Health.com Editorial Guidelines

Brand Alignment, Voice, and Point-of-View

Health.com delivers relevant information on wellness, fitness, beauty, nutrition, healthy food, weight loss, medical conditions, and more in clear, jargon-free language. Through insight from medical experts and real people, and breaking news, we answer: how it happened, what it feels like, what you can do about it, and why it matters. Our experience, knowledge, and insider access result in quality content that is highly shareable.

The Health.com voice is:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Authoritative
  • A savvy, in-the-know friend
  • Enthusiastic
  • Inspiring
  • Ahead of the curve
  • Up-to-date on the latest beauty, athleisure, and foodie trends

We are never:

  • Snarky
  • Mean
  • Snobby
  • Out of touch

General Health.com guidelines:

  1. Your articles should be written in the first person unless specified otherwise.
  2. Content submitted by writers must be original and cannot have been previously published anywhere else online. Plagiarized content and copyright violations are strictly prohibited.
  3. Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation are required. Please proofread before submitting.
  4. Content items should be at least 200 words in length.
  5. No inappropriate language or images are allowed.
  6. You are responsible for proper disclosure in compliance with FTC guidelines if you have been provided a product for review. Writers should not solicit items on behalf of Health.com without an accepted request for content first.
  7. Please reference these guidelines when selecting sources:
    1. Always use and cite original sources: the study itself, not a newspaper article about the study; the FDA or CDC’s (or AGOC or USPSTF, etc.) exact policies or recommendations, not what someone else says about their recommendations. Press releases can be helpful in clarifying information but always double check against the original study or report (PR professionals make mistakes, too!).
    2. Wikipedia’s content is formulated by users, and is therefore not a valid source. Wikipedia is useful, though, for the links it provides to other articles, studies, and sites.
    3. Websites that are acceptable secondary sources include official websites run by credible organizations (corporations, non-profits, governmental bodies, universities, medical centers, research institutions) and authoritative news sources (e.g. the New York Times).
  8. Please reference these guidelines when choosing an expert to interview:
    1. In general, we prefer experts who are MDs, PhDs, or RDs/RDNs, unless the topic is one that requires a specific different expertise. Nutritionists in particular should always be an RD, RDN, or PhD. We prefer that exercise advice be given by certified personal trainers or exercise physiologists.
    2. As much as possible, speak with experts affiliated with major medical centers (Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, Weill-Cornell, etc.) rather than stand-alone doctors in private practice.
    3. Play your sources to their strengths: Clinicians are best qualified to speak on issues of patient care, researchers are best for science issues, etc.
    4. Use caution when turning to book authors as experts. Having written a book on a topic can enhance an expert’s qualifications but shouldn’t be their sole qualification. Double
      check that they have specific expertise other than their book, such as relevant training
      or research. (In some cases, such as when you’re seeking comment on a trendy diet,
      someone who has written a book on the topic may be less appropriate to quote than an
      outside expert.)
    5. If you have any doubts about whether an expert is properly qualified, or if you want to
      make a case for making an exception to a rule, discuss it with the editor or top editor that is working on the piece.
  9. Please reference these guidelines when mentioning a study:
    1. In the case of medical research, be mindful of the differences among epidemiological,
      observational, double-blinded, and animal studies. In a nutshell, we favor large, multicenter clinical trials rather than small and/or animal studies, and studies that have been published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal over ones that have been presented at a conference.
    2. Use the most recent research available, citing the date the study was published. Note
      the size, scope, and origin (country and medical center, for example) of each study,
      along with the journal where it was published.
  10. When citing nutritional information for foods, please source information to a manufacturer’s official website or product label (for brand name products) or the USDA database (ndb.nal.usda.gov) for generic foods. Third party nutrition/calorie websites like calorieking.com or myfitnesspal.com may have outdated or incorrect information.

Health.com content:

At Health.com, our goal is to deliver up-to-the-minute news on all the latest trends in the wellness world. We cover everything from the latest studies, crazy (but totally doable) makeup hacks, deliciously healthy recipes, that can’t-live-without-’em pair of perfect black leggings, and body-positive posts that are going viral on social media.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to contribute to Health.com, but we are looking for well-written, thoughtful pieces that demonstrate a passion for health and wellness and tell a unique story. Whether it’s a personal essay about your weight-loss journey, a recipe for your favorite healthy Crock-Pot dinner, or a firsthand account of living with psoriatic arthritis, we want to hear about it. We love essays that highlight cool new workout classes, positive body image, relationship challenges, nutritious meal ideas, healthy travel tips, or even that incredible, can’t-live-without-it retinol cream you just discovered.

Fitness, weight loss, and nutrition content is our bread and butter. Some of our most successful articles showcase the best ab exercises (that don’t require crunches), foods that contain healthy fats, yummy avocado recipes (that go way beyond avo toast), and weight loss success stories from real women. Our readers also love celebrities, and we always make sure to cover the workout that A-listers like Ashley Graham and Lady Gaga are using to get in shape, or the clever diet trick that has helped Jessica Biel shed pounds.

Our beauty and style content is also among our top performing. When it comes to sharing beauty and style content, we aim to give our readers expert-approved recommendations, such as a celebrity makeup artist’s favorite drugstore lipstick, a podiatrist’s go-to sandal with arch support, or a dermatologist’s recommended moisturizer to combat eczema. Above all else, our readers respond well to tips and product suggestions that are tailored to their specific needs—whether it’s an affordable mascara that lives up to its claims, or a sports bra with a built-in pocket to stash their smartphone while they sweat.

For reference, below are some "Best in Class" examples of Health.com content that were popular within the past year: