Want To Write For LEADx? Check Out Our Style Guide!

Check out LEADx.org's writing guide for contributors, and how to add to the dialogue of achieving success!

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Style guide to write for leadx
from Stocksnap.io

Do you love to write about leadership, productivity, or career advice? Are you always on the prowl for the latest tips and tricks to staying organized? We want to hear wisdom from people of all backgrounds on how they stay ahead of the curve. If interested (or armed with a great pitch!) contact [email protected]

SHEEZ, LEADx, TL;DR!

We know it’s daunting to read huge style guides, so here are the main takeaways you’ll need if you’re in a skimming mood:

  • Headlines Get The Serial Cap Treatment
  • Photos MUST be public domain and credited (Ex. Photo: Pixabay/username of poster)
  • American English spelling, please (Color not Colour)
  • Optimize! (Don’t forget to add excerpts and tags!)
  • Author profile links to personal sites MUST include the ‘https://'
  • Embrace the informal, warm, and helpful style
  • Duh, have fun!

VOICE & MESSAGING

Play it Up!
We have an informal and playful tone, while offering helpful and relaxed advice. We’re all about providing real tips, tools and wisdom about reaching potential. No need for big words or stuffy turns of phrase, instead we opt for warmth and a bit of humor.

Remember, less is more
When it comes to new economic studies or psychological reports, try to explain it in terms of overall takeaways and the effect it can have on someone’s everyday life. In other words, keep the “science-y” jargon to a minimum.

The Empathy Strategy
If you can sympathize or share a story where something in your career worked out (or better yet, when it didn’t!) then all the better. We want real world advice that can be tied into real experiences in order to stay relatable. Personal involvement adds context and spirit, even if it’s super embarrassing (we’ve all been there).

Keep in mind…
We don’t look down on our audience and offer them “foolproof” solutions from an ivory tower. We want to convey ideas and concepts that have helped us or the people around us to enhance and empower the working life of our readers.

GRAMMAR & SPELLING

LEADx adheres to American English spelling. (Consider looking into the AP Stylebook)

Numbers: Numbers one through nine should be spelled out, and numbers from 10 and above should be in numerals.

When in doubt, italicize it out!
Italicizing is appropriate for any work that can stand on its own. In other words: magazines, articles, books, movies, podcasts and even names of ships should all be italicized.

Shorter works, such as short stories or poems, are put in double quotations.

HEADLINES

Headlines Are Serial Capitalized, Like So.

They are meant to be punchy and to the point, but never cheesy or overtly ‘clickbait’ in style. Remember, our audience is young and working towards their goals, so headlines need to tell them how they can help right off the bat. They can also be fun!

We also encourage ‘Top #’ lists, in the style of ‘Top 7 Ways To End Your Workday On a High Note', ‘Top 5 Reasons To Embrace Your Crappy Commute', etc.

When quoting someone within a headline, use single quotes only. For example:

Jason Fried Maintains That ‘Remote Work Is The Way Of The Future’

Even if a quote is used, maintain serial capitalization.

PARAGRAPHS

If there are multiple points within your article, then subheadings are an excellent way to keep things clean and on point:

A simple bolded sentence will do nicely.

This can help divide up your thoughts, keep things ‘skimmable’ as well as easily digestible.

If within your article you find yourself needing a short list, bullet points are your best friend! For example:

The various facets of an issue (ex. Explaining the health effects of stress, the many incarnations of workplace confrontation, etc)
How a tip or tool can help (ex. The ways in which stretching at your desk is beneficial, the ways that studies show waking up early helps your brain, etc)
Definitions (ex. What being ‘engaged’ really means in a workplace environment)

Another tip: Whitespace is your friend!

Nothing is worse than clicking on a great headline only to find a HUGE block of text. Give the reader some breathing room!

Break up your paragraphs into delightfully easy-to-read portions so your audience doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the information.

MANDATORY FIELDS

WordPress offer blank fields for your writing pleasure! Feel free to consult the WordPress Codex if there’s any confusion as to their function.

These blank fields include:

EXCERPTS
Excerpts are a 1-2 sentence ‘log line’ provided under the title of your article, either giving more information on the subject or enticing the reader to continue further. They will appear under your title.

These are important factors to optimizing your article for the internet, and helps interested readers find your work more easily. They’re also called sitelinks.

WordPress provides a blank section conveniently labeled ‘Excerpt’.

CATEGORIES & TAGS
Categories: LEADx has several categories (or ‘channels’) to choose from, and we encourage you to do so! There is Leadership, Productivity, Communication, and Career. Without choosing a category, you’ll be relegated to ‘Miscellaneous’, and we’d rather you get specific about what you’re offering.

Tags: The latest tool deemed critical for search engines. Tagging further optimizes your work, and allows readers to word search for specific content. The idea is not to become too general, and tag the themes or issues you’re writing about. Ex. [Salary, negotiation, promotion, career, etc.]

IMAGES

Images are an amazing way to entice and illustrate ideas to your reader. Especially when we have the right to use them! Your chosen photo must either give the photographer's credit, or must be public domain (aka creative common).

USE ‘FEATURED IMAGE' TO PLACE YOUR PHOTO AT THE TOP OF YOUR ARTICLE- THIS WILL ALSO BECOME IT'S THUMBNAIL ON THE HOMEPAGE.

How do you credit a photo? Either place the artist's name in the ‘Caption Section’, and it will appear in italics below the image. Or, write in what stock photo website you acquired it from, and the username of the person who posted it. Ex.: Photo: Pixabay/(name of user who posted it)

Helpful tips:

Google Images has a filter settings in ‘tools’ for ‘usage rights’, click on ‘labeled for reuse’.

A great resource would be stocksnap.io or Pixabay which ONLY carry free photos.

Photo Parameters: Decent resolution is most important, and generally a JPEG or a PNG are the easiest to handle. While the size and pixel rate depend on where you’re using it, sticking to 1068 pixels wide by 640 pixels high, JPG compression between 60-80 should work fine.

[Note: FEATURED IMAGE will automatically appear at the top left-hand side of your article. See below]

Example of photo and text placement

OXFORD COMMA

What is the Oxford comma, anyway?

Simple! It’s the use of a comma before the last item on a list of three or more within a sentence.

For example:

WITH “There are many ways to optimize your time at work, at home,↙ and during your time off.”

VS.

WITHOUT “There are many ways to optimize your time at work, at home and during your time off.”

Contrary to many other publications, we at LEADx enjoy the use of this informal and conversational tool.

So go forth to Oxford, my friends!

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Tara Millette
Tara has been writing for over 6 years, from stand-up comedy, to think-pieces, to political satire and blog posts. She now writes and edits for LEADx.org, and her door is open to any interested contributors.