The following guidelines are oriented towards our existing writers but might also be helpful to those of you considering applying to write for us.
Subjects: Writers for Eat Drink Boulder can write on any subject they choose within the topic of eating and drinking in Boulder. Most articles will focus on the City of Boulder but articles about anywhere in Boulder County are acceptable. We often receive news (or free offers) from local establishments and will distribute potential writing assignments to writers.
Style: Our style is “newspaper editorial” – articles should be opinion pieces but well-researched and fact-based. Rather than writing a typical restaurant review, pick an angle about an establishment, chef, or event that stands out. Dig deeper for more facts; get quotes from waiters or owners; or make comparisons to other establishments for more depth to your articles.
Frequency: We all have busy lives and writing without pay for Eat Drink Boulder sometimes gets low priority. Most of our writers try to publish an article at least every two months.
New Writers: New writers will need to select several potential story ideas and run them past Paul and Allan. The writer is free to craft the chosen article for review by either Paul or Allan. Once a writer submits one or two articles that are accepted, he or she is free to choose her own subjects, write them, and publish them without any further review.
Categories and Tags: You need to put your posts in the proper Category so it shows up properly on the EDB site. Please make sure to put a major Category (Eat, Drink, or Boulder) and the appropriate sub-category (Bars under Drink, for example). In general, each post should only be placed in one major category and one sub-category. In addition, please add “tags” to each of your posts that describe the article so Google and site visitors can find them. Please make sure to tag your post with the term “slider” so it shows up on the home page.
Photos & Videos: Every post needs to have at least one photo that is also tagged as the “featured photo” so it will show up properly on the site. Start with a large image that is horizontal and at least 610 x 300 (any smaller and the image will be pixelated in the slider). The theme will crop and size that photo down to a thumbnail automatically. Adding extra photos within the post is usually nice. Note: Our site photographer Marsha has many photos of downtown locales at http://lifeexp.smugmug.com/EatDrinkBoulder with password eatdrinkboulder. You can also choose to do video posts, which are usually accompanied by some explanatory text.
Editing: When you first join EDB, we will ask you to save your articles as a Draft. Paul will then review the articles, make suggested changes, and publish them. At some point, Paul will approve you to publish your own posts, at which time your articles will not generally be edited. You should always view your post live on the site to see how it looks once you publish!
Timing: You can publish your posts whenever you want. However, we prefer you check the site to see when the last post was published and, if there was a recent post, leave at least two days between pieces.
Compensation and Disclosure: EDB does not pay its writers. You are not allowed to take monetary compensation for writing articles without first discussing this with Allan and Paul. Any in-kind compensation you receive such as a free meal must be declared in any post that covers those organizations or other relevant context.
Copyright: Content is copyright by the writers and by Eat Drink Boulder.
Search Engine Optimization: While articles on the EDB site should first and foremost be good writing, making them rank high on search engines is also a goal. Keep these items in mind:
- Keywords: Use keywords in your title and first sentence. A post called “Not my favorite restaurant” is not going to show up in Google because no one will search for that. A better title is “Kitchen Cafe Changes Its Wine Menu”, which has the most important keyword (Kitchen Cafe) first.
- Links: Add links in your articles, both to outside websites and to other articles within the EDB site. When you do add a link, make the text descriptive, such as “Kitchen Cafe in Boulder” instead of “link to their site“. Generally, links should open in a new window or tab.
- Photo Name and Alternate Text: Name your photos descriptively using underscores. “Kitchen_Cafe_Boulder_Colorado.jpg” is much better than “UYH00008.jpg”. Also, provide Alternate Text for each photo such as “Patrons at the Kitchen Cafe in Boulder”.