Writing & Style Guidelines

This article describes the writing guidelines for our current writers. If you're not currently a writer with us, please apply here.

Guidelines Applicable to All Articles

  1. All submissions must be made directly in WordPress.  We will not accept submissions by email.  Your submission should be publication-ready when you submit it.  Formatting should be correct (see below for examples).
  2. You don't have to worry about href "target" values when linking.  Our indexer will fix that.
  3. Do not try to game the anti-spam indexer or engage in content marketing.  We nofollow most links by default.
  4. Minimize the use of pronouns -- don't use pronouns like meyouI, or we in reference to yourself or the reader.
  5. Citations are fine to use, but don't count for word count.  All non-citation content must be completely original.
  6. Whenever you mention a company for the first time in an article, you must include its ticker in parentheses immediately after the company name. Our indexer will automatically link the ticker to the appropriate page.  For example, "Apple (AAPL) closed up over 2% for the tenth day in a row."
  7. You'll notice the contract has a clause on SEC compliance.  DO NOT write about anything you're investing in or you've recently invested in.  The SEC can literally send you to prison for doing that.  If you can't write about something big in the news because of this restriction, let us know as soon as possible and we'll take care of it.
  8. Use this tool to check the correct article title capitalization: http://capitalizemytitle.com/

Stock of the Day (SOD)

Here's a proper example of SOD: http://www.investorguide.com/article/15966/shire-plc-and-valeant-to-potentially-make-an-offer-for-salix-slxp-pharmaceuticals-sod/  Notice that:
  1. section intros are bolded and have punctuation or a new line that separates them from the rest of the paragraph,
  2. reference and additional articles are properly linked,
  3. the stock ticker for the featured stock is included in parenthesis in the title of the article, and no other tickers are included in the title,
  4. for the stock analysis section, just leave a break after the first paragraph, and the financials will automatically be inserted,
  5. all publicly traded stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs are linked to the appropriate page on InvestorGuide.com, and
  6. the article is properly tagged as Stock of the Day in the right categories section.

InvestorGuide Daily (IGD), InvestorGuide Weekly (IGW), and any other news content.

News content should be up-to-date and recent.  If you prep IGD multiple days in advance, it will be bad content.  You may begin prepping IGW throughout the week (otherwise you're never going to get IGD and IGW done on time), but you must edit it once over on Fridays to make sure everything is up to date.  IGD and IGW should be prepped and ready for publication shortly after market close.  US markets close at 4pm EST/EDT, and we try to have the issues out by 5pm. IGD and IGW's general format is focused on anything newsworthy in the financial news of the day/week.  The exact format is pretty open as long as (1) it sticks to top financial news and (2) it's interesting to people in finance/investing (if you don't have a finance/investing background, you won't know what's interesting).  In general though, we usually find the best comes out automatically when your writing interests you (which is why we only want writers with interests in finance/investing). Here's a proper example of IGW: http://www.investorguide.com/article/15974/market-closes-week-18000/  Notice that:
  1. section intros are bolded and have punctuation or a new line that separates them from the rest of the paragraph,
  2. all publicly traded stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs are linked to the appropriate page on InvestorGuide.com,
  3. the article is properly tagged as Weekly Market Recap in the right categories section, and
  4. the article is at least 600 words.
Here's a proper example of IGD: http://www.investorguide.com/article/15973/dow-gains-47-points-closes-week-up-igd/  Notice that:
  1. section intros are bolded and have punctuation or a new line that separates them from the rest of the paragraph,
  2. all publicly traded stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs are linked to the appropriate page on InvestorGuide.com,
  3. the article is properly tagged as Daily Market Commentary in the right categories section, and
  4. the article is at least 400 words.

Reference Content

  1. Reference content must be drafted as evergreen -- it should be true now and very likely to be true in 10 years.  Although there will be changes in law and the market, minimal references should be made to things that are likely to change.
  2. When writing reference content, you'll usually be given keywords and a topic.  You must focus your article on using those keywords at least twice within the article and once in the title.
  3. Occasionally the context might not be clear from the keywords.  If in doubt, the context should be business/finance/investing.  When assigned keywords relating to job titles, please cover (1) the paths taken to start a career in each field, and (2) from a consumer standpoint, in which situations each job is relevant.
  4. Minimum content length for reference content is 600 words.
  5. DO NOT tag reference content as Daily Market Commentary, Weekly Market Recap, or Stock of the Day.  You can use any other tags that make sense (e.g. Forex, Personal Finance, etc).