How to Write for CodoPhile (plus Editorial Guidelines)

What does it take to write for CodoPhile?

Its not for the faint-hearted or the thin-skinned, that’s for sure.

During our rigorous editing process your post may go through five or six drafts before we feel it is ready to publish. After you have delivered your final draft it will be given a polish by our in-house copy editor.

If you prefer to deliver one draft and have it published pretty much as-is, this isn’t the blog for you. If you prefer not to have your ideas tested or your writing scrutinized, then again, CodoPhile is not the blog for you. If you like to jot down a few short clever ideas and then ask the readers if you missed something, this is not the blog for you.

However if you see writing as a collaborative process where the goal is to make the post as valuable (and popular) as possible, you should find this a very rewarding experience with beneficial exposure in front of a large audience.

What sort of ideas should I pitch?

This blog is all about practical content. There’s no fluff.

When you pitch, be sure to include a strong headline, and a few sentences or bullet points outlining your post.

A great free resource for improving your headlines can be found here.

What topics should I write about?

CodoPhile’s core topics are Big Data, JAVA, R, Machine Learning and Emerging Trends around those topics.

What type of post should I write?

 

Not every post has to have code examples, but that’s the level of detail we’re looking for – really useful stuff that people can take and implement on immediately.

In particular, we’re interested in expanding our content to include more list posts and ultimate guides.

What makes a good list post?

The web loves big list posts and so do we. The hallmarks of a great list post include:

  • It addresses a topic of genuine interest or concern to our readers
  • It offers a large number of points (e.g. 57 rather than 5 or 7)
  • It makes points that are surprising or unexpected but nonetheless deliver on the promise of the headline
  • Each point is backed up with detailed research and helpful examples that allow the reader to take action
  • The points are organized in a logical way that enhances their impact on the reader

Imagine that the first stage of writing a great list post is to think of all the obvious points to be made on the topic and then discard them. You might even have to eliminate the next most obvious ideas before you get to something of genuine interest and value. Expect to be pushed to take your ideas to the next level, and then the next.

The same applies to other aspects of the post. When looking for references to include to support a point (e.g. external links or resources), dont give one fairly obvious reference, give three or four more unexpected ones.

When creating examples to back up a point, make sure they are not generic and bland but are novel and interesting even entertaining.

Most importantly, make sure youre making points that readers wont have heard elsewhere. The best kind of advice to give is something the reader would never expect (in fact it might even be the opposite of what they would expect) but that works like gangbusters.

In other words, if we havent made the point clear, dont go for the obvious or usual suspects. Go beyond.

What makes a good ultimate guide?

We also love to have the final word on a topic and thats why were also very keen on ultimate guides .

The hallmarks of a great ultimate guide are:

  • It covers a topic of interest to our readers that has not yet received a detailed or definitive treatment elsewhere on the web.
  • It is written from the perspective of someone with a deep understanding of the subject matter. There is a sense that the authors knowledge extends even further than the scope of the guide.
  • The content goes beyond the typical advice given on the topic and shares expert insights, little-known or insider details, or experience earned in the trenches. Even if the basics are covered for the benefit of beginners the guide quickly gets into detail that is valuable to readers of all levels.
  • Key points are backed up by detailed examples and, where necessary, with links to other essential resources elsewhere on the web. Supporting examples might include actual screenshots, helpful diagrams or a step-by-step walkthrough of a typical scenario.
  • Where practical advice is given it should be clear to the reader exactly where to start and what steps to take to get the desired result. If there are exceptions to the process these should be highlighted and alternative steps given.

Here are three possible ways to approach an ultimate guide:

  1. Pick a new or emerging topic where information is relatively scarce, or where it is simply too early for much quality content to have yet been written.
  2. Take a narrow view on a popular topic and explore that one aspect in much more detail than has been covered elsewhere.
  3. Pick a popular topic which has been covered widely elsewhere and simply go further with it than others have. Provide extra detail, better examples, more up-to-date information, etc.

How to structure a great post

Broadly speaking, the elements of a great guest post are:

  • An interesting, attention-grabbing headline that makes a strong, relevant promise
  • An engaging, empathetic opening that builds momentum and anticipation for the main body of the post
  • A well-structured body full of strong points that give an interesting and distinctive take on the topic
  • A motivational closing that makes the reader want to take action

Also, look for opportunities to link to existing posts on CodoPhile.com within your post. This helps drive traffic to those posts and is good for SEO. Look at how this is done within existing posts most have links to other posts on the blog. Notice how they are worked into the context of the content so as to not break the readers flow.

Whats the process for pitching a post?

Send us your proposed post headline (plus at least two alternatives) and a couple of paragraphs about what the post will cover. If youre pitching a list post (remember we love list posts) please include a few example bullet points.

Also please send us one or two examples of your writing preferably a link to something online.

Will I be able to link to my own blog within the post?

We allow a couple of links in the post byline and sometimes also a relevant link or two in the body of the post.

Anything I need to do after my post is published?

Yes, we would expect you to:

  • Promote the post to your email list and/or social media followers
  • Respond to questions or comments on the post after it goes live (we’ll let you know in advance)

What next?

If you think you have what it takes to write for CodoPhile, shoot an email to submissions@codophile.com following the format in these guidelines. You can expect a reply within a few days, not including weekends.

Good luck!