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Writing Articles for E-Zines (cont'd)

2. Your article should not read like an ad.

Most people read articles to find information they can use, not to see a pitch about your products or services.  If they see your article as nothing more than a shameless act of self promotion, they'll get turned off and hit the "Back" button right away.  Put yourself in the reader's shoes. What benefits do you want to get out of reading an article?  Cater to your reader's  interests rather than your own.


3. Offer lots of free, useful information.


Following on the last tip, keep in mind that your readers are looking for specific "how-to" instructions to help them achieve a certain goal.  Offer lots of tangible information that is immediately useful to them. Do not lead them through hoops just to get to an order form for a $29.95 "Make $100,000 in 30 Days or Your Money Back!" e-book.


4) Avoid gimmicks.

While it may be true that a sucker is born every minute, most internet users are sophisticated enough to tell what's legitimate and what's not. Write with the intention of offering something substantial to the reader. Be honest and forthright. Your article should not cause the reader to think, "What is this guy trying to sell me?"


5) Be succinct.


Get to the point quickly, preferably in the first or second paragraph. Avoid lengthy paragraphs. Use lots of white space to separate your paragraphs to make them easier to read.


6) Your article should not be too short.


Certainly, it's possible to write a good article packed with useful information using just a few hundred words. If your article is too short, however, some webmasters may feel hesitant to reprint it
on their sites. They may, instead, borrow your ideas and write their own article, gaining authorship without having to give you credit for your ideas.

How long should your article be?  I suggest at least 800 words, preferably longer.  Longer articles give webmasters the impression that you have put some thought and effort into your work and, thus, are deserving of publicity on their sites.


7) Use live (clickable) links in your resource box
.

Many e-zines permit clickable links in  resource boxes. Yet,  many authors forgo this privilege by simply spelling out their URLs. Whenever permitted, you should spell out your URL as well as make it clickable (e.g. http://www.nexcomp.com/weblaunch). The advantages of a clickable URL are (1) readers can go to your site simply by clicking on it,  and (2) more importantly, search engines will be able to record it as a link your web site, adding to your link popularity and search engine rankings.


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