1. Always follow the instructions for online submissions to the tee. Of course, this applies to snail mail submissions too, but with online submissions, for instance, you really need to check carefully whether the editor wants the article in the body of your email or as an attachment. And if they DO want an attachment, you need to check carefully to see which kind, Word (.doc extension) or Rich Text Format, (.rtf extension) for instance. If they don’t give a preference I always send the article as a Word document. But you may want to ask first.
2. As with standard submissions always use either Times New Roman or Courier font. This is an industry standard, but for those of you who are new to writing you may not know this. Never use an oddball font or fancy lettering when you write an article, either online or off.
3. Double space your article. Between paragraphs just do a single hard return.
4. If you have sidebars (which are related bits of the article that you want highlighted outside the body of the article) list them at the bottom of the article, i.e., sidebar 1 with the information, sidebar 2, etc.
5. Include a list of the experts you contacted at the bottom of the article with their contact information, phone number, email, etc, so that the editor can verify any quotes if they choose to.
These are just some standard rules that will help you make sure your online submission is up to snuff. Every little thing you can do to make yourself look more professional is one more feather in your online writing cap!