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Writing Guidelines for the Blog

Thank you for writing for the TechSoup Blog! We welcome original, educational, and non-promotional content about technology topics relevant to nonprofits and libraries. Whether you are a TechSoup Global staffer or a guest blogger, we value your contributions to making the TechSoup Blog a vital resource for nonprofits around the country. This document is intended to provide general guidelines for writing and submitting blog posts; if you have any questions, please email the blog editor at blog AT techsoup.org.

Submitting and Posting

  1. Send a proposal to the blog editor (blog AT techsoup.org) with desired publication date, and we will respond within 48 hours.
  2. Once your proposal has been reviewed and accepted, the blog editor will provide you with instructions to create a TechSoup blog account. If you have a TechSoup blog/forum account, you can follow the submission instructions in the blog tool documentation provided to you separately.
  3. Blogs will be posted in accordance with our editorial calendar.

Content

  • Blog posts should be original content written for TechSoup. If the purpose of your post is to highlight content that already exists on another site, please contact the blog editor.
  • Write for your audience — what would you enjoy reading? Include your own voice.
  • Keep it fun — write the way you speak, not like you're doing research. Your writing style should be approachable yet straightforward.
  • Avoid using marketing language or overly formal tech language. Imagine that you are writing to a non-technical colleague at a nonprofit or library.
  • Try to answer the who/what/where/when questions in the first and second paragraphs. In general, you will grab readers' attention more if you immediately answer the question "What is this tool/service/product/concept/event, and how can it help my nonprofit or library?"
  • If discussing a particular product or service, try to focus on its strengths, instead of the negative aspects of its competitors.
  • When referring to products offered through the TechSoup catalog, avoid general ecommerce-related terms. TechSoup refers to its products as "donated" or "discounted," and users can "request donations." Avoid terms like "buy," "order," "sell," "cheap," and "free."
  • Double-check facts, links, and spelling.
  • Please include an image (preferably not a logo) that was either created by the author or is freely reusable under a Creative Commons license. We encourage the use of clever images in the blog, but please make sure that the original image is not under license or copyright to someone else and is freely reusable, before modifying it.

Length and Format

  • Try to keep your post to less than 800 words. If you think your post might be better served as a longer, in-depth article in our Resources section, contact the blog editor.
  • Sentences should be short and declarative. Keep your sentences at 20 to 25 words, if possible — 30 words maximum.
  • Break up long chunks of text with subheadings and new paragraphs as much as possible.
  • For each section, write a subheading that summarizes the section's content so that readers can quickly scan and find what interests them.
  • Titles and subheadings should be in title case and be as clear, engaging, and succinct as possible.
  • Link often to connect readers to reliable external sources.
  • If the post is about an event, try to avoid a chronological list of what happened at the event — instead, try to highlight relevant topics or themes.
  • Ask questions to encourage reader comments and discussion in the blog.

Audience

TechSoup's readers include staffers at nonprofits, libraries, foundations, donor partners, and technology organizations, technology consultants, and those interested in technology for social good. Your writing should be aimed at someone who is interested in technology but not necessarily an expert. Don't assume that every reader knows what NTEN is, for example, or what VPN means. You don't have to go into detail, but do spend just a few words explaining technical terms.

Editing and Corrections

The TechSoup Blog is a part of the TechSoup Global Network, and you are representing the organization and its interests when blogging. As a public charity under the US Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3), we are prohibited from participating in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. We are also prohibited from attempting to influence legislation as a substantial part of our activities. In general, the TechSoup Blog should maintain respectful language toward other organizations, product vendors, and clients at all times.

Although your role as a blogger for TechSoup.org does reflect upon the organization, we understand that your opinions may not always be shared by all members of our team or staff. We welcome honest, respectful discussion of relevant nonprofit technology topics in the interest of having valuable discourse with and for the communities we serve.

Blog posts will be viewed by the blog editor before publishing to fix errors and formatting as needed. The editor reserves the right to refuse to publish the post or send it back to the author for more information.

Licensing

While we authorize and encourage the use of our content, we feel it's important that our contributors receive appropriate credit. TechSoup.org articles and the TechSoup Blog are generally published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. You are free to share and republish under the terms of that license so long as you attribute TechSoup clearly as the original source and include a link to the original article or blog post.

Other content throughout TechSoup.org, TechSoup Global's other websites, and our international partners' websites may have different licensing, so please see the restrictions specific to that content. If you're unsure about the licensing on a particular article or post, please contact the blog editor.

Please note: In the case of images and multimedia that TechSoup has sourced from other providers, you will need to obtain permission to republish from those authors or photographers directly, as they may have different terms from TechSoup.