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Editorial Guidelines for RickThomas.Net

RMlogo How to find your writing voice Meet our band of writers – We’re very excited that you’re interested in writing for RickThomas.Net Our online magazine-style website is designed to serve people who are looking for practical help to live effective lives.

About Our Standards

RickThomas.Net (Incorporated as The Counseling Solutions Group, Inc.) aims for excellence with every published article, which means our editorial process is detailed. For example, each published article shall be treated through at least four editing processes–after you send your final version to us.

The purpose of this document is to help you increase the chances that your article will meet our publication standards and set forth the terms of our agreement should your content be published by us.

Do not submit your content to us unless and until you have read and agree to these terms and the TERMS OF SERVICE set forth at https://rickthomas.net/terms-and-conditions/. Please let us know if you have any questions by submitting them with the form below.

Who Owns Your Content?

You own the copyright for anything you write for us and for any photos you take for your article. However, if we publish your copyrighted material on our site, you grant us a free license throughout the world to use your content as follows:

  1. A non-exclusive, transferable license for us to use the content in perpetuity (forever) on our site and elsewhere; and,
  2. A non-exclusive license to promote and syndicate the content across partner and affiliate sites in perpetuity.

We must clear any images submitted with your work for use on our website and partner and affiliate sites. Any photos, graphics, PDFs or videos submitted should be created and owned by you. If you did not personally create all content you submitted for your article, please make sure that we know so that we can obtain the proper permissions before publishing.

Editorial Guidelines & Content Submission Terms

Please submit a signed photo release form for anyone appearing in your photos whose identity clearly shown. You may republish your final edited work on your blog or elsewhere, two weeks after the publication date. If we purchased images from a third-party to enhance your article, you must remove those images from any republished article due to licensing agreement limitations with the stock photo providers.

What Content Are We Looking For?

Content should primarily be “how to” articles that are focused on helping people to be better individuals in God’s world. Our primary target audience is Christian, though we want to be able to connect and appeal to non-Christians, without compromising the message of the Gospel. Please clearly explain ideas you want the reader to comprehend.

What Should Your Article Include?

Opening: Try beginning your article with a few questions to grab the interest of readers and then explain what they will gain by reading the article.

  1. Was there a time in your life where you felt stuck?
  2. No matter what you tried, you just could not pull yourself out of your funk?
  3. In this article, I’ll show you how you can not only gain a better perspective on what you are going through, but I will give you clear and practical steps that you can immediately apply to your life.

This example is not the process I use every time I write an article. It would be too rote and would lose its appeal after a while. With over 2000 articles, there must be a variety that counters expectations. Thus, this is just one sample of how you can build interest in your reader.

We’ll do all we can to help by selecting a title that is not only SEO friendly but captures the thought of the content while grabbing the attention of the reader. We’ll follow the same concept when we select the picture for your post.

Perhaps you will want to begin with a fictional story about a couple that is struggling. Maybe you’d want to present a common dilemma that relates well across all demographics. The point here is to build intrigue; to create interest in what you’re about to say next.

Article Style Requirements

Article Length: Articles should be at least 500 words in length and should not exceed 2000 words. The shorter your content, the more it will be read by a larger number of people. (Think less is more.)

No self-promotion: Articles published must not promote a product or service in which you have an affiliation. If you have been asked by a third party to mention the product or service, this is considered a conflict of interest. You may include a single link to relevant educational material located on a website you own. However, the decision to allow that link will be made by our editorial team.

Article Format: Submit your articles in a Microsoft Word or Mac Pages doc. Do not submit in PDF. The following will help the readability of your articles:

  1. Use short sentences: Most online readers are skimmers. Accommodate them.
  2. Write in the second person: Try to avoid words like “In this article, we will learn…” and instead use second person language like “In this article, you’ll discover how to engage your kids…”
  3. Add lots of subheads: Break your sections using Bolded Subheads. Use numbered lists for step-by-step instructions. Subheads lure readers into your article, so use them creatively. Avoid second level subheads as these are not easy to format on the blog.
  4. Link sources: When you refer to a name, a company or quote, try to include a link to the source so readers can go and discover more.
    1. Hotlink the actual words you want to be linked using document’s formatting settings. If you don’t know how to do this, simply give us the link, and we’ll do it for you. Note: use the “highlight feature” in your doc what should be linked.
    2. Use the original link: Don’t use affiliate links; don’t use links with the code from a Google reader or other source, and don’t use any shortened links such as bit.ly.
    3. Promotional links to your website, product or service are prohibited.
  5. Image Use: We will select, purchase, and format the photo for your article. We will also be the sole owner of the picture that we buy for your article.
  6. PDF references: Links to downloadable patterns/templates, checklists or other materials are helpful. They must have been created by you and must be non-promotional.
  7. Video: You may use video in your posts to demonstrate how-to steps and illustrate your article further, adding more value. If you would like to link to other YouTube and Vimeo videos in a supporting role, simply include the URL to the video and add a caption to be displayed below the video.

Bio: You agree that we may use any information you provide to publicize and market the content. Include your bio, which we will edit to meet our space and length requirements, your website URL (full link), and your email address that’s registered with Gravatar.com. Gravatar is a free service of WordPress that pulls up your photograph based on your email address and places it next to your bio. We cannot schedule your article for publication without a gravatar photo.

Audience profile: Please remember you are writing to busy people. They will not appreciate your article as much as you do. They will not have your passion for your topic like you do. Keep them in mind; think like them, and write to them.

Editorial Process

Editorial review: We reserve the right to edit any of your content to conform to our guidelines and enhance the content with photographs at our discretion. We have at least four different editing processes that will take your article through an in-depth quality assurance and beautification process.

We will contact you if we need additional information, edits, images or rewrites. If we do not decide to publish your article on RickThomas.Net, you may use it elsewhere. This editorial process can take up to 4 weeks. We will notify you of the publish date within one week of scheduled publication. Final approval for all articles is by Rick Thomas.

After your article publishes: Be sure to check your article soon after we post it and respond to as many comments and questions as possible using the public forum on our website. We do not allow comments at the end of articles because we want to stream all communication to a centralized location for better management purposes. Please continue to respond for several days following publication.

Editorial calendar: Please submit your article ideas or changes through the submit form at the bottom of these guidelines. If you have any questions, start with the form submission.

Submission Terms

If your article is accepted, we will send the final draft to you, and if you agree with the draft and permit us to publish it, you will affirm the draft and your agreement to these terms before we will publish your article. You will send your affirmation through our contact page. Your affirmation means you agree that you have read and understood the preceding terms and agree to be bound by them as of the date of your first publication with us.

NOTE: We cannot accept your article for publication without your affirmation of this document through our contact page.