For a start of 2021, I decided to develop the Fun Museums into a platform of travel and heritage ideas. There are many promising signs of smooth change in the fields, so I would like to establish a network of professionals who are interested in presenting heritage and encourage deep, slow travel experiences. Inviting guest writers is one of the most important steps for me.
Further, I am offering opportunities for museums and businesses to get featured in some Fun Museums content. Learn how.
Now, let’s move to the main point. How to become a guest writer on Fun Museums, and how to become a successful member? This is a bit lengthy guide.
Since I want to make my guest writers program inclusive, please don’t feel scared with the quantity of information. Feel free to contact me for specific questions – lana[at]funmuseums[dot]eu.
Who is eligible to become one of the Fun Museums guest writers?
In other words, how do you know if it is something for you? It is simple. Here is a list of seven characteristics of Fun Museums supporters and readers.
- You like traveling, but you don’t care much about trends, bucket lists, must-visit places and other hype stuff.
- You visit museums when you travel, at least one per trip.
- Discovering the local heritage and culture is the key travel experience for you, but you are not a big fan of touristy “authentic” experiences.
- Your professional field is related to heritage, museums, arts, science, or creative industries (but it is not mandatory!)
- You care about sustainability, or you feel like you would like to care more.
- Inclusion is a concept you understand well, whether you have felt excluded or not at all.
- You have some passion for creating new things or thinking new ideas.
If you see yourself in these characteristics, you are a perfect person for Fun Museums. You can apply immediately, and become one of our guest writers and to join a growing platform of ideas.
Once I join you, how do I choose my topics?
It is simple. When applying to join, you are encouraged to introduce yourself so that I can help you choosing topics. After that, you may already have some ideas what do you want to write. If you have been a frequent Fun Museums reader, you may even have a clear idea what program would you like to join.
To clarify, I am bringing a list of some general article types that are popular on Fun Museums.
Article types for guest writers
- Visits to one museum, with some personal story about the experience. It can be any kind of museum, and it is important to give some context to the story. For instance, tell us something about the trip during which you visited the museum, or if it is in your hometown or the place where you currently live, say it clearly. Further, let your readers know what you learned in that museum, and what were the things you knew before. In conclusion, tell us why you recommend other to visit that museum, and who is best audience for it.
- Similarly, you may want to write about a series of museums, or a trip. Again, the key is to give your readers a lot of context about it.
- The topic articles are the key element of the Art of Discovery program. For Fun Museums, the Discovery is an important element of slow and deep traveling. For a little bit of inspiration, check the article about Northern Lights, Stories of the Sea, or The Sami, wise people of the North.
- Opinion articles and personal experiences are specially welcome on Fun Museums
- Anything about sustainability in museums, heritage, and travel
- Passion for Collecting: One of my goals is to collect stories about the earliest museums on different sides of the globe. Join the move with a story from your country.
- Etymology, mythology, iconography: I am a big fan of these fields and I invite other big fans to join me.
- Anything else you feel to belong to the Fun Museums?
I don’t have much experience in creative writing or journalism. How can I find my ways to writing?
For a start, just relax. Fun Museums, as the name suggests, is a free time, leisure platform. It is not intended for researchers or subject specialists, although even they can find useful things here. You don’t need to worry about any kind of academic rigour. Most importantly, you also don’t have any pressure to impress the others.
On the other hand, I recommend you to make sure you have at least B2 level of writing skills in English. At the moment, I am not able to accept posts in other languages on the platform itself, since it would require further development of the platform for which I am not ready. Keep in mind that this situation might change, as I am committed to language diversity and inclusion!
Additionally, you may want to take a writing course on a platform such as Udemy or Skillshare. Finally, the tools such as Grammarly definitely help correcting minor grammatical mistakes.
Find your style
In order to feel great about your writing, make sure you nurture your own style. I recommend to all my guest writers to take the following things into consideration:
- Don’t put too much information. Choose a few key facts and make sure they are accurate and coming from reliable sources.
- If you are writing about your own field of expertise, try understanding what your readers or listeners already know, or better said, with what they are already familiar. Too much expert information will overload them!
- On the other hand, don’t go too simple, and encourage spontaneous, informal learning instead. Challenge your readers with something new.
- Tell your personal experience. Share your personal context. In other words, make it personal.
- Most importantly, I want people who know things I don’t know, and people who write better than me. I also need to grow and learn every day.
Photos and other visuals
Since you are all mainly guest writers and not photographers or visual artists, I understand you might have troubles selecting proper visuals. However, selecting good photos is an essential part of quality online publishing. For that reason, you are encouraged to choose your own visuals for the articles you write. Here are some short quality guidelines:
- Make sure that visuals (photos, illustrations, vectors, drawings) are yours, that you own the full rights on them, or that they come from public domain online contents (for example from Wikipedia or from museums that made clear public domain statements). As an alternative, you might get a permission to use copyrighted photos, but in that case you are obliged to follow the rules and give the proper credits to the author. I will make sure that copyright is clear before I allow a post to be published.
- Visuals should be jpg or png files, with no more than 2MB of size. Further, I recommend you to provide the photos with at least 1200px of width. If you are not familiar with these specifications, feel free to ask me for help.
- Visuals should have a decent visual quality to be published. That being said, I will not accept blurry, too light, too dark, or shaky photos. It is important that the motifs are clear. If you are providing a drawing or a vector, make sure you give it a proper explanation for a caption.
- You can choose which visual you want to be the cover, or I can choose for you.
- Finally, I recommend you to provide at least 5 visuals with your text.
- Anyway, if you struggle with visuals, I will help you as good as I can.
Guest writers get their own profile on Fun Museums. Once you send me your first text with photos, I will post it in your account. At the same time, you will get an email notification of your account being created and you will be able to create your own password. After that, you will be able to insert all your content in your user account, but please don’t publish them before my verification.
To create your user account, I need your photo, a short description, a longer description, and links to your social media profiles.
The recommended length of articles is between 500 and 1500 words. The minimum length is 300 words, but I recommend you to write at least 500. In contrast, if you have a particularly long text, I will gladly accept it, but in that case I would recommend you to provide at least 10 visuals.
I strongly recommend you to provide external links, such as museum website, tourist boards, or some easily accessible sources for your topic articles.
Headlines are very important in online publishing. If you have any experience in blogging and journalism, you might know it and prepare a good title (not a misleading clickbait though), as well as headlines within the text. If you don’t have much ideas about it, I can do it for you in the final edit.
Finally, I reserve the right to make minor edits if I notice they might be needed for the sake of SEO, clarity or appeal. I hope you don’t mind it 🙂
After publishing them, I share all the Fun Museums posts on social media. Guest posts are no exception. Publishing a guest post is a great opportunity to get noticed on social media, as Fun Museums posts are getting an increased number of shares.
You may want to choose the ways to publish your posts on social media, or you may let me do it. Notice that I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the moment, and there are some differences in a way we need to post on each of them.
One of the key social media activities for Fun Museums at the moment are the stories. I use the Canva to design the story series which I publish in a particular order, at the same time (as fast as they can upload). Your guest article may get featured in these stories as an individual topic or within other topics.
Last but not least, you may be interested in co-hosting a session on stories. For that, you don’t have to post a guest article. It is enough to apply with a topic and after a conversation we will start a creation process.
What are the benefits of being a guest writer?
Although I am currently not able to provide a paid collaboration to guest writers, I offer many perks. First, all the guest authors will enter the list of Friends of Fun Museums. Second, I will make sure every guest author is contacted in the case of paid opportunity, project, conference, or a trip.
I will also give to my guest authors gifts at some intervals, and make sure they get discount in the case they need a professional service for their institution or business from me.
For any further question about the guest writers program, feel free to contact me on lana[at]funmuseums[dot]eu.