BELT Contributor Guidelines
Become a BELT Contributor, below are the key guiding principles to writing for BELT
- All articles written for BELT must be exclusive and original. Plagiarism is out rightly prohibited.
- All written articles should be backed up with personal anecdotes, source links to validate contents and examples from established brands.
- Repetition of already published contents is not permitted not matter how creatively restructured they are.
- Accepting payments to advertise or promote a business, product or person is prohibited except on cases where prior relationship has been clearly established and approved.
- All contents must be authentic and unique, not the generic contents found everywhere on the internet.
I. Benefits & Compensation
- BELT Network: Writing on BELT gives you exposure to a large audience consisting of established entrepreneurs, business brands and industry influencers.
- BELT Membership Package: Free automatic subscription to the BELT Associate Membership, which gives discounts on our business services, free subscription to BELT Magazine amongst other benefits.
- Gift Vouchers & Giveaways: Due to our large network of businesses and relations, we receive regular giveaways, event tickets and vouchers from these businesses, these perks, we give to our contributors, subscribers and readers.
- Content Marketing & Free Promotion: As a contributor, you are entitled to timely self-promotions in properly constructed articles to give your business and brand a wider reach and credibility.
- Advancement & Payments: BELT editors run scheduled reviews every 3-6 months in which contributors are reviewed, weighing the relevance of their contents on BELT and contributors with a considerable amount of traffic and readership are then taken up for timely payments for contributions.
If you’re serious about becoming a BELT Contributor, please read through the guidelines and expectations in their entirety before submitting an article.
Writing for BELT
If your application is accepted, an editor will create a profile for the author in the Content Management System (CMS). Once you receive an email for onboarding, you will be asked to upload a two- to three-sentence bio and your headshot (high quality only, please) in our system, along with the social media handles you would like to include. For your professional bio, don’t use superlatives or overly promotional or personal language. Provide the city of the company’s headquarters and where the contributor is located, if different. Hyperlink your company name and any published book, if you’d like
1. Before writing: What we expect
Length: Our articles usually run between 650 to 800 words, though a little longer is fine, and we don’t recommend more than 1,200 words.
Topics: Our content educates and motivates. Our editors are looking for articles that inspire, give insight into current trends and offer actionable takeaway tips to African Entrepreneurs.
Distinct message: We’re looking for fresh perspectives on topics our readers care about. To ensure you’re offering an original idea:
a. Search the site. You’ll discover what topics our readers enjoy and what we’ve already written on a topic. Make sure the article you pitch offers something our readers and editors haven’t seen.
b. Consider your personal experience. What problems have you overcome? What unique perspectives can you bring? Tell that story.
c. Look to current events. News events and industry changes might spark an article only you can write. Consider if you have insights into how a change might impact current practices and how business owners can be prepared.
Actionable advice: Stories that don’t give readers actionable advice or takeaways likely won’t be selected for publication. To us, advice means usable, numbered tips readers can put to use right away. Tips should be clear enough for a reader to put into action right away. The best tips are often ideas our readers haven’t seen before but offer them a new solution to a common problem.
Trustworthy sources: Be savvy about the sources you cite. Rely on primary sources as much as possible. And remember — Wikipedia crowdsources information from the public and doesn’t always offer the most accurate information. In general, we like to see writers weave in at least a few links to outside websites (not BELT or their own company) where readers can find more information or additional resources on the topics discussed.
Please note: While contributors may say they are working on an article for BELT when they approach public relations professionals or potential sources, contributors ARE NOT members of the BELT staff and should not represent themselves as such at events or in communications with sources.
II. Before submitting: Things to do
For your article:
Proof your article. Sloppy work won’t be accepted by our editors. If your piece is riddled with typos and/or factual errors, it will not be accepted.
Check our style guidelines. BELT has special guidelines for things such as capitalization, terms and punctuation. This guide is listed at the end of this document. Check your article against it before submitting.
Link to your sources. If you quote someone or cite a statistic, link out to your source. This will help readers learn more about a topic and bolster your writing. Additionally, not having these links could slow the publication of your article. Don’t expect that your editor will do your legwork for you. Please link to the original source.
If you interview someone, please say so in the piece. Your editor and the reader will want to know that you have conducted original reporting.
Disclose any financial relationships. Please acknowledge financial relationships, if any exist, with the companies or individuals you write about or link to. This disclosure is very important to us and our readers. Violating this rule could lead to your article being removed from the site or the end of your ability to contribute to the site. If you have questions, please talk to your editor.
You cannot receive money from a business or person in exchange for writing about them. It is also against our policy for contributors to sell links in their articles to people or companies. Any contributor found to be violating these policies will be barred from publishing in our network.
Support your argument with multiple examples: Prove your argument. Please use more than just one example (of a company, study, entrepreneur, etc.) to illustrate any point you make. We tend NOT to accept articles about a single person or company, unless that person or company is very well-known (e.g. Otedola or Dangote).
Tell us if it’s timely. Articles with a time peg can move through the queue more quickly. If there is a time peg (a Christmas piece, for example), put a note to that effect on the subject line so an editor can see that more easily.
Submit original work. Work you didn’t write is not acceptable. Warmed over posts (something you published previously with just a few new tweaks added) are also unacceptable. (Know that we usually spot these, and they make us very, very unhappy).
Make sure your article isn’t overly self-promotional. Mentions of your company, book or skillset should be used to demonstrate your expertise on a topic. The effect should serve to educate, not advertise. Articles that excessively promote your brand, company or product likely won’t be published. Excessive links to your products or initiatives will likely be deleted. (One or two links are fine. 10 are not.)
For your author profile:
Provide the following to your editor:
Submit a unique email address that will be used by the author (or publicist) to log into our content-management-system account. If you are a publicist who represents multiple people who write for us, we will need a different email address for each individual.
III. After submitting: What to expect
- Contributors should expect to receive a response within 1-2 weeks. If you have not heard from us after 2 weeks, your pitch/article was likely rejected.
- Accepted articles will likely require revisions. Your editor will likely have questions or suggestions. If your piece is sent back to you for rewrites, questions, etc., an editor will put it into check-out mode and send it to you as an email link. Any changes you make (and save — don’t forget that step!) will be viewable on our end, too. Be sure to submit the article again when you are finished and an editor will review.
- You will receive an email notification when your piece goes live.