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Article Marketing Basics Explained

by Bonnie Jo Davis

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Published on this site: August 18th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

If you've been writing and submitting free reprint articles for any length of time you know that each submission site has its own set of guidelines for writers. If you are new to the process you may not know that there are standard practices that apply in most cases for having your articles accepted.

Even those of us who are seasoned at the art of writing and submitting articles need to be reminded occasionally of the basics that publishers and editors expect! Stay focused on these fundamentals to get the most mileage from your article submissions.

  1. Original Content Only - If you didn't write an article yourself, you can't legally submit it for publication as your own work. The only exception here is if you hire a ghostwriter to write the article for you, in which case, you are the copyright owner.

  2. Know Your Subject - A telltale sign of an amateur is an article that contains misinformation and invalid content. Article submission sites rely on quality content that provides something of value to their readers. If your article lacks substance and doesn't ring true, it won't be accepted.  If you want to write about new topics for increased exposure, try hiring a ghostwriter who specializes in that topic.

  3. Good Grammar Please - As the editor of an article submission newsgroup, I know there's nothing more frustrating than receiving articles that look like the work of 3rd graders. Grammar includes spelling, punctuation, capitalization, subject/ verb agreement, etc. A couple of key rules here - never submit an article without spell checking it AND proofreading a hardcopy. Not all errors can be picked up with spellchecker tools. It's always a good idea to have someone else proof your article too, just in case you may have missed something.

  4. Attention to Word Count - The average word count guidelines for article submissions sites tends to run around 750, the key word here being average. These can vary extensively from 250-word articles to 2500-word articles, depending upon each site. Before submitting an article to any article submission site, make sure that your work meets that site's specific guidelines for word count regarding title, body and author bio.   Remember that if a site specifies a total number of characters versus a total word count that character count also includes spaces.

  5. No Hard Sells - The purpose of article submission sites is NOT to provide you with a free advertising venue. Their purpose is to provide their readers and other web site owners with quality content. Forget about blatantly tooting your own horn in the body of your article ... it'll never work!  That's what your resource box is for, and it's an awesome tool if you know how to use it! Use your resource box to include a link to your web site and to reference your content information at your web site.

  6. Formatting - Most article submission sites feature forms for submitting your articles. However, if you create your article using Microsoft(r) Word or other word progressing programs, your formatting won't remain intact during the submission process. Avoid formatting errors in your articles by sticking with text-based applications to ensure integrity in your article's basic formatting. Make sure to review your article after submitting it to see that the formatting isn't off and for any odd characters transferred during the submission process.

  7. Syndication Matters - Strategic partnerships are an integral part of doing business in both traditional markets and in the online world. Increasingly, article submission sites are partnering with other sites to provide content, which is fantastic for you as a writer!  Just know in advance, that if the site to which you submit your article engages in syndication that your article can be picked up by other web sites without additional permission from you. A basic rule applies here if you're thinking about selling an article; just don't submit it for free reprint at all.

  8. Nothing Lasts Forever - It's out with the old and in with the new in almost all cases of free reprint articles. No matter how valuable your article, sooner or later it will be purged or deleted to make way for fresh, new content.  Write and keep a ready stock of original articles that you can submit on a regular basis to ensure that your name stays out there. Keep track of all your article submissions and submit new articles as often as possible.

Although each article submission site publishes and maintains its own set of guidelines, knowing and observing these basics puts you ahead of the game in having your articles accepted for publication.

Bonnie Jo Davis is an article marketing expert and prolific writer who created Article Submission Sites to teach others how to profit from this internet marketing strategy. Visit http://www.articlesubmissionsites.com for a free copy of "Writing for Publicity" and her Article Submission Summary Sheet.

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