Guest Post Writing Guide - Gear Roundups

Black Ghost Audio’s readers are used to a particular writing format. This guide will help you meet our formatting requirements. The general goal is to deliver information to readers that is technically accurate, engaging, and helpful on a practical level.

General Instructions

All articles should be between 1,000-2,000 words; this helps them rank well on Google. To meet the minimum word count, consider adding additional items to your gear roundup, as opposed to adding "fluff."

If the Black Ghost Audio blog had a writing theme, it would be "all killer, no filler." Primarily, the Black Ghost Audio blog is meant to be educational. If something you've written doesn't provide new information, ask yourself if it's truly necessary.

When writing your gear roundup, focus on what makes each piece of gear unique. In "6 of the Best Compressor Plugins on the Market," the application that each compressor excels at is explicitly mentioned.

Speak to readers like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with them. Say “you” when referring to the reader, and “I” when referring to yourself.

“It’s important to identify what you’re looking for in an audio interface before you buy one; this will ensure the audio interface you buy provides all the features you need.”

“Before catfishing you into rather expensive music production territory, I should mention that a lot of outboard gear is available in the form of analog-modeled plugins.”Refrain from saying “we” when you can say “you.”

Avoid referring to yourself and the reader as part of a group. For example, instead of saying, “We don’t want to wrap cables this way,” say that, “You don’t want to wrap cables this way.”

Introductory Paragraph

Start with a catchy sentence to snag the reader’s attention. This could be an intriguing statement, shocking statement or statistic, rhetorical question, anecdote, statement of a problem, or proverb.

Your introductory paragraph should draw the reader in and then reiterate the title of the article. The title of the article that the following quote is taken from is called “4 of the Best Music Production Desks on the Market.” At the end of the paragraph, the title of the article is reiterated word for word.

“The studio furniture market is rather small, and the lack of competition seems to have led to an array of drastically overpriced studio desks. However, several studio furniture companies have recently taken a stand and started making high-quality studio desks accessible at reasonable prices. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at 4 of the best music production desks on the market.”

Section Headers

Number each piece of gear on your list. State the name of the company that produces the gear, the name of the product, the thing that makes the product unique, and the price of the product. Also, make sure to link to the product.

For example:
1. On-Stage WS7500 Studio Workstation (Best Budget Studio Desk) - $215
2. Output Platform Studio Desk (Best All-Round Studio Desk) - $549+
3. RAB Audio Pro Rak Studio Desk (Best Studio Desk for Consoles) - $1,349
4. JamRacks MDE Mastering Desk (Best Studio Desk for Mastering) - $2,599

Body Paragraphs

There should be at least three paragraphs per item within your gear roundup. You may choose to include a fourth paragraph providing additional related resources to the reader.

The first paragraph should provide a general overview of the product in question, as well as describe what makes it unique.

For example, “Although Native Instruments is mostly known for their powerful software instruments like Kontakt, they also produce awesome mixing tools. Replica XT totes a simple user interface with a powerful processing engine. With five different delay algorithms, including modern, vintage digital, analog, tape, and diffusion, the chances you find the sound you're looking for are quite high.”

In the second paragraph, share your experience using the product, and provide a few “pro tips.”

For example, “This delay plugin works great on vocals, guitars, and drums. Thanks to the ability to control saturation, tape flutter, and diffusion, you won’t end up with the stale sound provided by some digital delay plugins. Use EchoBoy for slapback effects, rhythmic delays, modulation effects, and more.”

The third paragraph should explicitly mention what the gear will allow users to do. In some situations, such as when reviewing an audio interface, it may make more sense to list gear specs, such as available types of inputs/outputs, etc. When listing gear specs, make sure to use sentences, as opposed to bullet points.

For example, “The main features that Loudness Penalty boasts include the ability to optimize your music’s online loudness, preview how your music will sound online, pinpoint loudness pain-points, discover when it’s possible to turn your music up, demonstrate to clients how streaming services affect loudness, and avoid having to resort to loudness trial and error.”

As another example, “This interface includes two switchable line/mic/hi-Z inputs, two mic preamps with a switchable Air mode, 24-bit/192 kHz converters, balanced TRS L/R monitor outputs, and a single headphone output. The Scarlett 2i2 is also bus powered, making it a great portable option for recording on the road.”

If it makes sense to include a fourth paragraph, mention complimentary products produced by the same manufacturer.

For example, if you were writing about Output’s Platform Studio Desk, you may say something like, “If you want more rack space, or if you’re looking for a place to store a turntable, records, headphones, and beat pad, Output sells a matching piece of studio furniture called Sidecar. Output also produces a height-adjustable pair of hand-crafted speaker stands built with heavy grade steel to reduce unwanted vibrations that will compliment Platform nicely.”

Conclusion Paragraph

Recap the content mentioned in the article and direct readers toward one or two related articles on the Black Ghost Audio blog.

Product Linking

Some of the websites that Black Ghost Audio is affiliated with include Sweetwater, Amazon, and Plugin Boutique. If you link to hardware, try to link to the product on Sweetwater. Assuming the product isn’t available on Sweetwater, link to the product on Amazon. When linking to plugins, link to them on Plugin Boutique. As a last resort, link to products on their manufacturer’s website.

Linking to a product multiple times within the same article can damage the article's SEO rating. Once you've linked to a product within a header, you shouldn't link to it again afterward.

Grammar

Use Grammarly to check for grammatical errors. The free version catches basic grammatical errors, while the paid version catches more advanced errors.

Submission

Once you’ve completed your guest post, please submit your article to charles@blackghostaudio.com as a Google Drive Document for consideration. If you haven’t submitted a guest post to Black Ghost Audio in the past, please include a short author bio, along with a 500x500 px author image in your submission email.