What makes a great tl;dr pharmacy guest post?

"I'm super interested in subjects X,Y, and Z. Can I write a guest post for tl;dr pharmacy?"

I'm often asked by our wonderful readers (that's you) about if we'd accept a guest post; and what the requirements would be. 

My first response is usually along the lines of "Sure, that'd be great!"

Then we discuss the details of a tl;dr post. Some people respond with pure gold in the form of vancomycin dosing or heart failure. Other people, I never hear from again.  

So here's the deal...

I'd love to feature your post on tl;dr pharmacy. You folks have expertise in areas I haven't even heard of. And I want expert level content on this site. If you're interested in writing one, just email me at mail@tldrpharmacy.com

While we aren't Buzzfeed or anything, tl;dr pharmacy does get a fair bit of traffic. You can be confident that you'll be benefiting thousands of people with your writing.

But I'm not going to lie to you...writing content for tl;dr pharmacy is hard. Sam and I are very picky about what makes it on this website. Copy/pasting some random set of guidelines or sending a bullet list recap of your study notes isn't going to cut it (yes, both of those things have been attempted). 

On the other hand, you don't need to go on a 7-day spirit cleanse out in the wilderness somewhere before we'll look at your post either. It's hard to write for us, but it's not like "building a functional rocket from nothing but tin foil and rubber bands" hard.

So in order to streamline the process, here are a few basics that we're looking for.


Rule 1: tl;dr pharmacy is useful

This is really the golden rule around here. 

We want excellent posts that let our readers walk away with actionable information. Stuff they can use and apply right now.

Is there something you're an expert in? Something that's easy for you that is difficult for most other people? That's the stuff great tl;dr pharmacy posts are made out of.

It doesn't necessarily have to be clinical. If you've followed us for a while, you've seen that we've covered everything from student loans to professional shaming to the residency showcase. If it useful to pharmacy students and pharmacists (or really any health care professional), then it can be a great subject for a tl;dr pharmacy post.

If it is a clinical post you're writing, make sure to include practical knowledge and clinical pearls. Don't just regurgitate guidelines. If people wanted to read guidelines, they wouldn't be here. Explain how the guidelines apply to clinical practice; and when to ignore them.


Rule 2: tl;dr pharmacy is fun to read

Almost by definition, if you're reading tl;dr pharmacy, then you're mentally fried most days. Whether you're a student studying for your next test or a practicing professional, you spend all day drinking from a fire hose of information. 

tl;dr pharmacy exists to supplement that information, but in a way that's enjoyable. We want people to actually like coming here. 

And that means our material is light and funny. We try to sprinkle jokes throughout our writing (even if they're bad jokes). We keep our tone conversational.

You don't have to sound overly professional here. In fact, we don't want you to be overly professional. This doesn't mean to use excessive cursing and racial slurs in your post; but it does mean to use small words. Write your tl;dr article as if you were talking to your friend. Better yet, write it for someone who isn't a pharmacist. If you can explain your topic to your grandmother, it will be an excellent tl;dr pharmacy post.


Rule 3: put some thought into your writing

There are some great websites out there that feature excellent "first draft" content. tl;dr pharmacy is not one of them. Our posts take many hours to draft, edit, refine, and publish. Although we're not grammar nazis, we do our best to adhere to basic rules of style. We try our best to catch any typos. We try to come up with useful metaphors or personal stories to drive a point home. We use active voice instead of passive voice. If you can do these things and put your best effort forward, you can write for tl;dr pharmacy.


Rule 4: that's it

Seriously. We're not asking you to be Hemingway. You may have noticed that we ourselves are not particularly great writers. We just try to explain complex topics in a useful and concise way that's easy to understand. 



Here's a list of the most common questions I've been asked about potential guest posts...

How long should posts be?

As long as they need to be. We don't have a specific length requirement. Your post can be as long (or as short) as it needs to be.

There's this belief on the internet that blog posts have to be 500 words in length or no one will read them. I don't buy it. One of our most popular posts on this website is over 7000 words long. If the writing is useful and engaging, people will read it. 

Don't make your post so short that you're leaving out crucial information. And don't make it excessively long with uneccessary flowery prose. Make it exactly as long as you need to to get the job done.

Do I need to include pictures?

Yes! Pictures can either illustrate the point you're making, or add a bit of humor. They also make it easier for readers to digest your writing.

Do I need to include sources?

You are welcome to, but sources are not necessarily required. We tend to avoid the superscript in the text with resource list at the end of the post mentality. When we include references, we just link them as part of the sentence we're typing (like that).

Will you help me edit my post?

Absolutely. It's going on our website, so we will be reviewing your post for correctness, grammar, readability, and formatting. That said, we will not publish your post until you're happy with the final result. You're doing all the hard work here, and your name is going on the post. You deserve the credit, and you deserve to be 100% happy with the final product.


So what's the next step?

If you've got a useful, entertaining, and thoughtful idea for a post; let us know at mail@tldrpharmacy.com

After you submit your post, we'll get back to you after we've had a chance to review it. If we're requesting any major revisions, we'll let you know. And if we're not, then we'll show you a preview of your post to make sure you're happy with it. Then we'll hit the publish button and you can help us promote it all over the interwebs.