Thanks for your interest in writing for The Patio Expert. We believe that there are great opportunities to create informative, entertaining posts that can help guide our readers to making the most of their outdoor spaces. We’re keen to encourage diverse and creative ideas on this subject, and are excited to see what fresh insights you can provide. However, before you send us your pitch, there’s a few things that you need to take into consideration.
First and foremost, The Patio Expert is a site dedicated to outdoor and patio umbrellas. This might sound like a pretty niche area, but there is plenty to explore. As such, it’s important to note that any pitch you submit must be centered around patio umbrellas, rather than simply including them as a minor part of a wider topic.
That doesn’t mean that we’re not open to creative ideas. We’re always interested to see how writers can craft high quality content that offers something beyond the tired old “Top Ten” lists we’re all familiar with. If you take a look at the posts we produce, you can see that while we include Buyer’s Guides and How To’s, we also dig a little deeper. We try to understand what our readers need, and create unique content that services that and then some.
Are you an expert in patio furniture? Do you operate in professional circles that use them — such as catering, or hospitality? Bring your hard earned knowledge and show us something that we haven’t seen before! Do a deep dive into topics outside of purchasing and comparisons, such as safety and sustainability issues. Show us what you’ve got!
In short — feel free to step outside of the norm, but don’t make patio umbrellas an afterthought. Anything less than making them a feature isn’t going to be suitable for The Patio Expert.
What to Do Before You Pitch
You’ve probably already got some great ideas in mind, but please take a moment to look at what already exists on The Patio Expert. Make certain your pitch could comfortably fit within one of our content categories. Perhaps most importantly, browse through to confirm that this isn’t a subject we’ve either explicitly covered, or have a lot of similar content about. You’re more likely to make it onto our pages if you’re pitching something that isn’t already saturated either on our site, or online in general.
Next, do a quick Google search for your topic and make sure you can write something that provides at least as much value as the first three results you find. We want your guest post to be sincerely helpful for our readers.
How to Pitch Your Topic
We have a contact form on our website and we read everything that comes in. However, unless you already have a contact at our company, it may be quicker to send your ideas directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know what you want to write about and why our readers might like to read it — don’t be afraid to boast (a little bit, let’s not go crazy). Please include links to other articles you’ve written.
Word Length: 800-1000 words
Proofreading: We know it’s not the most exciting part of writing a post, but make sure to proofread before you send it over. We pride ourselves on maintaining high editorial standards. All content we publish must be of the best possible quality. Some minor typos can be corrected by our editor, but we want to see that you have taken the time to ensure that your post is well-structured. If you need a little help, Grammarly can help.
Tone: Your piece should be conversational, engaging, and straightforward. Content needs to be informative and easily digestible. It should also answer questions, rather than simply express opinions. Where possible, keep sentences and sections short, and prioritize clarity. We appreciate clever humor, but please don’t include anything too cheesy.
Structure: While we’re open to various subject matter, you’ll notice that there is still a definite style and structure to the majority of our posts. It’s worth taking a look to familiarize yourself with our preferred content layout. We find that this approach helps with SEO, brand consistency, and improves readability. It’s also a useful tool for writers.
To keep on brand structure, your posts should include:
- Keyword. Use at least one (long tail) keyword that you might have a chance to rank for.
- H1 Title (containing focus keyword)
- Meta Description around 150 characters (containing focus keyword)
- Focus Keyword in the first paragraph/ first 100-200 words
- An intro, 3-5 sections, and a conclusion
- Bulleted and Numbered Lists should be used when they are helpful
- Header Tags (H2/H3/H4s) are a MUST to break up sections. Where possible, these should also be numbered
- Sections should never exceed more than 300 words.
- Focus keywords should be used in some header titles where appropriate
- Content under each header should directly address the header topic
- Hyperlinks to reputable sources (expert quotes, industry insights, data, etc)
- Do not include promotional links to your website homepage or landing page in the body of your article
- If you include links to your website content (blog posts, videos, etc.), make sure it is hyper-relevant and helpful for the reader — Never throw in a link to your website just for another backlink
- Relevant images/screenshots should be included in the article — when sending over the finished piece, please also include a link to a Google folder containing your images
Submitting Your Draft
What to include:
- A short bio – just a few sentences.
- Include a link in the bio to your company website if you like.
- Your Gravatar email address (important).
- Links to social media profiles.
What to Expect
Once your draft has been approved, you should hear back from us within 24 hours. If you’ve waited 72 hours and haven’t heard anything back, we probably missed your email or it’s been buried in the great spam abyss — so, feel free to follow up. We try to publish posts in a timely manner. Once your article has been approved, you shouldn’t have to wait more than a week for it to go live.
We understand that sometimes it’s helpful to choose the publication date of your article for promotional purposes — social media scheduling, etc. We’re open to this, so please let us know in the body of the email when you send your draft, and we’ll do what we can to accommodate you.
Remember: sharing is caring. Once your post is live, please share it on social media to help spread the word, and we will do the same.