How to Write Articles For The Net
By Beau Smith
Notice the plural. I said, "articles," not "article". You don't have time to mess around. You aren't writing the perfectly perfect all-encompassing article that brands you as the authority on such-and-such a subject. Only the accumulation of articles will do that.
You want to write fast. If you have to do research, you want to do that fast as well. If you are marketing your site, that shouldn't be a problem. You know a lot about the subject. You also have a good idea what the articles will be about. Each article will be based on the keywords, tags, and phrases that will find you in the search engines. You don't want to overburden your article with tags. Recently I had to resubmit an article for just that reason, and I hadn't even meant to do it. You'll know when you have too many tags because your article starts sounding like a used car commercial
Oh, and, while we're at it, no selling. You can't sell in an article. But you probably already know that. The article cannot be an obvious advertisement for your product or services.
Something to mention here that you may not have thought of: It's a good idea to not tell everyone you know what you are talking about. Let the article - its knowledge and authoritative voice - do that. Otherwise, the article starts to move in the selling direction. Also, telling people you are an authority begs the question. If you're an authority, don't waste words telling people that. That's not why they are reading the article. If they want to know more about the person who wrote the article, and hopefully they'll do that, they'll find out about you there.
See, if you tell someone, "I do such and such, that's why I know such and such," suddenly they don't have to click on your link. They are no longer curious. You've verified, as best as you can, that you are an authority. You lose the click. So keep them curious about who you are. Make them have to click on your link.
Give your article personality. Make it lively and fun to read. But don't weight it down with slang and corn pone humor or anything like that. Your reader wants easy to read, clear, well delivered information.
How long should your article be? Excuse me: articles, plural. How long should they be? 700 words is a good length. Don't go much over or under that. 700 words allows you to be both thorough and concise.
Where to submit them? I don't suggest submitting them to millions of sites. Start with EzineArticles.com. Liz Tomey, an internet marketer who makes a LOT of money on the net, submits to but three sites, EzineArticles.com being one of them. I refrain from mentioning the names of the other sites simply because I don't want to start telling you all about what Liz Tomey does. She might not like that, although I bet she likes the free publicity this article just provided her.
A good article will more often than not mention authorities, those whose credibility can help your own. So you don't go talking about your own credibility, and you don't name drop - quite. You learn how to subtly name drop and how to subtly disclose your skills and authority. Readers appreciate this. No one likes a show-off. Everyone likes the modest person who is able to hint at ability and skill without coming right out and saying it. Likewise, nobody likes a name dropper, yet everyone likes to know the person who knows someone famous or semi-famous. If you can't know the famous person, being one person away is the next best thing.
Amazingly enough, what made a good or great article decades ago still persists. Google and the search engines really are trying to do a good job. They really are trying to find the best content. Thus, if you write a good or great article, chances are, you'll get attention and readers will click on your links. Go figure.
Here is another point, the last I'll make in this article, which is not, I'm sure not quite 700 words. (Though I haven't yet checked, from years of writing, I have a good idea of the volume a given writing session has produced) The more experienced you become at writing articles, the better you'll be able to know when you have truly given your reader a useful, tasty article-sized, web tidbit. So even though I haven't hit the 700 word goal, I'm close enough. I know I've satisfied my reader. Maybe made him hungry for more, if I'm lucky - so he (or she) clicks on my link.
Beau Smith is an artist, writer, and webmaster. He has several websites, which can be found at http://www.beausmithart.com