Article Guidelines for ShilpaAhuja.com

General Writing Guidelines

  • Please discuss your topic and the direction you’re planning to take or submit a synopsis before the draft. We do not accept unsolicited articles.
  • Get feedback or brief from your Editor on the direction, word count or visuals.
  • Keep in mind our target audience.
  • Keep in mind our magazine’s ethics and structure.
  • We only accept 100% exclusive and original content. Plagiarism is unacceptable.
  • Choose a topic you are qualified to write for. In case your selected topic is outside your area of expertise, use expert opinions, quotes or verifiable facts along with personal opinion or inference.

Checklist Before Draft Submission

  • Check word count.
  • Check for spelling errors, grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Ask or Google if in doubt.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure images are free of unwanted logos, marks, lines, text, borders or screenshot elements like cursors, pointers.
  • Make sure you add intro and conclusion.
  • Select your category – (only one subcategory should be selected)
  • Add 8-15 appropriate tags

Target Audience

  • Women aged 15-35 years old are the majority of the audience.
  • Depending on the topic, posts may also target other specific audiences like men, teenage girls, older women, or gender-neutral people.
  • Content should be written to an international audience, keeping in mind the geographic region: US, India, UK, Europe, UAE, Australia, Canada, South Africa.
  • Depending on the topic, content may be targeted to a specific geographic location or minority group.
  • In case of multiple spelling or wording options, use US English.
  • If product prices need to be mentioned, use USD, unless the post is specifically about Indian shopping.
  • The content should be written in a neutral tone, sensitive to a multitude readers from different language, geographic, racial and financial backgrounds.
  • Avoid any language that may intimidate, threaten or lower the confidence of any reader.
  • Avoid the use of local language and mentions of local customs, unless they are necessary to the point you are making. In this case, explain them in a sentence or phrase.
  • We do not use any sentences that make assumptions about the reader’s language, geographic, racial and financial background..
  • We do not use any sentences that make assumptions about the reader’s fashion knowledge, personal style or lack thereof.

Content, Philosophy and Ethics

  • ShilpaAhuja.com strives to inspire and spread confidence through fashion and lifestyle.
  • ShilpaAhuja.com condones fashion rules and dictatorship. All content should be written like an advice, personal opinion or guidelines, not like rules.
  • Images and content should be in tune with the blog’s philosophy and ethics. ShilpaAhuja.com promotes confidence, tolerance, equality and intellect.
  • Animal cruelty, misogyny and unethical behavior is strictly condoned by ShilpaAhuja.com.
  • ShilpaAhuja.com is also against racial, religious, geographic and gender discrimination or discrimination based on physical features or sexual orientation.
  • If any of the selected content or topics are controversial, the blog’s corporate ethics should be mentioned where appropriate. For example, if a selected product uses real fur, the image should be accompanied with a line saying, “We at ShilpaAhuja.com condone animal cruelty and hope the readers would use fake fur instead.”
  • Unless the article topic is about a specific sexual preference, avoid sentences that make assumptions about the readers’ sexual preferences, or discriminates against them.
  • Graphic images, violence and sadness should be avoided both in imagery and textual content, unless necessary to drive the point of the content.
  • ShilpaAhuja.com is of neutral religious and political views. No one political party or religious affiliation should be promoted on behalf of the magazine in the content. They may, however, be mentioned, if necessary. Personal opinions may be accepted and posted with disclaimer.
  • Avoid mentions of any brands whose quality, ethics or philosophy ShilpaAhuja.com does not endorse, unless this is explicitly specified in the content.
  • ShilpaAhuja.com is an independent publication. We do not publish content that reads as if it is paid for by a brand or third-party, unless it is a “Sponsored Article”. To achieve this, we make sure the content seems opinionated yet unbiased. Avoid more than 2 consecutive sentences that praise or condone a company. Strong opinions may be accepted if they are inferred through verifiable facts. Personal opinions should be mentioned as such, for example saying, “In my opinion…”.

General Writing Guidelines

  • Posts should be at least 450 words long.
  • Posts between 1600-2100 words are ideal.
  • The general tone of the article should be friendly and conversational: “Write like you are talking to your BFF.” Use humor where you can, but not at the cost of compromising the journalistic quality.
  • Sentences that look like direct orders or endorsements should be strictly avoided.
  • Content should be unique and informational.
  • Content should be relevant to the topic.
  • Articles that use a reference to drive a point should specifically state so and mention its link or source.
  • The article should be formatted to look visually appealing. Use subheadings and paragraphs. Featured quotes and interesting images are encouraged.
  • The content should be concise. Avoid overstating and over-emphasizing.
  • Content should be coherent with the rest of the existing content on ShilpaAhuja.com. Views expressed in your post should NOT be the opposite of views expressed in another post, even if it is written by a different author, unless they are a personal opinion. If this is the case, the opposite opinion should be expressly mentioned and reasoned.
  • Personal opinions should be clearly mentioned as “Personally, I feel…” or “I believe…” or “I really love…”, etc.
  • The content should NOT seem advertorial. Avoid sentences that seem to sell something.
  • Avoid sentences that over-praise any celebrity, brand or product.
  • In case of paid or sponsored posts, the words “Sponsored Post” should be clearly mentioned in the subheading.
  • Personal feelings should be avoided, especially for negative opinions. Articles or sentences should not seem like fan-writing or hatred-spreading. The content should be written as a logical and reasonable opinion.
  • Mix positive opinions with negative or neutral opinions to provide a wholesome and opinionated post.
  • All content, including opinions and facts should be thoroughly researched and fact-checked from a reliable source. Fact-checking from personal blogs, non-industry experts, personal social media feeds is not acceptable.
  • Content should be easy to read and understand. Avoid big and difficult words and mouthful sentences.
  • Avoid passive voice as much as possible.
  • Use transition words as much as possible, like so, thus, furthermore, additionally, alternatively, etc.
  • Avoid flowery or poetic language. Keep your approach simple and journalistic.
  • Avoid clichés and the overuse of typical fashion lingo or fashion magazine-y language. Keep your tone fun, conversational, creative and modern. You are encouraged to develop your unique voice.
  • Article should seem well-researched. Stating facts that are outdated or not fully researched are unacceptable.
  • Articles should showcase the author’s experience or expertise indirectly.
  • Creative sentences and unique post-formats are encouraged.
  • The content should be completely original. Paraphrasing existing third-party content and plagiarizing is strictly NOT allowed at ShilpaAhuja.com.
  • If any third-party content is very relevant to the content, it should be used verbatim (copied exactly) with “quotation marks” and with a proper mention of the source.
  • Avoid mentions of third-party blogs, private citizens and competition websites, unless very relevant to the topic.

Research

  • Before you write any article, it’s a good idea to understand what’s expected from the topic. So plan out your post.
  • Research the topic from latest fashion weeks, websites of featured designers or their social media feeds, if necessary.
  • To ensure you write original content, completely avoid reading other similar articles from competition websites or magazines.
  • Sometimes, it may be a good idea to google the topic and understand the article’s competition and how the title can be made unique.
  • Use images from fashion weeks, designer websites and their social feeds as your inspiration for the content.
  • If showing shopping ideas or trends, select an array of styles from an array of designers/brands. Try to represent as many styles, designers and brands as possible to give the reader a good idea of what the trend is about, or what variety is available. Trend-analysis from just a single celeb or brand is usually not accepted.
  • Selection should be a good mix of classy, trendy, wearable and bold.

Formatting

  • Format the post into 3 parts – intro, body and conclusion.
  • Each part may have one or more paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph may have 3-6 sentences. The paragraphs should visually be of the same length.
  • Avoid sentences that have more than 20 words (too long).
  • Try to make sentences that are between 1-2 lines and no more than 3 lines.
  • Start with a small paragraph or “meta description”. This should be 1-2 sentences long and describe the content and encourage the reader to read further. Italicize this paragraph.
  • This description should be followed by the featured image.
  • Intro – short paragraph – what’s the article going to be about, why you wrote it, etc. Mention any specific trends or relevant points the reader should know before reading the article. Don’t jump abruptly into the topic without giving any context.
  • End the intro with a line leading to the body, for example “Here are the latest fashion trends for Fall/Winter 2020-21:” or “You’ll love our selection of the top designer engagement dresses.”
  • Body – If possible, use a numbered list. If not, use subheadings to mark sections.
  • Talk about your preferences and opinions. Talk about what inference you got. Write a line or two about what you personally liked and didn’t like, and what you liked about them.
  • Use images as necessary or relevant to the content.
  • In case shopping recommendations are being made, the images and/or content should be accompanied by online shopping links with the HTML tag rel=”nofollow”.
  • Conclusion – Ask what the reader liked. If a related article exists on the blog, mention and link to it for further reading. Ask the reader to comment and give them something to comment about.
  • Use h2 tags for headings or titles:
  • Use H3 tag if needed in the subheadings, and mix it with underline (ctrl+u) for emphasis
  • Every article should be sorted into a category and/or subcategory. Select only the subcategory and choose only 1 subcategory. (like Advice, Trends, etc)
  • Add tags: 6-12 numbers, choose from most used tags and already used tags.
  • Add reading time in the “Subheading” : Upto 350 words – 1 minute, 350-700 words – 2 minutes and so on. The format used should be “Reading Time: 1 minute”

Punctuation

  • Don’t use CAPS in the content or title.
  • Title should always be in Capital Title Case.
  • In the title, only capitalize nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs.
  • Avoid capitalizing the first word of improper nouns within the content or body of the article.
  • If brand names, designers or names of industry professionals are mentioned in the content or as image captions, they should be spelled or punctuated exactly like they are mentioned in their official websites or official social media pages.

Images

  • Every article should be accompanied by relevant and interesting images.
  • Images should be thought-provoking, conversation-starters.
  • Avoid sadness, violence and graphic images unless necessary to the topic.
  • Every image should gel with the overall blog quality standards.
  • All images should be clear and of high-resolution.
  • Avoid blurry or pixelated images, and low-quality shots, such as those taken by low-pixel cameras or mobile phones.
  • After selection, email links or selected images to [email protected] for approval/discussion or discuss with your editor.
  • After approval, use the Snipping Tool to crop and create new images.
  • Image size should be at least 350px x 400px.
  • Rename the images with appropriate keywords. For example: “latest-designer-earrings-oscar-de-la-renta-green-fashion” or “online-shopping-ideas-latest-earrings-dior-gold-studs-2020”
  • Use between 4-10 keywords for image names. Avoid duplicate keywords and special characters.
  • Images should be at least 350px x 350px and 96 ppi.
  • Images should be light: under 70kb (up to 120kb in special cases).
  • Images from third-party magazines, photographers or blogs are strictly NOT permitted without written consent from the concerned party.
  • Images of private property or private citizens used without prior written consent are strictly NOT allowed to be published on ShilpaAhuja.com.
  • Images by fashion brands or designers that are freely available on their websites may be used as long as their image credits are mentioned.
  • Third-party Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter images may be used under special circumstances, stating the source.
  • In case a third party image is chosen from a brand or designer website, mention the image credits under image caption in this format “Image Credits: Oscar de la Renta” or “Image Credits: @artist via Instagram”
  • Each product or celebrity image should be accompanied by a caption.
  • Use captions for brand names, celebrity names, runway collection season, photo credits, as appropriate.
  • Use original collages or Photoshop graphics, unaltered images of online shopping products or original photographs, royalty-free celebrity images, movie/music video/TV show screenshots, embedded code of Instagram or Twitter makeup artists/brands, outfit collages and unaltered royalty-free images from fashion shows provided as press releases.
  • Images may be shown in a gallery or may be inserted singly, as appropriate.
  • Single images should be center-aligned and full-size.
  • Single images that are inserted one below the other in a post should be resized to be of the same width to give a uniform visual appearance.
  • Image galleries appearing one below the other in a post should be formatted to have the same number of columns.
  • Any graphics created for the content or branding should be bold, minimalistic, visually appealing and adhere to the image and content guidelines defined in this document.
  • Graphics created should use the company colors where possible and necessary – white, black and raspberry (#F02F53).
  • Graphics created should be coherent, non-repetitive and be formatted like the existing content at ShilpaAhuja.com.

Featured Image

  • Every article should be accompanied with a cover or featured image.
  • Featured image should be selected keeping in mind the blog philosophy and content quality. It should evoke confidence and interest and be appealing for the reader to click and read further.
  • Featured image needs to be approved by an editor, and made in discussion with your supervisor.
  • Ideally, the featured image should be an original photograph or created in Photoshop. It may be a collage of a few selected images from within the content.
  • Image should not seem repetitive within the article or with other articles already published.
  • In case an original image is created as a collage, infographic or Photoshop graphic, use ShilpaAhuja.com logo and article title as a part of the graphic.
  • The ideal size for the cover image is 850px x 550px. With at least 96 ppi.
  • In case the ideal size is not met, the cover image should be at least 500 x 500px

SEO

  • The title for every article should be descriptive and interesting and should encourage the reader to click.
  • The SEO title and the main title may or may not be the same.
  • Use SEO guide as instructed by your supervisor. Ensure to make every article SEO-friendly before submitting.
  • SEO title should contain the focus keyword and other relevant keywords.
  • Keep your slug or URL short and simple.
  • Include relevant keywords throughout the content, as needed. Avoid keyword-stuffing.
  • Avoid concentrating keywords in the same paragraph. Spread them throughout the article, and never compromise the content for them. Their use should feel natural.
  • Meta description should describe the overall post content and encourage the reader to click a search result in Google and social media feeds.
  • Give 2-3 links in your post – (to other pages within ShilpaAhuja.com, and to external important websites relevant to the content). These links should be added after discussion with your editor, and embedded within the content of the post or added at the end in the “Read next” section.
  • Avoid articles under 300 words as much as possible.

 

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