We love guest authors on CSS-Tricks! It's always a win-win-win. It's good for the site, it's good for the readers, and it's good for you. We're a publication and thus live on content. Our readers have a voracious appetite for more information and perspectives. Guest posting can be an outlet for your thoughts and promotion for you.
Write the article you wish you found when you googled something.
— Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) October 30, 2017
We prefer if the reason you are writing is because you have something you very much want to share. You have a deep knowledge on this topic. You are excited about it. You're ready to tell people about it.
If that's all true, then exactly what you write about can be within a wide range of topics. Essentially "anything web". This site is mostly about front-end web design and development (it is certainly broader than just CSS), but we're not opposed to anything as long as it's related to the web at least somewhat.
Remember guest posts can be about just about anything web-related that you're very interested in. We prefer that you're knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, and ideally have production experience with whatever the topic is. Here's a big list of ideas we keep around. These are mostly in-progress ideas of our own though.
We tend to like posts that a referential and instructional rather than editorial. More "How to reverse and restart CSS animations" with lots of demos, videos, and code samples and less "Design tools make us lazy" with only personal opinions.
The audience of CSS-Tricks is front-end web designers and developers of all skill levels. We welcome guest posts at any skill level. We can help set the expectations for the article early in the article itself.
- Beginner articles have the highest bar. Topical 101 articles are easy to find and have a tendency to be not-so-great. We'd rather not add to that, but instead, if we do a beginner article, make it extremely good.
- Advanced articles are great, so long as they are approachable by someone at the intermediate level trying to level up. That means a high level of clarity, step-by-step instructions, lots of reference material, working/annotated demos, that kind of thing.
Friendly. Authoritative. Welcoming. We're all in this together. Flexible (nondogmatic about ideas). Thankful.
We pay! But there are two approaches to this.
One is that we straight up just pay you for your time and effort to write an article. We have a budget. It will vary from article to article based on some factors including the amount of time and research needed. We generally can only pay via PayPal. Sorry, we're a small team and need a simple workflow. If you need an exception to that, please be clear up front.
Two is that the post is intended to promote something of yours. In that case, no money changes hands. It is different from a sponsored post in that you aren't just straight up pitching your product or service, you're writing a useful article about the web, it just so happens to be something that the promotion you'll get from this article is valuable. It can't be overly promotional, but it can be like "I also wrote a book on this topic, check it out!" or "I'm writing about this because of my experience in building this product."
Tobias Günther wrote about a common problem in Git, a problem he's solved pretty well in building his own app Tower.
Authors have their own dedicated page on the site. For example, Scott Fennell.
We've been liking Dropbox Paper as a collaborative writing environment. It's pretty comfortable to write in, easy to share, Markdown-ish, and works into our editing/publishing flow pretty good. But if you have a strong preference on how you write, we can work with just about whatever.
Ultimately articles are published in WordPress-y HTML. Typically we'll handle the final formatting into the HTML format we publish in.
Always good: a healthy amount of images, code examples, and demos. Video when appropriate.
Usually, it goes a little something like:
- We start talking
- You pitch the concept
- We approve that
- You write an outline or something outline-like
- We approve that
- You write the article
- We edit it
- It gets posted
Like any process, it's malleable.
For #2 there, the pitch, that should be something like this:
- Potential Title
- Who is this for?
- What would someone be searching for on the internet and be glad they found this?
- A paragraph or two (or an outline) introducing the idea and plan.
Remember the things we want the most are strong reference material. You're a developer, you know exactly what you want when you land on an article. Create that. Good code examples, live demos, and images illustrating concepts.
Reach out and let's do this.