Last Updated: March 6, 2020
Think “magazine,” not “newspaper.”
Our goal is two-fold: to explore the world of nerd lifestyle and entertainment in a fun and entertaining way, and to become an online brand that readers can relate to. Our readers should come to trust and prefer our special brand of opinions, thoughts, and explanations.
Understanding the categories on Modern Ratio:
- Style: Relating to personal style, fashion, clothing, and fragrances.
- Appearance: Relating to makeup, beauty, grooming, and skincare.
- Character: Relating to etiquette, socialization, and attitude.
- Home Living: Relating to decor, cleaning, and other practical tips.
- Know-How: Relating to hobbies, life skills, and adult knowledge.
- Wealth: Relating to personal finance and money management.
- Experiences: Relating to travel, relationships, and activities.
Always write fundamental articles before deeper articles!
If the current article you’re writing needs to explain a prerequisite topic before you can fully explore the current topic, put it on pause and write the prerequisite article first to use as an internal link. This helps avoid the issue of many articles explaining the same thing in their own ways. Instead, we can just focus on updating the one fundamental article as necessary, then every other article that links to it will also stay up-to-date.
Never sit on the fence!
When writing an opinionated article, ALWAYS have a single stance going into it. If you want to explore the other side of an issue, do it as a separate article.
The more evidence and/or supporting data, the better!
We don’t publish clickbait, FUD, or fearmongering. We aim to be a credible, reliable publication with worthwhile opinions backed up by experience and evidence. Always base your claims on data, logic, or history. Baseless accusations and unfounded speculations will be rejected.
Tone and Voice
Clear, conversational, but professional. Be personal with readers. “I”, “we”, and “you” are all good to use. Personal experiences and anecdotes are okay, but use them judiciously.
Passive voice is okay, but don’t overdo it. Be intentional when you use it.
Trust that our readers are smart. We don’t cater to the lowest common denominator. We can be thoughtful and deep without worrying if the content is too difficult for the average reader. Just be careful that we don’t come across as pretentious and/or inaccessible. There will be no elitism or gatekeeping at Modern Ratio.
- Language: American English.
- Length: Articles must be at least 600 words.
- Scope: Each article should cover ONE topic/thesis and be self-contained.
- Case: AP Title Case for article titles and in-article headings.
- Readability: Don’t put every other sentence on a separate line like modern blogs try to do. Blocks of text can be okay depending on the type of article (e.g. essays). The most important thing is to write clean sentences that aren’t confusing or meandering.
- Italics or quotes: Titles for movies, TV shows, video games, board games, and books should be italicized. Songs should be in quotes.
- Vocabulary: Simpler is better. Article depth is measured by coverage and insight, not how many syllables are in each word! Prefer “buy,” “leave,” and “about” instead of words like “purchase,” “depart,” and “approximately.” Your copy will be cleaner this way.
- Images: Images should be centered. Only include images if they are immediately relevant. No filler images. Never hotlink images from another site. Always crop, resize, and upload! Articles without images are OK when it makes sense.
- Image size: Article images have a max width of 680px.
- Featured image: Articles must have a 1920x960px featured image.
- Quotes: You can emphasize quotes, anecdotes, or asides by using a blockquote.
- Internal links: If you mention a topic we’ve previously covered, insert an internal link to that article. If a prerequisite topic is necessary to understand the current article, insert an internal link to that article. As for anchor text, make it clear to the reader what they’re clicking.
- External links: Only to reputable high-authority sites, only when necessary (e.g. sourcing news).
- Intro: Dive right into the article. Don’t waste time with unnecessary context or “clearing your throat,” which can cause readers to lose interest and click away.
- Outro: No hard rules. If you can recommend internal links for further reading, go for it. If you can wrap up the article in one clean paragraph, go for it. If you want to ask a question for readers to engage with in the comments, go for it. Do what’s best for the article.