Write for NextBillion.

WANT TO WRITE FOR NEXTBILLION?

NextBillion is always looking for new voices to feature. In fact, over 90% of our content is contributed by guest writers, including entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, researchers and others.

Guest writers/organizations can submit up to four free articles per calendar year – roughly one per quarter. If you’d like to publish more regularly on the site, we have partnership options that allow for more frequent publication.

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 the opportunities and challenges of doing business in emerging markets, check out the guidelines below. If you’re interested in discussing ideas for potential articles, or submitting a finished article to NextBillion, please contact our editors.

AUTHORSHIP AND AUDIENCE:

Editorial Focus: NextBillion’s core focus “is development through enterprise.” We sometimes cover businesses and initiatives serving low-income communities in developed countries, especially the U.S., but the vast majority of our coverage is focused on enterprises tackling development challenges in emerging markets. Articles may mention public sector, nonprofit and philanthropic issues and approaches, especially if they utilize a business model or impact for-profit companies, but most of our content is focused directly on enterprise.

Audience: Roughly half of our readers work in for-profit business, about a third work in the nonprofit sector, and the rest work in academia or government. Over half of our readers are business owners or executive-level leaders at their organizations, so we reach many decision-makers in the development space. Please take this audience profile into account: You can assume a high degree of reader familiarity with common global development concepts, so you don’t need to explain the basics (eg: what is impact investing?) in your article.

Reader Interaction: Because NextBillion is a platform for open conversation, it’s possible that readers might respond to your writing, either on social media or in the form of a “counterpoint” article published on our site. We are always open to informed disagreements with the viewpoints we publish, and are happy to publish alternate perspectives. We ask that our guest writers be prepared to face these potential disagreement, and to answer questions and respond to respectful criticism if it occurs.

Authorship: All NextBillion articles must be written by an author, or set of named authors. We do not accept anonymous commentary or article submissions attributed to an organization or company.

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.

GUEST ARTICLE BASICS:

Length: We generally try to keep articles to 800 – 1,200 words in length. Our maximum word count for most guest articles is around 1,400 – 1600 words. Longer pieces will often be edited down. And we generally ask for more detail on articles that go under about 700 words.

Submitting an article: Please send articles via Microsoft Word email attachments or Google Docs.

Perspective: NextBillion encourages a first-person writing style. Please do not refer to yourself in the third person, and if you’re involved in an organization whose work you’re citing, please make that clear in the article.

Style: NextBillion follows Associated Press style.

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 run our intended headlines past authors whenever possible.

Opinions: Feel free to be conversational and interject your opinions into your articles. (In fact, these are often the types of pieces that do well on the site.)

Citations: Viewpoints – controversial or otherwise – should be supported, so please link to research reports, books or media articles (including NextBillion) when making assertions or citing statistics. Please link to any companies and/or organizations mentioned in your post as well. Please DO NOT list any citations as footnotes – whenever possible, include these as links instead. (Footnotes are permissible if you need to add an explanation to an assertion, but are otherwise discouraged.)

Self-promotion: We are happy to provide publicity to the businesses and other organizations that contribute guest articles. But articles 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. As a rule of thumb, content focused solely on the organization should comprise no more than about 30% of an article’s word count – and you should avoid starting a piece with a lengthy explanation of your organization or mission.

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.

Outreach: NextBillion posts articles extensively on Twitter and Facebook, and we’re happy to include the author’s Twitter/Facebook handle, the handle of their organization, and any hashtags they recommend – please send this information to our editors when submitting a draft. The support of you and/or your organization can greatly help to maximize traffic to your article, so please also notify your comms team to arrange for tweets, retweets and other social media mentions once the article is online.

EDITING AND SYNDICATION

The process: After you submit your draft, a NextBillion editor will review it and send any edits back to you for feedback and approval – along with any questions we have about details of the piece. You’re welcome to send further revisions back: 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.

Timeline: We have a small staff, but we try to edit articles within 2 weeks of receiving a first draft. But depending on the amount of content in queue, that isn’t always possible, so if there are any scheduling considerations we should take into account (like an upcoming report release date, or a registration deadline), please let us know when you submit the piece. In most cases, we can accommodate requests to speed up the editing process (within reason).

Syndication: NextBillion reserves the right to 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. However, 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 piece – e.g.: “This article was originally published on NextBillion.”

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