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Writing A Smashing Article

Guidelines

Smashing Magazine authors are typically web designers and developers just like Smashing readers! We want our writers to share the tips and tricks they have learned, and we will give you plenty of help along the way. If you have an idea to share, here is how to turn it into a Smashing article.

The Smashing Cat is heading back to New York.

Our primary goal is to deliver quality content. We’d be honored to have you sharing your experiences on a recent project, or lessons learned, or things that worked and failed in a truly smashing  article. Your work will be rewarded with a honorarium and full credit. (Obviously.)

Before getting in touch with your idea, please read this information. It will greatly improve your chances of being accepted.

Who Can Submit An Article?

You can! (Unless you are a spammer) Our authors range from experienced writers to first-timers. As our process includes editorial oversight, we can be a great place to publish your first piece.

You need an idea, something you want to share, and the ability to put together an outline to show us that your idea is likely to be of interest to our readers. From that point on, we can give you any help that you need as you write and revise your article. Experienced writers all started somewhere, we would be honored for you to start your writing career with us.

What Kind Of Articles Do We Publish?

We publish articles written by people who work on the web, for people who work on the web. These include:

  • Tutorials — Either helping people get started with a new technology, or walking them through the process of building a project.
  • Opinion — Do you have a strong opinion on something in our industry and the research to back it up? These can make useful talking points.
  • Ultimate Guides — Longer articles really digging into a subject. A reference piece that people will return to time and time again.
  • Case Studies — What did you or your company learn from a particular project. These need to focus on practical examples which will be useful to other people, not just a good story.

What Do We Not Publish?

We work with individual authors. We will immediately reject pieces which are submitted on behalf of your CEO or a nameless member of your team. If your CEO would like to write for us, great! Send them this guide and they can make contact in the same way as everyone else.

We do not publish articles which are an obvious attempt at content marketing. While your experience in your company and with your product is valuable, pieces full of links to your product, or which are a walkthrough of how to use your product, will be rejected. Think about what you have learned, not how you can sell to our readers.

Press releases, listicles, and product reviews are unlikely to be interesting to us or our readers.

We do have sponsored post options for companies who would like to increase their visibility while sponsoring great content. Again, this is not a way to post an advert, rather a way for you to put your name to some great content for our readers. Examples might be a company with a web performance tool sponsoring a series of articles about performance; an email service sponsoring an article about email design. Contact us if you would like to discuss this.

Who Are We Publishing For?

The Smashing audience are professional web designers, developers and other people involved in developing websites and online businesses. When you write, assume that your reader is a knowledgeable peer. Writing a beginner article about a technology is great (we are all beginners at something), but you can assume a starting point of familiarity with web technologies.

Practical advice that comes from real experience, plus well researched opinion is what we aim for. See the writing and style guide for more tips on how to write for our audience.

Every article published on Smashing Magazine must fulfill certain criteria.
Every article published on Smashing Magazine must fulfill certain criteria (see Publishing Policy).

What Will We Ask Of You?

When we give your outline the green light and ask you to write an article we ask that:

  • The article is an original piece of work for Smashing Magazine, not something you have published elsewhere.
  • You will work with the editor assigned to you, and be open to their feedback.
  • You will establish a timeline for delivery with your editor, and if you realize you will miss a deadline, communicate with them.
  • You commit to our publishing policy, this is especially important to consider if you are writing about something learned while working on your own products. You can always ask your editor if anything is unclear.

What Will Smashing Do For You?

Creating great content is a two-way process:

  • We will pay you promptly on publication of your article.
  • We have lovely, experienced editors and reviewers with specific knowledge in the subjects we cover. They will help ensure your article really hits the mark.
  • We give you a byline with your photograph and biography, so readers can find out more about you and your work.
  • We will promote your article on Twitter and in all our other channels.

We have a full guide to our writing process here, we aim to create a great experience for authors and to help you publish your best work with us.

Pitch To Us

We would like to see an outline initially, rather than a complete article. We can often help authors to refine their outline to something we can accept, when had they sent the completed piece to us, we would have rejected it. You can read some detailed information about pitching, and why we ask for an outline in this article.

Your pitch should be sent via our contact form and include:

  1. Who is the target audience for the article, and what level of experience is it aimed at?
  2. What will the target audience take away from reading the article?
  3. Why are you the best person to write this article? Include links to other writing, and details of your own expertise.
  4. Your proposed outline. This will be 200-300 words with the main headings and detail of what you will cover in each section.

We’re always glad to make new contacts and explore new possibilities. We would be very happy to welcome you on board of our Smashing team!

Last updated 15th of June 2020 by Rachel Andrew, Editor in Chief.