Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ezine Article Writing: A Template Saves Time and Aids Structure

Writing articles and submitting them to article directories is a great way to generate publicity and expert reputation but can be a time consuming and frustrating process unless you approach it systematically. Having written hundreds features for printed media for 20 years, I soon found I needed a very different approach for online articles and developed this template to help me produce articles that work.

The first thing I learned is that you are writing for four audiences with different sets of needs.

1. The Publisher – Web sites, ezines, blogs and printed media all require different lengths and styles of content so you need to be flexible with lots of choice from short punchy to in depth analysis to personal commentary. Articles need to be topical, from an expert and contain no overt promotion and self serving links. The more articles you write the more of an "expert" you become.

2. The Reader - People search the internet for content so the article needs to provide topical, fresh ideas with plenty of easy to digest, practical advice.

3. The Search Engines – You need to do extensive keyword research for your web site then select a specific primary keyword or phrase for each article and use it liberally for maximum search engine ranking

4. The Directory – They each have specific requirements regarding format, structure and topic. Each article will be checked to see that it does not beach their content guidelines and formatting rules.

Before you start the article – type out the headings below to form the template – then use the notes to guide you.

Article Title

Maximum 100 characters (including spaces) - that’s about 12 words.
Make it grabby to catch the attention of readers and publishers but start with your primary search engine keyword phrase. In printed media titles starting “How to…” or “10 top tips for…" are very popular – they are not good for search engines. This will go in the title of a web page.

Abstract

Maximum 500 characters - about 90 words but 50 or 60 is better.
Make it enticing to hook the publisher and make them want to read the full article. The abstract is primarily targeted at the publisher and will be displayed just below the title on the search pages in the directory, but is secondary to the title in getting attention. Some publishers may also use it.

Description – Meta Tag

Maximum 200 characters but preferably 150 – two lines of text.
Shorter punchier version of the abstract which must contain your primary keywords – you will need this if you publish on your own web site.

Keywords – Meta Tag

Maximum 100 characters - about 12 words comma separated

Start with your primary keyword of phrase then add other relevant keywords used in the article.

Article Text

Length really depends on your market and style. Much advice suggests about 250 to 750 words, but some publishers want in-depth analysis and I have had a 1700 word article reproduced at least once. Research your market and be flexible, with a mix of lengths and perhaps long and short versions of the same article.

Write the basic article with NO FORMATTING WHATSOEVER – if you are using word, disable all the auto-formatting like smart quotes, automatic hypertext links and paragraph spacing because they will all cause you problems. You can always reset them later.

Get your Primary Keyword Phrase into the first sentence if you can and provide a liberal sprinkling of keywords throughout. Don't overdo it. The article still has to be a good read and remember though you are writing for four audiences, Content is King.

Absolutely no advertorial copy - Do not promote your products and services you will kill the article.

Absolutely no self serving links – No links to your web site or affiliate sites in the body of the article, if you do you will not be published. If you have links to resources show them as text - many sites do not allow live html links in the article.

Copyright

Copyright, date, name, country

Few directories ask for this but it makes sense to put it at the bottom of the article or in the field requested.

Resource Box

Maximum 500 characters, "including spaces and html code." This is the limit for many sites so best to stick to it for all.

This is your opportunity to promote yourself but limit to 1 or 2 self serving links and write in the "Third Person." The publisher has to live with this on their site or ezine so make it palatable for them. I offer an incentive for people to visit my web site, but make sure that live links show the web address not keywords. If the publisher doesn’t use live links, you still want people to see the web address.

HTML Formatted Article

Once you have completed the unformatted text article – you can then make an HTML formatted copy if you wish. Most sites do not need HTML, a lot of publishers don't accept it and some directories forbid all html. Remember "Content is King." If you do format – keep it simple – too much formatting and it will never be published.

Copyright 2005 Richelle (Rikki) Arundel, UK

About the Author:

Founder and First President of the Professional Speakers Association, RikkiArundel is an International Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Writer and an expert in sales and marketing communications with an impressive track record.
Get your free copy of How to Get Customers Queuing up to Buy at http://www.speakingandmarketingtips.com/

30 Comments:

  • Interesting blog you have here, I landed here on accident. I was searcing for something else and came across your site. I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. I got you book marked.

    I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

    My site is a bit different than yours, but just as entertaining and educational, I run a penis enlarging exercises related site pertaining to penis enlarging exercises related articles.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:11 AM  

  • You have an interesting blog here. Some of the things people put are kind of strange. Another cool site I like is a affiliate income marketing residual secret site that is about information marketing and a little other stuff.

    Anyway, I like your blog and will proably be back.

    Take care.

    By Blogger Mohawk Man, at 12:35 AM  

  • This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this enlarging penis at home site, it's pretty awesome too!

    By Blogger Scott, at 11:21 AM  

  • I was looking for a place to post my blogs current health article and stumbled across your blog. I found a cool site to post my link to my blog which is free and if you would like you can add your link aswell. It helps with getting traffic. Anyway, nice blog...I read posts with my coffee every morning. Ok then, have a great day : )

    current health article

    By Blogger hexadecimals resources, at 5:49 AM  

  • Your views are interesting. Thanks for sharing. My own website is about internet business

    By Blogger 444555, at 1:17 AM  

  • I really like your affiliate marketing referral blog... I'm definitely going to bookmark you.

    I have a free to join affiliate marketing referral auto income portal, loaded with tools and resources relative to affiliate marketing referral.

    Stop by and check it out when you have time :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 AM  

  • Vous avez un blog très agréable et je l'aime, je vais placer un lien de retour à lui dans un de mon blogs qui égale votre contenu. Il peut prendre quelques jours mais je ferai besure pour poster un nouveau commentaire avec le lien arrière.

    Merci pour est un bon blogger.

    By Blogger vente, at 8:06 AM  

  • I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

    It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about penis enlarging exercises) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about penis enlarging exercises related articles and subjects.

    By Blogger Enlargement, at 12:05 PM  

  • I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

    It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about enhancement male prominent) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about enhancement male prominent related articles and subjects.

    By Blogger bloggirl1272, at 6:18 PM  

  • learn about self publish christian
    at: self publish christian
    Info

    By Blogger selfpublishingtips, at 11:31 AM  

  • Not what I was searching for, but none the less and interesting blog here. Thanks for putting it up. I've enjoyed reading alot of the text here. I got you bookmarked for the future, I'll be back.

    By Blogger Enlargement, at 6:55 PM  

  • Hello, I like your blog about affiliate marketing sales site web and thought I would just come and tell you so. I actually have a website about affiliate marketing sales site web and I thought you might like to come and take a look affiliate marketing sales site web. Let me know what you think when you take a look

    By Blogger Mike, at 3:37 AM  

  • This site is great, nice job!!

    I have a natural penis enlargement info site. It is about natural penis enlargement articles and stuff.

    Drop by when you can, nice site here!

    By Blogger redsheets, at 4:49 AM  

  • Just passing thru and I think you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to put you in my favorites!

    I have a affiliate internet marketing marketing marketing online pr press realeases site/blog. It pretty much covers affiliate internet marketing marketing marketing online pr press realeasesrelated stuff.

    Come and check it out when you have the time and keep up the great work on your site :-)

    By Blogger mac, at 8:33 AM  

  • Hi,

    you really have a very nice blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a site dealing with switching host affect faq
    . You are heartly invited to take some really good tips from it.



    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    TheSEO-Rank.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 AM  

  • Interesting blog you have here, I landed here on accident. I was searcing for something else and came across your site. I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. I got you book marked.

    I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

    My site is a bit different than yours, but just as entertaining and educational, I run a big breast penis related site pertaining to big breast penis related articles.

    By Blogger girljane, at 5:13 AM  

  • Hi,

    you really have a very nice blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a site dealing with seo services. You are heartly invited to take some really good tips from it.



    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    TheSEO-Rank.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:39 AM  

  • affiliate partner program is great

    i found here searching for the word affiliate partner program and your site was listed high on the word affiliate partner program
    GOOD JOB

    affiliate partner program

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:39 AM  

  • I discuss this topic daily myself. I also have a website that talks about affiliate management related things. Go check it out if you get a chance.

    By Blogger Johnjon, at 7:41 PM  

  • Nice blog you have here! If you get a chance you may want to visit this enlargement penis price surgery site, it's a very nice site.

    By Blogger LoseThatWeight, at 11:41 PM  

  • cool stuff keep the posts comming enlargement free natural penis

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 AM  

  • Great Blog
    For More Marketing Secrets

    Advanced Business Marketing

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

  • I discuss this topic daily myself. I also have a website that talks about income lead online payplan related things. Go check it out if you get a chance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 AM  

  • Hi, I was impressed with your comments on clearing house publisher winner. I too have an interest in clearing house publisher winner and we are always looking for new articles and information on clearing house publisher winner . Please give us a visit when you have time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 AM  

  • Great blog! Lots of character.

    I found a article submission woman site that is really good for article submission woman information.

    Hope you like it.

    By Blogger Kim, at 9:07 PM  

  • I discuss this topic daily myself. I also have a website that talks about business income income mlm opportunity residual residual successforfreedom.com related things. Go check it out if you get a chance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 AM  

  • hello, your blog is interesting to read, I have a website about internet marketing, it should be helpful to you in making more web money. This is a global trend that more and more people can make a living online, so make sure you visit it.

    By Blogger Johnny, at 11:13 AM  

  • "What a very interesting blog about create residual income and wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the information that you have posted here on the Internet. I also have a website I made relevant to your topic about create residual income so I know that your resource is a great asset to everyone on the Net!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 AM  

  • Hello ##NAME##, I find it very refreshing to occasionally find a postsuch as yours with a different topic completely to what I was looking for. It often ads to ones list of lifes experiences.

    I tend to have a soft spot for blogs related to free articles and /or sites that have a central theme around free articles type items.

    Once again, thank you, hope you don't mind if I visit again sometime :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 PM  

  • Good afternoon ##NAME##, I find it very refreshing to occasionally find a post or topic such as yours with a unusual theme completely. My wife liked it too.

    I must admit I tend to have a soft spot for sites related to publishing articles and /or sites that have a central theme around publishing articles type items. Probably the webmaster in me.

    Once again, thank you ##NAME##, and I hope you don't mind if I visit again sometime.

    By Blogger Ray, at 12:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home