ABOUT SPONSORED CONTENT / PAID GUEST POSTS
Sponsored content, paid guest posts, or “advertorials”, are intended to promote a business. These articles can about any subject.
Sponsored content invariably provides hypertext backlinks to the website being promoted.
Firefly Magazines does not sell links; we sell sponsored content, which may contain links.
Great sponsored content…
Provides some value to the reader, whether it’s informative or entertaining.
It may link to your product pages, but it also links to quality blog posts, even other sites than your own.
It might offer a good newsletter, free ebooks, etc.
Weak sauce sponsored content…
Exists for no other reason than to provide padding for the anchor text with the backlink to the website being promoted.
The writing has little value to an adult reader, and the backlinks only go to homepages or product pages.
We work with marketers, advertisers, public relations companies, media buyers and ‘white-hat’ link builders who want to reach our local online audiences throughout the North East.
You can write about your business, products, team, clients, achievements, or you can share a story about something positive or informative.
We don’t accept any content about: Gambling, investments or financial opportunities, cryptocurrency trading, or anything harmful or explicit.
A single guest post on one of our websites is £199, and we cheerfully negotiate discounts on bulk orders when you pay up front.
We are always happy to discuss a deal with partners who will invest in a daily, weekly, or monthly column, written by you or ourselves, so get in touch if you are serious about building your brand for years to come.
On top of the views your branded content gets on our sites and the traffic we send, we syndicate your content on Apple and Google news aggregators, we give you a juicy, permanent link, and your content will appear in our email subscribers’ inboxes.
We promote posts on social media in various ways, but the aim is always to promote them across the North East without being spammy.
Once you have invested with us, we are obliged to:
Publish your content and then:
Maintain its backlinks through any future site changes with page level redirects.
Only edit it with your permission.
Take it down if you ask us to.
Copyright for content remains with you, minor edits to text are without charge if you write them (where applicable).
Good sponsored content provides some value to the reader, whether it’s informative or entertaining.
It doesn’t only link to your product pages, but also to quality blog posts, and sometimes reputable resources that aren’t your site as well.
Bad sponsored content exists for no other reason than to provide padding on the page for a backlink with a certain anchor text.
The writing has little/no value to any human, and the backlinks all go to your homepages and product pages.
ABOUT FREE CONTENT
Anything non-commercial, that meets our standards for being positive, informative, or interesting.
Useful content that promotes small local businesses and self-employed individuals is accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Anyone who is not promoting a large or non-local business.
We accept content promoting small local businesses and self-employed individuals on a case by case basis: the more interesting and informative your content, the more likely it is to be published.
We encourage contributions from students who want to get their first work published, retired people with stories from the past, charities and grassroots organisations, and anyone with a hobby or passion for a topic they want to share for fun.
You can write about anything positive or informative.
You can’t use free content to promote for-profit businesses via links, unless we decide that a business is all of: local, reputable, and small.
You can mention any business you like, but we don’t have to link to it.
Our readers are almost all adults, so write for a grown-up audience, but please keep it family friendly.
Fill in the form on the ‘submit content page’ to get started, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
You can submit content in any format you like: as HTML txt file is good, but as a word document, or shared via google drive is fine too.
Here is a quick cheat-sheet on writing and laying out an article.
In general, it should be over 350 words. Around 800-1200 is a sensible limit; after that, it’s worth considering multiple articles if the topic changes midway.
Who is the audience you’re writing the piece for? Think also about who it is not for, and don’t write for them.
What is its purpose: to solve a problem, to teach or inform about something specific, to entertain?
Brain storm a list of all the potential relevant topics you can write about, and then group, prioritise and order them.
When you have more topics than you need, decide which ones are outside the scope of one article, or which should only be mentioned in passing (hyperlinks to other sites are a solution here): these topics might be good for a different article.
How impactful or witty or eye-catching can you make the title? If not those, then how concise and clear can you make it?
You can always change it later, but a working title gives you direction.
Write a First Draft
Don’t care for layout, style, spelling or structure: write the piece. Writing by hand is good for this, unless you type fast.
Write a bit more than required, because you will edit parts out.
Never show a first draft to anyone. It’s bad for you.
Take some time away from your first draft, at least an couple of hours, then reread your draft, and either add notes, rewrite section, or the whole thing, as required.
When your annotated first draft says everything you want, use it as the raw material for your new, main draft, by breaking it into sections and reordering as necessary (perhaps copy it to your computer, if you were using paper before). Start fixing mistakes & improving sentences as you go.
Main Draft: General Suggestions
Factual Content: Outline a situation and its significance.
Story / History Content: Introduce a scene or characters.
Instructional Content: Explain key concepts that the average adult reader may not know, list ingredients or other requirements, cautions.
Factual: Detail and explain the facts and their effects.
Story / History: This should flow from the introduction, giving the full story.
Instructions: Detail a method for doing something.
Factual: End on the most important take away message, summarise the body if useful.
Story / History: Conclusion of the story, aftermath and future effects, summary of how characters and situations have changed.
Instructions: Further reading, related other ideas & methods.
Leave your finished main draft at least 8 hours, including a sleep or nap, before proofreading it by reading it out loud.
Get Feedback and Final Edit
Now you have your final draft!
You may show your final drafts to people for their feedback and checking. It’s fine.
Make your final edits and submit your work: good effort!
We publish your original work for free, and it becomes our copyrighted material, so it stays exclusive to us.
You can’t ask us to take it down once published, but you can ask us to edit if really necessary; to remove someone’s name, for example.
We are not obliged to publish any content for free, we reserve the right to reject anything for any reason on any day, and likewise remove free content at any time by any means under any conditions.