Writing For Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketer writes us:

When writing articles for my affiliate programs I only sell, should I use a different author’s name for each category of affiliate program or use my own name on all?

First, read this article: Authors With Multiple Brands – Secrets To Managing Multiple Topics When Writing Articles

Next, accept my praise to you for being smart enough to know that you should create your own quality original articles to promote your various affiliate campaigns. Most affiliates are lazy and submit articles they didn’t write and this is the primary reason we don’t accept articles with affiliate links in them. (See section 3 in the editorial guidelines.)

But, we do accept quality original articles that promote affiliate links provided that the URL in the resource box is a full domain name you purchased. Ideally we’d like to see you put a site up at the domain you purchased to promote your affiliate program and then link to your unique affiliate link, but currently we only require the full domain and if you want to forward traffic to that domain directly to your affiliate link — we’re currently ok with that.

Perhaps what we should do is create a separate identification so that our readers know the link is an AFF (affiliate) link so they don’t think your URL should be given the full credibility that a non-affiliate unique content site should receive. Just a thought.

Lastly, to answer your question: If all of your affiliate programs are from the same niche, I’d recommend using your own name on them. If you promote in multiple niches, then consider either a variant on your name or different pen names for each niche.

Next Generation Problem Article System

The problem: An author will send in an article with 2 or 3 distinctly different problems that need resolution before we can accept their article. The first editor rejects the article for problem #1; author fixes it, the second editor rejects it for problem #2; author fixes it, the third editor rejects it for problem #3; author fixes it and a week to 10 days has passed before we are finally able to accept the article (meanwhile the author is frustrated over the process).

The solution: We have databased the dozens of article problem templates so that our editors can check multiple problems that are wrong with an article – and this generates a custom templated email to our member that explains each problem and how to correct it in ONE single email rather than 2-3 emails back and forth.

We choose (3) to be the maximum number of problems that we can notify a member about his or her article because…well, if an article has 4 or more problems, we probably will not be able to accept it.

This was a complex system to setup and we will be tweaking the custom generated messages for another couple of weeks so that even though it is a custom generated email; it should sound as if it was a personal email sent on behalf of the reviewing editor.

The plan is to improve on this new system by expanding the detail of our problem status so more articles can be accepted and fewer “general” problem messages are sent.

Political Article Minefields

Here in the United States, we have two primary opposing political parties (Republicans and Democrats). The level of incoming political articles has been quite high (elections next year), but so have the rejections. I wanted to take a quick time out to clarify why we are rejecting many political articles.

The EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines section 1.e. states “Must Not Contain Negative Content Towards any Product, Company, Individual, or Group.”

Anyone running for a public office knows that there will be critical comments made about them including the mud slingfest that both parties engage in for most elections via campaign ads (way to go political leaders! …NOT) …but in our site and especially considering that we’re not a freedom of speech website nor are we into citizen journalism, that if you’re going to write & submit political articles — to find a way to do it without making it a pure “hate speech” type of article.

For the record, EzineArticles does not advocate for EITHER party.

Examples of political articles we would accept: Content that advocates for a particular candidate and WHY they are a good candidate; content that discusses the political system, comparisons of various laws and geopolitical issues and the talking points of a/the party(ies). If your article and arguments are well thought out and presented with respect for the opposing parties even if you disagree with them; there is a good chance that we’ll accept your article.

Examples of political articles we would probably reject: Content that is insulting/profanity, advocates and/or mud slings against an individual, attacks the gender or race of the candidates or against groups of people, creates libel or slander, or anything that is degrading in tone.

We reserve the right to reclassify political articles into the pure opinion category if they are too controversial, assuming our editor was able to make a case for why it should be accepted.

Fundamentals vs Platitudes in Writing

When creating your articles, it’s always ok to include the basics or fundamentals about how to do something but it’s not ok to expound generic platitudes to meet your minimum word count.

Platitude Defined: A trite / obvious remark or “A flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh and profound.” (dictionary.com)

The difference between a generic platitude in an article vs. educating the reader on the fundamentals is that the reader will see right through a thinly veiled platitude and reject your article as not being credible. Articles that discuss fundamentals often tell the reader WHY the various basics of the topic being discussed is important or what it will mean to the reader whereas a platitude is like a useless statement.

Some of our editors shared that an article that expounds platitudes are like statements that could be made by anyone without any expertise vs. a true expert who is defining the action behind the fundamentals about how to solve a problem or achieve an outcome in something.

Bottom line: Don’t be a platituder! :-) Instead, give the basic fundamentals and brief reasons why the fundamentals are important.

EzinePublisher Text Template Updated

Many of the EzineArticles expert authors put *only* anchored text links in their resource box… perhaps naively because they don’t consider that a TEXT-based email newsletter publisher won’t be able to include the HTML required to make their anchored text link work. Hint hint… Include a valid http:// URL as your first objective and only then should you consider an anchored text link.

Thanks to a member suggestion, we’ve enhanced the PLAIN TEXT VERSION of what we call the EzinePublisher view (example) to include in brackets the URL included in anchored text links. Not sure why we didn’t think of this sooner…but at least all members will benefit from this forward. This means email newsletter publishers who have ASCII TEXT newsletters will now be able to give you link credit rather than having to figure out how to give you a link credit if you only included anchored text links in your resource box.

One note: If a member anchored up some text and then they followed it up with the same URL in valid form (http://), we will not display it twice in the PLAIN TEXT VIEW.

All Articles Are Biased

A user reports an article to be “biased” as if they were expecting a fair and balanced review of the material being presented.

My advice: Rejoice in your bias when you write your articles, but be fully aware of the counter points to your arguments.

By being fully aware of the counter arguments, you’re able to more fully present your bias along with why the reader should be able to see that you’ve considered the counter-arguments. To ignore the counter arguments to your bias equates to ignorance.

It strengthens the credibility of your article if you present the counter arguments to your arguments along with why you know or feel they are not valid, even if you can respect others who may disagree with your opinion/convictions.

(Continue Reading…)

Your Articles After You Pass

We’re often notified that one of our members is no longer with us… as in has ‘died’ (with issues ranging from tragic death to old age natural death). The family usually has no idea what their loved one was up to… and thus, the topic of today’s blog entry.

The articles that are submitted here at EzineArticles usually have some marketing purpose to them as they are used as lead generation vehicles for the lively business interested owned by the member. Once the member is no longer living, it becomes a dis-service to keep their articles in present form because the business is either gone or in radically different form (possibly new owners).

Recommended: Let someone close to you (perhaps even a close business partner) know your wishes should you die before you had a chance to tidy up your online life.

You essentially have two choices: A) Remove your articles from syndication/circulation or B) Change the resource box to something that can live on for a very long time without misleading readers.

What do you think we should do with members who die (ie: We have confirmed their passing) who don’t leave us instructions? Would you keep your articles live post-death? How would your resource box change?

No Articles Grandfathered

This happens: An author who submitted an article 1-2 years ago will update his/her article (most likely they are changing something in the resource box) and then the article gets rejected by one of our editors because the standards that we review with today have risen since the original acceptance.

I wanted to explain why we don’t grandfather old articles: You can reasonably predict that every month the quality standards rise on what we’re able to accept and rather than going back retro to reject previous articles we’ve accepted because they no longer meet a newly updated editorial standard, we apply the new standards to all new submissions and any articles that are edited post-original-acceptance.

Is it fair? Probably not. Are there some gray areas where our editors have a very difficult time being hyper consistent, yes. Do we hear about it every day? Yes, members remind us consistently when they think their article rejection (I prefer non-acceptance) happens… quick to point out prior articles that are similar that we accepted (perhaps even one of their competitors).

For the greater majority, this is a non-issue. Standards will always rise on a very frequent basis and because we re-review every article that is edited as if it were a new article submission…the current standards of the day will be applied.

Delivering on Your Article Title Promise

Your article title is more than just an accurate description about what the reader will find in your article body, as it’s a promise you make to build a trust relationship with your readership (prospective & current clients).

Today, reflect on how well you’ve been delivering on your article title promise(s):

  • Did you fulfill your readers expectations in the article body?
  • Did you answer the question you posed in your article title?
  • Does every paragraph of your article in some way relate to delivering on what you promised in the title?
  • Are you wasting the readers time by purposely baiting them with a juicy title and lots of filler in your article body?
  • Does your article GET TO THE POINT? (instead of rambling on and on and on?)
  • Are you an expert who delivers more value in the article body than you expect to receive in return?
  • Did you bite off more than you can deliver in your article title? Should you narrow your topic further?

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Article Tools Update

A little more than a year ago we added a Report This!” article tool function that would allow the public to report TOS violations and use the wisdom of the crowds in addition to our software and behind-the-scenes team to keep the content quality standards high.

Today, we’ve tweaked it further because some folks thought the Article Tool was broken as we had a java hover box that would come up when you hovered your mouse around it. We eliminated the javascript hover box so users who don’t have javascript-enabled will be able to use the tool as well.

In addition, the “Report This” function has been extended beyond only reporting inappropriate articles, but also for reporting authors and reporting images that may be offensive so that our team can investigate each case. It’s interesting to note that out of the small handful of “Report Author” emails we receive, about 1 out of ever 4 reports is actually a request to reach the author directly – and we direct them to use the EzineArticles Inbox (for member to member communications) to contact the author directly.

Lastly, for the lovely FireFox browser users (16.2% of all EzineArticles traffic), our in-house CSS Jedi has found a way to make the “Add To Favorites” work in FireFox as well as IE6/7.

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