.

  • Crystal will have sent you an email with this deadline, but as a rule, all guest materials need to be submitted by 14 days before the intended publication date.
  • Crystal will confirm the receipt of your article and confirm the publication date.

Audio Episodes

Again, we're quickly moving to article-based episodes. Our audience has indicated through various surveys that they prefer the article format over video and audio. However, if you'd still prefer to do an audio episode, here are the guidelines:

  • Audio episodes should be a maximum of 15 minutes. The "sweet spot" is 5 "“ 10 minutes.
  • Please include a 1 "“ 2 sentence description of your audio episode. This snippet is used as summary information on the front page of the Training area.

Video Episodes

Again, we're quickly moving to article-based episodes. Our audience has indicated through various surveys that they prefer the article format over video and audio. However, if you'd still prefer to do an audio episode, here are the guidelines:

  • Video episodes should be a maximum of 15 minutes. The "sweet spot" is 5 "“ 10 minutes.
  • Please include a 1 "“ 2 sentence description of your video episode. This snippet is used as summary information on the front page of the Training area.

Recommended specifications:

To submit an audio or video file:

  • Please use a service like SendThisFile and email to crystal@internationalfreelancersacademy.com
  • or upload to our Box.net folder: http://www.box.net/ifa and send Crystal a notification email
  • Crystal will have sent you an email with this deadline, but as a rule, all guest materials need to be submitted by 14 days before the intended publication date.
  • Crystal will confirm the receipt of your article and confirm the publication date.