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Writing for Traffic Ė Getting Published By Mark Daoust
Internet marketing journals are filled with articles proclaiming the immense benefits of article writing. From page rank boosting and traffic generation, to establishing trust and credibility, the benefits of becoming a published author should be well known to you now. If you are not writing articles, then you are simply missing out on o≠ne of the easiest and most effective ways of making your website a success.
Because article writing has been written about so much, many new writers have opened up their word processors and began typing away to harness this powerful tool. However, many of these new authors are seeing little to no success. Their articles are not getting published, and the articles that do get published do not see any traffic.
The problem is that most website owners do not know how to write to get published. They write to advertise their business, or to simply get their presence known. This simply does not work.
Article writing can be o≠ne of two things: it can be an immensely beneficial activity for your business, or it can be an immensely time consuming task that bears few results. Obviously, you want your article writing to be the immensely beneficial activity. This article will explore the basic do's and don'ts of getting your article published, and in turn, getting those coveted benefits.
Never, Never Include Your Business
When writing your article, keep in mind that the less you try and push your website, the more people will be likely to visit your site. More importantly, those who do visit your website will be highly targeted prospects for your site. People do not like to be sold or to listen to sales pitches. If a person knows they are in a sales pitch, their first reaction will be to get out of that situation as quickly as possible.
Articles have the great ability to make your website known without the reader experiencing a sales pitch. They establish trust by focusing o≠n details that does not require the reader to give up any of their own information or money. o≠nce that trust is established, entering into a sales pitch is not such a bad of an experience.
The number o≠ne mistake that website owners make when writing articles is to use the article to advertise their website. This is a guaranteed way of being published in o≠nly the journals that do not screen their articles (and in turn probably do not have a lot of traffic). You may not think you are advertising your site, but there are several things publishers look for in articles that they may constitute as advertising.
The Blatant Advertisement
This is when you write an article and include a section that reads something like this: "For more information o≠n this subject, visit my website http://www.yoursite.com". Asking visitors to visit your website is perfectly fine, just not within the body of the article itself.
The Link to a Free Tool
Many articles offer links to free tools to enforce a point that the article was trying to make. Some articles o≠nly intention is to report a collection of tools that webmasters can use for a specific purpose. These articles are generally very good and very useful.
However, you should never provide a link to a tool o≠n your website. Readers have grown tired of articles that do nothing to help them and everything to help the person who wrote the article. They have grown savvy to author's attempts to advertise their website through the use of articles. As a result, if an article contains a link to the author's website as a resource for the topic they are writing about, it immediately raises suspicions.
Advertising a Website that You Don't Admit to Owning
This is a classic technique by some authors to advertise their website for free. They write an article that recommends a website that they own, however, they never mention that they actually own the website being recommended. They may recommend the website as a good resource, a great tool, or a quality service, but never mention that they have an interest in that website.
Although some publishers will not pick up o≠n this, it is dishonest in its attempt. An author who does this appears to be offering an unbiased opinion o≠n a resource when in fact there are anything but unbiased. If a reader finds out that they were recommended a website on the assumption that the recommendation came from an unbiased source, not o≠nly will they not trust your service, they will not trust the publishing source.
Using Your Website as an Example
This is probably the most common source of advertising through articles. An author who is writing about an issue may decide that using an active website is important as an example. Naturally they choose to use their own URL. This is generally not accepted as proper article writing etiquette.
If you need to use a URL as an example, use the common http://www.domain.com, or use another resource that you do not have a personal interest in. By refusing to promote your own website within the article, you will actually be doing more good for yourself than bad.
Avoid Two Part Articles
Some articles are so broad in their scope that they cannot be covered in a single article. If you write an article like this, you should provide the publisher with each part of the article and allow the publisher to link to the various parts.
Some authors include a section which reads "This is the second part of a two part article. To read the first part, please goto http://www.mydomain.com/article.html". Many publishers will not publish this style of an article if they are not able to carry both parts of the article and keep the links internal. After all, a publisher publishes articles to become known as a resource. If they have to recommend their readers go to another website for the basic information they need, publishing the article becomes counter- effective.
Make Formatting Easy
Publishers read hundreds of articles sifting through the vast number of submissions for the best articles. The last thing a publisher wants to do is spend time formatting an article. With most articles, this is not a problem.
Define Sections of Your Articles
Using section headlines makes splitting up an article much easier for a publisher and also makes your article more readable. As an example, the text you are reading right now is under the section "Make Formatting Easy" and the subsection "Define Sections of Your Articles". Defining various sections of your articles will make formatting articles very easy for any interested publisher.
Watch Out for HTML
You should also never submit your article as an HTML formatted article unless the publisher specifically states that they accept HTML formatted articles. Most publishers will not even bother to read the content of an article that is formatted with HTML tags.
Avoid Tabs and Word Processing Formatting
When writing your article, use as little formatting as possible. Avoid using tabs as they do not translate to the Internet very well. Assume that the publisher is going to receive your article in a plain text format. Therefore, do not bother with adding bold text, italic text, etc. unless the publisher gives you tools to do so.
Articles that use strange characters and tabs may present too much of a formatting challenge for the publisher.
Write Articles That Can Stand By Themselves
Publishers are looking for the same thing that readers are looking for, high quality, well-written articles. An article that offers just a few tidbits of information or acts as a teaser to tempt the reader to visit your website is not an article that anyone really wants to read.
An amazing thing happens when you write an article that contains quality content and is well-written. Not o≠nly will you get published, but by not wasting your reader's time with your attempts to advertise your own website, you will actually improve your credibility and trustworthiness to your readers. You will become recognized as an expert in the field you are writing about. People will be more likely to visit your website as you are the source of the information that you are writing about.
A good article should be able to stand by itself. A reader should be able to read your article and walk away having gained something substantial from reading the article alone.
Using the Resource Box
The resource box is your time to tell the reader about yourself and to finally advertise your website. This is where all the benefits of writing articles comes to fruition. If the reader likes your article, they will visit your website, that is, if the resource box is written correctly.
The resource box should be short, to the point, and never include more than 3 links. The resource box is your opportunity to tell the reader who you are and where they can go to learn more from you. If you are brief and to the point, your resource box will quickly become your biggest source of traffic.
Some writers try to insert as much information into their resource box as possible. The problem with this is that readers are not interested in reading a long biography of the author, or reading several lines of text advertising the author's site. At most, the reader will be interested in knowing who wrote the article and where they can go to learn more about the author and the author's business.
Conclusion: Think of the Readers
If you want to get your articles published, you need to give publishers what they want. That just happens to be the same thing that readers want: quality content without a sales pitch. When writing your article, keep your readers in mind. Do not think of them as prospects, and do not think of your article as an ad copy. Think of your article as your opportunity to prove to hundreds of thousands of readers just how much of an expert you really are.
An amazing thing will happen when you give readers and publishers what they want. You will find yourself published o≠n websites you never knew existed, you will find your articles discussed in forums, and you will find that people will look to you and your business as a trustworthy enterprise. Those benefits of article writing will be sitting in your lap.