If your site has content lame, then you are to blame, not the authors. It can not be such that all copywriters were illiterate idiots. Most likely, they simply do not understand what you want from them. It is possible to slightly improve the quality of texts, and at the same time clarify the relationship between authors and editors may be an interesting document called editorial policy.
What is the editorial policy
This is such a hybrid brandbook, technical specifications and employment contract. Sets editorial standards, explains which texts on your site are considered good and tells you what the author is responsible for and what the editor is responsible for.
You can do without redpolitiki, if the site is only one author. Or two. But when dozens of authors and articles flow in a continuous stream, the edpolitik will help the editor control their quality. Well, it's easier once to describe what you actually want, than a hundred times to tell each author personally.
How to write redpolitiku
Write about the important. I have given a list of questions below to make it easier for you. Feel free to throw out any questions if they do not fit your publication and add your own if I have not considered something.
I do not know what size should be the correct editorial policy. The Texterra blog has a small article. Tinkoff magazine has a huge multi-page document. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The longer the redpolitik, the less likely it is that it will be read to the end and remembered. The shorter it is, the more often the editor will have to repeat banal truths. So decide for yourself.
So let's go.
For new authors this is a very important section. Without understanding what you have for the publication, for whom it is calculated and what goals it pursues, the author is not able to write a good article. You can omit it only if you are typing authors from among your readers (as in the Texterra blog, for example).
1. What are we writing about? For example, the Texterra blog is a magazine about Internet marketing and everything related to it.
2. What for? The objectives of the publication can be very different: to give readers maximum useful information on the topic, to amuse them, etc. Each rubric can have its own purpose.
3. Headings. These can be news, analytics, opinions, author columns, cases, entertainment section, etc. Tell us what kind of materials are printed in each of them, give examples.
4. The manner of communication. Do you have any requirements for the way the authors communicate with the reader? Or do you think that every author should write in the manner that he likes more? For example: we write politely and correctly, with the utmost respect for the reader of the article. Or: we write emotionally, as if we communicate with the reader in a social network. Or: we write politely and respectfully, but in every paragraph there must be a swear word.
Author and editors
5. How to contact you? Where and how to write?
6. Topics. Who offers a topic? Revision or the author himself?
7. If the author, what kind of topics are interesting editorial. For example: news, analytics, interviews, case studies, etc.
8. What can not. If you basically do not publish articles about cats, write about it.
9. Plan an article. Do I need to send a plan or are the text ready for the author right away?
10. Deadline. How much time is given for execution? Are there any other reasons for delaying the deadline, besides the author’s death?
11. What size should the article be?
12. Headline Who makes it up? If the author, can the editors change it without permission?
13. Editing. Can the editors edit anything other than grammatical errors without the permission of the author? Or will the article be returned for revision? For example: we can edit grammatical errors and change subtitles to make the text better read. But the editorial does not concern the semantic part of the text.
14. References Can I put a link to third-party sites?
15. When will the publication?
Money and PR
16. Who pays someone for publishing? Are you an author, author of you or publications are free for both parties?
17. Name. Can the author put his name under the article? Or do all publications go on behalf of the editorial board?
18. PR Is it possible to publish for PR? How about mentioning your product and links to your site?
19. By the way, if you publish for PR, bring statistics of your siteto make potential authors better inspired.
20. Do you publish custom articles?
21. If yes where to go with them.
22. By the way can you write them yourself? Or should the advertiser provide you with your text?
Actual for educational portals and socio-political publications.
23. References Is it necessary to give links to sources after each fact or controversial statement?
24. Original source. Does the author need to get to the source of information, or will the secondary source also come down?
25. Credibility Should the source be sure to be credible or will rumors, gossip, conversations come down?
26. Should the author try on himself what he writes about?
27. Is objectivity and impartial review of the phenomenon required on all sides? Or you can write semi-advertising articles that declare a product a solution to all user problems?
28. What to do if an article found an actual error after publication? Options: leave as is; to fix, but not to say anything about it; correct, apologize to readers and make an apology in a separate plate.
And about this, be sure to write? Not. But the mention of some simple rules makes the editor's work a lot easier.
29. Slang? Can or can not?
30. Can an author afford emotional sayings?
31. I or we? Does the author write on his own behalf or on behalf of the editorial board?
32. Points over "yo". Set or not? Stop laughing. Do you know how many copies about this were broken?
33. The word "you"By the way, is written with a small letter. Is always. Do not complicate.
34. Lists are numbered and marked. And items can begin with a capital and small letter. And before the list can be a period or a colon. And all this is governed by complex rules that can be viewed in Arkady Milchin’s landmark work "Publisher and Author Handbook". But briefly: after a colon, the points begin with a small letter and end with a semicolon, and after a point with a large one and end with a point.
35. First Name and Last Name. Yes, exactly in that order. Mention that your site should not have Petrov Ann and Pupkin Ivanov. Only Anna Petrova and Ivan Pupkin.
36. Quotes must be herringbone: ". Quotation marks inside quotes:„ "or" ".
37. Dash should be like this: -. If you want, you can enter the use of all types of dashes - short, medium and long, regulating in which case each of them should be applied.
38. After the title and captions to the pictures, the point is not put.
39. No. This is not all. But then read Artemy Lebedev's “Kovodstvo” about typography or Arkady Milchin’s “Publisher and Author's Guide”, about the same thing, but for pedants.
40. Who picks them up? Author or designer?
41. What size and resolution Should there be illustrations?
42. Is it necessary to link to the source illustrations?
43. Active link?
44. And screenshots? Do I need a link to the site from which the author made them?
45. Do I need the screenshots explanatory arrows and squares?
46. If necessary, who installs them: author or designer?
47. Gifs Use or not?
48. Meaningful self-created gifs explaining the stages of the process, or senseless and merciless seals?
49. By the way, should ordinary pictures be meaningful, or can you just be beautiful?
50. If you want articles like Texterra, tell me honestly. This is more effective than trying to colorfully describe them in the redpolitik.
51. If your site has the perfect text, give it a link.
52. Header requirements. There are no options. A good headline should be short, succinct and eye-catching.
53. Dont lie! The title must necessarily correspond to the content of the article.
54. By the way, do not forget to bring cool headline examples.
55. Subtitle - this is an explanatory line after the main title. Tell me if it should be in the article.
56. Lead This is the first paragraph of the text. Briefly conveys the content of the text and explains why the reader is wasting his time on it. In the lead, it is especially important to get rid of the water, the lengths and stop words so much loved by copywriters.
57. Sections. A long article should not be a solid piece. It must be divided into subtitles into logical chunks.
58. Lists. I already mentioned them. You also mention that it would be nice to have lists in the text - this improves readability.
59. Findings. We will write conclusions at the end?
Examples of editorial policy
If you do not want to write redpolitik themselves from scratch, use the samples.
The "dogma" of the Vedomosti newspaper is a lot and well written about ethics.
The IT policy of the IT-Agency is a short and very useful guide to the placement of punctuation marks, lowercase and uppercase letters, and all the little things that readers notice, but the authors don’t see the focus. They were not even too lazy to write how the emoticon should look right.
The article "Become our author" on "Texterre" - concise rules for publishing a blog and instructions for new authors.
Redstandards "Tinkov Journal" - a convincing attempt to embrace the immensity. Maxim Ilyakhov, the author of the document, is trying to really describe all aspects of the relationship between the author and the editors. I do not recommend doing so. Why? Because what's the point of groveling, if nobody has even finished reading your redpolitik? And the more not learn.
And it's all?
Yeah, well. Do not expect. Redpolicy is just a text. Even if you list all the nuances of the work of your journal, the redpolitik will not gain power if no one watches its execution. And this is the task of the editor. Nobody said it was easy.
Well, remember that no document can replace human relations.