Things I’ve Learned Article Template

This simple and elegant article template takes advantage of something we all have … experience.

Often, when we look back on our career, we don’t think of ourselves as knowing nearly as much as we do. If we sit back and really reflect on the years we have taken to get where we are now, we are surprised to see just how much we have been through, how many mistakes we have recovered from and just how much we know now that we didn’t know way back then.

We know ourselves to be experts in our field, but how did we get there? How long did it take to accomplish what we have in our niche?

This reflection begins a perfect article for your readers.

    1. Illustrate your own path to expertise in your introduction. Include a humorous story of a mistake you made (that you found out later a lot of people in your field make) or show a turning point that helped motivate you and get you on your way.

    2. Make a list. Type up a list (just for yourself to start) of all the things that you’ve learned through the years in your niche. Any axioms or truisms you can share? How about ways you’ve found to deal with challenging clients or get to the heart of a bureaucratic issue?

    3. Cull the list down to the top 5 or 10 things you’ve learned.

    4. Give a quick personal explanation for each one of the items on your list. You should share an anecdote or make up an example situation to better illustrate your point. Tell us how you learned this lesson…and what could have happened if you hadn’t learned it.

    5. Conclude on an upbeat note. Tell your readers how much time and energy you would have saved had you known these things beforehand. Let them know how much faster they’ll get ahead if they listen to you.

You’ve learned a lot on your road to becoming an expert. Share it by putting this template to good use! Having made mistakes is never a bad thing if you’ve learned from them – and you can help someone else avoid them, prosper and continue to look to you for guidance.

Leave a comment and tell us about the experience you bring to your niche articles.

From My Desk to Yours – 1st Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

As the Managing Editor at EzineArticles.com, there are myriad different article-related issues that pass my desk every single day. I’ve often wished I could connect with all of you simultaneously to share all of the insight and nuggets of wisdom I’ve gained in the process. I believe that if I could speak directly to even a fraction of our members, the stories of my experiences would help you become better article authors and marketers.

For that reason I present to you today the first installment of a bi-weekly blog series titled “From My Desk to Yours”.

In it, I will share some of the most commonly asked questions and challenges I face on a daily basis. Some of these are SO common that I feel like a broken record (CD?) because I cover the same information over and over again. My intent is to share those “broken record” moments with you so that you might apply them to your writing and marketing efforts.

Trust me, if you faithfully apply the skills you discover here, you’ll significantly improve your chances of getting your articles approved the first time.

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Avoiding Common Social Media Mistakes

Social media can be a great adjunct to your article marketing campaign, but like anything else, it has its potential for faux pas.

Don’t kid yourself – it’s not just rookies who make social media mistakes! Many very experienced social networking gurus have made them too. Paying more attention to how you are perceived online will only help you build your network and grow your business.

(5) Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Resist the temptation to respond to every negative comment made about you or your article or post. – don’t defend yourself. Let your faithful readers do that for you. Don’t engage in a war of words, you’ll just look defensive. Take the higher ground.
  2. Avoid Tweeting or Facebooking only links to your blog, your latest accomplishments or those of your company. It makes you look like a braggart! No one wants to hear about how great you are all of the time. Make sure your postings are adding value to the conversation. Take time to provide an insightful tidbit of information or praise the accomplishments of others. If you were conversing with someone face to face you wouldn’t constantly talk about yourself, would you? Treat places like Twitter and Facebook as you would a table full of your friends. Listen – and contribute when you really have something to say!
  3. Don’t follow 8,000 people that have no connection in anyway. Quality is way better than quantity. This is true on two fronts. You don’t need to have 35,000 followers to be heard. It’s the quality of your followers that counts. Follow good people and good people will follow. Engage with those people and you will be heard. Quality is also more important in your posts. It’s much better to post one or two quality items per day than 15 really boring ones!
  4. Stop constantly asking people to retweet or “favorite” things. No one likes to be told what to do! If someone likes your post, they’ll tell other people. But if you keep bugging them to do it – no one will.
  5. You don’t need to sign up for every social media networking tool available. If you do this, you’re almost guaranteeing that you’ll never really connect with anyone. Pick one or two and really work them. Concentrate on building your network in one or two places, rather than dipping your toe in the water of many.

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The Marketer vs. The Technician

You’re involved in a competitive online battle going on in your niche and there’s a good chance you’re not even aware you’re one of the competitors.

Imagine two entrepreneurs – one is the Marketer and one is the Technician. Assuming they’re selling a product or service of comparable quality, which one do you think will be doing better (5) years from now?*

It’s a safe bet that the Marketer will be doing significantly better than the Technician. Why? Because the Marketer is focused on, maybe even obsessed with, identifying the wants and needs of a very well-defined customer. They make sure that their products & services are continually promoted as the solution to those needs & desires.

The Technician, on the other hand, is focused on delivering a quality product or service first and marketing second. This is true even in the quality of their writing. Their attitude is one of: If I build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to my door.

If you want to really thrive online, you must understand the battle the Marketers are waging in your niche and work to embrace and/or counter their advantages.

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Grammar Tips for the Article Marketer

Avoiding the (6) Common Grammatical Errors That Make Authors Look Du…Unprofessional

in these days of txting, iming and all low caps, its easy to take shortcuts to writing

However, even though we now use our keyboards as we once did our phones, what most people do not understand is how unprofessional the improper use of the English can make an article, and its author, look. Look at the sentence above again. Does it look professionally written to you?

Now, I’m not saying you need to go back to 9th grade English class and try and figure out where your participles are dangling, but making sure you have a command of the basics is essential.

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How Twitter Can Make You A Better Writer

And significantly increase the number of articles you write and submit!

Twitter is a hoot! It can be wildly addictive – and beneficial to your business. But did you know that Twitter can actually make you a better, faster Expert Author?

Hemingway was a master at boiling things down to their essence and writing simply – but profoundly. He kept only that which was important.

Twitter can give you the practice you need to become a better, faster, more concise and clear writer. Discovering this will make your articles all the more well-written while also adding speed to the overall authoring process.

  • Embrace Simplicity
    Tweeting makes you think and write simply. With only 140 characters available to you, you can’t spend your time thinking about the longest adjectives to use. I’ve seen middle school writing classes where they are teaching kids how to use elaborate adjectives and adverbs to enhance their writing. I always want to tell the teacher that when these kids get to college, they’ll need to learn to write simply and effectively. Twitter teaches that too. Start simple and end simple.
  • Focus on Just One Thing
    Ninety-eight percent of writing is knowing what to leave out. One often hears at a newspaper office, or when writing a personal essay or memoir “Well, that might be important to you…but no one else really cares.” Twitter helps you to sort out the “nice to know” from the “need to know”. You’re forced to trim away the unimportant details until you’re left with only a precise nugget of wisdom.

    On Twitter, you have to decide what you want to say – you can’t tell them everything. Just say what you came to say and write about something else another time.

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Get Your #HAHD Certificate of Achievement Today

Our latest addition to the “Author Tools” menu brings your accomplishments home!

If you qualified for the first #HAHD Marathon Challenge you can now print this great looking Certificate of Achievement right in the comfort of your home or office.

Here’s How:

  1. Log into your EzineArticles Account
  2. From the Author’s Area, click on the “Author Tools” drop-down menu
  3. Select “Accomplishments”
  4. If you qualified for the first #HAHD Marathon Challenge, you’ll see a link for each of your authors that qualified
  5. Click on the link to open a PDF version of your personalized Certificate of Achievement
  6. Print as many copies as you need (May we suggest a framed copy in each room of your house?)

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Lisa Mason – Author Spotlight

Expert Author Lisa A. Mason is in today’s Author Spotlight.

Lisa is a diverse freelance writer, editor and marketer with many years of experience. In addition to her extensive online credits she has also written for publications like American Fitness, Atlanta Business Magazine, and Manhattan’s Parentguide and published three books.

What sets Lisa apart from many copywriters who specialize in SEO, is that she concentrates on the quality of the content she produces for her many clients.

We asked Lisa to share her thoughts on writing, particularly for EzineArticles, and how article marketing has impacted her business.

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Be Bold!

But not too bold…

It’s important to be bold. It’s important to emphasize your words. But it’s more important to not emphasize all of them! If you do, then you’ve done nothing but make them less important than they were.

Using bold, italics, quotation marks, parenthesis, ellipses and other punctuation or affectations are all interesting ways to set off important information. In fact, using them can be beneficial to your search engine results.

  • Italics – Italics are used for emphasis, but search engines also look for italicized words, so place important, searchable phrases or book titles (for example) in italics.
  • Bold – Making a word or phrase bold also signifies to search engines that it is important. Bold shows-off your main points or your big idea. Use bold or italics to offset a new paragraph or introduce a new idea.

    However, if you make an entire paragraph bold, you run the risk of not only losing your reader – but losing your search engine ranking too. You don’t want to nullify everything you have written by making everything important. Of course all of what you have to say is important, but let’s face it, some of it is a little more important!

Yes, how you are viewed by a search engine is very important, but your readers are more important – they are, after all, the people who click on your links – or your ads – buy your products and services and link back to you. Put the readers’ comfort first and you’ll be successful.

It’s okay, even advisable, to incorporate emphasis into your articles. Just remember to keep it simple. And if you’re going to use bold or italics, be sure to be consistent throughout your article and emphasize words that are also in your title or meta descriptions. This will help Google and other search engines see the trees in the forest, as it were.

Do you have other ways to make your articles easier to read and understand? Leave a comment and let us know about them!

New Keyword Field Helper

Plugging in the right keywords and key phrases for your articles just got a whole lot faster.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that we frequently extol the virtues of balancing speed and quality in your articles. The key to success is to quickly produce a lot of high quality articles in the shortest amount of time.

Late last week we introduced a new tool on the Submit a New Article page that promises to improve both speed and quality – the Keyword Field Helper.

BENEFITS:

  • It’s FAST! – Instead of skimming your title and article body looking for great keywords to put in the Keyword field, you can just click on the keywords in the helper box and add perfect keywords and key phrases FAST!
  • Get More Targeted Traffic – Keywords and key phrases are suggested based on the words of your title, summary and article body. Better keywords means more, and better targeted, traffic.
  • The Choice is Yours – You can use the suggested keywords, supply your own or use some of each.

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