GUITAR CHALK writers'
This section contains established editorial
distinctives, guidelines and resources for GC writers.
The Guitar Chalk Writers' Style Guide
This guide is meant to be a catalog of editorial distinctives and stylistic normatives for all content published on the Guitar Chalk domain. The contents of this guide are to be applied to both Guitar Chalk staff writers, external contributors and freelancers who write for the magazine. It also contains tutorial material that illustrates how to use the GC WordPress Dashboard and the Thrive Architect content builder.
The broader purpose of this guide is to provide a way to scale and define the standards of Guitar Chalk content, thereby making it easier for more writers to contribute more often, without having to be uncertain about the stylistic requirements.
If you're looking to have your article published on Guitar Chalk, please use these stylistic distinctives as you design and write your material.
Using WordPress and Thrive Architect
Guitar Chalk's content is built using a WordPress content editor called Thrive Architect. To make changes to existing GC articles, or to publish new ones, you need to be familiar with Thrive Architect and WordPress, enough to use the basic functionality of both.
Logging into the GC WordPress Dashboard
- Go to the following URL: https://www.guitarchalk.com/wp-admin.
- Type in your username and password.
- Click the login button. If you've entered your username and password correctly, you'll be taken to the WP Dashboard.
Opening an Article to Edit in Thrive Architect
- Click the Posts item on the left sidebar menu.
- In the following Posts page find the article you want to edit.
- Mouse over the article and click the Edit with Thrive Architect option.
- When the article opens, and Thrive Architect loads, select the paragraph you want to edit by clicking on it. You can make changes to it like you would any basic text editor (see basic text editing video below).
- Once you're finished with your changes, click the Save button in the bottom left corner.
Adding a Graphic to Your Article in Thrive Architect
- In the left Thrive Architect menu, either click or drag the image icon to wherever you want the image to be located in your content.
- In the ensuing WordPress window click the "Upload Files" tab, then "Select Files."
- Navigate to the image you want to upload and double click on it.
- Once the image has fully loaded, click "Insert Into Post."
- Once the photo is in your post, use the editing options on the left menu to make changes to how the photo is displayed (size, border, aligning, etc.).
Basic Text Formatting in Thrive Architect
A demo covering how to make basic edits to text in Thrive Architect.
How to Add the Update Tag After Editing an Article (for editor's Only)
A quick demo of how to use the update template after you've made edits or changes to an article.
Basic Formatting Standards
While subject to change in some cases, particularly some of our older content, HTML formatting and font use is uniform on GC, adhering to the following standards:
Grammar and Spelling Distinctives
In addition to adhering to grammar and spelling rules that are common knowledge (check some of the resources at the bottom of this piece for more info on those), writers are expected to pay close attention to the following distinctives that are specific to GC's content:
Avoiding Vague Statements
While it's impossible to always avoid ambiguity, writers should look for vague phrases during their proof reads. The following examples are just a few that we run into often, and are not meant to be a comprehensive list.
Examples of Being More Succinct
One of the most difficult aspects of writing about any topic is figuring out how to be succinct with our words. This should be a major component of your proof reading, in that you take the time to go through and "lean up" your material by omitting needless words and phrases.
Again, this list is not meant to be comprehensive, but simply provide some of the more common examples we've seen with our own writing.
As we establish normative practices for different acronyms, we'll list them in this section.
Bullet List Formatting
We use bullet lists often because they're a more effective way to present a series of ideas, particularly when you're dealing with step-by-step music or guitar-related instruction. These are some formatting standards to keep in mind, if and when you use them:
Structural Suggestions and Examples
The GC style is fluid, but it does have consistent elements to it that we can template and repeat with different ideas and content. These are few examples, both from GC itself and from other websites, that we should seek to emulate.
Presenting a Problem, the Solution and Graphical Proof
In this example the writer has posed a misconception to be addressed. This is done prominently in the header, using an H2 HTML tag. In Thrive Architect, these tags can be used easily with the drop-down text editor in paragraph blocks.
Once the writer has framed the discussion, he then goes on to provide a thorough answer and a solution to the initial problem.
Going one step further, he adds graphical proof to back up his statement with the Google Analytics screen grab.
FORMATTING and Elements used To Present a Guitar Tab
The elements used to present any kind of guitar tab in GC often follow this structure. Use the header (usually H2) to explain the goal of the section or the tab specifically. From there, explain the theory behind the stated goal.
For example, if you're adding a fifth to the root D as in the example below:
- Explain the perfect fifth and consonant interval
- Explain how to count through semitones
- Illustrate how to get from the root to the fifth
The format used to present a guitar tab. (View Larger Image)
Once you've sufficiently explained the theory involved with the process, introduce the tab and add the graphic, along with a descriptive caption and the audio of the tab sheet.
FORMATTING and Elements used To Present a Diagram
As you can see the same structure applies to chord and scales diagrams, which are all built in an Inkscape template. Just as before, the heading explains the goal of the section (ultimately the goal of the diagram), paragraphs give deeper insight into the theory and the graphic itself (along with its descriptive caption) illustrates the answer.
Chord diagrams follow a similar format. (View Larger Image)
Some Additional Writing Resources
This is a collection of external resources we use and recommend our writers as well. They aren't necessarily specific to the GC style, but they'll help you become a better writer overall and more successful as a GC contributor.
2. General Writing and Copy Writing Guidelines
3. SEO-Related Tools and Writing Tips
- The KW Finder App
- SEO in 2018 - the Definitive Guide
- SEO Copywriting - 17 Powerful Secrets
- Keyword and Search Suggestion Engine - AnswerThePublic
- 75 Actionable SEO Tips from the Ahrefs Blog
- Rewriting the Beginner's Guide to SEO from the Moz Blog
- Google Insight through Searcher Intent by Moz's Rand Fishkin
This is a page specifically for writers to get help. If we haven't addressed something you're curious about, in regards to our publishing standards or stylistic leanings, please feel free to get in touch, either with Bobby directly via email or the comments section below.