Guidelines for Guest Bloggers


PLEASE READ ENTIRE PAGE BEFORE YOU SUBMIT 

Thank you for your interest in writing for Josh McDowell Ministry. Before you submit, please read the following guidelines to be sure that your article fits within our ministry focus. If your article does not fit, it will not be published.


Format

  • Editing. All submissions will be edited to our satisfaction, but we prefer to make as few edits as possible. Please triple-check your text for spelling, punctuation, and word errors. Do not write in ALL CAPS. Make sure your article flows logically, from point to point. Make sure your article includes a “nut graph” by the third paragraph. A “nut graph” is an overview of what you want the reader to learn from your piece, and why reading it is worth their time. Don’t give away your conclusion, but introduce the question or problem that you are dealing with and invite the interest of readers.
  • Paragraphs. Please break up your text in shorter paragraphs, so there is sufficient white space on the page. Long paragraphs don’t work well with online content, as readers like to consume it in bite-size chunks. Online articles without ample white space look visually dense and unappealing to our readers. Remember that most people now have a short attention span.
  • Title. Please provide an interesting title. But first, pick the keyword that you will use 4-6 times in your article. The keyword should be included in your headline. We will change your headline if we think it needs improvement.
  • Keyword. Build your entire article around your keyword. A keyword is a word (or phrase) that online users to search for content. If your keyword is popular, meaning it has been used by many writers, your article will have too much competition to get noticed. “Walk by faith,” may be a better keyword phrase than “walk” or “faith.” But you must be able to use your keyword/phrase conversationally in your text. “Stuffing” an article with a keyword that is not conversational makes Google unhappy, and we will not publish it. More information on keywords HERE.
  • Length. Your article must be a minimum of 400 words. Aim for a total of 800 words, although we will accept longer articles if we see the value in the extra length. We reserve the right to shorten your word count through our edits. We also reserve the right to ask you to make your article longer, to give our readers a comprehensive experience. If you are not open to edits, your article will not be published.
  • Author Bio. Include a short (several sentences) author biography at the bottom of your article, with a link to your blog or website (if appropriate). We will research you before we decide to publish your article.

Optional:

  • Photo. Every post must have at least one main visual. We have image libraries that we use, but we invite you to submit your own photo, if we can legally use it without copyright infringement. All photos need to be quality .jpg images. The main photo needs to be 1000 pixels wide.
  • Summary. Please write a short (three or four sentences) summary of your article that we may use to introduce your article and promote it on our social media. Again, don’t give away your conclusion, but introduce the question or problem that you are dealing with and invite the interest of your potential readers.

Content

  • The Josh McDowell Ministry is a Christian ministry. While people who do not share our faith may have valuable things to say on many topics, if your article contradicts our statement of faith, we won’t publish it.
  • Remember your audience. The blogs we publish on Josh.org and various social media outlets are read by a wide audience of believers and seekers. The content must be accessible, actionable, and appropriate.

>>> What do we mean?

    • Accessible means that your content is geared toward a diverse audience, not a specialized group (like academics or experts in a given field). You don’t dumb things down, but you are careful to explain any technical or otherwise obscure language (theological language, too).
    • Actionable means that you’re giving our audience something they can apply in their own life. Josh’s ministry is focused on the grace and forgiveness of God, not condemnation. Don’t just tell our readers something is wrong, offer them suggestions for what they can do about it.
    • Appropriate does not mean that you shy away from difficult topics. But it does mean you approach our readers respectfully. We don’t do offensive. Please make sure your content fits within our ministry purpose, or we will not publish it.
  • Link responsibly. If you are making a persuasive argument that requires evidence, back up your text with credible sources. Do not use Wikipedia. Don’t use really dated statistics sources. We will not publish articles with disreputable or misapplied sources. We will not publish articles populated with links that serve to drive traffic to other websites for monetary purposes. If you would like further guidelines for evaluating sources, click HERE.
  • Your tone is critical. Josh’s ministry is grace-focused, not condemnation-focused. We are all sinners in need of a Savior, and we hope our content will offer healing and hope to people in their daily struggles. If your tone is not kind and gracious, we will not publish your article.
  • Do your own writing. If you quote someone, use quotation marks, and give credit to your source. If you are using ideas or information that are not common knowledge, credit your source. Do NOT plagiarize. If you find that most or all of your article is in quotation, it’s not really your article and we won’t publish it. We want content with your point of view, wisdom, and experience.
  • Do not submit content you have published elsewhere, even on your personal blog. We cannot place duplicate (previously published) content on our website. We are diligent about copyright.
  • Please understand that even if your article meets every one of our criteria, we still may not be able to publish it. We accept articles on the basis of our current needs and the gaps we need to fill in our content. If we decide to publish your submission, we will contact you via the email you provide.

Thanks!

We appreciate your desire to help our readers grow in their faith, knowledge, and walk with the Lord. So whether you’re a pastor, seminary student, professional writer, high school student, or busy stay-at-home mom, if you feel you have wisdom to share with our readers, we look forward to reviewing your submission. Thanks! As Josh often says, “Until the whole world hears about Jesus!”


>>> If you’re ready, submit here:      SUBMIT