Sidebar curates the five most interesting design-related links every day via a two-step process. First, a link is accepted on the site. Then, the top five accepted links of the day are featured in the newsletter.
Sidebar links can be anything from an article, to a beautiful porfolio, to a cool CodePen demo. Generally speaking, they can be classified under these five content types:
With that in mind, here are a few pointers to boost your submission's chances of making the cut.
1. About Design
Content can be related to design, without being about design. Typically, this includes articles about the business of design or freelancing (e.g. “How To Get More Design Clients”). These articles will generally not be featured.
Note that an article that's not related to design at all can sometimes still be featured if the article page's own design is noteworthy.
2. High Effort
It's easy to create a new Medium account and spit out a few nice-sounding thoughts about Design, but we try to avoid featuring this kind of thinkpieces on Sidebar. Instead, we prioritize the type of content that requires time and effort: case studies, tutorials, and so on.
Also not accepted: cookie-cutter content like list posts and articles that simply link to original content.
Finally, if your submission is one of countless similar items it will probably be rejected as well. This includes things like Dribbble shots, CodePen pens, UI kits, icon sets, WordPress themes, etc.
3. New Content Only
Only new content is featured on Sidebar. This means if the link you're submitting has been around for longer than a month or so, it probably won't be accepted (unless it hasn't received any exposure at all).
A good way to verify when a piece of content first appeared is to check when it was first tweeted out.
4. No Paid Products
Sidebar generally avoids featuring paid products unless they offer a free or demo version that can be useful on its own.
Exceptions to this rule include releases of major design software (Photoshop, Sketch, etc.) that are newsworthy in themselves.
5. Small Over Big
All else being equal, Sidebar tries to feature smaller blogs and newer authors over bigger publishers and famous bloggers.
6. Easy To Consume
Generally speaking, links that require a heavy download or a plugin install will not be featured. This includes links to app stores, to PDF files, etc.