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.

Focus on Keyword-Rich Titles

When Shirley has time, she strives to improve her article ideas by doing keyword research to make her article titles better. “Having keyword-rich titles increases your opportunity to help the people who are interested in what you have to say.” She continues. “That, to me, is what article writing and marketing is all about. That’s the fun of it.” Writing keyword-rich titles can make a big difference in how many people can find your articles through a search engine. By doing this, Shirley can be assured she’ll be helping as many people as possible with her writing.

Shirley passed along these little gifts of advice:

  1. Never stop looking for inspiration for your next topic. You’ll find ideas where you never thought to look.
  2. Make writing a habit – spend some time doing it every day and keep looking for your next writing idea.
  3. Writing on a topic is easier if you have personal experiences to look to when providing detailed information.
  4. Experience is the best way to develop good writing practices.
  5. Use keyword research to make titles of quality articles even better.

Try some of Shirley’s advice when you are writing your next set of high-quality original articles. And remember to leave a comment for Shirley. She’d be glad to hear from you.


Shirley Bass writes:

This is such an honor. I so admire all the other people who have been featured on the Quick Case Study grouping. Thank you EzineArticles!

You never cease to amaze me.

Comment provided July 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM


sid writes:

Weldon Shirly;

Comment provided July 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM


Lesley writes:

Shirley – loved your articles and enjoyed reading about you – you are so right. Many people aren’t happy with their first attempts at writing and they give up, when if they continue they will work it, promote their business AND have fun.


Comment provided July 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM


Shirley Bass writes:

Thank you, Lesley!

I have found that to be an absolute truth.

Due to a personal tradegy I have been unable to focus on my writing for the past four months. The good news is that my business has been humming along.

I know that that wouldn’t have happened without the help of EzineArticles and their promotion of my articles.

It pays to write!

Thanks again and have a great day.



Susan Greene writes:

Hi Shirley,

Congrats on your obvious success using article marketing. Can I ask a couple quick questions?

1. Once your article is published on EzineArticles.com, do you also publish it on your own site?

2. Do you publish it on any additional article directory sites? If so, do you change the wording?

3. Can you share any of the stats from your article marketing, such as how much traffic comes to you from EzineArticles.com?

Thanks for sharing your story and your insights.


Comment provided July 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM


Shirley Bass writes:

Thank you Susan. Good questions by the way.

1. Once your article is published on EzineArticles.com, do you also publish it on your own site?

Yes. Sometimes, I will change it a bit, but most often I leave it as is.

2. Do you publish it on any additional article directory sites? If so, do you change the wording?

99.9% of the time, no.

In early 2008, when I began submitting articles, I did change a couple and submit them to GoArticles and ArticleDashboard Directory.

Of course, I did creat a new title and changed the body some.

3. Can you share any of the stats from your article marketing, such as how much traffic comes to you from EzineArticles.com?

Over all I have:

130 Live Articles
28,984 Article Views
244 Articles Published
1,653 URL Clicks
5.7% Click Rate

When I receive a thank you from a customer, it usually includes a phrase that I have used in an article. My feelings tell me that that’s what made the sale.

Thanks again for the great questions and comment! Shirley



“Having keyword-rich titles increases your opportunity to help the people who are interested in what you have to say.” this sentence is very good, very happy to read your article, tks.

Comment provided July 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM


Shirley Bass writes:

TKS, glad you got something of value from my experiences and what seems to work for me.

Keyword rich titles make all the difference in the world, if you want your work to be found by the search engines.

Thank you for commenting! Shirley


elena rogers writes:

Hi Shirley, Its good to hear of your success. My own experience validates what you say. Basicly just keep on . Many years ago I won two Australian National Awards for writing. No one could believe it. Why? Because I had just returned to Australia with two children under 4 and an Italian husband who had no knowledge of English and had to search for a job. How did I do it? I made a schedule. I just worked consistently at night, and when my husband took the kids off to Bondi (our famous surfing beach) I just kept plugging away. One of the most difficult things was stopping that nagging voice in my head that was saying “You’re wasting your time.”
This is not to mention my literary awards, but to encourage any woman out there who has impossible circumstances but has the fire to write and help people.

Elena Rogers Perugia, Italy

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 5:53 AM


Shirley Bass writes:

Congratulations Elena! My seams are bursting with pride for you. The results can be amazing, when one has the courage and determination to pursue their dreams.

In February of this year, I received a phone call from the one and only General Mills, asking if they could interview me. In March, I found myself (and my business) mentioned on Betty Crocker’s website. It has also carried over to the famous Pillsbury Doughboy’s website.

Now, EzineArticles has a page, just for me in their files.

That’s what a dream and a little determination can do for you!

Thanks so much and keep up the good work. It does pay off. Shirley


Ben Settle writes:

Good job Shirley, it’s great that sticking with it and cranking out articles is definitely paying off for you in spades


Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM


Shirley Bass writes:

Thanks Ben! ;-) Your comment means a lot to me.

If anyone want to learn how to write…just read what Ben has to say.



So good to see the spotlight on the lovely Shirley. I really appreciate her list of advice gifts. Thanks Shirley!

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM


Shirley Bass writes:

Thanks Kathy. You are the most charming person I have had the pleasure to meet on the internet. Your comment means a lot to me.

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM



Oh Shirley… THANK YOU! What a nice thing to post, I feel honored. It has been a pleasure connecting with you.

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM


David writes:

Thanks Shirley….

I read everything on your post and admire the way you said we should’t allow what we think of our writing skill influence on our confidence.

I needed that because i am actually new to online entrepreneurship. hoping to continue to learnt from folks like you.

But how can i be motivated to write each day to build skills when i don’t feel like?

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 12:58 PM


Shirley Bass writes:

David, thank you for asking how to stay motivated.

To me, it has to do with the desire to be better than the day before, be an entrepreneur or make a living. If anyone ever said that it was easy, they weren’t telling the truth. There’s a lot of work to making a business work for you.

To get motivated, I would start researching my niche. If you begin reading what your competitors have to say, you should find a lot of original and interesting things to say to your readers.

Take notes. Then let it set a day or two and see how you feel about writing. Hopefully, you will begin to get excited about becoming an entrepreneur and what life can bring you.

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM


Chin M C writes:

Great advice from you Shirley.

I have only less than 10 articles written . Guess I have much to learn yet.

Your tips on creating the next writing ideas by looking out to solve problems for yourself and others is truly relevant .

We are always on the lookout for information to solve a problem …I will use that for writing inspiration ..

Many thanks

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 8:15 PM


Shirley Bass writes:


Keep solving problems for your readers and they will come. It sounds as though you are off to a great start.

My suggestion would be to write one or more articles per week to your targeted audience.

Many thanks to you, Chin. Shirley


Rose Puff writes:

Great article Shirley, I am also new and just started my website. I am also new to marketing. I feel I am not a good writer but I still try. My question is: do you write about something pertaining only to your business or about just anything? Thank you for your time.

Comment provided July 30, 2010 at 10:01 AM


Shirley Bass writes:


I have little time to spare and do reach out to those who are searching for what I have to offer. I so enjoy communicating with and serving my readers. Staying focused in one area has paid off in a big way.

I study the work of various authors, so I can learn how to make it more fun for my readers. Once, in the Author Spotlight, someone said that after you have written 100 articles it gets easier.

I have found that to be true. I think it takes that many articles to find your voice. I can now feel myself becoming more comfortable when writing. The reward comes, when I get to connect with my readers. I enjoy the non-ending process immensely.

Thank you for your comment, Rose. I personally think it best to focus on your goals and it sounds like you are getting off to a good start. Practice makes perfect (I’m still working on that goal). Keep up the good work!



mehmet juan writes:

thank you Shirley Im glad to know you!

Comment provided July 30, 2010 at 11:50 AM


Shirley Bass writes:

Mehmet Juan, thank you. What a kind thing to say.

I clicked on your name and tried to translate your website. I wanted to know about you. For whatever reason I couldn’t get the translation to work. I’ll continue trying. Until then, it’s nice to meet you! Shirley


Mehmet writes:

stop trying it :) Nice to meet u too.
I’m a civil engineer and also sometimes i’m designing web sides,this is my hobbie!This web side is not working now,it’s still under construction ,you may send me your e-mail adress, mine is here, just take it, you know how to do it ;)

Comment provided August 2, 2010 at 12:02 PM


Shirley Bass writes:


Your website design is great! I was pleased when the translation came through.

Being a webmaster is a big endeavor. Kudos to you!

If you click on my name…you will see the website that I have built. I’m still working on it, but this is what we do, when we are webmasters. ;-)


Swati writes:

Thank you for your advice Shirley. And now I am off to read your articles.

Comment provided September 4, 2010 at 7:40 PM


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