Want to participate more in the HPE developer community but don’t know how? Have you ever dreamt about being published? Consider writing an article for the HPE DEV blog! Share your knowledge with like-minded developers, designers, data scientists, and IT admins all over the world. Maybe you’ve just discovered something new you’d like to share. Maybe you found an easier way to do something. Others in the community have probably encountered similar situations and would be eager to hear your tips.
As daunting as it may feel, writing a blog post is not as hard as you think. The HPE DEV team has templates you can use to organize your thoughts and draft an article. You can submit your post in the way that best suits your needs. And we’re right here to help you along the way. Not confident about your writing or language skills? No worries… we even have an editor on board who can help make your article shine. Become a star blog contributor, as this post gives you all the tools you need.
What’s the blog process?
If you’d like to be published on the HPE DEV blog, it’s really very easy. Here are the basic steps:
Draft your article either directly in the Netlify CMS or in one of the templates provided
Submit your draft for a quick technical and editorial review
Make the recommended changes
Once approved, the article will be posted and promoted
Whenever you’re writing, it’s important to remember who your audience is. Articles placed on the HPE DEV blog are seen by developers, data scientists, data architects, IT admins and managers worldwide. It is a highly technical audience who will discount anything that reeks of marketing. So, consider your topic and audience carefully. Simple advertisements for a product won’t be published. If you have any question as to the appropriateness of your topic, feel free to reach out to us.
Is there a limit on word count? Not really. You can write a post as short as 250-500 words. You can also write a much longer post. Best industry practices indicate that an ideal blog post length is between 2,100-2,400 words. If your post is very long, the editor may suggest breaking it up into a multi-part series. This often works quite well, providing you with greater visibility in the community.
If you need to have a post published by a certain date, please let us know in advance so we can prioritize our review appropriately.
There are two paths you can take
The HPE DEV portal is set up so you can submit your articles directly into the Netlify Content Management System (CMS) and have them reviewed by the HPE DEV team via GitHub. This is the preferred method for submitting your drafts. We also accept direct submissions of Microsoft Word or Google Docs files, in case you do not have a GitHub account or require this ability for other reasons. Templates and instructions on how to provide submissions via these documents are provided below.
The major difference between the two methods is that there is a greater amount of responsibility placed on the writer with the Netlify CMS method. With an external document submission, the HPE DEV team takes care of placing the document into the Netlify CMS. The preferred method is to use the Netlify CMS, but for those who feel they might need a bit more assistance or who don’t have a GitHub account, we offer Microsoft Word and Google Docs templates you can use to submit via email.
Netlify CMS method:
You’ll find complete instructions for entering your content into the Netlify CMS and submitting your post for review in the HPE DEV External Contributor Guide. Once you have created a new blog entry, entered your content, added your tags and saved your work, your post becomes visible in the Editorial Workflow in the Drafts section. Make sure you move your post entry from the Drafts column to the In Review column in the Editorial Workflow. This will automatically open a Pull Request (PR) in the GitHub repository associated with the Netlify CMS. This indicates to the HPE DEV team that the post is ready, initiating the review process.
Note: If you need to make edits after you’ve placed it in the In Review column, there is no need to move it back into the Drafts column. In fact, if you do so, it will delete the history, so please just keep it in the In Review column while you make your edits.
Microsoft Word Templates:
To use the Microsoft Word templates, click on the link. It will automatically download the file to your local workstation. Save it to your local drive and create your article from there. When you are ready submit your draft to the editor via email for review.
Google Docs Templates:
To use the Google Docs templates, click on the link. It will bring you to the Google account where the document is stored. Go to File and pull down to Make a Copy. Save it to your drive and rename the file. Once you have filled in the sections, share the document with the technical review team and the content editor.
Remember to include hi res images as separate .jpg attachments to the email.
Ready to get writing?
Here are some tips to help you get your blog read. As you draft your article, keep in mind Aristotle’s advice on how to communicate for impact by breaking your post into three parts; the Introduction, the Body, and the Summary. You want to first introduce what you are going to cover in the post. Then, go into details on your topic, telling the reader everything you want to convey in the body. At the end, reiterate and summarize your key points.
But there are three other things you’ll also want to include; a Problem Statement, a Benefit Statement, and a Call to Action. The first two should be in your introduction, and the last, in your summary.
The Problem Statement piques the interest of the reader. When the reader sees this, they often recognize an issue that’s familiar to them, which encourages further reading. The Benefit Statement almost serves as a summary of what the remainder of the article covers. It explains how the Problem Statement is addressed; the why you should read this, if you will.
The Call to Action is placed at the end in your summary. This gives you the opportunity to reach out to the reader and ask them to do something. It could be to go to another web page, to connect with you on Slack or Twitter, or to remember salient points from your article.
A few other things to keep in mind as you draft your article:
Read through a few of the existing blog posts first to get ideas.
Avoid the “royal we”. Imagine you are talking to the reader directly and use “I” and “you”, instead.
Don’t use quotation marks (“ “) for things that are not actual quotes or code requiring this sort of notation. For emphasis, use italics or bold.
Include images. Images are often pulled from your blog post and used as part of the social promotion for your post.
The review process
Please note that the length of the review cycle depends on the technical depth of the piece, the writer’s fluency in written English, the immediacy of the need, and current backlog.
The review process is covered in detail in the HPE DEV External Contributor Guide. But to quickly summarize:
The HPE DEV team will review your markdown copy on the Netlify CMS.
They’ll offer technical and editorial suggestions, commenting on each line directly on GitHub Pull Request.
The writer is notified of the edits by email.
It is up to the writer to make the suggested edits. The writer may determine that an edit is not appropriate and can comment back.
Once agreement is established, the post will be published.
Microsoft Word and Google Docs Templates:
The submitted draft is reviewed by the team and returned to the writer with Track Changes turned on.
The writer may accept all changes or determine if they should be accepted or rejected one by one.
Once agreement is established, the post will be reformatted into markdown by the HPE DEV team and published.
Let’s get writing!
Writing articles for HPE DEV can be a fun and rewarding experience. It gives you a chance to work more closely with the HPE DEV team and often keys us into more opportunities of working together to create other assets, like a Workshop-on-Demand or a Munch & Learn session. We have a number of bloggers who consistently come back to add more to their portfolio.
We’ve tried to make it as easy for you to contribute as possible, offering multiple ways to create and submit your posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us either through email or Slack. We’re really looking forward to seeing what you have to offer, and we bet our readers are, too!