What Article Publishers REALLY Want
If you write articles to promote your business, you've probably wondered how to get
publishers to gobble them up. It seems so hit and miss at times, doesn't it? I've been
writing articles to plug my content writing services for three years. A few of them
bombed, a few were picked up by major publishers and distributed to hundreds of thousands
of readers, and the vast majority landed somewhere in between.
So what separates the flops from the faves? Here are a few of my findings:
• Short tips articles aren't hot tamales. The majority of publishers still want articles
in the 400 - 800 word range.
•The REALLY big, influential publishers seem to be looking for how-to articles
that explain and/or clarify a process and that offer lots of links to resources, especially
free ones. If you can fit all that into one article, along with a pinch of personality,
you've got yourself a winner.
• Don't be shy about including a little of yourself in your article. Notice I said "a little".
Whenever I've strayed into rant and rave mode about some pet peeve, my articles have suffered.
But when I offer observations and useful advice gained from my own experience and good research,
publishers and readers respond.
• Metaphors aren't just for poetry. Your writing becomes more colorful and accessible
if you draw parallels. For example, I once compared the aggravation caused by poor website
navigation to a bully teasing little kids on the playground. Readers remembered that one
because they could relate to the image.
• Keep an eye on trends. Noticing more pop-ups lately? A decline in spam? (I wish!)
An increase in hype on the web? Whatever it is, chances are good other people have noticed
it too - or will soon - and your article on the subject will make you appear like a sage visionary.
Or just a clever person.
• Recycle ideas. I constantly have to remind myself that just because I wrote an
article on search engines a year ago doesn't mean that topic is forever off limits to me. The
most prolific article writers often regurgitate the same ideas over and over, altering them
slightly for new audiences. And the audience is always being renewed so plagiarizing yourself
is not a crime. (Unless you send the same article twice to lists that prohibit it... that IS a crime!)
• Don't spend a lot of time distributing your article to the smaller ezines unless
their audience is your ideal target market. Article announcement lists and syndicators will
get your article in front of more publishers with less time and effort on your part.
• Obey the rules. Each list has its own submission guidelines. Run afoul of them and
your efforts will hit the round file and you'll become known as the first writer who couldn't read.
• I've stressed the importance of proofreading in so many previous articles that I'm
not even going to mention it here. Oops.
• Don't bother blitzing the lists with articles during holiday periods, as I did, thinking
all the other writers will be snoozing and there'll be a shortage of good articles out there.
The publishers are snoozing too.
The fact is that article writing, like any other form of writing, is an imprecise art not
a science. There are no guarantees. You could knock off an award-winning item in ten minutes.
Or you could expend gallons of blood, sweat and tears writing the most insightful,
entertaining, pertinent and timely treatise ever conceived and have it land, thud, like an
overripe coconut on a deserted beach. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep shaking that tree
and eventually good things will shake loose.
Heather Reimer is the owner, head writer and editor of The Write Content. Get a FREE content
and design analysis on your website from: www.TheWriteContent.com.
The Write Content delivers action-inspiring web content, sales letters, newsletters, press
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