How to Contribute to HubSpot’s Developer Blog
HubSpot’s developer blog exists to provide practical tips, tricks, and resources for anyone who builds apps, integrations, or websites on HubSpot’s platform. If you have an idea for a post that will help our developer community succeed, we’d be thrilled to have you contribute.
Writing blog posts is a great way to highlight what your team is working on and gain visibility as a thought leader in the industry. If you’re interested in contributing, this post will provide all of the information you need to know to get started.
What type of content are we looking for?
We are looking for any content that helps developers working with HubSpot’s CMS or APIs build better. So whether you are pushing the bounds of what is possible with HubSpot’s platform, learning new things while completing a project, or figuring out a workaround for an annoying bug, your everyday experiences could translate into excellent posts.
While not comprehensive, we are especially looking for content in these categories:
• Tutorials & how-tos
• Tips & tricks
• Non-promotional case-studies
• Best practices
• Industry trends
But not every topic is going to be a great fit. Keep these guidelines in mind:
• Posts must be 100% non self-promotional
• Content must be original and not published elsewhere
• Posts must be focused on topics that are relevant to HubSpot developers
• Posts must follow the blogging best practices outlined below.
What is the contribution process?
Once you have an idea for a post, here is the process to follow to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Make sure you start by submitting your idea, so we can let you know if it is a good fit before you put time into creating the post.
Step 1: Get started by submitting a topicfor review
Make sure to include:
• A working title
• A brief description of your post
• The type of developer you are writing for
• An ETA of when you will provide a first draft
• One of our editors will reach out and let you know if your idea is a good fit.
Step 2: After you get a green light, create your outline and first draft
• Create a rough outline using bullet points (We are happy to review your outline and provide feedback on structure, but it isn’t mandatory).
• Next, write a first full draft. This should include all of the content and images that will be in the final post, but don’t worry about making it perfect yet, as we may request substantial changes.
• Please write in a Google Doc.
Step 3: Next, submit your draft for review
• One of our editors will review your content and provide feedback.
• Our goal is to maintain a level of consistency across posts while optimizing for SEO and readability. Don’t be discouraged by feedback, it’s part of the process.
Step 4: Submit your final draft, and party - well, almost
• Once you’ve made requested changes, polish your post until you feel it is ready to publish. Then submit for final review.
• Please include a headshot and a short (two sentence) bio about yourself.
• We will make some final edits to your content and will schedule the post.
A few tips and blogging best practices
Keep it skimmable - Most people don’t read large blocks of text online. Format your post so that someone who skims can still get the main points. Here are some specific tips to consider:
• Use sub-headers throughout your post (also good for SEO)
• Include images (and GIFs), bullet points, and other formatting to break up text
• Occasionally bold key points
• Keep paragraphs around three to four vertical lines
Make it about the reader - In general, write in the second person (you) and avoid being too distant, or too self-focused. Personal anecdotes are acceptable if they are really, really helpful.
Write like a human (and avoid passive voice) - This isn’t an academic paper, so make it interesting and conversational. Use contractions and don’t shy away from an occasional wisecrack or self-deprecating joke. When possible, write with an active voice. For example:
• Active voice: Monkeys adore bananas. Copy your API key here.
• Passive voice: Bananas are adored by monkeys. API keys can be copied here.
Remember, not everyone is an expert - Don’t assume all of your readers have the same level of industry knowledge. Even if your post is about a technical topic, make it accessible to individuals who are just getting started in the field. Spell out acronyms and consider linking to resources that may help newbies understand what they may be missing.
Include links and attributions - Ripping off other people’s work is a no-no. If you are quoting or even referencing ideas from someone else, make sure to include a link to their original work. Here are some great guidelines on how to do this.
Pick images that fit the context - Images are a great way to make your posts more visual, so consider including screenshots, b-roll images, and even corny GIFs. Just make sure they are appropriate for HubSpot’s brand and the specific context of your post. Please avoid images that feel like bad stock photography and never include images that are under copyright.
Keep things appropriate - If you wouldn’t say it to your boss or client, don’t put it in the post. We’re ok with humor, but will have to edit out anything that we aren’t comfortable publishing.
Time to get started!
Don’t be intimidated by the number of tips or steps we outlined above. You don’t have to be an amazing writer to submit content. If your post is helpful and informative for developers, our team will be more than happy to work with you to get it published.
So don’t wait. If you have an idea, get started by submitting it here.