Resource Box Anatomy

All resource boxes are not created equal. While you can’t change your DNA, you can fix your resource box’s gene problem… what? You didn’t know that your resource box has a few chromosomes out of whack? The majority of them do.

Some of the biggest resource box gene patterns that are abnormal include:

1) Only using anchored text links for your active link. Mistake. Many sites and ezine publishers who feed from our site do not make anchored text links active whereas they would normally make any http:// URL active.

2) For the authors who include a http:// full URL, many often then go on to ruin it by including a PERIOD at the end of their URL. Never, never, never, ever include a period at the end of an http:// URL.

3) Including every award and accomplishment that you’ve had in life. No one cares. Instead, focus on discussing your expertise in a way that communicates what you can do for the reader and how they will benefit from visiting your website or getting to know you.

4) Failing to include your name in your resource box. Do you expect your reader to be psychic and just know who wrote the article?

5) Including your email address in the resource box. Do you really want to be spammed to death? You are asking for it if you include your email address in your article.

6) Including non-relevant URL’s of yours in your resource box. Just because you are an expert at more than (1) thing, doesn’t mean you should list every URL you own in the resource box. :-)

7) Failing to give a call to action. In one single sentence, tell your reader what you want them to do after they read your resource box. Should they join your free ezine? Should they visit your website? Should they create a free membership account with you? Should they give you their email address so they can download your free special report? Make it easy for them by telling them what they should do to get more value from you.

Any others I missed?


Joel Heffner writes:

One other “little” thing…include a resource box! I’ve noticed several article authors whose only reference is to other articles that they have written. Always make it easy for folks to find you.

Comment provided April 26, 2006 at 9:27 AM


Ed Howes writes:

Thanks a bunch Chris. I was excited to know I was intuitively following your guidlines. I was using a period at the end of my URL in the beginning but when I saw my resourse box as an opportunity to promote along with my own site for no extra money :-) and so little effort, I replaced the period with “or do an author search here at EzineArticles”. I just realized I should have made that a live link as well and you should have pointed it out to this ignorant newbie. But you are far to modest to be so bold. Your last point hit home as well. Tell the reader exactly what you want. I want my readers to make reading my articles a regular habit. One a day. One a week. Just please come back – same if I was running a store. I’ll fix that today as well. Together, we will keep EzineArticles on top.

Comment provided April 26, 2006 at 12:22 PM


Jan Smith writes:

Hey Chris,

This is a really helpful article because (to me) when I finish a sentence, I automatically add a full-stop. Hey, I’m an Aussie and full-stops are what you blokes call ‘periods’, OK?

All jokes aside though, this article has brought home to me that I have to be very,very careful everytime I post a signature anywhere, but especially here because its my favourite Ezine for Articles, that the full-stop in this case will be just that….a real full-stop. That is not what I want nor will it be a benefit to those I’m trying to help.

So from now on, I am putting a full-stop to doing that. Period.

Comment provided May 1, 2006 at 4:02 PM


Kevin Nelson writes:

Hi Chris. Thanks for the great tips. As a new author myself, I’m sure that info will prove to be incredibly valuable. In particular, your first 2 tips are things I hadn’t even considered but could easily ruin any benefit we might receive in terms of traffic and links. Since I just stumbled upon this, I think I’ll go check out the rest of the blog and see if there are any other skills I can brush up on. Thanks again!

Comment provided May 3, 2006 at 5:03 AM


Chris Knight writes:


Thanks for educating us on what a “Full Stop” is… I had never heard that and it was good to learn more about what that is. Wikipedia had an interesting article on it here:

Comment provided May 3, 2006 at 10:18 AM


Joan Stewart writes:


Great tip. Here’s a pet peeve of mine: Don’t tell me to just go to your website. Tell me why I should bother visiting.

Offer me a Free White Paper. Or a free list of tips. Or tell me how many free articles I can read. Or tell me about your contest or survey.

In my author resource box I always say, “Subscribe to her free ezine, ‘The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week’ at and receive free the handy checklist ’89 Reasons to Send a News Release.'”

Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound

Comment provided May 8, 2006 at 2:06 PM


Fran Watson writes:

Chris, Great article on Resource Boxes and great tips in the comments section – a win-win situation for sure!! **running on over to Joan’s website to get her free checklist and thinking of creating my own checklist**


Comment provided May 8, 2006 at 2:41 PM


Fran Watson writes:

hmmmm…didn’t realize that it wouldn’t pick up my website with the quote….well, here it is:


Comment provided May 8, 2006 at 2:43 PM



Chris, this is the second time my entire comment has been killed off by your “incorrect security code” thing that nukes the original message when you return via the back button. ;-( very not nice behavior, IMO.

Happily, I crafted the message in another program anyway, so here it is:

URLs 101

URL means Universal Resource Locator. Think of it as the address. The http:// or ftp:// or whatnot refers to the protocol so the computer knows what kind of thing to expect. If you want to dish up a website you’re going to use http:// or maybe https:// (which adds the “s” for secure). Most people don’t have https for their site’s primary name.

Http:// is “Hyper Text Protocol” while FTP is “File Transfer Protocol” for instance.

A lot of software programs, including most e-mail programs and article submission sites will render a URL active if the complete protocol PLUS domain name PLUS file name (file name is optional) is given. Thus, this is a complete URL: and is active, meaning if you click it, you’ll be taken to’s main page. Notice that the second name is not active. Click all you like, but you won’t go anywhere but slowly insane. ;-)

This making URLs active is nifty indeed. In fact in e-mails or in your e-mail signature it’s always a good idea to include the complete URL so your respondent can easily get to the page you mention or visit your site. If you don’t make the link active a reader must actually go to their browser and type in the address, leading the way for errors in misspelled names or other goof-ups. Typing mistakes plus basic laziness (I’ll visit it later) means you won’t get as many visitors as you may have otherwise.

What Happens If You Include a Period (or Full Stop)

If the URL happens to come at the end of a sentence and the writer includes a period as is customary when writing, then that URL is now broken since the active link includes everything leading up to the next space. That happens simply because your software knows that web addresses end with a space, so until the first one is reached everything that comes before is included in the site address. Try it. Open your e-mail program and send yourself a message including and and you’ll see what happens. Then try I’m typing this in NotePad Pro which automatically corrected that end of url period, but most programs don’t do this. Way smart on NotePad Pro’s part I might say. Most programs also highlight in blue the active links.

Note that in AOL you used to have to include the full HTML code to get their links active, and I’m not sure if that’s still the case. If so, you’d need to make it active and frankly that’s a huge hassle so not many do this. So, if you’re an AOL user, I’m not sure if this will work correctly for you.

If you include the period, the URL is broken and your visitor will be presented with a 404 error page or the browser will simply say it can’t find the page. Both are bad and to be avoided at all costs.

To avoid errors either re-write your sentence so the URL doesn’t come at the end, or simply put a space first, then the period. Yes that looks weird but it’s better than an incorrect web address.

One other point, capitalization doesn’t count in domain names, so many people will capitalize their name for easier reading, but after the domain name it does matter, so if your web pages aren’t all lower case, be careful to get that correct capitalization as well.


P.S. Usually one wouldn’t include a resource or sig file in a comment, but notice the sender’s name is highlighter and actually is an active link to their website? Cool beans.

Comment provided May 8, 2006 at 7:55 PM



Where this gets really confusing is that some web servers are SMART and will still work with the period after the URL… but the majority won’t.

…and yes, we are working on adding cookies or sessions to solve the lost comment if you don’t type in the CAPTCHA the first time right. On deck. Sorry that feature isn’t done yet. Soon. :)

Comment provided May 8, 2006 at 8:31 PM


Theresa Cahill writes:

Good Morning Chris! As always, I thoroughly enjoyed your email to my inbox and my follow-through to your current blog article. My first time posting, but I just wanted to say that getting information and being entertained at the same time is most definitely “worth the trip!”

All the best,
Theresa Cahill

Comment provided May 11, 2006 at 9:57 AM


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