the GUITAR CHALK
This section contains guidelines covering our publishing standards
and what we expect from writers, how we handle product
recommendations, affiliate content and educational content.
The Guitar Chalk Publishing Policy
Now that we've got a few years worth of content (five, at the time of writing this) in the rear view mirror, Guitar Chalk is setting about the task of refining and honing our craft.
To do so, we're rolling out a new publishing policy that will impact editorial content, both in the future and the past.
GC's magazine has been born out of primarily two motivators:
- A desire to create something meaningful and significantly helpful.
- A frustration with the poor quality and unhelpful nature of online guitar-related content, broadly.
Thus, we want to create a place where the written content is worth something.
A Summary of Guitar Chalk Magazine's Publishing Policy
The following policies are designed to accomplish this by preserving a positive and helpful experience for the reader.
- GC will never use a pop-up email opt-in or scroll window to try and obtain your email address.
- GC will never publish press releases or public relations content regarding any product.
- GC does not publish any article with hidden advertisements or pop-ups. Advertisements are clearly and intentionally marked, weather in sponsored content or otherwise.
- GC participates substantively in only two affiliate marketing programs: Amazon Associates and Guitar Tricks courses.
- GC will never use donated products as prizes or giveaways to promote our own brand or to collect email addresses.
- GC does not buy or sell links to or from our domain. Thus, links in GC articles are never for sale.
- All editors, authors and contributors are paid for their work.
- GC does not run surveys, opinion polls or analysis on our readers to determine "trends" or to try and "target" certain products.
- GC does not "re-publish" content from elsewhere on the web. All of our articles are completely organic and original.
Our Buying Guide and "Affiliate Content" Policy
We do not believe there is anything wrong with affiliate marketing, in and of itself.
However, it is frustrating when "guitar sites" publish content that promotes an affiliate product with little, or perhaps zero, additional information or value provided. Since Guitar Chalk's inception, in 2012, the aforementioned practice has become extremely prevalent and is something we want the GC magazine to stay away from.
Having said that:
We do believe there is a great demand for advice and input when it comes to buying different guitar gear. As a consequence, there is nothing wrong with affiliate-focused posts that recommend products. On the contrary, it can be quite helpful.
Yet, this type of content still needs to meet a certain standard of quality and to bring value to the reader, beyond providing a link and a shoddy sales pitch.
To hold ourselves to these standards (our past content hasn't always lived up to them), these are our commitments in regards to our affiliate and "buying" content:
- Affiliate content is written in a "magazine-style" copy, meaning we provide a significant amount of information about the product meant to help readers discern a proper buying context. We're looking to highlight the "ideal buyer" and are not attempting to sell to everyone.
- In all GC affiliate content the focus is on the buyer and aims to provide them with a helpful and relevant stockpile of information, agnostic of whether or not they spend money.
- Though we have in the past, GC is no long publishing "product reviews" in the classical sense of the term (see editorial guidelines for sponsored content).
- All product recommendations, whether affiliate or not, are made based on real-world experience and actual use. Everyone who contributes has had a lengthy (years, sometimes decades) and comprehensive exposure to the world of guitar gear and music production.
Policies Relating to Educational Content
Because they are profitable, "guitar lessons" have been beaten nearly to death in the realm of online publishing. In fact, the value of that term has, in my view, been greatly diminished because of the cheapening of music education on the internet. In response, these are Guitar Chalk's commitments concerning educational content.
- GC's educational content is written from a first-hand account with the guitar, not "scraped" and re-worded from somewhere else.
- GC's guitar lesson content focuses not just on the guitar, but on music as a whole.
- GC goes to great lengths to ensure that the quality and accuracy of our content is exceptional, if not perfect.
- GC focuses on music theory, both as a means to prove our legitimacy and help our readers.
- GC will not publish any content from someone who has not demonstrated a remarkable skill with the guitar or as a musician, in general. Our authors are actual musicians.
Questions, Writing for Us and Other Resources
Have questions about our publishing policy?
Perhaps you'd like to write for Guitar Chalk?
Here are a few resources that can help you out.
Chalkboard graphic via Freepik