So You Want to Blog for CMI – Blogging Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in blogging for Content Marketing Institute! We love connecting with writers who can help us fulfill our mission: advancing the practice of content marketing.

CMI envisions a world where marketers create, distribute, and maintain content that not only persuades but also motivates, educates, and stirs emotion. The result – consumers long for and value their experience with that brand.

If you’d like to blog for us, please take some time to read through our guidelines. It will give you a leg up on the people who don’t.

WHY should I write for the CMI blog?

Blogging for CMI may help you build your reputation and further your career. When you write for us, you become part of our “family.” Not only will you get a lot exposure and credibility, you have the potential to connect with some of our influential bloggers if they like your post. Our community is a friendly and active group, and we like to help each other out.

Some of the reasons to consider blogging for CMI:

  • We have more than 140,000 subscribers.
  • On average, blog posts get 1800 social shares.
  • Top posts get more than 4000+ shares.
  • We have 260,000+ social media followers across our platforms.
  • Authors regularly tell us their posts have helped them gain new clients, new job opportunities, media interviews, and additional exposure.

(See more: What’s in it for me?.)

WHO is CMI’s audience?

While we educate anyone who uses content marketing, our ideal readers are marketers at large and mid-sized B2B and B2C organizations.

(See more: “Whom exactly should I write for?”.)

WHAT makes a good CMI post?

We get far more submissions than we can accept (this is a great community!). To give yourself an edge, consider these tips:

  • Read our blog. Develop a sense of what we publish. Subscribe to our newsletter to get our most recent posts.
  • Write for content marketers. Address their needs, fears, challenges, burning questions, pain points.  (See more: “Whom exactly should I write for?”.)
  • Have, and hone, a main message. Edit your intro so that the point of your post is ridiculously clear. (Your teachers weren’t kidding about the value of a thesis sentence.)
  • Be prescriptive. Don’t just tell readers to do something. Explain how.
  • Tell a story – like a journalist. Cover who, what, when, where, how, and why. Make it personal. Share things you’ve done and seen, lessons you’ve learned, money you’ve saved (or earned), audiences you’ve grown, problems you’ve solved, etc.
  • Make it concrete. Give examples, details, metrics. Tell and show. Make it real. Deliver aha moments for readers who may be scratching their heads.
  • Make it long enough to engage and enrich readers (and no longer):  We don’t have a word-count goal.
  • Self-disclosure. Please disclose any relationships / partnerships you have when providing examples, technologies, etc. (e.g. if an example comes from a client or your company, indicate this in the post).
  • Avoid or explain buzzwords. Some of our readers feel turned off by geekspeak. If you’re talking tech, help people understand – in a nonscary way – what’s possible and why they should care.
  • Be thoughtful when including links. Posts with too many links back to your domain will look spammy and will be rejected.
  • Self-promotion. Avoid promoting your tool or company in your post. Your author bio is a good place to do that.
  • Use a friendly voice. Say I, we, you. Use contractions as you would normally (you’ll). Write as if talking with a friend. (See “What is the CMI voice?”)
  • Include high res images (PNG or JPGs) and/or video or infographic embed codes.
  • Incorporate utility content. Share templates, checklists, step-by-step instructions.
  • Give credit. Check your facts and quotations. Cite your sources.
  • Let your heart show. Where appropriate, share your feelings!

See more:

WHAT topics is CMI looking for?

In general, we are looking for posts around these categories – as they relate to content marketing:

HOW do I submit a post to CMI?

Submit your full draft to Lisa Dougherty in a Word doc (preferred) or Google doc format. You will get a confirmation receipt within a few business days.

Please note: We don’t accept pitches. While we are happy to provide quick feedback on ideas, what determines an article’s fit is its approach, its readability, and its value for content marketers.

Please include the following with your submission:

Your bio: Bio should be approximately 60 words and should include your Twitter handle, as well as any other relevant links you wish to display: your blog, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, website URL, etc. This is a great place to include any promotional or gated links as we generally don’t allow them in the body copy.

Your headshot: We use a site called Gravatar to manage our author’s headshots. New contributors should create an account there and upload a headshot. Once this is done, we’ll need the email address that was used to register the account, so we can associate your headshot with the author profile we will use in your posts.

Supporting images, interactive content, or videos: Don’t worry about the cover image, we’ll take care of that. But here are tips on the other kinds of media you may want to include:

  • Images (PNG, JPG): Provide any high res images you would like to include within your Word doc. When saving your images, please provide a descriptive name (e.g. content-marketing-personas-image1)
  • Infographics, videos, and interactive content: Include the embed code for the infographic within your Word doc.

Want more on writing for the CMI blog? See our FAQs.

Got questions you don’t see answers to? Shoot an email to our blog manager, Lisa Dougherty: She’ll be happy to help.