We’re so pleased you’ve joined the Selfish Mother fold! With your help we are rapidly becoming the go-to platform for inspiring content on motherhood, striking a chord with our readers through first-class, honest words. And now, we’ve invited a whole new concept called INSTA-BLOGS. So you can share your blog post on Instagram effortlessly!
We’re happy to have you on board & hope you find the below tips useful…
Molly (Editor-in-Chief) & Anniki (Super Editor) x
NB: We don’t welcome sponsored content, or posts which have no relevance to our readers and writers. So please don’t upload posts with links to advertising/third party sites. We will remove any if they aren’t in keeping with the Selfish Mother vibe. Thanks.
THE LOWDOWN ON POSTING:
1) Log In
Click on “Club Login’ which you’ll find top right of our homepage
Log into Selfish Mother using the username and password you’ve been emailed after joining the Network (if you haven’t joined yet you can do so here). If you joined but your password hasn’t appeared in your inbox, check your spam filter, or drop us an email to our Super Editor Anniki at firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Create your profile:
In the left-hand column, click on ‘Profile’ – this is your personal profile page where you can fine tune your details. Check the following:
• ‘Display name publicly’ – this will be your byline so check this is correct. We like it to be first name last name. IE: Scarlet Smith, not just Scarlet
• Website – if you have a website, blog or Twitter handle then add it here. This will appear under your biography on every post and it will be linkable.
• ’Biographical info’ – this is the place to enter your 30-80 word biog, which will appear on all of your posts. Please include: Your full name, followed by what you do or did or if you’re a full time parent, your children’s names and ages, where you live including town and country, and any other interesting details you want to share.
• ‘New password’ – we suggest you change your password to something you’ll remember and make sure you write it down so you don’t forget it!
• ‘Avatar’ – upload a byline photo of your (preferably on your own). We love to see your photos so please take the time to do this.
• Remember to hit the button ‘Save Profile’
3) Create your blog / INSTA-BLOG
In left hand column go to Posts and click Add New. If you are familiar with Word Press you`ll know what to do* if not then just write or copy and paste your post into the large box. Our ideal word count is between 400-600 words long. We like short evenly spaced paragraphs, as this ensures the post is digestible and easy to read.
Try and even out the spaces between each paragraph as sometimes they will look odd if cut and pasted from another platform.
* And here’s the DIFFERENCE. Our blogs can be viewed as running copy, or in SQUARES, which lend themselves nicely to INSTA-BLOGS. If you wish to share your blog on Instagram you need to ensure that you have a great cover image (more on that below), plus EIGHT squares of text, + the last square which features your name & photo. These 10 squares will make up one gallery post on Instagram (which you can simply screengrab & post on Instagram).
4) Think of a catchy, imaginative, punchy title A title is often everything and so see if you can really encapsulate the point of your post in as few words as possible. Great titles tend to engage readers right away and so they need to work hard for you (more on this later!)
5) Upload image
Choose one image to represent your post. We love black & white, bold colours, patterns, wallpaper, words & signage, vintage-look, or arty. Crop your image and make sure it is at least 739px wide by 387 px high
Find ‘Featured Image’ in the right hand column and upload your image pressing ‘Insert Featured Image.’
NB: If need be please credit the image name and the photographer, artist or website at the bottom of your post in Italics.
Tick the box for NEW. Your post will appear in the NEW category. And, if our Super Editor Anniki Sommerville loves it then she will add it to the HOMEPAGE, too.
Please preview your post, double-check grammar and spellings, ensure your paragraphs are short and evenly spaced, and your picture is cropped correctly. Please check this all again and again – because you cannot make changes once the post is live!
When you are completely HAPPY, click the blue `PUBLISH` button. You’re unable to edit posts once they are live.
8) Share your post!
Now your post is live it’s time to get sharing. Let’s be honest, we don’t all browse blogs on websites like this so much any more… we read them via Social Media. So, the posts that get read & commented on most are the ones that are shared on social media the most!
So – share your own post on Instagram (using our new Insta-Blogs format), and also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (depending on what you use). Also don’t forget email! Send it to friends & ask them to comment! Ask friends to share it too. Nb: If you’re not prepared to share it yourself, then other people won’t be inclined to either.
The more a post is shared, the more chance it has of gaining momentum and being read and liked! Sometimes your post might get picked up by another network, such as Mumsnet Blog Network or The Huffington Post. Or, you might land a feature commission from a major newspaper or magazine.
9) We’ll share posts, too! We share posts from SelfishMother.com on our @SeflishMother Facebook page daily, and also now Molly regularly shares blog posts on her @SelfishMother Instagram feed. If you’d like Molly to see yours, then when you share it on Instagram please tag her in! If your post looks great and reads well then there is no reason why it won’t be shared. Just ensure you have a super picture and it is written thoughtfully.
• Ditto the title! The title draws people in, so make it as good as you can.
• Why not talk about your writing in your Instagram stories, too? And link back to your own feed so people read it?
• If you’re on Facebook, we recommend you share your post with a link & ask friends to read it, but also a a separate Facebook status update a few days later that asks friends to like / share your post
• Commenting on replies beneath your post will add engagement. Interact as you would on your own social media
• Tweet your article too & ask people to support you by commenting! Don’t be afraid to Tweet it more than once.
• Don’t forget good old-fashion email! Send friends a link to your article and ASK them to comment and share with their friends in turn.
• Also, don’t restrict yourself to just sharing your own posts. Like, comment and share other SM writers’ posts… and they’ll probably do the same in return. SUPPORT THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY! You’ll get to know each other & strike up new friendships.
• Post and post and post again. The more you post the more you’ll be shared! Don’t give up after one post even if it doesn’t get the viral reaction you were hoping for 🙂
• Also also talk about your writing IN REAL LIFE! Word of mouth is the oldest way to share & it still works 🙂
WRITING HINTS & TIPS
• As we’ve already mentioned a good title is half the battle! The better the title the more likelihood your post will be read and shared. Titles work well that instantly resonate with the reader and aren’t too obscure (IE: so if your post is a about breastfeeding, be sure to mention it in the title). Titles work that are catchy, a play on words, a familiar phrase, a double meaning, alliteration, or that sum up the article in a few words and / or taps into the zeitgeist.
• Tone of voice should be chatty (as if talking to a friend), observant, intelligent and – if it suits – witty.
• Say what’s on your mind: be honest. Readers can smell a rat. Honest words are so much more compelling than beating around the bush or disguising your real thoughts.
• At Selfish Mother we love features that are inspiring, life affirming, motivating and feel good. We believe in sharing the love and supporting other women. We are feminist at heart but we are not in any way bitter – we are glass half full, and love life!
• Don’t write way over the word count (Minimum 400 words, maximum 600 words). More words doesn’t equal a better feature. If you go way over then go back and edit it down by taking out odd words and sentences here and there. It will be far easier for readers to digest.
• Use minimal exclamation marks if you want readers to take you seriously. Limit yourself to one or two a post. Not lots like this!!!! Also check your piece for grammar and spelling before you hit the PUBLISH button. We do edit pieces that we share on Facebook but first impressions count and so don’t rush the detail. You can always come back to a piece later and save it in drafts until it’s ready to go
• We prefer not to link out to other websites as think this breaks the flow of a post.
• We’re not fans of swearing in posts but the odd one here or there is okay.
• We love our kids. We neither go on about them or complain about them. Selfish Mother is also about reclaiming our identity and celebrating our individuality and the things that help us feel more human and connected.
IMAGE HINTS & TIPS
• If a good title is half the battle, a good image is the other half! You have more chance of people reading your post if your image is good. We do edit and change images at times especially if we are going to share them our social media feed
• Sometimes your post may be shared on the image alone. So think hard if your image reflects the post to its best ability.
• The featured image needs to be at leastis at least 739px wide by 387 px high wide in order for the post to be published. If you double click on your image in PREVIEW you can edit the size. Google how to crop images if you’re not sure how to do it.
• We love images that are vintage black and white images, good personal photographs, wallpaper patterns, bright colours, neon signs, retro signage or an image that sums up the post in a clever way.
Think laterally… i.e: for an article on breastfeeding you could find a pic of vintage milk bottles.
• Do not use images that are already in the Media Library at Selfish Mother as these images are there because they have already been used. Take them as inspiration!
• We do like images to look stylish. Don’t go for badly-lit, tacky, cheesy or obvious images.
• We at Selfish Mother may change your image if we think we’ve found one better, so don’t be surprised or offended if we swap your picture for another one. We just think it looks better and will be more sharable.
• We don’t pay for images at Selfish Mother, which means some careful picture research needs to go on before posting.
• Feel free to use photos of your own, these can add a lovely personal touch, although keep them stylish and interesting.
• If you want to use someone else’s image please ask for their permission. Once you have permission then you can add a picture credit beneath your article.
• Don’t think it’s okay to use a photo of someone else’s if you simply credit it. You’ll need permission to ‘borrow’ a photo, eg: from someone else’s blog.
• If searching online there are plenty of picture sites that you can sign up to for free or a small fee. You can also do advanced searches on Google for ‘credit free’ images.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
By joining the Network you agree to the following terms & conditions:
+ We reserve the right to edit all posts published at Selfish Mother.
+ A post cannot be edited by the writer once it is live on Selfish Mother.
+ A post cannot be taken down by the writer once it is live on Selfish Mother, but may be removed if it has been agreed between Selfish Mother and the writer.
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to request changes to submissions when necessary.
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to take down any posts that are not in keeping with the ethos or mindset of the site.
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to share all posts submitted by Network Members on social media and via email.
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to edit and change all Writer biographies
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to edit or change all uploaded images.
+ Selfish Mother does not pay Writers for submissions
+ Selfish Mother reserves the right to delete comments below any submissions.
+ Selfish Mother is not responsible for the views of any writers who post on Selfish Mother. The views are the writers own.
+ Email at any time to unsubscribe Hello@SelfishMother.com.
+ Network members are not employees of Selfish Mother.
GET IN TOUCH!
We don’t want you to feel that you’re ‘going it alone’ – the whole point of this Network is that you feel part of a gaggle! If you have any questions or problems you can…
Email: email@example.com or email Super Editor Anniki Sommerville at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions that aren’t covered here.