Are Your Articles High-Quality?


 by: Wendy Betterini

Writing and distributing articles is fast becoming a popular method of website promotion.

However, if your articles are not high-quality, you defeat the whole purpose of using articles for promotion. Web publishers are looking for quality information to offer their visitors and subscribers.

As a web publisher myself, I will not use articles that have a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. Per the terms of use, publishers are not allowed to alter articles, even if they have the time or inclination to correct all of the errors. If I come across an article with a lot of mistakes, I bypass it, even if the article itself contains a great message. If the author had taken just a little time to clean it up, it would have been perfectly usable.

While there are benefits to submitting your writing to the article databases alone, the primary goal of submitting articles is to allow other web publishers to use your material, thereby bringing more exposure and traffic to your website. If your articles are sloppy, they will not be used. Here are some general guidelines to writing quality articles:

Use a clear title - if you write an article about internet marketing, don't just title your article "Internet Marketing." Be clear about the subject of the article. For example, "Ten Ways to Increase Your Sales in Internet Marketing." Remember, the title is what will grab people's attention and encourage them to click through and read your article.

Proper spelling and grammar - take the time to be sure your article has no mistakes. Most web publishers can overlook a typo or two, but they will not use articles that need to be deciphered with a decoder ring! Most word processing software comes with a built-in spelling and grammar check. Take a minute to use it before submitting an article. Be sure you use the proper form of words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Example: "there, they're, and their" or "to, too, and two." Business-Words.com has an excellent Dictionary of words that sound the same. You can also reference Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. online, for free. This classic reference book details the rules of usage for the English language.

Avoid excessive keyword stuffing - yes, I know you want your article to be keyword-rich to entice the search engines, but there is definitely such a thing as overkill! I read an article recently where the author used the term, "home-based online internet business" over and over and OVER again. Not once did he use the terms, "it, your business, the business," etc. As a result, the article was incredibly redundant and monotonous. Sprinkle your keywords throughout the article, but also think of some alternate keyword phrases you could use that would be just as effective. For example, this author could have used phrases like, "home-business owner, entrepreneur, internet marketing, and small business."

What is the focus of your article? - some articles I've read started with one topic and then quickly meandered onto other unrelated topics, never answering the question or solving the problem posed at the beginning of the article. They more closely resembled long, rambling opinion pieces. While those certainly have their uses, most web publishers are looking for an article that helps their readers solve a problem or learn something new. The best way to do this with your articles is to keep it simple. Start by asking a question or posing a problem, and then provide the answer. Don't veer off onto other subjects in that same article (unless it is a piece that touches on several interconnected topics, in which case you can use bullet points to define them).

Use a clear author bio - another article I read recently used no author bio. It simply listed the author name and website address. Put a little more thought into it than that. When I enjoy an article, I want to know something about the author, and what their website has to offer me. I won't click through to the author's website unless something compels me to do so. Tell the readers a little something about yourself. What is your experience and expertise? What does your website have to offer? Why should they click on your link? At the same time, don't make your bio too long, either. You don't have to give your entire life story, just a quick overview of who you are and what you do.

Bottom line: You don't have to be a literary genius to write a good article. Most web publishers are not looking for perfection. However, remember that your articles are representing your business or website. If they are sloppy, riddled with errors and generally poor quality, what does that say about you and your business?

First impressions count! Always strive to put your best image out there, and it will pay off considerably.

About The Author

Wendy Betterini is a freelance writer and web designer who has been successfully working from home since 2003. In 2005 she launched http://www.CreativeWorkAtHome.com, a community and resource center for home-based professionals, and those who aspire to be. Visit today for tools, tips and information on how you can create your own home-based career, or further improve the one you already have!


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