Creating Good Articles

Submitting good articles to high quality e-zines  is a useful part of building page rank for your site, but the time and effort can defeat a lot of website owners. If you start by re-using what you already create in your business, the process is much easier. These seven points may help in this:

1. Dont start with a blank page – it’s always best to have something specific to trigger the article -  never start with a blank word doc, thinking “What can I write an article about?”

2. Use Prospect quotes – in many sectors, eg maintenance services, website development, property development, the prospect who approaches your business has some specific aspects of his work which need extra detail in your quote – maybe you even attach a technical appendix on that point. Just put that into your articles folder – later you will find that it gives you the basis of a high quality article.

3. Use email exchanges – often you exchange emails with clients about specific aspects of their business, or technical issues in the service you are providing. Often the thread covers three or four emails – if you copy and paste the specific points into a Word doc, and put this into your articles folder, you will often find that with a little work, you have the basis of a really good article.

4. Colleague email exchanges – are you bouncing emails with a colleague on a client work issue?  If so, doesn’t it contain some content that is worth sharing more widely? – again just collect the material in your article folder ready to convert into a finished article.

5. Keep it short – you need a version of the article to go on your own website – this gives you the site content change valued by Google -  and a version to submit to the e-zines. We used to target 1,000 words for the site version, and use a shorter one (c600 words) for the article sites. Now we tend to create one document of c600 words and find this works for both purposes.

6. Get rid of the formatting – it may seem nice to have sub-headings, inset paragraphs, and bullet point lists. Problem is that (a) some site Content Management Systems prefer you to copy and paste from e.g.Notepad – obviously this will remove all that formatting, so you have to re-create it on the site, and (b) some article sites also remove formatting, so you end up having to rewrite as you are trying to submit.

You can use emboldened pre-fixes for each point as in this article. Even then, some article sites,object to emboldened items within content, and will remove the emboldened effect, but it doesn’t change the sense, or render it incorrect.

7. Make submission simple – keep a master list of the sites you submit your articles to. Maintain this carefully including the access details - it makes life much easier when you come to submit the article. More likely, your web management company will be able to handle this for you, ie you should just have to worry about getting the articles to them -  any competent web marketing company will handle to submission for you.  In fact, they should be prompting you to use articles as part of the overall site promotion, ie in addition to link building, news releases, social media use.

Dave Abernethy

Net Commerce Solutions.

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