Working with Editors
SitePoint’s editors are professional web designers or developers at the top of their respective field. They are closely attuned to what is especially interesting to our readers, and will work with you to create an article that is informative, compelling, and well-written.
SitePoint publishes about 40 articles per week across our channels. In order to maintain a balance in our coverage of different topics, and to ensure that we don’t publish articles that are too similar to one another, you will be required to send in an topic suggestion (a pitch) prior to writing the article. One of our editors will review your pitch and get in touch if they like what they see. Pitch using the form on this page.
If an editor is interested in your pitch, they will usually ask for an outline. An outline is a collection of bullet points explaining the exact points the article will cover, and the order in which those points will appear. Editors use outlines to judge whether a given pitch will work for our site, and also whether a given author is capable of writing an article on the topic, so make sure your outline is at the highest possible standard.
If an outline is accepted, your editor will then ask you to produce a first draft. You'll be given a deadline to produce this draft, so make sure you are able to meet this deadline and let your editor know if you run into any problems along the way. Once you have finished a draft, you'll either upload it to the Trello card for the article, or upload it to GitHub if you are in our Peer Review program.
Feedback and Revision
It’s the editor’s job to ensure all submissions meet a level of quality before publication. If your article doesn’t meet your editor’s expectations, they will send it back to you with changes and constructive feedback to help you improve it. Make sure you make these changes before sending a final version back to your editor.
Final draft and Publication
Assuming you covered everything your editor asked, your article should now be ready to be published. Your editor will advise you of the publication date and let you know how much to invoice.
Other Important Info
Your editor is your primary contact and advocate, so never be afraid to ask them questions if you don’t understand something. Editors are responsible for managing authors and ensuring published articles are clear, correct, concise, complete, and consistent.
Whenever two or more people work together there is the potential for friction. Here are some tips to avoid common misunderstandings and help foster a positive working relationship with your editor.
Keep in mind that there is one editor to many authors. Your editor will try their best to help you grow as an author but may not always be available for hand-holding.
Always submit the best possible draft you can. This means proofreading your article prior to submitting it, and making sure you use proper Markdown formatting.
Be sure to meet your deadlines. Sometimes things happen in your life that will require your attention and will cause you to miss a deadline. Your editor will be understanding, but please notify them on Trello so they can make other arrangements if necessary.
You can expect your editor to respond in a timely manner to your emails and Trello messages. Remember to return the courtesy.
Always remember that criticism is not a personal attack. The editor is only trying to help you produce the best article possible. If you have a disagreement with your editor over a particular example or explanation, ask them for clarification and try to understand their point of view.
Before submitting your article, read through it to make sure it has an introduction that clearly identifies the purpose of the article, and a summary/conclusion that reinforces the key points that were discussed.
Editors are people, too! Feel free to friend your editor on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, start an email conversation, say hello to them at a conference, etc. Community is what makes SitePoint work.
Please note that while we receive many submissions, we’re unable to publish them all, and we unfortunately have to decline articles for which many English or technical edits would be required.