Guide to your first article for Technical Writer Fellowship - Phase 2
Once you have joined the discord channel where we coordinate all the details, questions, timelines, QnA, reviews, etc. and have created an account on Invide's blogging system, you will be writing your first article. This guide will help you with the common questions you come across while doing this.
So here's how you go about writing your first article
1. Decide the topic
You will be writing only one article in this phase. But we need 3 topic suggestions so we can collaboratively pick one out of them.
- Make sure your topic is well researched for opportunity to rank in Search Engines. If you don't have good idea on how to do that, pick from this Request For Articles(RFA) list https://flow.invidelabs.com/community/p/62d7f79091e6840cbd474025
- Pick the topic for which you have decent insights and you'd find it doable to research on the topic to write an in-depth article with unique insights
- After we lock-in on your topic, you will have 1 week to research on the topic
How to find topics that will rank higher in search?
If you are choosing any other topic than RFAs, you should invest some time in keyword research. But how? This resource will help you with the SEO keywords research for blog topics https://mangools.com/blog/keyword-research/
Where to submit the topic
Submit in the discord channel so that the fellowship mentors can provide feedback for each one of you in a separate thread
2. Write a rough outline of your article
Invest one week in researching about your topic and make a rough outline. One-week research and information gathering about your topic. If needed, write some code. Done within a week.
3. Attend the weekly online meetup, ask questions and brainstorm
If you don't, you will find yourself wasting a lot of time in discovering relevant information and figuring out the stuff which could have been quite easy otherwise.
4. Write the first draft
Follow the writing guidelines as mentioned on following page
And once you're done with your first draft, submit it for the feedback in the discord channel. Check out some of the frequently asked questions in this phase as following
What is the word limit for the article?
Ideally the article should be around 3000 words for maximum search traffic your article can get. It should not be below 1000 in any case. Aim for max.
How to write TOC linking with headings?
1. Add a markdown section for TOC
2. Create a bulltet list of heading e.g.
Table of contents * My heading 1 * My heading 2 * My heading 3
3. Link heading with the bullet text e.g. For heading "My heading",
[My heading 1](#my-heading-1) (make sure the link you write is in small case and space is replaced with
-). If you have any doubts, you can inspect element on the headings and check their id, that's what needs to be added as link)
Any guidelines for the cover image?
What is the ideal cover size?
- Make sure the image size is <10MB
- If you have text in the cover image, make sure it does not get cut off on different screen sizes when shown in full or as thumbnail (keeping text minimal and positioned at the center helps with that)
Why is it mandatory to add excerpt and guidelines for that?
Checkout the right sidebar in the blogging system's editor. You'll find an option to add excerpt. Make sure you add a short description of what this article is about there. It shows up as a description in the search results and social media posts.
- It is one of the first info about the article that reader sees and likely to make a decision to read based on this info. So make it a compelling brief that helps a reader make the decision. When I write the excerpt, I find myself taking inspiration from my article's conclusion. The excerpt is usually the most important part of the conclusion explained in a really few words.
- Keywords in the excerpt impact what keywords any search engine will associate your article with. So choose your keywords wisely.
- It should not be too long or too short. Aim for 100-160 words.
5. Final editing and submission
At last, use the feedback given by mentors to polish up your article and submit for the final review. After this stage, you won't be able to make any changes in your article. The reviewers will either approve or reject the article. And you will qualify or disqualify for the next stage.