Blog posts are the articles published on LWTV about queer TV news, analysis, recaps and queer tv-related pop culture. If you would like to write for the site, we’d love to consider you! Please check out the submission guidelines or mention it in the #lwtvwebsite channel on Slack.
The following types of content are posted regularly on the site. We are always open to new ideas, so feel free to pitch a story on the #lwtvwebsite channel on Slack.
- Breaking News: These are to be posted as soon as possible – recommended title “Breaking News: [Title]”
- Exclusives: Interviews, event coverage, etc. – they should be scheduled and preferably no more than once a week
- Listicles: i.e. ‘10 Best _________’ posts – these use a special block called “Listicle”
- Analysis: Reports on statistics and the state of representation
- Commentary: Rants, praise, opinions and further editorializing regarding Queer TV
A good title should be attention-grabbing, but not Buzzfeedy. Try to avoid “You won’t believe these characters are queer!”
Everyone has their own style bible, be it the Chicago Manual of Style or Strunk & Whites. You can choose to use the Oxford Comma or not, e. Our Style Guide is not an attempt to force you to write a specific way, but a series of guidelines to encourage consistency.
Keep your language as inclusive as possible. Avoid using monosexual terms when referring to people in general (i.e. “queer women” vs. “lesbians”). You can use a specific sexual and gender orientation when referring to a particular person who is out about their orientation. Above all, be positive and supportive. Don’t bash or attack. We’re trying to help representation, support queer content creators, and foster a tone of positivity.
Spelling and Romanization
We write in American (or Canadian) English for the most part. This can cause a problem when adding foreign content, as even languages that use the Latin alphabet can include characters with diacritics, ligatures and others that are not commonly used in present-day English.
Use the characters they use. Zoë, Ægir, Erdös and so on. Use copy/paste if you don’t know how to add those manually. They’re safe to use in titles and tags, as WordPress will auto-correct for you in the URLs.
Also, remember to use the name order that the actor or character does. If they’re Asian and use the Patronym (last name) as the ‘first’ name, then do LASTNAME FIRSTNAME. Romanization may happen with some characters, but WordPress should be fine.
If you get an image from an official source, please use the “Attribution” field or include the content “Photo Credit NBC/Universal” in the Alt Text (Alternative Text) box.
The article header image is set using the “Featured Image” in the Document sidebar. It must be at least 825px wide and the height can be variable, but bigger is better, the site will automatically resize the image for you. This will be both the header image for the post as well as the thumbnail for the article listing page and home page. Try to avoid using really generic stock photography if possible.
If you need help making this image mention it in the #authors channel on Slack.
Excerpts are used in post lists, search results and social preview descriptions if one is not explicitly set. They should be two or three good sentences about the content.
If the article contains spoilers, please added a spoiler warning at the beginning of the article. There is a “Spoiler” Block you can use for this.
TV Shows should be italicized. Example: “Watch CSI on CBS!”
When making a list of episodes use the following format:
- Season # Episode # “Episode Title” – Episode description.
Blog posts should be staggered so they don’t post on the same day. Some posts are a weekly column set to publish on a particular day of the week, please take that into consideration when scheduling posts.
- Monday — The Queerest Thing I Watched Last Week: Tracy posts this every Monday at 1pm ET
- Wednesday: Mika posts something on Wednesdays. She doesn’t have a set subject.
- Friday — Queer Beats: Nikki posts what’s new with queer things around the world every Friday.
Click on the date in the document toolbar to choose a date and time for your post to publish and click the Schedule button to set it. You can change this date and time before your post is set to publish if you want to reschedule.
When a post is published, Jetpack has a social sharing feature that promotes the article on all of LezWatchTV’s social accounts. You’ll find the Jetpack settings in the top right corner by clicking the Jetpack button:
Make sure to add relevant hashtags to the message. If you don’t fill this out, Jetpack will post a generic Tweet when the post is published.
To switch back to the regular sidebar, click the settings gear button.
Tags and Categories
Categories are for large, widespread topics such as “News” or “Exclusives.” Limit usage to 2 per post whenever possible.
Tags are freeform and for the minutia, like a show name, an actor name, and so on. Think of them as hashtags. You’re trying to bring awareness to the topic.
- Tags should use capital letters (i.e. ‘Jane the Virgin’ and not ‘jane the virgin’)
- If a tag is missing, feel free to add it
- Be careful about spelling and the name of actors (we use Kat Barrell and not Katherine, for example)
Cross Linking is when you mention a show/character/actor on another page and link back to it. This is important, as it helps lower our bounce-rate and keep people clicking through the site. We’ve automated many links (shows link back to related blog posts and so on), but there are still some links you’ll need to do yourself.
The commonly accepted rule is that you should only link to TV Shows, actors, and characters the first time they appear in a post.
You should add links in blog posts. On show pages, you don’t need to link to characters (or their actors) who are listed on the page, because they are listed out already. If, however, you’re mentioning that Law & Order is in the same universe as The X Files, then you can link to each show from the other page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
We encourage authors to SEO their posts so articles will show up in search engine results. At the bottom of the edit screen you will find settings for Yoast SEO Premium. There you enter a focus keyphrase and the plugin will analyze the content and make recommendations for SEO.
The suggestions are pretty comprehensive and it lets you know how well you’re doing with green dots.
For more detailed instructions, please visit these helpful guides.
- Beginner’s Guide to Yoast SEO
- How to use the SEO analysis tool
- A tutorial to higher rankings for WordPress sites.
Twitter and Facebook Previews
The Yoast plugin also lets you determine how the article preview will look on Twitter and Facebook. To access these settings, click on the Yoast “Social” tab. Please make sure these are filled out before your post publishes.
- Ideal Twitter image size: 1200px X 675px
- Ideal Facebook image size: 1200px X 628px
Below is a checklist of all the items that should be done before a post is published.
- Title: Write a good one
- Content: Keep the tone positive and inclusive.
- Header Image: Must be at least 825px wide, the height can be variable – bigger is better, the site will automatically resize the image for you
- Schedule: Choose the day and time your post will go live.
- Category: Assign one, only use 2 if it is an exclusive and something else
- Tags: Tag all the shows and actors mentioned in the article (use proper capitalization)
- Excerpt: Write up a 1 to 2 sentence excerpt that will be used on the home page and all other lists of posts.
- Yoast: Choose a keyphrase and use the Yoast SEO box at the bottom to tweak the search result listing, Twitter preview and Facebook preview
- Jetpack Social Sharing: Edit the tweet that will go out when the post goes live under “Jetpack” and remember to use Hashtags