Occasionally, we get some complaints here on ComicBookMovie.com about an article being deleted and replaced or moved from the homepage despite it getting the required number of "Thumbs Up". Many of you assume that it's a member of the editorial team doing it for selfish reasons, but the truth is that the majority of these posts are so bad that they can't be edited; they would have to be rewritten from scratch to come anywhere near the basic standard expected!
This site is here for everyone and anyone to sign up and enjoy posting articles, whether it's breaking news, reviews, fan fiction or editorials. However, if you want to see your content featured on CBM's homepage and would like to become a "Trusted User" or even editor, there are a few standards which you have to meet. After all, we are perhaps the biggest website of this type, and in order to maintain a good reputation with our peers and the studios who provide us with exlusive content and interviews for you to enjoy, how CBM looks is vitally important. Plus, do you really want to visit a site that can't even spell Guardians of the Galaxy or Spider-Man?
We're not trying to put anyone off from contributing...just the opposite in fact! After all, if you submit a quality post that needs only a few altertions, then the chances of an editor making those and moving it to the homepage are close to 100%. If not? Well, in this new series of ComicBookMovie101's, we'll be explaining everything you need to do to make sure that one of those dreaded deletion emails don't land in your inbox anytime soon...
Have you noticed that all of the articles on CBM's homepage put the titles of movies in CAPS? Well, there's probably a good reason for that! Despite this, here are a few real examples of headlines which have recently been submitted and how they should look:
SDCC '14 "Air" Teaser Trailer = SDCC '14: First Teaser Trailer For AIR Released
Evil Dead TV Series is Happening = Sam Raimi Confirms That An EVIL DEAD TV Series Is Happening
Sinister Six cancelled? TASM 3 in doubt? = Has SINISTER SIX Been Cancelled? THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 Also In Doubt?
You'll notice that each letter beginning a word is in CAPS and that only the TITLE should be in CAPS, not the names of actors or anything other than the categories we use to distinguish movie news from COMICS or VIDEO GAMES (or even "REVIEW" and "EDITORIAL" if you want them to stand out). Proper spelling is also a must as is a headline which actually makes sense! Colours should only be used in headlines where you are posting an EXCLUSIVE or UPDATE. Also, if you find an exclusive (not "exlusive") on another site, you don't use that in a headline as it is NOT a CBM exclusive.
Each article should have at least 2 - 3 lines of teaser text. Here are a few visual examples of what you SHOULDN't do. All of these are examples from the past couple of days!
Can you see the problem here? They're too short, too long or full of spelling and punctuation errors. Sentences end with a full stop and new ones begin with capital letters. Movie titles should be in italics (not bold or CAPS) and you should use this opportunity to tease readers with what waits for them when they click through to read your article. Don't give all the information away and don't say nothing at all. "check out a new poster for guardians of the galxy" will entice a lot more viewers and not risk deletion if it reads, "Marvel have released a new teaser poster for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. Which of the characters have been given the spotlight? Find out here!"
If you try and upload a giant photo as a teaser image which you've just randomly found on Google Images, they're going to come out a little something like these. Ugly, right?
You don't need to be a Photoshop expert to crop an image to be a suitable teaser (if you are though, they're 60x60 pixels in size, so feel free to play around with them). In fact, if you own a Windows computer, a basic programme like Paint is all that's required, while there are many free online tools which can be legally downloaded as well. It's not something which takes a lot of time, but perhaps the worst thing you can do is not include a teaser image at all!
We'll be back a little later this week with a guide on how to produce the right sort of content for articles, but for now, you can review CBM's Style Guide by clicking here. If you have any further questions, let us know in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help.
Thanks for reading!