Because those of us here at Cookie Connection are committed to cultivating an environment of sharing and continuous learning, we've decided to operate this site in a way that allows all members (yes, you heard me right - ALL members) to contribute content to the community blog! We believe this is the best way to quickly get fresh content from all of our talented members into each others' hands, without any one person having to do all of the heavy lifting. I hope you are as excited about this opportunity as we are.
We don't know of too many other forums that do this, and there certainly are challenges and risks to taking this approach - loss of control over content quality and too many blog posts, to name a couple. We're happy to embark on this adventure with you, but to ensure that blog content stays top-notch, on-point, and never misfires, we do have some rules we ask you to abide by when posting to the blog. Please read them all carefully before you post.
- First and foremost, blog posts are intended to be fully developed instructional content that shares a technique, tutorial, or idea that you have thoughtfully developed into a cohesive post with text, photographs, and links, as appropriate. (Posts must be your own work.) Notices of giveaways, contests, and challenges can also be posted in the blog, but please be sure to catalog them in these particular folders under "Collections." Please also put your best face/work forward in these posts - after all, who knows where they might go! Spell-check, have a friend review them, do whatever it takes to make sure your work is something our community will appreciate.
- Be as complete as possible when posting to the blog. Do not simply link off to a post on your personal site or blog, or any other personal platform. A primary goal of Cookie Connection is to educate and inform, so be sure your blog posts contain at least a few paragraphs of well written text and a few high-quality images. Again, the bulk of any instructional content must reside on Cookie Connection as opposed to linking off to another blog or site.
- Always catalog your blog posts in collections and add tags to them; both collections and tags are mandatory. These practices will allow your content to be more discoverable, both on the site and elsewhere online.
- Always add a "title image" (630 x 420 pix) to your post. A title image is mandatory, and your post will not be saved without one. This image will appear in any thumbnail images on the site that display alongside your post, so it should be an eye-catching photo that depicts what your post is about in a single glance.
- Be sure to upload at least one (1) large photo in the attachments area of your blog post, and to also embed it in your blog text. Otherwise, your post will be just text, and members love eye candy!
- While you are welcome to link to yours or others’ sites, blogs, or online platforms within your blog posts, posts/links that are repeatedly or overly self promotional will be deleted. When in doubt, confine promotional matters, such as notices of giveaways, contests, and challenges, to those areas in the blog (and forums) specifically designated for that content, or your member profile.
- Only publish blog posts once you have entered all of your content and proofread it. If you're composing a blog post and not yet finished, please save it as a draft. (You'll see both "Save as a Draft" and "Publish" options at the bottom of the blog post entry form.) Once you've published a post, it enters the Cookie Connection moderation queue to be reviewed by our editorial team. We would prefer to review only finished content!
- Remember to credit all photo and other sources, ideally with links to their sites.
- For an example of a blog post that conforms to these guidelines, please refer to the one that Julia drafted here.
- Please allow at least 24 hours for our moderators to review content before it goes live. Again, please note that Cookie Connection reserves the right not to publish blog content if it does not comply with the above guidelines.
Thanks for reading! We look forward to your contributions! If you have trouble with formatting or anything else related to posting, please shoot me an email before you publish your content and I can probably help out.
Revision: September 6, 2016