These are the guidelines for writing articles for ATMac. If you are writing a guest article this should give you an idea of where to start:
What to Submit
Your article needs to be relevant to Apple stuff and have some relevance to disability or accessibility (including special needs, chronic illness, mental illness, elderly users, and others). General articles about Apple with no disability angle aren’t what we are after.
Remember that people who read ATMac posts are generally coming from search engines and generally have a very specific question in mind, a problem they want solved. It might be general, like “How can a disabled person use OS X?” or very specific, like “Why is everything on my iPhone screen suddenly huge?” but there will be a question in their minds. Your article’s job is to answer that question as efficiently as possible.
Each article needs to have just one specific and focussed topic. If you want to talk about more than one thing, you can always write more than one article! Make sure you’ve cleared your topic with me before you write and submit your article.
I am usually only interested in publishing original articles but exceptions can be made to this rule – contact me to discuss.
Articles I publish here are generally 250-500 words in length. Longer articles can be broken up and published as a series of shorter articles, though, and articles which are mostly images/video/audio might have fewer words.
How to Submit
- All text must be legal for ATMac to use.
- Don’t copy other articles!
- Make sure quotes are clearly marked, you say who the quote is from, and there’s a link to the source of the quote if it’s on the web.
- If in doubt, check with me.
- Each article needs a feature image – this is displayed on the front page and at the top of the article itself and must be at least 672 pixels wide and 372 pixels high. If you look at the front page you’ll get a good idea of what these usually look like.
- If you are writing about a specific gadget, person, or something else that can be captured in a picture then try to get a clear close-up photo of just that gadget/person/etc. with as little stuff in the background as possible.
- If you are writing more generally, we have generic images for iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, OS X, Apple, Accessibility, and a bunch of other things that can be used.
If you aren’t sure which image you could use, or need help with one then just ask.
- Aside from the feature image, each article should have at least 1-2 other “inserts”. These are usually screenshots or photographs, but videos or audio (MP3) is also great. How-to articles may need lots more images, use your judgement here.
- All images, video, audio, or any other inserts etc. must also be legal for ATMac to use.
- Screenshots you take yourself are fine.
- Photos/videos/audio/etc. you’ve taken or somebody has taken for you (at your direction) are fine. Photos/videos/audio/etc. where the person taking them has given you permission to use them are fine. Anybody who is identifiable in the photo/video/audio needs to give you permission to use their face, or you can crop or blur the images/video so they aren’t identifiable if they’d rather not be in it.
- Images from the program’s website which are marked as for use of PR, press, or media are fine. The icon of a program or app itself is fine. For other website images, check with the authors – most are happy for you to use them but asking is necessary.
- Embedding any video that’s already uploaded to a public video site like YouTube or Vimeo is fine.
- If you need any other photos, try searching via the Creative Commons website, the green bar up the top needs to have “Use for commercial purposes” and “Modify, adapt, or build on” ticked before you search. Save the address of the website where you got each photograph, as we need to link back to that website to credit the author of the photograph.
I know this can sound a bit intimidating and scary, but don’t get stressed about it. If you aren’t sure, just ask me.
Formatting Your Article
- When you write you article, please leave the formatting as plain as possible. Any formatting that you do generally has to be taken out and re-done the way ATMac does it, so it’s best to leave it out altogether and just include a note with your article describing any formatting that you want.
- If you want to put in a link, just put where you want the link to lead to in brackets or braces – don’t make it an actual link in your text.
- Similarly, don’t include your images/pictures/videos/etc in the article itself. Put notes like “Picture1.png goes here” and then attach Picture1.png to your email when you submit your article. It’s much easier for me if you do this.
As always, if you have any questions or worries or trouble please feel totally free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help you! People who write articles for ATMac are doing me a huge favour and I’m totally a thousand percent happy to help with it in any way that people need.