So you’re interested in writing for the Poptropica Help Blog. Awesome! We welcome a diversity of voices here on the PHB, and we’re excited to have you join us. From guest posting to aspiring to join our staff team, here on this page, we’ll explain how you can get involved in producing content for the biggest Poptropica fansite there is. Keep reading!
The easiest and most popular way to get your writing on the PHB is with guest posting, which is when a guest writer (that’s you!) gets to make a post right on our blog. That’s right, you don’t need to be one of the PHB staff to publish right alongside us. You can check out the “Benefits” section below for some reasons as to why you should guest post.
We’ve had over 100 guest posts on the PHB and we’re always looking for more. Some ideas for what you can write about are listed below, but you don’t have to be limited to these! As long as it’s related to Poptropica, we’re interested.
- House Tours: Show off your house from Poptropica Worlds! [examples here]
- My Place in Poptropica: Tell the story of how you came to know Poptropica, and what this game/fandom means to you. [examples here]
- Pop 5: Make a Top 5 list of something Poptropica-related. [examples here]
- Pop-over: Create Poptropica costumes based on characters of a non-Poptropica franchise and tell us how to put those crossover outfits together. [examples here]
- Pop Petition: Discuss something you think Poptropica should do to make the game or fandom even more awesome. [examples here]
- Popspiracy: Come up with a Poptropica conspiracy theory on why something is the way it is or offer possible answers to a mystery. It can even be far-fetched. [examples here]
- Pop-TROPE-ica: Talk about a common trope (trend) that’s found in the Poptropica universe. [examples here]
- Reviews: Analyze and criticize islands and other things we haven’t reviewed yet. Give ideas on what could make it better, or talk about why it’s perfect just the way it is. [examples here]
There is no word limit, but an aspect of good writing is conveying your message concisely, without bogging down the reader with wordiness. Conversely, you’ll want your writing to have substance, which means fleshing out your ideas with just enough detail. Depending on the subject, we recommend aiming for 300–1,500 words for a post. You can check your word count on your word processor (including WordPress), or use a counter site.
Tip: Try to balance both positives and negatives in your post. While it’s tempting to go off on a long rant if you’re writing about a feature you didn’t like, remember that good criticism is constructive. Acknowledge the weak points and why they’re upsetting, but don’t linger on your anger – instead, point to how there can be improvement.
From conceiving an idea to seeing your work published online, here’s what the process of guest-writing for the PHB looks like:
- Think about what you want to write about. (See the list above for ideas.)
- Draft your post on a word processor, such as email, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word.
- Send in your guest post by emailing email@example.com with the text and maybe even some images.
- We will review everything to make sure it is suitable for our blog, then we’ll respond. We’ll either accept your post or advise you on what changes need to be made in order for it to be accepted. If it’s the latter, we hope you’ll make the necessary changes and send it back to us.
- Once your post has been accepted, we’ll proofread it for spelling, grammar, formatting, and possibly tone, in order to present your ideas in the best possible light. While we reserve the right to make such edits, we will take care not to modify your original intentions.
- We’ll schedule a time for your post, and soon, you and thousands of other readers will be able to find it published here on the blog!
We’re excited to read and share your ideas with other Poptropicans!
Guide & Article Writing
Another option you might consider is guest-writing a PHB guide or other article. Even sending in pictures can be useful, and you’ll be credited!
For Guides (Written Walkthroughs)
Whenever a new island comes out, we work hard to come out with a written walkthrough, known on the PHB as Island Guides, as soon as possible. And anyone is welcome to help!
Whether you can whip up step-by-step instructions and tips on what to do, or supply us with screenshots (or better yet, gifs), the race is on to send all that you can as we put together our guides – which are usually ready within a day or two of an island’s release.
However, there are some things you can help out with in any season. If you have screenshots for steps that any of our guides have not pictured, particularly on our older guides where there are less pictures, we would love to include them. We’re also interested if you have any island trivia we have not yet included in the trivia sections of each guide.
For Other Articles
In addition to Island Guides, the PHB is chock-full of all kinds of other articles, which you can browse with the navigational bar at the top of the site. Our Pop Plus page is a good place to take a look at examples of “extra” articles we’ve written.
If you have an idea for an article that has not been written, well, we invite you to propose the idea — and possibly write the article as well!
Becoming a Staff Writer
Over the years, many Poptropicans have aspired to join the ranks of the PHB authors, posting news and other updates on the front page of our blog. Perhaps you’re one of them. And we’re flattered! But before we get any further, we must make a disclaimer: there is no special formula to becoming a PHB staff writer.
With that said, here are some things to keep in mind as to what we look for in a potential PHB staff writer. Remember, having all of these things still does not guarantee you a staff position — but these will at least increase your chances.
- Whether there’s an opening — While there is no hard limit on the number of staff we have on board at a time, we prefer to keep our team at around 5-8 writers. Typically, we look for a new author when someone else has stepped down from the team.
- Blogging/writing experience — Having experience with blogging, particularly about Poptropica, definitely shows us your commitment to writing about the game. To gain experience, you can start and maintain your own site, co-write on another site, or guest post on ours. Good signs include: posting frequently, having interesting things to say, writing with decent grammar, and being able to analyze pros and cons.
- Activity in the community — Because the responsibility of a PHB writer includes, you know, actually writing posts for fellow Poptropicans, we want to know you’re an engaged member of our community. This community takes place in the PHB comments, on the PHC Discord, on social media where Poptropica is involved, or on other fan blogs, to name just a few. By being involved with what’s going on and frequently making contact with other Poptropicans online, you show that you are an active Poptropican who’s invested in the fandom. Think about it this way: if you never talk, how will we know who you are, and that you have time to blog?
- Being kind and virtuous — When you’re kind and act with integrity, not only is it simply “the right thing to do,” it also demonstrates your ability to get along with people – both co-authors and readers. Writing for an audience means being mindful of how your message is perceived, and a little kindness can go a long way!
While we place importance on these values, this does not mean that every author is a cookie-cutter “PHB type.” Each writer can find their unique voice. We do maintain standards such as writing critically yet graciously, but we also value a diversity of expressions, personalities, and ideas.
No need to apply – and no need for pressure!
We do not usually take applications or requests for authorship; instead, the PHB team chooses together who they might invite as an author. A potential author should show, rather than announce, that they are qualified by their involvement in the community.
When a person is selected to join the PHB staff, they will receive a personal invitation from Slanted Fish on a private messaging channel – these days, it is typically on Discord. They can then choose to either accept or decline the position.
If you have never been asked to join our staff, do not be discouraged. It could happen one day, but even if it does not, remember that you as a person are much more valuable than whether or not you have a staff position on this blog. And if you do want to write for us, we welcome you to start by guest posting!
Remember, you don’t have to become a staff member to get involved with the work of the PHB. In fact, with such a limited number of spots, most people don’t. But just by sending in a guest post or article, you’ll enjoy some pretty sweet benefits, such as:
- Having your name in print (and promoting your site) – When your post or article is published, you will be credited by your screen name, which means people will recognize you as the writer! If you have a Poptropica site, your site may also be hyperlinked to your name, and people interested in seeing more of your stuff may click on your name to see what else you’re up to in the fandom.
- Putting your ideas out there – If you have ideas that you think the Poptropica fandom needs to hear, and nobody has said them yet, why not be the one to spark the discussion? Better to have it out there and see what happens rather than leaving things unsaid. This is your chance to have a voice – take it!
- Reaching a huge audience – Every day, thousands of readers visit the front page of the PHB to see what’s new. Thousands more will check out the articles around our site, particularly the help guides. And here’s another big thing: even the Poptropica Creators may read your post! When you write for the PHB, you’re writing for the biggest Poptropica fan site there is, meaning your message will reach a ton of Poptropicans. Maybe that’s a little scary, but we wouldn’t publish your work if we didn’t think our readers would enjoy it, so we encourage you to have some confidence in your work!
- Getting feedback on your writing – Here’s the other thing about having tons of readers see your post: more people are likely to comment on your ideas! Also, because we proofread guest posts before publishing them, you will probably see some changes between the original draft you sent us and the final posted version. These changes are usually for grammar and formatting – we will not modify your main ideas. If you are serious about improving your writing, you can compare the differences and see what we’ve changed to present your ideas better!
Pretty awesome, right? So…
Send in your post!
If you love Poptropica, and you have ideas to share, we encourage you to send in a guest post or article for the PHB! Write in as many times as you like — the more the merrier!
To do so, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message to SlantedFish#2916 on Discord (you can find her on the PHC server). We’ll get back to you!