1. First Steps
1.1 Logging in
Once you have been approved as a writer for one of the Decoded Sites, you will receive an email with your username and password. Change your password, and then keep your login information in a safe place and don’t share it with anyone.
You can log in to your Author dashboard here:
(For example: http://decodedscience.com/wp-admin or http://decodedparenting.com/wp-admin)
You will also be able to recover your password, should you need to reset it, from this screen. Checking ‘Remember Me’ if you are on a secure computer that nobody else uses means you won’t need to log in so often.
1.2 Setting Up Your Author Profile
As a new author, before doing anything else, you need to submit your bio for approval.
Even if you are already a contributor on a different DecodedEverything site you will need to submit a bio that shows your expertise on the new topic.
Your bio should help any reader identify you as an expert in your niche, and create trust; write your bio in third person. For example:
“Jane Doe has been working with Betas for 10 years and holds a Master’s degree in Beta Testing from the University of BetaTestersUnited. She currently holds a position of Vice President in charge of Beta Testers at the Beta, Inc.”
When composing your bio, ask yourself the question “Would I trust this person to talk about <topic> from what I read on the biography?”
Send your photo and bio to Admin via email.
Next Up: Google Analytics!
1.3 Google Analytics
In order to get information about your page views, you now need to set up Google Analytics for tracking.
This is not mandatory, but until you do it you won’t be able to track traffic to your articles. That means you won’t know who’s reading your articles – although this isn’t critical for many writers, it can be a valuable form of feedback, and very motivating to watch your page views rise.
To add your Google Analytics information, send your Profile ID to Admin via email.
We highly recommend that you create a new property for DecodedYourSite on Google Analytics to be able to track your traffic on each individual site.
2. Pitching, Writing And Getting Articles Published
Please, follow this process strictly on each article if you want your articles published as quickly as possible.
Unless you have already received clearance from Editorial, you should write a short pitch explaining what your article is going to be about, the site on which you’ll be publishing the article, and the approximate time-frame of completion. Send this via email to email@example.com – Example:
‘Hi, I’d like to write about the cultural applications of underwater basket weaving for the anthropology section of Decoded Science – the article should be done next week sometime.‘
“Hi, I noticed that there’s a hurricane headed this way, and I’d like to cover it for Meteorology in Decoded Science this morning – the article will be done within the next 2 hours.”
If you do not hear back on a time-sensitive pitch, and have not been pre-cleared for news items, email Lead Editor Bonnye Good at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.2 Writing Your Post
Once editorial has accepted your pitch, you’ll be free to start the post and begin the writing process.
First, look to the left-hand sidebar for the word ‘Post’ – click there, and select ‘New Post’ to begin your draft. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, and need help with formatting, send an email to email@example.com. We’re happy to help!
You don’t need to write the entire article in one draft, you can just click Save as often as you want to save a copy, and come back later. If you want, you can also write your articles on a Word Document and just cut & paste directly to the content field, but you may need to change the formatting, as Word occasionally inserts junk code.
Once you are satisfied with your article submit it for review.
On the right sidebar, click Edit (in red) and you will access a pulldown with all the possible statuses for your post. Select ‘Pending Review’ and the editors will be notified that you are ready for the post to be published.
2.3 Editing And Publishing
All the articles written for the DecodedEverything network go through an editing process, and your articles may be returned to you by an editor with revisions or suggestions. A post won’t be published until both you and the Editor are happy with the final product.
The usual workflow will go something like this:
Author sets the post to Pending Review
Editor starts reviewing the post.
Editor may need the Author to make some changes, or may have some questions, or may need additional information. If so, he or she sets the status to Draft and sends you a note.
Author makes the required changes, or answers any necessary questions, and sets the status back to Pending Review when it’s ready for the Editor.
This conversation goes back and forth until both the Editor and the Author are happy with the article. Which, at this point, will be Published by the Editor.
If you ever need to make changes to an already-published article, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the changes.
If the changes are minor, the editor will make the changes without pulling the article offline. If the changes are major, the article will be sent back to Draft – when you’re done editing, set to Pending Review, and an editor will review the changes before re-publishing.
You can see the status of your articles at any point by clicking on Post.
If you submit a Pitch and don’t hear back within 24 hours, please email Victoria at email@example.com.
If you have any other questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org for Editorial Guidance, Technical questions, or for any additional administrative questions.