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What's Wrong With My Article? How to Get Your Article Published and Grow Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
I have reviewed thousands of articles written by marketers hoping to promote their websites, products, affiliate programs, and e-books. While most of the articles are useful, all too many are not worth the paper they're printed on (and that's saying a lot in the electronic age!) Are you making the same mistakes?

In this article you will discover the simple, common sense techniques that will get your article accepted by article banks, approved by newsletter editors, and published in some of the largest ezines online.

I'll show you how to increase your "article-submitted-to-published" conversion ratio and draw readers over to your site by improving your "newsletter-reader-to-qualified-visitor" ratio.

~Offer Valuable Content~

This, of course, is paramount to your success, so it's first on the list. Share your knowledge of the topic, and don't be stingy about it. If you include tips, tricks, and helpful information, you'll get more editors to publish your article. They need content to keep their existing subscribers loyal, attract new subscribers, and earn them some money.

What content do they want? Readers want to read about topics of interest, and learn from your experience and insight. Tell a story, explain how things work, offer examples because that's the way people learn. Once you give them some interesting information, they'll visit your website to learn more from you. Because they already trust you, they'll visit your site pre-qualified and open to an offer. This is the best kind of web visitor.

Valuable content will improve your "newsletter-reader-to-qualified-visitor" conversion ratio.

~Don't Sell~

If you submit a sales letter, there isn't a newsletter editor on the planet who will publish it. After all, they have a newsletter that reaches thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of targeted, double opt-in subscribers. If you want them to publish your blatant advertising, you'll have to buy an ad.

Think about the article banks. Why would such article repositories as www.eBusiness-Articles.com or www.Healthy-Articles.com want to clutter up their directories with advertising sales letters? They want original, valuable content, because they serve newsletter editors and publishers. If the content doesn't draw the interest of their audience (editors) the repositories don't want it.

Sales letters will hurt (maybe eliminate) your "article-submitted-to-published" conversion ratio.

~Use Product Placement~

I know, I know, the only reason you're writing articles is to increase your sales, and I just told you not to sell. Don't fret - there's a way to successfully sell your company within your article without submitting a blatant sales letter.

Hollywood producers incorporate products into their movies. Would you pay to see a movie about the features and benefits of Coca-Cola? Probably not. Would you watch a movie with Tom Cruise chasing bad guys? A lot of people will.

No one complains when he drinks a Coke while contemplating his next move. No one minds when screeches past a Coca Cola truck during the high-speed chase. And at the end, when gets the girl while standing in front of a Coca-Cola display, does that bother you? No, of course not, because none of those things took away from the plot of the movie. The story was interesting. Coca Cola spends millions on product placement every year, because they've learned that when movie goers enjoy the movie, Coke sales go up.

Do the same in your article. Use your business as the basis for a story you tell. Use your product as an example. Use one of your customers as a case study explaining your point. One of the authors at ArticleMarketer.com took this advice and wrote an article to submit through our service. When publishers read his article they ...

See what I just did there? Now you're just a little disappointed that I didn't finish the story, aren't you? Do that in your article. Engage your readers, involve them in the story, make them want more.

Product placement will improve your "newsletter-reader-to-qualified-visitor" conversion ratio.

~Formatting Matters~

You must follow the rules and guidelines listed by each newsletter, article site and publisher on your list. The formatting of your article can have a tremendous impact on whether or not it gets published. Each publisher has different requirements, so read the guidelines and submit accordingly.

At Article Marketer, we submit articles to a wide variety of article repositories, newsletter editors and email distribution groups for authors around the world. We've made hundreds of thousands of successful article submissions, but before we could launch our service, we had to evaluate the submission criteria of each publisher, repository and article site on our long distribution list. Here's some of what we found:

Most sites don't want HTML. Others allow an anchor tag, but no formatting tags. Some publishers want articles with 60 character lines, with a hard break at the end of each line. Others will reject an article with 60 character lines, preferring automatic word wrap. Others want 65 character lines. One wants an 80 character line.

Some don't want your copyright and personal information at the top of the article. They also don't want you to repeat the article title or your byline in the article body. Others require it there.

Keep in mind that the first few lines of an article (following the headline) are key to capturing a reader's attention. Depending on the submission site, they'll format your article with copyright and reprint rights, without squandering the "prime real estate" on copyright, reprint rules, and other stuff. If a reader doesn't get pulled into your article, your resource box can't deliver traffic to you. Then what's the point?

Following the submission guidelines will increase your "article-submitted-to-published" conversion ratio.

~A Powerful Call to Action~

Every article should end with a distinct and powerful call to action. I've seen authors who try to cram every site they know into their resource box. This is a waste of time, and it confuses the reader.

Imagine if you're reading an article about how to whiten your teeth. The article is well written and you start thinking to yourself "Hey, this author knows his stuff!". When you get to the end and you see a link to whiter teeth dot com, you'll probably visit. However, if the whiter teeth link is stacked on top of clean fuel dot com and marketing stuff dot com, a confused reader will not click at all. Talk directly to your qualified audience about your topic and send them to a specific site, then watch as your sales go up.

Focusing your call to action will improve your "newsletter-reader-to-qualified-visitor" conversion ratio.

~It's An Article, Not a Letter~

Many authors make the mistake of thinking of their article as a personal missive to the reader. A personal voice is terrific, just remember that you're writing an article, not a letter to a friend. Articles in Time Magazine never end with:

Sincerely,
Susie Jones

While it is true that some authors will sign off with a trademark tagline, that tagline is incorporated into their article, and it's never followed by a signature. Besides that, a signature isn't a powerful way to close your article. Use a powerful call to action.

Avoiding the look of a personal letter will increase your "article-submitted-to-published" ratio.

~Don't Change the Title and Resubmit~
If there's one thing that an editor hates more than anything, it's to get the same article multiple times. I know that there are people telling you to resubmit your articles with new titles, because the headline is important. While I don't deny the importance of a good headline, just putting a new headline on an old article is a really bad idea.

Christopher Knight at http://www.ezinearticles.com tells me that the surest way for an author to get penalized is to submit the same article multiple times with different titles.

If you want to try different titles, also rework the article. There's no reason you can't write several articles on the same topic. Just make each unique. The more articles you write in your subject area, the more you are seen as an expert in that area.

Writing multiple unique articles in a given subject will improve both your "article-submitted-to-published" and your "newsletter-reader-to-qualified-visitor" ratios.

~Use Pre-Written Articles to Your Advantage~

There are many places that will give you articles to publish as your own. While publishing this content on your own website is perfectly fine, submitting it to editors and publishers all around the net is a waste of time.

Think of it like the hoaxes that are passed around the net. How many times did you get the one about Bill Gates paying a nickel for each email? How long after that did you tire of receiving it? And how long after that did you start getting really annoyed at receiving it? Editors get a lot of articles - and they've seen the free reprint articles more than they'd care to remember.

If you want to submit these articles to editors, you can, but you need to know a trick. Use them as a foundation for your own work. Add your own personal spin to each one. Change it around, add your own personal flair, make it your own. Incorporate your insight and your expertise. Then it will truly be your article.

Making the article your own will improve your "article-submitted-to-published" ratio.

~Use a Spell Checker~

If I had a nickle for every time a authr maked a grimmatical or speeling error, I could retire. Every word processor has a spell checker (mine just went crazy after that last sentence!) and if English isn't your primary language, have it reviewed by a native English speaker. You're trying to establish credibility, and using "your" instead of "you're" or "there" instead of "they're" blows your whole image.

Using a spell checker and having someone proofread your work will improve your "article-submitted-to-published" ratio.

~Address the Promise of the Title~

If your title is, "How to Bake Cookies" then a reader had better have the basics down at the end of your article. No, you don't have to turn her into the next Mrs. Fields, (after all, it's just an article, not a graduate study program) but a reader should be able to finish your article with a decent approach to the baking of a cookie. She'll know about cooking times and required utensils and where to find recipes, or whatever else goes into the basics of cookie baking. You're the expert, give her what she needs based on your title.

~Conclusion~

Every article should end with a strong conclusion, one that leads to your resource box. Your article is being reviewed by real people, who have real standards for publishing. If you follow the tips in this article, you'll get better results from your article marketing campaign, you will get your article approved at most article sites and find it published in the larger ezines.
About the Author
Article Marketer makes article marketing campaigns easier to execute, more cost effective for small and home business owners, and gives articles a much wider distribution. Submit your articles today, get massive distribution.www.articlemarketer.com
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