Thursday, August 4, 2011

Article Writing – 9 Mistakes to Avoid.

There’s more to article writing than what meets the eye. Articles aren’t written just for entertainment but also for information and so they have to be captivating. This can be tough sometimes; especially if your audience is the type that buzzes off if the first few lines don’t look appealing. You'll build your own worldwide audience as you publish articles and multimedia on the topics that you're passionate about. These are just a few things to know before you submit content:

1.    Submitting duplicate content.
Some directories get jealous when they see one of their articles someplace else. These directories still accept content you've already submitted elsewhere, on the condition that you still own the copyright to it and the author name (that is your name is the same).

2.    Meaningless Content
Be informative and succinct. Don’t beat around the bush. Go straight to the point and let your reader know exactly what you are talking about. For most directories, the minimum number of words is 300. If you want your article to have good SEO value, you should have at least 300-400 words in the article.

3.    Grammatical errors.
Your sentences should exhibit correct grammar, structure, spelling, and punctuation.

4.    Weak Article Topics
The topics you give your articles should be powerful, strong and descriptive. One way to achieve this is to put your self in your readers’ shoes.
 Think: What set of keywords would a reader enter to find this content in search engines? An article with a topic such as "The Best Meal to Prepare" might be found in search engines, "Recipes for Chicken Soup" would be more discoverable. Your article header should have a maximum of 60 characters and include one or two keywords..

5.    Information Theft
Cite your sources. Give honor to whom honor is due. When you refer to information from an online or printed source, an in-text citation must immediately precede or follow within the text. An example of citations:
According to Computer Economics, only 1.8 percent of corporate revenues will be used to fund IT expenses this year in North America (U.S. and Canada).
Also, list your sources at the end of your article in the following order:
Author/Artist name
Page Title
Website/blog Title
6.    Irrelevant keywords
Trying to make your article too keyword optimized might just end up rendering it useless. For example, repeating a keyword phrase in a title, too closely together in the article, or using keyword phrases in a manner that creates incomprehensive or illogical reading.

7.    Over-promoting yourself.
While building your personal brand as a writer, try to avoid excessive self or brand promotion when submitting your articles. If your content is mainly advertisement, try to blend it with something informative so that readers don’t click the back button before completely reading your article. Over-linking kind of puts readers off.

8.    Text formatting
Aligning your text to the left is always recommended. The use of bold and italicized words should be used at a minimal level. Underlining should only be used for links.
Excessive and unnecessary capitalization can get really annoying. CAPITALIZED TEXT is considered shouting on the Internet and can really get your head throbbing. Always use your inside voice and use caps when necessary.

9.    Lastly, article directories prefer content with new information on a general topic, or on a more specific aspect of the topic. For example, narrowing down a broad topic like "Mobile applications" to a more specific one like "Creating Applications for your iPad" would be more appropriate. Also, write articles that have a longer shelf life. Writing content on breaking news or sports results would be of no interest to the reader after a day or two.


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