By Shelley Lowery
Friday, November 14, 2003; 4:00pm EST
If you're looking for a powerful way to get free publicity and build your credibility at the same time, then writing articles may be your answer.
If you've been on the Internet for a while, you've probably subscribed to a few ezines. Many ezine publishers will include an article written by a guest author. At the end of the article are a few lines of text about the author referred to as bylines or resource box. These lines of text are basically just an advertisement for the writer. They usually contain a couple of lines about the author and a web address.
The writer gives the publisher permission to publish their article, free of charge, in exchange for the publisher including the author's bylines.
By writing articles and allowing them to be freely published, your articles will have the potential to be viewed by millions of Internet users. They may be published by several ezines with subscriber bases of a few hundred to several thousand. In addition, they may be displayed in ezine archives or on high traffic websites.
Most ezine publishers prefer short articles between 500 and 750 words. Short "tip" articles of just a couple of paragraphs are also very popular. Articles should be formatted to 65 characters per line or less, including spaces, and written in short paragraph sections.
When you begin writing your article, avoid using your standard word processing programs, as they do not allow for proper formatting. Instead, use a text editor such as NotePad. It should already be installed on your desktop.
When you begin typing your article, use a hard carriage return (hit enter) when your text reaches 65 characters, including spaces, and leave a space between your paragraphs. This will enable publishers to easily copy and paste your article into their publication. By taking the time to properly format your article, you will increase your chance of being published significantly.
Most publishers receive many article submissions each week and only select a few to be published. Here are some basic guidelines to assist you in getting published:
1. Make sure you follow the publishers' submission guidelines. Articles submitted to publishers that don't follow the submission guidelines will most likely be deleted.
2. Make sure your article is properly formatted. Publishers won't take the time to format your article. They'll simply delete it and move on to the next article
3. Keep your bylines down to 6 lines or less. Publishers will not publish articles that contain excessively long bylines.
4. Select a descriptive title to intrigue your readers. Use a powerful headline that demands attention and try to keep it all on one line.
5. Use proper grammar and spelling. Publishers will not take the time to edit your article. Make sure you read your article several times and use spell check.
6. Avoid articles that are nothing more than a sales letter. Publishers want quality content and will simply delete an article that is written like a sales letter.
7. Avoid referring readers to an affiliate URL. Articles containing affiliate links may make your article appear to be biased and untrustworthy.
8. Write your articles with a sincere desire to teach and inform. Talk to your readers and share your expertise.
Once you've written your article, you'll need to develop a list of publishers that may be interested in publishing it. The best way to accomplish this is to display your articles on your website. Place a subscription box on each of your article pages to enable your visitors to subscribe. This list should be used to send your new articles to your list of publishers.
In addition, you can visit some ezine sites to locate publishers who may be interested in your articles. A good place to start is eZINESearch.
http://www. ezinesearch. com/.
Search through the database for publications that may be interested in the type of article you've written.
Another great way to promote your articles is to submit them to article announcement groups. These groups enable writers to submit their articles to an entire group of publishers, completely free.
Article Announcement Lists:
Subscribe: article_announce-subscribe@yahoogroups. com
Subscribe: aabusiness-subscribe@yahoogroups. com
Subscribe: aainet-subscribe@yahoogroups. com
Subscribe: PublishInYours-subscribe@egroups. com
Subscribe: articles_archives-subscribe@egroups. com
Subscribe: Free-Content-subscribe@egroups. com
Make sure you review the submission guidelines prior to posting your article to an announcement group. Here are some additional promotional resources to help you get published:
http://www. web-source. net/articlesub. htm
http://www. web-source. net/syndicator_submit. htm
http://www. authorconnection. com/
http://www. ideamarketers. com/
http://www. ezinearticles. com/
http://www. marketing-seek. com/
http://www. netterweb. com/articles/
Writing and distributing free articles on the Internet will be one of the best promotional decisions you'll ever make. Not only will it provide you with free publicity, but if your articles are good, you'll become a trusted professional in your area of expertise.
Source of Article Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter - A complete ebook design kit. Subscribe to Etips, for a wealth of quality information to assist you in Web Design, Internet Marketing & Ecommerce. All new subscribers receive a free copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies." http://www. web-source. net/cgi-bin/t. cgi? l=bl1.