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AC Blog Guidelines

Posted By AC, 27 June 2017

AC Blog Guidelines

The new Association for Coaching blog page is http://www.associationforcoaching.com/blog/

Please come and explore our exciting content from a diverse range of contributors, and why not submit your own blog contribution? You’ll be sharing your knowledge with the AC’s coaching community and helping the readers to learn and deepen their insights.

Our purpose is to inspire and champion coaching excellence, to advance the coaching profession, and make a sustainable difference to individuals, organizations, and in turn, society. The AC Coaching blog is where current and future members of our community can find and share insights, advice and news.

The AC Blog uses a wide selection of regular, occasional and once-off ‘guest’ bloggers and we would welcome any and all fresh submissions from current and future members of the AC, with their personal insights on coach related news, events, books, issues and popular themes.


What kind of blogs are the AC looking for?

We require original contributions not already published anywhere else, to show AC as a leader of disussions rather than replicating what is already out there.

Blog posts need to be short (maximum around 500 words), written in the first person, and contain something useful and / or inspiring for the reader.

Blog posts may pave the way for a more-in-depth article, fact sheet, event or conference presentation, please let us know if would be interested in writing further for the AC on your blog topic.


Blog Content Criteria

We are looking for content which is of interest to the professional coach, or those that buy coaching services. For instance, the following examples (which are by no means exhaustive):

  • ‘How-to’ posts: We are looking for detailed posts on our featured categories (see below) that clearly outline how to do something; coaching templates, checklists and any step-by-step approaches that work well. Examples include: How to coach the reluctant leader; Ways to encourage mindfulness in your clients; How to find the right supervisor for you.
  • Real life examples of coaching client dilemmas and how they were resolved
  • Personal stories, examples, models, for instance related to coaching supervision and accreditation
  • Interesting angles on coaching and coach related information related to topical and newsworthy items. Examples include (as of May 2014): When the client inadvertently reveals shady financial deals – your options and ethical perspectives (indirectly linked to Gary Barlow & tax avoidance story); Jobs for the boys? Gender-specific coaching (linked to Sherpa’s 9th Executive coaching Survey 2014 – findings that male coaches more likely to work with leadership development than women)
  • ‘Leadership’ posts: posts on current coaching trends and techniques. Examples include: Coaching Leaders on Strategy; Authenticity in Leaders; Coaching leaders through change
  • Other content to include: Reviews on literature related to coaching, posts on upcoming events and conferences, recommended links and resources, research : what’s new and what does it inform us about coaching, case studies, etc.


Blog Categories

All AC blogs are posted under and searchable by the categories appearing on the left hand side of the AC blog, currently including the following:

  • Leadership
  • Research
  • Presence
  • Best Practice
  • Resources
  • Innovation

When you submit your blog post, please indicate which category you would like your blog placed under. If your blog is relevant to more than one category, please highlight all the categories you would like your blog linked to.

If you would like to propose a different category that is not currently available, and you believe is a crucial, current and of interest to coaches, please highlight this along with a paragraph to explain why you think this would be a relevant and popular category.


Formatting and style of the blog

We encourage writers to use subheadings, bulleted lists, and bold fonts to highlight key information. Use of photos, videos and other visual content is also encouraged. Please ensure your blog has:

  • A catchy title (see below for more suggestions on titles and effective blog openers
  • A one or two line introduction
  • At least one image – please adhere to the copyright laws when supplying images.
  • Main text of preferably between 300 and 500 words
  • Links to featured websites, if relevant
  • A short paragraph (100 words maximum) on who you are and a photo of yourself. Include any links, twitter, website etc.,(optional)
  • Please note that above all, blogs need to be informative and content rich, and not used as an overt advertisement for any coaching service or product


Submission process and timeline

Each post we receive is first reviewed for acceptance criteria. Please use the style, content and originality tips we provide to help ensure your piece is acceptable. We may take a few days to respond to new submissions, however we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience throughout the process. We may suggest style / content changes, reflecting the overall AC blog look and feel.

Blogs will be posted in the order that they are received although priority will be given to more time-sensitive, topical or seasonal pieces. Please indicate if this is the case for your piece and a suggested date you would like for your blog piece to go live. You will be notified once it is live on the AC website.

As the author of the blog you retain copyright, but we ask that you do not use the same post elsewhere, however you may comment about the blog post and link to it in any way you want raise more awareness of your message.


Suggestions for new/inexperienced bloggers

Top Ten Style Tips

Writing a blog is different to writing an article, press release or academic paper. The key difference is the tone in which it’s written. It’s much more about your personal thoughts, point of view and insights. It’s about helping the reader to see a different point of view that enhances their learning and deepens their insights into a subject. A blog style is similar to the voice you would use when writing a personal diary. As it’s written in the first person, you express your personality giving the reader a taste of who you are as if they were getting to know you.

Here are a few other tips for writing your blog:

  1. Remember a blog is similar to having a conversation. Try to write the way you would speak as though you were having a chat with a friend.
  2. Find your focus. Who are you talking to? Who’s your audience? What is it you want to share with them?c
  3. When writing your content what is going to be useful and unique that your audience will want to hear? What need are you meeting that they will learn from?
  4. Be succinct with your points making it easier for the reader to follow your thoughts and what you are trying to put across.
  5. Keep your language simple and avoid block paragraphs. Long blocks of words are hard for people to digest (research suggests that reading from a screen is more tiring and about 25% slower than reading from paper).
  6. Try using short sentences and paragraphs, bullet points or subheads to illustrate key points making it easier for people to absorb.
  7. Don’t be fazed by a blank piece of paper. Jot your thoughts down and then restructure, as you want.
  8. Be yourself. Once you’ve written your blog read it back out loud to yourself. Does it flow or does it feel stilted? If you were talking to a friend rather than writing are there any changes you would make?
  9. Have a look at other blogs on-line both in your own field and in others. Are there any ideas or tips you can pick up for your own blog?
  10. Lastly enjoy the process, as blogs are a wonderful way to interact with others in a more informal and personal way!


Ideas for blog titles and openers

Start you blog with:

  • A question that will arouse curiosity
  • Raise a common problem or issue that coaches care about
  • Numbers: 5 ways to .... 3 steps to.... Top 10 reasons....
  • Use attention getting language to surprise
  • Entice with a exciting benefit
  • Promise something valuable / important
  • An unusual fact or quote

Read other blogs on the AC blog to get ideas and see what works well. Also, here are some other blog sites to explore:

For example, see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/the-blog/

http://blog.gotomeeting.co.uk/

We look forward to hearing from you!

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