How to Write and Publish Articles on the Internet | WebReference

How to Write and Publish Articles on the Internet

How to Write and Publish Articles for the Internet

By Terry Stanfield

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Many people are beginning to see the importance of writing and publishing articles on the Internet as part of their search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. This is also a great way to answer client questions, drive traffic to your Web site and be seen as an expert in your field. The challenge is how to begin writing.

Here's a sampling of the hundreds of Web sites that allow you to publish articles online:

Some of the above sites require registration along with a user name and password every time you publish. I recommend using the same user name and password with each publication. This makes things a little easier. I would also create a template in Notepad so when you're ready to publish everything will be in one place.

Use the following as an outline for your template:

Article title: This is the title for your article; make sure to have your main keyword phrase in this title.

Author biography: 200 characters. Some allow more, but I think shorter is better. Most article directories don't allow you to link to your Web site in the content of the article. If you're allowed two links, make one to the page with the article and the other to your home page. Make sure that readers know you're experienced in helping people with the specific problem that you write about and for more information go to your Web site.

Sample Bioigraphy: Terry Stanfield is a SEM consultant with over 15 years of sales and marketing experience. His company, Clickadvantage, manages PPC and SEO efforts for his lead generation and ecommerce clients. For more information, visit: http://www.clickadvant.com/se101.htm

Some article directories don't have a location for your biography. In those cases, you can create a short biography that will fit at the end of your content. Remember, in most cases, the only place that points back to your Web site or the particular page of the article is the biography section.

Keyword list: It's best to use one or two keyword phrases. Then think of the questions behind these phrases and write your article to answer the questions. Limit yourself to two or three keyword phrases and use those phrases in the content of the article. These keywords will help keep you on track.

Article Content: Don't include the title of the article in this box. I suggest that articles be from 500 - 550 words, since the minimum number of words with many article directories is 500. Writing 550 words is a safe bet. If you have a long article (of a thousand words or more), break that into two articles.If you're new to writing articles, here's an outline you can follow:

Introduction: In the first one or two sentences introduce the problem that you’re going to solve by writing this article. The next sentence states what you're going to cover. i.e. Five reasons not to xxxxxx, six misconceptions about xxxxxxxx, the 5 best methods of xxxxxxxx - you get the idea. These sentences can also be used in your title.

The meat of the article should include:

  • Point1: Two or three sentences

  • Point2: Two or three sentences

  • Point3: Two or three sentences

Conclusion: As an example, "We just looked at three ways around the problem of ... The challenge is, what are you going to do from here?" Make some suggestions on what to do next. Invite them to look for upcoming articles on what you've written about or related topics.

Spelling and grammar are important. If you're not experienced in this area, find someone with the necessary qualifications to help you. Initially, add the content to your Web site and leave it there for a week or more before you publish the article in directories. This establishes your site as having the content first.

[Ed. Note: Make sure the content on your site is different from what you submit to the article directories. If it's the same, you could be penalized by the search engines for having duplicate content.]

Once you've used this outline for a while you'll become more comfortable with it. If you're looking for article ideas, a good source is from the questions you're being asked by your clients. This article was inspired by a question asked at one of my seminars. Also, whenever I write an email to someone about how to do something or how something works I save the e-mail and use it as the beginning of an new article.

[Ed. Note: If you're considering writing and submitting many articles, you might want to consider purchasing a program to automatically submit your content. This will save you a ton of time. The application I recommend is Article Announcer.]

About the Author

Terry Stanfield is a SEM consultant with over 15 years of sales and marketing experience. His company, Clickadvantage, manages PPC and SEO efforts for his lead generation and ecommerce clients. For more information, visit: Mechanics of Writing And Publishing Articles for the Internet.

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Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: January 14, 2008

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