The Guidelines Aren’t There to Be Ignored
Have you ever read a publication’s guidelines? And, if you have, have you ever considered why they were written?
They are created for two reasons.
Firstly, they are written to make an editor’s job easier. By taking the time to develop clear guides and rules that cover everything from topic to styling, it streamlines the editorial process. Don’t meet the guidelines? Easy rejection.
Secondly, the guidelines are created to help you, the writer, increase your chances of being accepted into a publication. The editors are telling you what they are looking for and how they want it delivered. That’s why you must read the damn thing.p
Mistakes in the Opening Paragraph
Before we get into this point, I want to clarify this is in no way a free pass to have grammatical errors from paragraph two onwards.
Depending on the size of the editorial team, the amount of time allocated to each submission can vary. But, you can assume that the smaller the team, the less time. In my case, it’s a two-person team. So, each submission gets a minute or two to avoid instant rejection and make its way into the next stage.
When I open up a piece and see a mistake in the first sentence, paragraph, or, even worse, the headline, what does that tell me? It tells me the rest is likely to be littered with errors, regardless of whether it is or not.
When the clock is ticking, don’t give the editor an easy reason to turn your work down.
My advice? Buy Grammarly. If you can’t afford that, try to send your work out for peer review. A fresh pair of eyes will likely spot the mistakes before it’s too late.
Choosing an Overused Stock Image
I’ll likely search for the title in our publication’s backlog to find out. If it doesn’t show up, the answer becomes clear. I’ve seen the stock image before. And now that I think about it, I’ve seen the stock image a hundred times before.
Your article is only two-thirds of the final product. The other third is arguably more important — it’s the attention grabber. What I’m referring to is, of course, the feature image.
Look at someone like Tayo. Yes, his writing is excellent, and his consistency is to be admired. But, have a glance through his work and what is immediately noticeable is the images he uses. They are unique, bold, and rarely seen. Even if Tayo drops a piece with a title that doesn’t catch my eye, his image is guaranteed to grab me.
Don’t get complacent and throw in the first stock image you find under a vague term like ‘writing.’ All you’re doing is undermining your hard work and turning the editor’s eyes elsewhere.
Write Original Content
As a good writer, you are not suppose to copy someone else's work, you can do research, gather informations and write them in your own word.
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