Brand & Style Guide

Instructions for Authors & Contributors

Writing for Landlordology and Cozy is a great way to get noticed and give back to the rental community. We’re all in this together. Pay it forward and get credit while doing so!

We help new and experienced landlords grow their rental businesses by teaching them the best ways to manage their properties. Sometimes, it’s by recommending a newfangled tool or sharing a simple tip.

Other times, it’s by explaining complicated state laws or writing a detailed guide on the complications of Section 8 housing.

This guide provides instructions for submitting articles to Landlordology.

1. Purpose

Provide the best educational tools and resources for landlords, property managers and renters.

  1. Be helpful
  2. Teach others what you know
  3. Promote Cozy

Landlordology + Cozy provides landlords with the modern rental tools and the knowledge to focus on what they love, instead of running their rentals.

2. Content Types

We strive for every article to be high quality, well-written, practical, and easy to understand.

We publish these types of articles:

  • Advice for beginner and intermediate landlords and real estate investors
  • Lessons on topics such as leasing, screening, and maintenance
  • Tutorials or how-to’s on general property management and landlording
  • “Top xx” lists of useful resources
  • Unbiased reviews of industry related products and services
  • Practical and actionable tips for the rental industry (short, sweet, and to the point)

Unique Content

We only publish original/unique articles and tips that are not, or will not be, published anywhere else.

Word Count

We prefer articles to be 600-800 words. “Tips” can be much shorter: 300-600 words.

Cite Your Sources

If you reference another site’s content or data, please cite and link to it in your post. If possible, incorporate images, screenshots, videos, and other forms of rich media to help communicate your message. All images and media must be free of copyright infringements, and you must credit the author in your post.

Royalty-free image sites:

Use Headers

Simple, clear headers so the reader can easily understand the content without reading every word. Headers are essential to creating content that people want to read.

  • The only “Header 1” in the piece is the title.
  • A “Header 3” should always exist within a “Header 2” appropriately, similar to an outline format.
  • Never use a Header 3 without having a Header 2 before it.

Example of appropriate headers: The Definitive Guide to Renting to Tenants with Pets

Links

We encourage you to link to:

  • Content on Landlordology.com and Cozy.c whenever possible.
  • External high-quality websites, and other articles you written outside of Landlordology
  • Supporting data
  • Anything that will add value to the piece

Don’t Be Spammy

Any links (paid or otherwise) to irrelevant, low-quality websites will be deleted. Landlordology staff will make the final call regarding what is spammy and what is not.

3. Audience

Consider the audience for every type of content you create. We cater to three main groups:

  • Landlords / property managers
  • Renters
  • Everyone else

Every piece needs to speak to one main audience, without criticizing the others. For example, it would be okay to say:

“Some renters need a little more help than others.”

Rather than:

“Renters are inherently dirty and won’t take care of your property.”

4. Guidelines & Voice

Be Personal

Be genuine, empathetic, and reliable. Pretend you’re writing for one specific person, even when you’re writing for a group. Try choosing someone you know (your mom, best friend, landlord, or favorite barista). What do you want to tell them?

Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. Respond to the reader’s emotional state. Remember, Cozy and Landlordology exist to help an industry that historically has been filled with tension between landlords and renters. We strive to decrease that tension through all the content we create.

Adopt a Unified Voice

Our voice is conversational and informal. We write like we speak.

  1. Be clear and straightforward.
  2. Have an opinion and point of view, but don’t judge others.
  3. Even though we’re serious about what we do, we can be funny. But we’re not silly.
  4. Be humble, not boastful.
  5. Be respectful and polite.
  6. Avoid sarcasm.
  7. Speak with confidence.
  8. Make gentle suggestions just as gracefully as we make strong statements.
  9. Compel people to act.

Make it Relevant

First and foremost, explain why your point, opinion, or info is useful to our audience.  If you recommend a product or service, it must be relevant to the audience.

Keep it Simple

Be succinct, direct, and clear. Replace long words with short words.

  • Try: Use
  • Instead of: Utilize
  • Be as specific as possible.

Don’t fill your writing with fluff and filler. Make sure every word has a function.

Write with Confidence

Use strong, meaningful words, such as:

  • You need
  • We feel confident / optimistic / sure / convinced
  • We know

Avoid words that shift responsibility or water down intent, such as:

  • Seems / very / actually / really / usually / probably / most likely / often / basically / just
  • Try: Collect a security deposit
  • Instead of: I think it would be wise to collect a deposit.

Don’t use “very.” Try these words instead: http://www.proofreadingservices.com/pages/very

Use active verbs instead of passive ones (conjugations of “to be”). Find some good alternatives here: http://speakandwrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Five-Overused-Verbs.pdf

  • Try: We help renters pay rent.
  • Instead of: We are helping renters pay rent.
  • Avoid using negative statements, such as:What you’re not is / What you shouldn’t do is / You’ll never

5. Process

  1. We’ll send you a few ideas, every two weeks.
  2. Pick the topics you want to write about, and confirm with us.
  3. Draft your content inside Landlordology (Login here), or another basic text editor program.
  4. Save the document as a “Draft” until you are finished with it.
  5. Run through the Submission checklist (see below).
  6. When you are finished, click “Submit for Review” to notify the editors.
  7. We’ll review it, and pick a publication date.
  8. Once we accept the article (regardless of when it publishes), we’ll issue you payment within 14 days.
  9. You’ll receive an email when it’s published.
  10. Please share the link on your social media channels.

Submission Checklist

Before you publish any content, run through this list:

  1. Spell check
  2. Cut unnecessary words and sentences
  3. Read copy out loud
  4. Make sure all links point to the right place, and try to link to at least one internal Landlordology article.
  5. Check the “text” tab and remove any erroneous code that you copied over from another editor.
  6. Add at least two “h2” headers
  7. Make sure titles and headers describe the content
  8. Check the “Allow Anonymous Preview” Button, then “Save Draft”, then click “Preview” to see what your post will look like live.
  9. Add a short summary to the excerpt field (view example)
  10. Check for capitalization consistency in titles and headers

6. Compensation & Referrals

If you’re a regular contributor, in addition to being paid for each article, you will receive authorship credit for everything you write for us. We will also link back to your sites and products at the end of each piece.

Tell your friends! We’re looking for experienced writers, capable of crafting first-class articles about renting and landlording. It would be a bonus if they had first-hand experiences managing to maintaining rentals. Each referral you send will earn you $50.

Guest Contributors

If you would like to write for Landlordology as a guest author, you will receive authorship credit for every article you write for us. We will also link back to your sites and products at the end of each article that you write for us. We typically only feature guest posts from other influencers who have respectable blogs or platforms of their own. If you have an idea, or a draft post ready, please contact us.

The Landlord Guides, From Cozy

Our ever-expanding library of tried and true manuals for independent landlords. These guides are meant to help you get started quickly.

View the Guides