Thanks for your interest in writing a guest post for Life in Student Ministry.
To help you with your writing and to help me get your post ready for Life in Student Ministry, here are a few guidelines and suggestions for you.
Please Note: These are not concrete rules. Ultimately, I want people to write in their own voice. However the following might help your post to “fit” better with Life in Student Ministry and its readership.
Posts work best on Life in Student Ministry when they are relevant to my overall topic — youth ministry. Of course there is a lot of room to go in a variety of directions with this overall topic. Really anything that helps youth workers in their ministries, personal lives or spiritual lives.
My readers love posts that are practical and educational. Anything you can include that is a “how to” or something that they can go back to their ministries and personal lives to try out immediately will be greatly appreciated. Theoretical posts that have something in them that readers can “do” are good, as are posts about something readers should “know.” If you combine both together, though, they tend to be the best.
Some guest posters worry about what voice or style to write in. Ultimately this is up to you and I want to encourage you to bring your own voice to your post. My readers are used to my voice (I try to be personal and relatable), however it’s up to you how you approach it.
Sub headings break up the content and helps draw the eye down the post. Most people do not read blog posts in their entirety. Instead, they skim through it and only read the paragraphs that attract their attention, so intentionally make your post “skimmable.”
I love to include images in posts. Images add personality, break up content and grab attention. I find that posts with at least one good image in it get more attention than others. A few suggestions for images:
- Images can be of any size, but the maximum width is 550 pixels (the width of my content area).
- Please make sure images are not copyrighted.
- Images can be illustrative (screenshots), descriptive (something that is more attention grabbing on the theme of the post), title images (an image with words/title that appear at the top of the post) or anything else that you want to include.
If you can’t find the right image for your post, don’t worry about it. I’m reasonably quick at finding them.
When you submit your post, include the image as an attachment or include a direct link that points to it elsewhere on the web. I’ll grab the image and host it on my own server.
The post length can be as long as you need it to be in order to appropriately convey your message. Concise is always better, but if the quality material and tends to be over 700 words, let’s talk about breaking it up into a multi-post series that spans two or more days.
Stick with your own style, voice and choose a length that works well with you. Length isn’t a huge factor, but quality is.
Please note that I do edit posts that appear on Life in Student Ministry. I rarely heavily edit them but it’s not unusual for me to change a title, rework an opening or conclusion or correct grammar/spelling.
Don’t be offended by this — I’m just trying to make it as successful as possible since I know what generally works well with my audience.
Occasionally I’ll send a post back to you with suggested additions, omissions or changes. This is generally if I feel the post could be further enhanced in ways that go beyond some basic editing.
My hope in this is that we get a post up that hits the mark with my readership — good for you as the author, good for Life in Student Ministry readership and as a result also good for the blog as a whole.
Unless previously negotiated, I ask that the post you write is exclusively for the use of Life in Student Ministry. While you’re more than welcome to write on the same topic elsewhere, I ask that guest posts that appear on Life in Student Ministry don’t appear in the same form elsewhere.
When you’re a guest blogger for Life in Student Ministry, I want to highlight you, your blog or any product or service that you have to offer. This will be done in a byline.
Bylines should be a sentence or two of who you are and what you do. Feel free to include up to 3 links in it. This byline will appear at the bottom of your post, but I’ll also write a short introductory sentence that will appear at the top of the post.
In-post links: If relevant to the topic you’re writing, you’re welcome to link back to your blog within the post. Keep in mind that this “relevancy” is very important. Some guest posters have included too many links or irrelevant links back to their own blogs and have come in for criticism as a result. I don’t mind promoting you, but sometimes subtlety works best.
Submitting Your Post
Please send your material via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any further questions about being a guest blogger for Life in Student Ministry, contact me at the same address.
Thank you for your contribution to the readers of Life in Student Ministry!