Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Writing articles could seriously increase your wealth

by Stephen Hill

If you want to increase the amount of visitors to your website, start writing articles. There are many reasons why writing articles is a must for any serious webmaster or for people who want to maximise the full benefits of the internet.

How did I learn about the power of writing articles?One evening I was searching for a few things using the search engine Google. The second search had as number one in the list of results an article that had been written about the item I was searching for. I read the article which at the bottom had a live link to the authors website. I duly clicked on the link to have a look at what he offered. Then it dawned on me, what a great way to get seen and attract more visitors.

I wrote an article on hear about a week ago. It was called "Stuttering and its effects". If you type those words into Google I come up as number one, or I did as of 10/07/2005.

There are further benefits. One of which is the added backward links you obtain when other people add your article onto their website or newsletter, plus extra visitors this way.

These are the article websites I submit my articles to:
http://www.enzinearticles.com
http://searchwarp.com
http://goarticles.com

About the Author

Stephen Hill is a webmaster from Birmingham. A couple of examples of his work is http://www.gain-confidence.co.uk and http://www.lasik-laser-surgery.co.uk

Article Writing Tips

By: Henry Stimpson

Writing articles for magazines, newspapers and Web sites is one of the best ways you can promote your service, practice or product. Trade, business, professional and online publications are always hungry for good articles from experts. They get free copy. In return, you get valuable exposure for your organization. To get your article published, you need to know the ropes. Here are some tips, gleaned from many years of experience:

Know what the editor is looking for.
Scan a few recent issues of the publication you want to get in. Sometimes you'll find that the articles are all staff written. If so, look for happier hunting grounds elsewhere.

If outsiders write some articles, check the format.
Is a certain column reserved for contributors, or are bylined articles interspersed throughout? Does the publication use 500-word op-ed pieces, lengthy articles or both types? Get a copy of the publication's guidelines for contributors. You can often find them on the publication's Web.Many trade and some business publications publish editorial calendars, and again, usually post them on their Web site. These calendars help you pinpoint when editors are looking to cover certain subjects.

Go on a scavenger hunt.
You may already have the raw material for an article but not realize it. A text of a speech, a slide presentation, a detailed memorandum, a brochure or a report can often be transformed into an article by rewriting the material.

Write a summary.
Once you've targeted a publication, it's usually best to write a brief summary of the story you'd like to submit. Many editors prefer a query first; some only want to review finished copy. Go with whatever the editor wants to do.

The summary tells in a few brief paragraphs what you want to write about and how you plan to approach it. Ask for permission to proceed. Now the editor can tell you whether he or she's interested in the topic and may offer suggestions on writing the story. The summary will also serve as quick outline - a big help in getting started.

Get the facts.
Once you've gotten the okay from the editor, you can start writing. Gather up all the key facts that make your case. The more meat you can put in your story, the better. A little research pays off.

Take a stand.
Most publications want contributors to have a definite viewpoint. You don't need to provoke a raging controversy, but some basic stance or theme should form the framework for your story. The reader should come away with a few strong key points that serve your cause.

Use examples and stories.
Your article will come alive for readers when you can use real-life examples to bolster your points.

Sorry, no commercials.
The best way to get your story killed is overt commercialism. Most publications won't let you directly mention your own product. But you can sometimes get your commercial message across indirectly. A sales pitch, if subtly disguised, may pass muster. And it will go over better with readers than overt commercialism.

Make benefits the benefits of your service or product generic and avoid "we" and "I."
For example, do not write: "We ghostwrite articles that effectively position clients as industry leaders." Instead, write: "A professional writer can ghostwrite articles that can help position a company or an executive as an industry leader.

"Keep the "buzz" down.
Know your audience. In a trade publication, some industry jargon is okay. But if you're trying to get published in a more general publication, skip the buzzwords.

If in doubt, always choose plain English.
Simple words usually say a lot more than big ones.

Check your organization.
Check through your article to ensure it's organized logically. Let an unbiased person read it and give you an opinion whether it flowed well and made sense.

Submit and follow up.
Editors are notoriously pressed for time; some won't get back to you with an acceptance or rejection. If, after a reasonable amount of time has passed, politely follow up and ask the editor if he or she has decided whether to accept your article. If the answer is no, find out if it can be rewritten to satisfy the editor. If not, send it to another publication immediately.

Recycle for more bang for the buck.
Now you've got the story published. You're basking in glory, sending copies to clients and colleagues. Now take the next step. Try to get the article published elsewhere.

For instance, let's say that your article is about the reducing the risks of getting hit with an employee lawsuit. It's pretty likely you can take the same article, or a slightly recast version, and get it published in a human resources magazine, a local business journal and trades serving various industries.

Reprint it.
To get the most value from a published article, get permission from the publication it appeared in and reprint it. Then you can add it to your sales kit or use it in direct mail or on your Web site. Executives can send copies to key contacts with a personal note. An article lends more credibility to your organization than any advertisement can.

Henry Stimpson, owner of Stimpson Communications, has 25 years of experience as a public relations professional and writer. He holds the Public Relations Society of America's APR designation, which is granted after passing rigorous written and oral examinations. Stimpson Communications provides public relations programs that build visibility and credibility in target markets. For more information, visit StimpsonCommunications.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Five Benefits of Article Writing

By Nicholas Dixon
http://WWW.Oceanroc.blogspot.com

A few years ago as a webmaster with no money, I looked around for
the best free methods to drive traffic to my website.

Search engines were my primary source of traffic and due to the
fact that this source took time to gain momentum, visitors were
in spurts at best. Then I found a powerful technique that I
could use to boost my marketing efforts for free.

These are some benefits that I have gain from writing articles.

1) Name Branding

If you type “Oceanroc’ or my name in any search
engine you will likely find hundreds if not thousands of returns. pages which contain my articles.
If you look at bit closer chances are those search results are


2) Link Popularity

Last October I started a website
Oceanroc.com and by April of this year it had a PR5 rating.
Articles are the main source of the one way links pointing to my
website.

3) Traffic

If I write an article that is interesting, then the
reader may click on my link in the resource box to visit my site
to find similar content. Imagine being on websites and in
newsletters with lots of readers and think about how many traffic
you could get.

4) Prestige

Up to a few months ago I was a Platinum writer over at
Ezinearticles.com, the 1000 lb. gorilla of article sites. Heck I
lost my status because of an affiliate link, so now I am down to
Expert status. Seeing your writing being published especially
without you submitting it to that source helps to reassure that
you are a quality writer.

5) Free Advertising

I have had my ads placed for free in places
that normally would have cost me hundreds of dollars. My resource
box is my ad spot and publishers are required to include it if
they use one of my articles. The resource box is the medium
through which you generate traffic from you articles.

If it was not for article writing I don’t think that I would
receive some of the Joint Venture offers that I get. And the
thing is that many writers share these same benefits. And there
are even more…….

© Oceanroc Web Publishing

Writing tips, tools and techniques for the new and
seasoned writer can be found at http://WWW.Oceanroc.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Article Writing Tips for Non-Writers

Although there are many types of articles you can write to help you promote your business, i.e. features, interviews, etc. I'm going to teach you how to write the two easiest forms of articles that will help you get the sale.

1. Types of Articles

a. ListsList articles are easy to write because all you have to do is write down several related items, which becomes your basic outline, and then write several sentences to explain each short topic more fully.

An example of this would be an upcoming article I will be writing called "4 Secrets of the Super Affiliates". In this article I will tell you the four things that affiliates do to make more money from their affiliate programs. Under each topic, I will explain how you can use this item to make more sales from your affiliate business.

b. How To/DirectionsIn a how to article, you would show your reader how to do something. This is especially good if you have a physical rather than a digital product.

A friend of mine, Mac, sells all types of metal polishes. An excellent way for him to write an article about one of his products would be to explain the best way to use the product.

For example, using a soft lint free cloth will give this result, while a towel will do this.

2. Article Writing Tips
These tips will work regardless of which type of article you plan to write.
First, make your list of items. If you are writing the how to/directions article, write it in steps and make sure you include all of the steps. Test your steps if you have to, to make sure they work.

Create a title. It could be "4 Ways to...", "How to make..." etc. Eliminate any items that don't belong.

Type your title and list leaving space for you to flush out your article. Write several sentences explaining each item.

A good length for any article is about 500 to 750 words. You don't want to make it too short, but if it is too long, your reader won't take the time to read it.

If your article includes items you will need, make sure you include a list at the top of your article, including measurements, etc.

As Ernest Hemingway would say, use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. This is especially important online because readers read about 25 per cent slower.

3. Article Submission
Once you've written your article, you want to submit it for publication.

There are two ways you can do this.

First, you can search for ezines related to your topic.Write the editor a personal email explaining what your article is about. I would also recommend that you paste the article into the body of the email message, as most people are hesitant to open an attachment they haven't asked for.

Second, you can submit your articles to article directories.

Here are five that I would recommend. There are many more, but it is up to you to decide where you want to submit your articles.

http://www.marketing-seek.com/
http://www.makingprofit.com/
http://www.ideamarketers.com/
http://www.ezinearticles.com/
http://www.goarticles.com/

4. Some final tips
When you submit your article, don't forget to include your resource box.
Your resource box is no more than 65 characters wide and no more than 6 lines deep. It is similar to a signature file, but it also includes information about you, the author of the article.

Here is an example of the one I will use to submit thisarticle:
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Jinger Jarrett is the author of the ebook "10 Ways to Promote Your Business For Free". You can download your own copy for free by clicking here:http://www.smallbusinesshowto.com/newsletter.html
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
You also want to make sure you include the copyrightinformation on your article and a word count. This should go at the top of the article, below the title, or you can put it after the resource box at the end.

For example:
© By Jinger Jarrett 2003. You have my permission to reprint this article in your newsletter or on your web site provided you leave the resource box intact.
Word count: 750

Finally, before you post your articles, or send an editor an email, read the guidelines on their sites. This is time consuming, but you only have to do it once, and you have a better chance of getting your article published.

Target your market with razor like precision, and you'll get your article published. You'll establish credibility as an author/business person, and this will increase your sales because your customers will see you as an expert.

Jinger Jarrett will show you "How to Really Start Your Business In 30 Days" with her new ecourse. Find it here: http://www.smallbusinesshowto.com

Giving Yourself the Right to Write

"But I've only been on the Internet 3 months! How can I write an article?” That was my reaction back in 1999 when I began my online career and heard that writing articles was the key to bringing targeted visitors to my website.

But I went ahead anyway and wrote my first article. I soon discovered that writing articles is the quickest way to build your reputation as an expert in the world of online marketing.

So don’t wait for someone else's permission - start writing articles and grab your space in the limelight.

Here are some other mental blocks and how to deal with them:

(1) "I don't where to start". Start anywhere - it doesn't matter where. Putting words on paper is like planting a seed in your subconscious. Your mind will go to work on it while you're busy doing other things: while you’re driving, while you’re sleeping, while you're doing the dishes. Suddenly, out of nowhere, will come the next idea. That’s the power of the subconscious and the power of putting words on paper.

(2) "I don't know how to finish". Again, it doesn’t matter. Just write and the conclusion will come to you of it's own accord.

(3) "It's just an idea". This is another mental trap - the fear of turning ideas into reality. Look around you and realize that every skyscraper, every ocean-going liner, and every symphony was once "just an idea".

(4) "I'll do it tomorrow". Tomorrow never arrives. Give yourself a deadline. Imagine that your article must be finished within the next 12 hours - you’ll be surprised how much you get done!

(5) "My article will be a flop". This is a big one - fear of failure. It's much safer to never try. But remember, with every article you write you are one step closer to developing your own unique style, your "voice". In that sense, you can never fail.

(6) "I can't get it right". Some times you simply can't find the right words. Turn off your inner critic and just write. When you have something down on paper, you have something to work with. But you can't work with something that remains an idea in your head.

(7) "I can’t sort out my ideas". The easiest way to organize your article ideas is to use a technique that mirrors the way the mind works. This technique is called Mind Mapping. We are taught in school to use lists to organize our ideas. But lists are linear and the mind doesn't think in a linear fashion. You can find out more about Mind Mapping at: http://www.mind-map.com/
Good luck with your articles! And remember - writing teaches writing.

An Article By Writing

Michael Southon has been writing for the Internet for over 3 years. He has shown hundreds of web masters how to use this simple technique to get massive free publicity and dramatically increase traffic and sales. Web Site : http://www.ezine-writer.com.

Article Writing Errors

Having trouble writing articles? Here's my list of some common mistakes that writers make.

Not being a writer - This is the number one mistake that writers make. If you are a writer, then you had better be writing. You cannot publish what you don't write. Don't talk about what you are going to write, don't discuss your articles before writing them, and don't spend endless hours trying to find people to purchase your articles. Just write: query letters and articles. Write them fast and furious. That's what a writer does.

Not writing constantly - If you call yourself a writer, then you had better be writing. In fact, you should be writing constantly, every single day if you can. What do you write? Write an article on something, anything, that you feel you can write about.

Giving into writer's block - You can defeat writer's block. You are a writer, so write. Can't write? Just start writing and don't worry about what comes out.

Re-writing too many times - Some writers like to edit and rewrite an article over and over again. Personally, I write a pretty good article the first time and one quick edit usually finishes it up. Some people need a few more edits. But don't over edit. Your job is to communicate words and concepts on paper, not edit them to death.

Not editing enough - No matter how good your first drafts are, be sure and look it over at least once for spelling mistakes and grammar errors.

Plagiarizing - It's perfectly okay to get ideas from other articles, books, movies, and even television shows. It's not okay to steal another writers work, and it's also not acceptable to paraphrase an article. You can quote from other sources (this is called "fair use") but you cannot make other's work your own.Talking about an article before writing it - I know of very few people who can talk about an article concept with another person and then successfully write that article later. Writing is communicating on paper (or on a computer), not talking about what you want to write.

Asking people if your writing is "okay" - If you are taking a class in writing, then this is a fine thing to do. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother trying to get criticism from anyone except a professional editor. Before I learned this lesson, I stopped writing more articles than I can count simply because of others tearing my work apart. Now, I don't ask for or accept criticism on my works, unless it's from a professional editor to whom I am attempting to sell one of my articles. It is acceptable to get criticism from one's agent, as that is one of the tasks that an agent is paid to do.

Worrying about what to write about - Don't worry about what to write: just write. That's what writers do, they write. There is no need to waste time to find a subject or something that will sell or anything else. Just pick something you know well and write about it.

Not using query letters - If you really want to get your articles published, you need to be sending out dozens of query letters every single day. How is this done? Simply pick up your most recent copy of Writer's Market, pick a magazine or other publisher, think of an idea they might be interested in, and write a letter pitching that idea to the magazine (or other) editor. Be sure to follow the guidelines given by the magazine (you can get this from Writer's Market, on the web or by sending a request to the publication). You may only get one bite out of a hundred, but if you don't ask you won't get any at all.

Why use query letters instead of writing articles?

Writing an article can take a significant amount of time. It's wise to find an editor who is at least marginally interested before taking the time to write a full article. Query letters must be written fast and often to be effective.

Writing in someone else's style - You are a unique individual with your own talents, faults, goals, objectives, abilities and characteristics. You also have your own unique writing style. Be yourself when you write; if you are someone else (and you write like someone else) you will never make the big times. This does not mean you shouldn't experiment with different writing styles; it means you should make each style your own as you write.

Asking other writers for advice - This is fine if you are taking a class taught by a writer. In most other instances, unless the writer is a good friend, you have to understand that other writers are competitors. Unless they are very ethical, it's very likely they may be trying to discourage you or move you away from their own preferred market.

Keeping poor records - Create a record-keeping system and stick to it. There is little more embarrassing (or time- wasting) than sending out the same article twice (or more) to the same editor who rejected it the first time.

Not treating writing as a business - Keep good records of expenses and income, and treat it all as important and vital. You have to pay taxes and you may need to account for any money. Also, expenses (and even your home office) are often write-offs on taxes.

Not checking facts and doing proper research - Getting a fact wrong now and again won't kill you, but it does effect your credibility. Get major facts wrong too often, and you may find that you cannot sell anything anymore.

Not handling copyright infringement - If someone steals your work without compensation, handle it fast and efficiently. Talk nicely, then not so nicely, then call in the lawyers. You own the copyright, so enforce it.

An Article By Writing

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site : http://internet-tips.net/requestarticles.htm

An Article about Articles

Everyone that publishes a newsletter or ezine knows that the "list" is the most important thing, if you want to be successful with any online venture. To build that list we are told to submit ads to other ezines, join as many ezines as is humanly possible to read in a 24 hour day without food or sleep. And of course write articles.

They also tell us that any dim bulb can write. I've read a few articles and I think that statement may be somewhat false. Ok, we know we can write because all of the kids in your daughters 3rd class think you write "neat" poems.

Now all we have to do is pick a topic that is intersesting, informative, is less than 1 ba-zillion words, and will make people want to come back and read more of your articles. Hopefully they will become subscribers to your publication.

Oh yeah, they have to be good enough to be able to submit them to other ezines and make the public think you are the second coming of Mark Twain.

We all know that there are 1000's of articles out there right now that deal with a variety of subjects ranging from trimming your dogs nails to starting your own Zen Budda cult.

When you are choosing a topic to attract more subscribers to your ezine or newsletter, pick one that will keep them awake and alert. You don't want them getting half way through the article and then hitting the old "delete" key.

Keep it short so you can hold the readers attention, and tell them something they didn't know about , before they read your Pulitzer Prize winning piece.

People want to be informed when reading anything! They also want to be entertained. So you see what you write about isn't as important as how you write it, and present it to your readers.

The proof in that statement is in what you just read. I wrote an article about absolutely nothing just now, and I got you to stay with me until the end.

An Article By Writing

So now this is the end. Please go subscribe to my newsletter.

Jim Schulte has been marketing online since October 2002. He is the creator and designer of th
e Internet Marketing Junkie mouse pads. He also publishes a weekly newsletter, and writes the Just My Opinion column. Web Site : http://www.imjpads.com

Friday, July 22, 2005

Why Ezine Articles Make Me Dance

I wrote my first ezine article in December 2001. I titled it 'The Power of Online Friendship'. It was five paragraphs long and contained 3 typos. I used it to promote 'The Free Promotion Tips Ezine', an ezine of mine that has long since faded into the Great Void of Cyberspace. I still think it's one of my most moving articles.

I danced around the house, riverdance-style, for about 10 minutes when I read the email from Chuck Bowden, the editor of Your Ad Space Ezine, who promised to use my article. That was quite possibly one of the happiest days of my adult life.

I'm aware that most of you have more thrilling lives than me and, therefore, would not find getting an article published online to be a crowning acheivement in your life. I, however, live a life of loneliness and solitude and would thank you not to rub your lives in my face.

I've written many more ezine articles since then and have had most of them used by various ezines and websites. Sometimes when I'm tired of sorting out spam or signing up for free promotional programs just to get 50 free visitors to my site, I like to type my name, followed by the word 'articles' into Yahoo or Google. I take a few moments to go throught the results and see where some of my articles have been used.

Sometimes I find that my articles are being used in some very interesting places. For instance a few of my articles have turned up on religious websites, even though I have never written an article with a religious theme. I guess the Good Lord really does work in mysterious ways

.I find that a lot of my articles get published on Work At Home Mom websites. I find this interesting (1) because as a male I cannot, technically, be a mom and (2) as a poor, blue collar, working class stiff I do not, technically, work at home. But my message still carries weight with all those housewives. They must be despaerate...

My overall point is: Writing ezine articles is a great way to get your name, website, product, etc. plastered all over the World Wide Web. No matter how well you promote and advertise there are just some dark corners of Cyberspace that you will not reach. You articles, however, over time, can find their way to these nooks and crannies and illuminate them with your words.

So my advice to everyone? Keep writing ezine articles! Not only do you get the satisfaction of writing them but you also get the joy of seeing your name (and you words) all over the Net. And then it'll be your turn to riverdance...

About the Author

Timothy Ward moderates Free Ezine Articles, a announcement list for quality ezine articles. He invites all writers to post their articles.Ezinearticles.20fr.com

The online writing business requires constant and regular writing

Many writers do not understand that the online writing business is very different from the offline writing world. The economics are totally different and no amount of lobbying and noise will change that.

Sadly, because of this reason, many good writers have stayed away from the online writing business while others have priced themselves out of lucrative assignments from websites, simply because they want the offline world to be automatically transferred online.

In the bricks and mortar world of writing, top freelance writers are accustomed to single writing assignments paying them $300 at the very minimum. Rates for leading magazines can go up to $3,000 or even much higher.

Thinking that you can push a webmaster to pay you $3000 for your writing is just plain day dreaming. The realities online are very different. For starters, in the offline writing market there are a few thousand publications paying good rates to freelancer writers. In the online world there are millions of potential writing markets (and constantly growing even as you read this). The challenge in the old world is finding a way to beat other writers to assignments. In the new online writing business, the challenge is being able to handle enough clients and to do enough writing daily to make a good income.

Online writing business will tend to come in volumes and for you to make money you will need to be a fast writer. There are some techniques to speed up the writing process (which I deal with in my free short online writing business course available by sending an email to writertips at freeautobot.com) but these technique will only help to speed up a writer who already has a good speed.Indications are that as the number of websites and blogs continue to grow at the current rate, the economics will swing in favor of the online writing business entrepreneur and rates should go up as the demand for good writers continues to far outstrip the supply. Still it is unlikely that a rate of $3000 per article will be common in the foreseeable future.

So the best thing to do is to find a way to make a good steady income from your online writing business with the current rates and the current state of affairs. Actually this is not too difficult. I know online writers who comfortably make $4,000 on a monthly basis, without too much effort and that is by getting paid less than $11 on average for their articles.

The online writing business will favor the kind of writer who leans more towards novel writing rather than the short story or article writer. This is because a novel writer thrives on writing every day and trying to increase their daily output. This is in contrast to the short story writer who waits for inspiration to write his brief piece at virtually one sitting. Or the professional freelance article writer who will tend to spend more time doing research and sending queries to publications rather than the actual writing work.

The huge advantage that the online writing business entrepreneur has is that they can use the power of the internet to guarantee a steady and constant flow of writing jobs which will leave them with lots of time to do what every writer should enjoy doing the most - writing.

About the Author

Christopher Kyalo earns a living writing for various online clients. Visit his blog http://100grandonlinewriters.blogspot.com to read the following article; How to get lots of business writing online articles. He can be reached at strongwallafrica at yahoo.com

Your article headlines will make or break your business

Most people with an online presence will have to regularly deal with the issue of coming up with an appropriate headline. The problem is that most people do not take it seriously enough. Many do not realize that the headline is so important that no matter how good the content is, it will never get read if the headline does not beckon surfers to it.

The power of a headline

In the offline world of the tabloid press, one headline can sell a few hundred copies while another in the same publication, can sell several million copies. Online headlines are even more important as quite often somebody will not have an opportunity to leaf through, like they do in a print publication. Quite often, even a summary will not be available and all the prospective reader has to go on, is the headline.

Most of us forget that we are motivated to read almost everything that we read online through the headline. Open any news page and you will only click on the headlines that you find interesting. Even on a page of search engine results, you will tend to go for a lower ranked page with a better headline.

What this clearly means is that every little tiny headline that you place on every small piece of content is important and will have an impact on how often that item gets read. Ultimately every little headline will contribute towards the success or failure of your site.

And what makes things even more difficult is the fact that you will be competing with many other excellent headlines online, most of them the work of professional copy writers working for leading websites.

Come up with your headline when the content is done

The most effective way of writing good headlines is to come up with your headline only when you have finished reading the content. Not only is it easier to come up with a much better headline when the content is done, but you also be able to come up with different headlines covering different aspects of the article. You can then decide which is the most attractive aspect of the article to base your headline on.

This has become a harder decision to make in recent times because you have to consider other aspects like keywords with search engines in mind and balance this with the most captivating headline that will result in most people clicking on it to read the contents.

Spend more time on the headline and come up with various options

Professional copywriters usually spend much more time on the headline than they do writing they content. It is important to come up with several headlines before you settle on your final choice. It is a good idea to regularly test different headlines for the same articles and see which one attracts the most hits

About the author:

Chris K. is a Technical Executive Writer for Website Source, Inc. http://www.websitesource.com. His established writing skills coupled with experience in the website hosting industry have provided internet professionals with marketing, product and service ideas for many years.

Proof Positive: The Importance of Proofreading

by Amber McNaught

Last week I was having a quick browse on eBay when something caught my eye. "Black patient shoes!" screamed the headline. "Must see!"

"Wow!" I thought. "Patient shoes! What are they when they're at home?" I clicked on the link. The shoes appeared. Black they certainly were. But 'patient'? No. Or not as far as I could see, anyway. These, you see, were patent shoes -- as in 'patent leather'. And very nice they were too -- just what I was looking for, and in my size. Did I buy them though? Not on your life. I didn't buy the "gorgeous sequence dress" I found a few minutes later, either. (Answers on a postcard if you can guess what a "sequence" dress is...)

My reasoning was simple. If the sellers of these items couldn't be bothered to take the time and care to make sure they'd got the name of the product right, and spelt it correctly, then how on earth could I trust them with the more complex matter of accepting my payment and sending out my patient shoes? The answer: I couldn't. The sloppy spelling had created the impression of a sloppy seller. It had also lost them a customer.

So it is with business. You may think that a couple of spelling mistakes in an email or report don't matter. They do. Just ask all of the prospective job candidates whose applications didn't make it out of the slush pile because their covering letter was littered with typos. They don't get an interview because they've already made themselves look careless; if your website is a mess of bad grammar and spelling, then it doesn't matter how great your product or service is - you already look unprofessional. And if your marketing literature is littered with mistakes... forget it!

Whether you're a large-scale business or a small-time seller, proofreading is something you really can't afford to skimp on. It's also something you shouldn't try to do yourself. As any professional writer will tell you, when you work on a piece of writing you become blind to its faults. No matter how carefully you re-read it, you see what you think is there. That's probably why last year a well known news website confidently predicted that John Kerry would "knot" win the US election. And why my accountant keeps writing to me about "teh business."

If you're serious about your professional image, get someone else to proofread your brochures, website, letters and adverts. And steer clear of patient shoes...

Copyright © 2005 Amber McNaught

About Amber:

Amber McNaught runs a proofreading and editing service via her own business, Hot Igloo Productions - visit http://www.hotigloo.co.uk for details.

Winning Words for the Web

by Oscar Bruce

Give Your Web Site The Verbal Advantage
Have you ever sat down to create that winning ad, publicity release or newsletter and couldn't come up with the right words or phrases? You will never make your fortune until you cure this dialog dilemma. You must enlarge your powers of expression, acquire precision and persuasion. You need a powerhouse of color, flavor and tone to highlight your message. This applies to personal conversations, writing promotional material or creating a productive web site.

The Internet Is A Money Maker
In many ways the Web is the ultimate medium, but only for those who can deliver their message persuasively and convincingly. In the end it will be your site's ability to create desire and compel action that will bring real wealth. Those not possessing the necessary verbal skills will experience perpetual disappointment. They can not create the success they desire, socially or financially.

Winning Words
How do you make your web site dazzle, charm and seduce? For your site to be truly distinctive and compelling it will rely on successful semantics. Words and phrases carefully selected, then orchestrated to create feeling, then desire, and finally "action." In the end, the success of your site rests entirely on your visitor's decision to purchase and do it "now." Great graphics can't get that decision. Dazzling colors will not. Only moving and inspiring words can accomplish that mission.

You may have magical powers when you are there in person...Think you can charm a dog off a meat wagon in person...Then on the other hand, perhaps not. In either case, your words and phrases must carry your message without benefit of your presence. You can't rely on your great smile or your winning body language. Only the site's words will tell the world who you are, what you do and what you stand for.

So, expand your inventory of words and phrases, and then choose them with precision. You will be amazed at the difference it will make.

Copyright © 2005 Oscar Bruce

About Oscar:
Oscar Bruce is considered the ultimate personal communications guru. His dynamic books are considered field manuals for mastering conversation and confrontations. His website offers several verbal strategies that can add power to your conversations at no cost. HIS FREE NEWSLETTER and other products are available at http:///www.oscarbruce.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

How to Write Like a Pro... in Seven Days or Less!

Copyright by Jim Turner

Once you begin the process of publishing a newsletter, one of the biggest challenges that you are faced with is getting new subscribers. There are many ways to do this, some that cost money and others that are virtually free. I will focus on the latter, all it will cost you is time.

I can hear you now, "Who me, write an article?" Don't fear, this is not like writing a high school or college term paper. If you can remember back to those days, one of the bigger problems with writing term papers was the fact that you did not get to choose the topic, the teacher did.
Writing is very much like public speaking, in that as long as you are writing or speaking on something that you are passionate about, you generally can do an excellent job. All that is needed is a little practice.

In this article, I will share with you how to write about something that is of a great deal of interest to you and that you have some experiential knowledge about. Topics such as Internet marketing, making money, financial freedom, publishing, just to name a few topics.
Once this skill is mastered, you can use it to bring in tons of new subscribers, at virtually no out-of-pocket costs. So, how do you get to be a "master?"

MY QUICK-N-DIRTY WRITING METHOD

I will give you what I call my quick-n-dirty method for writing high quality articles that will make readers want to hear more about what you have to say, time and time again.
First you need to select a topic. The key here is to choose a topic that you have a fair amount of knowledge on and that you have had practical experience in. If you don't have these two, this could be a real chore for you to accomplish. It is much easier to write about a subject that you are familiar with.

Of course, you don't have to know everything about the topic, The gaps can be filled in with information derived from conducting research on the topic.

The next step is to write a very general outline of the article, covering all the major points that you want to share with the reader. A good method for coming up with this outline is to think about who you are writing the article for and what problem(s) you are trying to solve for the reader.

Now, go back and list several sub-topics for each major topic. Use brief phrases, not complete sentences. Use alphabets or numbers to label each phrase. These phrases will become the lead-in sentence for each of your paragraphs.

Don't feel that you have to do all this in one sitting. This process could take place over several days.

You finish the process by taking this outline and turning the phrases into sentences and filling in all the finer details to form a paragraph for each phrase. At this point, you may need to consult with other sources to provide a high value-added article.

Write as if you are explaining to someone over the phone, how to do series of tasks or activities. Why in this manner? Because the reader will be in a very similar situation. He will not be able to see you and read your body language, he will only be able to discern what's on the sheet of paper or monitor in front of him.

Don't try to get perfect grammar, sentence structure and proper spellings on the first draft. Your goal is to get all the content down on paper or on your monitor.

Once the first draft is done, you get to the most dreaded part of writing, proofreading and revising. However, with the advent of word processors, this has become a trivial matter. Using cut and paste techniques, you can fine tune an article in little or no time.

Use the spell check feature to locate and correct misspelled words. You may use the grammar check feature to come up with decent sentence structure and word usage. I personally don't like this feature because it is difficult to duplicate your style of speakin. But they are better than nothing. You should make the article sound like you, not Shakespeare.

The last step is to let someone else read the article before publishing it. You will be amazed at the number of errors that you will have missed. It's hard to see our own errors.

IN CONCLUSION

Now that wasn't too bad, was it? With a little practice, you will be producing a couple of articles a week.

Jim is the administrator of http://www.webprofitsource.com/ and publisher of WebPROFIT Tips Newsletter. Subscribe and get a FREE eBook: "BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS IN YOUR BATHROBE" and get a chance to win a Pentium computer mailto:tips@webprofitsource.com or visit http://www.webprofitsource.com/

Top Seven Tips for Writing Articles on the Internet

Copyright by Judy Cullins

Online readers love information, but be sure your information is crisp, clean, clear and concise.
1. Keep your paragraphs short, even a line or two. Online readers will ignore long batches of words in long paragraphs, whether in an ezine or at a Web site. That costs the author a lot of book sales. Respect readers who want material short and sweet.

2. Write tips in their correct format. First, use a verb as a command. Follow it by the cost of not doing it. Then, end with a positive comment. Use this three-sentence formula to bring the curious to you.

3. Make your heading compelling. If you haven't tested it on associates, or haven't edited it at least five times, it says "lackluster." People will delete it or click on to something new. Which one will you read? "How to Write an Article," or "Sell More Books by Writing a Short Article?"

4. Get to the point quickly-in the title and the first line. Keep your introduction down to a sentence or two, the same for a conclusion.

5. Tell your readers what you want them to do. They are waiting for your magic formula to make them richer, healthier, or enjoy great relationships. Make your copy strong, clear, and direct.

6. Target your article to your preferred audience. Not everyone will want your information, so include your audience in the title or introduction. When you focus your information, you write more compelling, focused copy that your readers will love. They will reward you by checking to where your book is sold.

7. Eliminate all superfluous words such as adjectives and adverbs like "ly" and passive verbs. Because of a lack of effort, novices ruin their work with sentences full of "is" and "was" linking verbs instead of bold verbs. Neither books, nor articles will sell with these "slugs."
Keep these tips in mind, so that your article will bring folks to you, your service, your Web site, and your products.

Judy Cullins: author, publisher, book coach Author of Ten Non-techie Ways to Market Your Book Online and Write your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast! http://www.bookcoaching.com/products.shtml Subscribe to FREE ezine "The Book Coach Says..." mailto:Judy@bookcoaching.com

6 TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING

Copyright by Bob McElwain

When writing most anything, the objective is produce copy that is easy to read. This is particularly true on the Web, because chances are the majority of your visitors and newsletter readers are in hurry-up mode. They'll pass on anything that seems hard to read. Here are ways you can improve the readability of your work.

1) The simplest word available is the best choice.
Mark Twain often got paid by the word. He once commented he preferred city over metropolis. Sure, the "joke" is that he got paid for either word, and that city is quicker and easier to write. But he also knew it made his work easier to read.

2) Avoid using adverbs and adjectives.
"This is very hard to do."
"This is awfully hard to do."
"This is hard to do."
Which of the above do you feel is the best? I've asked a loaded question here, for "best" doesn't really apply. To strengthen your work, minimize the use of qualifiers. There is simply no question here. The last form is the strongest.

The point? Adverbs such as "very" and "awfully" often weaken, rather than strengthen. In the previous sentence I was forced to use "often," for without it the sentence is not true. That is, adverbs and adjectives do not always mess things up. But they often or usually do.v Alternatively, consider breaking the flow. Then hit hard. For the above, try:
"This is an awesome task."

This is a stronger claim than, "This is hard to do." Which is best depends upon the way you want to make your point and who you want to make it to.

3) Keep sentences as short as possible.
Above, "This is hard to do," is also the better choice, for it's shorter. Here's a sentence I wrote for another purpose. (I'll refer below to this as the, "Original.")

"Subheadings must flow from the headline, revealing the major benefits so that at the end of the page, the reader has a good feel for the content, even when only the headlines are scanned."

It's much, much to long. 34 words. While it's not hard to read, it does slow reading because the length makes it more difficult to follow. Personally, I try to hold to under 15 words, and less whenever possible. Even though it's longer (45 words), the following revision is easier to read.

Revision #1: "Subheadings should flow from the headline. Each should reveal a major benefit to the reader. And at the end of the page, you want the reader to have a good feel for the content. This matters because most only scan the headlines and subheadings."

4) Seek brevity and eliminate unnecessary words.
Revision #2: "Subheadings flow from the headline. Each reveals a major benefit to the reader. Collectively they need to describe page content. This matters because often only subheadings are scanned."

This version is only 28 words. Which of the above do you prefer? Actually this is another trick question in two ways.

First, it's the wrong question. You should be asking what your readers prefer. The better question is which of the three versions best makes the point clear to your readers? And which will they find easiest to read?

Second, what you prefer does not matter. That's just personal reading taste. What does matter is which of the above better fits the way you want to write.

I might use the original form to introduce a topic. Then follow up with a paragraph or two about each of the key points included or implied in the sentence. However, Revision #1 is stronger, and usually my choice.

5) Use Bulleted Text
Revision #2 is a bit blunt. It doesn't flow well from beginning to end. If your writing tends to be in this form, use lots of bulleted text. In this format, brief works great. Further, there's no requirement for even complete sentences.

Subheadings ...

> Flow from the headline
> Reveal a major benefit to the reader
> Collectively describe page content
> Are often all your visitors sees when scanning

Bulletting allows brevity. And it makes it easy for your readers to follow. One thing I love about this format is that it adds more space to the page. It helps to erase that sense of great black globs of text.

6) Edit and rewrite. Then do it again. And again.

Editing often lifts modest work to first rate. But to make this happen, think of this fundamental task as more than editing. Think of it as rewriting. Do so routinely, and your work will improve with every piece you write. Always seek ...

> A better word than one you have used, and a simpler one is best
> Try to replace several words with fewer
> Rewrite an entire sentence, even a paragraph, if you can find a way to make your point more clearly and/or briefly

Wrapping Up

You can beef up your writing just as you can improve any skill. All it takes is time. In the above, the need for rewriting part of your work is the item most often overlooked.
It's tough to impossible to keep all such ideas in mind as you seek to communicate your thoughts. One effective approach is to focus on one idea each time you begin writing.
If you seek to improve one aspect of your work in each writing session, then edit and rewrite, your work will constantly improve. Try it. And see for yourself.

Bob McElwain, author of "Your Path To Success."How to build ANY business you want, just the way you want it, with only pocket money. http://sitetipsandtricks.com/opts/mcb.htmlGet ANSWERS. Subscribe to "STAT News" now!mailto:join-stat@lyris.dundee.net

Anyone Can Be a Writer...But

Copyright by Patricia Deere Ring

How many times have you seen it in ads, ezines, and articles? ANYONE can be a writer! Right. But the question is do you want to read what they write? I was not always an "A" student in school or college, but I do know how to hit *spell check* on the computer or typewriter. I also know how to use a dictionary to check the meaning of a word. Anyone ever try looking in a reference book to learn how to use commas or quotation marks properly?

There are many people in the world, especially the Internet world, with brilliant ideas and huge warehouses of knowledge within themselves. But not all of these people can express these ideas to others in a way that is informative and easily understood.

As a *newbie* I don't know and understand a lot about HTML, but I realized my need to learn it, so I recently checked out two different sites with free courses on the subject. The first one I looked at (I will be nice and not mention the name!) was so technical I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag if I didn't already know how. The second site had a printable ebook (free) of the same info that appeared on the site. Needless to say, I printed out the ebook, which was written in *everyday* language that I could understand. (You have to realize that I'm the Dummy those books were written to.) I learned more in five minutes than I thought possible.

So, its not always WHAT you know, but whether you can TELL others what you know! Having a head full of knowledge doesn't help anyone but yourself, if you're not able to relate it to others. If you don't know how to spell, use *spell check* to correct your writing. If you don't understand the rules of punctuation and grammar, find a good proof-reader to look over what you have written. Let someone else check your writing, someone not as knowledgeable in the subject as you, to see if it's easily understood by others.

There are ways to make your writing something to be read and appreciated by others. Good luck and better writing!

Patricia Deere Ring is a freelance writer living in Tarkington Prairie, Texas with her retired husband. She runs two businesses of her own and can be contacted by email at mailto:pring@contentbuilders.com or on her Web site at http://www.contentbuilders.com/.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Online Writing Business Requires Constant and Regular Writing

Many writers do not understand that the online writing business is very different from the offline writing world. The economics are totally different and no amount of lobbying and noise will change that.

Sadly, because of this reason, many good writers have stayed away from the online writing business while others have priced themselves out of lucrative assignments from websites, simply because they want the offline world to be automatically transferred online.
In the bricks and mortar world of writing, top freelance writers are accustomed to single writing assignments paying them $300 at the very minimum. Rates for leading magazines can go up to $3,000 or even much higher.

Thinking that you can push a webmaster to pay you $3000 for your writing is just plain day dreaming. The realities online are very different. For starters, in the offline writing market there are a few thousand publications paying good rates to freelancer writers. In the online world there are millions of potential writing markets (and constantly growing even as you read this). The challenge in the old world is finding a way to beat other writers to assignments. In the new online writing business, the challenge is being able to handle enough clients and to do enough writing daily to make a good income.

Online writing business will tend to come in volumes and for you to make money you will need to be a fast writer. There are some techniques to speed up the writing process (which I deal with in my free short online writing business course available by sending an email to writertips at freeautobot.com) but these technique will only help to speed up a writer who already has a good speed.

Indications are that as the number of websites and blogs continue to grow at the current rate, the economics will swing in favor of the online writing business entrepreneur and rates should go up as the demand for good writers continues to far outstrip the supply. Still it is unlikely that a rate of $3000 per article will be common in the foreseeable future.

So the best thing to do is to find a way to make a good steady income from your online writing business with the current rates and the current state of affairs. Actually this is not too difficult. I know online writers who comfortably make $4,000 on a monthly basis, without too much effort and that is by getting paid less than $11 on average for their articles.

The online writing business will favor the kind of writer who leans more towards novel writing rather than the short story or article writer. This is because a novel writer thrives on writing every day and trying to increase their daily output. This is in contrast to the short story writer who waits for inspiration to write his brief piece at virtually one sitting. Or the professional freelance article writer who will tend to spend more time doing research and sending queries to publications rather than the actual writing work.

The huge advantage that the online writing business entrepreneur has is that they can use the power of the internet to guarantee a steady and constant flow of writing jobs which will leave them with lots of time to do what every writer should enjoy doing the most - writing.

Christopher Kyalo earns a living writing for various online clients. Visit his blog http://100grandonlinewriters.blogspot.com to read the following article; How to get lots of business writing online articles. He can be reached at strongwallafrica at yahoo.com

Article Marketing: The Five Indisputable Rules of Author Bio Creation

Hey! Who's that I see, typing feverishly as brilliant ideas flow from furious typing fingers to the article submission box? Is that YOU??

Well, aren't you the dickens! You found out about article marketing, and that is exciting and inspiring indeed. Now let me ask you a question, dear Article Writing Friend:

Do you know what you're trying to achieve by writing web articles?

Why, of course you do! Silly question, yes? You want people read your article, decide you're cool, witty, interesting, brilliant, etc.- because you are. Then you want them to visit your website.
Now, how will you get them to visit your website? You're already managed to divert their attention to what you have to say in that dazzling style that's you and you alone. But how will you get them to go all the way down, down, down to the bottom of that article, and click your URL?

1. You will stop thinking of your article bio as your resume.
A potential web client or customer does not care to see your list of credentials at the end of an article. As they read your article, they may love what they see, but you're still a stranger. They just want to be entertained, informed, or gratified in some way. It's all about THEM, not YOU. They just want to know who out there can help them. So if you start trumpeting about your vast successes, you'll get them to react, but not in the way that you want. Their reaction will be to CLICK AWAY. So for your business's sake, don't laundry-list your accomplishments in your author bio.

2. You will start thinking of your author bio as the gateway to prosperity.
Where does your fortune grow? It grows right in the website that is the home base for what you sell. How are people going to get there? By reading your articles, becoming interested in what you can offer them, and then letting you shuttle them there via your website URL. How will you shuttle them? Tell them what to do! Call the reader to action: Visit http://wordfeeder.com for more information. They're reading that bio box as fast as a finger-snap. If you don't want to lose the customer, tell them what to do and do it quickly.

3. You WILL NOT include more than one URL on your article bio.
Ever hear of Bio Boxing? Probably not, because I just made it up. Bio Boxing is what happens when two URLs fight for attention in your bio box. If you read two URLs in one author's bio box, what do you do? Look at one. Look at the other. It's a fifty-fifty shot at finding the answer you need. So you take a deep breath, pick and click. Ohhh!! You crapped out. That website was not even remotely close to what you hoped to find. What do you do now? Get up, get a glass of iced tea, and forget about this whole incident. In article boxing, nobody wins the fight. So don't include more than one URL in your bio box.

4. You will write one bio for each article category that you write to.
If you haven't noticed, article websites are ingeniously laid out by industry. In one article, you can be a religious muse, and lead your readers to a spiritual website. You would classify this article in the spiritual section, of course. In another article, you can write to the foodie crowd and lure people to your site where you sell chocolate chip cookies. Note that each of these articles requires its own uniquely-written bio box and corresponding URL link. I'll say it another way: don't mix and match your article categories in your bio box!

5. You will start thinking about your bio as FREE advertising.
You've bought ad space before, right? Okay, suppose you sell keyboard cleaners, and one day Staples.com comes by and offers you free ad space on their site. In this space, would you also include a link to that other website where you sell donut holes?? Of course you would not! Likewise, use each bio box as your FREE ADVERTISING for ONE website that attracts ONE AUDIENCE that you just spoke to in your article. Consider the world's biggest corporations; Old Navy, for example. Old Navy is owned by the Gap. Do you EVER hear a reference to Old Navy in Gap ads, or vice-versa? No, NEVER!

One of the biggest rules in advertising is to not distract or confuse the customer. Remember the points mentioned above, as a way to ensure that the elusive article reader won't slip right through your nimble typing fingers. Make each article work for you. Target your audience throughout the cohesive package of the article submission form, from beginning to end.
Remember that in each article, you will write to ONE audience within ONE category, and the goal is ONE click destination. Pay special attention to the largely ignored author bio, as this is the spot that either makes you or breaks you. Use that author bio box to your advantage while you still have the chance!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
Find out how crisp, targeted copywriting can make a world of difference for your business. Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant with ten years of experience. Visit http://Wordfeeder.com for free tips on branding, copywriting, article marketing, and more.

Correct Formatting Maximizes Effectiveness of Online Articles

Understanding the rules of correct formatting for online articles will assist webmasters in driving greater awareness of and traffic to their online enterprises.

For online marketers, the difference between creating a widely-read article and one that ends up in a publisher’s reject pile is often rooted in the principles of correct formatting and savvy writing. Therefore, before developing an article designed to enhance your online presence, you should familiarize yourself with few principles of online publishing. Indeed, knowing how to how to format and write a successful article will help to ensure your publication reaches the largest audience and maximizes your business’ presence.

Tip #1: Create a Powerful Title

Headlines are critical determinants of how widely read an article will be. Online, titles are important because readers typically find articles through search engines which, in turn, locate articles largely by way of titles. Therefore, use correct formatting to develop a powerful title that captures the keyword of your article in its first three to five words.

For example, if your article is about ten ways to have a great family vacation on a low budget, consider a title such as: “Low Budget Family Vacations – Ten Ways to Have a Great Time for Less,” instead of “ Ten Ways to Have a Fun, Low Budget Family Vacation.” The first, more powerful example has the most important words- “low budget family vacations” - at the beginning of the line, the location where search engines will most easily find them.

Tip #2: Create an Article Instead of an Ad

Your article should be an informative, useful, well-written piece that simultaneously serves as a showcase for your strengths and expertise in your field. It should not be an advertisement. In fact, publishers will likely reject an article that reads too much like an ad, or includes too many promotional references to the author’s website. Correct formatting, then, requires that you simply include a reference to your URL in the resource box at the end of the article rather than directly into the body itself.

Tip #3: Understand the Rules of Submission

Online directories will often reject articles which do not follow their submission rules. Some e-zines and newsletters accept articles with word counts in the thousands, but the optimal article length is somewhere between 400 and 800 words. You want people to read your whole article, so keep it concise and focused.

Many e-zines require authors to format their own pieces in HTML, so it’s a good idea to acquire some basic HTML skills. That way, you can include basic text styles and follow the correct formatting procedure for whatever e-zine or directory to which you are submitting.

Lastly, make sure you proofread your article for clarity, grammar, spelling and correct formatting. Correct formatting of article marketing helps build your reputation, too, as the quality of your work is extremely important.

Tip #4: Utilize the Resource Box.

The resource box is an essential tool of article marketing. It is a short paragraph at the end of your article where you present yourself, your company and, most importantly, your URL.

Generally, correct formatting of a resource box calls for the author to give his or her name first, and then explain in a few sentences what services his or her enterprise offers. This is a pitch, but many article directories and marketing experts suggest keeping it from sounding like a “hard sell.” Again, publishers will reject articles with “abusive” resource boxes such as those which are either too long or ad-like, or rife with links to websites with no relevance to the article topic.

There are different schools of thought regarding other elements to include in the resource box, such as direct contact information or a free offer. However, as long as you adhere to correct formatting principles, you can be somewhat inventive.

Online marketing through article submissions is a critical component of many website marketing strategies. Understanding the rules governing correct formatting of online submissions, though, is critical to maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

For additional information on how to appropriately submit online articles for publication, please visit the following resources:

Knight, Christopher. "Article Marketing 101: The Perfect Author Resource Box" ezinearticles.com. Ed. Christopher Knight. http://ezinearticles.com/?Article-Marketing-101:-The-Perfect-Author-Resource-Box&id=17172

Carraro, Deborah. "The Ins and Outs of Article Submissions" Websition.com. Ed. John Doetsch. http://www.websition.com/articles/121/1/The-Ins-and-Outs-of-Article-Submissions

Shaw, Steve. "Online Article Submission Tips" Onlinebusiness.about.com. http://onlinebusiness.about.com/od/marketing/a/articlesub.htm

John Doetsch is the editor of Websition.com where you will find additional articles and web site content written by the Internet's most gifted authors. Authors are encouraged to submit articles to boost your web site traffic and link popularity by presenting your articles to thousands of targeted publishers, ezine editors, and webmasters. http://www.websition.com

Wise Article Marketing Strategies

If you are an article writer, you may have been submitting your articles to ezines in order to get your name out there. Ezines are wonderful in that they give the unpublished author the opportunity to market their name without the expense of advertising. At some point you may wonder if you can be compensated for your work. The answer: yes, you can. Through implementing wise marketing strategies, you can earn money for your work and receive steady income.

Here's how:

Your Website
If you don't already have your very own website, set one up and feature some of your favorite articles. You'll create an extra set of links to articles you already submitted to the ezines. Make sure you have a contact form in place to allow interested parties a way to get in touch with you.

Blogging
A great alternative to a website are blogs. If you don't have the time or money to manage a website, you can create a blog and have links to your articles appear there.

Message Boards/Forums
If you run a well respected and busy forum, consider letting your members know that you write articles as well. If you don't run a forum, but you are a moderator, ask the forum administrator for the opportunity to promote yourself in exchange for your work.

Craig's List
This site is the king of all sites. You can post your resume, your small business ad, look for work, join a club, etc. In most cases no fees are ever charged and it can be a great way for you to network. At the very least, any link you place in your "ad" will quickly gain you a good link with the search engines. One caveat: most ads run from between 10 and 45 days, so you will need to manage your ads in order to remain marketable.

Paid Sites
If you are serious about making some income on your articles, consider investing in yourself and joining a paid site. Many will allow you to have either a free trial period or a basic membership. To receive the full benefit of the site, you will need to upgrade. Guru.com is one such site for you to consider.

Trade Associations
If you write on a specialized topic, such as railroads, contact your local trade association and see if they are in need of a staff writer. Many associations will give to you a small stipend. If not, see if you can get a free membership or some other type of discounted service for your work. Cash is cool, but free services are nice too!

Email Lists
In this day of overreaching spamming, getting an email list together of people who will actually read your emails can be difficult. Instead, join a list-serv and discretely share your talents with members there.

Article writing for profit can take time and it will usually require a lot of legwork on your part before you get established. Still, it can lead to bigger and more profitable ventures for you as long as you stick with it. If you are good at it, it may allow you to quit your "day job" to pursue what you really want to do. What can be better than that?

Matt Keegan is The Article Writer who writes for fun as well as for profit. You can see samples of some of his work at http://www.thearticlewriter.com

What to Look for in an Article Submission Site

Ease of Submission
With so many article distribution sites out there, it amazes me that some still require their submitters to jump through so many hoops. When choosing one, you should look for the process to be as pain free as possible. Asking you to sign in is alright, but once they start requiring you to take surveys, confirm multiple times or give a blood sample its time to go elsewhere. These sites will never survive in the current atmosphere, so submitting your article may be a waste of time.

SEO Friendliness
This can be determined in many ways and is important because without SEO benefit, your article may never get past the submission stage. The first thing to look for is if they allow live links. These exist when you submit your web address and people are able to click directly on it. This single feature can have the most effect on your rankings so it is crucial. Another aspect to SEO friendliness is the way that the article submission sites urls are displayed. Static ones (ie. /category/example.htm) are always preferred to dynamic ones (ie. php?id=798). In most cases this means your article gets found and indexed faster.

Popularity
It does no good to submit to a site if nobody is ever going to see it. Right now there are three major article submission sites:

Article Depotwww.articledepot.co.uk
GoArticleswww.goarticles.com
Ezine Articleswww.ezinearticles.com

These 3 account for probably around 75%-80% of the market. They get thousands of unique visitors starving for content to use on their sites and in their forums.

The best advice when choosing a submission site is to pick only a few and stick with them. These should be sites you are comfortable with and fit the characteristics above. Good luck and happy submitting!

Jason Rickard is the owner of http://www.yourfavouriteshop.com - Europes largest reseller of White Noise CDs

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Turn Words Into Traffic

Jim Edwards created a masterpiece with this one. A complete roadmap for brainstorming, writing, and promoting your business with articles. No theory, hype, or fluff here. These are proven techniques and strategies that absolutely work. You will learn what to do and how to do it when it comes to promoting with articles. This resource is an essential read for any serious would be internet marketer.

Link: http://www.turnwordsintotraffic.com/

The Resource Box

By Richard Lowe

Resource boxes are mandatory of you are writing articles which you give out for free reprint. These are short, 2-4 line blurbs which describe you and your web site. This is generally considered the exchange for allowing your articles to be reprinted: they get your article, you get a small resource box on their web site, in their ezine or on the pages of their ebook.

Following are some good suggestions to follow for your resource boxes. I have found that by following these I get a much higher response rate.

Remember it's permanent - Your resource box will be reprinted (if your material is good) on dozens (or more) web sites, in newsletters and even included in a few ebooks. Most of these will NOT be changeable once they are published. So be sure your resource box is exactly what you want before you send it out.

Include a link to your web site - Always include a link to your web site in your resource box.

Make sure the link is a domain name - This should be a domain name like example.com. Avoid long URLs with subfolders and parameters.

Make sure you own the domain name - Remember you will not be changing anything in the resource box once it goes out. Thus, you should be sure you own and have full control over the domain name in your link before you send it out. Why? If you have to move your site, you can move it without worrying about breaking all of those painfully accumulated links if you have your own domain.

Include an autoresponder if appropriate - It might be a good idea to set up an autoresponder to allow people to get more information. These are very easy to set up. These can be used to join a mailing list, start an email course or get an ebook. They are great ways to get people to communicate with you. CAUTION: these autoresponders will be picked up by spam harvesters. Make sure you've accounted for this by choosing a good autoresponder package.

Keep the links short - Keep all links short and to the point. If you have long URLs, then use some method to make them shorter for your newsletter. You can shorten long directory paths by intelligently using subdomains; for example, example.com/folder/folder/seeds.htm might become seeds.example.com. You can also use redirects on your website, as example.com/products/001.htm might redirect to your affiliate link (using a 403 redirect). The point is you can get very clever and shorten those URLs in your resource box.

Do not include affiliate links in the resource box - Use your web site, ezine or ebooks to promote your products. Adding affiliate links directly to your resource box is a great way to prevent editors and publishers from including your article. Why should they be promoting your products on their sites? Generally they are willing to help promote your site or publication, but directly selling for you (without a commission) is being a little too charitable.

Maximum of 4 lines - A resource box should be short: no more than 4 lines at 60 characters or so per line. Longer is more likely to be rejected by an editor.

Give out your name - One of the reasons resource boxes are useful is to build up your credibility. Always include your name in the resource box so people start to recognize who you are.

Try not to be too slick - Avoid salesperson-speak and the like in your resource boxes. Why? Because the first person you have to sell to is the publisher or webmaster who wants to include your article. If you turn him off, he or she will not include your article. Sales-speak tends to raise the hackles on people's necks. Just say who you are, what you do and include the web site and/or autoresponder link.

Check your spelling and grammar - Again, you will not be able to change it later, so be sure your grammar and spelling is correct.

Source:http://www.coolauthor.com

Article Writing Errors

By Richard Lowe

Having trouble writing articles?

Here's my list of some common mistakes that writers make.

Not being a writer - This is the number one mistake that writers make. If you are a writer, then you had better be writing. You cannot publish what you don't write. Don't talk about what you are going to write, don't discuss your articles before writing them, and don't spend endless hours trying to find people to purchase your articles. Just write: query letters and articles. Write them fast and furious. That's what a writer does.

Not writing constantly - If you call yourself a writer, then you had better be writing. In fact, you should be writing constantly, every single day if you can. What do you write? Write an article on something, anything, that you feel you can write about.

Giving into writer's block - You can defeat writer's block. You are a writer, so write. Can't write? Just start writing and don't worry about what comes out.

Re-writing too many times - Some writers like to edit and rewrite an article over and over again. Personally, I write a pretty good article the first time and one quick edit usually finishes it up. Some people need a few more edits. But don't over edit. Your job is to communicate words and concepts on paper, not edit them to death.

Not editing enough - No matter how good your first drafts are, be sure and look it over at least once for spelling mistakes and grammar errors.

Plagiarizing - It's perfectly okay to get ideas from other articles, books, movies, and even television shows. It's not okay to steal another writers work, and it's also not acceptable to paraphrase an article. You can quote from other sources (this is called "fair use") but you cannot make other's work your own.

Talking about an article before writing it - I know of very few people who can talk about an article concept with another person and then successfully write that article later. Writing is communicating on paper (or on a computer), not talking about what you want to write.

Asking people if your writing is "okay" - If you are taking a class in writing, then this is a fine thing to do. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother trying to get criticism from anyone except a professional editor. Before I learned this lesson, I stopped writing more articles than I can count simply because of others tearing my work apart. Now, I don't ask for or accept criticism on my works, unless it's from a professional editor to whom I am attempting to sell one of my articles. It is acceptable to get criticism from one's agent, as that is one of the tasks that an agent is paid to do.

Worrying about what to write about - Don't worry about what to write: just write. That's what writers do, they write. There is no need to waste time to find a subject or something that will sell or anything else. Just pick something you know well and write about it.

Not using query letters - If you really want to get your articles published, you need to be sending out dozens of query letters every single day. How is this done? Simply pick up your most recent copy of Writer's Market, pick a magazine or other publisher, think of an idea they might be interested in, and write a letter pitching that idea to the magazine (or other) editor. Be sure to follow the guidelines given by the magazine (you can get this from Writer's Market, on the web or by sending a request to the publication). You may only get one bite out of a hundred, but if you don't ask you won't get any at all.

Why use query letters instead of writing articles? Writing an article can take a significant amount of time. It's wise to find an editor who is at least marginally interested before taking the time to write a full article. Query letters must be written fast and often to be effective.

Writing in someone else's style - You are a unique individual with your own talents, faults, goals, objectives, abilities and characteristics. You also have your own unique writing style. Be yourself when you write; if you are someone else (and you write like someone else) you will never make the big times. This does not mean you shouldn't experiment with different writing styles; it means you should make each style your own as you write.

Asking other writers for advice - This is fine if you are taking a class taught by a writer. In most other instances, unless the writer is a good friend, you have to understand that other writers are competitors. Unless they are very ethical, it's very likely they may be trying to discourage you or move you away from their own preferred market.

Keeping poor records - Create a record-keeping system and stick to it. There is little more embarrassing (or time-wasting) than sending out the same article twice (or more) to the same editor who rejected it the first time.

Not treating writing as a business - Keep good records of expenses and income, and treat it all as important and vital. You have to pay taxes and you may need to account for any money. Also, expenses (and even your home office) are often write-offs on taxes.

Not checking facts and doing proper research - Getting a fact wrong now and again won't kill you, but it does effect your credibility. Get major facts wrong too often, and you may find that you cannot sell anything anymore.

Not handling copyright infringement - If someone steals your work without compensation, handle it fast and efficiently.

Talk nicely, then not so nicely, then call in the lawyers. You own the copyright, so enforce it.

Source:http://www.coolauthor.com

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

HOW TO WRITE WEB ARTICLES

Writing Web Articles

Since online articles can be an additional source of contract leads, it is important that you write them in such a way that they are "web friendly"-and thus more accessible to your readers. This is especially important for articles you published previously in magazines, journals or other print media. While long paragraphs are visually acceptable in print magazines, they are a bane to Web users.

Web users don't read; they scan.When you write for the web, you must first consider how people read on the web. A study by Jakob Nielsen, deemed the "guru of webpage usability" by The New York Times, found that only 16 percent of his test users actually read the copy they found online; 79 percent of them simply scanned it.

Given those numbers, web-content providers who truly want to get their information across to their readers must follow what has become the cardinal rule of web writing: Make it "scannable." Web users, notorious for their impatience, don't want to get bogged down in long blocks of text as they search for the information they need; instead, they want that information to jump out at them. Keep it short and scannable.

There are a number of ways you can make your text easier to scan:

Use bulleted or numbered lists. Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

Make sure all your writing has substance.

Say it straight. Use subheadings.

Use typeface variations.

Start with the conclusion.

Use your keywords.

To get visibility on the major search engines, your site must be able to be "indexed" by their robotic software.

To do this, they must be able to compare the code, keywords & other Meta tags, and the actual written content of the site and reach a consistent conclusion regarding the context of your site. Other factors are important as well, but that is the most basic requirement. Use these guidelines for other online copy.

These guidelines hold true for all kinds of web copy, not just your online articles. Keep them in mind when creating content for your own websites or when contributing articles to other electronic media. The same things that encourage users to read your online articles will encourage them to read your other web copy.

Dale DeHart is the President and founder of SOHO Prospecting, a Camarillo-based marketing company that provides owners of small- and medium-sized independent businesses with the strategy and services they need to compete.

Dale received a B. S. in Electronics Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, and a Masters in Electronics Engineering from Stanford University. Dale also earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from UCLA. Dale’s technical and business background led him to excel in senior management positions with several leading high-tech corporations, including Hewlett Packard, TRW, and Motorola.

What’s Wrong With Proofreading? - By Elaine Currie, BA (Hons)

More Tips For New Writers (Part III)

Writing for your home based business just as important as any other kind of business writing. When you have an online business, you will be judged by the quality of your emails, advertisements, articles etc as well as by the textual content of your website.

I recently read an article in which the author encouraged people to write articles in order to promote their home based internet business. The writer of this article was of the opinion that punctuation, spelling etc, were not particularly important. His advice was to give your article a quick once-over with your PC’s spellchecker and then submit it without spending too much time on it or worrying unduly about the finer details. To him, the important thing was that you should write whether or not you had reached the appropriate educational standard to be able to write correctly.

In an effort to keep up with modern trends, I considered this premise and attempted to embrace it. Maybe I am totally old-fashioned but, I couldn’t do it. I simply cannot accept this idea that we should treat business writing as a casual pastime, where articles are to be carelessly and quickly executed because they are of limited importance. Of course I believe that people should be free to express themselves in writing even if they lack formal education but I don’t believe we are helping them or ourselves by lowering our standards.

Although I applaud him for encouraging people to write, I simply cannot agree with this author’s notion that correct grammar and punctuation are unimportant. Even slightly faulty grammar can render a written work incomprehensible. The phrase "Content is king" is overused nowadays. Although content is often high in a list of important elements, I cannot agree that content alone will make up for poor craftsmanship when it comes to writing. Offering slapdash work is an insult to the reader; the implication is that the reader either will not know any better, or is not sufficiently important to bother about. I would like to make it clear that I am not referring to the unfortunate mistake that slips through the proofreading net. There is nobody on this planet who has never made a mistake. Publishing an error takes a bit of living down but the only sure way of avoiding mistakes is by doing absolutely nothing. The thing that offends me is the "doesn’t matter", "It’ll do" sloppy attitude.

I have seen emails and web pages written by people for whom English is obviously not their first language. While I greatly admire these people for learning a second language to a standard where they can write it fluently (not something I can do), I cannot overlook the errors. Some made me laugh whilst others were embarrassing. Publication of these errors could, with proper editing, have been avoided without losing the fresh content and individuality of the writing. Proofreading, copywriting and editing services are not hard to find, they are widely advertised on the Internet. A little money spent on these services can make a life or death difference to an email campaign or website.

Although I try to make allowances, be more modern in outlook, take a more relaxed attitude, and so on, I keep coming back to the fact that writing is about communication. In order to communicate effectively, writing must be performed correctly and there is nothing wrong in employing a professional to add the final polish.

If all else fails, I will rely on the old adage that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

This is one of a series of articles published by the author, Elaine Currie, BA(Hons) at http://www.huntingvenus.com The author’s monthly newsletter is available free from mailto:networkerhvm@ReportsNetwork.com

Friday, July 01, 2005

Article Writing Products

Need some products and services to help you streamline your article writing activities? I found a few that you might be interested in. Here they go:

EzineAnnouncer - Use this software to submit your article(s) to the top 30 article directories, over 500 ezine publishers, as well as promoting your ezine to 400+ directories and lists, and more. Have 80% of the promotion work done for you.

Ezine Editors List - A list of internet marketing ezine editors, who will accept your articles for publication (Updated Every Month)

Information and How-To Ezine Profit Producer - Discover how to generate free publicity, free promotion, free prospects and free profits anytime you want, just from writing articles.

Ezine Success - Learn step-by-step how to write articles and produce at least 5 times the results that you would from conventional ezine advertising.

Ezine Article Creator - Write ezine articles in a fraction of the normal time in 4 simple steps. With the template interface, you will be guided throughout the entire article creation process from entitling your article to putting on the finishing touches. Each step of the way has questions and examples to help you create the perfect ezine article.

Source: http://www.articlesubmission.com

10 Profitable Tips For Article Writers

1. Write to one person.

When you're writing your article picture one person that you are writing to. This will make your writing more personable and help you to keep your readers interested in your article.

2. Use lots of white space within your article.

Using lots of white space will help you to make your article look more professional and keep more of the skim readers interested in your article.

If you have paragraphs that are too long, try to break them up into two or three paragraphs so that your article will be easier to read.

3. Double check your articles for errors.
Make sure that you haven't misspelled any words, skipped words, or used a homonym such as "their" when you meant "there."

Remember, that spell checking only catches spelling mistakes so you'll need to go over your articles even after using your spell checker to find words used incorrectly and also to find words that were used twice in a row or omitted.

4. Pay attention to feedback you get for your articles.

Getting or seeking constructive feedback about your articles can help you to write better, get back on track with your writing if you're in a slump, and also develop new things to write about.

Even negative feedback or criticisms can help you if it shows you things you can work on. Just don't take everything to heart.

5. Improve your writing skills by trying different things.

When you first start writing your own articles, especially if you're new to writing, you might feel that you can only write list articles like this one.

Nonetheless try your hand at other types of articles that you would like to write such as how to articles or straw man articles.

Also try writing on different subjects that you haven't written about before.

6. Keep a file of articles you've written that you left unfinished or didn't feel were ready to be published.

Also keep parts (i.e., tips, paragraphs, etc.), that you've edited out of your finished articles in this file.

You might be able to rewrite your unfinished articles later on, get new ideas to write about, or get a new tip or two for your list articles from this file.

7. If you run an affiliate program, let your affiliates publish your articles with their affiliate URLs in your resource box.

You'll be able to effectively increase your sales by giving your affiliates an easy way to successfully promote your business to their visitors or subscribers.

8. Create an ebook compilation of your articles.

You could use your ebook as a bonus for subscribing to your ezine or you could let your affiliates brand your ebook with their affiliate URLs.

If you don't run an affiliate program, you could let people brand your ebook with a link to their site or business to get more people to offer your ebook to their visitors or subscribers.

9. Participate in article swaps.

Your swaps will help you to get your articles run in ezines that have subscribers interested in your business.

Your article swaps can also help you to gain more reciprocal links and add more useful content to your site if you swap articles where you publish another writer's article on your site in exchange for the same.

10. Create a list that people can subscribe to that announces when you've written a new article or articles.

Your list will keep people up to date on new articles they can publish in their ezines or post on their web sites.

If you let your affiliates use your articles to earn commissions, you can also use your list to attract more new affiliates and to keep your existing affiliates up to date on new articles they can use to promote your business.

About The Author:
Article by writer Ken Hill. For more articles by Ken Hill and to submit your own articles to Ken's article directory visit: www.netpromarketer.com