Guest Fridays with Karen Cioffi

       7 Steps to Writing For Article Directories
       By: Karen Cioffi
       Among marketing strategies, writing for article directories is
       certainly up there. It offers a large readership with the advantage of
       having those readers click back to your site.
       While it is writing for free, it should be considered a part of your
       business expense, at least your time aspect of it. Just like any other form
       of marketing, it is used to create and increase your visibility.  It’s an
       I know it can get tedious having to write and submit articles to the
       directories, but the articles don’t have to be long. Here are 7 steps to
       writing for the directories.
       1.  Create a title
       You want your title to be search engine friendly. Be sure you have
       your keyword/s in it make it specific also. It has recently been
       determined that shorter titles work better than longer ones. You can
       create a “How to” title, a “steps” title, or a “list” title. An example of a
       search engine friendly title is the title of this article.
       If possible, it’s also advisable to have your keyword at the beginning
       of your title. 
       2.  Write an outline
       This is optional, because there are many writers who can write with
       the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method.  But, if you are more
       comfortable with an outline, that’s fine. It does provide structure. 
       3.  Create List, How-to-, and Step-by-Step articles
       This is a popular way to go.  Readers love to see simple 1, 2, 3 lists of
       what they should do or should NOT do.
       Be sure to include your keyword/s in the first paragraph and a
       couple of times throughout the article. Just don’t overdo it.
       4.  Parts of the article
       Your first paragraph should be interesting and let the reader know
       what the article is about, but don’t give away too much you want the
       reader to continue reading.
       Your second paragraph or section should inform and elaborate on the
       first paragraph. This part should fulfill the reader’s expectations.
       Your last paragraph should sum up what the article is about and
       conclude with a lead-in to your resource box.
       5.  Write the minimum word count or just above
       Check the guidelines for each particular directory. The minimum
       word count is usually around 300-400. But, check the site to make sure.
       Burn out is easy with article marketing, especially if you’re ghostwriting
       articles as well as writing for your own site. Keeping the articles short,
       and to the point helps in this area.
       6.  The resource box
       Some sites allow you to include a resource box which is about you
       and what you can offer the reader. Check the site’s guidelines because
       they may have specific requirements for the length of the resource box
       in relation to the length of the article. 
       7.  SUBMIT
       Once your article is complete, submit to a number of article
       directories. A couple of popular directories are Ezine Articles,
       Associated Content, Article City, Suite 101, and Helium.
       Note: It is not essential, but if possible, change the title of the article
       and at least the beginning content a bit when submitting to multiple
       article directories. This will make the search engines think the content is
       That’s about it.  Write, write, write……
       Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter (for authors, bloggers, and
       business), freelance writer, and acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing, and the
       founder and manager of VBT Writers on the Move, as well as co-
       moderator of a children’s writing critique group.


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