Timeless Article Syndication

This email that came in today to illustrates an important lesson in what not to do when writing about current events: “YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOUR FACTS. EFFECTIVE THIS PAST WEEK YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CARRY-ON UP TO 3 OZS. OF LIQUIDS/GELS IN ZIPLOCK BAGS. SINCE I MAY BE HEADED TO ELEUTHERA TO CHECK ON MY PROPERTY I WAS INTERESTED IN WHAT YOUR WEBSITE STATED. CORRECT IT.”

An EzineArticles author wrote about how you can’t take liquids, gels or cremes onboard any aircraft within the United States… a policy that was in effect until last week when the policy changed.

The lesson: Article writing for the purposes of distribution & syndication must take into consideration the fact that the author may NOT be able to edit their works, and thus some may look foolish promoting an idea or fact that was true when the article was written, but is no longer true today.

One clarification though:

Yes, we still like current event articles…so keep sending them in please :).

Just be careful to not write about current event facts as if they will be true forever when there is no way to guarantee it.

Example: If I were writing the article about liquids not being allowed on aircrafts a few weeks ago without knowing if it would be for a short period or long period of time, I’d qualify my definitive statements or make them more vague so that I introduce that the current policies were true as of the time that I wrote the article, but how long they would be true, is unknown.

Actually, the more I think about it, I’d probably write this type of an article more like a point/counterpoint, should liquids, gels and pastes be allowed on planes or not?

Conclusion: Article marketing is done best with timeless or *evergreen* content (See: Value of Fresh Content), but it can work with current events provided you start with the assumption that facts and events may change and you may not be able to edit or update your article after the fact (you can edit it with us, but not very easily with the publishers who feed from us).

Your thoughts?

[Off topic: ohhh great, so now I still can’t bring a bottle of water on the plane with me because who the heck sells 3 oz bottles of purified water? …at least thankfully I can now buy an overpriced bottle of water after I’m security checked in by my gate and take that on board.]

[Further off topic: Anyone know where Eleuthera is? I didn’t until I searched EzineArticles to find out: Eleuthera- Nice & Skinny, and Eleuthera, Bahamas – It’s Not For Everyone!]

6 Comments »


1
Edward Weiss writes:

Valuable tips Chris. Current events articles should be written like an editorial so they remain relevant after time has passed. If not, as you say, the author ends up looking less than credible.

Comment provided October 1, 2006 at 3:38 PM

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2
Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed this makes sense. In fact I was quite pleased when you addressed a very similar issue last year and then added the dates on the articles below on each article page. One way an author can still keep the article current is to write on the article the date in which the event or data took place and then it makes for a great historical data point for research later on and makes it a “Historical Account-Evergreen Article”. This is a very good point to discuss indeed.

Comment provided October 1, 2006 at 6:08 PM

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3

Thanks for the tips, Chris. I’m scooting over to the ‘Value of Fresh Content’ after posting this… maybe I’ll try my hand on a couple current event articles! ;-)

Also, although I’m Jamaican and have spent 10 memorable days in the Bahamas, I didn’t know where Eleuthera was until I read the ‘Nice & Skinny’ article… great piece… so thanks again.

Angela.

Comment provided October 2, 2006 at 9:05 AM

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4
Lisa writes:

Great points, Chris.

But news is such an awesome and engaging type of article for my readers. It gets them interested right away.

Here’s how I handle news for my audience.

– Include the date in your text (usually in the first two paragraphs).

– Address the possible fall-out and several possible scenarios resulting from this news.

– List how readers can still survive or be successful in light of each scenario.

This could make for a “long” article of 500 to 750 words. Yet as I mentioned earlier these types of articles are extremely valuable and interesting to readers.

By addressing what could happen as a result of the news you’re preparing your audience and presenting yourself as an expert. That’s a win-win all around.

Happy Writing!

— Lisa

Comment provided October 3, 2006 at 6:01 AM

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5

Hi Lisa,

Welcome to the article marketing party… I just saw one of your first Top7Business articles this morning:
http://top7business.com/?Top-7-Article-Writing-Secrets:-Where-Do-I-Get-Ideas?&id=2104

Curious about something though… if you’re already uncloaked your full name LISA SPARKS, why is your domain listed as ‘domains by proxy’ instead of Lisa Sparks?… or is that a pen name?

Sorry to put you on the spot and I’ll delete this comment if you feel offended; but my branding brain was curious. :)

Comment provided October 3, 2006 at 7:55 AM

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6
Lisa writes:

Nope. I’m not offended at all. It was one of those “protection” add-ons that was offered when I bought the domain and I thought, “Why not?” I need as much protection as I can get!

Thanks for your curiosity. And I do hope to post to more of these discussions. They’re very engaging.

— Lisa

Comment provided October 3, 2006 at 6:01 PM

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