This guide is designed to create a baseline standard for all TPL writers. Many readers don’t check the byline (write what you love). Passion is important – and if you love it, it’s likely of interest to others as well. However, if writing is not up to par, these readers may leave with a negative impression of TPL as a whole based on the writing of a few. Therefore, it is important that all writers follow this guide. If you have any questions, concerns, or additions to this guide, please contact Bryant Baker.
Getting Started Checklist
- Write on a word processor or app that has a built-in spell check. Google Docs is recommended if you do not have any other options.
- Develop a clear idea of what you want to write about.
- Figure out your target audience.
- Determine how complicated your material is and write accordingly. Don’t explain things that would be well-known to the target audience, but explain things that they may not be familiar with in as much detail as required to express the idea.
- Article length should reflect idea complexity. Nobody wants to get lost in the weeds of something simple, and nobody wants to be frustrated by the start of an interesting idea that abruptly ends.
While Writing Checklist
- Stay in one tense and make sure your verbs agree.
- Eliminate extraneous words and phrases – re-read your sentences and ask yourself if every word is necessary. “If I had more time, I would’ve written a shorter letter.” You have time.
- Use transitions, paragraph breaks, and subheaders to maintain writing flow. If you find yourself using these constantly, your article may need to be refocused or they may be unnecessary.
- Make sure that you are staying on the intended topic. If you are not, ask yourself whether changing topics is necessary or whether you have just been sidetracked by something irrelevant to what you are writing.
- Edit yourself as you write. It is easier to edit as you go than to try to edit everything at the end.
Posting on WordPress Checklist
- Review formatting – ensure subheaders are all the proper size, paragraph breaks appear where intended, there are no stray paragraph breaks, etc.
- Set all links to open in a new tab.
- Select the categories and tags and add a featured image.
- Review the Yoast SEO Readability. If there are problems, fix them to the best of your ability. You may not be able to fix everything, but they are often good suggestions on how to improve your writing.
- Re-read and edit your entire article again. You may see new ways to improve it.
- Set it to pending review and save as pending. Let the editor(s) know it is saved and if there is any specific time frame in which it needs to be posted.
Live Article Checklist
- Read the article again. If there are any more errors that have not been caught, make an editor aware so it can be fixed ASAP.
- Share/like/retweet/engage on Twitter.