Our Editorial Guidelines

We're always looking for talented writers and contributors to help us publish amazing content here on Processing Card.

The world of merchant accounts is rapidly evolving, and we need writers to make sure that we're getting the information out to our readers. It goes without saying that this information needs to still meet high editorial standards to make sure we're publishing quality content.

On that note, writing blog posts still isn't always a walk in the park. From overall voice and tone to ensuring readability, there are lots of factors that go into creating a memorable blog post that readers value.

Our team members have compiled a list of key editorial guidelines that writers need to know when it comes to the process of creating content for our blog. Let's get started!

Our Vision, Mission, and Values

First thing's first: for any piece of content we publish, regardless of how many words it is, writers have to make sure that it adheres to our company values. Keeping the following values in mind ensures that your content remains in line with our brand.

Mission

Processing Card sets out with the mission of providing business owners with clear, concise, and honest information on merchant services and other financial details and software that they can apply to their company's operations.

Vision

We envision that today's small businesses will learn how to make educated decisions on the services and B2B software they opt for, to see clear results in the form of seamless transactions and excellent customer support.

Values

We operate on objectivity, transparency, accuracy, and fairness in order to build a sense of trust with our readers.

Grammatical Rules

Seasoned writers know how important grammar is when it comes to any style guide, and this one is no different. Keeping consistent with your grammar makes the editing process go a lot smoother while helping our team ensure that only quality content gets published.

While including all the grammatical guidelines under the sun will perhaps be too lengthy for this style guide, the best practices we'll list out below aim to tackle common mistakes that writers make when it comes to blog posts.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Subject-verb agreement is one of the most common pitfalls for writers and editors alike. Below are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • When using a singular subject, use a singular verb.
  • When using a plural subject, use a plural verb.
  • When writing sentences with one subject and multiple verbs, all the verbs must agree with the subject.
  • When a phrase goes in between a subject and a verb, the verb must still agree with the subject.
  • When connecting your subjects with “and,” use a plural verb.
  • When connecting your subjects with “or,” use a singular verb.

Parallelism

Parallelism is a similarity of grammatical form for similar elements of meaning within a sentence or among sentences. It makes form follow meaning.

If two or more ideas are parallel, they should be expressed in parallel grammatical form. Single words should be balanced with single words, phrases with phrases, clauses with clauses.

Run-On Sentences

Another common mistake that some writers make and editors overlook is letting a run-on sentence pass by. A run-on sentence occurs when two or more independent clauses (also known as complete sentences) are connected improperly.

A run-on sentence can be fixed by connecting its parts correctly. There are several ways to connect independent clauses:

  • Use a period in between clauses
  • Use a semicolon
  • Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction
  • Use a subordinating conjunction

Commas

A comma is used to separate an introductory clause or phrase from the main clause. It may be omitted after short introductory phrases if no ambiguity would result.

Hyphens

Hyphens are joiners. They’re used to link two words to create a compound modifier (e.g. full-time job, well-known man, second-quarter earnings). However, words that you would compound before the noun they modify aren’t compounded when they come after the noun.

Bullet Points

  • Adding colons, full stops, or other punctuation marks are unnecessary with simple lists.
  • Capitalizing the first letter after each bullet, otherwise using title case, is important.
  • Following the rule of parallelism is a must.
  • Punctuating fully-formed sentences as with any normal sentence ensures consistency.

Crafting Your Content

Processing Card's ideal target audience are high-risk merchants that are looking for the right account providers to ensure their retail transactions go as smoothly as possible.

Optimizing Your Content

Our style guidelines when it comes to the actual content are all about making each story accessible and engaging to readers.

As a general rule, the tone of your blog posts should be highly informational without sounding too static. There's definitely a place for your own unique writing voice to come through, so long as you aren't sounding too colloquial and sacrificing key points in the process!

We know that striking that balance can be challenging, but don't worry. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • DO open with a brief introduction that gives the reader an overview of what each section will be about.
  • DO include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each article. You can reference Processing Card here, but your CTAs should focus on asking the reader to engage with the content through comments or shares.
  • DO make sure your work is uniquely yours. Aside from avoiding plagiarism, be sure to ask yourself, how does my content fit into what's already being said about the topic? What am I adding to the conversation?
  • DO include hyperlinks and other information as needed! Just ensure your points come from legitimate news sources.
  • DO spell out a term first before you abbreviate it, as this provides the reader with the necessary context.
  • DON'T cite a specific person or organization without introducing them first.
  • DON'T make the content too sales-y. We pride ourselves on providing relevant information to our readers, and each blog post should reflect this.
  • DON'T forget to localize your content, especially if you're citing specific facts and figures.
  • DON'T neglect double, perhaps even triple-checking your work before sending it out!

Formatting the Blog Post

Formatting doesn't necessarily go under the realm of grammar, and it's a key component for making sure your work is readable to your audience.

Indeed, mastering the main points of blog post formatting ensures consistency in all your articles and makes you a formidable force to reckon with when it comes to blog writing!

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • DO keep tabs on your paragraph length. Mobile readers are extremely picky, which is why lots of style guides (including ours) recommend that each paragraph be three to four lines maximum.
  • DO organize your content with headings and subheadings, and use bulleted or numbered lists where appropriate—just like in this style guide!
  • DO include relevant keywords within your title.
  • DON'T stuff your article with too many keywords. From a reader's perspective, this can make your content look clunky and awkward.
  • DON'T use illegible or fancy typefaces when submitting your content.

Write for Us Today

We hope these editorial guidelines have been helpful. These are the same guidelines we use in each editing process, every single time.

The best writers and contributors are those who know how to edit their content, which is why style guides are so necessary. Going back to this list can help you meet the content objectives your piece needs to succeed.

Adhering to these editing standards also trims down the revision process, which is a win for everyone involved!

If you're passionate about fintech and are looking to beef up your writing profile, we want to hear from you. To start creating content that matters, reach out to our team at Processing Card today!

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