By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor
Near the end of last year, the number one obstacle for our authors in getting their articles approved was overly promotional content. To quote from our “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” video series:
- “Without value, your article loses credibility. Less salesmanship means better articles and better articles mean more traffic to your website.”
5 Examples of Overly Promotional Content:
- “Check out my link in the Resource Box!”
- Using sales copy for an article: “For only $9.99, you can get [product] with instant satisfaction!”
- “In another article, titled [title], I …”
- Using links in the article body instead of anchor text: For example, “[your-site.com] is a great example of …”
- Name Dropping. Remember, your company, your product, and your name belong in the Resource Box
Your readers want expert advice, not a sales pitch. They need to get a feel for your credibility. Once that credibility is established, they will trust you enough to surf to your site.
Article Writing Best Practices (a.k.a. How to drive traffic to your site without sounding like a proverbial used car salesman):
- Plan – We call it article marketing and not article promotions for a reason. Marketing involves a strategic plan of attack. When you pick a topic, outline it. Create categories and subcategories. Concentrate on the subcategories – what are the benefits, issues, etc. of that subcategory? (Hint: Other subcategories could become other articles!)
- Introduction – Be frank. Let your reader know exactly what you are writing about. This will create stickiness (the effect where a reader stays to read your article, rather than clicking someplace else).
- Body – Use your outline to provide informative, quality content which includes facts, tips, etc.
- Brevity – In this day and age, leisurely readers are few and far between. They want their information now. Readers spend two minutes or less on an article! An average of 400 – 500 words gives you enough space to build your topic without creating “word vomit”.
- Conclusion – Make sure you have delivered on everything that your reader was expecting!
- Resource Box – Your Resource Box should only be 15% the length of your article body. Once you have gained the readers trust, you can tell the reader about your company/product/service and link to your site.
- Title – Grab the reader’s attention without slamming them with SEO and make sure your hook matches your article topic.
- Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. – If your reader sees an error – *click* they’re gone!
If you’ve frequently had articles not get approved due to overly promotional content, it’s a habit you’ll need to break. Use the tips above to help you load your next set of articles with value instead of salesmanship. And leave a comment below if there’s anything you don’t understand.
Click here to see the entire “From My Desk to Yours” Blog post series.