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Writing for publicity

(cont'd)

The correct way to format your articles is to hit the carriage return button or enter button on your keyboard every 65 characters including spaces. It's recommended that you do this using Notepad as MS Word and other word processors aren't good at this sort of thing. I found this a pain in the butt, I knew it was essential to getting my articles published though but I thought that there must be a quicker way and guess what there is.

Only users of MS Outlook and MS Outlook express might be able to do this. I'm guessing other programs have this capability too but I only have the two Microsoft programs mentioned above installed on my machine so I can't say. Anyway if you want to properly format your articles to the 65 characters a line standard without manually counting and pressing enter after every 65 characters you can.

Simply startup whichever of the above programs you use for email then go to tools then options. The two programs differ from here. In Outlook Express next go to the Send tab and select Plain text as the mail sending format and then click on "Plain text settings". You should now set the number to 65 in the "Automatically wrap text..." section.

In Outlook go the Mail format tab and select "Plain text" as the format and then go to settings, again select 65 here. You now have your email program configured to hit enter every 65 characters whenever you send email.

You can leave it at that and just send your articles via your email program, lots of free content sites however only offer forms to people who want to submit articles. They'll still want all articles formatted, what do you do then? Well I usually send my articles to myself, yes I simply copy them from my site and email them to myself, a couple of seconds later they arrive at the same account I sent them from. This time however they're formatted and by using message rules are put straight into a special folder all ready for me to copy and paste into any Internet form as I require.

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."

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