Skip to main content Jump to list of all articles

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.)

Getting Started

This guideline will provide you with everything you need to know to get started with your article. Reading it will make it far more likely that your idea will be 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.

We would much prefer 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.

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, commnicate 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.

Details About The Process

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.

Start by getting in touch via our contact form and including:

  1. Your proposed outline, see the editorial process guide for more information on writing an outline.
  2. Or, if you don’t have an outline yet but want to run a topic idea by us, give us enough detail of the topic or topics you would like to explore so we can understand your ideas.
  3. URLs to examples of your other writing - that can be a post on your blog or a Medium article, it doesn’t need to be a ‘published’ piece.

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 7th of July 2019 by Rachel Andrew, Editor in Chief.