In recent years with the proliferation of article distribution services like , Content Desk and , it seems that everyone is jumping on the article submission bandwagon. Along with these self-marketers comes a group of industry experts who are eager to share their knowledge with the world.
As a writer, editor and reviewer of such articles, I have seen incredibly well-written pieces that are engaging and informative. I have also seen a rash of poorly written articles that fail to clearly make their point.
If article marketing is a part of your marketing plan, follow these suggestions to ensure that you not only put your best foot forward but also that your readers enjoy your material and seek you out as a resident expert in your topic of choice.
1. Use attention-getting headlines. A clever headline will ignite your reader’s interest. For example, instead of labeling your article “Preparing Your Home for Sale,” title it “Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal.” While the first headline is descriptive, the second one is much more engaging and more likely to captivate readers.
2. Know your topic and present it clearly. Whether you are truly an industry expert in your selected topic or a ghost writer working from research notes, make sure that you understand the topic well enough to explain it to someone else. In addition, break the material down into manageable “bite size” chunks of information. Use bulleted and numbered lists to present information in simple, easy- to-follow steps.
3. Submit articles in a timely fashion. I have repeatedly seen authors submit articles that are well past their prime. For example, avoid submitting Valentine’s Day gift suggestions after February and Halloween costume ideas in July. Readers will ignore such advice if its timing is poor, so save it until the information is appropriate again.
4. Ensure that your articles are free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Granted, you may not have been born with a red pen and a dictionary in your hands, but submitting quality material is critical. Why, Errors detract from the readability of an otherwise useful article and, at the same time, hamper your credibility. Use spell check, invest in a grammar guide or hire a professional proofreader or copywriter.
5. Conclude your article with a call to action. Consider what you would like your reader to do after reading your article – Try a new exercise technique, Rethink a business relationship, Test a new recipe, Research online opportunities on the Web, Encourage your reader to take that next step. And, please DO NOT end your article with, “so there you have it,” You are essentially saying to your readers, “There you go, dummy.”
6. Maximize the resource box. Article submission directories offer you either a plain text or HTML resource box, or sometimes both. Make the most of this space by including your name and/or your company’s name, a one or two-line bio, and contact information such as a website or e-mail address. To encourage readers to access your Web site, offer an incentive such as a free report or a complimentary subscription to your e-zine or electronic newsletter.
Copyright (c) 2007 Dana Blozis