Writing a guest blog: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

Edith was my mentor
I will help 
Take the time you need
Photos and text
This is what I tell all who apply to write a guest blog.
The rights
What should you NOT do?
Discovery writing

Every so often a certain blog will hit a nerve and you readers respond. I have seen this happen dozens of times over the 15.5 years this blog has run.  Maybe that is because over time all of our tastes change in a subtle way. One thing is certain, though — you cannot predict the topic that will cause this reaction. If you try, you will fail every time. So you watch for it and respond when it happens.

Yesterday’s blog by Ian McKee, or reader 45 Bravo, was such a report. I think what he did was touch many of you where you live when he said,”YOU know something about a subject that NO ONE else knows, and it is your duty to share that knowledge with someone.” read more

Writing a guest blog: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is another guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. And,with an ironic twist, he tells us how to write a guest blog.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Ian McKee
Writing as 45Bravo

Writing a guest blog: Part 1

This report covers:

We are a very diverse group
Write about what you know
|Keep it simple, but explain everything
Write it all down
Take a break
Read it again, and again
Tom can help
A photo is worth a thousand words
Remember, Tom is colorblind

We are a very diverse group

Are you qualified to write a guest blog? Of course you are! Over the years I have read many thousands of comments, by hundreds of very smart readers. We have had people on here that are master gunsmiths, master wood workers, instructors teaching our youth to enjoy the shooting sports, doctors (both the medical kind, and the academic kind), readers that have expertise in photography and mechanical engineering. We have retirees, and we have people that dig ditches for a living, the list can go on, and on.   read more

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. read more