Write for DOnations

Share your knowledge and get paid, while supporting tech-focused nonprofits and charities.

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Details

What is Write for DOnations?

The Write for DOnations program brings together two initiatives: building content to help developers and supporting tech-focused charities and nonprofits.

Through the program, community authors help grow DigitalOcean’s library of DevOps, software development, and production systems tutorials—all based on free and open-source software. These authors then receive a personal payout and select a tech-focused charity to receive a donation.

Topics

What topics are you looking for?

Our tutorials help developers at all levels solve problems, answer questions, and do things they couldn’t do before with open-source software.

For Write for DOnations, we’re looking for practical guides covering open-source software and Linux/Unix-like systems, including production installations, deployments, containers, and automation. We’re especially interested in:

  • Basic Linux system administration: Are you a whiz at setting up SSH keys? Are you the one people come to when they can't find a file? Is your knowledge of environmental variables the envy of all? Share what you know by submitting a tutorial about system administration.
  • Linux tools: Are you a grep power user? Do you use Rsync to make backups a breeze? Are your systemd service files second to none? Help others reach your level of expertise by proposing a tutorial about Linux tools.
  • Docker tutorials: Do you make YAML files in Docker Compose that are works of art? Do you excel at keeping your Docker images clean? Does your Docker monitoring leave no container in the shadows? Give the community the benefit of your experience by writing a tutorial about Docker.
  • Security topics: Do you have fun configuring firewalls? Is WireGuard part of your standard toolbox? Have you got Suricata on speed dial? Help others secure their installations by submitting a tutorial about security.

We do not accept articles about closed-source software, paid software, translations, or promotional content. 

For copyright reasons, we can’t reprint content that has already been published elsewhere. 

Before you apply, explore the Community site to see the kinds of topics we publish and to get a feel for our style. 

TIP: Our tutorials focus on providing a series of steps to solve a specific problem. Each step is explained thoroughly so that readers are always aware of what the code or commands do, and gives them enough information that they can adapt the process to their own situations. 

As an example, check out the tutorial, Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 20.04. This tutorial features a set of discrete steps. In each step, the reader is directed to take a specific action, which is given in the step title, and the result is described. The emphasis is on what the reader is doing, rather than describing the technology involved.

Payouts

What is the payout structure?

Authors typically receive $300 per tutorial upon publication. The author then selects a single tech-focused charity or nonprofit or a group of nonprofits united by similar missions to receive a donation from DigitalOcean.

Most new tutorials are paid out at $300; complex production-focused topics may be paid out at up to $400. Updates for existing tutorials, such as distribution changes, are typically paid out at $75 to $150, based on the number of changes and technical content. All payouts are at editorial discretion.

Additional Write for DOnation FAQ

Testimonials

What people are saying

“I had a great experience writing an article for the DigitalOcean Community. The editors set clear expectations and worked with me to make the tutorial the best it could be. I loved being able to contribute to a resource that I use frequently myself.” - Radek Pazdera, 2021

“If you are looking forward to upskilling yourself through writing impactful articles, this is the place to be. The amazing style guide will set you on the right track to start with and then the detailed review and feedback will polish your article to make the best of it. Definitely an amazing learning opportunity and also a way to contribute to charity.” - Abel Mathew, 2021

“The DigitalOcean team made the whole editorial process so simple that it was a pleasure writing the tutorial. I just wanted to share that contributing to the "Write For DOnations program" was a very enriching experience for me.“ - Damaso Sanoja, 2020

Timeline

What is the publication process?

Apply, collaborate, write, revise, publish, and repeat.

  • Apply: Apply to the program with your topic idea, an outline of your tutorial, and a writing sample that showcases your ability to explain your technical knowledge to others. We publish only original, first-run content under a Creative Commons license.
  • Collaborate: If you're accepted, you'll work with the editorial team to refine your topic and outline for your tutorial.
  • Write: Once your topic is approved, it's time to write. We provide resources to help you get started.
  • Review: Submit your first draft and collaborate one-on-one with a professional editor to prepare your work for publication. The editor will complete a technical review and will provide developmental feedback about your work.
  • Revise: Based on your editor’s notes, you’ll revise your tutorial. (Sometimes a few times!) Our goal is to ensure that your tutorial works (technically), aligns with our style, and will help our community grow their skills.
  • Publish: After revisions, your editor will send your payment, publish your article, make your charitable contribution—and ask what you want to write about next. DigitalOcean will also promote your article across all of our social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook).
  • Repeat: Build a relationship with the editorial team by suggesting new articles that you want to write.
About You

What are you looking for in an author?

We’re looking for a diverse group of strong technical writers who love what they do and want to share their knowledge with the DO community. Ideally, you’ll have demonstrated experience in the topics we’re publishing. You’ll have written before, and are comfortable receiving feedback on your writing during the publishing process. Our readers have a wide range of skills, but we’re looking for authors who can write for beginning and intermediate developers. 

Resources

What resources will support my writing?

As an author for Write for DOnations, you’ll work one-on-one with an editor to revise your writing. Additionally, please check out these writing resources from DigitalOcean:

FAQ

Have more questions?

Apply now

Apply to Write for DOnations!

To apply to Write for DOnations, please submit our proposal form. We’ll ask for your topic idea, an outline of your tutorial, and a writing sample that showcases your ability to explain your technical knowledge to others. 

Deadline: We review proposals on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear from us the first week of the month following your submission. (For example: if you submit a proposal in January, you can expect to hear from us the first week of February.)

Topics: Please review the topics we’re looking for and check out the Community site to see what else we’ve published in your topic area.

Details: We publish only original, first-run content under a Creative Commons license. All of our community authors sign our Freelance Writers Contract.

Tips: Successful applications have strong outlines. An effective outline has a specific focus and clear steps to help readers solve a specific problem. Your outline should include all necessary prerequisites, specific steps, and enough detail so that the editorial team can assess the tutorial’s scope. Check out our tutorial about writing successful proposals and outlines.

Remember, our tutorials focus on providing a series of steps to solve a specific problem. Each step is explained thoroughly so that readers are always aware of what the code or commands do, and gives them enough information that they can adapt the process to their own situations. Your outline is the first step toward creating a good learning experience for readers!  

Write for DOnations proposal form