Introduction to Marketing Article Writing

Full of tips and strategies, this article will provide you with the latest insights and news for successful article writing, publishing, and content marketing. Here’s what you can expect in this article:

  • Guides to help you get the most out of your writing tools
  • Resources to help you interpret your articles’ performance
  • Helpful optimization strategies to refine your plan of action
  • Grammar guides to help you master the English language
  • Announcements, news, and promotions you won’t find anywhere else
  • And much more!
Introduction to Marketing Article Writing
Introduction to Marketing Article Writing

Table of contents

Article Syndication: Article Components
Article Title and Keywords
Article Summary: Do’s and Don’ts
Article Body: Do’s and Don’ts
Article Resource Box Components
Article HTML: How-to Tips
WYSIWYG Article Submission Editor Tips
How to Source Content for New Articles
What Are They Looking For?
Types of Article Sets
Secrets to Managing Multiple Topics
Article Title Guidelines
Article Title Promise
Article Title Questions
Article Title: Narrow the Focus
Article Title: No Sales Pitch Please
Article Title: Length and Brevity Suggestions
Article Title: Keyword Richness
Article Title: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Basic Paragraph Structure
Paragraph Coherence and Unity
10 Capitalization Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Comma and Colon Tips
10 Rules of Punctuation
Word Usage: 10 Common Mistakes
Keyword Research Tools
Audience-Client-Competition Research
Repurpose Your Old Content
Article Template

Article Syndication: Article Components

Each article you submit contains different components and sections. While some sections carry more weight than others; each section must be crafted with care and foresight. A truly great article can increase traffic to your website. An article is divided into the following sections:

  • Article Title
  • Article Keywords
  • Article Summary
  • Article Body
  • Article Resource Box

Each one of these sections will be examined in upcoming editions of this series, but a few general ideas apply to each one:

  1. Proof your Work: Credibility and expertise in your article’s subject matter can be diminished by typos or grammatical errors in any part of your article. Here’s a proof-reading tip: Read your work aloud. Often, this will help you catch mistakes you missed while reading the article to yourself silently.
  2. Keep Your Audience in Mind: If you are writing an article on a technical topic, it’s fine to use technical terms, but be wary of alienating a wider target of readers with the information they may not be ready to understand or digest.
  3. Keep An Ace Up Your Sleeve: Always keep a tidbit of important information in reserve to make your readers want more. Remember, your article can generate traffic, so use the Resource Box to entice your readers to click on your website link.
  4. Be Clear and Concise in Your Writing: A 500-word article will always out-perform a 1,000-word article. You are writing for a medium that embraces instant gratification: the Internet. Keep your articles clear and concise, so the reader can quickly comprehend the quality content you are sharing.

Article Title and Keywords

In traditional copywriting, your headline determines as much as 95% of the success of the book or article. This statistic takes into consideration what makes the book title successful: whether or not a human purchase it.

Article marketing success on the internet must take into consideration how readers found the article.

Myth

Most people would read your articles because they came to a website and started browsing just like they do if they were at a local book store.

Fact

Most people search the Internet using one of the major search engines. They will type 1 to 5 keywords that are related to the topic of the article or information they are looking to locate. The search engine will then deliver results that best match the human’s interest.

Goal

Find your articles in the search engine results for the keywords and topics that are most relevant to the content of your article. Most search engines give heavier weight to the first 3-5 keywords and a lower priority to the rest.

The first 3-5 words of your article title determine the success of your article in terms of how much traffic your article will generate back to your website. Create keyword-rich article titles that match the most commonly searched keywords for your topic.

You can maximize your article marketing strategy by understanding keyword research and creating keyword-rich, intelligent article titles. You can create massive amounts of traffic to your articles and website thanks to the search engines who love smart, keyword-rich titles.

Here are some Keyword Research sites to help you create your keyword-rich Article Titles:

Article Summary: Do’s and Don’ts

The purpose of your article summary is to entice a potential reader to read the rest of your article. Get right to the point and playfully tease your audience with the benefits they will receive if they read your article.

Article Summary Do’s

  • Create in Proper Length: Your article summary should be 2 to 5 sentences long.
  • Give Emotional Benefit: Speak directly to your reader of the emotional benefits that can be gained by reading the information in your article body.
  • Target your Reader: Give your ideal reader reasons they should continue reading your article.
  • Include Keywords: Your article summary should mention at least 3 to 5 keywords relating to your article topic, using keyword research tools.

Article Summary Don’ts

  • Repeat Your Article Title
  • Repeat Your Author Name
  • Pitch You or Your Business
  • Include your URL or E-Mail Address
  • Blatantly Self-promote
  • Create an Article Summary of more than 2 paragraphs or 7 sentences in length.

Article Body: Do’s and Don’ts

The purpose of your article body is to share your expertise and provide useful information to your reader. Make sure you keep them in mind as you are writing and don’t forget about your keyword-rich article title.

Article Body Do’s

  • Give: Your article body should impart your expert strategies, tips, and knowledge.
  • Be Clear and Concise: Your article body may benefit from the use of bulleted or numbered lists to break down your article in an easy to read fashion.
  • Use Bold and Italics Occasionally: Bolded or italicized words can draw the reader’s eye to your most important information. If used excessively in your article body, you will lose this effect.
  • Put Links in your Resource Box: Your Resource Box is your “take”. Generate traffic to your site by placing active links in your resource box.
  • Entice Your Reader: Provide enough information in the Article Body to keep the reader engaged. Entice them for more with your “pitch” and link in your Resource Box.

Article Body Don’ts

  • Pitch: Website owners and publishers will not re-publish material that is just a veiled sales pitch. Save it for your Resource Box. Your quality, original article body content will market itself more successfully if written in a “non-sales” manner.
  • HTML: Creating links or keyword anchor text links in your article body will only hinder your chances of website re-publishing. Save the links for your Resource Box.

Article Resource Box Components

Your Article Resource Box is an effective tool in generating traffic to your website.

Here are some tips in creating the components of your Article Resource Box that can help you maximize this traffic.

  • Your Name: You’d be amazed at how many people forget to include their name in the Resource Box. Your name and the optional title should be the first thing in your Resource Box. Make sure your readers know that they are reading material from an actual person, not a business or company. This can encourage the reader to find out more about you and the information you are providing.
  • Your Website Address: Make sure your website address in a valid URL form.
    Example: http://Your-Company-Name.com/
    Using the full valid URL instead of an anchor text link will ensure that your link remains active when a publisher re-uses your article.
  • Your Pitch: Create 1 to 3 sentences that encapsulate the essence of what makes you and your offer unique. This is also known as your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
  • Your Call to Action: Now it’s time to lead your reader to buy from you or visit your website. This is where you “Ask for the Sale.” Typically, only 1 specific call to action is best. This can be as simple as “visit my website at the above link (or include the link here) for more information on XYZ”.

Your Article Resource Box is now complete and can greatly increase the amount of traffic generated to your website. Reap the Rewards of the Resource Box!

Article HTML: How-to Tips

Advocates minimal use of HTML in an article; however, sometimes it can be to your benefit.

Here are some HTML tips to get the results you are looking for:

How to Make a URL/Website Address “Linkable”

This code: <a href="http://www.Your-Company-Name.com/">http://www.Your-Company-Name.com</a>

will make “http://www.Your-Company-Name.com” a clickable link.

Just substitute your website address into the above code, and now you know how to “link” up a website address.

How to Create an Anchor Text Link

This code: <a href="http://www.Your-Company-Name.com">Your Website Address</a>

Use anchor text links sparingly when submitting an article.

How to Make Something Bold

This code: <b>Make my words bold</b>

will make the words between the <b></b> code bold.

How to Make Something Italic

This code: <i>Make my words italic</i>

will make the words between the <i></i> code italic.

How to Make Something Underlined

This code: <u>Make my words underlined</u>

will make the words between the <u></u> code underlined.

How to Make a Bullet Point List

This code:

<ul>
<li>First bullet</li>
<li>Second bullet</li>
<li>Third bullet</li>
</ul>

will create a list with round bullets.

How to Make a Numbered List

This code:

<ol>
<li>First point</li>
<li>Second point</li>
<li>Third point</li>
</ol>

will create a list with descending numbers for each point.

WYSIWYG Article Submission Editor Tips

Generally, most people will write their article outside and then copy and paste the article content into the submission interface.

The What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor can assist you in your article production.

Article Content Creation in MS Word

Tip: If you primarily create your article content in MS Word, turn the editor on and click the “Paste from Word” symbol on the toolbar. Please remember to disable MS Word Smart-tags before you copy and paste them as they are not compatible with the WYSIWYG editor. Now you can use the toolbar to add font attributes and more.

Article Content Creation in a True Text Editor

Tip: If you primarily create your article content in a true text editor, such as Edit Plus, Ultra Edit, NoteTab, or Notepad, turn the editor on and click the “Paste as Plain Text” symbol on the toolbar. Now, you can cut and paste your article content and use the editor tools to add font attributes and more.

Some authors prefer to use the “Submit an Article” submission interface and type in their article content:

WYSIWYG Editor On

Tip: By turning on the WYSIWYG Editor, your article content will be displayed exactly how you typed it. You can use the toolbar to create font attributes, bulleted or numbered lists, spell-check, and more.

WYSIWYG Editor Off

Tip: By turning off the WYSIWYG Editor, you will need to use only the allowable HTML tags to type in your content. You can see how your article will be displayed by using the “Preview Article” feature near the bottom of the submission interface page.

Here are some tips to help you get your article approved more quickly:

  1. Do not send in HTML image tags, JavaScript, or Tables in the body of your article, and please make sure the allowed HTML tags are formatted correctly.
  2. Your word count is displayed, and your article submission is auto-saved as a draft every 2 minutes.

How to Source Content for New Articles

Here are some helpful tips to help you source content for new articles:

Old Articles: This includes your archives for articles that you have sent from the past 10+ years. If you’ve created multiple articles for each email newsletter issue, we recommend that you break your old articles into single article chunks rather than multi-topic articles. If you have large articles from your email newsletter archive, consider breaking them down into 400-750 word chunks rather than 1,000-3,000 word articles.

Old Original Forum Posts: If you’ve been on the Internet for some time, there is a good chance you belong to a few forums that you might call yourself a “resident expert” on. All of your old forum posts that are greater than 400 words in length will make great new articles that you can put into distribution to create more traffic and sales for your business, and enhance your credibility.

Old Blog Posts: The whole point of blogging, besides posting frequently, is that you can easily syndicate your blog for others to read via the RSS reader of their choice. Because of the syndication orientation of blogging, your blog posts that read greater than 400 words make great articles that you can slap on a longer title, add a resource box that pitches your blog website, and put a fast 250+ articles into immediate distribution.

Out of Date Books: Are you the author of a book no longer in print? If you own the copyrights to it, this is an excellent place to create hundreds of quality articles with just a short period of editing.

Current e-Books: Take 10%-20% of your hottest selling e-Books and flip into articles designed to entice your reader into wanting the complete e-Book. You still need to deliver real content value here and not get skimpy or tease them with “what they could learn if they bought your e-Book.” Keep the articles short, with bulleted or small numbered lists.

Top 10 or Top 7 Articles: Everyone likes content they can read very fast. Why not create top 10 lists (or any number of “Top” things) related to your niche area of expertise. To begin, create a headline such as “Top 7 Leaders Strategies For Newbie Managers” and then number the list from 1-7. Come up with a sub-headline for each tip and then do (1) paragraph describing the tip. You’ll find these are easy to produce and crank out 5-10 of them per day.

Keyword Research: Google Suggest or any keyword research tool can discover topics that people are currently searching for that are related to your expertise. Use this as a springboard to launch another 25 articles that are 400-750 words, each related to answering or providing short tips on how to solve or get more out of the keywords they searched for.

Example: “Yoga” when entered into Google Suggest tells me that I should write articles about “Yoga Journals or Journaling” and about proper form or different types of “Yoga Poses.”

What Are They Looking For?

Here are the top 5 factors publishers look for when deciding which articles to publish:

Does the article have zero self-serving links in the article body?

Loading up the body of your article with affiliate links or other obvious self-serving links is a liability and will keep your article from ever seeing top results.

Does the article have no more than 2 self-serving links in the resource box?

Your resource box at the bottom of your article should be short and to the point. It should also be less than 10% of the total word count of your article. Publishers don’t mind giving you name credit and a link for sharing your article with them, but they don’t want to look like a fool by being required to reprint a short novel about all of your websites and accomplishments.

Is the article within 400-750 words?

Readers want instant gratification from your quality, original content. No one has the time to really go deep when it comes to reading email newsletters. It’s proven that shorter articles achieve a much higher distribution rate than longer ones.

Does the article deliver quality, original content with numbered lists, bullet points, or easy to glean information their audience would deem valuable?

Key Point: Make sure your articles are 100% original content. Anything less is considered an insult.

Is the article’s author well recognized or respected within their market niche?

Publishers have an ego just like you. They want to use articles in their email newsletters that make them look good. The more you use your articles to help yourself gain credibility for your unique expertise within your niche, the greater the chances you’ll find your articles get picked up by your publishing peers.

Types of Article Sets

Writing articles is fun, but it can be even more rewarding when you learn how to produce more in less time. Article Sets Defined: A “set of articles” is anytime you produce 2 or more articles at a time. Types of Article Sets:

Article sets by topic or sub-topic.

Example: If you were writing about racquetball as your topic, you could make a plan to write 2 articles on racquetball nutrition, 4 articles that go into detail about each of the different colors of racquetballs on the market and what they mean, and a 10-pack of articles on the forehand or backhand drills.

Article sets by the style of writing.

Example: One style might be all bullet points, another list of things; another is a Q&A approach; another might be conversational or discussion of issues. Note: Each type of writing is best when done in sets of the same style.

The accidental article sets.

Example: Your target is to produce (2) articles that are 400 words each. While getting started, you get on a roll and accidentally produce a fantastic 800-word article. Break the article in half, give the other half a new title, and you have an instant article set … even if it was created by accident.

Article sets based on customer or prospect frequently asked questions.

Example: Customers or prospects are always asking questions. Tune into them, group them by topic, and then hammer out some article sets that answer each question. Using the racquetball topic, you might have 7 questions from your audience on how to prepare for a tournament. Each of them makes excellent article topics.

Secrets to Managing Multiple Topics

Do You Write About More than One Topic?
You may have a main area of expertise, and then multiple sub-topic or different topics that you write articles about (some to pay the bills and others to feed their creative spirit). To avoid personal author brand erosion and solidify your expertise in front of the target niche that you write about, you must come up with a strategy to separate your various article topics.

A solution is to create multiple versions of your name or pen-names that you write under so that each one is locked in on a particular area of expertise.

Here’s a fictitious name we picked out of the air to illustrate an example as to how many separate author names could be created out of a single person name:

  • Suzanne Jo Parker
  • Suzanne J. Parker
  • Suzanne J.P.
  • Suzanne Jo P.
  • Suzanne P.
  • Suzi P.
  • SJ Parker
  • S. Parker

You get the idea. Each of these author names is STILL the same person, yet you can choose to lock each variation of the name to a separate topic to write your articles about. When using this strategy, a person reading your article may attempt to read others that you’ve written, but they will only see your other articles about the same topic. There will be no author brand erosion.

Example: “Suzanne J. Parker” would write articles about Financial investing, and “Suzi Jo Parker” would write articles about basketball.

In the offline world, this multiple-author brands issue is also a factor, but it is even more important for the online world where a reader can quickly identify other articles you’ve written when they are hungry for more. Give them more of the same quality original articles that they are already reading, but isolate their attention by only writing about one topic of expertise under one single author name or variation of your author name. This will strengthen your message and your author brand at the same time.

As a bonus to this “authors with multiple brands” strategy, it will be easier to track your articles by each unique variation of your author name that you used, instead of finding all of your articles on every topic under one author name.

Article Title Guidelines

To help you get your article approved, here are the current Article Title Guidelines:

  • Your Title MUST Be In Upper and Lower Case Letters With The First Letter of Each Major Word Capitalized.
  • The article title must not be in all CAPS.
  • It is not required that you capitalize common words such as “a” – “the” – “to” – “for” etc., we accept these either way.
  • We do not accept QUOTES around your entire TITLE.
  • Do NOT end your TITLE with a period.
  • Please do not submit Microsoft Word smart quotes in your TITLE. This includes quotes, apostrophes, double dashes, and 3 dots in a row. Replace smart quotes with standard quotes (“x”), apostrophes, double–dashes/or three periods (…) in a row.
  • Refrain from excessive repetitive punctuation in your TITLE. One exclamation (!) or question mark (?) is enough to make a point.
  • We do not allow HTML tags of any kind in your TITLE.
  • Your TITLE must begin with the first word flush to the LEFT of the TITLE submission box.
  • We do not allow your AUTHOR NAME or any WEBSITE URL to be in your TITLE.
  • Your TITLE must not be keyword stuffed (too many redundant keywords used over and over again), but rather should read as a natural language TITLE that any human could easily appreciate. Do not over-optimize your TITLE.
  • We do not allow Prescription Drug names in the title of your article.
  • We do not accept one (1) word as the article TITLE, a MINIMUM of two unique words is required.
  • We do not accept articles that use slang terms or profanity in the TITLE. Think child-safe or “G” rated article titles.

IMPORTANT: Choose your article title wisely. Find the perfect title the 1st time because title changes aren’t allowed once an article is live.

Article Title Promise

Your article title is more than just an accurate description of what the reader will find in your article body; it’s a promise you make to build a trust relationship with your readership.

Ask yourself: “What does my article title promise to give to my reader?”

  1. Your article title should promise to deliver your expert information on a specific topic. It should build interest or motivation.
  2. Within 2-5 seconds of anyone reading your article, they should be able to clearly see the answer to the promise you made in your article title.
  3. Do not bait or trick your reader into being forced to visit your website to see the answer to the promise you made in your article title. This is a credibility and trust violation.
  4. If you have a very short article title, be certain that your article body includes the most socially acceptable or expected solution or information that any reasonable person would expect from a short title. Better yet, don’t use very short article titles. Instead, make them longer and more descriptive.

Ask yourself: “Does my article body deliver on the promise made in my article title?”

When you can answer that question with an absolute “YES!”, you know you have the makings of an excellent article.

Article Title Questions

Ask yourself: “Does my article title entice the reader to ask a question?”

E.g. “Why?,” “How?,” “Who?,” “Where?,” “When?,” etc.

  1. After reading your article title, a question should appear in the reader’s mind. Your article body is where you deliver the answer to that question.
  2. This is a powerful concept because you have just engaged the mind of your reader, moving them from a passive to an active state. In the active state, your reader is more likely to find value in your content and thus visit your website.
  3. Never underestimate the power of “How To” article titles. There is clearly a huge demand for articles that answer common problems in an easy-to-read “How To” format.
  4. Don’t be afraid to offer your readers more questions they should ask themselves when evaluating the topic of your article. Questions become highly relevant answers to your readers because your questions act as a personal coaching session.
  5. Avoid the shocking question that forces you to stretch the truth to answer the question in your article body. Instead, be creative and interesting with your article title question.

Article Title: Narrow the Focus

Ask yourself: “Did I bite off more than I can deliver in my article title?”
I.e., Should I narrow my topic further?

  1. Your article title should be specific, to the point, and completely deliverable. If you are struggling with delivering all the information promised in your article title, consider splitting your topic into 2-3 separate articles.
  2. Acid test your article title: Will your readers feel satisfied and have their expectations met by your article body content after reading your article title?
  3. In terms of content supply and market demand for information, it is true that there is a huge demand for information on broad topics, but that comes with a huge supply of content to meet the huge demand.
    I.e. Your article can get lost in the shuffle.
  4. You may find a market advantage by answering the long tail demand of a niche topic by looking at the more specific, narrowly defined questions your market is asking for you to answer.

To do: Study the concept of the “long tail”. You can find the long tail on any topic by doing keyword or keyphrase research with any major keyword discovery tool.

Article Title: No Sales Pitch Please

Ask yourself: “Does my article title attempt to sell something other than information?”

  1. Your article title should never be a sales pitch for your website, your product, your company, or even you. Your expertise in the delivery of information on your topic will “sell” you to the reader. Save the sales pitch for your Resource Box.
  2. The Article Body is where you GIVE; The Resource Box is where you TAKE. Thou shall never TAKE in the Article Title.
  3. Your objective is to create a relationship of trust and credibility with your readership. You will not get the opportunity to sell to your reader until they know, like, and trust you.
  4. In your article title, you are trying to sell your reader on the benefits they will receive if they continue reading your article. Put your creative sales focus on selling your reader the benefits of the information in your article, not your business.

Article Title: Length and Brevity Suggestions

Ask yourself: “Is my article title long enough?”

  1. Consider expanding your article title by forty percent (40%). Evidence suggests that longer article titles produce more views per article vs. short article titles.
  2. Longer article titles can also increase your reprint rate and value. The narrower the focus, the more specialized the reprint website and the more qualified the visitor/reader. This results in a greater referral rate of traffic to your website. Tip: Your article title can be up to 100 characters long. Make your article title just a little longer than what might feel comfortable and you will often see a higher return from your article in terms of how much traffic it can attract for you.
  3. A good article title length is greater than 70 characters but less than 100 characters.

Also, ask yourself: “Does my article title use clear and concise wording?”

  1. Get to the point. Do not use exclamatory wording like “You Don’t Want to Miss This” or “This is a Must Read” in your article title to induce urgency. It usually just induces annoyance. If your article is good, you don’t need it in your title. Focus on the article topic.
  2. Rambling on and on in your article title shows a lack of respect for your reader’s time. Most people make the mistake of spending 99% of their time on the article body and 1% on the article title. Instead, put 20% of your time on the article title and 80% on the article body.
  3. Don’t use slang. It will often backfire, especially if your English-speaking reader did not grow up in the same country or with your same life references. Be direct and be sensitive to cultural misunderstandings when choosing your article title.
  4. Brevity is golden. Start with a long article title with multiple hooks into your key topic and then continue to ask yourself how you could tighten up the article title without sacrificing your intended article title promise.

Article Title: Keyword Richness

Ask yourself: “Do I write keyword-rich article titles?”

Example 1: “Car Audio”

  • This article title is too short to get any hooks and the reader has to guess what your angle to the topic will be about.

Example 2: “Car Audio and Electronics”

  • This is better, yet it does not explain why someone should read the article.

Example 3: “Car Audio and Video That Will Make Your Friends Envy You”

  • Now we have picked up a 2nd keyword, “video” and a reason why to read the article.

Example 4: “Car Audio Components, Subwoofers, and Tweeters – 7 Tips to Amp Up Your Stereo”

  • Here you see multiple high-value keywords, gave a reason to read the article, and even used a high-value keyword as a verb, “Amp.”

Tip: Use a keyword tool such as GoodKeywords, Google Suggest, or Wordtracker to help identify keywords for your article titles.

Also, ask yourself this question: “Do the first 3 words of my article title introduce the topic of the article?”

  1. Start your article title with your article subject.
  2. Avoid starting with ‘junk words’ or conjunctions, such as “a” or “the.”
  3. It is acceptable to start your article title with a verb and then roll directly into a dense keyword relating to the subject of your article.
  4. Consider using two article topic hooks in your article title.

Example: “Yoga Moves – 7 Tips To Flatten Your Abs With Hatha Yoga Techniques”

Topic hook #1 is “Yoga” or “Yoga Moves”

Topic hook #2 is “Flatten Your Abs” or “Hatha Yoga”

Can you imagine the possibilities of using two very narrow topical hooks to help your reader know what the benefit will be if they invest the time to read your article?

Article Title: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Every site you submit articles to may have different editorial style guides. Here are some helpful tips to help you get your article submission accepted faster:

  1. Double-check spelling and word usage in your article title.
  2. Commas are allowed, but only in the middle of a title.
  3. Do not put a period at the end of your article title.
  4. All colons (:) and semicolons (;), long and medium dashes, pipes (|), and slashes (/) are to be replaced with two short dashes (–), or changed to word equivalents.
  5. Ampersands (&) and parentheses () are allowed.
  6. Quotation marks are allowed to emphasize a part of a title, but not the entire title. Please remove quotes around the entire article as they are superfluous and of no benefit to the author or reader.
  7. Microsoft Smart Quotes: Please remove them. They break RSS feeds, emails, etc.
  8. Never put an article number in the title of an article.
    • Example: [Wrong] Dog Grooming Tips-Article #3
      Example: [Right] Dog Grooming Tips
    • Tip: The reader is most likely not privy to how many articles you may have written on a subject. It also creates useless title bloat.
  9. Never purposefully use commonly misspelled words in your article title to try and gain traffic from humans who misspell words in their searches. WHY? It’s sneaky and it can ruin your credibility as an expert author.
  10. Never put a year or date in the title of an article. This greatly reduces the “shelf-life” and marketability of your article.
    • Tip: If you want to update or “freshen” up your article, update the copyright date in your resource box as a marker that will tell the reader when you originally wrote the article.

Writing articles for syndication means that your content will be read for many years and decades to come. Consider that for a moment before you write your next article title.

Having a smart article title is the key to hooking more readers, but the article title is only the envelope in our article marketing campaign. What’s inside your article envelope will determine if the reader is satisfied enough to begin to understand and/or trust you.

Basic Paragraph Structure

Merriam-Webster Definition of “Paragraph”: A paragraph is a subdivision of a written composition that consists of one or more sentences and deals with one point or gives the words of one speaker.

Topic Sentence

A topic sentence is the first sentence of your paragraph. It should be the most general sentence in a paragraph and should introduce the overall idea that you want to discuss later in the paragraph. Indentation of the first word in your topic sentence is no longer needed.

Example: Suppose that you want to write a paragraph about article marketing. The topic sentence leading your paragraph might look like this:

Writing dozens, hundreds or even thousands of articles and making
them available for distribution is one of the best ways to ensure that
your website gets surges in traffic over the long-haul.

Note: The topic sentence introduces the topic in a general manner and sets up the rest of the paragraph for detail-oriented sentences. When a reader reads a topic sentence, a question should usually appear in the reader’s mind. In this case, the question should be “Why” and the reader should expect that the rest of the paragraph will give an answer to this question.

Supporting Sentences

Supporting sentences must “support” or explain the idea expressed in the topic sentence. Details are important to help your reader understand exactly what you are writing about. It should answer the question posed by your topic sentence.

Example: Your supporting sentences for your paragraph about article marketing might look like this:

When you put your articles into distribution (meaning you submit
them to publishers and the article sites that publishers
visit for fresh content), you increase your chances of getting
picked up as supplemental content by publishers. They take
your article and send it to their email newsletter membership or
add it to their website.

Note: Most paragraphs have 5-7 supporting sentences. If writing about a strategy or giving tips or list items, bulleted or numbered lists can be helpful here instead of full supporting sentences.

Concluding Sentence

The concluding sentence usually occurs at the end of a paragraph and summarizes the information presented in the paragraph. It is similar to, but not exactly the same as the topic sentence.

Example: Your concluding sentence for your paragraph about article writing might look like this:

The article writing labor investment and distribution submission can
pay off with surges in traffic to your website for many years to
come without having to buy the traffic. Consider it an investment
in building your website’s traffic-future.

Note: Concluding sentences are primarily used in the formal writing of long paragraphs with multiple details in the supporting sentences. Short paragraphs (2-3 supporting sentences) do not require a concluding sentence.

Paragraph Coherence and Unity

Coherence literally means “to stick together”. Coherence in paragraph writing means that all of the ideas in a paragraph support the topic sentence of your paragraph and allow the reader to easily understand the ideas you want to express.

Paragraph coherence can be achieved by using major and minor connectors, these are also called “transitions”.

Major Connectors: Major connectors help organize the main points of your paragraph. These can also be expressed as bulleted or numbered lists.

Examples:
First,
Finally,
Second,
In conclusion,
Third,
To summarize,

Minor Connectors: Minor connectors provide coherence to a paragraph by connecting the sentences within each of the main parts of your paragraph.

Examples:
In addition,
That is,
also
Others include,
For example,
…, but …
For instance,

Paragraph unity means that the paragraph is about only one main idea or topic. All the sentences in the paragraph (topic, supporting/detail sentences, and sometimes, the conclusion sentence) are telling the reader about one main topic or idea. If you have a sentence that is not directly related to your main topic, your paragraph is considered to “lack unity” or the sentence is “off-topic” and should be removed from the paragraph.

Each paragraph in your article is a sub-division of your complete article topic.

Example of Components and Support System:

  1. Article Title
  2. Article Summary
  3. Article Body
    1. Introduction Paragraph
      1. Topic Sentence
        1. Supporting Sentence
        2. Supporting Sentence
        3. Supporting Sentence
      2. Concluding Sentence (optional)
    2. Supporting Paragraph(s)
  4. Article Conclusion-summary of entire article theme
  5. Resource Box

10 Capitalization Rules

Capitalize the first word of every sentence.

“I” is always capitalized, along with all its contractions.

Example: I can do it.
Example: I’ll do it tomorrow.
Example: I’m going to do it now.

Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence.

Example: She said, “I can do this.”

Capitalize a proper noun.

Example: Eiffel Tower
Example: Christopher Knight
Example: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Capitalize a person’s title when it precedes the name.

Example: Doctor Smith
Exception: Mr. Smith, the doctor at the hospital, came to check up on me.

Capitalize any title when used as a direct address.

Example: “Will you please answer the question, Senator?”

Do not capitalize the names of seasons.

Capitalize points of the compass only when they refer to specific regions.

Example: I have relatives visiting from the South.
Example: I drove south to the end of the block.

After a sentence ending with a colon, do not capitalize the first word if it begins a list.

Example: These are my favorite foods: chicken, potatoes and bread.

Capitalize the first word and all the words in titles of books, articles, works of art, etc. excluding short prepositions and conjunctions.

Example: “EzineArticles Writing and Marketing”

Subject and Verb Agreement

Number Agreement

A singular subject takes a singular verb. A plural subject takes a plural verb.

Example: This radio has six preset buttons. (singular)
Example: Most radios have six preset buttons. (plural)

Person Agreement

A subject should also agree in “person” (1st person perspective, etc.) with its subject.

Tip: This affects only 3rd person singular subjects in the present tense.
Example: He runs to the store.
Example: The table looks warped.

Tip: Non-3rd Person Singular Subjects
Example: I run to the store.
Example: We run to the store.

Tip: The verb “to be” is an auxiliary verb and has eight forms.
Present Tense: am, is, are
Example: I am hungry.
Example: She is hungry.
Example: We are hungry.

Past Tense: was, were
Example: I was hungry.
Example: We were hungry.

Infinitive, Past Participle & Present Participle: be, been, being
Example: He has yet to be identified.
Example: He had been mean to my sister.
Example: He was being mean to my sister.

Hint

An agreement problem can sometimes occur when the verb of a sentence precedes the subject.
Example: [Wrong] There were several writers waiting for their articles to be approved.

Example: [Right] There were several writers waiting for their articles to be approved.

Comma and Colon Tips

Commas

Everyone has their own style when it comes to comma usage. Most modern style guides now recommend using fewer commas rather than more, but be wary of run-on sentences.

1. The use of a comma before “and” in a series is usually optional, provided there is no danger of misreading.

Example: We have an apple, orange, and grape juices. (no comma)

Example: We have an apple, orange, and strawberry, and grape juices. (comma)
“Strawberry and grape” is one flavor; therefore, a comma is needed to avoid confusion.

2. Use a comma after an introductory phrase or clause.

Example: After I realized that the store had not applied my discount voucher to my purchase, I returned to the store, and customer service credited my account.

3. Use a comma to join independent clauses.

Example: I went to the grocery store to pick up some milk, but they were already closed. (commas with two independent clauses)

Example: I offered to help and she accepted. (comma unnecessary with short clauses)

4. Do not use a comma before the first item or after the last item in a series.

Example: [Wrong] You should combine, aerobics, weight training and stretching into your workout routine, if you want to see the best results.

Example: [Right] You should combine aerobics, weight training and stretching into your workout routine if you want to see the best results.

Colon

The colon focuses the reader on what is to follow. Use it to introduce a list or idea.

1. Colons should only be used within a sentence after an independent clause.

Example: We visited three cities during our vacation: San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

2. Do not place a colon between a verb and its object or between a preposition and its object.

Example: [Wrong] We traveled to: San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
(colon between preposition and object)

Example: [Right] We traveled to San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Example: [Wrong] My neighbor lent me: a garden hoe, a shovel and a rake.
(colon between verb and objects)

Example: [Right] My neighbor lent me a garden hoe, a shovel and a rake.

10 Rules of Punctuation

Here are 10 quick punctuation tips:

  • Spacing after punctuation: One (1) space only is required after every punctuation mark (period, exclamation mark, question mark, colon, semicolon, commas, etc.), including bullets and numbers.
  • Never use excessive punctuation!!!!! This will not create a greater sense of urgency or strong emotion, especially in formal writing.
  • Periods and commas always go inside of quotation marks. Example: “I think you’re great.”
  • There is never a space before a period or before a comma.
  • When doing this “…” you should use only 3 dots.
  • When using dashes, use two in a row. Example: Punctuation — 10 Rules
  • Use no spaces on either side of a hyphen. Example: We need twenty-five boxes.
  • Use a question mark only after a direct question. Example: Can I ask you a question?
  • Use parentheses to enclose words or figures that clarify. Example: Use only one (1) space after a punctuation mark.
  • If the last word in a sentence ends in a period, do not follow it with another period. Example: I know that C.E.O. He is my boss.

Word Usage: 10 Common Mistakes

Mistakes are often made with word usage. Unfortunately, it’s not something that can always be remedied with spell checker.

Here is a list of ten common word usage mistakes with explanations and examples of proper use:

There vs. Their vs. They’re

There is an indication of location.
Example: I want to see that book over there.

Their is a possessive version of they.
Example: They took their dog to the groomer.

They’re is a contraction, short for they are.
Example: They’re going to the theatre tonight.

A lot vs. Allot vs. Alot

A lot is an indication of amount.
Example: I have a lot of laundry to do.

Allot means to distribute.
Example: I will allot you two cookies.

Alot is not a word.

I.e. vs. E.g.

I.e. means “in other words.”
Example: Writing more articles increases your website traffic. I.e., it will bring you more exposure.

E.g. means “for example.”
Example: I have a lot of chores to do. E.g., laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, etc.

To vs. Too vs. Two

To is a function word to indicate relative position.
Example: We took the dog to the vet.

Too can indicate excessiveness or in addition to.
Example: The chili was too spicy.
Example: I would like to go too.

Two is the number 2.
Example: I want two cookies.

Its vs. It’s

Its is the possessive version of it.
Example: Its door came off the hinges.

It’s is a contraction, short for “it is.”
Example: It’s a beautiful day.

You’re vs. Your

You’re is a contraction, short for “you are.”
Example: You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met.

Your describes the possessor as someone else.
Example: Your shirt is very wrinkled.

Loose vs. Lose

Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.
Example: I have loose change in my pocket.

Lose is a verb that means “to suffer the loss of.”
Example: I hope I don’t lose my car keys.

Choose vs. Chose

Choose is a present tense verb meaning “to select.”
Example: I choose to eat healthy foods.

Chose is a past tense verb meaning “to select.”
Example: I chose to eat healthy foods.

Effect vs. Affect

Effect is usually a noun meaning “result.”
Example: The effect of increased traffic to your website is directly related to the number of articles you produce for syndication.

Affect is usually a verb meaning “to influence.”
Example: I hope this training series will affect you in a positive way.

Know vs. No vs. Now

Know is usually a verb meaning “to understand.”
Example: I know you are not coming to the movie.

No is a negative reply, refusal or disagreement.
Example: There is no problem with the car.

Now is usually an adverb meaning “at the present time or moment.”
Example: Now I can easily write and market my articles.

Keyword Research Tools

People use different words when they search for online content. These search terms are called keywords.

Keyword research tools can help you discover topics that people are currently searching for that are related to your expertise. Use this as a springboard to launch another 25 articles that are each 400-750 words and relate to the topics your potential audience is searching for. Provide articles that answer the readers’ questions in their search query.

Popular Keyword Research Tools:

  • Wordtracker: generates keywords for search engine and website optimization.
  • Keyword Discovery: compiles keyword search stats from worldwide search engines.
  • Goodkeywords: downloadable freeware that queries a number of popular search engines to identify good keywords.
  • Google Alerts: email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of topic or keywords.
  • Google Suggest: as you type in a keyword, Google offers suggestions and shows the number of results.

Example: “Yoga” when entered into Google Suggest tells me that I should write articles about “Yoga Journals” or “Yoga Journaling”.

Key Insight: While you may be tempted to write only about the most popular topics, also remember that these topics have the most competitive within the search engines–meaning, you are fighting against hundreds or thousands of competitors to get the attention of the market to your article.

Perhaps a better strategy is to focus on the middle to lower “tail” of the market by looking at the 50th-200th most popular keywords or phrases from your keyword research and use them as your basis for your next set of articles. There will be less competition for the ‘long tail’ than the shortlist of most popular terms and key-phrases.

Tip: Look at how your niche keywords may intersect with a holiday or current event. It’s a great way to pick up current interest traffic!

Audience-Client-Competition Research

  1. Q & A: Review the last 3 months of questions your audience/clients have sent you via email or over the phone. This is a great resource for several Q&A style articles that can address your target’s questions (without disclosing any personal information about your audience/client).
  2. Survey: Conduct an email survey of your audience or clients and identify their top 20 concerns or areas of interest. Most surveys will produce too much data for just one article. A single survey can help you easily produce a set of 20-25 articles whose topics were generated by your target audience!
  3. Conduct a Class: Run a free teleseminar for your clients, prospects or ideal market audience. Use it to give your expertise while polling them for ideas and feedback on what they want to learn more about relating to your expertise. You should be able to extract 100 or more article topic ideas from this strategy alone, not to mention using your teleseminar transcript for article content (with some editing to create small 400-750 word chunks of tips).
  4. Blog/Forum/Discussion Board Comments: Compile your audience’s comments on your blog post and identify helpful tips, questions, concerns or areas of interest. Just one blog comment from one of your readers can easily turn into an article addressing a question, concern or area of interest.
  5. Keep Tabs on the Competition: Setup email alerts or subscribe to RSS feeds when new articles in your niche are posted. Use these for inspiration only. If you find yourself asking a question just after reading a competitor’s article … answer it with your own article! You can reverse engineer the topics your competitors have tackled and add your unique perspective.
  6. Interview Your Competition: Your competition can be a great source of inspiration, and in this case, content. Interview another expert in your niche via phone or email, record and transcribe it if necessary, and chunk out the content for a series of 400-750 word articles.

Hint: Remember not to include any numbering or edition system in your article title, even though you may be chunking out several articles from one original content source.

Repurpose Your Old Content

  1. Newsletter Archives: Repurpose your old newsletters. If you’ve created multiple articles for each newsletter issue, we recommend that you break your old articles into single article chunks rather than multi-topic articles. If you have larger articles from your newsletter archive, consider breaking them down into 400-750 word chunks rather than 1,000-3,000 word articles.
  2. Forum Posts: If you’ve been on the internet for some time, there is a good chance you belong to a few forums that you might call yourself a “resident expert” on. All of your old forum posts that are greater than 400 words in length will make great new articles that you can put into distribution to create more traffic and sales for your business, and enhance your credibility.
  3. Blog Posts: The whole point of blogging, besides posting frequently, is you can easily syndicate your blog for others to read via the RSS reader of their choice. Because of the syndication orientation of blogging, your blog posts that read greater than 400 words make great articles that you can slap on a longer title, add a resource box that pitches your blog website and put a fast 250+ articles into immediate distribution. Remember that “content is king” and simply submitting a 400 word blog post devoid of any benefit to the reader only diminishes your credibility as an expert in your niche.
  4. Books/Ebooks: Are you the author of a book no longer in print? If you own the copyrights to it, this is an excellent place to create hundreds of quality articles with just a short period of editing. If you are the author of an ebook, you can easily flip your content into articles designed to entice your reader into wanting the complete ebook. You still need to deliver real content value here and not get skimpy or tease them with “what they could learn if they bought your ebook”. Keep the articles short, with bulleted or small numbered lists.
  5. Frequently Asked Questions: If you have an FAQ section on your website, you can repurpose the answers into 400+ word Q & A or tips articles that expand the scope of the answer without going off-topic.

Article Template

Top 10 List/Tip Articles

Everyone likes content they can read quickly. Why not create top 10 lists/tips (or any number of “top” things) related to your niche area of expertise.

  • Title: Your “Top” article title should include keywords relating to the type of article you are creating plus the words “Top” and the number of list items.
  • Opening Paragraph: Introduce your reader to the topic and sell the benefits of reading the list/tips.
  • Create Numbered List.
  • Sub-Headline each list item or tip: Create (1) paragraph description of each list item/tip.
  • Closing Paragraph/Conclusion.
  • Resource Box.

Pain Avoidance Articles

Most people will do more to avoid pain than they will to seek pleasure. You can use this psychological trigger as the basis for a series of articles that show how to avoid pain associated with various issues within your niche.

  • Opening Paragraph: Introduce the pain to your reader and sell the “pain-relieving” benefits of reading your article.
  • Relieve the Pain: Give real-world solutions to the pain in 3-10 paragraphs.
  • Supporting Paragraphs: Offer reasons why your offered solutions relieve the pain (1-2 paragraphs max).
  • Closing Paragraph/Conclusion: Reinforce why your reader is in pain, how to relieve the pain and why it’s in their best interest to follow your advice.
  • Resource Box.

Key Insight: Everyone experiences pain in some form, whether it be physical, psychological, emotional, financial, etc. Articles that help people cope or eliminate pain deliver real value. As the Expert Author, you are the pain problem solver.

Pros and Cons Articles

Your readers love reading the pros and cons of relevant research you’ve conducted in your niche. Give it to them in your next set of 400-word articles.

  • Opening Paragraph/s: Introduce your argument with 1-2 paragraphs max.
  • Create Pros Sub-heading: Provide a minimum of 3-4 pros and try using bullet points to present your list. It will make your article easier to read.
  • Create Cons Sub-heading: Provide a minimum of 3-4 cons and try using bullet points to present your list. It will make your article easier to read.
  • Closing Paragraph/Conclusion: Wrap up your article by describing your position and why.
  • Resource Box.

Key Insight: Too often articles are written that debate the merits of the author’s position (nothing wrong with that), but they fail to provide counter-arguments that can actually improve the authors credibility for being able to see the big picture or at least acknowledge the counter-arguments that exist (even if they don’t agree with them).

Q & A Articles

Pose a commonly asked question and then answer it. You can offer your expertise with one question per article and keep a tight-niche target. Remember the “long-tail?”

Published by Jeannette Scott

, a wellness coach specializing in stress management and quality of life. She’s covered topics from nutrition to psychology, from sexuality to autoimmune diseases and cancer.