One Ahead: Style Guide

Hey! Please take the time to review the following style guide. As One Ahead grows, it's crucial all writers minimize the time Editors spend refining their content. These guidelines can easily be built into your usual workflow. Thanks!

Our Goal:

  • Captivate hobbyist magicians.
  • Satisfy professional magicians.
  • Entertain all magicians.

Commissioning Agreement

  • Signing: One Ahead's Editor will send you our standard commissioning agreement to sign digitally. For this, we'll need your physical address, full name and email address.
  • Workflow: Writers can pitch the editor stories and will be commissioned with a lead, word count and deadline. If you cannot make your deadline, let the editor know, as your commission might no longer stand.

General Notes

  • Writer's Profile: Please ensure your writer profile is set up correctly. We cannot publish your work without an active and complete writer's profile. You'll need to add a profile photo, website, bio, and social links.
  • Target Reader: Our target readers are JJ Abrams, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris & Steve Martin. Those aged 40+ with a passion for magic, but it is not necessarily their main thing. You will need to add clarity to your articles and quickly explain basic sleight and terminology or link to posts explaining them.  
  • Gender Neutral: Avoid gendered language when talking about hypothetical magicians (the magician puts the coin in their hand). Whilst it's true that most magicians are male, we believe this will change over time.
  • Topical Evergreen: Try to aim for content that feels relevant today and will still be valuable in years to come. Try to use events from the month to springboard you into big evergreen topics.
  • Short paragraphs: Most readers will view your stories on their mobile devices, so try to write in shorter paragraphs than normal. This prevents stories from looking overwhelming and dense on smaller devices.
  • Italicise brand names: When writing about Ellusionist, Disney or any brand, always italicise the names of brands and products.

Post Setup Notes

  • Placeholder Title: The editor will choose your final title based on SEO data. When you upload your draft to Ghost, please set a generic and easy-to-track short title for your piece. For example, if your story is about Copperfield walking through the Great Wall of China, title it "Copperfield China Wall".
  • Pust URL/Slug: This needs to be concise with a preference for keywords in a readable order. A story about David Blaine's new TV show might have the slug "david-blaine-disney-beyond-magic". Focus on what people will be searching for to find the story on Google – imagine the question they will ask and then cut that down to just the keywords.
  • Publish date: Please leave this blank for the editor to set up.
  • Page access: Please leave this blank for the editor to set up.
  • Excerpt: This will serve as the tagline for the story as well as the SEO description and social media caption. Ensure that it hooks the reader and accurately describes the post with keywords in one or two sentences max.
  • Authors: Please set your name as the Author for the story.

Header Images

  • Content: Prioritize images with faces or recognisable magic items. Where possible, get the images from reputable sources like Unsplash or the website of the person/event you are writing about. Do not knowingly upload images you know we do not have the right to share.
  • Shape: Please use this cropping tool and resize the image to be the "Facebook Post" size from the dropdown menu. Make sure that the image will still look good when cropped square for social media – so the main elements should be within the centre square of the image.
  • Size: Please use this compression tool to ensure any image in your article is less than 1MB at an absolute maximum. This impacts how well your article will rank on Google.
  • Caption: When uploaded as the header for your Ghost post, please add a basic, concise caption. If it's a picture of David Blaine, the caption should only be "David Blaine". If there is an image source you believe needs crediting, then do so like this with a hyperlinked credit title, "David Blaine: YouTube".
  • Alt Text: IMPORTANT! Be sure to add descriptive alt text to your images. These should be one sentence long and should accurately describe the images while also containing keywords. For example, a headshot of David Blaine might be given this alt text, "Magician and stunt performer David Blaine headshot outside against a blue brick wall." You might add location or magic-related keywords like "Los Angeles" or "Card Magic Tricks" where suitable.

When your article is set up and ready for review, submit it below: