Contributor Guidelines

Enterprisers Project contributor guidelines and style guide

Thank you for your interest in contributing to The Enterprisers Project. Details on how to contribute can be found here. Below are our contributor guidelines and style guide. Please read these thoroughly before submitting an article for our consideration. If you have any questions that are not answered here, drop us a note at tep-content (at) redhat (dot) com.

What we look for - Tips to help your article pitch stand out

Article requirements - A checklist for authors

Style guide - Grammar, punctuation, and style rules

Sample article outline - An article planning tool 

What we look for

Great content: The most successful proposed articles offer an original viewpoint with strong reader takeaways that align with the topics that matter to The Enterprisers Project audience, such as IT leadership, innovation, digital technology, cloud, containers, DevOps, etc. They go beyond “101” level advice, avoid jargon, and get the point across clearly and concisely. They often feature tips in the form of bulleted or numbered lists. They are also well written and enjoyable to read. 

Examples:

The CIO perspective: We give strong preference to authors with a CIO or equivalent IT leader title (CTO, VP of IT, etc) in order to offer readers a “for IT leaders, by IT leaders” perspective. However, we feature commentary from authors at all levels of the organization - from engineers to CEOs. We also love the perspective of analysts, consultants, academics, and others who have a wide view of the IT and tech landscape. 

Examples:

Unique voices: Please read our site before you submit an article idea. If there is a topic you’d like to write, search the site for that topic and read other articles that have already been published. Make sure you have something new to say on the topic before you reach out. Consider sharing a personal experience, lesson learned, or challenge you overcame and – most of all – what other IT leaders could learn from your story. 

Examples:

Word count: 600-800 words is the average length of articles on The Enterprisers Project. We do not have a firm word count requirement. However, if your article is more than 1300 words, you may consider whether it can be tightened or split into two articles. 

Article requirements

Before you submit an article draft for our consideration, please do the following:

  • Proof your article - Our editors will do a final proofread before publication, but if your article has excessive typos, it may be returned or rejected.
  • Link to sources - If your article references a study, book, quote, or news story, please hyperlink the sources within your article. If your article only includes links to your own company website and/or studies, it may be rejected for being overly promotional.
  • Ensure content is vendor-neutral - Articles on the Enterprisers Project offer solutions to common problems IT leaders face. If the solution you are proposing is a product or service your company offers, your article is promotional and will be rejected. 
  • Create subheads - If your article is longer than 500 words, consider adding subheads to break up the text and make your article easier to read. Subheads should be consistent (e.g. if the first subhead starts with a verb, all should start with a verb).
  • Check inline formatting - We allow italics and bolding, but please use these sparingly. Although using dashes (--like these) is common, we only use ndash characters (– like this).
  • Check article format - We accept articles in a variety of formats, but we prefer Google documents. If you submit a link to a Google document, do not revise the document after you submit it. We will download and edit the draft from Google docs, so we won't see your changes.
  • Check our style guide - See below. 
  • First-time authors - If you are submitting your first article, please include your bio, head shot, full name, title, company, and Twitter handle. Preferred size for the head shot is 300x190 pixels. 

Style guide

Please follow the editorial style guidelines listed below:

  • Write in the active voice
  • Keep the introduction to 1-3 paragraphs. Readers want to get to the advice portion of the story fairly quickly
  • Use serial commas (i.e. cat, dog, and mouse)
  • Write out numbers below 10 (i.e. nine, eight, and seven)
  • Format dates as Dec. 1, 2018 (not December 1st, 2018)
  • Place periods and commas inside quotation marks 
  • Avoid random acts of capitalization (i.e. agile vs. Agile, big data vs. Big Data, etc)
  • Use a single space after the period
  • Only use single quotation marks around quotes within quotes
  • Spell out the word “percent” vs using %
  • Do not capitalize every word in the headline and subheads, only the first word
  • Spell out abbreviations and acronyms upon first reference

Sample article outline

If helpful, use the following article outline to help you plan and write your article:

Paragraph 1: State the main point. What is the pain point or challenge this article will address?

Paragraph 2: Why is this problem important or significant right now? Why should IT leaders care?

Paragraphs 3, 4, 5...: Offer practical advice about how to tackle the problem/soothe the pain in a vendor-neutral way (no specific product mentions) at a level for IT leaders, as opposed to developers. This advice is often presented in a list-style or bulleted format. Cite credible sources and use examples when possible.

Final Paragraph: The article should conclude with a piece of wrap-up takeaway advice that ties back to the article intro.