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Writing for publicity - part 2
The next thing we'll discuss is your article itself. It has to be informative and useful to the ezine publishers audience. Your article should be original and unique and not just the same as the last article you read on your chosen article topic.
What bothers me a lot about some article writers is the fact they think that writing articles is just about plugging their products. They don't seem to realize that the ezine publisher is looking for real quality content that'll make him or her look better in the eyes of his or her subscribers and not just a sales letter.
What I'm trying to say here is that articles sent to ezine publishers which were written to sell won't increase your chances of being published in fact very few editors will accept any articles like this. The ones that do have probably used your product in the past and liked it. Articles designed to inform and educate people will increase your chances of being published and also of making sales from people who have read your article, so stay away from sales letter based articles.
I shouldn't have to say this but make sure your articles are grammatically correct and watch out for those spellings mistakes.
Lots of online content groups and directories stipulate that you must include your publishing guidelines at the top of your article. A good one I like to use is this:
"You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and all links remain active. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated."
Let's continue onto bylines (aka resource boxes). These are the couple of lines included at the end of your article, this is what you get in return for allowing people to use your work. Pretty much the same as an email signature, the idea is to attract people to visit your site or email you to find out more about your product. I usually use something like:
"Article by David Callan - firstname.lastname@example.org
My resource box is quite small, you can get away with another line or two in most cases. Try however to stick to four or five lines if you can.
After your articles are written and before you go searching for places to submit them to you can do certain things on your website to help them spread. Basically you just tell people they can use your article if the like, do this by including a little note at the end of your articles similar to the publishing guidelines given above. You could even tell your visitors that your articles can be reproduced on your home page. If your site is busy and in an industry with lots of ezine publishers around like Internet marketing then this could help spread your articles very quickly indeed.
Finding places to submit your articles on the web is not hard, it does however take time. The best places to start are likely to be the free content directories and articles.
I however like to start by simply searching for sites which are looking for your articles. This is a much slower process and the visitors you get will be few compared to being published in a popular ezine. I prefer submitting to sites over directories first because this helps my search engine rankings. I know this because most of the ezine directories use CGI generated pages when fetching articles from their databases, Google and the other engines can't read these pages so I might as well submit to individual websites first to give Google the chance to spider my articles and register another few inbound links for me.
When searching for sites that are looking for articles on your industry use the following URLs:
The text in red is your keyword(S), change this to match the type of articles you write. You should also try any other keywords you think people looking for articles would use. You'll find however that the above URL's will turn up loads of places that are interested in your articles either for websites, ezines or both.
Go to these sites and confirm that they're looking for articles on your industry. Send your articles into them, two or three at a time at most. Don't send more than this as your emails might be considered as spam which nobody likes.
Make sure you've both your publishing guidelines and resource box included with all your article submissions.
The sites you submit to should go into a mailing list. The mailing list should contain the article submit email address, the address of the site and the name of the webmaster if known. The next time you've articles to submit you can use a mailing program. You can use this along with your mailing list to send emails with your articles in them to multiple webmasters, this will save hours of time.
You'll find that most webmasters will email you informing you that they're using your article but some won't so it's a good idea to check back with the more popular sites you've submitted to now and again.
After a couple of months you should find your backward links filled with
sites from your mailing list.