Self-Serving Near Top of Article?

Stephen writes, “I was wondering if there was a possibility of having our “self serving” links that go in the “author resource” box be moved to the beginning of the article instead of on the bottom? The reason I am asking is because most people don’t necessarily read through the whole article – they’re in a rush. But if the first few paragraphs capture their attention, they can see the links on top of the article and go there if so desired instead of scrolling down to the bottom (assuming that they are aware of the links down there). What do you think? I would think this could help with the click through rate and bring traffic up to our sites. For instance, in the one week since signing up with Ezine, I’ve had 1500 page views but only a handful have clicked through to my sites.”

First, the answer: Sorry, no. Second, congrats on getting 1500 PV’s in one week! That’s not typical. You must be doing something right. :-) Most authors experience a 1-3% CTR directly from us and then another wave of more traffic from their articles as they enter syndication…and this snowballs over time. Let me share a perspective as to why we don’t allow self-serving active links at the top of your article:

1) The purpose of your article is to share a sliver of yourself and by doing so, you begin the reciprocation cycle with the reader.

By asking for a link at the top of your article, it’s like asking to be paid before you’ve convinced the customer to buy what you have to sell.

2) This month alone we will conservatively deliver more than 100,000 visitors to our authors websites. Every day someone tells us that we are their top non-search engine referral partner. That’s what we like to hear and it is one of our goals (to be one of your top traffic referers).

3) Thanks for telling us this is important to you. We are built on member suggestions as many of our charter members will confirm.

One thing that I know for certain: If you want more qualified traffic from us, you’ll need to submit more than 10 articles. Recommend setting goals for 25-250 articles to start with and build your article inventory from there.

Lastly, I did review your 10 articles Stephen and you have 3 self serving links, 1 to a site you own and control and 2 to a blogger account. Are you able to view incoming traffic stats to your Blogger account? Just wanted to make sure you were evaluating how much traffic we are sending you properly by combining all of the referrals to all of the self-serving links.


Ruth writes:

Quote “One thing that I know for certain: If you want more qualified traffic from us, you’ll need to submit more than 10 articles. Recommend setting goals for 250-250 articles to start with and build your article inventory from there”

Wow, 250 articles sounds like a lot…I better get going here :)

Comment provided August 22, 2006 at 7:42 PM


Ed Howes writes:

Sloppy typos aside, the key is patience wherever you begin or add to your marketing efforts. The most common error in sales is working for the sale. Work to make friends and the sales will take care of their selves.

Comment provided August 22, 2006 at 7:58 PM


Louie Latour writes:

I’ve just passed the 300 article mark. I’m not yet seeing the results I’d like, it could just be the competitive niche I’m in so I’ll keep posting.

Someone’s got to catch Carrie Reeder…

Comment provided August 22, 2006 at 10:28 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Currently I have about 2.3 Million article views and I got too much traffic at my site so I took off the links on the byline.

Comment provided August 22, 2006 at 11:27 PM


Michael Werner writes:

Okay, Chris, your comments make total sense, BUT you’ve opened up a whole new thread with your statement of the need for 250 articles.

Wholy schmoly, sir, how in the world does one ever get to that point and maintain any sort of quality in the articles?

Have some tips for us?


Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 5:05 AM


Ruth writes:

Yes, Someone mentioned “tips” in their comment. Good thinking.

Are there tips or even better, online audios that will help me achieve QUALITY articles. Or do writers actually use ghost writers once they have that many articles posted…unless of course it has taken years to reach that level?


Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 5:31 AM


Aderemi Ojikutu writes:

Hi friends.

I am happy about the referral CTR statisics given by Chris, it just confirms my practical experience too.

One thing that Stephen has failed to grasp in web-metrics theory is the concept of “targeted traffic”. Any guest who reads your article and want to click your self-serving sites’s link can’t be a quality visitor, therefore that is just ephemeral/casual traffic.

I got 65-80% of my traffic from Search engines, particularly the BIG 3. that is why I didn’t bother to put my professioinal Adsense sites links posted here. I make my money from adsense hence my traffic. 3% wont jut do the trick!

But I made my fame from EzineArticles viral-marketing of my articles. I have lost count, of many of my articles that were republished from EzineArticles without permission and active links.

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 7:05 AM


Stephen Hopson writes:

Hi there:

Thanks for responding to my inquiry about putting the resource box on top of the articles. I appreciate the quality of everyone’s answers. I’m glad I asked – thanks to your responses, I’ve learned a thing or two.

It’s been a great experience for me to post articles almost every day since joining last week. I used to be one of those people who wondered what I could write about but I’m just discovering the wealth of stories I can share with people. To my surprise, some of my articles have been reprinted and syndicated at other websites, which could lead to speaking engagements and other things that might not have otherwise happened.

The key is to be patient – thanks for reminding me. I appreciate being part of this community. :)

Stephen Hopson

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 10:12 AM


Stephen Hopson writes:

Hi it’s me again:

I forgot to respond to Chris’s question about whether I’ve been able to evaluate the source of incoming traffic to all of my sites (my website and my blog). The answer is yes.

Thanks to Google Analytics, I’ve been able to put a special html code on the pages of those sites to evaluate what kind of traffic I’m getting. It’s a free program from google. Just google “google analytics” and you’ll find it. There’s waiting period before they allow you to participate and get a html code from them. It’s a great tool.

Now having said that, I do want to say that my traffic from EzineArticles has jumped significantly in percentage terms; however, it isn’t as much as I thought I would get especially after having 1500 PV in one week. I’m only gettin a fraction of that but still, I AM getting much more traffic than I would have gotten otherwise if it hadn’t been for Ezine.

So, I guess I was just looking for a way to increase the flow of traffic, which is why I asked about putting “self serving” links up on top. I now understand. Cool. Like I said, I’m learning!

Thanks everyone.

Stephen Hopson

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 10:26 AM


Ed Howes writes:

Hey Stephen,

Welcome to our mutual assistance community. You will do fine. You are a very fast learner and you just shared valuable information most of the blog readers will benefit from in short order, including me. Which means, we are all glad you asked. I ask questions in nearly every article I write. I rarely get an answer, but it reinforces a habit which pays off frequently. Everyone who forms this simple habit is on the fast track to wisdom. When we have wisdom, how can we not succeed?

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 10:49 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Stephen, I was reading some of your articles, and I learned something too. Thanks, just keep it up like that. It works. Each article reprinted somewhere else also drives traffic. Sometimes as much or more than here. It is a multiplier affect. You will see, you are doing good and I see you are indeed a Gentleman and a Scholar.

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 2:07 PM


Stephen Hopson writes:

Lance and Ed:

You guys both made my day with your comments today. It was confirmation for me to continue on the path I’ve set for myself, namely writing.

Thank you for your encouragement – you’ve caused a wonderful ripple effect that I love to talk about in my speeches.

Thank you gentlemen!

Stephen Hopson

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 5:30 PM


Ed Howes writes:


Thank you for giving us a ripple opportunity. :-)

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 5:39 PM


Dave Saunders writes:

This posting made me laugh. Putting the resource at the box would be the obvious “me me me” approach that systemically fails in direct marketing. When our articles inform and educate, they also build trust. As that happens, we benefit not only from click throughs, but also from the conversion rate associated with people who believe in the author.

Such a better approach than the “smash and grab” angle of the newbies and bots.

Comment provided August 23, 2006 at 11:31 PM


Tel Asiado writes:

I’m sure I’m the rooky (or newbie) here amongst all of you having been a member only for about 3 months, with 14 articles offered. By George, tips or no tips (forget about motivation because I’m a motivated homo sapien of the highest order just like most of you), I don’t think I can ever in my life produce articles as many as Lance, or even reach 50 in time. It’ll take a miracle of miracles. ;>)

And Chris K, despite Ed’s (Howes) help, I still can’t find that star rating anywhere on my screen. Is there something I haven’t done right, a button I should push or something? :) Thanks!

Comment provided August 24, 2006 at 4:53 AM


Stephen Hopson writes:

Tel Asiado:

Tel, I just want you to know that I am a newbie too (one and a half weeks old!) and like the others have done for me, I wish to take a moment to encourage you this morning.

I can tell you for a fact that I used to be one of those people who thought I didn’t have enough material to write about. I used to worry about not being “original” enough or not eloquent enough, etc.

But over time, I began to write stories and submitted them to various websites (like When they (and others) accepted them, my confidence went up. Then some of those stories were accepted for publication in hardcopy books (like “Chicken Soup for the College Soul”). When that happened, I realized I might be on to something. But this would not have happened had I not taken a chance and submitted my stories around the Internet. I encourage you to do the same.

What also helped is I used to write a dairy of my daily life, letting the words flow. This freed up any “writers block” that I might have had since I was not worried about what people thought or how the words would appear on paper. This gave me the practiced I needed to let the words flow from my mind to the keyboard. It’s was great way of getting the practice I needed.

One thing you should know is that there is absolutely nothing under the sun these days. If you look through every single article out there, there’s really nothing new being offered. That ought to reassure you that you not need to worry about being “original.” However……….

What is original is your own personal experiences. There is no one in the world like you with what you’ve gone through in your life. THAT is by definition, “unique.” Your experiences become your “signature stories.” No one can duplicate them because they are not you! So you can write about them. And if you think about it, every day you experience life is a potential story! If you were to write about every single day of the year, you’d have 356 articles! :)

One of my stories that got published was an experience I had with my fifth grade teacher eons ago. She said three words that forever changed my life and caused a gigantic ripple effect around the globe. Becuase this is my own unique experience, I was able to write about it. And that makes it “new.” When I go on speaking engagements, I talk about this story and for many people, it’s the first time they’re hearing it. Therefore, it’s not the same “tired” story they hear over and over from different sources. Like the “starfish” story (ever heard of that?).

Now, what’s interesting is that within this fifth grade teacher story, I talk about the power of thanking people, the power of reaching out, etc. etc. That stuff in of itself is NOT new but when I add my personal experience with the fifth grade teacher, suddenly the article (or speech or whatever) is now “original.” No one else can write about it or claim it as their own becuase they did not experience it. See what I mean?

Can you think of everything that’s happened in your life and then write about it? I’m sure you can!

Let me encourage you not to put a limit on your thinking. If Lance can write 8,000 articles, so can you. Lance is a wonderful gentleman who is no better than you or I. He doesn’t have any special powers or prowess (that I’m aware of, hehe) to enable him to write. All he had was the power of his imagination, belief in himself and lots of practice. And look what he did!

So, keep on, keep on. Hang in there. Don’t give up. You have a wealth of stories in you that’s dying to come out. Let it. You won’t regret it.

And by the way, don’t worry about the “yellow star.” Just write from your heart and let the universe take care of the rest. That’s what I’m doing and it works!

Stephen Hopson

Comment provided August 24, 2006 at 5:38 AM


Michael Werner writes:

I think I’m as guilty as anyone of wanting things to happen faster than they normally do. Things (whether personal or business) that I’ve succeeded in always take longer than I think they will, and never happen in the sequence I’d planned on.

This is probably true, no matter what you do, whether it’s trying to figure out your life’s work or writing a bunch of articles for online distribution.

From my own and many years of experience, it takes consistent and steady progress toward your goals, day after day after day, and year after year before you’ll start to see any meaningful results.

And, I think that’s true with article writing as well. Just keep doing it, get better as you go along, and stay the course.

I remember in the early years of starting my software company, InfoSource Learning, we always seemed to expect immediate results, whether it was developing a new product or conducting a new marketing campaign.

I recall once occasion when talking to a competitor and he told me, “I’ve been trying to become an overnight sensation for the last 15 years.” And, I think that really sums up what we all need to be doing and thinking about, regardless of roles or goals in life — you want to be thinking you’ll become that overnight wonder, but you’ve got to keep carrying on with your work or your mission as if it’s a life time’s worth of work. Which, I guess, it really is.

Over and out,


Comment provided August 24, 2006 at 10:30 AM


Ed Howes writes:

I am now wild about newbie testimonials. Some of the best content on the web. Tel: Great to hear from you here. Saw your picture on the homepage too. Whether you believe you can or believe you cannot, you are correct. Stephen. You and Michael gave us enough material to write a dozen articles. You are not yet clear on all things though. Lance, for one. Lance has special powers and prowess. He has more ambition and enthusiasm than any two othe people I know. I wanr none of his, but to add my little to it increases his and I have been doing this for mo0nths. Lance can confirm. If my Lance gauge is accurate, he is about to re direct some of this awesome ambition into new frontiers and I believe he will let us watch. Do so. It will be good fun and educational.
Michael: Doesn’t it stink when we succeed in spite of our best plans? :-) While payience is a virtue, expecting overnight success and miracles, will pay off just often enough to convince us that’s the best way to go. Life is more than Persistance and determination. It is also talking to your friends on a blog or through Email. All else comes in i5ts proper ti,e. A good friend told me two days ago, long windedness is the other way to say enthusiatic. This thread has nicely proved the point. I will now write my other articles off blog. Everybody say thank you Ed! :’)

Comment provided August 24, 2006 at 3:33 PM




About the rating thing… Not sure if you’re still experiencing difficulties, but one thing you could try: Use a different browser and see if you’re still having problems. We currently support the top 90% of the most popular browsers (MSIE, Firefox, Opera, Netscape and various Mozilla browsers).


You wanted audio tips to help you improve your article writing?

Blatant plug alert: My Article Production Strategies training product has over 3 hours and more than 70+ tips and strategies included in it.

Comment provided September 26, 2006 at 8:09 PM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.