Tao Life Writer’s Guidelines
Everything You Need to Know to Become a TaoLife.co Contributor
While we welcome submissions from pro writers who specialize in the subjects we cover, you don’t have to be a seasoned wordsmith or storyteller to become a Tao Life contributor. We are looking for well-written, mindful pieces that demonstrate a passion for the subjects that we cover and provide service-oriented, actionable content tell a unique story. If your submission is accepted, our team of skilled and experienced editors will work with you polish your work.
We welcome articles from established and emerging credentialed experts who have deep expertise in their field (think M.D., D.C., Ph.D., RYT, R.D., L.Ac., DOM, OMD, L.M.T., MN, MG, etc.) that provide useful information, tips, advice and expertise.
We also want to hear the authentic, relatable voices of everday people who have inspiring, interesting or unique wellness and nature-focused experiences, personal stories and intimate journeys to share.
If you’ve transformed your health, life or other’s lives in your community or beyond, we want to hear your story. We’re especially interested in success stories about naturally battling a health issue, firsthand accounts of living with a disease, condition, disorder, limitation or challenge; essays on ways to live eco-consciously, healthy recipes or nutritious meal ideas; nature-focused or healthy travel, and even your favorite products (such as a can’t-live-without-it natural food, an eco-friendly find you recently discov5ered or that homemade organic beauty product you like to whip up yourself). These are just some examples of the types of things we love to feature.
Although we don’t pay for contributions, as a Tao Life contributor, your byline will appear on TaoLife.co and your bio along with any links to your website, blog or social media accounts will be included with your published piece. We’ll also spread the word about you and any business or nonprofit you run. And you’ll have the chance to have your work read by passionate, like-minded souls everywhere.
How to Write for Us
Regardless of the the length or subject matter, our voice is one of in-the-know casual sophistication. And we strive to serve our readers by providing them with insider knowledge, valuable resources and practical information to give them information, advice, techniques, ideas or inspiration they can apply to their own lives, families, homes and communities.
Ultimately, our goal is to inform and educate readers while nourishing their imaginations, igniting their passions and piquing their interest in discoveries, experiences and opportunities.
A focus on nature wellness and self-care of the body, mind and spirit forms the backbone of our content, and an awareness of nature, the environment or the importance of sustainability should be woven into writing, whenever possible.
Service information that steers readers is important to all contributions: how to do it, where to find it, where to buy it, who to contact, when to go, how to get there, where to stay, website URLS, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
For reasons of journalistic integrity and to preserve reader trust, all health or environmental claims must be sourced. If you mention statistics or studies in your piece, include a link to the source. If you state that something has medical benefits or a certain ecological impact, provide credible evidence to back up your assertion, such as links to peer-reviewed scientific or academic journals, papers or study results. (Place relevant links in parenthesis next to your statement.)
The length of your piece should be based on whatever it takes to effectively make your point – whether that’s a 150- to 300-word squibs or a 2500-word narrative feature.
Remember, all submissions should be free of self-promotional hype. We expect well-balanced, honest, accurate and well-written pieces that speak to an educated and curious, yet well-informed, audience. We do not accept work already published elsewhere.
Topics We Cover
The following subject areas define our blog’s content:
News Shorts — Timely 150- to 300-word “news you can use” pieces on topics that appeal to our readers, aligning with TAO LIFE’s motto: “Where Wellness, Self-Care and Natural Living Meet”. If the story you’re proposing appeared in a major media outlet (like The New York Times or CNN.com) or on a health-related news wire, your pitch to should provide a compelling reason why we should cover it (and a relevant angle).
Body — Yoga, Pilates, alternative fitness and movement practices, philosophy, culture, trends, accessories and major developments.
Mind — Mindfulness, meditation, mental health and emotional well-being (“Mind Over Matter” column”).
Spirit — Spirituality, religion, faith and alternative belief systems (“Higher Meaning” column).
Healing — Natural, alternative, holistic and complimentary medicine, including home remedies, herbs, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, native healing traditions, etc. (“Second Opinion” column).
Recipes, Cooking & Entertaining – Healthy recipes, cooking tips and techniques, new and interesting natural food and drink products, ideas on how to entertain with a nature-focused twist (everything from alfresco dining to biodynamic wine and vegan cheese to creating cocktails and mocktails infused with herbs, spices or fresh fruit). Think: anything Mother Nature meets Martha Stewart.
Food — Popular diet and eating trends (examining the scientific evidence — or lack of — supporting the health benefits, providing expert insight into the pros and cons); eco-conscious shopping; the environmental impact of food production, processing or transportation; insights into healthy, vegan and ethnic food eating culture, traditions or origins; introductions to lesser-known foods, drinks and ingredients; pieces on interpreting food labels, nutrition policy and food science; news on food policy; developments in community gardening, urban farming and sustainable agriculture; and profiles of health or green food experts, farmers and producers.
Home & Garden — Interior design, architecture, art and antiques, gardening (“Grow” column), outdoor living, decorative and outdoor products and community development.
Green Living — Eco-friendly lifestyles, living in harmony with nature, simplifying life, creative recycling and upcycling hacks (our “Everything Old Is New Again” column).
Style — Sustainable fashion, eco-friendly beauty and cosmetics, natural skincare and hair care, holistic self-care (creating a spa-like experience at home).
5Travel — Attractive and interesting destinations, outdoor activities, nature experiences, wellness retreats, self-care vacations and off-the-beaten-path pilgrimages written from fresh perspectives focused on details, dialogue and sensory experiences (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell). Note: Our “City Guides” are written in-house (so please don’t send pitches for this section).
Culture — Book reviews (fiction & nonfiction, but no diet books), art (traditional, contemporary, museum, galleries, events), film and TV (broadcast, theater or streaming) and music with a wellness, nature or self-care slant.
Profiles and Interviews — Natural health and environmental and experts, up-and-coming influencers, local heroes and celebrities/pro athletes.
How to Submit to Us
Please do not send completed articles, stories or news shorts. TAO LIFE does not accept pre-written submissions. We only consider well-developed ideas pitched in a query email.
The Keys to Successful Queries:
Show a strong grasp of our style and subject matter, using the same tone as your proposed submission.
Offer a fresh angle on a well-known topic; or presents a new idea that is uniquely suited to TAO LIFE.
Convince us that you are highly qualified to cover the topic based on their education, training, experience and intimately familiarity with the subject matter. Express the idea in a way that captures and holds our attention.
Here’s a good approach to writing a winning pitch:
Paragraph #1: Pique our interest and draw us in with an interesting fact, a statistic, a quote from (preferably someone you interviewed), an anecdote, a question appropriate to your idea or — best of all — a well-written lead (first paragraph) of your proposed submission. Here’s the type of first paragraph that we won’t be able to resist:
It’s no secret that the coronavirus has changed the world. As social distancing becomes the new normal, the Instagram inspiration scroll and double tap has become an hourly ritual, and platforms from Twitter to TikTok have become regular go-tos for both news updates and mindless distractions from boredom. But the surge in social media activity comes with pitfalls including negativity, depression, anxiety and poor sleep habits. But there are some mindful corners of the social media world to help you make it through the crisis with more hope, less stress and new self-care options.
Paragraph #2: Now that you’ve gotten our attention, use this paragraph to share your piece’s proposed title and to summarize with details about how you plan to approach the assignment, being sure to include the word count. Here’s a good example:
“20 Inspiring Must-Follow Instagram Feeds for Self-Care” will provide a roundup of natural-living influencers who go above and beyond to give their followers actionable information, tips, advice, discussion and inspiration to help them live healthier, happier and greener lives. Each listing will provide the name, profile link and a smart, stylish overview of what their feed offers. I estimate the completed piece will be 800 words.
Paragraph #3: Provide a brief bio and including credentials, experience, your published work (with links) and any other relevant information that we should know. Here’s a good one:
I’ve been a freelance journalist for over a decade, covering wellness, sustainability and travel. I’ve written for print and digital publications including the New York Times, Women’s Health, SHAPE, Marie Claire, Refinery29 and National Geographic Travel. A longtime devotee of natural health, eco-conscious living and a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200), I enjoy practicing yoga and meditation, finding new things to add to my self-care routine, dabbling with medicinal herbs in my kitchen and exploring nature as much as possible.
Paragraph #4: Close on a positive note and include your contact information, like this:
I’m sure TAO LIFE readers will appreciate learning about these Instgrammers who share their passions and act as valuable resources. I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me at [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Finally, send your query via e-mail to: email@example.com.
Well, that’s it! We look forward to hearing from you!