Contributor Writing Guidelines
It is safe to say that our contributors are passionate about travel. And that they are good at content creation. These guidelines are there to make sure our content has a similar style and voice, and that we adhere to the same core values. It also gives an idea about our expectations for a high-quality piece of content. Contributors can use these guidelines to format and structure their submissions and as a starting point to ideate their content.
What do we stand for?
Diversity & Inclusion
We celebrate diversity as the thing that makes each of us unique and we will do everything in our power to ensure everyone feels included. Travellers naturally see a lot of diversity. We travel to experience the world, see new cultures, broaden our horizon and meet people with different perspectives than our own. And then we realize once experiencing the differences that we are also very much the same regardless our different backgrounds. We aim to reflect diversity and inclusion by featuring travel content that is created by content creators with as many different backgrounds and as many different perspectives as possible. It goes without saying that at GloboLoko we do not accept any form of harassment, intimidation, violence, and discrimination based on gender, race, colour, religious beliefs, national origin and sexual orientation.
These days, more and more people become aware of the impact travelling can have on the environment and in particular on the cultural, economic and ecological environment of the host destination. For example, travellers flocking to trending tourist attractions can create new income sources for a destination, but overcrowding can at the same time also lead to negative effects on the environment of the host destination. Another example, without naming and shaming, is that air travel is one of the most polluting ways to travel, while there are also viable alternatives like rail travel available. At Globoloko, we want to increase awareness about how a traveller may impact the local cultural, economic and ecological environment of the host destination and we encourage writers to pay attention to how we can travel more sustainably.
We do not accept any of our content to be influenced by company marketing or promotions for locations. Our content is written independently and provides an unbiased opinion.
Types of Content
1. Travel Guides & Stories
(Who can contribute: Writers, Editors, Photographers)
Various Travel Guides and Stories to inspire people for their next journey, show them about what is happening locally and guide them to the best places a destination has to offer.
Here are some ideas to help you ideate your content:
- Destination article – Destination articles are usually in-depth articles that discusses a destination from a certain angle. The best articles don’t only describe but also convince the reader that this is the destination they need to go to. The challenge is to find a new or fresh angle to explain the destination that has not been discussed in other articles before.
- Special-interest article – Articles that are about a specific travel theme, trend or topic, often combined with a specific destination, like “Hiking in the Netherlands” or “Wineries in France”.
- Holiday and special events – Articles that focus on what a place has to offer during special events, holidays or seasons, like “Olympics”, “World Cup Football”, “Christmas Holidays” or “Spring”.
- Round-ups – This type of article sums the “Top 10” or “Best” things a destination has to offer, linked by a common theme.
- Personal Story – Personal essays, anecdotes, diaries and encounters. Although this article also integrates useful facts and historical information, the focus is on the storyline.
- Travel news – News articles focussing on current affairs that have an impact on the way we travel.
- Opinion piece – Although in travel, opinion pieces may not be very common, a well thought through article can give travellers great insights. An example would be: “What is the best National Park in Africa to do a game drive: Maasai Mara or Kruger?”
- Travel itinerary – For Travelers who have a limited amount of time, this type of article offers travellers a premade itinerary like ”48 Hours in Rome” or “A 2 Week Trip Around Iceland”.
2. Travel Tips
(Who can contribute: Writers, Editors)
Travel Tips is a self-publishing section on the GloboLoko website where Contributors share tips and advice about the best sights & attractions, food & drinks experiences and places to stay.
The purpose is not to list everything that is out there, but only to feature those Tips that provide an exceptional value to travellers that cannot easily be found elsewhere. Apart from the most famous and popular sites to go to, we are looking for Tips that offer a unique local value (local food or locally run accommodation), have a unique concept (sustainability, great social events or unique locations), or provide an exceptional price-quality trade-off.
We are looking for Travel Tips in the following categories:
- Sights & Attractions – Museums, Attractions, Observation Towers, Shopping areas, Streets, Squares, Neighbourhoods, Beaches, National Parks, Urban Parks
- Food & Drinks – Restaurants, Cafes, Clubs, Bars, Street Food and Food Markets
- Places to Stay – Hostels, Hotels, Camping and other unique places to stay
3. Travel Tips – Reviews
(Who can contribute: Writers, Editors)
Each Travel Tip has a Review section where Writers can share their experience in-depth.
A good review will be an honest account of how you have experienced the Travel Tip. An honest account means highlighting both the positive aspects, as well as the possible pain points for visitors. The goal of the review is to make travellers better prepared, provide an advice whether this Travel Tip is something for them and give them a realistic expectation about their potential visit.
4. Travel Tips – Image Gallery
(Who can contribute: Photographers, Editors)
Each Travel Tip has an Image Gallery where Photographers can share their imagery.
The image gallery is there to bring the Travel Tip further to life and highlight unique aspects. We all love beautiful travel photographs. Picture the Taj Mahal from afar, or the Colosseum lit by lights at night. Apart from taking beautiful shots, great travel photography is all about telling a story.
Through the photographs we want to highlight different perspectives of the Travel Tip, like the surroundings, the architecture, its history, the people who can be found there, maybe the cafe around the corner, or how the place feels like in different seasons. Or going even deeper, can a photograph reflect something about the culture or what is going on in society and the world?
Some tips to make a great piece of content
- Through our content we want to open new doors for travellers. Therefore, the content that we are looking for should be actionable content that contains all the details for a traveler to replicate the trip.
- A great piece of content goes beyond simply listing the things to do or places to visit, and entices a traveller to go to a certain place.
- We love to publish content from passionate travellers, but we also want our content be read, found and shared. Always keep in mind the needs and desires of your target audience when writing and developing the piece.
- A great article allows a reader to connect to a place and makes a place come to life. Elaborate on the place or experience from different perspectives, like its history, culture, or the people who call that place home.
- The best pieces of content are based on your personal experience or knowledge base. We encourage writers to show their personality and express what they stand for in their writings.
Voice and Tone
The voice we speak and write with represents our personality and who we are.
Travelling is about having fun, going on an adventure, opening up yourself to new things and getting out of your comfort zone. We can see how different people can be and yet understand everyone has so many things in common at the same time. We are approachable, open-minded, fun, and nice to be around.
We like to learn and discover and just as we like to elevate ourselves, we also want to elevate, educate and inspire others. We are knowledgeable, confident and can be thought provoking, but not pushy.
We are ourselves and we are passionate about what we do. We express ourselves and what we stand for and encourage others to do the same. Being ourselves doesn’t mean being inconsiderate, rude or aggressive.
Whereas our voice can be considered our personality, the tone of our voice is about how we say the things we say. The tone used when writing depends on our audience, topic and the intention behind the article. Why are you writing it? For who are you writing it? And what do you want your audience to learn, understand or feel?
Although our specific tone will vary depending on the context, one constant is that we are sensitive about people’s background and respectful and caring when we talk about other people.
We usually use a friendly, enthusiastic and positive voice, but it’s always more important to be clear then to entertain.
- Travel Guides & Stories have a minimum word count of 1,200.
- Travel Tips are at least 600 words.
- Travel Tips – Reviews are at least 250 words.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Paying attention to SEO while writing an article is essential to make sure your article is relevant to your target audience and will be found by them in search engines. Here are some things to pay attention to while writing:
- Write with a target audience in mind. What pain points, needs, or desires make your target audience search for your article?
- Consider keywords or phrases that your audience may search for and blend those keywords in a natural way into your article. But no keyword stuffing.
- Look at the search results for those keywords in terms of article length, structure and content and see what could be improved.
- Structuring your article is essential for your audience and search engines to easily grasp what your article is about. Break up your article with paragraphs, headings, and images, use lists and bolding to structure your article.
- All articles must have a meta description and a meta title tag.
- Articles can be written in American or British English as long as it’s consistent.
- Use active voice rather than passive voice.
- Avoid meaningless descriptions and words and don’t repeat the same ideas over and over again. Stay focussed.
- Titles in H1 tags, subtitles in H2 and H3 tags. Main titles should be a maximum of 9 words. Subtitles may be longer.
Great photos are essential to capture the reader’s attention and convey the message of the Travel Guide, Story or Tip more vividly.
- An image should be least 650 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall. Images should be at least 300 dpi.
- Place the images directly within the first draft. Make sure that the images appear correctly before submitting your article. Also include them in a numbered list as a zip file or WeTransfer link.
- We have a strong preference to use photographs taken by the content writer directly. However, in case the content writer is not able to provide high-quality photographs, the editor will invite photographers to pitch their photographs.
- We do not accept images that have a brand, logo, external links, watermark or border displayed on them.
- All images must have an alt tag and a description.
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