Contributors

Direct Knowlege Contributor David A. Smith
  • By David A. Smith, Founder & CEO, Direct Knowledge
  • David Smith has a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics and has enjoyed teaching calculus, linear algebra, and number theory at both Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Arlington. David is the Founder and current CEO of Direct Knowledge.

What are Contributors?

The optimal way to learn something is to seek out an expert in the field. There are no better people to learn from than those who succeed and excel at a talent, task, or position. Every individual has his or her specialty and expertise. In short, we all have something to contribute to this world. The act of sharing your expertise with others can be a highly beneficial practice that helps solidify your knowledge. When following the requirements to become a Direct Knowledge contributor, I think the information you are providing can be what helps jump start someone else’s educational journey.

Contributors help provide insights into their area of expertise to assist others in learning a new skill or subject. A contributor offers enlightenment into their work and research and publishes their commentary onto an online resource such as a blog. Contributors emerge from a variety of backgrounds in which they hold formal degrees or extensive knowledge of their profession. The goal of a contributor is to help others learn more about a concept or subject by offering expert insight and industry knowledge.

Direct Knowledge is always searching for professionals who excel in their profession to provide readers with topical and educational content. Whether you have a paper that you wish to share with the community or research and industry experience, these ideas and learning opportunities are worth reading for students. I think many would love to hear from you. Members of this community use these articles and forms of content to decide on career options, pursue college degrees, and learn more about the world’s most essential fields of work. Contributors can choose from several types of articles to share their experiences.

Types of Articles for Contributors

The internet offers many useful tools to connect and share information across various channels and spaces. The best things to discover online are the resources that can help increase your skills and understanding of the world. As a professional in your field, I think you have a lot to offer others who aspire to be where you are in life. That said, there are some essential tips for writing excellent posts on a site like ours. Here are some types of articles to consider for Direct Knowledge contributors who want to add to the growing library of items available online.

Response Articles

Response articles feature the shortest length of all types of content. These articles answer specific questions related to a narrow specific topic, or niche, in which someone is researching information or studies. The goal of a response article is to target a single issue and address the answer in the best and most precise manner available. For the most part, these types of articles fall between 1200 and 1500 words. Common examples of these articles you might know are news articles, book reviews, opinion articles, and shorts.

Any article that features a direct answer or argument to a relevant industry question can be a response article. Likewise, these categories can fall under the staple articles umbrella if they require extra writing and commentary. Response articles, like staple and pillar pieces, rely on data to back up the answers offered by a contributor. Here are some vital considerations to include in any article.

Data-driven original knowledge sharing

If I explain to you that a lot of people enjoy data-driven content, then you might believe me. I think you’d find me even more trustworthy if I said over 80% of readers like seeing data when reading informational content. That’s because data helps confirm our authority over a subject and express to readers that we are knowledgable in the issue. Data-driven content goes hand in hand with requirements for what I look for in a Direct Knowledge contributor. Anything including data requires a bit of set-up and explanation, meaning it’s easy to create long-form content when information is in mind. 

Data-driven, original content also helps tell Google and other search engines to send readers to your work. Search engine optimization, a technical process that is also called SEO, is the strategy of setting your article up to reach the maximum amount of eyes. There are several ways to help Google feature your item to readers, but data is a highly effective strategy on which to rely. Readers and search engines like numbers, but they don’t enjoy seeing data used to fill space in an article. That’s why content must also be original or a new way of approaching the topic. 

How to avoid data-stuffing your content

Knowing the importance of data leads many to data-stuff their article. That process involves adding so much data into your writing that there are more numbers and charts than analysis or discussion on the topic. This practice might seem strategic to help Google highlight your article, but search engines know better. Readers also won’t fall for the overuse of data either. Anyone can put numbers into an article. The best contributors are ones who meet the basic requirements of writing original content to discuss and explore a topic. Numbers and data help, but not when they become overused and meaningless.

Infographic and video content

An infographic is what it sounds like: an image that helps visualize a piece of information. In several instances, infographics are highly useful for sharing data that might be hard to comprehend. Things like graphs and charts are dated, but infographics can provide a fresh and attention-grabbing way to catch the reader’s eye. Because statistics and data usually lack a design element, this is a great way to utilize a captivating medium to express importance.

While infographics are continuously valuable, videos are growing in influence as well. Traditionally, professionals viewed videos as a distraction from the facts and data behind a topic. As it turns out, readers like videos to help break up their user experience. The most useful articles use a healthy mix of videos, infographics, and written content. In some cases, a less fact-driven content piece may help draw readers to a topic. These opinion pieces are also just as crucial.

Well-sourced opinion articles

I think you might assume opinion articles are problematic because of their subjective nature. In reality, a well-sourced opinion editorial can be quite impactful for several reasons. Firstly, the best part of an opinion piece in the room to promote or plug a resource. For example, if you write an opinion piece on the best tools for engineering, you can insert links to your engineering blog. Likewise, you can assume readers read an opinion piece to hear an argument about a subject. This fact means you can take a stance on a debate within your industry and have full freedom to argue one side or the other.

In short, opinion articles are only problematic when they go unsupported in fact. Using credible, reliable sources, in your opinion, pieces can help to add credibility to your idea, no matter how subjective. Likewise, it helps to have credibility yourself. You likely have credentials and experience that meet requirements for you to become a contributor to Direct Knowledge. Let’s do an overview of what these things may be.

Staple Articles

Response articles address a topic within a niche in a conversational and sharable way. Several posts in this category feature lists or guides to tackle an element of the overall field of study. Things like “10 best types of engineering certifications” or “15 ways to become a professional programmer” succeed well in driving traffic to a site. Some examples of these posts include things like columns, question and answer pieces, and lifestyle articles. Sponsored content also often features requirements tangentially aligned with the contributor staple article format. Likewise, contributors can list the criteria of a profession in the style of personality or trend articles. Another accessible format within the staple articles category is an interview. Here are some things to consider for conducting a great conversation.

Interviews and personal success stories

In many cases, offering readers multiple perspectives can be quite beneficial. For instance, a popular way to present a few different viewpoints and stories in one contributor piece is to feature an interview. I think conversations offer an accessible format with which readers are familiar. Likewise, question and answer style articles can be great to ensure you highlight every topic you want to cover. So, who do you reach out to for an interview?

Tips for finding and conducting a good interview

A good interviewee should be someone with a unique insight into the topic. A great example could be someone who experienced success in the industry. Or, you could interview someone who recently published research on a study or experiment they finished. These are great ways to help others promote their knowledge in a meaningful way. One of the requirements to become a Direct Knowledge contributor is to be experienced and have a degree in the field. The same should go for your interviewees.

Likewise, some more great interview tips include framing questions for room to grow. For example, the question “did you learn a lot from studying mathematics” is not necessarily going to yield great answers. Instead of yes or no questions, be sure to ask open-ended questions with room for subjective responses. This way, the answers you get to offer more to readers and make the conversation feel more like a natural give-and-take.

Because of the versatility in the content you obtain from interviews, these are some of the most effective ways to combine the insights of great minds. Overall, the format of an interview can be easy to organize and highly effective. Similarly, readers love breaks in the written content in favor of statistics graphics that highlight or supplement arguments. These images are called infographics, but videos are also growing in popularity and prevalence.

Pillar Articles

Pillar articles feature long-form and well-researcher content pieces to provide readers with extensive information on a subject or topic. These articles are over 3,500 words to cover all necessary aspects of the conversation or study in the piece. Some examples of pillar articles include original research articles and trial and case studies. Any style of content that requires extensive detail like how-to articles and investigative pieces fall under this umbrella too. There are no particular requirements for a pillar article, except that all information is high-quality and comes from reputable sources. Here are some essential elements of crafting a high-quality pillar article.

Well-researched long-form articles

If someone searches information about a new subject they wish to learn, then they want to immerse themselves in the matter. To do that, the aspiring reader needs well-researched articles. For starters, well-researched work does not happen overnight. Merely knowing a lot about a topic cannot yield you a well-researched article. You need to include sources from other experts and journals. That means loading your content up with relevant and reliable resources. Make sure anything inserted into your article is credible and comes from an academic or peer-reviewed source. As you can imagine, that means your item might be reasonably long. That’s a good thing because long-form content is not only more helpful but also reaches more readers.

Long-form content can be up to 3,000-5,000 words long. The question you might have is whether or not someone will read that much content. People who want to learn a new skill or subject wish to dive deep into the matter. Let’s use the example of learning to swim. If you’re going to learn to swim, then I can send you an article that’s short and sweet. Maybe the recommendation is to kick your legs and paddle your arms. Do you know how to swim now? No. It takes a more in-depth investigation into the subject to become capable of the new skill. The same goes for any academic discipline featured here on this site that I offer readers.

Why long-form content matters

Long-form, high-quality content helps readers develop a basic understanding on which to build. From here, various specialized articles on specific aspects of the topic can further your knowledge to new heights. A simple tactic to make sure you are providing readers with helpful information is to make sure it’s data-driven or backed by real findings. Likewise, writing original content helps to keep a reader’s attention and write meaningfully.

Direct Knowledge Contributor Hand with magnifying glass over knowledge words

Contributor Requirements and Credentials

There are several elements to posting articles and blog-style pieces regarding requirements for a professional contributor. Firstly, contributor articles feature an open source of information, including data and code. These elements allow the reader full access to expert knowledge. Contributor blogs also allow for peer review, ensuring that each article embodies aspects of trustworthiness and validity. Thirdly, a contributor experiences fewer requirements in a blog format than an academic journal. This reality provides a professional contributor with the means for an equal platform with which to share information. Lastly, the broad audience of blogs leads to more eyes on articles and more error correction. With less room to make mistakes that go unnoticed by readers, this enhances the authoritativeness of a contributor. Here are some additional requirements if you wish to become a contributor.

Need to be a professional in the field

Let’s say I want to learn about the best way to become a journalist. Would you suggest I reach out to a professional journalist or an average citizen who reads the news? If you think about who you want to hear from when learning a new subject, then you likely think of a professional in the field. In many cases, these individuals obtained expertise and authoritativeness for two reasons. Firstly, many likely hold some education or certification in the area. Many top executives hold a college degree, or many depending on their position.

It’s not fair to say that only college graduates are experts. In some fields, a college degree is not applicable or required. For these positions, someone with years of experience in the area can be a reliable resource and hold trustworthiness in the field. Likewise, the more levels of responsibility they have then the more authoritativeness they have. If someone works their way up in an area, then you can usually rely on their insight. Contributor requirements simply ask that writers hold expertise and trustworthiness rather than specify from what source individuals gain these things.

Need to have experience, training, or direct knowledge of an area

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are essential to become a contributor. Without this capacity, how can someone help others learn the ins and outs of a subject? This reality is why we require that writers on this site have a hefty amount of experience or training in the topic on which they wish to write.

Why are there requirements?

In today’s diverse and growing media landscape, fake news is prevalent like never before. Increasing diversity in media outlets and distrust in authority figures combine to a dangerous impact. These two phenomena help to lead readers to discover and trust unreliable sources. I don’t want this site to be a place where anyone could ever believe a contributor to be problematic. You likely know your subject well, but these requirements ensure you provide trustworthiness and expertise to the site’s content.

These criteria help to ensure readers and students can find trustworthy and authoritative content on Direct Knowledge. Likewise, ensuring writers meet the requirements for a contributor on this site appeases the researcher’s needs as well. This way, everyone knows that this site features expertise and authoritativeness, whence referenceable articles. 

How to Become a Contributor

Contributors exist as experts and thought leaders in their given field of study. Like a lot of us, they once started with little to no experience in their profession. So, how do they go from newcomers to a study or subject and turn into influential writers and contributors? There are several steps to take to become a contributor. A few of these areas of focus include qualifications and work you must do as an individual. Likewise, knowing a subject isn’t all it takes to contribute exciting content. An essential part of the process is mastering how to pitch and deliver a piece to a website. But first, let’s begin with the initial need to earn an education.

Earning an Education to Gain Expertise

Firstly, many professional contributors hold a degree or certification in their field. Several contributors earn a bachelor’s degree at minimum. In many cases, for the world’s top writers, advanced degrees help to bring some credibility to the role. Depending on the topic, extensive experience in a profession can substitute. Still, a degree and education from a university or trade school is a significant first step to achieving expertise. Through an education, contributors prove they hold extensive knowledge in a subject—likewise, education and experience help to develop critical traits as a writer.

Authoritativeness is crucial for contributors. This trait comes from earning knowledge but having the experience in the field to back it up. This process can mean working in a career for a few years or even a decade. Trustworthiness is also essential and comes from knowing enough about a subject through educational and on-site experiences.

Finding the Right Publications and Blogs

With these skills, you can now begin working on your writing. Writing takes practice, including writing drafts and learning how to structure thoughts into a complete article. Contributors must have a working knowledge of articulating education and experience into a type of content. Contributors need to think about the reader and what will best suit them. To earn a spot on a blog or website, it all starts with the publication itself. Researching the website can be something to help a writer get their first contributor post.

If you know what the site content looks like as well as the contributor requirements, then you stand a better chance at earning a spot. In recent years, guest posts on sites and blogs expanded how professionals can share their work. Traditionally, books and newspaper columns were the best place to post thoughts and ideas on your expertise. With the growth of online learning platforms, many more academics and career professionals are moving to scholarly blogs. Knowing the difference and what sort of content a site looks for helps you seem well-researched and credible.

Writing a Meaningful Post

Next, it’s time to write a fantastic article. Any academic paper aims to feature some set of issues, solutions, and in some cases, a call to action. These sections might require more reflection and flesh out for a general audience. Some particularly technical fields in the applied and natural sciences might need this process most. It can be tough to explain in everyday language why your work is essential, so the critical thing to focus on is the “why.” Why do you do your research? More importantly, how is your study or paper vital? These questions aren’t easy to answer, but this last one can help to get you started: why should anyone have an interest in what you discovered? These questions help you to write a great post.

Submitting your Post for Review and Publication

Finally, it’s time to pitch your article to the website. Most blogs have an email address to which you send your paper. They often love a full post rather than bullet points. Be sure to draft your post before sending it to an editor. From here, they can change or request more content as they see fit. Be sure to review their contributor requirements before submitting to ensure your best chance at approval. If you don’t hear back right away, then don’t be discouraged. After a week or two, follow up via email to remind them of your interest. If they like your pitch, then you are now officially a contributor. There are several steps, but following these actions can help take you from a student to a contributor role.

Build Traffic and Links to Contributor Work

The last thing to do once you begin working as a contributor is to build links and traffic. Self-promotion helps to increase followers on social media. In turn, more people see your work and read your guest posts. The websites you work with as a contributor will appreciate you sharing content to increase traffic. Plus, it helps your brand as well. With those steps nicely laid out, let’s now look to the role of a Direct Knowledge contributor.

Direct Knowledge Contributors The word Inspire highlighted with pencil on wrinkled lined paper

Direct Knowledge Contributors

The goal for every Direct Knowledge contributor is for this site to become a cornerstone of educational resources and online learning. By helping contribute to the site, you can be a part of the site’s goal of increasing access to quality information. Several steps can help you become a contributor to this website.

The first step is to submit an article. Here you can provide the information about yourself along with the content you wish to contribute to Direct Knowledge. Next, you will receive an email verifying that your article has reached us, and we are reviewing it for acceptance. If the article is accepted, the editorial process begins.

Firstly, we will have you submit a full-length bio for your author profile. Once you send us the bio, we will pass the content to our editorial team for review. Once edits occur, we will send the bio to you once more for any changes that are needed. If applicable, these steps will repeat until the editorial team approves the bio. Next, the submitted article undergoes review by the editorial team and sent back to you for changes that might be needed. These two steps may also repeat if required. Finally, your full length bio and article are published.

Review the Rundown for Direct Knowledge Contributors

For review, here are the steps that occur when you submit work to Direct Knowledge. These are the requirements used for all submissions from contributors. Steps regarding the bio are only necessary the first time you contribute to the site.

  • The author submits an article.
  •  The author received emails verifying submission is received.
  • If the article is accepted, then here are the editorial steps:
  1. An author profile starts with the author submitting a full-length bio.
  2. The full bio goes to the editorial team.
  3. The bio is then checked and reviewed by the author.
  4. Repeat 2 & 3 if needed.
  5. The submitted article goes to the editorial team.
  6. The submitted article is then checked and reviewed by the author.
  7. Repeat 5 & 6 if needed.

FAQ for Contributors

Hopefully, you are interested in more about what to do to become a contributor to Direct Knowledge. A great place to start is these common inquiries to help get you started.

What is a Contributor?

A contributor is someone who provides written content to a website to reach readers on a variety of topics. Contributors hold expertise in a subject and use their experience and understanding of the industry to inform and educate others. Many contributors come from academia, as well as high-level positions in several relevant fields of work.

How do you become a contributor?

To become a contributor, individuals should first obtain an education in a career field. A university or trade school degree sets individuals up to become experts in their area. Next, they should gain experience in the profession to obtain authoritativeness over the subject. Then, individuals should hone their writing skills and begin crafting articles to send to blogs and websites.

What are the requirements for a contributor?

To become a contributor, individuals must be experts in a profession or field. In many cases, if a job requires a college degree, then contributors should also hold education in that field. Plus, if a position involves any certification, then the author should hold all necessary qualifications. Lastly, a significant amount of experience also qualifies individuals to become a contributor.

Conclusion

Becoming a contributor can be one of the most rewarding processes in a professional career. The ability to share knowledge can genuinely help several people in a meaningful way. The best part is that Direct Knowledge is always looking for great contributors. Start adding to Direct Knowledge today and join the efforts of one of the online learning’s most diverse and helpful resources for students of all types.

Is it common to contribute to more than one blog? Yes, you can undoubtedly choose to provide more than one blog, but you must meet requirements in both. If so, you can add content to whichever topics you fit in terms of qualifications and expertise. What insights could you provide for students and interested readers?

What is the best paying area for blogging? To learn more about compensation on Direct Knowledge, visit our Contact Us page. Here you can express what you would like to contribute as well as ask questions about payment for blogs. How could Direct Knowledge benefit you professionally and financially?

Do academics blog about their research? Yes, contributors on Direct Knowledge include academics who teach or once taught in higher education. Readers love a mix of academic and conversational content. What educational experience could you provide to readers?

What is the ideal way to get started as a contributor? If you want to become a contributor to Direct Knowledge, then the easiest way to alert us is to visit our Contact Page. Here, you can inform us about what you think you could contribute, and we will get in contact with you as quickly as they can if you are a good fit. How could Direct Knowledge help your professional development?

Leave a Comment