We provide tips on how to navigate the green blob of awesome that is HackerNoon 💚
Heyo 👋 It is I, your friendly half-bot-half-human Hacker Noon Helper! You can find everything that I have to offer at help.hackernoon.com, but I will also be posting some of my most helpful tips here. Hope you enjoy this series, and please tune in every week for more 😊
The Hacker Noon audience prides itself on its tech-savviness. They love Hacker Noon because each of our articles adds to their knowledge. The Hacker Noon Editorial Team, on its part, weeds out stories from the publication pipeline that fall into one or more of the following categories
Fun Fact: We reject on average 60% of total submissions to Hacker Noon.
Technology doesn’t discriminate, neither should you. Valid criticisms and rebuttals are as far as the rope goes. See our Code of Conduct
Our writers regularly get approached by companies looking to get featured in Hacker Noon. The best response is to point them to sponsor.hackernoon.com. But, if you’re looking to sharpen your journalistic credentials and decide to publish on their behalf, keep in mind the following guidelines
If you’re the Founder/co-Founder/C-level officer of the company and it is clearly stated in your bio with a link to your website, your articles promoting your product/service shall not be considered as paid promotions.
Not disclosing vested interest
If you are in any way linked to or invested in any of the products or services you are writing about for Hacker Noon, that needs to be disclosed up front.
Include a disclaimer at the beginning and end of your article if you have any vested interests in any product or service covered in your Hacker Noon submission.
Not the whole story
Hacker Noon only publishes full stories. However, you are free to publish multi-part series and indicate so in your stories.
Poor grammar or structure. Basically, low quality.
Notes on Grammar and Spelling:
It sucks when readers get turned off by bad grammar or spelling errors. Through a simple spell check, most errors can be fixed!
Generally, Hacker Noon understands that English is not everybody's first language, so we'll tolerate a lot of the common mistakes made by second language speakers. As long as the story adds value and can be generally understood by our global audience, you should be good to go.
Notes on Structure:
Contrary to what our school teachers taught us, the first paragraph should not be the introduction. The first paragraph is where you provide the gist of your entire article. Think of it as an Abstract/Executive Summary of a research report.
Break the key talking points into several paragraphs to enhance readability. In blogging and SEO, shorter paragraphs and lists get preference over 12 inch thick paragraphs.
Learn more about best SEO practices here.
Follow these guidelines to improve your story quality :
If you must copy-paste content blocks from other writers’ published/unpublished works, do the right thing and hyperlink the original source. For images, add the source name in the caption area. Our Editors perform deep checks for plagiarism on every submitted article and implement the following 3-strike policy:
Not at all tech-related
With a few exceptions (such as stories about covid), we require stories to be at least tangentially related to tech. Since tech infiltrates every single aspect of life, we do require you to connect the main thesis of your story back to tech somehow.
We are very stringent on backlinks. Use them sparinglingly. Read our Guide on Backlinks here.
Low-Quality Blockchain-related Bounty Articles
While Hacker Noon supports decentralization and the innovations it attempts to create, we also understand the flurry of sub-standard articles that the industry generates in the name of bounty campaigns. To give bounty hunters a fair chance, we have the following guidelines for such articles:
If you’re a team member of the company and it is clearly stated in your bio with a link to your website, your articles promoting your product shall not be considered as bounty articles.
“How to hire a developer in another country / for your business” articles, and Top X Software Development/Mobile App Development Companies in X Country” articles
We understand that Google algorithms give much love to Top X articles. However, the race for better SEO, almost always, comes at a cost of content quality. If you’re going to create a top X article, please make sure that it abides by the following guidelines:
Unattributed Previously Published Content
If you’re re-publishing your previously published work, do add the URL to the
First Seen At
. Without this, the unattributed previously published content will be treated as plagiarized content and be acted upon as described above.
See our Republishing Guideline here.
As the most visible segment of your article, the headline must be worded in a way to make it eye-catching. According to SEO experts, adding a number in the title tag gives it a big boost in the search rankings. This is the reason why '10 Killer Reasons to Move to Silicon Valley' or 'Why I Moved to Silicon Valley in 2010' rank higher than other competing articles. Following these guidelines for headline:
You can also read David's guide The art of headline writing for more instruction.
No images at all
If a story has excellent text and needs no images, we obviously won't reject it. However, that is rare. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and the adage stands true in the world of blogging. It has been seen that blogs with a lot of relevant pictures get more clicks than the ones without. Imagine if you're looking for a tutorial, which one would you find more helpful, the one with screenshots or the one without? Following these guidelines for images:
Learn how to upload images here.
No conclusion or weak conclusion
As the interest of the reader waxes and wanes during the course of the article, a crisp conclusion delivered in 4-5 lines helps to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Provide your insights and a clear Call To Action. If the value provided to the reader is great, the likelihood of them engaging with your CTA improves a thousandfold.
Follow these guidelines to write effective conclusions:
Clearly a brand as author story and not story by an individual
A lot of Hackernoon writers choose to publish as brands instead of as individuals. Since brands have business-oriented goals and are prone to creating content that includes sales pitches, Hackernoon has an additional set of guidelines for brands-as-author.
For articles authored by brands-as-an-author, all of the above guidelines must be adhered to and the following brand specific guidelines must be followed as well :
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