Scratch Mommy Editorial Guidelines

Apply To Be A Scratch Mommy

Everything you need to know regarding post submissions, sponsored post guidelines, and photography requirements.

These guidelines are what we use for all posts at Scratch Mommy, but are also great tips to follow for your own blog!



Table of Contents


 


Contributor Easy Checklist


Use this checklist as an easy way to make sure you have everything in your post before you submit it as a pitch.

Original Post

  • Submitted into WordPress using your login
  • Has a “from scratch” feel. It tells a story and makes your reader feel at home
  • Has at least 400 words (not including recipe)
  • Flows well
  • Spelling and grammar are checked
  • Links within post to other personal blog posts (if they flow nicely)
  • Links to other Scratch Mommy posts (if they flow nicely)
  • No formatting, just writing
  • 3 formulated Tweets and Facebook posts have been sent to designated Editor

Snippet Post

  • Anywhere from 120-200 words
  • Spelling and grammar are checked
  • Include link to post
  • Photograph sent to Editor In Chief (EIC)
  • 3 formulated Tweets and Facebook posts have been sent to designated Editor

Recycled Content Post

  • Post has been reworked (new intro and possibly new photo)
  • Spelling and grammar are checked
  • Photographs sent to EIC
  • 3 formulated Tweets and Facebook posts have been sent to designated Editor

Photograph Specifics

  • Resize horizontal photographs to 670px by 460px
  • Resize vertical photographs to 735px by 1102px
  • ALL original, resized photographs are sent to Loriel with the name of the post as the subject. All photos must be sent by the draft submission date (one week before publish date).
  • Include at least one horizontal photograph
  • Include at least one vertical photograph for Pinterest
  • If you’re not sure what to photograph, please consult with Loriel prior to your submission date. Loriel loves chatting about picture ideas and is a great sounding board.
  • If no ideas for your post can be thought of and the only other option is a stock photo, please notify Loriel at least one week prior to publish date.
  • Consult the photography document if needed

 

Work Flow


So everyone knows what to expect, this is how the work flow happens once you submit a post on Scratch Mommy.

  • Submit Post → At least 7 days before publish date (to assigned Editor)
  • Submit Photos → At least 7 days before post is published (to EIC)
  • Editor Reviews → Editor notifies EIC 2 days before post is due
  • Final Run-Thru → EIC does final run through/adds photos
  • EIC Schedules Post → Post is published at 6am

 

General Guidelines


Contributors are required to write at least one original post per month. You can also submit blog post snippets for sharing that will drive traffic to your own blog. Recycled content will also be considered (with a fresh, new intro). Finally, as sponsored post opportunities become available these will be posted in our Contributor Facebook group. 

  • Tell your story: We all have a story to tell. Our readers want to hear how you were inspired to create your “from scratch” product, recipe, or tip. For this reason, excellent narratives should be a part of every post. Please develop a full story for our readers. …and use your words. Show our readers who you are!
  • Length: Posts should be at least 400 words (see niche specific guidelines below).
  • Links: Feel free to add links to your own content (from your own blog) within your post. This helps to introduce SM readers to your blog; however, please make sure that the links are in line with and flow well with your post. Editors have final say of linked content.→ Feel free to link to SM posts (that’s always nice to do).

→ No affiliate links. Please discuss with us if you have any questions.

→ If you have a particular ingredient / container / glue / etc etc etc you would recommend, please submit a link to that product so Editors can easily find and link to it in Amazon.

  • Writing Style: Excellent grammar, punctuation, and your authentic writing style are super-de-duper important. Oh, we love the Oxford comma and using one space after all punctuation. When in doubt, pull out the APA manual. Wait…what do you mean you don’t have one!? 😉

→ Please do not write as an expert, unless you truly are an expert in a particular field.

→ Cite, cite, cite! When you are using the words of someone else you must cite. Simply note the citation in text and then include the link at the end of your post.

  • Formatting: No formatting for post submissions, please. Our Editorial staff will layout your text in the spirit of the SM vibe.
  • Teasers & Controversial Posts: If you have a fantastic post you’d like to write, but fear writing it through your own voice (perhaps a potentially controversial post) and would prefer an author byline different than your own, let’s chat!

→ You are more than welcome to type up a blog post teaser for your posts featured on SM! You can include a featured image on your blog, a brief intro to your post, and then link readers directly to the post on SM. That said, the entire post must be 100% exclusive to SM.

Submittal Information


You will work with your assigned Editor for submission dates. Please submit posts and photos at least one week before the publishing date.

DIY Home & DIY Body: Crystal Allen

Real Food: Loriel Adams

Parenting/Life: Loriel Adams

Homesteading: Loriel Adams

  • You will receive your own login for the Scratch Mommy WordPress account. This is where you will write your post, which will be saved as a draft and edited by your assigned Editor (and finally by the Editor in Chief).
  • With each post you submit to the Scratch Mommy team please include 2 to 3 pre-written Tweets and Facebook posts. This will help Crystal with social media.
  • Please refer to the Easy Checklist for requirements for snippet and recycled posts.

 

Photographs


Photographs are an integral part of a post. Please work closely with the Editor in Chief if you need help or inspiration on how to compose photographs for your assigned post. Want a little more reading on photography tips? Check out the Scratch Mommy Contributor Photography Guide.

  • Quality of Photographs: Excellent quality pictures should be taken with a quality camera. Please refer to our Scratch Mommy Contributor Photography Guide for more information on how to improve your photography and for helpful resources.
  • Orientation of Photographs: The majority of your photos should be landscape (horizontal), not portrait (vertical) and taken in nice lighting. That said, we want at least one quality photo that is ‘pinnable’, so please make that one vertical.

→  Also, please make sure that your horizontal pictures are at least 670 px wide. (PS Did you know that Canva says that the perfect pin size is 735X1102!?)

  • Watermarking: This is a no-no. We’ll add a SM watermark to the picture. Please send original photos, as they were originally taken.
  • Stock Photos: We’d prefer to have your amazing original photographs. Please contact your Editor if you would like to use stock photos at least one week before your post is set to publish.
  • Photograph Submission: Please email photos to the EIC at least one week before the post goes live (or upload into an album and send link). Please note that it is possible for photographs to be sent back and retaken. Having your photographs submitted a week before the post is due gives both parties adequate time, in case of changes. (If you Editor has requested a different way to submit pictures, please adhere to that request).

 

Niche Specific Information


DIY

All ‘from scratch’ DIYs for the home…and of course, the body, too. We love DIYs!

  • Length: Including the recipe ingredients and details, all DIY posts should be at least 600 words. We still want you to tell your story and develop any ingredients as necessary (see this post for an example).
  • Action Shots: Amazing pictures of DIYs in action are our favorites. Please include enough so readers know exactly what they should be doing, but don’t overdo it. Think about what may be important for our readers to know (i.e., a step that may hard to explain in words, so a photograph can help aid our readers through the step). Here is an example of a DIY for the body with action shots.

Food

We love recipes featuring no processed ingredients, organic &/or locally-sourced, GMO-free, *real* food.

  • Ingredients Matter: We are fine with many ingredients (wheat, organic sugar, properly prepared grains, etc etc etc), but we will not accept a post with any processed ingredients (no fake foods, please). Here it is all about *real* food and *real* living…and of course…making food from scratch!
  • Photography: Please send as many pictures as you feel are excellent quality; the more, the better for food and drinks. Feel free to upload them in online storage and send a link if you have a lot.

Parenting

We love parenting stories, as do our many readers. Bring them on!

  • Writing style: Although this may be repetitive, we can’t stress enough that your parenting articles should be written in a very relatable, narrative form.
  • Photography: Obviously, photographs of your kids will really help our readers connect with you and your story, we understand if you’d prefer to keep photographs of your children confidential. Please work with your Editor regarding photos. Even pictures that do not show your child’s face can help to tell a personal, ‘from scratch’ parenting story!

Homesteading

Chickens, natural home remedies, natural living, gardening, and all things sustainable at the homestead.

  • Writing Style: As many posts for both parenting and homesteading will likely be narrative in nature, we do expect a great story. Share your sense of humor. Share your passions in great detail. Entertain and share knowledge with our readers!
  • Photography: Pictures are just as important in the homesteading category. We want to see your homesteads!

 

Sponsored Post Specifics and Guidelines


Sponsored posts are exciting opportunities to work closely with companies you love. When writing a sponsored post, please keep in mind that YOU are the influencer and are writing about a product to influence your readers (in the most authentic way) to support whatever brand or company for which you are writing.

[quote]The most important quality of a sponsored post is authenticity. Forget all the salesy infomercial type stuff. Talk about the product as if you were talking to your friend and just be real.[/quote]

A few great examples of sponsored posts can be seen below:

If you need more help or ideas of how to write a sponsored post, please check in with your Editor or the Editor in Chief to pick their brains. Don’t forget, you can also ask in our Contributor Facebook group to get some good discussions going!

Sponsored Post Checklist


Please use this checklist to make sure you’ve included everything you need prior to submitting the post in your WordPress dashboard.

  • Photographs show product in an authentic, real life situation
  • One horizontal photograph included
  • One vertical photograph included
  • Photographs are resized
  • Post is written in an authentic, narrative tone — not too salesy
  • Links are included within the main content to the specific product or general website
  • All of the Sponsor’s requirements are met
  • Post is at least 400 words, but no more than 1000

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