|Article Writing Information|
Ten Top Tips for Writing Articles on the Internet
Online readers love information, but be sure your information is crisp, clean, clear and concise. Internet writing is different from print.
1. Keep your paragraphs short, even a line or two. Online readers will ignore long batches of words in long paragraphs, whether in an ezine or at a web site. That costs the author a lot of book sales. Respect readers who want material short and sweet.
2. Write tips in consistent format. First, use the command form of a verb. Follow it by the cost of not doing it, or benefits from doing it. End with a positive comment. Use this three or four-sentence formula to bring the curious to you. One tip I sent out in 2004 landed me an offer from a large print magazine to write a longer article on the same topic.
3. Make your heading compelling. If you haven't tested it on associates, or haven't edited it at least three times, it may say "lackluster." People will delete it or click on to something new. Which one will you read? " Write an Article," or "Sell More Books by Writing a Short Article"?
4. Get to the point quickly-in the title and the first line. Keep your introduction down to a few sentences.
5. Tell your readers what you want them to do. They are waiting for your magic formula to make them richer, healthier, or enjoy great relationships. Use numbered points for this if possible. Make your copy strong, clear, and direct.
6. Target your article to your preferred audience. Not everyone will want your information, so include your audience in the title or introduction. When you focus your information, you write more compelling, focused copy that your readers will love. They will reward you by clicking to where your book is sold in your signature file.
7. Reduce superfluous words such as adjectives and adverbs like "ly." Allow only 2-4% passive verbs. Because of a lack of effort, novices ruin their work with sentences full of "is" and "was" linking verbs. Use strong verbs instead, by starting more sentences with a subject, followed by a verb and object. Neither books, nor articles will sell with these "slugs."
8. Focus on your readers' needs and wants. Keep the "I" out of your copy unless you are telling a success story. If you do use "I" consider couching it like this: "If you are like me, you?. Remember to give what's in it for your readers.
9. Contact an editing buddy who is above average at writing. It's best to get a bookcoach or professional Internet editor to give your first 3-4 efforts some feedback, so you are on the right track-and will get published. Online sites and ePublishers will not publish your article if it isn't well organized; reader centered, easy-to read and doesn't offer something new.
10. Include a powerful signature file that will attract other publishers and web masters to your other articles listed on your web site. Once they start posting you, your message will be seen by your targeted audience who want your service or book information. Include the basics of name, benefit of book or business, free offer such as an ezine or report, your web, email address, and a local and toll-fre.e number.
Keep these ten tips in mind, so that your Internet article will bring potential book buyers to you, your service, your Web site, and your products.
Judy Cullins ©2005 All Rights Reserved.
Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," "The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic," and "Create your Web Site With Marketing Pizzazz," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The Book Coach Says..." and "Business Tip of the Month" at http://www.bookcoaching.com/opt-in.shtml and over 165 free articles. Email her at mailto:Judy@bookcoaching.com.
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A great headline can be the difference between having your free reprint article published once (on your own website...) and having it published hundreds, if not thousands, of times all over the Internet. Sure, the content has to be worthwhile; it has to be helpful, informative, and not just a sales spiel. And there's no denying that a well written article can be very compelling. But if your headline doesn't cut it, the article won't stand a chance. The best article in the world will never see the light of day without an effective headline. Now, more than ever, article submissions need a good headline. But it's not just the reader you have to worry about. In fact, the reader is secondary! When it comes to reprint article headlines, your main focus should be the publisher. You may think the requirements of a good headline haven't changed over the years, but they have. Unlike headlines for traditional newspapers, magazines, etc., which target only the reader, online article submission headlines target first the publisher, then the reader. So how do you write a headline for an online publisher? Here's a few tips... 1) State your domainNo matter what your business, you can be sure that potential publishers of your article are inundated with information every day. Imagine hypothetical 'Publisher Pete'. He's the webmaster of a high PR site. He receives hundreds of article submissions every day. Additionally, he farms article submission sites (aka 'article banks', 'article submit sites', 'free-reprint sites') for articles on a regular basis. Because so many of the article submissions he sees are spam or unrelated, Publisher Pete is quick to dismiss anything that isn't obviously ? and immediately ? relevant to his website. So make sure your headline signals the general subject area of the article submission, not just the exact topic. 2) State your argumentEvery website has an agenda. Whether it's to sell, persuade, or inform, there's always an angle. When our friend Publisher Pete looks for free reprint content for his website, he wants something that complements his agenda. If he's selling chemical garden fertilizers, he doesn't want an article about the evils of chemical fertilizer. Nor does he want an article espousing the virtues of organic fertilizer. He wants an article promoting the value of chemical garden fertilizer. If that's what your article is about, make sure the headline lets him know. 3) Don't make empty promisesSensationalized headlines may work in traditional media, but they're not so effective in online article submissions. Few things frustrate an online publisher more than being lured in by a promising headline which turns out to be nothing more than hot air. For publishers who take the time to carefully filter content before publishing, empty headlines are nothing more than time-wasters. For publishers who are a little less meticulous, empty headlines result in a site which is characterized by disjointed, contradictory, low-quality content. Either way, the publisher isn't impressed, so make sure the headline of your article is relevant to (and validated by) the body of your article.4) Put yourself in the publisher's shoesAlways think about ways to make the publisher's job easier. It's as simple as that. Brainstorm 5, 10, 20 headlines, then put yourself in the publisher's position and ask which one you'd choose. That's the best headline for your article submission. 5) Think about your publisher's readersPublishers want articles that readers will open. But remember, your publisher's website may cater to an entirely different type of reader to your website. Whenever you find yourself thinking about your secondary audience (the reader), make sure you're thinking about the publisher's readers ? not your own. That settled, you can go on to focus on regular audience-headline considerations such as making the headline attention-getting, targeted, and benefit driven. ConclusionWith the emergence of article submission as a great way to generate a high search engine ranking, and the associated proliferation of article submission spam, the right headline is more important than ever. The important thing to remember is that you're faced with a gatekeeper, and you need to address their needs first. By following all the publisher-focused tips above, you'll not only see your article published many more times, you'll also see it published on more relevant websites. This will help both your ranking (because links from relevant sites are always the best) and your click-thru traffic (because the audience will be more relevant). Happy headlining!
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