1. Choose A Topic.
You need to choose either a hot topic or a topic about which you are passionate. If you can find a topic which is both these things, you have a winning combination. Think about what people are talking about on forums and in ezine articles that you have read recently. Check with Google to find recent popular search topics. Your task will be easier if your article covers a subject people currently find interesting. If you are interested in the subject, this will show in your writing and enthusiasm can be infectious.
2. Research Your Subject.
Remember that people will read your article to obtain information. The type and extent of your research will depend upon the type of article you intend to write. If you are writing an article about your own experience or viewpoint, you probably won't need to do much in the way of research unless you want to add in references to some contrasting views which have been published by other people. Obviously, if you are writing an article which includes statistical information, you need to make sure your facts and figures are correct.
3. Invent a Title.
The title can make or break your article. A title for an article is just as important as a headline for an ad. The first 3-5 words of your title are the most important ones so don't waste them by using words like “The Ten Best Ways To…". Put your keyword in the first 3-5 words and make sure your title is relevant to the article content. If your title doesn't grab people's attention they will never read the rest of the article. If they don't read the article, they won't see your resource box. You get the picture?
4. Write In Sections.
Write 3-5 major points on your topic. If you find you need more points, it is probably better to split the information into two (or even more) separate articles. Make sure that each section really is a fresh point and not a continuation of something you covered a couple of paragraphs back. The key to making your writing easy to do and easy to read is dividing up the content so that it is logically organised and does not jump backwards and forwards.
5. Count Your Words.
Between 700 - 1200 words is the best size for an ezine article. If you write less than 500 words, your article is unlikely to be taken seriously and anything much over 1000 words might demand more space than an Ezine publisher wants to allocate. Few ezines will accept any article over 1200 words long. If you write an article amounting to over 1200 words, first of all check that your writing is not sloppy, repetitive or unnecessarily long-winded. If your writing is “tight" and every word is informative, split the work into two articles and call them Part 1 and Part 2. Add an additional paragraph mentioning that the article is one in a series and point the reader in the direction of the url for the other article. You also get double the number of resource boxes that way!
6. Create Your Resource Box.
This is your advertisement. Most ezines demand that a resource box is limited to about 5 lines. Some insist on as low as 3 lines but 5 is a good average to work on. You need to fit into those 5 lines your name, your website url and a couple of promotional phrases designed to attract the reader's interest so that he will click through to your website. You will get the best results if your promotional phrases relate to your article content. If you only ever write articles about one subject and your website is only about one thing, you can keep to just the one resource box. If the subject matter of your articles varies, revise your resource box to suit each new article instead of just having a standard resource box telling your readers they should visit your homepage.
7. Proofread And Edit.
Never send off an article immediately you finish writing it. Leave it overnight, sleep on it, then come back to it the next day to proofread and edit it. If yesterday's work of art seems less appealing in cold daylight, rewrite it until you are satisfied with the improvement and then leave it another day. Do a spellcheck but don't just rely on your pc's spell checking software, read the article carefully yourself (if you visit my website, you will find a poem dedicated to the pc spellchecker which will illustrate why this is important). It is amazing what a short rest will do for the creative process: you will probably find yourself making many small alterations which will result in a polished piece of work. Sometimes you will find yourself in possession of a completely unsatisfactory article which has to be rewritten numerous times but that is preferable to submitting a substandard article.
8. Send To Ezine Publishers.
Find a large section of ezine publishers and list their name and contact emails. Send your article to them with a short personalized cover paragraph at the top. Personalization is important since most ezine publishers receive hundreds of these emails every day. Make sure you format your email by making a hard carriage return at the end of each line. Keep your lines down to 60 - 65 characters so that your article will be displayed correctly by email servers. If you neglect the hard carriage returns, your article can end up with breaks in strange places, the general effect will be messy and the article will be difficult to read. The result will be that the busy publisher will skip your email in favour of ones that are easy to read.
9. Submit To Article Directories.
There are hundreds of article directory sites where you can submit your articles. You can easily find these sites by searching with any major search engine. The submission process can be very time-consuming and there are services which, for a fee, will submit your articles to the directories for you. If you are operating with a limited budget, these services might be prohibitively expensive but automation is desirable as your time is precious. When submitting online to article directories, read the site instructions. Submission is normally done by way of an online form where hard carriage returns (except at the end of paragraphs) are to be avoided as the site's own software will deal with correct formatting.
10. Target Your Market
Don't Spray and pray: avoid the temptation to be lazy and send every article you write to every ezine publisher and article directory you find, this is spamming. Take a little time to check what sort of articles the various sites want. If you consistently bombard a site with unsuitable material, you can find yourself blacklisted by a potentially valuable source of free publicity. Remember, there are real people at those sites who have to read the articles before they are accepted, so don't annoy them by wasting their time.
Copyright 2005 Elaine Currie
Elaine Currie publishes articles at her Plug-in Profit Site at: http://www.huntingvenus.com/plug-in_profit_site.htm
To see more about article writing go to: http://www.huntingvenus.com/Ezine_Article_Writing_In_Ten_Easy_Steps.htm