Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gaining Exposure Within Writing.Com

Dear Writing Reader,

One of the most popular questions from Authors on Writing.Com is: How do I gain exposure on Writing.Com?

In this letter, I will provide numerous tips for increasing the amount of exposure you receive on Writing.Com.

Tip #1: Utilize Our Newsletters!

Every week Writing.Com sends out over 140,000 issues of its 13 various newsletters. Each week, Newsletter Editors ask for questions and feedback from their readers. Each week we see many of the newsletters "Ask & Answer" sections go blank! Get easy, quick exposure by emailing Writing.Com Newsletter Editors and asking them questions to be included in their next issue.

Subscribe to newsletters that cover your favorite genres. Email the editors with questions pertaining to the genre, writing style or topic that Editor chose that week. In most cases, you will find your name, your question and a response in that Editor's newsletter the following week. Readers of that newsletter will, more than likely, check out your portfolio!

Tip #2: Review, Review, Review!

Reading and rating are very important for writers, but when it comes to garnering eyeballs for your own work - nothing beats reviewing. When you review another author's item, invite that Author to your own portfolio. Most of our Authors will be more than happy to check out your portfolio, since you were so kind to take a look first!

Review, review and then review some more. Correspond with other Authors on the site and you'll be surprised how many more views your items get!

Tip #3: Plug Yourself In!

There are many In & Outs and Message Forums that are geared toward giving Writing.Com Authors exposure. Most of these are run by Authors themselves and receive heavy traffic. Writing.Com itself provides one that is linked from the "Item Jumps" pulldown menu.

Plug yourself without shame; utilize The Shameless "Plug" Page. Don't be shy; start posting in message forums asking people to visit your portfolio. Tell readers a little about yourself, your portfolio and your writing style; you're sure to gain new readers!

Tip #4: Win Exposure With Contests!

There are many contests run by Writing.Com members, as well! Participating in contests does not only give you the opportunity to win Gift Points, but also provides a free stage for you to flaunt your writing to others who are entering or judging that contest. Contests are easy to enter, give a wide variety of assignment and provide GREAT exposure whether you win or not!
Participate in contests! To start, you will find some by visiting Writing Contests @ Writing.Com!.

You can also visit the "Contest" sub-type link from within the Static Item listing page.

Tip #5: Get BidClicking!

Now take the Gift Points you just won in the contests and Sponsor your items with the Writing.Com BidClick System!

My recommendation is to use the Genre and Item Type sponsorship opportunities. Extremely popular genres like Romance/Love, Action/Adventure, and Fantasy can be sponsored for under 25 Gift Points (or 1/4 of a penny)!

Placing items within applicable genres will generate highly targeted readers who are more likely to read, rate AND review your item; and it costs FAR FEWER Gift Points than the main Sponsored Items column!

If you want instant exposure to all of our visitors, you can bid a higher Gift Point price for the Sponsored Items listing. This listing is shown on the right-hand side of every page and is seen by every visitor to Writing.Com. We've seen items gain over 100 ratings in less than 24 hours when sponsored there!

Sponsor items within the Genre or Item Type listing pages. For even more exposure, try out the Sponsored Items area. For even more information on this, read The Writing.Com BidClick System!

I hope you found useful information within my letter; good luck and have fun!

~~ The StoryMaster (19)

The StoryMaster is WebMaster of Writing.Com ( http://www.Writing.Com/ ). Established in 2000, Writing.Com is the online community for readers and writers of all ages and interests.
Whether you're a casual reader searching for a good story or a creative writer looking for the perfect place to improve your skills, Writing.Com is the site for you! Over 293,848 members have joined and posted over 819,680 literary items.

Beating Perfection Syndrome so you can write

It's Saturday afternoon. Your partner has taken the kids to the
park. You have a whole hour to write. Instead of which, you sit,
staring out the window like Rodin's Thinker in jeans and a yellow
sweatshirt. Why aren't you writing? A tiny item called Perfection
Syndrome. You want whatever you write in this precious hour to be
perfect.

During the week, you had a stream of plausible ideas. You wrote
three ideas in your notebook: an article about children's first
words (your six month old said 'truck'), an essay about male
vanity, and a short story about a blonde with tattooed arms and a
poodle.

Just now, none of those ideas seems right. You've only got an
hour, so you want the perfect idea, the one that will justify the
sixty minutes you're about to spend on it. Instead, you do
nothing.

Perfection Syndrome can destroy your writing career. It's a
killer, because if you don't recognise it for what it is, it
leads to apathy. The gap between what's in your head and what
manifests on the page is so wide that you may give up writing for
days or weeks.

I understand Perfection Syndrome, because it's something I battle
every day. The words on the screen or the page never measure up
to the words in my head. I start typing, and after a sentence or
two, stop. The words "this is garbage" light up like neon in my
skull, my stomach clenches, and I feel as if a ten ton weight had
dropped onto my body. It's not as if I'm a new writer. I've been
writing for over 20 years. Intellectually, I understand that it's
important to get words onto the screen --- any words. You can fix
whatever you write. Emotionally, I want the first draft to be
perfect. I've accepted that perfectionism is part of my
personality, and without a personality transplant, I'm never
going to get rid of it, so all I can do is out-write it.

Yes, out-write it. A practice that's helped is Julia Cameron's
Morning Pages method, which is detailed in her books: The
Artist's Way, and Vein of Gold. The first thing I do each morning
is write three pages in longhand. This primes the pump, and if I
accomplish the Morning Pages, I know that I can count on a
productive writing day, and Perfection Syndrome is beaten for
this 24 hours at least.

Updating my inner "writer" image also helped. Images are the
language of the right brain and the subconscious mind. Your
subconscious mind is the engine which drives you. My initial
image of my writing self was of a mountain climber, clinging to
vertical rock and ice, unable to see the mountain peak, but
terrorized by a crevasse below. No wonder I needed every word to
be perfect, if the alternative was death. A more nourishing image
popped into my mind. I saw my writing self as a seed-sower, the
old-time kind, with a deep hessian bag of seeds, walking along
the furrows of a field of fertile soil, scattering seeds with
both hands. Now, whenever I feel panicked about my writing, I
visualize myself as the sower, scattering those seeds. Ask
yourself what image you hold of yourself as a writer.

Strategies to beat Perfection Syndrome

The first step in fighting Perfection Syndrome is to acknowledge
that you've got it, and know that it's beatable. Any of the
strategies below will help.

* Morning Pages: first thing each morning, write three pages in
longhand. The pages don't have to be about anything. You can
write three pages of whining about situations in your life, or
three pages of "This is stupid, I don't know what to write". Yes,
but--- you're thinking: I'm supposed to write three pages no one
will ever see, much less publish? YES. Just try the process.

* Check in with your subconscious mind. Just wonder quietly about
the image you hold of your writing self. Either awake, while
daydreaming, or in a dream, and image will float into your mind.
If it's negative, change it to a life-affirming, encouraging and
hopeful one.

* Set a target number of words for each writing session. However,
set the word target and quality LOW. Even on your worst migraine
day you can write 200 words of gibberish. Or, promise yourself
that whenever you turn on your computer, you will write 50 words
on your current project.

* Keep a writing log for each writing session for a week. List
what you worked on, how many words you wrote, and how you felt
before you started writing and how you felt when you finished.
Your writing log will convince you that writing can alter your
moods: you'll feel better when you finish your writing session
than you did before you started. It will also convince you that
you can write when you're depressed, tired, or ill.

* Start a story prompts/ ideas file. A fresh idea may tempt you
if you're resisting working on your current projects.

* Where else in your life do you expect perfection? If you're
struck with Perfection Syndrome, it will manifest in other areas.
List five of those areas, and several ways to combat each

* Perfectionism leads to procrastination: do one task each day
that you've been putting off. Be willing to skimp on the task,
and do it badly, but do it.

Copyright © 2002 by Angela Booth

***Resource box: if using, please include*** When your words
sound good, you sound good. Author and copywriter Angela Booth
crafts words for your business --- words to sell, educate or
persuade. Get in touch today for a free quote: ab@digital-e.biz
Free ezine: Creative Small Biz --- subscribe at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Creative_Small_Biz

Australian author and journalist Angela Booth writes about business, technology, health and creativity for print and online publications. She also writes copy for businesses large and small.

A New Way To Self Publish

More and more good authors are turning to the Internet to self publish. There are several reasons for that. All of them are probably well known to every writer by now, so we'll not go into them here. What we'll talk about here is a new way to self publish.

Everyone has, by now, heard of ebooks. This is a wonderful way to publish on the net, but it requires special programs to empliment it. And there are web sites that will do all that for you for a fee. But what if you simply can't afford it or you don't want to pay anyone?

This idea I've come up with may be out there in left field, but out in left field is where you usually find some great ideas. Here is what I found.

Create a credit card account somewhere first. Pick any company you are comfortable with and doesn't cost a great deal. After that is all set, put your novel on your web site, create its own page, and use the ariel font. Use size 10 for the main text. Your title and chapter headings can be larger.

Write an intro page for your novel and create a separate page for it. Here is where you'll put any illustrations you may have. So people will have an example of your writing, copy and paste the first chapter of your novel and put it here, too. Also on this page will be the link to your credit card payment company.

The next step is to set up your credit card account to connect with the novel page after your customers have paid for it and then they can simply print out the novel or copy and paste it to their Word or Works program that is already on their computers.

This is a simple and yet effective way to self publish and it does not cost you anything, either. Out in left field, I know, but hey. Anything to survive, huh?

Anna Kathryn Bir is a published author of many sci fi short stories. One of them was a Star Trek story. You can find her sci fi novels on her web site http://e-sac.com email address is info@e-sac.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Article Writing Tips from SpongeBob SquarePants

Wisdom can be found in the most unexpected places. Today, wisdom bubbled up from a pineapple under the sea. I suddenly realized that everything you’d want to know about writing articles for your website can be taught by SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends.

When you write for your newsletter, blog, or website, which character are you most like?

Squidward: Squidward is B-O-R-I-N-G. When writing articles, are you a Squidward? Do you just get the words down on paper or are you finding a fun twist to entertain your audience and keep them coming back for more? Take time to make your articles stand out from the thousands of other dull articles out there by including personal stories or just having fun while writing. For instance, this article could be entitled "How to Write a Good Article", but would it stand out from the hundreds of other articles about article writing? Probably not.

Mr. Krabs: This crustacean is focused on one thing and one thing only, making more and more and more money. Only a cartoon could actually have dollar signs drawn in his eyes. He thinks of no one, only how he can benefit. Are your articles focused on you or on the reader? Are you providing information or do you have blinders on, thinking only about how you can make money from the article you are writing? If your article reads like an ad or is self-serving or full of affiliate links, you might write like Mr. Krabs.

Patrick: SpongeBob’s best friend, the starfish, has a good heart, but isn't the brightest creature in the sea. Do your articles make you sound like an expert? Are you providing valuable content or just pushing out sloppy articles as fast as you can? Always double check for typos and grammatical errors. If you're challenged by spelling and grammar, hire a Virtual Assistant or Copywriter to proofread and submit your article for you. Or slow down, set your article aside for a day and then reread it before you click the “submit” button.

Plankton: The smallest creature in the sea is also the sneakiest. He’ll do anything and hurt anyone to steal someone else’s work (the Krabby Pattie secret formula). Write your own material. Don’t be Plankton. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s work, edit it, and try to pass it off as your own. You will be caught, and it just isn’t worth it. Take the same amount of effort and work on your own thoughts and ideas. Plankton never gets away with his schemes, either. He’s on Plan “Z” and is still pathetically failing at his attempts to steal the secret formula.

SpongeBob: This little guy always tries to do the right thing, and is a hard worker. He may not always end up getting the results he hoped for, but he bounces back and tackles his work with a renewed vigor. SpongeBob works very hard, he's a good friend, he always thinks of others, and tries to have fun no matter what he is faced with. Hardworking, friendly SpongeBob is the guy to be when writing articles.

Although this is a silly lesson in article writing, I hope you'll remember the important messages our underwater friends have taught us.

1. Be entertaining. Not boring.

2. Write articles to help others, not with dollar signs in your eyes.

3. Proofread your articles carefully, and provide valuable information.

4. Write your own material. Don’t copy others.

5. Be a SpongeBob! Hard work and persistence pay off.

Before you know it, you'll develop a following for having informative and entertaining articles and you’ll be King or Queen of the sea.

Nicole Dean, owner of http://ShowMomtheMoney.com uses Article Marketing to get free advertising on websites and in newsletters worldwide. She welcomes you to visit http://www.EasyArticleMarketing.com to find out how.

Article Writing & Marketing: The Single Most Powerful Tool I Have Ever Found

Have you discovered the power of article writing and marketing?

By far, this is the single most powerful tool I have ever found for creating prospects, publicity and profits.

An incredible 70/30 split

Here is a great example of the power of this article writing and marketing.

I have been writing a syndicated relationship column for 11 years now. My column runs weekly in newspapers all over the world. Since they are kind enough to include my contact information, I've gotten a steady stream of prospects, publicity and profits from doing this for 11 years.

I have been posting my articles online at EzineArticles.com since late April of this year, 2005, or said another way, for the last 7 months as of this writing. From the first month I started I've gotten a flood of prospects, publicity and profits from writing and posting articles.

Now, let's look at some simple numbers.

From my newspaper column that I have written for 11 years, I get 30% of my new prospects and subscribers.

From writing and posting articles online for the last 7 months, I get 70% of my new prospects and subscribers.

Simply stated:

11 years equals 30% of my new prospects and subscribers

7 months equals 70% of my new prospects and subscribers.

11 years = 30%

7 months = 70%

Are you getting the power of this?

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

Using Articles to Market Your Business by Answering Questions

Using articles in your marketing can make you into the EXPERT (think - you're they're superhero), answer customer questions, and ultimately, help you sell stuff!

There is no better way to advertise and promote information than to use articles. Article can answer questions that people have regarding your product or service. Who better to answer those questions than you, the expert on your product of service?

Many businesses are now marketing their products and services via the internet. This is a great way to communicate information to people all around the world. In the absence of articles there are plenty of websites that would fail to have any purpose. All of the articles that support various products on the web have a real marketing spin. Using articles as part of a marketing program is how many items get sold, because those articles are written to answer questions people have to problems they face. Usually the solution presented in the article shows that the answer to the question is the product or service you market. Brochures, newsletters, direct mail letters and magazines columns are all perfect examples of article marketing.

To write your article, the first thing you need to do is determine your aims for writing the article. Ask yourself three simple questions

What is it I am trying to sell?

What am I trying to achieve?

Who is my target market?

In order for you to sell a product, write your article so that it meets the needs and desires of your potential customers and potential target markets. In other words, what question or problem that the customer is having can you solve by the time they finish reading the article?

Write the article so that it gets to the heart and soul of the buyer in a way that helps them to see how truly beneficial the item is to them. Emotions play an important role in a customer's decision to purchase something.

If your aim is to market a service that you offer, then you might want to include testimonials in your articles. Phrases such as "They go above and beyond every time." These sorts of phrases help to ensure you customers feel confident above using your services. Make sure your testimonials are from real people. You want to run an ethical business.

In a world that consists of an ever-growing market in the technology field and expanding information age, it is important to have a precise plan when marketing with articles. You want your customers to be reassured that you have the information that will simplify their work, life, etc...

In other words, ANSWER the questions that they didn't know they had.

Basically, the plan is to design your ideas for marketing with articles so that the articles focus on filling the need of your client in a way that they want your product or service above your competitors.

Jonathan Kraft has been specializing in Internet affiliate marketing for nearly 4 years. He works with a team on www.affiliateadvice.us, which has been designed to help people of all design and ability levels to find and set up money generating sites through affiliate programs.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

SOME HELPFUL HINTS IN WRITING ARTICLES FOR THE WEB - TWENTY FIVE TIPS

Writing articles can provide you with enormous amount of exposure on the Web. You are branding yourself on a shoestring budget - it hasn't cost you a cent, but a little time and effort Writing a free content article is simple and follows a similar professional approach as an article for a standard, paying market.

People want quality content : for their ezines and their web sites .; however, the competition for content is fierce. Every Web site owner wants content and hundreds of writers want their content visible on the Web It's FREE promotion through your signature file at the end of your article* Articles that give good information or explain how to accomplish something are usually best, and will be read most often.

Here are some pointers in writing articles for the www:

1. Accept that writing for the web is different to writing for the off-line world. People tend to skim and scan (note alliteration) when reading online. They read quickly scrolling down the page.

2. Identify your target audience.

3. Give your article a catchy title that will grab attention and make people want to read.

4. Keep your title reasonably short. Put some thought and effort into your heading - again to get your reader's immediate attention.

5. Be professional and take your article writing seriously. Write about something you know professionally. Don't be overly casual in your writing (ie. don't write exactly as you speak)

6. Keep your paragraphs short.

7. Get to the point quickly (enough waffle with maple syrup, Craig!).

8. Target your article to your audience with "focussed information".

9. Be brief, if you are a "waffler", like this writer. People want immediate information online and have limitedtime usually - it's the "instant coffee, sorry generation.

10. Write briefly and concisely (redundant words, meaning the same thing, Craig!) Try to keep your article under 1,500 words. Most paying markets usually only accept between 500 and 2,000 words...and with a bit of luck they may even "pick up" your great article. Try to be concise in your wording. Brevity is the hall-mark of good writing...or so say many of the teachers of writing!

11. Use the OCCASIONAL exclamation mark (!) to get your readers attention. Forget the ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points!!!

12. Be credible (big word, eh?) at all times. I use my articles to attempt to share, inform and entertain at the same time in a "conversational style with dashes of my funny (peculiar/zany) humour".Happy writing "dem" articles


Craig is a writer, who believes in encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, strive for and achieve their dreams in life, whatever they may be. He truly believespeople can overcome obstacles, rise to any occasion and accomplish their entire dream with enough faith and commitment.Craig's various books* (hard copies, CD's, "talking books" and e-books) are available at: http://www.nzenterprise.com/writer/books.html

I Am Biodegradable. My Writing Is Not.

My dad was wrong. I just discovered that I am good for nuthin' after all. In fact I've been good for nuthin' all along. I am 100% biodegradable and that means I can be recycled into nuthin'. It also means that no matter how much I waste, no matter how much I consume, no matter how much I pollute, in the end I am environment-friendly. Best of all, I now have an end use.
Now that's something to put on my resume!

This comes as particularly good news to somebody who is not sure what his purpose is. Sometimes I write these humor columns, pretending to be funny. Sometimes people even laugh, and I worry that it might be the start of an ominous trend.

Sometimes I am selling my happiness book, pretending to be a successful author. With 2,000 copies of my book keeping the floor from floating upwards, perhaps I AM successful. Levitating floors are generally not considered signs of success in this part of the country.

Sometimes I am optimizing websites for search engine rankings. "What exactly does that mean?" I am often asked.

"Well...it means that I get my clients' site high up in the searches." Blank stare.

I try again. "It means that I help Google show you my clients' web sites. Blank stare.

"Well...I'm not sure how to explain it. But I get paid to do it." People understand that.

"I turn on a machine that defluctuates the turbo-rotating modulator down at the spare parts plant," someone adds.

"What exactly does that mean?" I ask.

"Beats me. But I get paid to do it." We are soulmates.

Sometimes I write for pay, because people seem to want something written. They hope that if they can't say it themselves, I might be able to find just the right words.

"C'mon, David. You have lots of words. Why don't you lend me some? Why, just last week you promised to 'defenestrate' me, whatever that means." They want me to put their thoughts into words, and occasionally they want me to create their thoughts. I worked for a politician years ago. I vaguely remember how to write somebody else's thoughts before he knew he had them.
"So what do you write?"

"Web site copy, mostly."

"Really? Not another book?"

"No, I still have 2,000 copies of the last book piled up in my office."

"I'm sure they'll sell quickly, David."

"Really? Want one?"

"Uh...gotta go. It's time for my pet goldfish's nap."

I also write this humor column faithfully every week. But people actually PAY me to write website copy. Now, dear reader, answer me this question. Would you rather be reading this hilarious column, loaded with frosting and topped with chocolate syrup, or would you rather read plain vanilla website copy.

OK, go ahead and read the website copy, then. See if I care.

One thing my website copy and this column have in common is that they are not biodegradable. Remember how computers would save the environment as they replace the three gazillion tones of paper we trash every few hours in offices around the world and elsewhere?

Now we discover that all that paper at least was biodegradable, recyclable, reusable. It wasn't all that bad for the environment, after all. But the monitor you are reading this on will last forever.

(SFX: evil laughter) Adventure seekers from the planet Zorgoppppt will land here in the year 2304 and discover all these abandoned monitors scattered around.

One Zorgopppptian will say to the other, "prrg, ddyte h hthp oooo djudu" (Translation: "Groovy paper weights!")

But they won't find me, thanks to my lifetime achievement. I'll be long gone, because I am (chest swells with pride) biodegradable.

David Leonhardt is biodegradable and happy at: http://www.thehappyguy.com To write your website copy, newsletter or award winning biodegradable cereal box copy, email him at: info@thehappyguy.com He is author of Inspiration & Motivation To Go: http://www.thehappyguy.com/l/daily-motivation-inspiration.php The Get Happy Workbook: http://www.thehappyguy.com/happiness-work-book.html and Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness: http://www.thehappyguy.com/happiness-self-help-book.html Info@thehappyguy.com

Friday, November 25, 2005

Why Writers Write

Writing is not just another hobby, it is an emotion. The words are not just fitted together in sentences and paragraphs hoping to pass on a message, but it is form of expression of our greatest fears, hopes and dreams.

As a teenager I had my share of problems just like any other, but I was different… special. My mind was not at ease telling my parents or friends about a situation that had occurred or even might occur. I didn’t feel that a journal was just as my feelings were hard to explain in ordinary English. I had to find a way to express my love and hate about certain subjects, no matter how large or small.

I grabbed a pencil and paper and started writing. Using images, sounds and smells was easier than I had thought. My mind then became at ease with myself and I could live another day without wondering who or what I was going to tell my thoughts to. As the weeks and months ran on I became even more comfortable with writing my thoughts and feelings on paper, I didn’t feel discomfort any longer.

Ever since I have written. It doesn’t matter what others say or think about my writings, because I know what these poems meant and the history behind each one. Knowing that every single poem has a story and emotion greater than the comprehension of others give me satisfaction when receiving flame mails stating that I suck potatoes or bananas are more interesting than my poetry.

Writers write not because of what others think. We write because it makes us feel great about putting something on paper that will stay apart of us forever. No matter how much someone says our writing stinks, there will be ten others who appreciate the time, effort and emotion put into each one, and we will know that our writing was meant for us and only us.

Gary is a writer for Love Poetry

The Myths Of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?

There is an image most people carry of the artist (think Van Gough's self-portrait, the one with his ear bandaged), working in solitude in a barren garret in a dark corner of the city. Everyday is a struggle. He continually walks between moments of brilliance and moments of insanity. It's a romantic image, I suppose. Built around the belief that an artist must suffer for his art.
This applies not only to the painter, mind you, but also to the actor, the dancer, the photographer, the writer. We all must suffer for our art.

But image and reality are often two different things. Writing, for example, does NOT have to be a torturous process of endurance and pain. In fact, it should be exactly the opposite. Liberating. Joyous. Enlightening. Why else would you want to invest so much of yourself in it?
So let's take a closer look at a few common writing myths.

This first one actually applies in all areas of a person's life. Simply stated: Having a big ego is a bad thing. It's unbecoming. It's boastful. It puts you in a negative light.

The truth is … if you want to be a success at anything, you need an ego. It motivates you, keeps you moving, pushes you to do your best. It's not your enemy. It's your ally.

The key to making it work for you is to keep it directed inward. Pump yourself up silently. Let it fill you with pride and a sense of possibilities. That's what the ego does best. Used wisely, it will move you toward your writing goals, not away from them.

Our next common writing myth is one you hear all the time: you have to write something original.

What is originality?

There's only one thing in the world that can make your work original. That's you. Because that's all you have to bring to the table as a writer. Who you are. Your history. Your experiences. Your family. Your beliefs.

When a publisher says he wants something original, he's saying he wants something fresh, something that reflects you the writer. He wants your voice, your honesty. The world already has a Stephen King and a Mary Higgins Clark and a John Grisham. It doesn't need more of them.
Our final common writing myth (though there is no shortage of such myths, we are limited by space): the slower you write, the more time you spend with each and every word, the better your writing will be.

The catch to this one is simple: there's a time and place for writing, and there's a time and place for editing.

When you mix the two activities (which are very different in their requirements and purpose), you rarely do either one justice. If anything will suffer, it will be your writing. Because suddenly you'll be under the constraints of the editor sitting on your shoulder. You'll be fretting over the words while losing perspective on the more important elements of the story. Does the scene work? Are your characters being true to their nature? Does this move the story forward?

The truth is this: your writing will ALWAYS be better when you write in the moment.

Remember when you were a child? When you could spend hours building a sand castle or playing catch or flying a kite? Those were moments when nothing else in the world existed because you were completely absorbed in the activity. Write with that same captivation, as if each scene were unfolding right before your eyes, and you'll find your writing will not only be vivid and powerful, it will flow faster than you ever imagined possible.

Writing does not have to be a torturous, exacting process.

Allow yourself to have fun with it, and you'll be a better writer for the effort.


David B. Silva is a professional writer, editor and publisher. For a FREE mini-course on the best way to make writing that novel faster and easier, Click Here ==> mailto:easyway@thesuccessfulwriter.com?subject=TRAArticle dbsilva@thesuccessfulwriter.com

To Separate Yourself from the Pack, Write and Publish!

For all too many firms and individual professionals, most any kind of marketing/selling or job-seeking strategy works pretty well, especially in good times. But when boom times disappear, so do more automatic forms of business development. Explained research specialist Michael Norris, President, Norris Research, during a recent recession, “The general stumbling of many ‘high fliers’ has been due to marketing, or lack thereof. Until recently, it seemed as if answering the phone was their entire marketing strategy.”

When the going gets rough, however, what’s a company or job seeker to do? One little-used technique for separating oneself from the competition is to write and publish articles and/or books.

Why adopt this approach? For one thing, it’s far less expensive than even a modest snail-mail or advertising strategy, and second, writing/publishing earns one double benefits. At once you are promoting your skills and services while educating target markets about what you know, all in one fell swoop. Thus publishing transforms companies and individuals into “thought leaders,” that is to say, better-known experts in their particular field. This allows core values and unique selling points to be articulated clearly, confidently and persuasively.

How to get started? First, you need a “go-ahead” from an editor, generally a far more effective step then starting off writing a full-blown article or book, then shot-gunning it off to a publication or publisher and hoping it fits. By locating an editor who would be sincerely interested in your work before actually writing it, you stand to gain feedback around angle, length, and deadline which will help you craft the article just the way your new editor would like to see it. Obviously chances of acceptance spike up significantly when criteria for success can be specified and followed beforehand.

To insure that your article will promote you in the way you want, you’ll also want to decide beforehand (a) specific business objectives you wish to advance, and (b) publications read by your target customers (for articles) and target reader audience (for books). A client of mine, a manufacturer of data storage systems, for example, wanted its insurance firm prospects to understand how much more productive its recently-developed data mining system could make them. So its VP Sales wrote an article called “Storage Must be Flexible,” AFTER securing interest from the editor of a major insurance journal.

How does one go about obtaining such interest? The answer is all too business-familiar: cold-call or email an editor or publisher just as you would a prospective customer, pitch your idea briefly, then await the response. You’ll probably end up chatting with the editor about your proposal and hearing her ask, “So when could you get it to me?” If pitching by email, send a nudge reminder a week or so later if you haven’t yet heard, or make a follow-up call.

The truth is that securing a go-ahead from an editor is a pretty straightforward proposition. Most editors are sitting around their desks waiting to hear from you, since they don’t generally know where their next idea meals are coming from. Since they are constantly in need of great new ideas, they welcome calls or emails from strangers who can propose them.

As you get in the game, you will steadily become proficient at this remarkable (and remarkably little-used!) marketing channel. In fact, expect some prospective clients or employers to actually begin recognizing YOUR name when you meet them. They will light up when they realize they have read an article or book authored by you. “I learned a lot from reading your ideas,” they will say, adding (pre-sold to you), “Please tell me what I can do for you. I’m all ears.”

Ken Lizotte CMC is Chief Imaginative Officer (CIO) of emerson consulting group inc. (Concord, MA), which transforms consultants, law firms, executives and companies into “thoughtleaders.”

This article is an excerpt from his newest book "Beyond Reason: Questioning Assumptions of Everyday Life".

Visit ==>www.thoughtleading.com for more info.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Freelance Writers - Five Reasons Why You Need A Website

These days, if you're starting a career as a freelance writer, it's no longer enough to ring up a few editors and distribute a few business cards. Most of the people who want to hire you will ask if you have a website. If the answer is 'no', you could lose out on some valuable sources of income.

Here are five reasons why you should have a web presence.

1. Developing the brand of you

As a writer, your name is your brand. People will like or hate your stuff, trust or distrust your opinions. Either way, they'll have positive or negative feelings every time they see an article with your name on it. So your job is to build editors' and readers' trust in that brand.

2. Writing is your business - you need to treat it like one

Every reputable business has a website that showcases its products and services. You should too. How else are people going to know what you have to offer? A website allows your potential clients the luxury of accessing your information in their own time. You should include a resume, references, services (types of writing), samples of work, links to where you're published on the net.
3. Efficiency

A website is a time saving way of showcasing your past and current work (an online portfolio or selection of clips). You can point editors to it as well - a time saver for you and them. No longer do you have to spend time selecting and printing your best work. Instead, upload examples to your site and link to other places where your work has been published.

4. Make your passion work for you

Some of the writing you do will be for love rather than money, but that's no reason why you can't make it work for you. Upload your short stories, poetry, novel chapters and so on to show how creative you are.

5. Skills development

If you do the web development yourself, you'll also be gaining another valuable skill. The discipline of editing your material for a website will be invaluable when you're trying to get a commission to write 40 web articles for a pittance (we all have to start somewhere).

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff on the net and start building the brand of you.

Sharon Hurley Hall is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor. Sharon worked in publishing for 18 years, writing articles and editing and designing books and magazines. She has also lectured on journalism. For more information or to contact Sharon, visit http://www.doublehdesign.com/. Read more of Sharon's writing at http://www.doublehdesign.com/blog/

Benefits of Submitting Articles – 10 Reasons Why Free May Bring in the Bucks

Websites, Bloggers, Ezine Publishers all need content. All business need exposure and advertising. Writing artilcles to share your expertise with others can benefit in a number of ways even if you offer your articles freely.

1. Brand Yourself. You will brand your website, business and yourself . Make sure you include your name, business name, credentials, web site address and e-mail address in your resource box.

2. Gain credibility. You will become know as an expert on the topics you write about. Get an edge on your competion with a boost in credibilty.

3. Free advertising. This will broaden your advertising efforts in addition to yur normal advertising budget.

4. Get Published All Over The Web. Multiple visiting publishers to need free content for their websites, ezines, blogs and more.

5. Get Published in Offline Content. Some publishers may put your content in ebooks and so your advertising can multiply further.

6. Gain Trust. If when people read your article they like it, they will be more likely to buy your product or service increasing your profits.

7. Highlighted Exposure. A publisher may choose to place your article on their homepage or high traffic blog. Placement can increase credibility as well as exposure.

8. Long Term Advertising. Your article may end up in archives to ezine publications. Some subcribers like to read back issues before subscribing.

9. Multiply Income. You may get extra income from people who want to hire you to write other articles, books or even speak at seminars. This can be a great way to multiply your income.

10. Link Popularity! When publishers begin placing your article along with resource box on their websites you will start to raise your search engine rankings. The more links back to you site the more popular you are with the search engines. Start gaining all sorts of popularity today!

Marie Gervacio is founder and editor of Article Blender.com , ShineYourStar.com , and SimpleBeautyTips.com. Get free content for your website, ezine or blog and/or publish your articles at ArticleBlender.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How to be Rejected by the Article Directories

Article writing is one of the best ways to increase your traffic and get more sales. You've heard it a million times so you decide to finally just do it. You write an article and submit it to the article directories, eagerly anticipating the flow of traffic. Instead you receive the dreaded rejection letter.

What did you do wrong?

1. Did you proof-read your article before you submitted it?

Popular article directory sites receive hundreds of submissions each day. It's much easier for the owner to click "decline" than to edit your typo-filled or unformatted article. Before submitting, proof the article and proof it again. If grammar and spelling make you sweat, then hire a Copywriter or ask a friend to help you before you click that submit button.

2. Is it an Advertisement or an Article?

Article directory sites are looking for informative, useful content, not press releases or ads. If your submission reads like an ad, it will not be accepted. And, think about it -- even if was approved on a fluke, do you think that website owners will be clamoring to publish your 500 word advertisement? Not a chance.

If your goal is to write and submit a press release, then check out places like prweb.com.

3. Did you read the Submission Guidelines?

Each article directory has a different culture. Glance through the Submission Guidelines before setting up an account to make sure your article will be welcome before you submit it. If an article directory is based around a niche like gardening, then please resist the urge to submit your Mesothelioma articles. There are plenty of article directories that want your articles. It’s not an effective use of your time to submit unwanted articles to a niche site.

4. Is your article PG-rated?

Don't submit sex-related articles, profanity, or general nastiness. Article directories are businesses and, therefore, exist to make money. This means they generally receive income through affiliate sales or advertising. So, if your article includes sex or contains words stronger than "darn", don't be surprised if your article is rejected. Of course, if your article contains nastiness or anything illegal -- don't even bother.

5. Is your Article original and written by you?

Submit only original articles. Please do not copy someone else's article, edit it, and submit it. That's stealing and you will be caught. And, do not submit articles from shared content sites. Article directories want original, unique content. Public domain is 'public' but think how ineffective article directories would become if there were 500 versions of the same public domain piece. Instead of wasting your time figuring out how to reinvent other people's content, just write your own.

Now that you know what not to do, start writing the kind of articles that article directories dream of -- and watch your business grow.

Nicole Dean, owner of http://www.LadyPens.com – an article directory for women, invites you to visit http://www.EasyArticleMarketing.com to learn how writing simple articles can be the most effective way to bring traffic and sales to your website.

Lost In The World Of Article Submission?

There are hundreds of theories on what makes the internet tick. How will one consumer find you on this big thing called the Web? Any webmaster knows that it is the most important element to finding and keeping traffic flowing to their website. Yet, it is not always all that easy of a problem to solve. Let’s face it, there are hundreds of webmasters out there trying to do the same thing that you are. So, you have competition beyond reason.

Although it is quite difficult for you to get your website traffic up if you don’t know how, if you do, then it’s rather simple. There are many benefits to you from simply writing and submitting articles to article submission websites. This simple process can generate a steady flow of traffic unlike any other. It is quite amazing the results that you can get from this very easy process. Here are some more details for you to consider about article submission.

First, understand how it all works. You write an article, presumably about your product, service or website. Normally, you will want to insure that it is writing without the suggestion of, Come here. I’ve got a great sale for you. This type of article will most likely not be used or it will not even be allowed into publishing. The article should be crafted surrounding whatever is going to pull your customer in. The goal is to have them click and locate you.

At the bottom of your article, you will use a resource box to include your information. Who you are and what you can do for the customer. You will also have the most powerful part of the entire article there. That is of course your website link.

All of this is submitted to an article submission website which will then publish it. Anyone who wants to can pick up your article and place it onto their own website. When they do this, they are required to use the entire article and the resource box on their website. That means that now your website link is on every website out there of every person that picks up your article. This could literally be thousands and thousands of websites.

So, now that you have your articles written and submitted, you can count on receiving some traffic. The more well written the article is, the more attractive it is for other webmasters, the more it will be picked up and used. That means more and more back links to your website. This is of course an excellent way to insure traffic to your website.

When you take this to the next level, article submission really can translate into a lot of traffic. For example, now that you have written one well written article and got some action off of it, you are ready to do this again and again. That’s because you can write any article and get the same results. So, now you don’t just have one article out there generating traffic for you, but you have five, ten, or twenty doing the work for you.

Article submission websites are an excellent way for you to generate traffic to your website. You probably will not find a better location to find such a virtually free way of getting your website out there. It really makes a lot of sense and it’s quite simple.

Part 2 - Do You Know The Value Of Article Submission?

Kim Neal - Author, Webmaster, Entreprenuer. Get the most from your efforts.Submit articles to Articles-Submit.com.

Just One Article and WOW!

Let me share with you a Real Life Case of Content in its most Valuable Form. I have been marketing online for about 1 year or so, maybe a little longer. Anyway, most of what I had been doing was Traffic Exchanges and a Forum here and there, safelists and push-button mailers (which I am now sure were probably mostly spam)...oh, and Banging my head against the wall because nothing was working well. Yeah, I would make a sale here or there, but nothing to be proud of.

After reading about Article Submission, I really put some thought into it and decided that surely I could come up with something. I figured, hey the worst that can happen is that someone reads my article and thinks it is horrible and doesn't visit. No big deal, right?

Well, here is the really cool part...

I wrote that article and submitted it to 3 or 4 free submission sites...that's all, just 3 or 4. Before I knew it, I was getting subscribers left and right. I did a search and found out that not only was my article showing on the submission sites, but it was showing up on several other websites and blogs. Boy was I surprised! People actually wanted something that I wrote on their own sites.
Now, besides the extra subscribers (over 100 in fact), I also got a nice surprise when the Google Dance took place a couple weeks ago. For those of you who don't know what the Google Dance is, it is the time that Google starts updating and changing their algorithms and updating Page Rank on all of the Websites that are indexed in their system.

After that particular dance, I ended up with a Page Rank of 2. Yes, that's right...PR2. Now I know that a PR2 is not a huge achievement, but get this…it was for a website that had only been registered for a few weeks. Now the really funny part of this is that until a couple of days ago, that URL was only a forwarding URL to my Blog hosted on Blogspot. If I went to the real URL for the blog, it was a PR0, but my forwarding was a PR2. Now, of course, I have that URL hosted and a site is up, but for a Forwarded Domain to pull a PR2 off of 1 Article is pretty Amazing.

This just goes to show you the POWER behind good Content! I have since changed most of my marketing methods to incorporate Article Writing as my primary method for Traffic Generation.
It works, folks! It Just WORKS!

About the Author

Scott Raven is an Internet Marketer and Online Entrepreneur. He makes his home in Arkansas, with his Wife and 2 Daughters. You can visit Scott’s Blog at http://www.TheRavenProject.com

Copyright © 2005 TheRavenProject. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 21, 2005

5 Reasons Why Submitting Articles Sucks!

I'm not going to lie to you. Submitting articles on the web gets two thumbs down, and here's why.

If you plan on doing it right, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I mean a LOT!

Whether you're writing your own articles or submitting for a client, your ultimate goal is to be seen in prestigious places. That means high-ranking sites. That means sites where business prospects who are willing to pay for your services frequently lurk.

Here are five things that you MUST do to get your articles out into circulation (and five things that make this one SUCKY job!)

1. Research the best article sites.

Before you start typing into that submission box, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Sleuth out the best article sites on the web. Tipoffs: Author names that you recognize - and respect! Working links. An attractive design, sensible navigation. Living, breathing human beings ready to email you back with answers to your questions.

2. Update your list frequently.

It feels good to have one of those multi-page article site lists in your hands. But upon closer inspection, you may come to learn that at least a third of the URLs in your article site list don't work. Article sites spring into existence with a finger-snap... and then drop out of sight just as quickly! An outdated list means you wasted your time. Stay ahead of the article game as best you can!

3. Keep track of your submission info.

Every article site is different. Some ask for a "username." Others request an email address. Some require that you type in a password, others generate the password for you. Are you getting a sense of how confusing this can become when doing bulk article submissions? What about a client who asks tons of questions? Take notes: "Site X doesn't accept HTML formats." Record and store your user info for each site.

4. Organize your files.

Article submission varies drastically from one site to the next. You'll need to have two versions of every article - one Plain Text and one HTML-Formatted. If you change one word of one article, both versions must also be edited. Let article maintenance go by the wayside, and you'll be sending some way confused drafts out into circulation!

5. Store your personal information.

Some sites ask for an author photo, others do not. Many accept URLs - sometimes from more than one website! If you're bulk-submitting for a client, this brings a ton of questions to mind. Even the author biographies vary. You'll need to keep several bios on file - one extended bio containing several paragraphs, one brief "generic" bio, and then any bio that's part of an "article marketing campaign" where you might feature a special promotion or link to a sales page/sign-up box.

If you don't have the time to invest in article efficiency, you can always stick to just one, two or three article submission sites. But the truth is, you're short-changing yourself if you do this. The more top-quality sites you submit to, the more top-quality content-seekers will showcase your work on their sites and in their email newsletters.

I believe that if you're going to do something, you should do it right and do it all the way... or don't do it at all. That's why I'm strongly suggesting to you now, to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to organize your article submissions. You will not believe the time, effort and confusion of mass-submitting on the web. This is a FULL-TIME JOB that's best handled by an expert. Think about this: do you want to spend hours, days and weeks trying to keep up with your web articles? Or do you want to focus on offering the best service to your customers? The choice is yours.

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.

How a Novice Author Can Write 3000 Articles in Under 9 Months

If you asked the average writer if it were possible to write 3000 articles in under nine months, they would most likely say; “That is impossible!” And you would find few to argue against that point. In fact in looking at such a goal it does appear impossible, yet for those who believe, they will always be the ones to achieve.

Let us break it down, to write 3000 articles in only nine months you would have to write 333 articles per month or 11.1 articles per day. You would not be able to take any days off if you wanted to finish. You would have to write 165,900 words per month or 5550 words per day. So in looking at the break down you can see it is possible, as anything is possible.

Each year authors get together for the National Novel Writers Month or “NaNoWriMo” contest, which is a sprint to the finish 50,000-word novel from scratch each November. They say novel writing is much easier than article writing once you start. The events organizer says that word counts are matter in this race and those words can be crap. Chris Baty is the Founder of the event and although he says that most of the novels are not very good, several of the authors have received book deals and that is common each year. Now there are 42,000 participants and about 6,000 actually complete their works with the 50,000 words. Many or the top writers of the contest write up to 2,000 words per day.

If an online article writer wrote 50,000 words in one month, they would have written 1,000 articles in nine months, which would be a remarkable accomplishment. And 1000 articles would with a by-line under them with a link to a website, would drive incredible amounts of traffic if you were smart enough to post them on the Premier Online Article Submission Site on the Internet; EzineArticles.com. Your traffic from that site alone would be 250,000 articles views. I know this because today I am just shy of 750,000 articles views, which at the current rate will be hit by the end of next week. Additionally your articles would end up in First Class Ezines and on website through RSS Feed all over the Internet.

You will have to take all your worldly knowledge to write 1,000 articles online and work hard to write each day 3-4 articles each day, every day for nine months. I know you can do this, I did it and I am not even a writer, the expert writers are now calling me “The Accidental Writer” which seems to be the case, but if I can do it, anyone can. Currently I am averaging 285,000 words per month and in October I posted 570 articles, this month I hope to better than to 600 articles. My goal was to reach 3000 articles by January 1, 2006 and I am very happy to report this article makes my three thousandth article and I accomplished this goal a month and a half early. I am smiling right now as I write this and indeed, I am very happy.

I wish to thank my mentor Dina Giolitto for helping me get tough and giving me good advice to better my quality, which I am still working on to this day. I would like to thank Jeff Herring, “The Article Guy” for being a tough competitor with good advice for spicing up my articles and helping me hone my skills. Lastly I would like to thank Chris Knight for allowing me the opportunity to share my knowledge with the World and helping me in my mission to wake people up and make them think. Please believe me, I did not start out as a writer and I am still struggling to work on my skills and I guarantee you if I can do this, then anyone can. Think on this.

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

Article Writing Equals Free Advertising

A little known way to receive ongoing web visitors, a higher Google Page Rank, and inbound links to your site without having to exchange links. All for free...

Article Writing - Pick a category you're interested and/or know a lot about and write an article about it. It doesn't have to be too long, just have some facts about something or even your opinion. At the bottom of the article make a new paragraph 'About the Author'. Here you write a short summary about yourself and your site name and URL. You can even have related links in the article, this is especially good if you write an article pertaining to your site, than have links to your site to show examples.

Here is an example. Go to Google and type in - "Why Paid Inclusion Is Better Than PPC Advertising" be sure to use the quotations, you want to get an exact match. This is an article I wrote last year an already it's listed on over 400 websites. I didn't pay a dime. That over 400 links pointed to my website, because of my 'About the Author' section.

Another example is - "Dear Santa: Christmas Sucks!" also in quotation marks. My sister wrote this one and it is on over 60 sites. Again free advertising for your website because of the 'About the Author' section. Both of these articles are based on opinion and look how many sites listed them. Most people know to get a higher Google Page Rank you need people to link to your website. This is the easiest way, plus it's free.

WebProNews.com - An excellent site to be listed on. They list almost any article that is webmaster related. They also allow you to upload a photo of yourself. Your article will be seen by thousands of people here.

http://www.webpronews.com/submit.html

You also have to be aware of some sites that offer to publish your article to thousands of websites for a fee. As you can see above, this really is not necessary. Just search the web for free article submission sites and you're set.

Here are some more free sites that you can submit your articles to:

http://www.articlesubmission.com

http://ezinearticles.com

http://www.articlesfactory.com

http://www.infonexus.org

http://www.articlehub.com

Kristian Pulz is the owner of http://www.links2see.com/ an online family directory and http://www.web2webgroup.com/ an interactive Yahoo Group for webmasters and website owners. He can be reached at webmaster@links2see.com

Article Writing Equals Free Advertising

A little known way to receive ongoing web visitors, a higher Google Page Rank, and inbound links to your site without having to exchange links. All for free...

Article Writing - Pick a category you're interested and/or know a lot about and write an article about it. It doesn't have to be too long, just have some facts about something or even your opinion. At the bottom of the article make a new paragraph 'About the Author'. Here you write a short summary about yourself and your site name and URL. You can even have related links in the article, this is especially good if you write an article pertaining to your site, than have links to your site to show examples.

Here is an example. Go to Google and type in - "Why Paid Inclusion Is Better Than PPC Advertising" be sure to use the quotations, you want to get an exact match. This is an article I wrote last year an already it's listed on over 400 websites. I didn't pay a dime. That over 400 links pointed to my website, because of my 'About the Author' section.

Another example is - "Dear Santa: Christmas Sucks!" also in quotation marks. My sister wrote this one and it is on over 60 sites. Again free advertising for your website because of the 'About the Author' section. Both of these articles are based on opinion and look how many sites listed them. Most people know to get a higher Google Page Rank you need people to link to your website. This is the easiest way, plus it's free.

WebProNews.com - An excellent site to be listed on. They list almost any article that is webmaster related. They also allow you to upload a photo of yourself. Your article will be seen by thousands of people here.

http://www.webpronews.com/submit.html

You also have to be aware of some sites that offer to publish your article to thousands of websites for a fee. As you can see above, this really is not necessary. Just search the web for free article submission sites and you're set.

Here are some more free sites that you can submit your articles to:

http://www.articlesubmission.com

http://ezinearticles.com

http://www.articlesfactory.com

http://www.infonexus.org

http://www.articlehub.com

Kristian Pulz is the owner of http://www.Links2See.com an online family directory and http://www.web2webgroup.com an interactive Yahoo Group for webmasters and website owners. He can be reached at webmaster@links2see.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Ten Tips for Effective Internet Article Writing

On the Internet “content is king”, and the real guts of content is the written word. If you are managing a website you need readable text for your onsite articles, for articles in your promotional newsletter or ezine and for promotional articles to be published on other sites or in other ezines. While these writing tasks can be outsourced to professionals, it is also possible for you to do it yourself if you follow a step-by-step process that is outlined in the following ten tips.

1. In the first paragraph clearly state what the article is about. In standard journalism you would tell who, what, why, when and where an event is happening. In web articles you oftentimes state a problem, such as “how to get good written materials for your website”, and then explain how the article is going to solve the problem “by showing a simple step-by-step approach to writing”.

2. Organize your material in a point-wise fashion. Before you begin writing think of the points
that your article is going to cover. You may not necessarily show the points, as I am doing in this article (calling them ten tips), however, for your own outline of the article you should know what you are going to say before you begin writing. Write down these points and then make sure you include them as you begin the writing process.

3. Put the reader at ease. You are not writing for a scientific or literary society, but to your peers on the Internet. Write in a simple style and if you introduce new terms, define them for your readers.

4. Explain your points in short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are easier for the reader to follow.

No one likes to look at a long block of solid text. Three, four or five sentences are usually enough for one paragraph.

5. Don’t be afraid to spill all the beans! Tell your trade secrets! No, I am not crazy, the more you tell, the more the demand you will create for your goods and services. I once hesitated to write an article on “Tips for Writing Metatags” (http://www.a1-optimization.com/optimization-tips-2.htm) thinking, who will need my search engine optimization services if they read the article? I was wrong, the article was widely published and generated several orders for my services. If you give more information, people will understand that you really are an authority on the subject that you are speaking about.

6. Give concrete examples and personal experiences to back up your points. Tell how you faced a problem and how you solved it. Or give hypothetical examples of the California Widget Company and how its website would, for example need a title tag of “Widgets: electronic widgets from the California Widget Company”

7. Emphasize the benefits of your product or service. When it comes to selling, it is the benefits that sell, rather than the features. Sure, you are selling garden supplies, home décor, clothing, gifts and jewelry on your website. These are features. But the benefits are that people can get these items in one place without shopping around, that they can save time and money, etc. The gurus of Internet marketing, such as Ken Evoy (http://myws.sitesell.com/webpromote2.html) all say that you should constantly mention the benefits that you offer to your potential customer.

8. Give resource information to your readers. Give the addresses of websites where your readers can get more information on the subject that you are talking about. These may be your own websites or they can be other resources. In case you are worrying about losing customers, good outgoing links from your website are also helpful to your site’s page ranking and positioning in search engines.

9. Get another opinion on your article. Show it to your friends and colleagues, and don’t worry if they criticize you, it is better that your friends find the mistakes than your clientele. Always remember, a good editor is a writer’s best friend

10. Keep your most important information near the beginning of the article and summarize what you want to say at the end. Editors usually cut things near the end, so keep your most important points and ideas in the beginning of the article. At the very end of the article you can summarize what you set out to accomplish in your opening paragraph.

You may not win a literary prize, but if you follow the steps that I have outlined above you will be able to produce effective written content for your website and for your promotional outreach via your own newsletters and through articles published on other websites. These articles could become the key to success in your Internet endeavors.

PS: If you follow the guidelines outlined in this article you will be able to write great articles, however if you would like to use your time in another way and would like someone else to write your article for you, then contact me, and I will do it at a very reasonable price.

Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor, and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995 and is the proprietor of A1-Optimization, http://www.a1-optimization.com, a firm providing search engine optimization, copywriting, reciprocal linking, and other web promotion services. He publishes a monthly ezine, A1-Web Promotion Tips, available at http://www.a1-optimization.com/newsletter.html

Why You Need a 3-Tiered Strategy For Article Submission

You've heard a lot about how much writing articles can do for your internet marketing strategy. You now understand how writing articles can help position you as an expert in your field, gain valuable targed traffic for your web site, and quickly multiple your site's text links.

Now you have convinced yourself to take the plunge into article marketing and you have a few articles all lined up and ready to submit -- and you are overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of article directories available. It is easy to simply go with the big dogs and forget the rest, but that is a big mistake. You really need to have a 3-tiered article submission strategy.

Select a couple of the big dogs, but also had some medium-sized directories and some smaller, newer directories to your list for regular submission as well. There are several reasons why this strategy can be much more effective in the long run than targeting the large directories alone.
The mega-directories carry a big punch in terms of link power and recognition. You can almost watch the reader numbers climb on your articles. But because they are so big they also get a large volume of submissions every day and your articles very quickly move from the top page of the directories new submissions list and even from the top page of the topic listing.

Medium-sized directories don't pack as big a punch as the mega, but their text link value is still strong and they usually have a solid reader base. They have been around long enough to build a loyal audience and clientele. However because they are not as big their submission volume is lower than the mega so your articles retain top billing longer -- and becoming a top article or top author may be an attainable goal for the part-timer.

Small and/or new directories usually don't offer nearly the level of power of their larger brethren, but a quick study will reveal whether or not the directory is regularly maintained and promoted -- and you know that will mean the link power currently exists and will grow in the near future. Also with new and small directories you can easily achieve top author status and your articles will stay at the top of the ranking longer -- they may well pass directly from "new" status to "top" status which rarely if ever happens at a mega directory.

That is my current strategy for article submission and I hope you found it helpful.

Deanna Mascle is the publisher of the writing newsletter Word Craft Online. You can submit your writing to her Article Directory. She is also happy to share tips and advice for Writing On the Internet.

Writing Articles - Advice For The Do-It-Yourself Webmaster

As an SME it is virtually impossible for us to hire the services of a good SEO company that is going to spend time optimising the site, adding new content and gaining good links for the site, simply because of the cost involved. Other SME's are I am sure in a similar position. They would all love to have a web site that ranked highly in google and the other search engines and brought in a constant flow of new business.

However to hire an SEO company to do all those things above is often beyond the reach of many small companies especially those just starting out. However as a company providing services ourselves and 80% of our new business coming via the internet I can thoroughly recommend that you find a company, invest the money because you will soon get the rewards back. If you feel that you still cannot quite afford to go down that path because money in the company is tight then the other course of action I can recommend is to write articles. I kept seeing and reading all this free advice from SEO's out there on the Web about the benefits of writing articles and submitting to article distribution centres and e-zines. I used to think when reading these words of wisdom how wonderful it would be if only I could do that, but I never did it. Until recently that is. About a month ago I decided I would try writing an article. First what would I write about? Big problem, what could I write about that had any relevance to my website or the services we provided and be of interest to anybody else? So I did a search on one of the article distribution sites looking for articles that had relevance to my own sites content and found nothing of real relevance. So nothing for it I would have to write my own. It still took another week before I came up with any ideas. I focused on what services we provided and how I could turn these into articles. Still nothing actually came of these thoughts. Then one night I was talking to one of our cleaners who was telling me about the problems she was having with the toilet brushes on these particular premises she was working at. They were the wrong shape for doing a good job! The following day I spoke to the company and they agreed we could put our own in. Then I realised that this was a problem in many places especially domestic households. So I wrote my first article about toilet brushes and the why's and how's of how people should approach the purchase of these objects. Once started the words flowed. I submitted this to two article distributors and one ezine. To my surprise it was accepted and I have not looked back. I now write on average two articles per week and have reached the grand total of 24 published articles. Each article gives me about five links on average, some provide more, others less, it depends on who picks them up and republishes them. Most importantly it has boosted my visitors and my backlinks and therefore my search engine position. When I did a search on who was linking to my site these articles produced 12 backlinks for google and a staggering 186 on MSN. It was incredibly interesting to see where my articles were ending up, often in very unexpected places, and it is global, so they can be picked up anywhere in the world.

Do not be put of by the thoughts

· I cannot write

· I have nothing to write about

· Nobody would want to read the things I know about

Because you are wrong on all counts. There is a lot of advice freely available on how to write good articles, go search it out. Everybody who is running a business has expert knowledge on some subject, and lastly the whole world is your audience so there will be many people out there who are interested in what you have to say. Surprise yourself, as I did, give it a go. After the first or second article you will find that they just flow and writing becomes much easier. Very importantly however they do wonders for your website.

About the Author

David Andrew Smith is the owner of http://www.wesparkle.co.uk a commercial cleaning company which specialises in the cleaning of natural stone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

12 Point Checklist for Writing Feature Articles

1. Have you selected your intended subject topic and carefully planned out your idea?

2. Have you sent your idea query pitch to magazines or newspapers who may be interested? or will you write "on spec"?

With many magazines and newspapers now accepting material online it is now possible in many instances to email your queries directly to the publication.

Have you read the publishers guidelines carefully to make sure if this method is acceptable?Before sending your query pitch:

- Is it likely to be what the publisher needs: have you studied the publication?

- Is the timing right. Have you checked the magazines editorial calendar?

If it is a seasonal article is now the best time to send your query?

If you have answered yes to these questions then package your idea into an attractive proposal and send it off to the editor of your chosen publication.

3. Have you adequately researched your topic?Read everything you can on the topic from all available sources - bookstores, newspapers, libraries, periodical indexes and internet sources. Never discard anything about your subject topic since you don't know until you write it up what you may actually want to use.

Tip: Saving magazines, newspapers and clippings for the subject matter can save time when researching future writing assignments on the same topic or when working to deadlines. Catalogue all your collected material for easy reference.

4. Have you interviewed the key person/people you need for your proposed feature?Now it is time to organize your material into a feature article.

5. Have you discarded everything in your research except for factual information?

Proper research and liberal use of factual material gives an original perspective to your feature article and also avoids the possibility of plagiarism.

6. Have you checked and cross-referenced your facts amongst your various sources.

7. Have you decided on the length of the article?

Have you checked the length is suitable for the publication you are sending it to?

Tip: Do not waste the editors time by sending a 2000 word article to a publication that requires articles between 500-750 words.


8. Will you use quotes in your article?

Quotes and antcedotes bring a story to life. Are the quotes from a reliable source and have you double checked that quotes used are acurately recorded?

9. Do you have a good lead, middle and ending?

10. Have you proofread and edited your article to achieve the best possible version through re-writing your drafts to arrive at your final version?

Have you made all corrections and necessary changes, have you checked spelling (this includes people and place names) grammar, punctuation etc?

11. If the feature is to be visual - have you provided the appropriate photographs, art work, line drawings, or other graphic illustrations to compliment your feature?

This increases the payment amount you can expect to receive especially if you are a feature photojournalist or travel feature writer who can offer original photographic perspectives of your subject topic.

Finally...12. Have you included everything in your envelope before sending your article to the publisher (including photos properly packaged) or, if the magazine or newspaper excepts online submissions have you given everything a final check before hitting the send button?

For more resources and ideas for home business writers and/or self-publishers visit "Net Writing and e-PublishingSuccess" at http://www.netwrite-publish.com

The UGLY Practice of Sniping - Some Personal Experiences I Have Had

Just a few days ago I wrote a piece entitled: "How to Write an Uncommonly Good Article - Six Key Steps Part 1." I mentioned my credentials to write such an article then went about giving what I believed were the six key steps that would most improve the works of other authors. That is, make them pleasing for other people to read - which is the purpose in the first place.


So, what was my motive to write such an article? To get people to visit my website? Not really. To "big-note" myself? No. To denote myself as an expert on the subject? No, though I do have extensive experience in it. To help people who are struggling to write articles? Yes. That was the main reason.


I wanted to let people know why, when a person starts to read their article they quickly tire, maybe scan to the bottom then click away before finishing. I find myself doing that. I know lots of others do too. So, I wanted to let aspiring authors know why that can happen. I wanted to give them some tips so they can improve their readership levels.


At the time of writing I was conscious that I was setting myself up as a target. I knew that. When I posted the article I wondered how long it would take before somebody would take a shot at me. You see, I know there are snipers on the rooftops. Make yourself a target and they will surely have a ping.


Well, it took just 72 hours for the first bullet to come my way. Some people just cannot help themselves!


Let me explain a little further:


At the time of writing this article I have well over 100 articles circulating around hundreds of sites on the web. For anybody who has written even one article you will know what a significant effort this is.


Many of the articles I have written have received very positive, complimentary comments and ratings. However, as soon as you stand up and say "this is how you do it" and give an example of your own success, out will come some anonymous person whose prime task is to shoot you down.


Well... Mr, Miss or Ms Sharpshooter why don't you have the gumption to identify yourself or go "head to head" with me? Put your long-range sniper rifle down for a while and let's duke it out. One on one. Your best versus my best. There's the challenge. Are you up to it?


Ooh. I can already hear the sound of running footsteps fading into the distance. Probably they will be running to the next target to fire off another volley at somebody else from a concealed position. What an existence!


I remember some years ago posting a self-help article on a very well known self-help site. I was trying to help a young lady overcome a drug addiction by giving her some encouragement. I figured that if she had the courage to make a public posting then I would help her. Several others did too. Except one - a fellow from New Zealand whose main aim was to lecture me on the concepts of "drug of choice" and "harm minimization" and my form of what he termed "mind bending."


I suffered this person's ridicule for weeks. Eventually, frustrated that his comments were largely ignored, he resorted to threats and all sorts of ugly abuse. Never once did he identify himself by anything except some strange pseudonym - another trait of a sniper - that I have long since forgotten. He existed only to ridicule, denigrate and criticize. How sad it is that there are people who do this sort of thing. It's a bit like spraying graffiti in the dead of night on somebody's lovely wall.


Whenever anybody publishes anything on the internet they open themselves up to become the target of all sorts of abuse. I guess it comes with the territory. In fact, I wrote another article about this sort of thing. It was called: "Understand That You Are Always Going to Attract Critics."


In many respects you have to feel some sort of pity for the snipers. To feel the way that they do, to harbor so much anger at their own inadequacy and to try to bring other people down is a truly awful way to eke out an existence.


You can take another shot sniper. Just have the courage to identify yourself. But I guess that would be just too much to ask.


This article comes with reprint rights providing no changes are made and the resource box below accompanies 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. Gary's email address is budo@iinet.net.au. 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."

Article Writing & Marketing: Tell a Story, Make Some Points

p>Did you know that each person's life tells a story?


You can tell a story that says, here, go this way, or tell a story that says, stop don't go that way.


The really cool thing is we get to pick what kind of story we want our life to tell.


An article about just one story


One method of writing articles is to tell a story from your own life and make some points for life.


Ten years ago I got pulled over at four AM in the morning while driving around trying to get my 1 year old son to sleep. No big deal really, except that all I was wearing was a t-shirt and underwear.


Briefs, by the way.


The one article I wrote about that story has gotten lots of mileage for me. That story has become a keynote speech that I give, and then draw four or five lessons for life from my experience.


All I do is make some common sense points such as the ones below:


1. We are responsible for the choices we make.


2. We are responsible for the outcome of the choices we make.


3. Our individual lives tell a story and leave a trail to either follow or avoid.


4. It's important to leave your house fully clothed.


You get the picture.


What's your story?


So what story could you pull from your life experience and write about? Then make some points for living or lessons for life.


That's an article, a speech and whatever else you wish to make it.


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.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Is Article Marketing an Effective Technique?

Getting traffic to a website can be one of the most challenging issues a webmaster may face. Many people believe by putting a website up people will simply just turn up, by the masses. This just simply is not true. It is the equivalent of opening a water shop in the Sahara desert.

Although Im sure people would love the water if they do not know about it they wont find your shop. Ok this is a slightly silly example as there are not that many people there to be potential customers but I hope you get the message.

So we have identified people don’t just turn up at websites. So how do we get them to visit? You have several options:

Paying for advertising

This can be very expensive and may not deliver the type of traffic you want.

Reciprocal link exchanges

Another technique is to exchange links with other sites. This provides virtual roads into your site, while many will not exactly be freeways they will still deliver you a bit of traffic. Also as you gain more links the search engines will start to increase your rankings so you will start to get free traffic from the search engines

Article marketing

This is a technique that is really starting to be in fashion now. The idea is your submit an article about your sites topic to various article directories. They publish the article with a back link to your site and this article is picked up by lots of sites. This gives you lots of back links and has the benefits of reciprocal linking and more. As you are not linking to the sites that link to you the links are one way. It is thought that one way links are much higher values in the search engines.

Through my tests I have found article marketing to bring me the largest benefits for the least effort and cost. Lets face it time is the one thing we cant get more of so anything that gets us the most gain for minimum effort has to be the winner!

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

Keyword-Density

It means that as how frequently a keyword is used in the text as a percentage of the total text. While writing content for a site or articles it is very important to check the keyword density. For example, while writing an article on auto, then, it is important to see that how often that keyword is repeated in your text. It is important because when the search engine hits your site, it will get content, then collect mega tag description and sort them in an order. After this search engine calculates the density of every Meta tag keyword in your text or content.

If your site is ranking well for specific keyword phrases at engines like Yahoo!, Teoma, MSN & for the allin sets of searches at Google (allinanchor:, allintitle:, allintext:, etc.) but not listed in the top 50-100 results at Google, the sandbox effect may be at work. However, it is important to keep in mind that this phenomenon is an 'unknown' algorithm piece at Google and standard optimization tactics, even by some of the best and most experienced SEOs have yet to consistently beat this effect.

What is keyword density ?

keyword density is an analysis of the number of times a particular word appears in relation to your web page content. It is reported as a percentage.

keyword advice

keyword traffic

aol keyword

Dynamic Article Marketing: Honor Your Consumer

Dynamic article marketing reap progressive proceeds for small independent corporations. Along with other opportunities to get the company name out there, savvy marketers increasingly use article distribution sites to market their sites and keep their businesses in the forefront.

What's the key?

Purpose and motivation.

Your business is dynamically innovative when you have a distinct purpose in mind and keep that purpose in the forefront of all your marketing options. Literal changes in business design can keep the organization moving forward at a progressive rate, however, change startles clients. Your purpose of business must be obvious, your goals sure, and your motivation pure. Without pure motivation of serving others, your business will fail, just as assuredly as the Titanic sank.

Article Marketing Aspirations

Your business goals must be presented well in your articles. Creating a paradigm that works for promoting your business requires thinking about what you can provide and produce that will be helpful to those who seek your services, and putting it into essay form for marketing purposes. If you find that paradigm, your clients see it, understand it, and seek it. If you miss, your point is lagging, your business sagging, and your financial prospects drag.

Fatal Attraction

You've found a product or service you can produce, and you do it well, but then you get greedy. You over price your product, undercut your service, and rationalize the futility of your marketing options. Your business fails. You got greedy and greed is the end all of business.

Helping People Margin

Astounding as it may be that people want to be recognized, acknowledged, and honored by a new business; the fact is, they do. When you realize that your consumer just wants to know you care, you can find your "helping people margin" and move into a profitable phase of business through a process of meeting their needs, acknowledging them, recognizing them as individuals, and honoring their insight for finding a great deal. Your business is a great deal.

Market your business direct through dynamic article marketing that reaches out to your client and serves them in the way they need to be served. Promote your business by acknowledging the needs of your consumer and honoring them.

Meet your consumer on their level of need. Recognize them for who they are and set out to honor them. Seek our services at http://makemoneyhereon.tripod.com

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Stimulate Your Writing With Some Creative Exercises

Abandon your frustrations and get a fresh start by trying some writing activities to spark your creativity.

Exercises in creativity can improve your aptitude as a writer and inspire ideas for new writing projects.

The benefit of attempting any of the following activities is that you can complete the exercises from the comfort of your home, at your own pace, in solitude (hopefully) without outside distractions or the pressures of working with a group.

I've compiled the list of exercises suggested below over the years - from college professors, editors and fellow writers. Some of them have helped me to grow as a writer. Hopefully they will help you in some way too!

1 - Write your own obituary.(I know it sounds somewhat morbid - but it will require you to think about what you've accomplished thus far - and what you wish to achieve in the future.)

2 - Write a 400 word description of your favorite place.

3 - Write a brief biography of someone you know and love. Or write about someone famous you admire.

4 - Write a list of questions you would like to know the answers to. Then try to list the people or resources you could contact to get your answers.

5 - Read a newspaper or magazine article about something you're interested in. Re-write the article in your own words to make it better.

6 - Listen to the conversations of others in a crowded mall or restaurant. Write 200 words about your reaction to their conversation.

7 - Write 500 words describing a special time in your life. Write it so that other people could understand and appreciate it.

8 - Take a 15 minute walk around your neighborhood. As soon as you get home, write 300 words about what you saw on your walk.

9 - Think about your closest friends, your relatives, your boss, or your co-workers. Choose the person you like the most and the least; the person who has had the most positive and most negative influence on you; the person who has changed the most and the least since you've known them; and then write a write a brief paragraph on each explaining why you feel this way.
10 - Write the first ten words that come to mind. Then write brief definitions and/or explanations of why you thought of these words.

Resource Box - © Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp