The helpfulness of individual articles will determine how helpful ChinaTravelGuide.com is for the traveler community. Because each article can be (and should be) authored by multiple members, it's important for community members to keep a few things in mind when they are writing a new article. This will help to ensure that an article can be easily maintained and remain as helpful as possible over time. Before you start, there are a few general guidelines and suggestions that we hope will help you in your quest.
 Research First
It's always vital to make sure that you know what you're writing about before you start writing! This includes reviewing the information related to the topic, and make sure that there is no existing article for your topic. Nothing worse than wasting time on a subject that someone else is already writing about.
Wiki Tip: Doing a search is always a good idea because you may find that an article already exists. If an article does already exist, then you can contribute to the existing article rather than create a duplicate article.
Wiki Tip: If you don't know enough about a topic to write an entire article, don't worry! Write an article stub instead. A stub is like a request to the community to provide this information. You would follow all of the steps outlined above, but the content would be a summary or a vision of what you would like the article to be. Other community members with the necessary experience can then come along and build out the article.
 Finding the Best Topic and Sub-Topic
If you think of the ChinaTravelGuide.com Wiki as a city, then you can think of the Topics as Zip codes (or postal codes) and the Sub-Topic as streets. The articles themselves will live at specific addresses, so when you create an article take a few minutes to find the best place for the article to live.
To help you determine the best place for an article to live, ask yourself the following questions:
- If I were going to browse for this article, on which topic and sub-topics would I click?
- If I were going to search for this article, with which terms or keywords would I search?
Once you have answered these questions, click on those topics and search on those terms and keywords. Take the time to see what types of articles already exist and if the article you are planning on creating would complement those articles.
Once you determine the best place for the article to live, navigate to that Category page and include the indicated text into your new page.
 Introduce the Topic
Articles have something to say. Figure out what that is. Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. Ensure you have an introduction (tell them what you are going to tell them) that tells readers why they should read your article. Add a conclusion that wraps up what you have said (tell them what you told them) but introduces no new ideas. (Also, be sure to bold the subject in the first sentence.) Remember the following:
- Write in a neutral point of view.
- Do not write in the first-person (don't use words like “I”, “me”, “we”, or “us”).
- Write for the benefit of the community (not to benefit individual members).
- Support articles with factual information based on your travel experiences (cite sources when necessary).
- Think about the implications of including personal information such as your email, phone number on a public website.
Wiki Tip: If you find that you are really expressing personal opinion about an attraction, hotel, or restaurant, consider writing a review.
 Customizing Your Article
Remember that it's more important to focus on the content of an article rather than how it is formatted. That being said, there a number of options available when it comes to customizing how articles look.
The first option is to enter the text directly into editing window on the Editing page and use the text editor that is available on the page to format the article once you've written the content. The functionality of the text editor is limited, so another option is to write the article off-line using desktop publishing software. This way you can check your article for spelling or grammatical errors. Once you've polished the article you can then copy and paste it into editing window.
Wiki Tip: No matter what options you select in customizing your article, always remember that the most important part of the article is the content. The formatting you select should always enhance and never distract from the information being shared in the article – Keep things simple and to the point, as rambling will take away from the information being shared as well.
 Add Wiki Links
ChinaTravelGuide articles on a particular topic are connected to other, related articles through wiki links. This is very helpful for users to find and read the related information.
 Add an Image
ChinaTravelGuide is not in the business of hosting images, but uploading one or two images to illustrate your article can add that extra flare that helps your work stand out.
 Add External Links and References
Sometimes it's necessary to include links to web pages outside ChinaTravelGuide, because some contents can not be included for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail.
 Check your spelling and grammar
Articles with good spelling and proper grammar will encourage further contributions of good content. Proper spelling of an article name will also make it easier for other authors to link their articles to your article. Go ahead and use an external text editor or word processor if that will help you spot your mistakes.
 Previewing and Submitting
This is an often overlooked step, but it's important to take the time to preview your article and see how it will be presented to the community. If you find a spelling error or if the formatting is off, you can go back to the editing window and make the necessary corrections. After the article is ready for the community, click the ‘Save page' button. Once published, community members will be able to view, edit or add information to the article. If, after it's published, you find there's something you would like to change, don't worry. You always have the option of editing the articles..
In addition, some contributors might find it useful to consult with other members to get ideas for changing and refining the text. Post an early draft of the article and get comments on the talk page. Even better, offer comments on other articles' talk pages, too! Sharing ideas and opinions helps build a stronger article base for everyone.