So, you wanna write for RFS? Better bring your A-Game.
From the time RFS began, we’ve been inundated with requests to write content for us. Which is very flattering, of course.
Over the years, we’ve received more pitches than we can count, and even more direct submissions on top of that.
Back when we were running this show as a single-person blog, Roman didn’t often accept guest posts, as he was doing all of the writing himself.
That time has passed, and going forward, we will be consistently accepting submissions and pitches for articles of all kinds.
And so, if you have a great idea for a story related to fitness, sex & relationships, health, business & money, or a generally cool lifestyle idea, we would love to hear it.
However…looking back on some of the pitches we’ve received over the years, we’re a bit trepidatious about this–after all, most of them were terrible. Or, if not terrible in the absolute sense, at least terrible in the sense that they were clearly templates and not crafted for us. Which is lame.
That brings us to the Rules for Submission — please read these before you submit anything, as we take this very seriously.
RULES for Submissions
1) Do not suck.
We don’t publish shitty content here. If you’re going to submit an article, it has to have great content and great writing. Our editors can help you a little bit with the latter, but you need to give them something to work with. In other words, we ask that you take writing for us seriously, and put a lot of work into it.
2) Craft it for us.
Nothing is more annoying than getting some blanket pitch that you can tell went out to 15 other websites. If you send one of those, your ideas will not be considered, now or ever. Now, some people I’ve seen take this too far, in that they’re clearly huge Roman fans, and try a bit too hard to sound like him. Don’t try to sound like Roman or David. Rather, sound like you.
I think this distinction is most aptly described by nonfiction legend John McPhee is his book, Draft No. 4: “House style is not a reference to a canard that an entire magazine can be made to sound as if it were written by one writer. House style is a mechanical application of things like spelling and italics.”
In short, sound like you, but craft it for us. We want to hear your unique voice and perspective, not a poor imitation of ours.
To that end, our style guide includes a rather informal style. Use contractions, drop F-bombs if you want, and feel free to use made-up words like broscience. Finally, we’re an American magazine, so please spell color and favor like so.
3) Make it relevant.
Please familiarize yourself with our back catalog. Get to know the types of articles we publish, and the general tonality of the writing. Everything you submit should be in line with our general feel. Here are links to some of our popular guest posts from the last few years. All of these are good examples of articles with a tone that clearly fits our website, but each author has their own voice.
4) Take chances.
Just because we’ve never published an article on something doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to do so; it just means we haven’t found the right person to tackle that assignment. If you want to write something about Pilates, for example, and you can position it in a way that our readers can relate to it and draw value from it…well, then I guess we’ll find ourselves strongly considering that article. We’re always looking to expand.
5) Please see rule 1.
Good content trumps everything. So maybe go work on your writing.
GUIDELINES for Articles
In order to maximize your chances of getting your article published, and minimize the amount of work we need to do to get it ready for the site, there are a few specific things you should include in your submission.
All of these things are important from a publication and technical perspective, so including them upfront allows us to get an article up on the site without the need for a consistent back and forth.
Please make sure you include all of the following:
AUTHOR BYLINE – This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people forget. At the top of the article, please include your name, nom de plume, or whatever you’d like to be called at the top of the article, so we can be sure to attribute it to you correctly.
AUTHOR BIO – Please include a brief bio paragraph about yourself, including links to any sites, products, or social media outlets you’d like us to mention (up to 2 links total, these will be dofollow links so Google recognizes how awesome you are).
AUTHOR HEADSHOT – We need a picture of you. Make it pretty.
ARTICLE TITLE & SUBTITLE – Please do not send us a submission with a note that says, I don’t know what to call this. Instead, come up with a comprehensive title that states your idea, as well as a descriptive subtitle that explains it further.
For example, if this page was an article, it might be called, “A Brief Note About Article Submissions: How to Give Yourself the Best Chance of Getting Published.”
ARTICLE FORMATTING – In addition to being generally well written, your article should be well organized. Break up your paragraphs, and be sure to use headlines to separate topics. This makes for easier editing, and easier reading.
Taking things a bit further, please make sure to use bold, italics, and underlining to create emphasis where applicable and/or necessary.
Keep in mind, this is one of the ways you dictate “tone” in writing, and it’s what helps your voice shine through. Use your voice, rather than rely on us to create one for you.
Another bonus tip that we appreciate is if you add inbound links to other relevant articles on RFS. For example, if you’re writing about Olympic lifting, and you mention power cleans, you should link to our article on power cleans like this.
ARTICLE SUMMARY – Nothing crazy, just a 2-3 sentence summary we can use as an excerpt. Think in terms of a Tweet or Facebook post.
ARTICLE TAGS – For the purposes of organization, please include all relevant “tags” for the article. These are the main themes of the piece.
Let’s say you wrote an article called Intermittent Fasting 201: Four Popular IF Protocols and How to Use Them. You’d list the main themes of the article, as well as the specific protocols you touched on.
In the case of that article, your tags would be: intermittent fasting, intermittent fasting protocols, feast/fast, 16/8 fasting, leangains, warrior diet, eat stop eat, etc.
You might also include any individuals mentioned in the article, so you’d want to include tags for Martin Berkhan, Ori Hofmelker, and Brad Pilon.
You don’t need to do this in the body of the article; just include a list of tags at the end of the piece, separated by commas.
ARTICLE PICTURES & VIDEO – Visual media is important for two reasons. Firstly, it can often help convey concepts more easily than the written word; if you’re going to be talking about a specific exercise, a 15-second video of you demonstrating that exercise is more helpful than 400 words trying to describe it.
Secondly, it helps break up the text and keep readers interested. A good rule of thumb is that for every 800-1000 words, one well-placed picture or video can make a huge difference.
Feel free to use just about any picture that’s relevant, as long as you’re sure to give proper photo credit. )We’d prefer that any and all videos you include in the article be your property, however.) For Youtube videos, in the article include the HTML code for where you’d like us to embed the video in the article.
The main thing is to only use as many as is necessary, and never to shoehorn them in. It should add to the experience of reading the article, not distract from it.
BONUS: BE AN SEO NINJA – SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and is basically how you can get your article to rank on Google. This of course gives both of us more exposure. The best way to do this is to write great content. Going beyond that, you can write articles that focus on certain keywords. If you’ve done keyword research for your article, send us which keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Final Notes on Article Submission
- While you can submit either pitches OR complete articles, we prefer for writers to send us a fully written piece. If you send us a pitch, the answer will almost always be, “sounds like a cool idea, write it up and let’s see how it turns out.” So, you may as well save yourself some time and just write it first. From there, if it doesn’t get accepted, at least you’ve got a high-quality article for your own site.
- Only submit on this page; do not pitch through the general contact form on the site, as pitches received there will not be read.
All of that clear? Perfect. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Please make your submission via the form below, and we can get this party started.