Friday, January 21, 2011

Writers & volunteers wanted for Natural Parents Network!

Are you a writer who's interested in natural parenting topics? Are you a dear soul who wants to volunteer to help a thriving community of like-minded parents?
Natural Parents Network tree logo
We need more fresh new content and volunteers for Natural Parents Network, a site that connects like-minded natural parents and parents-to-be.

Dionna from Code Name: Mama1 and I cofounded NPN last fall, and it has blossomed since — thanks to your involvement! (Read more about NPN's origins and intentions here.)

But we could always use more of your contributions. After all, it's not the Natural Parents Network without you!


If you like to write about natural parenting, please hook us up with some original posts to feature on Natural Parents Network.

What can you write about?

You can write on any topic relevant to natural parenting, although I will share our posting schedule below.

What is natural parenting? Glad you asked. It's basically attachment parenting with a sidecar of green living thrown in for good measure. See our What Is NP? page for ideas for subjects to write about, but know that if it's interesting to you as a parent, it will probably be interesting to our readers as well! Some ideas of general relevant topics include birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, gentle discipline, learning at home, holistic healthcare, healthy living, social activism, and ecological responsibility; feel free to use your imagination to think of more!

And don't fret if you don't fit neatly into every category. We want a variety of voices to write for us, and we know every family has personal convictions and experiences.

Here are our upcoming scheduled themes to give you more specific ideas for where you might plug in:
  • Breastfeeding Alternatives (such as pumping, bottle feeding, and other infant feeding methods)
  • Natural Learning (whether some form of home schooling or traditional education)
  • Responding With Sensitivity (how to react to cries and cries for attention)
  • Natural Births (any aspect of natural birth, whether at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital)
  • Healthy Eating (for yourself or your family)
  • Family Safety (from interacting with strangers to wearing bike helmets to learning to dial emergency numbers)
  • Nurturing Touch (babywearing and bonding)
  • Belief (a special occasional column on how faith or lack of faith intersects with parenting)

Please be aware that we have some articles already scheduled for these themes, so please contact Dionna {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com if you have an idea for an article or a suggestion for a post that fits a theme that hasn't yet been mentioned.

What do you get in return?

We want to feature you and your site (if applicable). If you are a blogger, we want to show you lots of link love by linking back to your site in a special bio at the end of each post. (You're not required to have a blog to write for us, however.) New posts will be slated for the Featured slider on the main page as well as post pages to receive plenty of exposure, and we will promote your post on our vibrant Facebook page and on our Twitter feed. Dionna and I also enjoy promoting individual posts on our own Facebook sites, Twitter accounts, and blogs as we can.

Once you've had four original posts accepted, we'll list you as a contributor on our About page. Writers who submit at least five original posts will also enjoy time on our front page and an interview as an "NPN featured blogger."

If you become a regular contributor (at least once a month), we'll even give you your own log-in identity and a video chat with Dionna to learn the ropes of the site so you can draft and submit your own posts for editing.

Eager to submit?

Good. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • We want to keep Natural Parents Network a positive place for parents to gather! Our mission is to inform, empower, and inspire families who are interested in or practice attachment parenting and natural family living. Please make sure your posts are encouraging, non-judgmental, and respectful, even of viewpoints that are different from yours. Our mission is to "inform, empower, and inspire," so when you write, try to think from the perspective of a parent who is using a method you might disagree with and think of what you could say to encourage a gentler, natural alternative.
  • We'll also ask you to follow up by responding to comments and Facebook messages. Please be gentle, kind, patient, and positive in every interaction.
  • Please do not give any advice that could be construed as medical or "expert" advice. While we don’t want to inhibit your creative talent nor discourage you from giving suggestions, we do not want to be liable for medical advice gone wrong.
  • Please include a short author bio and a photo that is representative of your topic (either a photo you own or a stock photo; just let us know where it came from).
  • When discussing natural parenting principles/topics, please link to the relevant resource pages on NPN.
  • Please read our full Contributor Guidelines for more details, such as article length, image size, and editing requirements.
Please consider contributing one or more posts. If you want to become a regular contributor, submitting at least one article a month, we'd love to have you join the team! Just let Dionna {at} NaturalParentsNetwork {dot} com know you'd like to be a regular contributor, and she will send you more info.


We also have plenty of volunteer positions open at NPN. Volunteers will automatically enjoy time on our front page as an "NPN Featured Blogger," and they will also be featured on our "About" page.

Most of these positions are shared positions, meaning you will not be solely responsible for keeping up all the work, and you can schedule tasks with the other volunteers for your available time commitment. For example, if you volunteer to promote giveaways in linkies, you might choose to do so on specific days and/or for a limited number of linkies. If your chosen task is pasting links and keeping up conversation on Facebook, you could choose a certain timeframe or days of the week to do so, or set up a rotating schedule with other Facebook moderators. We know our volunteers tend to be parents with busy lives, and we appreciate any time you can donate!
  • Serve on the "Ask the Natural Parenting Mentors" Panel: This is a special advice column to answer reader questions about natural parenting. If you always considered yourself the Dear Abby type, this is for you. You will be required to answer no more than two questions a month. If you have a special area of expertise (say, pumping at work or parenting a teenager), we would love to have you on retainer for any pertinent questions.
  • Add to Our NP Resource Pages: For each NP topic, we host a page with links, book titles, etc., along with descriptions of each resource. We need volunteers to research resources and write descriptions for each topic. Here is an example of one of our resource pages: Respond With Sensitivity. Help us keep our community informed!
  • Manage Social Media: Help promote NPN on our StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media accounts.
  • Coordinate Advertising and Giveaways: If you like working with businesses and monetization, help us contact potential sponsors for advertising or work to manage giveaways. You can help assign products to our reviewer panel, format giveaways for posting, and craft winner announcements.
  • Promote Giveaways: We need some willing fingers to copy and paste giveaway information into daily giveaway linkies as well as tastefully promote them on Twitter and Facebook. This is a job that can be done while nak!
  • Promote Wordless Wednesday: Along the same lines, we're looking for people who would be willing to enter our weekly photo post into several Wordless Wednesday linkies as well as comment on the posts of those who link with us.
  • Suggest Products: If you like to find the best of the best natural products, do some virtual shopping for our readers by recommending items in any natural parenting category. We have an easy online system for adding your suggestions from any online retailer, big or small.
  • Moderate Forums: Help moderate the NPN forums. This might entail approving new members, answering questions, and enforcing the forum rules.
  • Moderate Comments: Help us moderate comments so that every comment adheres to our comment policy.
  • Edit Posts: We can always use copy and content editors to help us get submitted posts ready for going live. You'll need an eye for detail and an understanding of our contributor guidelines.
  • Miscellaneous: Do you have a particular talent that would lend itself well to our community? Let us know! We will take your help in any way, shape, or form.

To get in touch with us about any of these opportunities, please just contact us through our online form or let us know directly by email: Dionna {at} or Lauren {at}

Just so you know, we never want our volunteers or contributors to feel overwhelmed in their roles at NPN. If you need to cut back on your commitment at any time, or if you need some time off for vacation/illness/birth/etc., please let us know.


    Visit Natural Parents Network
  • Add our NPN button to your sidebar!
  • Spread the word! We need you to help tell people about Natural Parents Network. Feature NPN links in a blog post, Tweet posts from the site, and encourage your followers on Facebook to like NPN. We appreciate your help in getting the word out about our natural parenting community.

Thank you for your energy and your commitment to natural parenting — you are making a difference in the lives of families and children everywhere. We hope you will continue to find a community with us at Natural Parents Network.

1 I'd also like to give a big shout-out to Tom, Dionna's husband, for being our tech whiz and making the site function and look as beautifully as it does.


Momma Jorje said...

I went ahead and sent some potential posts I've had stewing lately. I used the form submission. :-)

Joella said...

I'm a new follower and just submitted my blog for the blogroll on NPN. I'm interested in contributing and volunteering as well, so I'll follow the links for more information on those! :)

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