Give this Cartoon a Caption

So you think you’re funny, huh? Well it’s time to prove it!

We need your help in coming up with the perfect caption for this cartoon. Submit a funny EzineArticles-related caption via the “Comments” below or on our Facebook Fan Page. In one week we’ll pick the one that makes us laugh the hardest.

If we select yours, you’ll not only receive honor and appreciation from the EzineArticles community, you’ll also receive an EzineArticles cartoon mug with this cartoon (and your caption) on it! Plus, we might use your captioned cartoon in a future Blog entry.

So take a well-deserved break, get your thinking cap on and submit your best EzineArticles-related caption(s).

People love to laugh. So when you’re done sending us your caption, why not weave a little humor into your next set of original articles? Your readers will appreciate the breath of fresh air.

This contest has ended. Click here to view a list of the winners.

2 Minute Approval Tips: Deliver On The Article Title

Episode 3 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” video series.

This series is designed to help get your articles approved on the first submission. We’ve looked at past submission records to find the most common reasons why articles aren’t approved on the initial try. Since we know your time is precious, we’ve compressed this information into individual 2-minute videos.

This episode is about building trust by delivering on the promise of an article’s title.

Downloadable Versions:
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Quick Case Study: Shirley Bass

The ninth edition in a series of posts that highlight one Expert Author who has achieved success by doing just one thing exceptionally well.

Shirley Bass always has her mind on finding her next article idea. Shirley, the owner of GiftBasketJewels.com, looks for inspiration when she is going through any shopping experience. She uses her experiences to inspire article ideas for her next writing session. Using this process, article ideas are never scarce and she doesn’t have to force herself through brainstorming sessions. She says, “One never knows where inspiration will come from unless they are tuned in to what’s going on around them.”

Often Shirley finds herself faced with a problem and wants to help others who face similar circumstances, so she writes an article on the topic. She says, “I thoroughly enjoy helping others get what they want. It’s exciting to me that we have the opportunity to write and have those words found by readers who want what we have to offer.” By feeding off of the needs of others for article concepts, she stays ahead of the game with new ideas.

Designing a Consistent Writing Formula

Shirley credits her success with finding a consistent writing formula which took her some time to discover. “Never allow what you think of your writing skills to influence your confidence. Play with it, have fun and keep working on it, because it will work itself out,” she says. Over time, she has come to the realization that readers crave details. Now, she uses real world examples to fuel future article ideas and then injects her own personal experiences to provide the extra details.

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Overcoming Writing Obstacles: Create a Writing Ritual

Final episode in the “6 Ways to Overcome Obstacles and Write High-Quality Articles in Large Quantities” video series.

In this video series, our friend Gary has already shared these 5 ways to overcome writing obstacles:

While completing the first five episodes of this series, Gary continued to uncover writing obstacles. He found he spent a lot of time distracted, unmotivated and unable to get his work done fast enough. Gary realized that if he incorporated writing rituals into his own projects, it would help him become a better writer. Unfortunately, he was having trouble figuring out what makes a good writing ritual.

In this video, Gary visits with me for examples of writing rituals, why they are important and how to use them.

Downloadable Versions:
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4 Article Tools You Should Be Using

Make your article writing and marketing life a whole lot easier by adding these EzineArticles tools to your routine.

At EzineArticles we’re constantly brainstorming ways to improve and simplify the way you launch, implement and analyze your article writing campaigns. Below are 4 tools designed to do just that and in the process allow you to focus on the things that matter, like the strategies that work for you.

Just remember, there are almost as many different article writing strategies as there are authors, so it’s important to develop your own strategy.

4 EzineArticles Tools YOU Should Be Using:

  1. Training Series – A “Beginners Guide” that uncovers the basics of article writing and marketing. This free Training Series is a set of PDF documents that can be downloaded or emailed to you. It covers topics from what mistakes to avoid in writing titles to methods for generating content ideas. Each chapter is just a few pages long, yet packed with information.
     
  2. Title Suggestions – Have a topic or set of keywords you are interested in writing about but need a new direction? Use the Title Suggestions feature in your EzineArticles account to search for fresh titles related to your niche. You can access the Title Suggestions feature directly from the main page of your Author’s Area. We’ll write the titles for you so you can focus on providing fresh content.
     
  3. If you’re still new to Twitter, or social media in general, here are some tips from a recent Blog post for integrating a social networking strategy into your article marketing plan.

  4. Extended Author Bio – This is a place where you can connect all of your websites, blogs and social networking profiles to your EzineArticles account. By creating and populating an Extended Author Bio, you give interested readers a chance to learn more about you and stay connected to your writing in the future.
     

    The first step in creating an Extended Bio is attaching an author photo to your profile [learn how]. Then, fill in blanks that you want to share on your bio [learn how]. Once you have at least one live article, your Extended Author Bio will be created and accessible through your Expert Author page.

  5. Article Diagnostic Center – Have you ever written an article and linked to a page only to find out later that the link was temporary? The link in your article is now broken and you lose credibility with every person who clicks on it. The Article Diagnostic Center checks the links in your articles so you don’t have to. If the Diagnostic Center finds a broken link, it will send an alert to your email inbox.

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Additional Subcategories: 42 New Additions

Expanding our grand total to 673 Niches!

We recently completed a review of the subcategories (niches) we offer to authors for organizing their articles. Despite our ever-growing list of categories, we continue to receive articles that don’t really fit into any of our existing subcategories. When that happens, we note the potential new category and watch for more article submissions that match that topic. When there’s enough activity to warrant the addition of a new subcategory, one is created.

Below are the 42 newest subcategories. Expect another group of this size soon.


ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • Arts-and-Entertainment: Music-Industry – Articles about/concerning Music Industry, Record Labels, Producers, Studios, Engineers, Publishers, Genres, Music Stores, Music Venues and Promoters, Famous Musicians and History.
  • Arts-and-Entertainment: Music-Instruction – Articles about/concerning Music Instruction, Online Music Instruction, How to Become a Music Teacher, Music Lessons, Music Teachers, and Influential Music Educators.
  • Arts-and-Entertainment: Short-Fiction – Articles about/concerning Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Writing Formats and Length, Sketch Stories, Journals, Storytelling, Themes and Settings, Popular Authors, and History.

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Motivational Triggers Article Template

Try this article template when you discover an activity or technique that sparks motivation in you!

Even the best performers fall into slumps. When an activity slips down the priority list, it might feel like there’s nowhere to turn for help. That’s where motivational triggers come in handy. Motivational triggers inspire a mentality of pushing past the slump and succeeding. There are many motivational triggers that you use every day and might not even think about. For example:

  • Listening to a particular song or genre of music
     
  • Looking at a picture that inspires you
     
  • Going to a specific room in your house to think
     
  • Finding a scenic area in your town or city to get away from man-made distractions
     
  • Going for a walk outside
     
  • Any other activity that helps you clear your head of negative energy and remain motivated

If you use these triggers to stay motivated, the readers in your niche are going to want to hear your secrets to staying motivated. Here is an article template that will help you share your own techniques for succeeding when you need motivation in everyday life.

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2 Minute Approval Tips: Limit Your Links

Episode 2 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” video series.

This series is designed to help get your articles approved on the first submission. We’ve looked at past submission records to find the most common reasons why articles aren’t approved on the initial try. Since we know your time is precious, we’ve compressed this information into individual 2-minute videos.

This episode is a reminder of the number of links allowed in a submission and where those links can be placed.

Downloadable Versions:
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Integrating Social Networking into Article Marketing

Now’s the time to start using social networking to amplify your article writing and marketing efforts.

The original social networks were built at coffee shops, dinner parties and anywhere else people gathered to chat. While that type of networking has certainly not gone away, online social networking, like Facebook and Twitter, has forever changed the way people communicate with their colleagues, peers, friends and family. As social networking has grown in popularity, both individuals and businesses have found ever-increasing value in expanding their networks online.

Communicate With a Purpose

Social networking, when combined with article marketing and other promotional techniques, can turbo-charge the effectiveness of your entire promotional program. However, just like with article marketing, social networking requires a well thought-out plan and an effective routine for execution. That plan should have 3 primary objectives:

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Expert Author Case Study: Owen Jones

Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to Expert Author Owen Jones, the manager of a variety of websites, who has developed a distinct strategy for promoting them.


Owen Jones

Status: Platinum
Member Since: Jan 21, 2005
Location: Thailand
Active Articles: 530
Article Views: 40,525

author image for Owen Jones

Owen sees article marketing as the ideal form of promotion. His strategy includes:

  1. Searching for a topic that is close to his personal interests or currently popular
  2. Designing a website with content focused on the topic
  3. Writing and submitting a set of articles to EzineArticles
  4. Analyzing the articles for the ones with the highest amounts of positive feedback
  5. Building on the strategies that work

The strategy works because Owen overdelivers on fresh content and article length during the launch and promotion of each website. He writes articles that enrich each niche.

As part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Owen to share his thoughts on his strategy and any advice he could share.

  • Owen, what sets you apart from other Expert Authors?

I do not feel different from other Expert Authors, but I do think that when you see something working, you have to stick with it. Many “ways of making money online” simply do not work, so if you find something that starts to [work], keep building on that. I find that it helps to plot every month’s earnings on a simple graph.

  • What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?

My secret to being able to write a good article is to find a good topic. I choose my topics in relation to the website I am promoting. So, first comes the website that I have created on an issue or subject that interests me. I always know something about the subject, but sometimes not much. Out of pure interest, I will research that website’s topic and ideas come automatically. Success is relative, mostly relative to hard work.

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