Stadium Rant Editorial Guide

Created by Tyler Lamb, Modified on Tue, 10 Jan 2023 at 08:45 PM by Tyler Lamb


Editorial Guide

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Stadium Rant managing editor guide. Don’t worry; this will be easy, and you’ll be able to get the hang of how we edit here quickly. If you have any questions about this guide, don’t hesitate to message your lead on Slack. Without further ado, let’s begin:

Grammarly, Word Count, And Basics

The most important extension you should have installed on your web browser is Grammarly. It checks the article’s grammar and recommends any issues it finds to be changed. It’s free and straightforward to use.

There is a paid version that gives you access to everything Grammarly has to offer. It’s not required to purchase, but as someone who has purchased this version of Grammarly, it’s an excellent investment to get for your writing/editing future.

All analysis-based articles must be a minimum of 300 words to a maximum of 1300 unless given; editors can approve articles that will be longer in length at your discretion. Make sure the paragraphs aren’t too long; each paragraph should be four to six sentences. Space them out at your discretion. 

For numbers, zero through ten must be written out (i.e.: zero, one, five, ten); all else above can be numerical. The same goes for placements and ranks (i.e., first, second… tenth).

For weeks, the word Week must have the W capitalized. The Week numbers follow the same rule as the number rule above. (Ex: Week One, Week 13)

- For player positions, write out the position name first uncapitalized (i.e., power forward, wide receiver, shortstop). Then after the first mention, they can be abbreviated (i.e., PF, WR, SS).

- At SR, we follow the AP style of writing. For more information on it, please click the link below: 


Titles are the life blood of your articles, they are 95% of the reason the people are viewing the article. Unfortunately, the clicks don't come from the time spent on your piece, or the intensive research done, it is the title. Scrolling through Facebook, the articles that get clicked on have provocative titles. These are NOT click bait because the information you create is important and meaningful.

For both subheadings and headings, the first letter of each word must be capitalized. For example, “Why Patrick Mahomes Is Clutch,” “Three Reasons Why The Vikings Should Sign ________”

Also, we have changed the title structure of our articles. An example of this is, “Chiefs Should Sign This Pro Bowl ____,” “Former Chiefs _____ Signs With Rival”

Instead of adding the players’ name in the title, add an accolade, highlighted stat, or their draft round (if undrafted, put UDFA). Only give as much as needed; it can garner a ton of clicks if done correctly. For more examples, you can check Heavy on Chiefs or Deadspin.

FOR EDITORS ONLY: Title building is a large part of your role as an editor in any capacity here at Stadium Rant. If the title needs work please send it back with constructive feedback to strengthen each writers ability to do so. We don't want to accept the first shot to get the article published if the title still needs work.


This is the our networks workspace where we can communicate with you and you can communicate with your other team members! The channels you need to pay attention to are the Announcements, Your Department channel when the @channel is tagged or you are tagged individually. Please do not mute these channels as they will provide crucial updates and helpful keeping up your activity checks. Daily engagement is preferable, we understand you can't always respond immediately to every message, but days without a check-in is not acceptable. If you are busy, just tag your Lead or Editor and let them know that.

Adding Images

Featured images can only be added by Managing Editors. When adding a featured image, please ensure that your image is size either 1200x720 or 1200x800. This is the ideal size to ensure your image will properly appear on Facebook, Twitter, and Stadium Rant. Furthermore, please make sure that all images added are from USA TodayMost USA Today images are 1200x800 pixels by default. These images are perfect for re-sizing to 1200x720 or 1200x800 and will do so without appearing blurry or pixelated. Using graphics from other sites/companies is prohibited

Saving and Uploading Featured Images:

  • Download Safari or Firefox 

  • This will allow you to download the image as a JPEG as it MUST be in order to post correctly

  • Google Image Search for: “*player/team* USA today 1200x800

  • Don't download from the USA Today main site use on of their local extensions or else it will download incorrectly

  • Upload it to the piece via the Featured Image tab under the Settings Wheel

  • Click the preview article on a separate web browser or check the preview snippet editor to make sure the image has uploaded properly and will share correctly.

Editing Your Social Message

In getting people to read our content, making a message that appears on social media is vital. It can create a conversation that will bring more people to see the social post, leading to more views for you and your site. Your site will be connected to your Facebook Page so that your articles are automatically posted to Facebook. This makes your job easier! Here’s how it works:

  • Under the settings wheel you scroll down to the EXCERPT box and type in two sentences that sum up the content without giving it away.

  • This will appear in the beginning of your content above your introduction in the article and on the comment when posted to socials.

Categories And Tags

Every article you post must have at least one category, two tags, and one Keyword. 

  • Starting with Categories; you must only select the category which represents the respective team the article is written for.  Ex. “Arizona Cardinals”, “Atlanta Falcons” etc.   You can find categories under the Settings icon in the top right of word press. 

  • Please NEVER change or add categories to the site. This should be reserved for the site Admin. 

  • Tags - all tags that are relevant can be used for an article.  The “Featured” tag should NEVER be used. Unless you are a part of the Front Page.

  • Tags are located just under categories. Tags should include the city and team (“Kansas City Chiefs” for example), the sport (NFL, MLB, NBA), and any notable player names from your content. When users search your site, these tags will help related content show up. 



Keywords and Headings

Your Focus Keyword is arguably the most important part of making your article show up in Google search results. The proper keyword (and use thereof) will heavily impact your article's SEO Rank Math Score. It is highly recommended that your article’s primary Focus Keyword be your team, such as “Chiefs” or “49ers”.

  • Whatever your chosen Keyword, the keyword must show up in your title, every Heading, and within the first 10% of your content. 

  • Your Keyword Density must have a green checkmark from Rank Math, meaning you don’t use the keyword too much or too little. 

  • Your featured image Alt Text must include your focus keyword. 

Publishing Times

For breaking news-type articles or game recaps, please be sure to post those asap; they are excluded from publishing times.
Peak reading times are as follows (all est.), 
8 am, 12 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm are the best because they are high traffic reading times. Please schedule miscellaneous articles for those times.
When scheduling a writer's work, please notify them in Slack when their article will be published. Here’s an example of what you should send them:

@(insert writer here) your NFL is cool article has been scheduled for today at 5 pm est
@(insert writer here) your NFL is cool article has been published

EDITORS ONLY: If you have a couple of articles pending publishing please do not post them in quick succession if unless there is a backlog of pending pieces it should be two-three articles a day (Breaking News pieces aren't included post those at your discretion) at the publishing times stated.


Neither of these are bolded, underlined, italicized, or are changed in any way; please keep them as default.

When making headings/subheadings about players, please follow this format per player when making a subheading: Player, Position, College/Team (if needed), Year(s) (if required). Please keep it as default and don’t bold, indent, underline, or modify it in any way, shape, or form.

Examples: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia; Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins; Patrick Mahomes, QB; Len Dawson, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, 1962-1975

Rank Math

For the Rank Math score, please make sure it’s at least 75 or above. In the Rank Math section of the article in WP. Click “Edit Snippet” (FIRST IMAGE) and edit the title to where %sep% and %sitename% are  deleted. The results of touching this snippet should look like the second image 

Promoting Content On Social Media

To do this for pages, first, create a new post. Then, copy the link, paste it, and delete it once the article shows; the article will stay without the hyperlink. Next, you would add a question or some sentences to your post. Finally, post it. 

You can share these articles directly using the share button in the bottom right of the post. You can’t share with the page unless it’s attached to a group, so you have to use your personal FB profiles to share the articles.

This is a major responsibility. Please, don’t forget to do this. It is highly recommended that you encourage and remind your writers to share their own work in at least 20-30 FACEBOOK groups. Facebook is king for views and the difference between 20-30 views and 500-1000 really comes down to sharing content. The expectation for all SR sites is to meet at least 500 views per article. 

On the next two pages, you’ll find a simple checklist to help you ensure that all your articles are meeting all necessary marks! 

Article Checklist:

  • Title Is Clickable, Does Not Give The Content Away And Has Every Word Capitalized And Includes Your SEO Keyword (Usually team mascot)

  • Article length is between 300 and 1300 words in length. 

  • Most Headings include your SEO Keyword (Usually team mascot)

  • Rank Math Score is at least 70 (Contributor) 80+ (Editor)

  • Article includes a Separator block at the very end of the written content. (This can be added as a block, search for Separator)

  • Every Word of every Heading and your Title are capitalized.

  • Paragraphs are not too long. Paragraphs should be no longer than five sentences in length. 

  • All numbers 1-10 in your article are spelled out (one, two, four, five etc). Use first instead of 1st for numbers 1-10 as well. 

  • Article has a featured image added that includes the keyword in the Alt Text (Editor Only)

  • NO additional, unapproved Word Press blocks are added to the content, such as extra separator blocks. If in doubt, ask your Lead. 

  • Article has at least one Category and includes necessary tags. 

  • Excerpt has been copied into Excerpt box under Settings tab

  • Writer has been notified that article has been published/scheduled

  • Article has been posted to site socials and shared in at least ten Facebook groups. 

Rank Math Tips And Tricks:

The following tips will help you achieve the highest Rank Math Score possible! A typical rank math score should be between 82-85. Please ensure the score is at least 80 when submitting your work for review. 

  • Focus Keyword should be included in the first half of your title

  • Focus Keyword should be included in the first 10% of your written content

  • Focus Keyword should be included in your excerpt

  • Focus Keyword should be included in every Heading

  • Your focus keyword should be used often in your content, but not too often. You’ll see a “Keyword Density” on the right-hand side. Please ensure that it is green. Otherwise, you’ll need to add or remove uses to make it green. 

    • For example, if your Keyword is “Chiefs” and you’ve used it too many times in your content and have a red “X”, change enough instances to “the team” or “Kansas City” in order to get a green checkmark. 

  • Use at least one internal (link to a past article on your site) link per article

  • Use at least one external link per article

  • Use a number in your title if you can, but remember that all numbers 1-10 must be spelled out. If you can’t include a number to avoid this warning, that is okay. 

  • Review the list of “power words” and use one if you can. It will make your title more grabbing. (

  • Ensure paragraphs are not too long or too short. Once your paragraph reaches enough characters (usually once they exceed 5 sentences) you’ll lose Rank Math points. Simply break up lengthy paragraphs into two shorter ones to prevent this. 

  • Ensure your focus keyword is added in the Alt-Text of your featured image

  • You may ignore the following warnings:

    • “You have already used this focus keyword before.” This will happen often because usually, our focus keyword is the team you cover (Chiefs, Colts, Rams, etc)

    • “Use Content AI to optimize the post.”

    • “Use Table of Contents to break down your text.”

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