Thursday, October 25, 2012
Are You Making These Article Marketing Mistakes?
As an article directory owner and editor I am exposed to a huge number of articles every single day of the week.
I sometimes receive complaints from authors who are angered by the fact that their article has not been published, which leads me to believe that there are still a lot of people out there who do not understand article marketing, nor the role that directories play.
For those who are not finding success with articles, or for those considering starting out, here are a few ground rules that will save you a lot of work in the long run and will likely get your article marketing career off to a much more auspicious start.
Read the article directory's specific terms of service and guidelines. This may seem like a boring, tedious and long winded waste of your valuable time but in the long term it will save you hours of frustration and wasted effort. All directories set their own rules and some are stricter than others. Most directories labor under a huge number of submissions and the work of sifting through them is often the job of one individual. This means that if your opening paragraph or introductory statement is poorly written or contains mistakes, that is as far as the editor will go before hitting the delete key. The luxury of time to edit an author's mistakes or to decline an article as opposed to deleting it, is one that most editors do not have.
Mass submissions are usually viewed as spam. Let's face it, none of us are capable of writing over 200 articles in a day - I would say that even producing more than ten would be a pretty amazing feat of productivity. It should come as no surprise to those submitting large numbers of articles in a 24 hour period to find that they are all deleted. Article directory software usually allows for quick erasure of such submissions, so if you don't want your work to fall victim to mass deletion, don't mass submit. All that is needed is a little common sense. If you are using a submission service, set the option to stagger your submissions over a longer period of time.
Proof read your articles. If you don't know what this means, look it up! If your writing is riddled with spelling errors, poor structure, punctuation horrors and grammatical butchery, don't be surprised if none of them get published. I could write thousands of words on the most common mistakes seen in people's writing. These usually involve spelling and grammar. Spell check your articles, even if you think you're perfect, you will often be surprised at the mistakes you make. If you tend to misspell a word regularly, you will never correct it unless you make yourself aware of it.
If you are of the opinion that these things don't matter (after all, people will know what you mean!) then think again. If you want to write and, more importantly, see your work published and picked up by other website owners and bloggers, you need to demonstrate an ability to write well.
As an example, all the "SEO experts" who talk about search engine optimisation (sic) but don't even understand that being able to spell their claimed occupation correctly would lend a little more credibility to their claims. Just for the record, most words ending in "ize" use a "z" and not an "s". This is a very common mistake, but it would be corrected by the use of a spell checker, as would so many others.
If you want to write with authority, you have to be able to exhibit basic literacy. Yes, this is important and should be borne in mind by those who eulogize about "the Queen's English", thus making themselves look even more foolish than those they chastise. (a good example of a word that does actually end in "ise") Regardless of who is on the throne, it is always "the King's English".
None of us are perfect and this is not a lecture on grammar and spelling, no matter how needed it might be.
If you are tempted to use PLR articles, even if you rewrite them in an attempt to make them unique, remember that you will be competing with all the other shortcut seekers who are doing the same thing. It's another shortcut to the delete key for a lot of directories.
When it comes to the resource box, it is quite amazing how many authors defeat their entire purpose by making a mess of this vital section. If the article directory in question allows one, two or three live Hyperlinks, make good use of them. Think about your anchor text very carefully. In other words don't say......to find out more click here and Hyperlink the words "click here". The resource box is where you need to give readers a compelling reason to visit your site(s) but it is also the one place you can make the most of good keywords as the anchor text in your links.
Use the resource box wisely and take full advantage of everything the directory is offering you by way of promotional tools. Adding your URL without making it a live link is a pointless waste of time if the directory allows you to use Hyperlinks in your resource box. Conversely, adding more than the quota of permitted links will probably result in deletion of your work.
Another thing to watch is linking directly to affiliate programs. Read the directory's policies on this point or again, you may well find yourself on the cutting room floor. Many directories will stipulate that you may only link to affiliate programs indirectly by referring readers to your own site or domain. Some do not allow straight redirect links either.
Relevancy is also an issue here too. In other words, submitting a PLR piece about gardening and linking to your MLM program is not very helpful or wise, just one more recipe for deletion.
I should finish by saying that yes, you can churn out badly written articles to your heart's content, just don't be surprised at the results.