Submission Guidelines

The LGBT Relationship Network provides an audience for LGBT voices and perspectives. We value, above all, your unique insights and expertise.

Before you start submitting articles, videos, and slideshows, please read our Submission Guidelines. They describe the kinds of content our editors will accept (and perhaps even feature!) on the LGBT Relationship Network.

These guidelines apply to all content submitted to the LGBT Relationship Network. The LGBT Relationship Network editors may decline your submission if it does not follow all guidelines. You can always contact us if you’re unclear about any guidelines or communication you receive from us, but guidelines are interpreted at editors’ discretion.

 

General Guidelines

Do…

Submit original content. We love content that you create especially for us. We also allow you to submit content you have already published elsewhere, as long as the byline matches your name and you own the copyright. However, republished content is ineligible to appear on most The LGBT Relationship Network. In every case, all submissions must be content you created.

 

Be yourself: authentic and unique. It should always be clear that your content comes from YOU, and that no one else in the world could have created it. Find your voice. Submit content on topics that you’re passionate, knowledgeable, and insightful about. Use the first-person voice when appropriate, and make clear in your content how your personal experiences inform your statements and topic choices. Always offer unique insight that differentiates your content from other pieces on the Web.

 

Be relevant, informative, useful, and engaging. Imagine that you are a reader browsing for information on your intended topic. What information do you need to be not only satisfied, but thrilled with the resource you chose? Make sure that each piece of content is written to thoroughly inform and/or delight its intended audience.

 

Be succinct. Online attention spans are short. For most topics, the ideal minimum article length is 350 to 500 words. Construct your articles by beginning with a few key points and expanding upon them, using only as many words as are necessary to convey essential information. Use page formatting (e.g., bolded sub-headings) to guide your readers to your most important points. (Too much to say? Break your topic into more-specific chunks that can each stand alone as useful articles.)

 

Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. We require correct grammar, structure, spelling, and punctuation. The editors reserve the right to refuse to publish content that has errors in grammar, structure, spelling and punctuation.

 

Write strong, descriptive headlines. A strong headline summarizes your content succinctly, and leads with the critically important information that a reader will use either to find your content through search engines or to choose to click your piece from among a list of stories on a landing page. Tell readers why they should view your story, and do so in your first 65 characters (only 65 characters of your headline will appear on most search engine results pages). Avoid clever headlines that hint at a topic without explaining it—humor can be a great asset, but it belongs in the body of the article.

 

Be accurate, and cite your sources. Any information you provide that is neither common knowledge nor clearly established as something you’ve personally experienced must be drawn from a credible, cited source. In the text, immediately attribute any specific facts and quotes to their source, and link to the specific page that verifies your assertion. At the end of your content, list any authoritative sources that informed your content as a whole, using a format that allows any reader to easily access each source. Acceptable authorities include government agencies, scientific studies, established online or print publications, and articles by credentialed professionals. Do not use Wikipedia articles or other forms of user-generated content as authoritative sources.

 

Provide full disclosure. When you submit a review or commentary, you must disclose any special relationship or material connection to your subject. (If the business you’re discussing is owned by your brother-in-law, disclose it. If you received free tickets to a movie you’re reviewing, disclose it. When in doubt, disclose.) You can make the disclosure in the body of your content or at the end. In many cases, disclosure is is the law.
Follow editorial instructions. Editors’ specific instructions can override any of the above. If you receive an assignment or a direct instruction from an editor that seems to conflict with the general Submission Guidelines, the editor’s instructions take priority. Email us if you need clarification.

Don’t…

Don’t rehash. You must provide a fresh and unique angle on every story. Do not reword or rehash information from other sources and call it your own. This rule applies even when you cite your sources; if you’re not creating a unique and original piece of content, don’t submit to us. Sources should inform your content, and not be cobbled together to form the majority of your content.

 

Don’t stuff your content with keywords. We encourage you to optimize your content for search-engine discovery, but not at the expense of readability. Keyword phrases must be used naturally.

 

Don’t generalize excessively. People search the Web for specific information. Content that covers an overly broad topic tends to be pedestrian and unsatisfying. Your topics should usually be highly specific (“Frugal Gay Bohemian Fashion Tips” over “Gay Fashion Tips”).

Don’t go “there.” Examples of content we won’t publish or link to: Anything pornographic, threatening, obscene, defamatory, or abusive; hate speech; anything that encourages illegal or discriminatory conduct; anything containing potentially offensive generalizations about a group of people; anything that promotes online gambling sites; anything that infringes on the rights of a third party; anything that constitutes or encourages cyber-bullying. This list is not exhaustive. (We recognize that many of these descriptors are necessarily subjective, but in order to maintain a library of great content that’s safe for all Web readers, we will apply these standards at our sole discretion, as necessary.)

 

Don’t rant. We welcome your authentic personal perspective, but we ask you to avoid using an extremely negative tone. Criticism should be thoughtful and measured, should make clear distinctions between opinion and fact, and should cite sources when appropriate. If you just need to vent, your personal blog is a more suitable venue. Never let frustration lead you to factually misrepresent any individual, product, business, service, or other entity.

 

Don’t over-link. We encourage relevant links that make your content more valuable and informative. Avoid excessive hyperlinking that compromises readability. Links to external sites must be relevant to the content and must not lead readers to any content forbidden by these guidelines. Please use the hyperlink tool in our text editor to link a word or phrase from your text to the website address (URL).

 

Don’t over-promote. We welcome your genuine enthusiasm for the things you love, but if your content reads more like an advertisement or press release than thoughtful firsthand insight, it’s not for us. And although our platform is a great way to find an audience for your expertise and build your personal brand, we don’t publish content that is primarily intended to sell something, build backlinks, or drive traffic to other websites (including your own). Highly relevant links to personal websites are appropriate if, and only if, they add to the usefulness and authority of your content and do not come across as jarring self-promotion. Affiliate links (links that result in compensation to you or an affiliated party in the form of sales, clicks, memberships, visits, etc.) are prohibited.

 

Don’t fake it. Don’t choose a topic merely because it’s trending and you think it’s likely to bring in lots of search traffic.  Your unique knowledge, experience, and passion should be evident in every piece of content you create. If you don’t have something valuable, compelling, and personal to add, avoid the subject.  In every case, all submissions must be content you created.

 

Submit your article.  Now that you know what’s expected, submit your article here.

Article checklist – established authors you can find the article checklist with formatting guidelines here

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