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Writing Tips From an Article Directory Owner

Apr 20, 2008
Being the owner and webmaster of an internet article directory, I see all sorts of articles come through our website on a daily basis. Sadly, many of those articles submitted to us are never published to our site.

In this article it is my hope that I can pass on some inside tips, straight from an article directory owner, to help authors and writers gain more exposure for their work by increasing the chances that these articles will be accepted by many directories.

First I will say, as our directory grows and on any given day, we receive between 50 and 100 articles from individual authors and distribution sources and roughly 50 to 60% of those articles never reach published status.

Unlike many article directories, we manually review all of our articles. Every published article in our database has been reviewed by a human. To that end, we provide a set of 'User Guidelines' to follow on our site when writing and submitting articles and I am always surprised at how many people fail to read these guidelines. You will find that these guidelines are fairly common across most article directories and generally ask authors to check spelling, grammar and readability of their articles, submit to the correct category, stay within a certain word count, etc.

During our review process the first thing we check is the word count. If the word count of the article is within our specified range, then we check to see if the article has been submitted to the correct category.

We then check the article body to see if an author has submitted any hyper-links in the body (we do not allow hyper-links in the article body itself). We check the title of the article against the article body to make sure the article is what the title says it is. We scan the article itself and check for spelling and grammar problems, whether or not the article makes sense from a readability standpoint, decide if the article is informative and of use to someone and not just some blatant ad, or spam. Lastly we check the article keywords.

We would rather approve your article for publishing to our site then reject it. After all, you took the time to write and submit the article to us. Therefore, we do everything we can (given some time constraints) to help your article get approved. Below are some typical reasons, when taken in total, for articles to be rejected.

1. Word count. I have seen 100 word "articles" and 2500 word "articles". Stay within the word count range required by the directory. 400 to 700 words is a general safe zone. Why? Many publishers only have so much space allocated to re-print an article. Staying within the word count range will help a prospective publisher decide on re-printing your article over someone else.

2. Spelling and grammar. Take some time to check and recheck your spelling and grammar. I can't stress this point enough!

3. Article readability. This is a biggie for us. Many articles submitted to us make absolutely no sense at all. Poor writing style, lack of a grasp of the English language, or simply using sloppy article re-writing software that mixes up words will almost always result in your article being sent to file 13 (the trash). We just don't have the time to go through each article and correct these problems.

4. Keyword stuffing. A general rule of thumb is to keep the number of keywords that you submit with your article to around 2-3% of the total word count of the article. Search engines are much more likely to index your article if you follow this rule then if you submit dozens and dozens of keywords with a 300 word article. I received an article on time that had several hundred keywords attached to a 300 word article. Of course, it was disapproved. Keep your keywords short, specific and on-theme with the information in article.

5. Rehash of the same article, disguised as a new article. Some authors insist on submitting the same article several times with just a few words changed on the front end hoping (I guess) for more exposure. What they don't realize is, those articles are stacked together in our 'article pending review' bin and it's very easy to see when this happens. Submit the best version of your article one time, and one time only.

I believe that some authors loose sight of the fact that publishers (those looking to re-print quality content) insist on certain standards with what they choose to publish to their websites, blogs, ezines, newsletters etc. If an author manages to get a poorly written article past some 'automated' directory review process and that article is posted to a directory site, chances are that article will never find its way around the net as quality, informative content.

Generally, the reason for submitting articles to article directories in the first place is to brand yourself as an author, promote a product, a service or a website. Take the time to write and submit your articles considering what I have described above. Well written, informative and unique content articles will literally explode across the internet and in time and you will be rewarded with many back-links, interested customers and the knowing that you have provided useful and interesting information to many others.
About the Author
ArticleZones.com is a small but growing Article Directory specializing in Informative and Unique Content.
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