Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Submission Guidelines

Impatient Optimists Blog Submission Guidelines

January 03, 2012

Impatient Optimists welcomes blog posts from partner organizations and grantees on timely, relevant topics about the issues on which the foundation focuses. Please ensure the subject matter is relevant and appropriate for Impatient Optimists prior to submission to your Program Officer or key foundation contact. 

Along with the post, please submit any photos (at least 960 x 440 pixels, with captions included) or videos you would like to embed. Please ensure you have the rights to use submitted photos. 

Blog posts should meet the following requirements upon submission:

1. Posts should be 350 words to 700 words and stick to one topic or idea.

2. Posts should be written for a wide audience and steer clear of jargon or technical language. Using conversational language, blog posts should explain things clearly, provide background information on a subject, and use specific examples to illustrate a point. Posts should be submitted with the AP Style guidelines in mind.

3. Online attention spans are short, and people rarely read web pages word-by-word. Instead readers scan a page, picking out individual words and sentences. Posts should employ scannable tactics such as:

  • Highlighted keywords
  • Sub-headlines
  • Bulleted lists
  • Short paragraphs
  • Short sentences
  • One idea per paragraph

4. Clearly state your main point at the beginning of your post and include supporting information in subsequent paragraphs.

5. The post title should be five to eight words (in title case) and contain the person or concept featured in the post to help grab readers' attention.

6. Blogs are dynamic platforms for learning about news, information, current issues, and entertainment. A strong blog post includes links to other sites, blogs, and partner organizations. Blog posts should be submitted as a Word document with hyperlinks embedded in the post.

7. Whenever possible, blog posts should incorporate multimedia features, including embedded videos, images, and infographics, to provide compelling and easily digestible content for readers. The shorter the video, the more likely people will watch it through to completion.

8. Encourage reader interaction by providing a clear call to action, such as asking readers to sign an online pledge, post their thoughts in the comments section, or share the piece with their networks on Twitter or Facebook.

9. Ensure your post is optimized for search engines by following these steps:

  • Identify your target keyword for each post by thinking about what phrase people would use to search for this topic.
  • Use the target keyword in your post title. A straightforward title containing the target keyword can often be more effective than a catchy title.
  • Use the target keyword in your first paragraph and two to three more times throughout the post.
  • Use alt-text and descriptive file names for your images.
  • Instead of writing something like "Learn more" for hyperlinked text, use more descriptive language related to the target keywords.
  • Tag your posts with the target keyword and other related phrases.

10. If you haven't previously been published on Impatient Optimists, please submit your author profile with your post, including a short bio (three to five sentences), a headshot (at least 300 x 290 pixels), the URL of your website, and the URL of your Twitter handle (if you have one).