How to write a guest blog

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Guest blog requests
  • The legal stuff
  • The technical stuff
  • Other stuff
  • Hank’s questions
  • B.B.’s faults

Guest blog requests

Reader Vana2, whose real name is Hank, suggested today’s topic and it is a perfect one. We ask people who want to write a guest blog to contact us before they send anything in, because there are several things they need to know. The first thing to do is contact us. We always say please email us at the start of each guest blog, and that link opens an email window for your contact message.

When we answer you, sometimes we ask what your blog is about. Most of the time, though, people tell us what they want to write about up front, so we can get right into the instructions. The first part is the legal stuff. Here is what we say:

The legal stuff

I understand you want to write a guest blog for Pyramyd Air’s Airgun Academy. To accept a guest blog for publication, you must agree to abide by the following 2 (two) rules.

1. Any blog content that Pyramyd Air accepts & publishes (text & images) is the sole property of Pyramyd Air and cannot be duplicated or reproduced in whole or in part in any form. Pyramyd Air is the sole copyright owner of all images and text it publishes any in any media or form.

2. Pyramyd Air has the right to edit, use, or not use all or part of any guest blog submission. If we do not use your guest blog, then you retain all rights. Submitted content and graphics must be free of any other copyright reservations.

Here’s why we do this. First, Pyramyd Air may want to use the information in the guest blog in some other way in the future. To do that legally, they must own the rights to the material.

Then there is the subject of the rights to the photos and other images in the guest blog. Sometimes these images are copyrighted and someone has copied them — thinking that anything that’s on the internet is free and in the public domain. That’s not always the case. When you submit an image with your guest blog, it is your responsibility to see that you have permission to do so.

The technical stuff

When you send the article, send it in rtf (rich text format — preferred format). Please DO NOT send anything in a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Those programs use characters that are not compatible with the internet and it take me many hours to convert a document from Word to rtf. You may have seen some strange characters in the messages posted to this blog — that’s why.

Please send images separately, not embedded in the article. But indicate where they are supposed to go. Give them titles that mean something — like Revolver-with-cylinder-open. That makes more sense than the names your cellphone cameras and digital cameras assign.

Jpg images should be 72 dpi and a max of 560 pixels wide. The height is variable, although we’ll reduce the photos if they’re over 730 pixels high. Crop the thing in the photo so it fills the frame. Nobody wants to look at the black silhouette on a rifle that’s laying on a table in the shade — especially when it is only 200 pixels long.

I have written several reports on taking digital photos for this kind of work. You can find two of them here. And here is a 4-part report I did that goes into even more detail.
Don’t let a lack of photos or poor photos stop you from submitting a guest blog. I have soft ware that can enhance things on my end. Just do the best you can and remember — edith and I have taken good photos and videos for this blog from our cell phones and mini iPads. The technology has really improved.

Other stuff

Let us know if we can use your real full name for the byline or if you prefer a handle that you use in your blog comments.

Hank’s questions

Now, let me share Hank’s specific questions with you.

Q. Do you have a template for what fonts, sizes, margins etc. that you could share that should help getting things started?

A. As long as you submit the blog in .rtf, most of these concerns will be taken care of. At the least they will be easy to change.

Q. What format do you prefer? .doc .docx .rtf .txt?

A. I prefer .rtf, but any simple test program will output files that are easy to use. The Word files (.dox, .docx) are the ones that give me trouble.

Q. What size and resolution of pictures works best?

A. The pictures should be in .jpg or .jpeg. They should be 72 dpi, but some cell phones output them at 96 d.p.i. and I can easily change that.

Q. How long can the blog be?

A. Please try to either hold it to 1500 words and 5 pictures or less, or think about serializing it. I will tell you that Parts 2 and 3 have less readership than Part 1 most of the time. And a longer blog really loses viewership.

Q. I’m fairly comfortable writing documents, drawing sketches and editing images and would be willing to work with others who want to write a Guest blog but don’t have access to the editing software.

A. I can do the editing — as long as the writer is willing to work with me. The photos and drawings can just be scanned in and sent and I can take care of the rest.

B.B.’s faults

I wish Edith were here to write this for me, but here goes. I am colorblind. Some of the pictures come out odd tones because things look different to me than they look to a normal-sighted person.

A second reason the pictures might look odd is I enhance them to show all the detail. Edith used to fight with me because I made black guns look gray or even golden. I did it to show all the details in the nooks and crannies, but Edith thought it made the guns appear artificial. She was right, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I want to see everything in the shadows.

I am not a very hip person. My social development ended in 1964 and anything that happened after that escapes me. So, if you make some obscure reference I probably won’t get it.

Edith’s list was longer, I am sure. Maybe you have figured that out on your own. My point is, don’t count on me to be clever for you.

How to write

Write like you are telling a friend something he wants to know. Don’t use jargon and don’t assume that everyone knows the things you know. Don’t talk down to your reader but inform him, because he needs to know what you know about your subject. In short, write like you like to read.

39 thoughts on “How to write a guest blog

  1. Just read the how-to on guest blogs…
    You, sir, are a natural-born editor. Covered almost everything one needs to know in 600 words or less. I’d only add;
    A: Learn what “Spell Check” for. And then use it. (It greatly helps your credibility quotient.)
    B: Aggressively resist any urge to include political commentary.
    C: Aggressively resist any urge to include religious commentary.
    (At this age, we’ve all made whatever decisions there are to be made on items “B” and “C” and pretty much no one welcomes alternate suggestions anymore.)
    D: Nobody in this crowd likes nude self-portraits.



      • Does this mean the self-portraits are okay then? ‘Cuz I got a bunch of those ready to go… Here, let me show you a few samples.
        (Welcome to an editor’s favorite submission-nightmare.)
        It turns out they’re all pics of a ’64 1/2 Mustang clad only in primer-coat.
        A worthy subject indeed, but the original Mustang is still and always will be considerably younger than me.
        Prettier, too.



  2. B.B.,

    Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look at the “please email us”. I think you opened the door a little wider to those who ever thought about doing a guest blog.

    We have a lot of real smart people here and if had to bet,..could deliver an almost 100% ready to go package to you. ( sad to say, that won’t be me……a.k.a. computer caveman )

    I for one,..hope and look forward to reader’s articles.


  3. As a guest blog writer, I’ll throw my two cents in, too. I’m long-winded, and keeping it short was my biggest struggle. So much information and details that someone else might find helpful! Consistent data collection is important, especially if you end up doing a multi-part blog. I was constantly going back and checking my old data to make sure I was staying factually accurate. Finally, investing in some studio lighting will go a long way toward getting decent photos. I also have to mention that B.B., and Edith, were a pleasure to work with.


  4. Thanks B.B. that’s a very interesting look at what is required to submit a guest blog, I also can’t say I would be submitting one, like Chris USA I am not computer friendly and only own a smartphone and lack organizational skills, that’s three strikes! Thanks for the insight though, hopefully it helps other budding guest bloggers to submit their reviews and stories. Speaking of stories can we get a good B.B. story, I always like your side tales and haven’t read any in awhile. Thanks, Ricka.


  5. I’m still catching up on the blog, right now I’m at sometime around June 2012. I may have never met the two of you and have only heard your voice Mr. Gaylord but I slow down when Ms. Edith writes and I hear what my mind tells me is her voice reading to me what she wrote. Indeed she has been a voice of reason in this blog especially when the denizens start acting like unruly schoolchildren.

    With this article to writing a blog a few more volunteers might take the time to write their experiences and share with the greater audience who seldom take the time to read the comments.


  6. No guest blogs for me.

    Heck I don’t even understand what .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt means.

    I enjoy reading the blog more than writing anyway.

    That will be fine for me.


  7. 1964 was a good year. The first golden age of stereo hi-fi was at its peak. All the brands from back then were still hand made good quality stuff that could be fixed with a little know how.


  8. GF,

    If I’m not mistaken, .doc is where you go when yer shootin hand gits hurt…and .docx is a .doc that didn’t know what to do for yer shootin hand so he quit an found hisself a dif’rent job.

    Sorry folks, but there was no way that I could let that pass in silence. Really REALLY sorry. 😉

    Denny


  9. Folks, our friend needs us to keep this blog running… let’s get our favorite airguns, rifles or pistols, go to the shooting range and write a report on the results. Just let the rest of us know why you like that particular rifle or pistol.
    I have a couple that I would like to write about, the Gamo Stutzen and my Diana 35 from 1930’s.


    • Fred, I’d like to hear your experiences about the new/old Gamo/Diana Stutzen rifles as I’ve always liked the full length stocks. I’ve a (somewhat) matched pair of 10/22 Rugers with the Mannlicher full stocks plus a Ruger 77 in .308, also with the full stock.
      At the range, they never fail to bring questions and commentary a’plenty. (More than a few offers to buy, also.
      But, like the terriers, they’re keepers.)


      • I’d like to hear more about air shotguns people are able to take game with.
        I talked with a TPWD wildlife management officer in a cafe the other day and so far only squirrel is open for airguns,”game animals”anyway. With polymer tipped projectiles being his best reason to expect a change in the future.


    • Fred_BR,

      That’s a good idea. I have several guns we rarely or never get to hear about because Pyramyd Air does not carry them. These are top of the line rifles that I think most everyone would enjoy hearing about.

      G&G


    • Fred BR,

      I thought the very same thing,…a great idea for a Friday report,….Shoot what you got,…and report,…what you got.

      Gun model, range, and results. Throw in ammo. choice if you want.

      Plain and simple,….kind of like a 21 gun salute to our dear Edith.

      Though, if I had to guess,…it would be more like a 210,..2,100,..21,000 gun salute.

      In honor,….Chris


  10. Need some help….

    My Umerex/Beretta 92FS semi auto Co2 pistol has ceased to work. The last the (3) carts I loaded only put out a small amount of air. When removed, they still have air in them. The pierce seems fine. I suspect a valve issue.

    I have always used Pellgun oil and have left it sit for a month or more and had full power on the first shot.

    Any ideas,….anybody,….trying to turn a powder burner onto air guns, and the only fun he had was from the fresh cart. I loaded for him. He tried 2 and I tried one more today,…all the same,…no go.

    Thanks. Chris


    • Chris,

      That sounds like a piercing pint to me. It’s not opening the cartridge far enough.

      The test is to let the gun sit for a long time — 30 minutes. Then take a shot. If it is full power, the piercing pin is at fault.

      B.B.



        • Chris USA how are those Beretta’s? I like the look of those given the many options, i think the nickel wood grip is my favorite version. The only other Co2 pistol I am considering right now is the Colt 1911 with wood grips, I had a chance to handle the all black version and really liked it, looks and feel were excellent. I just can’t decide which I would buy out of the two since I find their looks equally appealing but haven’t had a chance to shoot either. Ricka


          • Ricka,

            I have the Nickle/Wood. A blast to shoot. Over 3,000 rounds through it. Laser sighted it,….perfect. See the P.A. reviews on the nickle/wood. Got 2 on there not long after I got it.

            The thumbscrew became very tight. Brass on potmetal. I would say I would recommend it,…but in light of current status,….? Test and reply to BB to follow now,….stay tuned.


            • Yup Chris USA, of course depending on your current plight, lol. I did mean just in general and thanks for your response, i’ll check out those reviews. Do you think the thumbscrew is part of your issue? Maybe jamming before the cart is fully pierced?


              • Ricka,

                Not likely,…while tight,..I overcame it with some leverage. Think of screwdriver rocked against the frame to give it some extra turn. It has been working fine for a couple of months that way.

                I don’t know, when it “crashed”,…it crashed. Chris


      • B.B.,

        Well, waited 1 hr,….you know me,…alway’s taking it to the extreme. 😉

        At any rate, I would gauge it at half power. Did 8 shots, full mag./clip and 4 from another. Back to back, quick. New Co2, it usally makes quite the bang,…not now.

        By the way, the single stage started messing up, and just did full double, and it is messing up some. Advance and trigger jam. I usally only shot single, rarely double.

        Anymore ideas ? Full overhaul ? Thanks, Chris


  11. B.B.:

    You said that you had the most trouble with Word documents (.doc or .docx). You can convert Word documents to rich text format (.rtf) fairly easy. Open the document in word then select “file” followed by “Save As.” At the bottom of the “Save As” window, there will be a drop down box labeled “Save As Type.” Expand the drop down box, then select “Rich Text Format.” The document will save in rich text format. You can also change the name if you wish but the .rtf file will not overwrite the Word file. There will be two files, one in the original format and one .rtf file.

    Ugh. This is easier to demonstrate than try to explain. I’ll email you a screen print that may help.

    I hope this helps.

    Stay strong,

    Jim




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