As of today, there are 5,416,299 pages in the English Wikipedia – including the page that told us that. No wonder it’s the go-to source for information on the internet (after Google, of course). There’s a Wikipedia page for practically everything. Is there one for your brand?
Because Wikipedia is a community run website, you can create any page you want and upload it to the encyclopedia. But, that doesn’t mean the page will stay up. Along with the technicalities of creating a page, you’ll need to follow the policies and guidelines that keep Wikipedia accurate and fair.
It can be a bit of an undertaking. So before we dive into how to create a Wikipedia page, let’s start with reasons why. Creating a Wikipedia page might be worth your time if:
- You have an inventive new product that’s been shared with the world
- You’re defining a new category or technology that doesn’t exist on Wikipedia today
- There’s a good buzz going about your brand or someone on your team
- You want to help control the story that’s being told about your brand
Still feel good about your decision to enter the wild world of Wikipedia? Awesome. Now let’s turn it over to expert Torchliter Melody Van De Graaff to help you get started:
Before Creating a Page
Creating a Wikipedia page may seem like a great move for the visibility of your company. Since many internet users rely on the online encyclopedia for information, getting some information on their about your business may seem like a smart move. However, Wikipedia has several rules concerning business pages, especially when created by those paid by the business. In order to ensure there is no conflict of interest, there are some guidelines you should be familiar with before creating any company pages.
Editors will use the notability of a subject to see if it warrants an article written about it. Topics merit an article if they have ‘significant coverage’, or have received coverage from several unbiased or unrelated sources. These sources must be reliable and fairly objective. Articles that do not meet these guidelines will be deleted or merged into other pages.
Referenced work is the best way to prove the notability of your topic. The best resources you can use are reliable, those which are more difficult to change on a whim. Print sources are the most reliable, such as books, scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Web sources which follow similar requirements to print sources are also reliable references to use in your page. Social media, personal websites, and blogs are not reliable, as the material can be changed or removed at any time.
How to Create a Page
Make sure you’ve got an account before you start creating pages. Once you do, the easiest way to create a page is to use the Article wizard. Click the option at the bottom left to create a new page. You’ll have the option to see if your page already has an article on it. Even if you think it’s unlikely that your page has been created, it would be best to double check.
Once you’ve checked and found that your subject hasn’t been created, go ahead and make a new article in the Article wizard. When you have finished writing your content, make sure the page follows the general format of a Wikipedia page, with an introduction, sections, subheads, and a references section. You can view a random article to get a general idea of page format.
After you’ve created your page, request feedback from other editors. The more sets of eyes that have looked over your page, the more trusted the material on the page will be. More editors on a page mean that more people have been able to look at your piece, which makes it less susceptible to bias. It’s unlikely that many editors will go out of their way to edit your piece, so requesting feedback may be the most reliable way to get edits from multiple sources.
Best Practices for Creating a Page
The mechanics of creating a page on Wikipedia are not too difficult. However, if the page you create violates the spirit of the encyclopedia, your page may fall under heavy scrutiny from other editors and may be removed if it violates certain standards set by the community.
There are several things you will need to avoid in order to be in keeping with the spirit of Wikipedia. If these are included in any article, your edits will be closely scrutinized, and your account may be terminated.
- Advertising and other promotional language
- Self-promotional articles
- Original research
- Violating copyright
- Removing negative text from your article
- Making a group account for people to share
Generally, Wikipedia discourages paid contributions to the online encyclopedia because it believes this leads to biased information. You must disclose your affiliation with the subject you are writing about on the talk page of the subject in order to keep with the good faith all members of Wikipedia are asked to follow.
If you can ensure that the information you provide is unbiased, factual, and presented in a neutral manner, then you should have no problems creating and maintaining Wikipedia pages.
Melody Van De Graaff is a freelance web content writer with a strong background in content marketing. Her Bachelor’s in Communication helps her delve deep into her client audiences and tailor written content around their wants and needs.
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