Writing Articles is a great promotional method and a quick path to widespread acceptance and recognition in your chosen field. Eventually it can be great fun, but often first articles are reworked many times before you achieve a reasonably polished result. However, this doesn’t need to be the case.
Or rather, some paths are much easier to follow. That is not to say there is no work involved – and sometimes hard work. After all, you still have to walk the path and some are steeper than others.
Here’s a “quick start plan” to get you going:
1. First, keep in mind that your articles should reflect your personality and style. Not everyone writes in the same manner. Your style will spring from the way you express yourself, using words and phrases you feel comfortable with. To add “personality” to your writing, share some of yourself with your readers; make your writing uniquely your own. It’s fine to read ezines and others’ articles to see what people may be interested in and spark your own ideas, but don’t pattern yourself after someone else. People want to feel that they know YOU – your knowledge and personality. This is what builds loyalty.
If it fits with your subject, don’t be afraid to mention your product or service, but DON’T write a “glorified ad” and call it an article! That can offend many publishers so that they won’t even consider articles from you in the future.
2. You’ll also need some basic tools. Get a notebook and pen or, if you are a “cut and paste” writer like me – a word processor or computer, and just brainstorm ideas for articles. If you’re at a total loss, read some articles in other ezines and websites – that may spark an idea for a different approach to the same subject or remind you of your own experiences in that area.
Think about what YOU need or want to know. Is there a problem area that has puzzled you? If so, it’s likely that others are also curious about it and, if you research and write about the subject, would like to read your thoughts. Also consider what you have learned from experience that might help others? Once you get started you will come up with many ideas. Write each one down. If you think of a good title for that article, write that down too. Make it “catchy.”
3. What you should do next depends on you. There are several ways writers work, depending on their personalities. One good approach is to organize your points by making an outline of the information you plan to include or the points you intend to make. Then all you have to do is go back and “flesh out” the points, adding useful facts or links to more information.
Another approach, if you like to teach, is to write just as though you are explaining the subject to the reader in person. Either method is fine, just do what is comfortable for you. One method may work best for one kind of article and the other for another kind.
4. Be sure to use a spell checker! If you have one, run the grammar checker, also. Have someone else proofread it for you. This is especially the case if English is not your native language. Even professional proofreaders will tell you that they try to have someone else proofread their own writing, because it can be very difficult trying catch your own mistakes.
5. Try reading aloud the finished article so that you get a feeling for the rhythm and flow – and especially the sense – of it. Better still, read it to someone else who will ask questions if they don’t understand some point. (This might also prompt an idea for a sequel!}
6. Think ahead to how you intend to distribute your article. Once you have finished it, and made any necessary changes, you will need to submit it to as many websites and ezines as you can. Search the web for “article directory” and you will find many places to submit your article for free. There are also, of course, paid services and software that will do the submissions for you. Distribution can be labor intensive and very time-consuming. To keep up your motivation and free your time for writing articles do some in-depth comparative shopping. Professionals lean towards paid services as the most cost-effective approach. There are also several good software programs available for article submission and a search of Google will quickly list them for you.
The fastest and easiest way by far to get a following of people who recognize your name and listen to what you recommend is to write articles. For many people, clicking on the links in articles, forums, and discussion groups signatures is their primary method of finding good information.
This method also helps to locate the “experts”. From my own experience, I reasoned that if the person was published, odds were that they were somewhat of an expert on that subject. And, if they were experts, the products and services they sold or recommended were likely to be good. Those were the people whose products I bought and whose lists I joined.
By including a signature or bio with each article, including a line or two about your business and your website URL, it will generate traffic for you – the best kind of targeted traffic, too!
Once you’ve written your first article, the path gets much easier. In fact, you may discover, as I did, that you have a hard time stopping!
Ivan Kelly managed a Direct Mail business with extensive mailing lists for ten years and has designed and promoted many websites. He also provides a quality f’ree course on Article Marketing. For details go to: List Of Topics