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Centrist / Moderate Blog Submission Guidelines
Want to Blog Here? All You Have to do is Ask!
Centrists Rising is a community blog, meaning we’re open to any of our centrist to moderate registered users writing blog posts and engaging with other readers, bloggers and community members – so long as they follow the guidelines described here. There are different areas of the site that bloggers will be able to potentially see their content, depending on how they choose to create an account, and what sort of content they post.
As long as they follow the rules, all anyone needs to do to start blogging here is create an account, and then ask for that ability to be added to their account. As long as you follow the rules, you’ll be able to blog to your moderate / centrist heart’s content.
Centrist Views & Moderate Voices – Our User Blogs
The Centrist Views & Moderate Voices area of the site is (for the most part – unless a reader or a moderator flags something) an unedited stream of every post that goes up on the site from regular users. Unless a post is flagged to be looked at by a moderator, or stumbled upon by one and found to not follow our ground rules, it will be there for our moderate / centrist readers to see and comment on.
As said above, to have the ability to write blog posts, all you have to do is ask for permission – and unless you give us some reason to think you’re a troll or spammer, we’ll activate that ability for your account.
Understand – we have zero tolerance for spam of any kind (this includes posts that are just self promotion), personal attacks (even directed at those far from centrist – aka: keep it substantive – go after their ideas, not their person) or in general just being a jerk (we enforce the “No @55h0le Rule” with prejudice here). We have higher standards of conduct for those who write here than most community blog sites, we like it that way, and this is not something we’re going to budge on.
For those who keep up their own blog, on a different site/domain, this is the area where you will be able to ‘cross-post’ your content if you would like – meaning you are free to have your post on your site, as well as on our site. If you insist on posting under a name that is obviously fake (aka – doesn’t sound like a real person’s name), this is also where your posts will always be. We’re fine with you posting under a pen name, but if you want your posts to potentially make it into one of the front page sections, then you’ll have to write under a name that sounds plausibly real – even if it’s a made up name.
Posts that show up here will be much less likely to be shared on our main Facebook page, or the main (20,000+ large) Twitter account, but we will have a secondary Twitter account set up just for this section.
Featured & Promoted Posts: Our Front Page Blog Sections
The bottom half of the front page content area will be for ‘Promoted’ posts. Our team of moderate & centrist editors will hand select posts from the user blog stream to be promoted to the front page, so more people see them. We’ll be looking for posts that don’t have grammatical & spelling errors, read well, fit into the centrist to moderate big tent, and haven’t been posted elsewhere. We’ll also take notice when a post gets more clicks than others in the User Blog area, so make sure and share your posts with your social networks if you want to make it more likely that we’ll take notice and potentially promote it to the front page.
The average post in this section will have several times more people reading it than the average post in the user blog section, because of the exposure on our social media feeds and front page. We can’t afford to pay our writers, so this is our way of rewarding people for writing for our site, and writing solid content for our centrist to moderate blog readers. We hope that we can someday pay for posts – but that day is a long way off (the site has never made a profit – almost all of it’s budget comes out of our admin’s pocket).
Promoted posts have a shot at showing up on our main site Facebook page, and will get at least one tweet on our 20,000+ strong, and growing, Twitter account, among other things (Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc) that will lead it to be seen by a lot more people than will see posts only in the user blogs area.
If you add a picture to your post, you must attribute where it came from and either have the rights to share it, or it will be taken down (blogs get sued for this sort of thing – you will be warned, and if you do it more than once you may be banned from blogging – we can’t afford a lawsuit). If you don’t add a pic, and we choose your post from promotion to the front page, we will find an appropriate picture that we can legally use, and we’d be happy to show you where you can find pictures that are legal to use – just ask.
Promoted & Featured Centrist / Moderate Blog Content – Minimum Qualifications
To be eligible for the promoted section on the front page, there are three things an aspiring blogger must do:
- Aspiring centrist / moderate blog authors much use a real sounding name and fill their profile bio out – with a head shot as profile pic and at least a couple sentences about themselves. Again – to be clear – you can use a pen name, and use a picture that isn’t you, but the name and pic needs to be plausible / can’t be obviously fake.
- The post in question must be original (written by you & not just filled with quotes – max of around 25% quoted material), and must not be ‘cross-posted’ (aka – can’t be posted on another website as well – quoting a section and linking to the post here is however not only acceptable, it’s encouraged).
- Lastly, it must consist of at least 300 words (350-600 is preferred – although exceptions will be made for great original content – sometimes you just need to go longer, and sometimes short and sweet is all that is needed), with no more than 1/4 of the post being quoted text.
We initially were going to be more strict with this stuff, but I was convinced to change my mind by a few people who thought it was more important that anonymous bloggers can join in the fun than make Google happy and eventually get certified by Google News. Later on I’ll be spinning off a site that does aim to get Google News certified, that will consist of strictly medium to long form political and social commentary from a centrist to moderate perspective, but this site is more about creating a community.
We encourage people to quote your posts and link back to it on our site, and of course share on every social networking stream you have access to. As I said above, one way we’ll judge if a post is something our readers will like is if it’s already getting page loads and comments. Do your part to help this community grow, and share the stuff here that you like!
Serious About Being a Centrist / Moderate Blog Author?
Bloggers who are serious enough about writing to post solid content regularly can get/earn their own column. Having your own column means you would have your own page on our site, with a header image you can design that will go under the links bar at the top of the page (among other potential customizations of your page – click here to see how they do this for David Frum at The Daily Beast), where all of your posts will automatically go.
The major benefits of being a Columnist here at Centrists Rising is that 100% of your posts will be read by site manager Solomon Kleinsmith, for potential promotion to the Promoted or Featured sections of the site, and you will also get a block on the front page (the most visited page on the site) where you’ll see the title of your latest post underneath the name of your column (we’ll give you ideas for the name, if you don’t already have a clever one thought up).
There are two ways to earn your own column page:
1) The first works much like how David Frum got his own page at The Daily Beast. If you have a blog that has a decent following (like his, sadly shut down, moderate conservative blog ‘Frum Forum’), and choose to stop writing there to move over to Centrists Rising, in exchange for redirecting your audience here you’ll get your own column page.
- For those of you who have your own blog… let us take all the busy work of managing comments and spam, keeping the website up to date and promoting the site so lots of people see your work, so you can focus on what you love – writing solid centrist to moderate blog content. You’ll get more people reading your posts if you come here, and bringing your readers here will expose them to all of the other great centrist to moderate bloggers we have here.
2) The alternate route is to build your audience here. If you write regularly for the Centrist Views & Moderate Voices section of the site, and a number of your posts are promoted to the front page sections – we will notice. As said above – we can’t pay writers (YET – that is one of our top long term goals), but we’re all about doing our best to reward solid authors with as many readers seeing their content as we can rustle up for them.
To be crystal clear – this is for bloggers who are a bit more serious than those who will post just every now and then. There is only so much space on the front page, and if you’re going to get a chunk of it for your column, I’m going to expect that you’re going to be writing at least a post a week.
You never know where this sort of thing could lead. Andrew Sullivan started out as a blogger, and now he’s a famous columnist at The Daily Beast. John Avlon came from print journalism and did a stint working as a speech writer for moderate republican Rudy Giuliani before blogging on the old centrist / moderate blog and info site Radical Middle – and now he’s also a writer for The Daily Beast, and also is on television often through his analyst position at CNN. We’re not aiming at being the next Huffington Post – but we think we could, in time, grow to be the Daily Kos or Pajamas Media for centrists and moderates.
We’re pretty serious about what we’re trying to build here at Centrists Rising… the country needs places that stridently argue from the centrist to moderate viewpoint. I hope you decide to join the party and come along for the ride!
Site Manager & Blogger