Happy New Year from EzineArticles!

2010 and the 3rd #HAHD Marathon Challenge have officially begun!

Make your 2010 New Year’s Resolution a commitment to write and submit 100 original, high-quality articles to EzineArticles.com before April 10th. In so doing, you’ll not only get the pleasure of receiving this fun prize package, you’ll also reap the benefits of increased traffic, improved exposure and enhanced credibility – benefits that you’ll continue to enjoy long after 2010 is over.

If you haven’t already made your commitment, do it now! Then really solidify your New Year’s Resolution by tweeting your intentions, too (don’t forget the #HAHD) – or click [here] to let us write your tweet for you!

To find out more about the 3rd #HAHD Marathon Challenge, check out Monday’s Blog post.

On behalf of the entire EzineArticles Team, including Gary, have a safe, prosperous and traffic-filled new year!

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From My Desk to Yours – Sort Of

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

As you probably know, my Blog post series, “From My Desk to Yours …” has been a series of educational tips aimed at helping you become a better writer as well as ease your frustrations with article reviews. I love writing them and I enjoy getting input from you that I would not normally receive.

This post is going to be a little different.

I wanted to thank you for a wonderful learning experience in 2009. Your concerns and pet-peeves have brought change and have also allowed me to teach the editorial staff how to better understand what needed to be changed. I appreciate your candor and your ability to teach this not-so-old dog some new tricks. :)

I also wanted to thank you for your hard work and dedication in this past year. We’ve learned a lot together. Through my posts, as well as Chris and Marc’s, we’ve had many interesting debates and usually achieved mutual understanding. The opinions shared here and across our other communication channels have helped us to improve the service we provide to you each and every day. I even appreciated reading the 480+ comments on one of the most recent posts …Thanks for keeping me busy.

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3rd #HAHD Marathon Challenge Begins 1/1/2010

The 3rd “100 Articles in 100 Days Marathon Challenge” (#HAHD) begins Friday, January 1, 2010 at 12:01AM CST-USA.

[Please Note: This post was updated on February 3, 2010 – Enrollment procedures have changed. For more information, click here]

They say the 3rd time is a charm. Well get ready, because the 3rd #HAHD Marathon Challenge begins this Friday!

To help kick it off, Christopher Knight, EzineArticles Publisher and CEO, will be hosting a public webinar/teleseminar on Friday, January 8th from 11:00AM-1:00PM CST-USA for anyone attempting to complete the #HAHD Challenge! Watch the Blog and Twitter for more details.

TO QUALIFY: There’s no need to sign up! Just submit at least 100 articles of 400 words or more between 12:01AM CST-USA Friday, January 1st and 11:59PM CST-USA Saturday, April 10th. That’s only one 400-word article per day for 100 days. Once those 100 articles are approved, you’re qualified!

QUALIFICATION PRIZES:

All qualifiers will receive:

  • #HAHD Certificate of Achievement (frame not included)

Upon email request, all qualifiers will also receive:

  • Original Limited-edition EzineArticles #HAHD Trophy Mug
  • Limited-edition EzineArticles #HAHD Mouse Pad
  • Limited-edition EzineArticles Giant Beach Ball
  • Limited-edition EzineArticles Hat

ADDED BONUS:
The top 100 members for total number of qualified submissions will also receive a chance to win 1 of 10 FREE 1-year EzineArticles Premium Membership subscriptions valued at $582 each!

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Happy Holidays from EzineArticles!

Write Articles, Earn a Holiday Mug!

Finish 2009 by completing this 10-day “mini-challenge” and you’ll earn a limited-edition EzineArticles holiday mug!

The rules are simple:

  1. Submit at least 25 qualified articles between 12:01AM CST-USA today (12/23/09) and 11:59PM CST-USA on New Year’s Day (1/1/10).
  2. After you have submitted 25 articles, and prior to 11:59PM CST-USA on January 7, 2010, send an email requesting your mug to holidaymug@ezinearticles.com – you’ll receive an automated email response.
  3. Confirm your shipping address is correct in your EzineArticles profile. We’ll only ship these mugs to confirmed postal addresses worldwide.

Do those 3 things and you’ll receive one of these limited-edition EzineArticles holiday mugs. There’s no need to sign up. It’s that simple.

We’ll announce the first names of the winners in the comments section of this Blog post on Monday, January 11th.

So take a break from holiday eating and entertaining. Instead, spend a little time boosting your credibility, driving traffic to your site and increasing your exposure for 2010 by writing and submitting at least 25 high-quality, original articles. =)

Holiday/Seasonal Article Template

Let this special time of year, or any special time of year, provide a little inspiration for your next article set!

There is always another holiday or season right around the corner, so there are many opportunities to reach your readers throughout the year. Sprinkle a couple dozen seasonal articles into your inventory to generate sure-fire page-view spikes while you further define your niche and have a little fun in the process.

Here’s How:

  1. Select a Holiday, Season or “Day” (like St. Nick’s Day) – Find an angle that allows you to keep your content as “evergreen” as possible so your article maintains some value throughout the year.
  2. Introduction – Describe the holiday or season (perhaps give a BRIEF history if it’s appropriate) and how it relates to your niche.
  3. Body – In the next paragraph(s) of the article give an overview of the value provided in this article. Be sure to keep it within the context of your niche and the holiday or season you’re writing about. For example, tell them how your tips or ideas can make it more festive, cheaper, safer, easier or even flashier.
  4. List of Examples – Now give a list of examples of your great holiday or seasonal ideas. Expand on those ideas to add value to your article. If you’re talking about decorating on a budget – then give your readers places to get great deals in addition to ideas for decorating.
  5. Conclusion – Conclude on a positive, fun or festive note. No one wants to read a dour consequence in a holiday article. Make sure you end your article with why the reader should follow your ideas.

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Joe Cline – Author Spotlight

Expert Author Joe Cline is in today’s Author Spotlight.

Joe is a professional real estate broker, investor, and Realtor with RE/MAX in Austin, Texas. He uses article marketing to not only draw traffic to his website, but also to educate his current and potential clients.

What sets Joe apart from many Expert Authors is that he does something very few members can do effectively – he uses the power of localized niche articles, within EzineArticles Guidelines, to promote his city, his site and his services. His key to success is simply delivering on the promise he makes in the title. When his title mentions a specific aspect of Austin life, his article body delivers on that promise by providing valuable information specifically about that particular aspect of Austin.

We asked Joe to share his thoughts on article marketing, writing localized niche articles and how article marketing has impacted his business.

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Editing Your Article After It’s Live?

“Helm, Full Stop!” I yell as Captain.

We’ve got to address an issue before we continue on our journey together and I’d like to get your input prior to making some hard decisions.

The Issue:
After we accept and publish your article, we inform the search engines via our sitemaps that there is a brand new quality article for them to discover (and hopefully index). Unfortunately, if the search engines don’t find your article (after we just told them to find your new article) because you decided to take it down to edit it, that creates 2 problems …

  1. They inform us that they were unsuccessful in finding the article. That’s bad, because now the chances of that article getting indexed are significantly lower.
  2. Worse, our reputation is on the line. When we tell the search engines that there is a new article for them to crawl and index, that article had better be there for them to discover! Otherwise, we’re wasting their time and resources, which makes us look incompetent.

The Data:

  • Last month, members edited 22,993 articles that were previously live. These articles were removed from the site for 1-4 days awaiting a full re-review before going back live.
  • 19,153 of those articles (83.3%) edited by members didn’t improve the article body and only changed something in the Resource Box.
  • Hundreds of thousands of articles annually are at risk of not getting indexed at all because of this issue.

Here are two options we could pursue to fix this issue:

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Article Writing Tweets to Retweet

If you’re a Twitter user who doesn’t follow @EzineArticles, you’re missing a lot of great EzineArticles information and training!

The following is a list of (30) assorted author tips, insider info, fun facts and reminders we tweeted in the month of November. Any one of these could have been just the tool you needed to turbo-charge your article marketing efforts.

Just CLICK on any of the “ReTweet This” links to auto-populate your Twitter status field. Then just edit for length and retweet to your heart’s content!



EzineArticles Tips and Training Snippets:

  • Your intuition can only take you so far in determining what to write about. Every writer who scales their business invests time in analytics.
  • Offer readers quality with professional content and they’ll reciprocate with click-throughs and sales.
  • GET RICH Just by Reading This Tweet! — Yeah, right. Outrageous claims like this in your Article Titles cost you credibility. Keep it real.
  • Soft wear programs off ten donut no witch words yew kneed. Have a human proofread articles for proper word choice and maximum benefit.
  • Proofreading tip: Not taking the time to proofread tells your readers you don’t care about them and it’s rude. Make the extra effort.
  • Offering lackluster information will yield equally lackluster results. Be specific and unique to set yourself apart from the competition.

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Year in Review Article Template

A simple & effective template that works great for almost every niche.

The holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without the performance of certain rituals, like re-gifting Aunt Susie’s fruitcake, getting shameless at the office holiday party, or wearing a red and green sweater and the accompanying reindeer headband.

If you’re an Expert Author, you are almost obligated to sum up the year in article form. In fact, the ritual “year in review” list is so expected that you can be predictable and still get great reviews. For some reason readers love them – no matter how much they say otherwise.

In fact, your real challenge with this article template is going to be deciding what to highlight first!

The Year in Review Article:

  1. Create a Benefit-Oriented Introduction – In your first paragraph, tell your reader why they should care about your list. What’s in it for them to keep reading?
  2. Pick Your List Items – Let’s say that you write about cooking. You could write a review on the top 5 chocolate recipes of 2009 or the 7 hottest (or most useless) kitchen gadgets introduced in the last year. Writing about a very specific area in your niche will allow you to later write many “review” articles in this topic area.
  3. Expand on Each Item in Your List – Each paragraph should be numbered and include a headline or highlighted title as well as a short summary of the item – i.e. the reason(s) why it made the list.
  4. Conclude by Looking Forward – In your conclusion, get the reader excited about the upcoming year by sharing what you expect to see happening in your niche in the next 12 months. Go ahead, make some predictions! Or challenge your readers to partake in one or more of the items you included on this year’s list.

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