The Alternative contributor engagement model: FAQs

Anyone can write for The Alternative. Today our contributors are engaged citizens, school and college students, parents, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, business leaders, corporate employees, founders, employees and volunteers from non-profits and policy makers. If you have something to say about Sustainability and sustainable living, we are the place to write in. What can I write […]


Anyone can write for The Alternative. Today our contributors are engaged citizens, school and college students, parents, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, business leaders, corporate employees, founders, employees and volunteers from non-profits and policy makers. If you have something to say about Sustainability and sustainable living, we are the place to write in.

What can I write about?

The Alternative has 3 key focus areas – Lifestyle, Business and Society. And within these areas, we focus on a wide range of topics. Your article can focus on any one of these topics. The TAG index of The Alternative is also a good way to browse through sub-topics we focus on. If you are looking for ideas to start, you can check out our list of popular areas where we have an ongoing focus.

In addition, The Alternative will focus on a specific theme every month. You can write about the current theme or any of the past themes.

What is the Theme of the month?

Every month, TA will focus on a specific theme. In addition to publishing articles based on the theme, we will also run contests and social media activities around the theme. The Green Bazaar, our bi-monthly weekend market that celebrates earth-friendly living, will also be focused on the same theme to bring the conversations and engagement offline.

How do I ensure that my article will be accepted at TA?

Quality of content is very important to us. Do ensure that you adhere to our writing guidelines while sending us your piece. Our Write For Us page has a list of resources and our style guide to ensure that we can expedite the process of accepting and publishing your article.

How does my engagement with The Alternative evolve?

The more you write, the more your content works with our audiences, the closer your engagement with The Alternative. As a publication we value our engagement with our committed writers and will invest in them – be it through promotion of your content across channels online and offline, access to important conferences and workshops, remuneration for your submissions and a greater say as well as collaboration and branding opportunities through our content creation process.

We see the evolution of our engagement with our writers in four phases –

As a first step, writers can write on a wide variety of topics that match their interest, passion and inclination to write. Individual contributors can pitch for ideas or submit stories for all community sections in The Alternative (TA), and if it meets the editorial quality and guidelines, it will be published. Please note that we don’t pay writers for their first published piece in The Alternative.

Subsequently, we will commission a series of 5-6 stories on a particular topic from our regular contributors. The objective of a series is to be able to holistically address an issue or topic. The series gets prominently featured in the home page and promoted in our social media channels and the writer will be compensated for their submissions as part of a series. Please note: We will commission a series from a writer only if she/he has written for us before or is an experienced journalist, writer or visual artist with a previously published portfolio of work.

Contributors who have been writing regularly for The Alternative, have constantly produced content that is reliable, high quality and on time will be remunerated for individual stories. These commissioned writers also get to travel regularly to conferences and workshops and get featured in events run by TA. They will also play an active role in media projects and campaigns that The Alternative runs and thus help in shaping the publication’s definitive voice and commitment to quality reporting and writing.

Domain experts, policy makers, community heroes, practitioners and wildly successful contributors of The Alternative get invited to run their branded regular columns on specific themes.

How does one get promoted from one category to another in your writers model?

Contributors get promoted based on engagement with The Alternative. We measure your engagement based on the number of articles you write for The Alternative and popularity of your articles.

How do you measure the popularity of the articles?

The popularity of the article is measured by the reactions to the article – i.e, the number of Facebook likes, comments and Retweets an article receives on our online platform. We identify and share the most popular articles every week and every month based on this metric. In addition to audience feedback, editors also pick articles every month that need not have necessarily created a buzz amongst our readers but yet caught the Editor’s eye for its content.

What kind of articles does The Alternative pay for?

=We pay for articles written for The Alternative based on four factors:
1. Content quality of the pitch – which is the Editor’s call
2. Form of the pitch (Article vs. Series) – If there’s an interesting pitch that we believe needs to be holistically addressed, we will be interested in commissioning a series around the same than just an article
3. Your Engagement with The Alternative – Simply because, the longer you have written for us the better we will be able judge the pitch.
4. Your writing experience outside The Alternative

As a writer, how do I stay in touch with The Alternative?

We have a monthly newsletter (sent on the 20th of every month) to all writers to share regular updates on editorial focus, the theme of upcoming month, key events and initiatives and upcoming campaigns. We would love to have your submissions, suggestions and leads on our monthly themes. In addition, we will let you know every time your article has been chosen as the featured article for the week / month or as the Editor’s pick.

I have some feedback on the writers engagement. Who can I contact?

You can reach the editor of The Alternative at editor@thealternative.in. In case of feedback on the overall process, please write to feedback@thealternative.in.

I am not based out of Bangalore. Can I write for The Alternative?

Of course! The Alternative is based out of Bangalore but we have contributors from across the world (all the way in South America).

Are there other opportunities at The Alternative that I can be a part of?

Absolutely. We regularly host events on sustainability and also support events hosted by other organisations that we partner with. You can volunteer/ visit any of them. For periodic updates about The Alternative’s events and programs, please subscribe to our newsletter.


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