Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Friday, October 28, 2005

Kudos to you the reader

First I want to thank a very special friend. He told me a few months ago when I began writing articles. “Rose you have to quit saying that you don't see yourself as a columnist because you are one". So to my very special friend you know who you are, I thank you.

Article writing is something very new to me, so when I’m submitting my work to Ezines and webmasters or bloggers are using that free content for their website it really helps me as a writer to boost and develop more self confidence. Starting something new can often make one feel un-confident. Maybe for many writing content and submitting it to Ezines is a way to receive a free plug or up their Google ranking and drive traffic back to their website.

That is not why I submit to EZines. My reason for submitting to Ezines and offering free content is because I’m passionate about writing. I enjoy writing my thoughts down about a variety of topics. Every sense I can remember my dream was to someday become a journalist. However my dreams got put on hold to raise a family. Now I’m almost thirty-six years old and I’m looking at my life and I’m saying Rose it is time that you did something with your writing. The only way that you are going to get further in life is by setting goals and developing a plan to move ahead with those set goals.

That is where you the reader comes in. You are the writers driving force that gives someone like me unsure about her writing the courage to move ahead. When I see something I wrote posted on a website or I receive comments like “I like how you think and the way you write. I will be using more of your articles in my blog “and “it is a good article. Thanks for writing it and distributing it for free for sites like ours to use”, or “KUDOS! What a great article and one that should be read by a lot of people in my line of work. I am sending my association members this article.” It really feels good as a writer and is a great honor. You might feel as the webmaster that you are just gathering content for your website and providing articles for your readers but little do you know that you are actually helping a writer like me with the motivation to write more articles. You are the driving force behind my writing.

Yes you the reader and webmaster are a great access to my career as a writer. Whatever it is as writer that we write it would be nothing without an audience. So today I acknowledge you the reader and the webmaster. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for it was you who just inspired this article and I thank you. I thank you for believing enough in my writing to use it for your website or send me feedback. It is a great feeling when you know that your writing is being enjoyed.

Rose DesRochers, Canadaadmin@todays-woman.nethttp://www.todays-woman.net

Rose is a published author from Canada Ontario and is also the founder of Today's Woman a community for men and women over 18, where writers/poets/columnists meet and exchange ideas, contest, rate and review and help each other succeed in the writing industry.

Article Marketing: Dress Up Your Own Site

Article directories are a great way to submit high quality articles, have webmasters pick them up, and for you to reap great back links to your site. Still, all directories have restrictions and these restrictions can limit the number of quality links you put within the body of your article or strip them out entirely. If you run your own site, these rules have no bearing on how you manage your site. The following are some strategies I have employed that not only have given my site a Google page rank of 6, but have helped me to maximize my articles’ exposure on the internet.

Lots of links. My articles have a similar resource box to those found on article directories, but I don’t stop there. Within the body of an article, I frequently add additional links, sometimes lots of links to other sites. They don’t have to be to sites I run, but to other high quality sites. If I am writing an article about Ford cars, you better believe it that I have links to pages for the Ford Mustang, to the Explorer, and any other vehicles I mention. Google seems to like these types of pages as some of my articles are getting ranked high too. One article already pulled down a page rank of 4!

Add pictures. A picture speaks a thousand words… A picture can help your article look more professional. I also will use a company logo, if I have express permission. With some of my links and pictures I will hyperlink them to other pages on my site or to other sites altogether.

Welcome the robots. I mentioned in another article that Googlebot is my friend. Do everything possible to keep your site crisp, clean, and clear and toss out anything that looks spammy. Most of my articles also have the requisite AdSense ads on them in part for me to make income, but also to tell me if the ads served up are related to the article I wrote. Almost without exception they are, but you need to check back to verify.

So, why go through all this trouble? Hopefully, to bring in additional business for yourself. Most of the work that I get is directly from my site, which I only set up on May 31, 2005! Not a bad track record, don’t you agree? If I can do it, you can do it too! What are you waiting for? Get started today.

Copyright 2005 -- Matthew Keegan is The Article Writer who writes on a variety of topics including: advocacy, automobiles, aviation, business, Christian themes, family, news, product reviews, travel, writing, and more. Samples from his portfolio are available right online.

8 Secret Tips To Generate A Massive Income Using Articles

Many of us think that articles are only for traffic and such. But, do you know that there are many ways on how you can use your articles? Here are some tips that might help you with your online business.

1. Create an extra revenue stream with your website's articles or content. Publish the first paragraph of each article and charge a fee for people to read the rest. You could also allow other authors to submit their articles and split the profit.

2. Build credibility for your business by publishing an e-zine and writing articles. Your customers and prospects will see you as an expert thus creating trust towards you. You could also submit your articles to other e-zines for republishing and publicity purposes. Just require them to include your resource box at the end of the article.

3. Take advantage of popular fads. If something is popular at the current time, put up a web site about it. Just promote your main site on the fad web site. Send off a quick article about it to get free publicity. You could also do this with popular search engine keywords and phrases.

4. Add an article section to your web site. People will visit your website to read and learn new information related to their interests. You want to have original content so people can't go anywhere else to get it. You also want to update it regularly so that they will want to revisit your website again and again.

5. Promote your products within the content of your web site. Write and offer free articles, include a mentioning of the product or service you're selling. You could include it in your resource box or subtly reveal it within your article if it's related.

6. Swap articles with other e-zine publishers. You could get your articles published more often if you publish their articles in exchange. If they are hard negotiators, maybe you could offer to exchange two of their articles for one of yours.

7. Promote yourself as well as your products. Use your articles to create a free e-book or a short report. When you endorse other products for commissions, people will think your statement is extra-credible because you have established yourself as an expert.

8. Use your articles as viral marketing tools for your affiliates. You can compile it into an e-book or you can give your affiliates permission to submit it into article directories.

Remember, there are numerous ways to use your articles. Just use your imagination and don’t afraid to try something new. Trust yourself and just do it.

Azwan Asmat is the author of The Ecom Blog and has 1 year experience working with chemical substances. For more tips on online business, subscribe to his monthly newsletter. http://www.ecommerce-newbie.com/ecom

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Article Writing Inspiration 600,000 Article Views

It was midnight and Lance Winslow was watching the clock, perhaps a bad habit from his past. In High School and later in College Lance was a trackstar; he finally accomplished his goal, to run a 4-minute mile.

Since that day Lance has always lived by the second not the minute and sometimes a day seems like and eternity, as at those times in competitive track, you race against world-class athletes all of which are headed for the Olympics or at least that is their goal. It is all about precision, pace and beating your body in to submission.

To compete at that level you must live without limits and believe you will. He still remembers those days, the workouts, the food, the long runs, blisters, tight muscles, hours and hours a day beating himself up for the next race, but not peaking too soon in the year otherwise there would be no chance at winning the championship.

Tonight was another of those intense personal competitions, what drives this guy, many asked, even Lance couldn’t tell you anymore, that is all he knew, it had become a habit in everything he did. Running a business, running in an election, giving a speech or doing non-profit work. He competed, generally against himself, for there were no others willing to go the distance. Often criticized or called into question by seemingly impossible record setting accomplishments, somehow people just assumed he was cheating. Not so, never a steroid, skipped practice, missed class or forgoing a promise in a handshake.

When Lance retired at age 40 from a franchise business he created which set up businesses in 22 states, he decided to help fix some things he had observed in the world. He decided to write about his ideas, concepts, innovations, experiences, observations, but he could find no real good place to post these articles, where many people would see them and he would not be forced to write anything he was not passionate about.

Lance discovered a really cool Internet site called; EzineArticles.com, which worked out really nice and Lance set out to write the most articles. Within a month and a half he surpassed all the others, but he knew if this was going to be something he was going to do in his spare time, then he would just have to compete against himself and Lance’s most competitive adversary was; time. Lance knew a lot about time, in fact he had been competing against it his whole life.
But on this night he watched the clock; his goal was to reach 600,000 article views by midnight having only written 2525 articles many were quite new and although they were gaining views from Internet Surfers to read they were not going to get him to that kind of number right away. He tried every possible way to increase his article views, just like in business or running, trying new strategies, new food, different workouts, better shoes or more efficient machinery; he knew he had to continue to work harder; knowing the old statement; “it is surprising how lucky your are getting when you are working hard.” He had done all that and now he waited to see if he could make the grade of 600,000 hits by Midnight.

It was 11:59.59 and he hit the refresh button to see how he had done. It had taken hard work and it took him “time,” to come this far, but the time had come, the time of truth. He looked down at the number; 599,996; “oh,” he sighed, he had felt like this before but it was so many years ago, once in politics having run and lost in an election, that was so very close and then there were all those times in track, when he had worked and trained much harder than what he saw in the movie; “Rocky” only to come up short by a few seconds, although he rarely ever lost a race, Lance was always racing against time.

Now with 2525 articles and over 111,500 words in seven months and all that hard work, he once again missed by his goal; he was so very close. Almost tasting victory and only missing by a mere 4 clicks from web surfers looking to read his latest titles and articles. Some ask why he does it, but some also ask mountain climbers why they do. In the 20 days leading up to the midnight self-induced contest and somewhat unrealistic goal Lance received 100,000 hits minus the four article views he needed to beat the clock, to defeat time.

He then thought of his next goal; Three Quarters of a million hits, could he make it by New Years? Hard to say that is 150,000 article views through the holidays, often sprinkled with less internet surfers especially around the bigger holidays. The goal has been set, he knows what he has to do, he has to write more articles, while allowing the ones in circulation to press on, it is a numbers game as he races against time and only time will tell. Whether he gets that lofty seemingly impossible goal or not, the next goal after that will most likely be 1-million article views.

- - - - - - - -

Hi, my name is Lance Winslow and I have written this story to illustrate a point. You must not live your life constantly limiting yourself. Live without limits. “Hear no limits, think no limits, accept no limits?” I myself, well I am not a writer, well I guess I am now? I never thought I would ever be a writer, always considered myself a doer. But when you live without limits, well that means you can do just about anything really.

There is nothing you cannot achieve if you set your mind to it, set goals and promise yourself; “No Limits!” Please think on this, I’ll get back to you later, let me know how you are coming along, send good thoughts, I am with you always and I understand. Now, I must go to write more articles? What should I write about today? What are you going to write about today? That sounds good, let’s do it.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

Ezine Article Writers - What is in Your Wallet?

If you are an online article writer and you want to see more cash in your wallet then you must be careful when writing articles to properly title them and also make sure your key words and content all match to attract the readers you want. It is also important to realize that as an online or Ezine article writer that you must make sure to keep your article view counters clicking away. After all it is a numbers game in the end, either you attract people to your site or you do not. The more people you bring in the better your chances of turning them into sales.

To calculate your article view average take the number of articles you have written and divide that by your total article views. My average article viewing is 234.6 up from 177.71 most of this however is from recent “in the news” Articles, but these events and people in the news will no longer be in the news in the next four weeks and even if extended by two-weeks this means my article view average will not go up significantly.

Most authors and myself included would like to see this at 1000 average not 234 and yes you must also realize it is a time factor as many have said. Sometimes you will notice that your old articles are not moving at all not even by 1-2 views due to being no longer in season or in the news or even on the minds of your potential readers in various times of the year.

To counter this you need to be very cognizant of your titles, content and key wording and be smart about you article submissions, think on this.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

Effective Editing: It Spells the Difference!

If you think proofreading equals editing, then you're wrong! Editing is a lot more than just scrutinizing your manuscript for misspelled words or missing punctuation marks.

As a whole:

Edit only *after* you've written the *whole* piece. If you stop to edit after every paragraph or sentence, you will disrupt the flow of your thoughts.

It is better to take a break before starting to edit a long manuscript so you’ll have a fresh perspective.

Revise only *hard copy* especially if your manuscript is quite long. Revising from a monitor is confusing.

Verify the spelling of names, figures, dates, and addresses. These are the most murdered items in manuscripts!

Be sure of what you put between those quotation marks! Otherwise, rephrase the line and omit the quotation marks.

Did you follow the writer guidelines? e.g., number of words required, font/font size specified, spacing, margins...

Edit your content:

Be sure that you did not stray from your topic. Are your paragraphs coherent?

Did you fulfill your purpose for writing that piece? Is your entertainment feature article entertaining enough? Did your personality sketch bring out your subject's unique and distinct qualities?

If necessary, did you provide enough supporting data (graphs, charts, figures) for your piece?
If applicable, did your article answer the 5 Ws and H? Who, what, why, were, when and how.

Edit for tightness:

Remove redundant and useless words.

What about diction? Did you use the right word to express what you mean? For example, "He stared at her" is more intense than "He looked at her." "Devour" is not the same as "eat."
Did you vary the length of your sentences? Combining long with short sentences makes your article easier and more natural to read.

Did you check that the body of your article is longer than the introduction (lead)? Some writers get carried way. They focus on an effective lead to hook the readers but neglect the body of the article!

What about tone and style?

Does your work reflect your writing style or does it sound like a copied work?

Did you use the active voice? Are you consistent with the point of view you used?

Do your title and the words you used match the tone of your piece?

Copyright © 2004 Lizzie R. Santos (lizzie@imusepub.com)

Lizzie writes features, literary pieces, radio and comics scripts, and school supplemental reading materials. She is the author of two print books. Her e-book, Appetizers for Creative Writers: A Workbook for Writers, is published by iMusePub.com and it's at http://imusepub.com/lrsantos-1.php

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Writing Well-- 6 Steps to Being Your Own Best Editor

One of the first important lessons a writer learns is that writing is a process, a series of steps that take an idea from concept to completed work. This is true whether the work is an article, a poem, a report, a short story or a book. Understanding this process -- and the role a writer plays in it -- is crucial to their success.

One of the most important steps in this process is learning to look at one's own work objectively. To focus on the intended message and ensure that it is delivered properly. While that may seem obvious enough, as the work progresses, it can become blurred. As the old song goes, "I have so much to say; but the words get in my way." To clarify that 'blurring' effect, it is essential to be able to edit your own work. But how does a writer edit their own work? While the process may vary depending on the writer, there are six steps that are integral to editing.

1) COMPLETE THE DRAFT Novice writers should not attempt to edit as they write. Even experienced writers, who learn to smoothe over the copy as they go, know this is not editing and must wait for that separate step later on. The most important point of a first draft is to simply get the idea on paper, in whatever fashion that's comfortable for the writer. An outline is helpful and can serve as a rough draft for smaller projects. But if that format seems too limiting, just write out the first draft, understanding it is only the first go-around.

2) WALK AWAY Even if it's only for a long enough period of time to get a glass of water. With longer projects, try to lengthen the time to a few days or weeks. This step allows the writer to gain perspective by "stepping back". Mostly, it allows the writer time for the subject to settle in their mind, plus it gives them time to mentally shift gears from writer to editor.

3) ASSESS OBJECTIVELY While reading over the copy, the writer must learn to view it as a reader. One should be neither overly critical, nor overly attached to certain pet phrases or side remarks, but simply read it as if reading it for the first time. When done earnestly, this will make any errors, flaws or awkward points more apparent.

4) BE BRUTAL This is the most difficult step, especially for the young or insecure writer. Heck, it's tough for the pros. Think of the classic image of an editor-- from the old Superman comics, for instance, wielding his red-ink pen with flourish, only interested in the facts. Especially when writing articles or in business, this is your best ally. With this image in mind, really look at what is necessary to make a logical progression. One trick is to put yourself under an artificial word restriction. Nothing helps cut unneccesary copy better than a specific word limit.

5) CRISP, CONCISE, CLEAR These are the "3-C's" of good writing. While each writer has his/her own way of expressing themselves (and, in the case of fiction, more latitude is acceptable), these three points are integral parts of any successful writing.

CRISP - A fresh or meaningful viewpoint. Take a stand. The purpose of writing is to say something-- so say it!

CONCISE - Do not wander from the point. At least, not without a reason that directly relates to the original idea.

CLEAR - Make a steady progression from beginning to end. Don't leave major gaps in the progression.

Whether a report, a novel, an essay or an article -- even in poetry or song -- this rule applies.

While editing, a writer must ask themself if the work succeeds in these three areas. If it doesn't, WHY? Analyze when and where it strays, even if that means working backward to the beginning.

6) PERSONAL WEAKNESS Just as an athlete must learn to be aware of any physical weakness and compensate for it, so a writer must familiarze themself with their own bad habits or tendencies. A classic example is when a young writer masks their insecurity with a flourish of fancy words. But each writer has their own faults and must learn to guard against them. For example, when I was young, I had a nasty habit of using at least three adjectives whenever I described something. Eventually I saw this as the annoying flaw it was, and learned to choose the very best adjective and commit to it. Seeing this habit as a flaw was difficult. But it made me a stronger writer.

And that is the entire purpose of learning to edit one's own work: to grow and strengthen as a writer.--mo

About the Author

About the Author Marige O'Brien works as a writer, web designer and affiliate/internet marketer. Her website is Tracker Mo's Den. Her previous articles, as well as latest marketing tips, are on her blog, Tracker Mo's Finds

Article Marketing: Savvy Ideas That Work

If you have been marketing articles for a significant length of time or if you are new to the game - and it is a game - then there are a few things you can do to give yourself an edge. Some you already know about, such as writing material that people actually want on their site while others may not be as apparent to you. Let's take a look at some behind the scenes marketing you can do so that your articles get the circulation they deserve.

Market Everywhere - Well, mostly everywhere. There are plenty of ezines, article directories, and the like on the internet. If you are limiting your exposure to just one site, then you are missing out on something big. Market your articles to at least five sites; however be careful of bad neighborhoods where the directory manager isn't doing a good enough job marketing his or her own site. The best site example of a well marketed site is Ezine Articles. Chris Knight, the manager of the site, has a blog and a forum, and he keeps his members informed with the occasional email. In addition, this particular site has RSS feeds and is considered by many to be the cutting edge article directory site on the internet. I won't name bad sites by name; rather just taking a look at them speaks volumes. If they neglect their site, they will neglect your articles.

Market On Your Own Sites - If you don't have your own site, then you are missing a terrific opportunity to list your own articles. One big advantage of having your own site is that you aren't don't have the restrictions you have with many article directories. No one will strip out or limit your URLs, therefore you can add many additional links to your articles [which is something that Google loves]. The more Google loves your site, the higher the page rank, and the more likely you will get what you really want: more customers!

Market On Handpicked Sites - The best marketing practice is to aim for the moon. In other words, if there is a major site that you want to feature an article you wrote, then design your article to the level that the site manager wants and submit directly to them. Just think of it: if just one of your articles is picked up by a site that has several hundred thousands visitors per day, you stand to gain an awesome amount of traffic. If they pay you for your article, then that is an added bonus. At the bare minimum, one high quality link back to your site will drive traffic your way.

You can also supplement your article marketing campaign via emails to your members with links to your latest articles; posting your information on a site such as Craig's List; and changing your signature on quality forums to which you belong to include a link directly to an important article.

Some prognosticators and pundits are insisting that the internet is reaching critical mass and that article marketing will soon peak. Do not believe them. High quality articles containing relevant and useful information will always find a home online. Write well and they will come... the terrific back links, that is!

About the Author

Copyright 2005 -- Matthew Keegan is the owner of a successful article writing, web design, and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several sites including the Corporate Flight Attendant Community and the Aviation Employment Board.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How to Write an Uncommonly Good Article - Six Key Steps Part 1

It is a well-known fact that writing good quality articles and placing them on the internet is a great method for getting exposure. Unfortunately, it is also a great method for exposing yourself in a manner that you would prefer not to.

As an avid writer and reader I spend a few minutes every day reading the thoughts of other contributors. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. Often I am not.

I see the same mistakes made time after time.

Before I list six common errors let me tell you that I spent many years as a professional letter writer, editor, proof reader, report writer and speech writer. I have also penned eight books and have had many letters, articles and short stories published in countless newspapers, magazines and, of course, all over the internet.

If you want to check this for yourself you can look on any search engine and you will see my name come up all over the place. (Now I am really going to be under pressure to perform at the highest level.) Enough about my credentials.

Mistakes...

I am going to list some of the most annoying ones for a reader. Fixing them will definitely make your writing stronger. Here they are:

I know this seems ridiculously obvious BUT please use the spell checker on your computer. It will not pick up every mistake but it will reveal obvious ones. That is a good start.

Too many spelling mistakes will destroy your credibility. People will wonder what other mistakes you make. That leads them to questioning the accuracy of your information.

Space your writing into easy to read paragraphs. If you are the sort of writer who just starts at the top left hand corner of the page and finishes in the bottom right hand corner of the page then you need to stop doing that. Why? The main reason is that NOBODY will read it. Nothing is more confronting to a reader than a massive block of unbroken text.

See what I just did? The paragraph was getting too big. Lots of "white space" around short paragraphs is far easier to read. A dozen or so paragraphs is far easier to read than something that looks like some lawyer's horrible legal document.

I used to place the pages at my feet, stand up, then view them for visual effect. If the paragraphs looked too chunky then I would create more "white space." Eventually I was able to do this naturally from my desk.

Keep your paragraphs to one key theme. Arrange them logically. That is, present one idea per paragraph and stick to it. If you want to say something else that is not in keeping with the theme then start a new paragraph.

Chopping and changing subjects within paragraphs makes your thoughts look jumbled. Do this and you will also lose readers. They will think they are playing a game of mental "snakes and ladders."

Use short sentences. Again, see what I did? That first sentence was only three words. The next was just five. This sentence is only six words.

Several short sentences with an occasional long sentence like this one will give variation. Short sentences are easily understood.

If you use very long sentences people will have to go back to re-read them to understand what you are saying. Is that what you want?

Never use big or unusual words when shorter or more common words will do the same job.
Often people will use big words to impress their readers. Let me assure you - it is not impressive. You will lose readers.

Having said that - if a large word gives a specific meaning that no other word can then you should use it. Just don't make people run for the lexicon too often. Sorry. I should have said dictionary. See what I mean?

Proof read your article several times to ensure that it makes sense. A good method is to read it, make any necessary changes then come back to it later. Only when you are happy with your article should you submit it for publication.

To summarize:

Use the spell checking facility on your computer

Space your writing into paragraphs with sufficient "white space" around it

Keep paragraphs within specific themes

Short sentences are easier to understand

Common words are easier to understand

Proof read your work before submitting it.

If you adhere to these six key points your writing will improve and your readers will appreciate you for it.

About the author: Gary Simpson is the author of eight books covering a diverse range of subjects such as self esteem, affirmations, self defense, finance and much more. His articles appear all over the web. Click here to go to his Motivation & Self Esteem for Success website where you can receive his "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE copy of his highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The Power of Choice."

Are You Too Quick to Accuse Others? The Case of an Alleged Plagiarized Article With ME the Victim!

There I was sitting at my computer tapping away at an article that I was writing. I had just cleared my inbox of dozens of emails, some of which were welcome, most of which was useless spam. I heard it come in - "ning-nong." (In case you are wondering, that was my attempt at replicating the sound that my email alert makes.)

"Darn!" I thought to myself. "I just cleared that." So, I checked it again and there it was. One email. A nasty one at that. A person, who I did not know, was abusing me for ripping him off on an article at an article site I had never heard of. He was claiming that I had changed the title of an article that he had written then claimed it as my own using the resource box to point people to my website.

I was given an ultimatum and a date. The threat was clear. "Remove your name and your resource box from MY article!"

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Me? A plagiarist (a copy cat)? Not a chance. Not a chance in the world! So I set about investigating the claim.

This guy was mad and I had no idea what he was going on about. But there was one thing that I knew for certain - his allegations were FALSE. I was innocent. And that was the thrust of the first email that he received from me.

After wasting considerable time looking for the site that this outrage had supposedly occurred at, I eventually found it. I couldn't believe my eyes at first...

Yes, there was HIS article with MY name on it. But then I did a search around the site and found that it was an "article site" that had ripped EVERYBODY off. Several of my articles had been placed there - all of them had been changed and distorted and completely mangled.

I recognized several other authors known to me as well, some quite prominent ones. Every article was full of spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and every other mistake that I knew none of these authors would ever make. The site was a complete mess, hastily cobbled together. Whoever owned it was ripping everybody off.

I emailed my accuser with my findings. Several hours later he emailed me back, apologizing. In the intervening period he, too, realized that it was a scam site. He knew in his own mind that I was innocent.

That's when I wondered why some people were so quick to accuse and abuse others without investigating the facts fully. Do you do that? I hope not. Sure, sometimes all of us are ripped off by unscrupulous scam-artists. It is a horrible feeling. But, rather than accuse or abuse an INNOCENT person - make sure you know all the facts first.

Back to that fraudulent website...

Oh... it is a truly woeful thing! Not only has it ripped off hundreds of authors but it has also ripped off the home page template from another site. To make matters even uglier it has simply added the letter "s" to the already existing domain name of another ezine article site. I will refrain from mentioning the domain name of this terrible site as I do not wish to give them any traffic whatsoever. I can't see how it will ever be successful anyway due to the unbelievably low quality it displays!

My opinion is that they are taking thousands of articles from reputable article sites, messing them up with shocking mistakes, mixing up author names with other authors' articles (like they did to me and my "accuser") and generally tainting every person whose name appears on the site. There are thousands of innocent authors involved! I believe that it is being put together by scammers in order to sell advertizing space. It needs to be banned.

So, how did I end up with the person who falsely accused me of plagiarism? He realized that he had made a serious error. He apologized, I accepted and we parted on friendly terms. But I'm still lousy about that terrible rip-off article site. Something definitely needs to be done about that!

About the author: Gary Simpson is the author of eight books covering a diverse range of subjects such as self esteem, affirmations, self defense, finance and much more. His articles appear all over the web. Click here to go to his Motivation & Self Esteem for Success website where you can receive his "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE copy of his highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The Power of Choice."

All Article Authors Are Being Ripped-Off and Made to Look Like Fools

It sure does pay to investigate credible information when it comes to your attention - especially on this amazing medium known as the internet. You never know what you will find. Sometimes it will horrify you.

Specifically, I was alerted today (October 24, 2005) to a website that is fraudulently altering and posting thousands of articles written by thousands of authors. The site, which I will not name (yet), is riddled with errors. All the articles being cobbled together there have been re-typed (for whatever reason I do not know) and are full of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Even worse, again for a reason that I cannot fathom, articles are being credited to the wrong authors. This place looks like a train crash!

The site in question is a total disaster. It makes every author listed there, fraudulently, I might add, look like a complete fool. Unfortunately, along with thousands of others, I am listed there.

My articles have been bastardized to oblivion. I can hardly recognize them through all the mistakes.

I noticed some other well-known authors too. All their articles have suffered the same fate as mine. They are all mangled - every one of them!

Additionally, the site in question has ripped off another article site by adding an "s" to the domain name. As of today, this horrible site is claiming 63,621 articles published. To my mind that is 63,621 articles whose credibility have been completely destroyed. So, it is easy to see the enormous size of the problem.

I am really torn between naming this site. On one hand I want to expose them for what they have done. On the other hand, I do not want to contribute to their success by sending them any traffic.

The best advice that I can give at the moment is to be vigilant about who is using your articles. Do the search.

The lesson to be learned here, I think, is to do a periodic google search to see where your name and articles are being posted. Visit those sites and, if they are taking advantage of you, as this particular site does, then complain until they remove the offensive material.


About the author: Gary Simpson is the author of eight books covering a diverse range of subjects such as self esteem, affirmations, self defense, finance and much more. His articles appear all over the web. Click here to go to his Motivation & Self Esteem for Success website where you can receive his "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE copy of his highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The Power of Choice."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Wake Up Your Writing Spirit

The Blogfest 2005 Writing Contest has only been running for two weeks and already the results are overwhelming. And not because we’re getting far more entries than we expected. It’s because along with entries, we’re also getting heartfelt messages from writers all over the world. I’ve run a few contests before and received quite a few entries, but I’ve never been personally emailed and thanked by so many writers.

What’s the difference with this contest? I think the main reason is that the idea actually came from writers. Even though the writers at our company work in publishing, they find it a little sad that there’s so much focus on writing what can sell instead of writing what truly matters to you. They wanted a contest that would allow people to write whatever they wanted to write.

From that idea came Blogfest, a contest designed to encourage all writers to get the project of their dreams done. Unlike most contests, we decided not to offer publication and not to pay the prize for a completed work. Instead, we decided to offer the prizes based on how much the writing project means to the writer. This is one contest that isn’t about whether or not your work can sell or about what your writing will mean to someone else. It’s about what it means to you.

To enter, we asked writers to tell us about the one thing they’ve always wanted to write and to tell us what it would mean to them to write it. Now, after only two weeks, we have an inbox full of emails from people. Entries so far have included grandparents wanting to write their life story for their grandchildren, aspiring novelists, professional writers looking for the chance to write something for themselves and not for money, and a young woman wanting to capture and preserve her mother’s family recipes.

These people have entered and then sent us an extra email just to thank us for the opportunity. They’ve told us how just writing about the project has made them so excited and full of joy. They have enthusiasm and feel delight just for thinking about finally writing. And we’ve started reading the entries and the joy is there too. As a publisher, I’m used to reading submissions and contest entries. It’s often a joy but there’s rarely as much life as there is in these submissions. Reading them, I can feel that people have that spark of excitement that is only motivated by something much greater than money or even publication. It’s the joy of doing what your heart’s always wanted to do.

There is more to writing than publication and money and this competition is bringing out the real spirit of writing.

My message to all writers is to think about what matters to them. Think about that one thing you’ve always dreamed of writing. I challenge you to write down what completing that project would mean to you. If you feel that spark, I challenge you to commit to your project and get it written. Not because you can make money from it, but because it means something to you.

This contest has made me see more clearly than ever that there is far more to writing than making money. There will only be a few winners to Blogfest, and choosing them is going to be the toughest job we do all year. But I hope this idea can reach further than that. I hope all writers will listen to their hearts and complete their projects. I hope that just thinking about actually doing it will wake up that writing spirit that is in so many people.

Shelley Wake is one of the organizers of Blogfest 2005 and the manager and editor of Writing Stuff. http://www.writingstuff.com.

Article Writing and Marketing: 2 Laws for Prospect-Pulling Titles

The Law of Key Word Placement

Where you place your keywords in your title is crucial and goes against what you would normally assume to be true.

You want to have your key words in the first four words of your title. This is because the search engines, and readers, will notice these words more quickly than key words that show up later in the title.

For example, the title of this aritlce could have been "3 Laws for Writing Prospect-Pulling Titles for Your Articles."

Not a bad title, right.

Wrong.

Sense the key word phrase is article writing, we have a problem here. While writing does show up as the fourth word, the most important word, articles, does not show up until the last word in the title.

At the same time you do not want to create title that does not flow or makes little sense just to get the key words in front. "Article Writing and Marketing: 3 Laws for Prospect-Pulling Titles" flows easily, makes sense, and leads with key words.

The Law of Strength

What sounds stronger:

1. "Here are 2 suggestions you might try that could help you write better titles."
or

2. "2 Laws for Prospect-Pulling Titles."

Now I realize that I've exaggerated a bit in the first title, but I have seen titles that are close to that wimpy quality.

Strong titles pull in readers. Here's another example:

"Houston and St. Louis played each other in a baseball game last night"
vs.
"Houston Rockets into the World Series with win over St Louis."

Which one are you going to read?

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

How to Triple Your Article Sales Writing Media Package Proposals

Dogs bark, birds fly, and writers write. It’s what we do, right? So why should a writer now become a shutterbug? Well, how about to increase your marketability, boost your article sales, improve your query acceptance rate and increase your income? Are any of those reasons that might interest you? Then read on Bunky, here’s the scoop.

Offer a complete package

Overworked editors will often jump at the chance for a complete package of text plus art. It means they don’t have to search for photos and graphics to accompany your article, saving them time, costs and stress. Most markets also pay extra for photography as well giving what might be a mediocre rate for an article alone a stiff boost when the photo fees are added in. Again padding the pay envelope – and you don’t mind THAT now do you?

What kinds of photos to take

To learn about composition and types of photos look at examples of what your target publications are using. Take a short photography course. Many community colleges offer them. You could also check at local photo shops or try one of the several good ones online.

Digital or film?

In today’s market there are a wide variety of choices for shooting your article photos. Films differ in format, speed and sensitivity. There are choices of from less than 100 ISA up to 1600 ISA or even faster for specialty films in 35mm format. Color, B/W, sepia tone and infrared films are also available for adding special effects. You needn’t chain your brain with these options if you’re not interested. Just stick with 100 to 400 ISA film in 35mm format. Shoot prints or slides depending on what the publication photography guidelines say.

Have it BOTH ways

Another point: film pictures can be scanned and digitized. Many photo shops offer to burn film negative photos onto a CD for a small additional fee, so you can have it both ways. Take them up on it. Find out from two or three different photo shops, what cross-media services they offer. Selling one good photograph can pay for months of photography. It’s not unheard of for a writer to actually make more money for the “art” than the article.

The debate over digital vs. film cameras rages on. Call me a wimp, call me a cop out, call me whatever you want: I use both when shooting on location. So whether I find a market that asks for prints, negatives, slides or high resolution digital images, I’m covered. So go ahead and snicker at me all you “purists”; you can follow me all the way to the bank.

On Location: what to shoot?

On location, a range of images from close ups to scenic overviews are useful. Try different angles and different heights. Take portraits, group and individual shots of unposed people doing everyday tasks. Photograph food, plants, products and people. Keep an eye out for splashes of color, interesting scenes, unusual clothing or costumes. While walking down a busy street in Quito, Ecuador, I saw a live donkey standing in the back of a double-parked pickup truck. I just had to take the shot. Waiting for the driver to come out also netted me a story about where the donkey was going to be sold – as food! In parts of Ecuador people eat donkey.

Quick keys for better photos

So you’re not exactly a pro at taking pictures? No problem. Here are a couple of quick tricks excerpted from the 5-week online course “Develop a Specialty and Get Published on the Web for Fun, Fame or Fortune”, that will boost the quality of your images right away.

• Get closer to your subject – fill the frame

Don’t stand there a mile off from that cute scene, get right up there as close as you dare and take the shot. Take two or three to be sure. Start from a bit away and shoot each picture closer than the last one by a lot. After a couple of shots you should be right up close. The vast majority of the time people who see you photographing them will either allow it politely, ham it up for you or throw rocks. Leave the third group alone.

• Use a tripod – take sharper images

Get yourself one of those small tripods, you know the ones around a foot tall. Use it to stabilize the camera whenever you can. Turn the car off and set it up on the hood, roof or trunk of the car. If your photos aren’t sharp, often they’re no good for commercial sale. If there’s a sign that says, “No tripods allowed”, be discrete. Plead innocence, plead ignorance, plead illiteracy or plead insanity, but get the shot. I get away with murder all the time. I just don’t push it or make a scene or an issue about it. Usually there’s no problem.

• Don’t “center” the subject – compose your shots in different ways

Look at any magazine. What direction is the cover image? Horizontal or vertical? Now, guess which way most people shoot their pictures? Shoot about half your images vertically and you’ll boost your odds for a possible cover shot. Don’t put the subject or horizon in the middle of the photo. Move it up to feature the foreground more or down to show more sky as with sunsets. Your photos will demonstrate better composition as a result.

Graphics anyone?

Photos aren’t the only form of “art” editors want and need. Data charts, tables and other information graphics can be produced to augment your articles. They show the editor you’ve researched and organized your topic data. Look at your favorite magazines, do they use only photos? Likely not. If you’re not familiar with Excel or another computer graphics program then expand your mind and income by doing so. Although it can be a bit challenging at first; No. it’s not THAT hard. Computers have turned themselves Off when they saw me coming. If I can do it, so can you.

In your queries to editors, if you offer a selection of photos and graphics to illustrate and accompany your articles, you’re going to start getting much more of the editor’s attention. Don’t send any photos, just say that they’re available. You’ll know what format the publication uses from reading the guidelines. Usually six or eight photos should do it. That means if you have around a dozen items available to send in for review and approval, you have an excellent chance of making the pitch sell. My first few months doing this more than tripled my success rate without changing anything else. If you need a virtual kick-in-the-pants to get you going or have a question, please feel free to e-mail me.

So get out there and take a few shots with your next article pitches in mind. Dogs bark, birds fly, and writers write – and offer media packages with photos for extra income. It’s what we do, right?

Prof Larry M. Lynch is a bi-lingual copywriter, expert author and photographer specializing in business, travel, food and education-related writing in South America. His work has appeared in Transitions Abroad, South American Explorer, Escape From America, Mexico News and Brazil magazines. He teaches at a university in Cali, Colombia. To get original, exclusive articles and content for your newsletter, blog or website contact him for a no-obligation quote and current rates. For free information on the 5-week online course “Develop a Specialty and Get Published on the Web for Fun, Fame or Fortune”, e-mail your request to: lynchlarrym@gmail.com

Article Writing and Marketing: Become a Limitation Buster

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours." - Richard Bach

I hear or read it every day from one of my students or mentees. I've begun to call it "the basic limitation."

The basic limitation goes something like this:

I can't write write well write a lot.

It usually comes down to one of those three limitations.

The good news is limitations are made to be busted if you want to.

A secret of prolific writiers

Most of the prolific writers I know have a system they follow. They may not know they have one, but after asking a few questions, I can usually identify their system.

Here's one way to write many articles in your area of expertise. Find a quote by someone famous in your area or a quote that relates to your area of expertise.

Then all you have to do is elaborate on the quote. Explain your understanding of the quote. Give an example of what happens when the advice in the quote is followed and an example of what happens when the advice in the quote is not followed.

There you are, you now have an article.

You could do this over and over and have several articles.

Do you still believe you cannot write a whole lot of articles? Well you can keep that limitation if you want, or you can use the tips found in this article.

The choice is yours to make.

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

5 Questions to Ask About Every Article Idea

I know a good idea when I see one. So should you. Dump those time-tested ideas you’re sending off to editors every other day, and find ideas that will get you the assignment each time, every time. How do you know whether your brilliant idea will strike a chord and get you the assignment or land your neatly crafted query in the slush pile? Use the following checklist to find out whether you have a winner or another stale idea that the editor’s been rejecting since she set foot in her editorial office.Here are some of the questions an editor will ask of each article idea:

What’s new?

----------------

If you’re writing for a pregnancy magazine, chances are the editor has already covered topics such as exercises and diet regulation. What are you going to say that stands apart? Can you provide a unique spin to these topics? If yes, you’re in the door.Think different. Instead of talking about diet issues, list twenty food items that are to be avoided throughout pregnancy. Be innovative. Come up with topics you’ve never seen featured before. Are there any negative feelings, unresolved issues or body changes that might not be so great that would-be mothers need to know more about?

Will the reader connect?

---------------------------

You may have the most innovative, brilliant and mind-blowing idea. Yet, it may lead to a rejection if you’re targeting the wrong market. Send an idea about getting over broken live-in relationships to a magazine in India, and don’t expect anything but a rejection. But send it over to a singles magazine in England, and you may have a chance. The first thing the editor wants to know when she lays eyes on your query is whether her readers will value your subject matter. If her readers won’t take to it, she won’t either.

Will it keep the reader captivated?

--------------------------------------

Picture this: I come home from a long day at work. While I relax on my couch, I could flick channels on the remote or pick up the magazine and leaf through the articles. My eyes rest on your piece. Is your piece intriguing and interesting enough to make me stay with you, or would I prefer to watch what’s on TV? It’s every editor’s fear—that her loyal reader will ditch reading the magazine for something more interesting. And with the number of entertainment avenues available today, that won’t be a problem. In order to keep the reader (and the editor) keen on your idea, you’ve got to suggest something that will keep them wanting more. Does your idea have that virtue?

Is there a surprise element?

-----------------------------

The more unexpected, the better. Readers love surprises. That’s why, editors do too. Surprise doesn’t always have to mean an anti-climax or a situation of complete irony. Surprises can be subtle, yet effective. Add a little known statistic or a funny anecdote in your article. Go out of your way to find an amazing fact or figure. Don’t go out of context though. There’s nothing worse than getting sidetracked from the theme of the article.

What’s in it for the reader?

----------------------

What does the reader take home with her once she’s closed the magazine and gone her own way? Has she learnt a lesson? Will she take with her an experience? Will she be a better mother, daughter, wife or friend because of it? In every article that you write, this question should have the utmost importance. What can you give to your reader?

Making an impact is very important. The article idea that won’t sell is the one in which the editor will read through your query and not have any unanswered questions. You have to give your reader that something extra. Something she can think about on her way to work. Something she’ll remember as she rests her head on the pillow and falls asleep.

Regardless of the kind of writer you are, your ideas are what make you a success. A good editor can fix the holes in your writing, but cannot flesh out your idea. That is something only you can do.

Editors love writers who consistently come up with fresh and innovative ideas. Being swamped with a dozen queries every day, most of them containing the same old angles, they’re always on the lookout for writers who can provide a unique twist.

Keep a steady stream of ideas coming, run them through this checklist, and send them off.

That’s all there really is to it.*

Mridu Khullar is the editor-in-chief of www.WritersCrossing.com, a free online magazine for writers. Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to get a complimentary e-book with 400+ paying markets. Also check out her e-book, "Knock Their Socks Off! A Freelance Writer's Guide to Query Letters That Sell," available at http://www.writerscrossing.com/queries.html

4 Major Mistakes to Avoid when Writing an Article

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will greatly improve your article. The Internet has an overabundance of disregarded content that was written in the same rambling way that the author normally speaks in. Many of these articles would never have been neglected by the general public had the author simply looked for these common mistakes prior to publishing.

Number One: Poor Title

The title, or headline, must grab the reader’s attention and reel him or her into the story. It should not be extremely long. The title can be fun and does not necessarily need to be a verbatim description of the article. Sometimes a title is best written last. Keep in mind that we are talking about titles for articles and not books. This is an important distinction because longer titles and sub titles that might be appropriate for books will not work for articles.

Bad Title: Website Promotion Ideas: 8 Simple But Effective Tips To Get People To Visit Your Web Site Again And Again

Why? This long and clumsy title does not work for an article. The title has unneeded words and does not take the intended audience into consideration. The theme was correct and the title could be salvaged by properly rewriting it.

Better Title: 4 Major Mistakes to Avoid when Writing an Article

Why? This title is short, informs the reader what the article is about, and is worded to walk the reader into the article. It is properly targeted for the intended audience.

Number Two: Poor Opening

The opening paragraph, especially the introductory line, must be strong and present the topic. The title should flow nicely into the opening paragraph. If the title is “Saving Money at the General Store” and the article leads with “I really don’t understand why more stores don’t supply coupons”—it is time to rewrite. In this example, the reader will become confused quickly. It is important to maintain a logical flow.Additionally, never write the following:

In this article, I will show… (Just show it)

This article will cover… (Articles do not need a table of contents or an outline)

By the end of this article… (Don’t talk to your readers like they are in grade school—unless the audience really is in grade school)

Number Three: Poor Flow Poor flow destroys writing in general. Many writers would benefit from creating an outline and rearranging their writing based on it. Writing that does not follow logical flow is completely doomed. Many article authors seem to simply write in the same order as thoughts occur in and then call the job complete. Meanwhile, the writing is a complete mess and a potentially great article remains nothing more than amateur fodder.

This mistake can be avoided by printing out the work, reading it over, and labeling the main theme for each sentence. In the “poor opening” example, the introductory sentence belonged later on in the article—perhaps the conclusion. Reading the article draft aloud is a professional technique for discovering sentence structure errors.

Number Four: Poor ConclusionIt is poor form to label your conclusion as such in an article. There is no need to type the word “Conclusion” or state “In conclusion”. A conclusion should not be a summary of what was already written. It must include fresh writing, illustrate the main point of the article, and bring the article to a logical closing. Moreover, it can’t leave the reader with the sense of incompletion. An ideal conclusion will drive the point home and give the reader the satisfaction of having read the article. The closing of the article must be communicated well or the reader will come away unsatisfied—even if the article was great up until that point.

Writing great articles takes practice and adhering to some basic principles. To eliminate poorly written articles, share them with your friends and family. Write down their questions and comments as they read your article. With newfound information in hand, proceed to rewrite your work. Never be afraid to delete and rearrange—every writer must do this. In the end, your readers will thank you by continuing to read your improved work.

©2005 Jason Andrew Martin LLC

Jason A. Martin has been conducting business on the Internet for 11 years. He is a freelance writer on many topics and is currently working on obtaining a degree in Journalism and Law.His official web site, which contains articles you can use for your web site, can be viewed at: Jason A. Martin

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

5 Pressing Deadlines That Keep You From Writing an Article (and How ONE Article Can Meet Them All!)

You say you just don't have time to write an article? Ah, the internet marketer's greatest challenge-- you've committed yourself to too many projects again. Here's a time-saving solution: stop thinking of it as an article. Instead, think of it as "creating multi-purpose web content."
Then, leverage the power of that one little web article to help you check off your to-do list and get noticed in as many places as possible.

Read on for five real-life online marketer deadlines that can ALL be filled in one day using just ONE article!

Pressing Deadline 1. You told a friend you'd contribute to her monthly newsletter or blog.
Why make a guest appearance in another marketer's newsletter or blog? Exposure, of course. With leads streaming in from everywhere, who knows what new contacts you might pick up from a friend that could mean future business for you. That's a pretty good reason to get going on that article for Thursday's release date.

Pressing Deadline 2. You're overdue with another post for your blog.

You like your blog to be a hearty bowl of informational soup - full of good things! Trouble is, you're stuck for a new angle. Hey, here's an idea. Take that same article you wrote for a friend and pop it into your blog. Do the same people who read your online articles also read your blog? Perhaps... but, more likely, not! If you're in a pinch and could use a time-saver, why not put that fresh content to work. Add the article, problem solved.

Pressing Deadline 3. You've been asked to "showcase your expertise" in a special e-book.
How flattering, a fellow marketer has asked you to deliver specialized attention to their readers in the form of an e-book. What to fill this e-book with? For starters, you can use that article you just created. Got more articles? Package them up into an e-book that will win instant favor with your new crop of readers! They'll love getting free downloadable info delivered in this exciting new format. And you'll love the new fans it brings.

Pressing Deadline 4. Your online network is crying out for attention!

Getting weary of typing in the same old answers to the same old questions on your network? Let the article do the networking for you. Chances are, there's a huge crop of potential business prospects in your network who never even thought to read your online cache of articles. Here's your chance to be heard. Copy and paste the fresh article you just wrote into a new thread, and voila, you can check off your networking duty as completed in record time.

Pressing Deadline 5. It's time to hit your subscriber list with another email offer.

Your readers have come to expect a tasty nugget of new info with every promotion you send out. If the idea well is running dry, just log into your web article account, grab the most recent article and invent a "freebie" or special promotion to match. Get a theme going across all of your main avenues of online communication... what a brilliant way to streamline your online marketing plans!

Once you realize that "writing that web article" is the first step toward maximizing your productivity, you'll put those articles FIRST priority instead of last. Then, next time you need fresh content, you'll know exactly where to look: your own arsenal of information-rich articles.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a copywriting consultant and ghostwriter with 10 years of experience writing corporate print materials and web content. Trust her with your next e-book, article series or web project, and make a lasting impression on your audience of information-hungry prospects. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for more details.

Articles Syndication - How To Survive In The Flood ...

Good title.

Not sure if I have the defining answer.

But I can tell you of how it's been so far, and that could be a chapter in the "Adventures In Internet Publishing".

You have heard that by writing articles and submitting them to article syndication directories, you get:

Expert Status

Public Recognition

Web Links

New Customers

... I'll take it?

And that in principle is quite true.

Only, we have now the world and his wife writing GAZILLIONS of articles every day; and we have that other world and her husband setting up websites like mushrooms to handle the FLOOD of articles that want to be posted, syndicated, distributed or simply filed away forever - LOL!

If you do a web search for "submit your article" you will find hundreds of listings and dozens of Google ads - this is big business.

There are MILLIONS of people trying to make a living on the web, most literally, and they all write articles; getting a subscription out of the ones who are willing to pay for storing and distributing them is a new form of "selling shovels during the gold rush".

So what is a person to do?

***Submitting Articles The Hard Way ...***

Well, there's the hand submitting.

You can find 20 or so (out of the HUNDREDS) of syndication sites and submit each article by hand.

Don't think that this is easy.

EACH AND EVERY submission site has their own type of forms - asp, php, cgi and whatever else there's going on these days.

They all have VERY idiosyncratic ways of handling their text formatting.

Some demand some html, at least s, or else your text gets all stuck together. Others use "smart" detection and if you paste your text containing s in there, your formatting flies apart and you have to start all over. Some will turn hyperlinks into a mangled nonsense, some will bounce the article back if there's a single hyperlink in the body text, others will turn plain text into hyperlinks.

They usually demand that you make an account, and that means logging into each and every site, making your way to the submission form, and then battling with the formatting of your article repeatedly until you're finally done.

Now frankly, and as much as I love my articles, I really could never be bothered with doing that all over the place.

I write way too many articles on way too many topics (I AM a writer, after all!) to have the time left to submit them all everywhere.

So what's a writing gal to do?!

Well, there's software to the rescue.

For example:

***Article Submission Software - Article Submitter Pro***

This is widely advertised, comes in at just under $200, and I've just tested it for the three day free trial period.

Good programme, considering what it is up against!

It does NOT "send your article at the click of a button".

With all those different forms and login procedures on all these different sites, and not to mention the email based distribution channels and lists, how could it, possibly?

What it does do is to give you a number of databases in a reasonably userfriendly fashion, so you get (ready pre-loaded) databases for:

Websites with logins Websites with forms Email distribution Others

That's handy in and of itself. It then also gives you databases for:

Articles (with heading 1, 2, body of article) Author's Bio/Sig Hyperlinks/Landing sites Authors Names/Pen Names Authors Email

It then procedes to have you work your way through all these sites, one after the other, and when it recognises a form, it will fill it in for you with as much data as it can.

As these forms consist of NUMEROUS boxes to be filled in EVERY TIME, that is a huge bonus and it cuts the time it takes to find the sites, log into the sites, and submit the articles DRAMATICALLY.

Even so, to submit one article to 30 sites took me over two hours of BORING AND REPETITIVE work. And that's really not the best way to spend my precious time.

***Premium Submission Services***

As they say, you either spend your time, or you spend your money, so there's another option.
If you're willing to PAY for an article submission service, there are good folk out there who will do what the Article Submitter Pro software PLUS one person who actually WORKS THAT, does for you.

I thought about this for a time and finally decided to go with www.isnare.com who will do article syndication and placement for 60 dollars a month.

I figured that for the same price as buying myself a programme that will have me slaving away on repetitive submissions in the dark I can get 3 months worth of being able to just send the article ONCE and have the isnare people deal with it instead.

They'll even kindly spell check it and format it nicely.

Phew.

I don't know how well that will work, but it seems my best option at this time to take care of *that* part of what you might call "basic internet marketing management".

There are so MANY other aspects of this, you just have to find a solution that works for you for each one so they don't take up too much of your valuable time or take your attention away from what it is you're actually doing in the first place (that's the main danger of the intricacies of internet marketing, in my opinion!).

***The Cheapest & Simplest Solution To Article Distribution?***

So, and finally, and what if you don't want to spend 60 dollars a month or $200 on the software?
Well, my tip is as follows.

Find the top ten article syndicators, by doing keyword searches for your chosen topic and see what turns up on page 1 in Google.

Bookmark them all.

Make THE SAME login for them all, the same password.

Work your way through the basic free author set ups, make your bio, add your pic, register in the forum.

And then just submit your new articles to those ten and nothing else besides; that should give you some sort of balance between doing what you're doing, and drowning yourself in the technicalities and vagaries of the article submissions madness.
Good luck to all ...

LOL

Silvia Hartmann
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Silvia Hartmann is the author of "MindMillion" and the CEO of The StarFields Network. Check out the FREE Pitch Page Maker and other bonuses at http://MindMillion.com/60/.

High Impact Traffic by Writing Articles

So you have a website but your traffic counters not exactly burning? Maybe it’s not even turning! You may have tried reciprocal linking to gain search engine rankings. Its boring isn’t it! Reciprocal linking with other on theme websites will slowly help increase your websites rankings in the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. However it takes along time and each time someone links to you, you get one link back to your site. I’d like to introduce you to a much more effective method.

This method is very easy and not nearly as boring. Simply write an article about a topic that is relevant to your site; please make sure you include a link back to your site in the author’s by-lines. Then submit it to a submission service such as Isnare. They will then distribute your article and other websites will pick it up. So instead of your one measly back link for a reciprocal link you could get one hundred, two hundred, even a thousand back links.

Several things will determine how many people pick up your article:
1.) How many different sites you submit it too

2.) How interesting and well written your article is

3.) How catchy the headline is

4.) How much public interest there is in the topic

With the above considered you can make your website very successful by submitting articles. I recommend submitting 3 articles in a week, and then continue submitting one or two articles a week for a month. This should get you a nice amount of traffic for a long period of time.

Obviously the more articles you write the more traffic you receive. This traffic is not only from people reading your articles but from the search engines, as your ranking will improve as you gain more link backs to your site. So go on get writing the worlds your oyster!!

for more information please see http://www.articlesnet.co.uk

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Know Money to Make Money

The experts are always telling us that getting paid for what you know is one of the most effective, least time-intensive ways to make a buck. Well, if you know anything about money (and you don't need to be a financial whiz), writing articles for financial websites can be a very lucrative way to get paid for what you know.

We all understand that demand for your product is essential in any business. Well, how's this for demand: EVERYONE is interested in money. We want to know how we can earn it, save it, and grow it. After all, isn't making money your basic motivation for reading this article or subscribing to this newsletter? If you do want to make money, and you have any insight or even anecdotes about things like investing, business, family finances, taxes, or even being flat broke, there is a huge online demand for what you have to say. And surprisingly, you don't have to be a professional writer to get in the game.

There are many different types of financial businesses that are always looking for articles (yes, even your articles) to use on their websites. Stock brokers need technical articles, as well as articles on how families like yours invest, and what they think about stocks and mutual funds. Even banks, insurance companies, and mutual fund companies are always looking for human interest stories about how money, or the lack thereof, can affect families and individuals just like you, from all walks of life.

You've probably heard a dozen times that the best selling product on the Internet is information. Well, for you and your articles, this can clearly be the case. Financial websites are willing to pay you for your articles, because their customers and people visiting the sites are HUNGRY for the information. Providing the information people want makes these firms look good, making people want to do business with them. If you can help their business with your articles, they are often willing to pay you handsomely for your assistance.

In all seasons, and at specific times of year, there are articles needed on issues like retirement planning, education funding,savings, tax filing and brackets, insurance, estate planning,family finances, and more.

But what if you don't know anything about any of these topics? If you're willing to do some research and learn a few things, you'll not only be armed with the knowledge you've gained, but you will also be poised to make some great money. Try going to a search engine like Google, and you will find thousands of articles on money, investments, and all types of insurance. Spend some time learning the ropes and your study could pay off big time.

In fact, many websites even hold contests to promote themselves and build a crop of writers. These sites are looking for interesting articles that teach, entertain, and inform on money, finances, investments, and insurance. The major prizes can be worth thousands to the writer, making a few hours of research and time spent writing well worth it. As sites build a list of writers, they will typically increase the number of writing contests they hold, making it easier and easier to get in on the action.

Ivon T. Hughes is founder of http://www.writerscontest.ca which, for a limited time, is sponsoring a writing contest for articles about term life insurance and Term Deposits/GICs. See the site for guidelines. All entries are FREE, and you will never be asked to pay any sort of fee.

Writing Articles: I Can't Get Any Traffic Vs. I Couldn't Stop the Traffic If I Wanted To

Do you know how difficult it can be to get traffic to your site and how easy it is to fall for the latest fad? Well here is a tried and true, long term approach to getting tons of traffic.

Here we go again

Just today I got another email from one of my members at Building Your Ideal Practice. This member was frustrated because the latest get traffic gimmick they had fallen for was not working. It was not working because it won't work.

I'm looking forward to helping this member save money and use a system that will work to get traffic to their site. This member will save money because this form of generating traffic costs nothing but your time.

Simple yet so powerful

Writing article and then marketing articles on the internet is a sure fire way to get traffic.
I've written at least one article a week for 11 years for a large national newspaper chain. The syndication of these articles brings me a stream of traffic to my web sites. It's nice, but it is only a minor stream.

Then I discoverd EzineArticles.com. One of the members of Building Your Ideal Practice told me about an article directory where she wsa posting her articles. So I checked it out, appled for an account, and I've been posting articles since April of '05.

Reaching a critical mass

So many people post a few articles and then when they do not get a flood of traffic, they give up and whine that it does not work.

Well, it won't work if all you do is few.

Once I hit 25 articles on EzineArticles.com, I reached some kind of critical mass. I am telling you the gospel truth that at this point, I could not stop the raging river of traffice to my sites if I wanted to.

If this article is accepted, it will be my 380th article posted on EzineArticle.com. Just about everyday, I have the following experience:

My system is set so that I get an email each time I get a new subscriber. Often I will check my email, clear out the notices of new subscribers, and as soon as those notices are gone, there are more waiting for me.

The choice is between whining about no traffic or celebrating not being able to stop the traffic.

Which will it be for you?

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Idea Catcher

Every writer has to cope with dry periods. The creative mind has to be in a receptive mood before a piece of writing can be initiated. My favorite method to break the stalemate is to talk to strangers or friends, introducing various topics and promoting discussions. Every experience I have had in life can be matched by memories of another person. It is the different perspective that lends truth to a story and triggers the writing process. The more people you contact whom are willing to rap about their experiences, the more fodder you will get for your writing.

If your conversation partner absolutely disagrees with your personal opinions, you can write about the different sides of an argument. If they have had similar experiences to yours, you can write about serendipity or expand on the topic with refreshed ammunition. It always surprises me when I discover a stranger's take on a situation, priorities that differ widely and results that stretch the imagination.

An empathetic attitude is helpful when drawing out personal experiences from a virtual stranger. No-one likes to be in the wrong or made to feel that they made a bad decision in life. Sympathetic noises fuel the conversation and prompt deeper revelations than otherwise likely. I have found that most conversations of this sort have opened up new vistas in my thinking and have even spurred me to higher levels of enlightened thought.
Just a newbie writer.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Merry Christmas: Now Start Writing

The holiday season is coming quickly and the time to write your “seasonal” articles is now. Personally, I am against making Christmas something that I do not believe it should be: a blatant commercial sell. For me, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Yes, I know others celebrate Christmas differently or not at all and some celebrate the “sell” and not the “Savior.” Ultimately, the Christmas season is a terrific time to create holiday themed articles that get noticed, so here are some suggestions on how you can get started:

Family Time: Starting with Thanksgiving and lasting all the way through New Year’s Day is a time of the year that we call The Holiday Season. This nearly 40 day period is an enjoyable time for some, but a disaster for others. Much of how one perceives the season depends on how strong of a relationship a person has with his or her family. For some, Christmas evokes warm memories, while for others it can be a very painful time. Article suggestions: Home for the Holidays; Gift Giving Ideas; Family Holiday Traditions; My Secret Santa; Traveling Over the Holidays; Alone, But Not Lonely at Christmas; etc. In addition, articles centered on Thanksgiving or the New Year can also be birthed out of this theme. For example, “Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Planning” and “Resolutions I Will Never Keep” are two ideas.

Faith Time: Writing to an audience that celebrates Christmas primarily as the advent of Jesus Christ can be a great way to generate many topics of interest. Article suggestions: All About Advent; The Christmas Miracle; Christmas All Around The World; Favorite Christmas Hymns; Ministering to the Lonely at Christmas; The Mass of Christ; Christmas Caroling Adventures; A Very Dickens Christmas; etc. In addition, some topics can successfully blend the secular and faith aspects of the holiday which is how many people celebrate Christmas.

Work Time: Like it or not, the dreaded “holiday party” comes up for plenty of employees in December. You can have some fun with this theme too. Article suggestions: 7 Excuses That Work: How to Skip Your Office Party; Coping at Your Office Christmas Party; 12 Christmas Grab Bag Suggestions; Christmas Bonuses: Myth or Reality?; Working on Christmas Day [great for nurses and all those who must work on a major holiday]; The Dreaded Business Christmas Card; Office Christmas Trees: Paper or Plastic?; etc. One thought: a little humor can go a long way!

There are numerous Christmas and/or Holiday themed web sites on the internet that are content rich and always looking for fresh material. Write your articles now so that webmasters can plan accordingly on how they want their sites to look in the coming weeks.
If I haven’t inspired you yet, pop in your favorite holiday themed video to get in the mood immediately. Nostalgia is a big pull and it tugs no harder than at Christmas time.

Matthew Keegan is the owner of a successful article writing, web design, and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several sites including the Corporate Flight Attendant Community and the Aviation Employment Board. Please visit The Article Writer to review selections from his portfolio.

3 Steps to Quickly Writing Ezine Articles

Come on, admit it: Whether you're a professional writer or not we all draw a blank when we want to write an ezine article. I've found an answer to that dilemma that will get you writing in no time so that you can publish your ezine article and begin to receive that new wave of subscribers you've been hoping for. Here's how to get the lead out if you draw a blank:

1. Write your action steps first. Forget about the catchy headline and attractive lead paragraph for now. There's no use in cleverly leading a reader into an article that has no real value to them. So start where you build your credibility, right in the action steps. Of course you want to identify your subject and then tell them how to make their lives easier. For instance, plumbers are always going to have to fix pipes, it's the nature of their business. If you have an ezine to others in the plumbing industry, write about a new technique in the industry on sealing pipes or preparing them for the winter, etc.

2. Save the best for last. There's something called takeaway or take-home that should be in every one of your articles. It's your last chance to tell your audience, "I know my stuff." Try to put that key piece of information in the last paragraph of your article and you'll want it to be something your reader can do as soon as he or she finishes reading your article. If you're writing to accounts payable clerks, you'd tell them ways to get each department to get approvals on all purchase orders before submitting them. A/P clerks would just eat that up. It's their number one gripe. Bottom line: Give your audience something they can do immediately at the very end of your article. They'll remember your name and become devotees for life- hanging from your every word.

3. Get excited about the benefits. After you've taken care of the credibility building portion of your article, you have to draw the reader in and whet their appetite for all this great information. By the way, if you write the action steps and take-home first, this part will be easier because you'll be so excited about the information you'll see the benefits of it. And that's what writing lead paragraphs and headlines is all about: benefits to your readers.

Your final take-home Don't forget your info at the very end. No matter what you do, when you're writing to an ezine audience, always include an "About the Author" blurb (some call this a sig file, short for signature file) and a plug for anything new you're into. To do this, determine what you want the reader to do after he or she is finished reading. Do you want the to subscribe to your ezine? Buy your new ebook? Or just visit or site? Whatever the benefit to you is, identify it before you write your "About the Author" section. And you can write this at any time because it's separate from the article and you can use the same "About the Author" blurb for multiple articles. As a matter of fact, you could write one right now. Check out the one I'm using at the bottom of this article.

(c) 2003-2005 Lisa Sparks

Lisa Sparks, author of 'Power Words: How to Write ezines that Increase Your Sales,' has more than 13 years of experience in journalism, copywriting and marketing. Sign up for her ezine, a $197 per year value, at no cost by visiting http://www.integritywriting.com.

Page View Logic As Applied To Article Writing & Marketing

Do you want to grow the level of traffic to your website? Most people think that they want to get more HITS, but what they really want to grow is their "page views". Let's look at a very basic formula for growing your page views.

Page Views vs. HITS: (Definitions)

HITS is so 1990's as HITS has also been knows as: How Idiots Track Success. If you have 3 images on a page, you might be generating 4 hits each time someone views your page. Therefore, it's largely a useless number. (1) Page View is equal to one view of your page. If you get 100k page views, you could say that someone pulled down and looked at 100k pages of your content. Bottom line: You want to grow your page views.

The Page View Secret Formula

Your total page views in a given time period is directly related to the number of pages you have available in your website or article inventory.

Forget complicated or sneaky SEO strategies. All you really need to do is focus on driving the number of pages of content you have by producing more quality original articles. The search engines love quality original content. Give it to them and they reward you with more traffic referrals.

Each article you have is an agent of yours...working for you, selling 24 hours a day. Want more traffic? Create more article agents.

Page View Analogies:

Here are two analogies to drive home Chris Knight's Page View theory 101:

Grocery Store: Have you ever went to a small country-side grocery store that has perhaps 10k or 20k SKU's (products for sale)? While this might meet your convenience needs, it does not meet your variety needs compared to a super market that might have 100k SKU's in stock.

Grocery stores know their SKU count because they are constantly trying to maximize revenue on paper thin margins and you can't drive sales if you only have a few thousand SKU's.
Chorus: You can't drive article marketing traffic success without more article agents selling for you. Therefore, create more articles and set a goal to have thousands of them as part of your business plan.

Search Engines: Ever go to a small search engine to do a general search? They might have a few hundred million entries, but never enough to rival the 8-12+ billion entries of the major players in the search engine space. The small guys get displaced and forgotten as consumers demand variety, thoroughness and choice.

Chorus: You need more article agents selling for you. Write another 100 of them before the month is over and put them to work.

Page View Creation Bottom line:

Total page views generated over a given time period is directly related to how many pages or articles of content that you have. 10, 100 or 1,000 articles may not cut it any more. You need thousands of quality original articles that work for you, 24 hours a day. Time to think bigger. No, it's not impossible. Yes, others have done this already. Yes, you can do it too! Get started today.

About The Author:

Christopher M. Knight invites you to submit your best articles for massive exposure to the high-traffic http://EzineArticles.com/ directory. When you submit your articles to EzineArticles.com, your articles will be picked up by ezine publishers who will reprint your articles with your content and links in tact giving you traffic surges to help you increase your sales. To submit your article, setup a membership account today: http://EzineArticles.com/submit/

Copyright 2005 - Christopher M. Knight. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

How To Get Noticed By Editors And Publishers: Make Your Strengths Shine

by: Shelley Wake

To be a successful writer and get noticed, being good often isn’t good enough. You have to shine. You have to have something that puts you above all others. Of course though, nobody is perfect. Everyone has faults and flaws. But everyone has talents and abilities too. What’s your talent?

Find your talent and focus on it. Develop it. Showcase it in your writing so it really shines through. Remember, one thing that stands out is far easier to notice than ten things that are good, but not great. Make sure your best skill stands out.

Stacey’s Story: Start With Something Special

I had my breakthrough while taking a break from writing. I was watching the movie Bring it On and decided to watch the bonus features. One of them was an interview with the director and he talked about how the screenplay got noticed because it opened with the cheer song. That stood out, that got their attention, that made them want to read the rest. I decided to take the same approach. I took chances with the start. I started with a letter, a poem, a snippet from a diary. It must have made the difference because with that one change, a manuscript that had been rejected 14 times got purchased. –Stacey, Novelist

Carmen’s Story: Use Your Strengths

I was told by my teachers and by readers that my dialogue was really strong. So I decided to stop hiding it away and I put it right out front. I made the first chapter of my novel almost all dialogue. It got the attention of an agent, who has since told me that the individuality of the first chapter told him that he had found a new writer with a clear sense of style. He took me on and is now trying to sell that sense of style to publishers. Even better for me, he’s not just trying to sell my first book, he’s trying to sell me as the next new thing, a young writer to look out for! –

Carmen, Novelist

Editor Says: “Forget Modesty”

Writing is not a business where you can afford to be modest. You have to get in there and show what you’ve got. Whatever you do better than everyone else, show it off. Build your work around your best skill. Otherwise, you’re going to be lumped in with the rest of the writers that are good, but don’t stand out. –James, Editor

Editor Says: “I’m Looking for One Thing”

Many writers make the mistake of trying to show me everything they do well. Forget it. I’m glancing at hundreds of manuscripts a day. To catch my attention, you have to hit me between the eyes with one strong point that I can’t not notice. There will be time later to show me your other strengths. For the first contact, focus on making one clear point about yourself and make it a good one.

–Darryn, Editor

Susan’s Story: Is it Really a Flaw?

In the early days of Susan’s career, everyone advised her that she relied on dialogue too much. So she cut out the dialogue. She kept writing but found her work lacked energy. Years later, she decided to ignore all the advice. The novel came naturally to her and it was almost all dialogue. The book reviews praised her unique style and voice. Susan learned her lesson—never suppress what comes naturally to you. Remember, what comes naturally to you might be your greatest gift, not your greatest flaw.

Top Six Ways to Find Your Strength

1. Ask other people what stands out about your work.

2. Read some of your best work and make a list of what makes it good.

3. Read through the contents of a book about writing and ask yourself if there is an area you are good at.

4. Think about what other people have said about your work. Are there any comments that keep being repeated?

5. Ask yourself what you care about when you write.

6. What do you like about other people’s work? Often the things you notice in other people’s work are also the things that you are good at.

About The Author

Shelley Wake

This article contains a tiny portion of the great advice Shelley Wake learned when she interviewed hundreds of editors and writers for “Kick-Start Your Writing Career.” The book is packed with smart, practical, proven methods guaranteed to get you noticed, get you published, and get your career moving. Link: http://www.writingstuff.com/fs01m.html