Articles are normally submitted to e-zines (also called article warehouses and article submission sites). These are places that other webmasters go to find good articles to put on their websites. If an article is poorly written, this may be the only place it will be published – if even they accept it. (Many places have a human review of the document before publishing it.)
If it is well written, several other webmasters will find it at these e-zines and use it on their website without any extra effort on your part. They may do it shortly after it is published, or even a couple years later.
Carefully review these article submission guidelines and bookmark this page! This will give you guidelines on how to write good articles, how to submit articles, and give you a starting point of where to submit articles.
START WITH A GOOD ARTICLE TO SUBMIT:
The first half of the battle is to write a good article. DO NOT neglect this! You don’t have to be a professional author or an English professor. But you do need to pay attention to details and follow good article submission guidelines. You may see websites that encourage you to write about anything and ignore the importance of writing a quality article. Usually these sites are trying to sell you some article submission service or article submission software.
Many webmasters are picky about what they choose for their websites. If I was to choose an article for any of the websites I manage, it would have to be relevant to my site, have keywords that I am trying for, be well written, and most of all – be of interest to my customers.
WHEN WRITING YOUR ARTICLE:
- Write about what you know and what interests you. Most people have expertise in some field. Leverage this. If you are writing articles to promote your site, write articles on subjects that your visitors would also be interested in. If a visitor finds this article – and a link to your site – they will more likely be a potential customer. Also, make sure it is something that you feel other webmasters would want. An article on your particular product will have a very limited audience. However, comparing a few similar products in a non-biased fashion would be of value. “How to” articles are also good candidates. Also, your professional opinion on a related subject would be good.
- Use a spell-checker on the article. You would be surprised at how many articles have spelling mistakes. If necessary, copy and paste it into Microsoft Word. I would normally reject any article with spelling mistakes since it would make my site look less professional.
- Have a friend proof-read it. This is just to pick out any obvious shortcomings.
- Make sure that the title is really catchy. A good title will make or break your article. If you have a really good title, more people will read it – and more will click on the links embedded within.
- Limit the links in the body of your article to the minimum necessary. Some e-zines have restrictions on the number of links you may have. A link to your site is normally done in another section called the author biography. Some e-zines have restrictions on the amount of links within the body of the article, or on self-promotion links. Also, many have a policy of prohibiting “affiliate” links. (Affiliate links are links to sites that give you a commission of some sort – per click or per sale.) Be prepared to remove these if necessary.
- Limit the amount of formatting in the article. Several e-zines only accept plain text for the articles. Some allow you to use only a few HTML tags for paragraphs, page breaks, and lists. Never format the text fonts or colors when preparing the article. These are normally rejected because each webmaster that publishes your article wants to have tight control of the font and color schemes of their particular website. I would recommend that you start with two versions (one text and one html formatted) . Make special tailoring for different article warehouses as needed.
- Make it easily to scan and get the main points. Use subheadings in your article – formatted in bold or capital case to highlight main points and making it easy for the user to scan. Also, use bold and italic formatting to bring out points within the text. For those submission places that allow limited formatting – this will be an enhanced article. For an example, quickly scan this article. See if you can pick up a lot of great points within 30 seconds.
Personally, I like to start by writing my articles in a blog. Then, once it is refined, I publish it at different article submission sites. Having it in a blog essentially gives me one more place where the article is published on the internet. And it is formatted exactly how I like!
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS:
Normally, after signing up for an author account, you will be filling in a form for your article submission. You need to prepare the following sections that many article submission sites ask for:
1) Article Body
Of course, you obviously need to write the body of the article. Normally, as stated above, I write it initially in a blog like Blogger. Its structure is uniquely suited since it has sections to fill in your title, your biography, and the text of the article (the Blogger posting). The body of the article should not contain the title since this is normally filled in a separate field during article submissions.
Try to restrict it to the following HTML tags:
- <a>tag for links
- <p> or <br> to separate paragraphs *
- <b> for bold formatting **
- <i> for italic formatting **
- <ul>, <ol> and <li> for lists
* Some e-zines allow a normal page beak to separate paragraphs using a special CSS trick. Be aware of this, since you may need to remove the “p” or “br” to make it display properly on their website. Wherever possible, use the “p” and “br” in case the webmaster who uses this article doesn’t use that CSS trick to separate paragraphs.
** You may have to remove bold and italic formatting for some article submission sites. You may want to use capitalization in your text version of the article for the subheaders. This keeps your text version easy to scan.
Then I like to copy and paste it into Microsoft Notepad, since this will remove the formatting automatically. This gives me a text-only version of the article. (You may still need to modify it – but this is the best starting place.) Both types of articles are needed. Wherever you can, you publish a HTML version. Where you can’t, you publish the text version. Having 2 versions that are different in this manner reduces the possibility of duplicate content. If you additionally modify the article somewhat for each article warehouse – that would be even better.
Try to keep the article body between 800 and 1800 words. If it is much longer, consider breaking it up into two or more articles.
DO NOT use images. Almost all article submission sites forbid images. There are several technical reasons for this – but this is outside the scope of this discussion.
2) Article Title
This is very important! It should lead visitors into reading your article. It should arouse curiosity or otherwise motivate them to read the rest. It should also give an idea of what the article is about. Some places publish a list of articles showing only the title – or the title and the short description. Keep this in mind. You want them to read the full article down to the biography.
Do not make this all capital. Capitalize the first letter of each word. (You don’t have to capitalize “the”, “a”, and “an” and other such words if you don’t want to.)
Do not end the title with a period. It is OK to end with an exclamation point or a question mark though.
3) Short Description
This is a 1-2 sentence introduction to your article. It is a lead into your article, and not necessarily a non-biased description. Make the visitors eager to read the rest (and don’t give everything away here).
If someone was doing a search for an article about your topic, what words or phrases would accurately match your article. This is used in searches and is often put in Meta-Tags of the page with your article. Ideally you should have these words or phrases in your article as well – at least once.
Do not repeat any words here unless you are trying for variations of a keyword phrase. Do not repeat any word more than 3 times for any reason. Make sure that all your keywords show up in your article somewhere at least once.
5) Author Biography
This is VERY VERY IMPORTANT! Do not neglect this! This is where you tell a little about yourself and where you get links to your website. These links help the search engines recognize your popularity on the web. The more popular you are, the better. Normally I put my expertise relative to the topic I am discussing. Also I put 1-3 links. These are HTML formatted links with my keywords embedded in them.
I recommend preparing 3 links for the biography. But only put in as many links as the specific article warehouse allows. If you want to maximize the value of this process, edit the link text slightly each time you use the biography while keeping your keywords in there. That way your links won’t be so cookie-cutter and will fare better in the search engines.
THE STEPS TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE:Normally you would start by visiting each article warehouse that you want to publish at and create an account. (If you have already created an account, you can skip this step and just sign in before submitting your article.)
You will next need to fill in the forms to submit your article. These forms are normally pretty simple and self explanatory and involve the data mentioned above. Of course, the more you submit to, the better.
WHERE TO SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLE:The following is a short list of places to submit to. There are many others – some that only publish articles in specialized fields, but these are the e-zines I like to start with.
You can find a much bigger list of submission sites here: http://www.pro-marketing-online.com/submit-articles.html. You can also do a search on article submission for your particular nitche to find places that only submit articles on a particular subject. For example, you may do a search on “article submission real estate” or “submit article real estate” for places to submit your real estate articles.
You may find services that will submit your article to hundreds or thousands of places. However, this will normally only submit a text version of the article and a text version of the biography. As you have learned, the biography is the most important part of this. You want a HTML-formatted links in the biography – with your keywords in the link text. The plain link is only 1/100 of the value as a carefully formatted link with your keywords.
Your best submissions will be the ones you do yourself using these article submission guidelines.
ADVANCED ARTICLE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES – MAXIMUM EFFECT:
If you really want to maximize the amount of webmasters who use your article, select about 3 keyword phrases to promote within your article. Many webmasters who are searching for articles want to publish text that is
- relevant to their site
- interesting to their visitors
- IS KEYWORD RICH
Some webmasters want timely interesting articles for their customers – to keep them coming back. Some webmasters are using your article to help increase their search engine rankings for that keyword term by having more pages about it. These would want their articles to have keywords that are requested a lot. Others are using your article to generate revenue by putting Google Adsense advertisements on the page. Keep this in mind when selecting keywords.
I would recommend that you use the following tool to help you choose commonly used keywords: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. You can use this to check the search popularity and the AdSense competition for that keyword phrase. Also, use a keyword density analyzer to check your article (like your Blogger version) to see if this is too high or too low. A general rule of thumb is to keep your keyword density around 2.5- 3.5% for your targeted keywords. However, you really just need to check who is coming up number one and two for your keywords and do a slightly higher density than they do. If your article is too dense for a keyword, it may look like keyword spam. Don’t go overboard and keep it natural.
You should also put the most important keyword phrase in the article title. Additionally, your keywords should be in the first few sentences of your article body, somewhere in the middle, and near the end. Also, put them in the list of keywords that you are collecting for searches.
If you can make the time, modify your article somewhat for each submission. Add a few sentences, change a few phrases in the first paragraph and possibly the last paragraph. Also, modify the link text of your links in your biography for each submission.
After you submit your article by hand to about 10 or so e-zines, you may consider using an article submission service to get a better reach. http://www.isnare.com/ has a paid service to assist with that. But do the hand submission first and get the text variety and higher quality links.
Lastly, if you started by writing your article in a blog, don’t forget to submit your new blog posting to the search engines. And if you activated AdSense for the blog, you may even get a tidy profit from those finding it. I sometimes even do a minor link-building campaign for my blog – such as using it as a resource in another article. This enhances the pagerank of the blog, and the value of the links that point to my site.