NextBillion Writer Guidelines.

Want to Write for NextBillion?

As an open platform for social business and development through enterprise, we’re always looking for new voices to feature. In fact, the vast majority of our content is contributed by guest writers, including entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, researchers and others. If you’ve got insights or opinions to share – and the expertise to back them up – and would like to join the ongoing discussion around these issues, check out the guidelines below. If you’re interested in submitting a post to NextBillion, please contact an editor at


Authorship and Audience:

  • Perspective: NextBillion encourages a first-person blog style. Feel free to be conversational and interject your perspective into your posts. (In fact, these are the types of articles that do well on NB). However, conclusions – controversial or otherwise – should be supported, so linking to research reports, books or media articles (including NextBillion) is expected. Please link to any companies and/or organizations mentioned in your post as well. Because NextBillion is a blog and a conversation platform, we ask that writers be prepared to answer questions and respond to respectful criticism in our comment section as necessary.
  • Authorship: All NextBillion articles must be written by an author, or set of named authors. We do not accept anonymous commentary or blog submissions by an organization or company.
  • Audience: NextBillion’s core focus “is development through enterprise.” In other words, market-based solutions need to be engaged in the article in some way that benefits low-income people, particularly in emerging markets. So, while posts may mention public sector, non-profit and philanthropic approaches and issues, it’s important to keep in mind that our audience is focused on innovations that build on private enterprise and entrepreneurship, and to frame those topics accordingly.
  • Self-promotion: We are happy to provide publicity to the businesses and other organizations that contribute guest posts. But posts are much more effective when they keep the focus on the issues an organization/company is addressing and the challenges/solutions it has encountered, rather than the brand attributes and qualities of the organization itself. So “marketing language” should be kept to a minimum, and as a rule of thumb, content focused solely on the organization should comprise no more than about 30 percent of a post’s word count.
  • Writer profile: Each NextBillion contributor has a writer profile. This includes a title, organization, geographic location, a brief biography and a headshot photo. If you would like readers to be able to contact you via email or social media, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, please include those links with your bio. NextBillion tweets each post extensively and is happy to include the author’s Twitter handle, the Twitter handle of their organization, and any hashtags they recommend – please send this information to our editors when submitting a post.


Blog Post Basics:

  • Length: We generally try to keep posts to 800-1,000 words in length. Our maximum word count for most guest posts is around 1,200 – 1400 words. Longer posts will often be edited down or split into two parts. And we generally ask for more detail on posts that go under about 650 words.
  • Headline: Please feel free to make headline and sub-headline suggestions in your draft, but understand that we may alter these in the final article. We try to run our intended headlines past authors whenever possible.
  • Submitting a blog post: Microsoft Word or sharing Google Docs are preferred methods.
  • Images: We welcome photos and embeddable/linkable video that is available for media and/or public usage. Please specify whom NextBillion should credit when sending photos or video, and if possible, include information for use in the caption, including the location, description of the scene, names/titles of people in the photo, etc. We respect all copyrighted images and when in doubt, we opt for public domain photos.


Editing and Syndication

  • The process: After you submit your draft, a NextBillion editor(s) will review it and provide any edits back to the writer for feedback and approval. Our goal is always to reach a final draft that is agreeable to both the writer and editor before publication. We do routinely make online changes and update posts as necessary, but aim to conclude most changes prior to publication. NextBillion generally follows Associated Press style.
  • NextBillion reserves the right to syndicate (or republish) any article originally produced for NextBillion on other sites, and we have relationships with a number of outlets that syndicate our material. We do not demand exclusivity on content, except in rare cases that are discussed in advance of publication. That means in most cases, guest writers are welcome to cross-post their NextBillion articles to other sites after they appear on NextBillion. If an author would like to republish any NextBillion content, we request that they:
    • Wait at least 5 business days before republishing, unless there is a mutual agreement prior to publication.
    • Notify our editors of their intent to cross-post the article, and the media outlet where it will be republished.
    • Include attribution and a link back to the original post – e.g.: “This post was originally published on NextBillion.”

Parent Organization

William Davidson Institute


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