Entrepreneur Leadership Network Style Guide
Here is a short list of our style preferences. Adhering to these guidelines will cut down on the back and forth with your editor and will speed up the publishing process.
For a more in-depth look at the type of content we're looking for, please review our Writer's Guidelines.
1. Article length
In terms of length, generally we do not want stories to be over 1,000 words. There are exceptions, but they are rare.
2. Formatting subheds
When formatting in the CMS, please note that all subheds (and there should always be at least two subheds in your stories) should be formatted in "Heading 2," not bold. They should also be in lower case sentence format, but with no period at the end.
3. Adding Entrepreneur.com links
When your stories are published, there are at least three "Related" links embedded throughout each story. Those are added in manually, and going forward we'd like contributors to add them while building the story. You can do this by searching a term on the Entrepreneur site that corresponds to the topic of your story, and then linking to those stories in the related link style, which is to type "Related: Article Title," with the title linked and then format the whole thing in bold, normal font. I typically try to link to stories published in the last few years (sometimes I search more than one term to find different related angles), and I usually place the links right before a sub-hed, so they interrupt the reading experience as little as possible. You're welcome to link to your own past stories if that makes sense.
4. Outside editing assistance
Some of you have professional experience writing, and others have publicists/writers/copy editors who work with you on edits. This is good, because we're looking for content of the highest quality. Your story might be rejected if it has excessive spelling and grammar mistakes, or if the writing is not up to our standards. It's always a good idea to have someone proofread it before submitting.
5. Words to links
For links, please only link to a few words (as opposed to a whole phrase, which can be distracting to the reading experience), and please cite reputable publications as opposed to blogs — including your own blog. You can link to your own blog a maximum of one time in a story, but we reserve editorial discretion to take it out if the placement feels self-promotional. If you're citing statistics, add a link to the original study, not another article that cites the study. And if you're quoting someone, link to the original source if it's not you. For example, "In an interview with the New York Times, Elon Musk said, "..."
6. Evergreen content
Due to the enormous amount of COVID-19 related content we've been publishing, we're trying to figure out ways to keep our content useful indefinitely. We've always prided ourselves on creating content that people can come back to for years to come, so we don't want everything to be dated to this particular period in time. We are not at all discouraging you from writing stories that address entrepreneurs' needs during this exceptional moment (those stories are definitely relevant and important), but wherever possible just try to avoid the specific words: COVID-19, pandemic, virus and coronavirus. Sometimes COVID-19 is simply inferred, and doesn't need to be explicitly mentioned, and other times you can swap in terms like "the current crisis," "the global health crisis," the "economic crisis," etc. You get the idea.