Check Out Our New Look!

Our new Blog theme made its “red carpet” debut last Thursday!

The updated theme has a new appearance and new navigation features that’ll make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for.

Don’t worry, our older posts aren’t going anywhere. They’ll still be accessible through the Archive. Plus, we’ll continue to use the Blog to share article writing and marketing tips, strategies and insights.

Here’s a summary of the changes:

  • Facelift to “Syndicate This Blog” buttons under the Blog search bar
     
  • Full footer on every Blog page with quick links to EzineArticles hotspots
     
  • New feature shows the categories of each post for easy navigation to similar content
     
  • Archive is now searchable via a dropdown menu
     
  • Blog Titles are now clickable links directly to each full post
     
  • Slimmer Blog window look
     
  • Updated color styles throughout the entire Blog
     
  • Sleek, new Blog header logo

So, what do you think of the new look? We hope the upgrades will make your visits to our Blog more enjoyable and engaging. Now we need your input. How do you like the changes? Is there anything about the new theme that you really like/don’t like? Any ideas for the future? Leave a comment to let us know what you think.

Turn 1 Article Into a Set of 8

Here’s a simple way to quickly create more articles with less effort.

Writing quality articles takes hard work. When it comes to article writing and marketing, there’s no way to transform nothing into something with the wave of a hand or the snap of fingers. In other words, successful article writing is not a magic act, nor are we all magicians. That being said, today I want to show you a little trick that’ll help you transform a single “Top 7 Tips” article into 8 stand alone articles.

This strategy isn’t exactly magic, but it can be used once in a while to give a quick boost to your writing efforts and help you produce more articles in less time. This is especially useful for writing challenges like the 100 Articles in 100 Days Marathon Challenge (#HAHD).

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

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Third Quarter Video Roundup

EzineArticles Quarterly Video Roundup
Calls-To-Action, 2 Minute Approval Tips, Going Behind the Scenes and More!

Our video studio has been busy in the last quarter producing an assortment of videos to help you, our Expert Authors, get the most out of your article writing and marketing efforts.

In case you missed the announcements on the Blog and in the newsletter, here’s a list of the videos we’ve released in the third quarter of 2010, along with a recap of each video’s key message:

  • 2 Minute Approval Tips:

    1. Match Author Names – The “2 Minute Approval Tips” video series is designed to help you get your articles approved on the first submission. This first episode is a reminder to check that the person credited for an article in the Resource Box matches the byline of the article.
       
    2. Limit Your Links – This 2 Minute Tip focuses on the links that you put in your article. Discover how many links you can use in your articles and where to place them so you can achieve quick and painless article approvals.
       
    3. Deliver On The Article Title – This 2 Minute Tip focuses on the promise that your article title makes. A good article title will surely attract readers, but you must make sure that the content within your article delivers on the promise of your article title.
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Beware of “X” Article Template

History often repeats itself, but with this article template you can warn your readers ahead of time.

Articles are like road signs: they provide important information, they help you get where you want to go safely and they should be easy to understand. Some articles point you in the right direction, just like street signs on intersections. Some tell you what to do/not to do, just like STOP signs. Other articles alert you of when to be cautious, like CAUTION signs. Make sure your pool of articles provides a mix of all these different styles, so your audience gets a wide variety of information.

Your readers are always on the lookout for articles that’ll help them get the information they are looking for; whether that’s how to do something, rules to obey or when to proceed with caution.

As an Expert Author, you probably have untapped knowledge you’ve accumulated based on everyday situations that happen and how you reacted to them, so share that knowledge now.

This article template is a guide to help you alert your readers of the possible dangers they could face and how to proceed with caution.

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Welcoming Forum Members

Effective immediately, the EzineArticles Forums have been removed … with all of the traffic being redirected back here to this Blog.

This was a very difficult decision that we’ve agonized over since 2006 when we abandoned daily forum updates in favor of this Blog as the central communications hub.

Running 3rd party forum software demanded constant security patches to our already highly-customized implementation. In addition, we fought spammers daily. I know there are other forum platforms out there, but it was our goal to make whatever replaced our current forums software to be one that is tied into our current membership interface system. I think it’s absurd to ask you to become a member of “EzineArticles.com” and then register again to participate in our forums with a separate account.

To those who love the “forums” concept: While I can’t offer you a date for when they will return … know that we’re still committed to having them.

Any questions or thoughts?

6 Tips to Create the Perfect Call-to-Action

It’s time to evaluate the effectiveness of your call-to-action.

The call-to-action is one of the most important concepts to master in article writing and marketing. It’s where you tell the reader what to do once they’ve finished reading your article. Once you show you have valuable insights to offer in body of the article, the call-to-action gives your reader their next step. That’s why most calls-to-action come at the end of the article.

You can’t expect your audience to read your mind and know what they need to do next, so use a well-crafted call-to-action to help them out. In this video, I’ll share how to write a perfect call-to-action. To be effective, your call-to-action should be simple, positive and beneficial. In other words, make it clear why they should do what you’re asking of them in as few words as possible.

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

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#HAHD 5 Starts Today

The fifth 100 Articles in 100 Days Marathon Challenge (#HAHD) is underway!

If you set a goal today to write one article daily until December 31st and achieve that goal, you’ll have 100 new, high-quality articles to your credit by the end of 2010. In the spirit of that thought, today marks Day 1 of #HAHD 5. Have you signed up yet?

The Challenge

To be eligible for #HAHD 5, sign up now through your EzineArticles account. Once you sign up, your objective is to submit at least 100 qualifying articles of 400 words or more anytime between 12:01AM CT-US Thursday, September 23rd and 11:59PM CT-US Friday, December 31st.

Along with the successful completion of this challenge, you’ll:

  • Get more high-quality traffic driven back to your website.
  • Grow your readership.
  • Develop a reputation of quality by sharing your unique expertise in your niche.
  • Put yourself among an elite group of Expert Authors who’ve completed an #HAHD Marathon Challenge.

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Quick Case Study: Fabiola Castillo

The 13th edition in a series of posts that highlight one Expert Author who has achieved success by doing just one thing exceptionally well.

Two words: Value-Driven. That’s how Expert Author Fabiola Castillo describes the force behind every article she submits to EzineArticles. Each article must provide readers with valuable information they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else, or she isn’t satisfied. If she wants to cover a topic, but isn’t satisfied with the value of the information she’s providing, she’ll do research and come up with a fresh angle before writing anything.

Secrets to Success

According to Fabiola, there isn’t one single “Secret To Success” she’s learned to define her article writing and marketing experiences. She says, “Just like any writer, I research what I want to write about and start writing.” She continues, “I have to add that producing one tiny article simply won’t cut it. You have to write consistently if you want to gain credibility with the public.” Fabiola tests her writing strategy with article sets and she periodically evaluates her strategy for improvements.

Offering Web Content

The key, for her, is writing within niches where she has web content or e-commerce to offer. She says, “I write [articles] as long as they are related to my industry of crime and crime prevention tools. I’ll write articles on crime scene forensics, self defense, or home safety since my store sells stun guns and self defense items. If I write articles on motorcycle mufflers, it won’t work for the reader, and I won’t get sales.”

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From My Desk to Yours – 17th Edition

YOUR REAL JOB AS AN EXPERT AUTHOR
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

There are probably several reasons why you’re involved in article writing and marketing, including branding yourself as an expert, generating business leads, expanding online promotion or optimizing search engine rankings.

However, chief among the reasons should be to share your unique knowledge with your readers. If you write and submit an article without sharing any of your knowledge, you may lose out on all of the benefits of writing the article in the first place. An article that’s more focused on promoting your product or yourself than providing quality content will probably not get read.

Remember, your real job as an Expert Author is to share your unique knowledge and expertise.

Informing Readers

If you don’t provide great information, it’s difficult to brand yourself as an expert, generate any new business or improve your search engine rankings. Let’s face it, readers can spot a fake. As an author, it takes research and additional writing time to turn a short, information-thin article into something with great content, but that extra effort really pays off. Taking those extra few steps and making great content is what being an Expert Author is all about.

It may seem okay to only use article writing and marketing platforms to promote your own product and just get a few links back to your site, but we won’t accept this strategy and neither should you. Each article is checked by two human editors to help ensure only quality articles are approved. This is in every best effort to help you succeed and build on your credibility as an expert in your field. The knowledge you deliver in your content should be your selling tactic, not a sales pitch.

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#HAHD 5 Starts September 23rd!

Are you ready? The 5th “100 Articles in 100 Days Marathon Challenge” (#HAHD) begins in just a few days!

TO QUALIFY:* You’ll need to sign up and submit at least 100 qualifying articles of 400 words or more anytime between 12:01AM CT-US Thursday, September 23rd and 11:59PM CT-US Friday, December 31st. Once those 100 articles are approved, you’re qualified!

Sounds simple enough, right? We’ve added a couple of bonus prizes to give you an extra push and the Personal Goal progress bar is back again so you can set and track your own personal goal above and beyond the 100 articles needed to qualify for #HAHD.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, we’re also holding a Double #HAHD Challenge. Write an additional 100 articles (total of 200) in the same time limit and we’ll reward you with a bonus prize!

QUALIFICATION PRIZES:

  • All Qualifiers Receive:

    1. Downloadable #HAHD Certificate of Achievement (frame not included)
    2. Limited-Edition EzineArticles #HAHD Mouse Pad
    3. Limited-Edition EzineArticles Multi-Purpose Padfolio
    4. Limited-Edition Data DVD with EzineArticles Videos
    5. EzineArticles Member’s Pen
    6. EzineArticles “My Next 10 Article Ideas” Notepad
  • Double #HAHD Challenge Bonus Prize: EzineArticles Flash Drive Pre-Loaded with Article Templates
     
  • Added Bonus: The top 100 members for total number of approved submissions will also qualify to be selected for 1 of 10 FREE 1-year EzineArticles Premium Membership subscriptions valued at $697 each!

Registration has already begun! Check out the left navigation bar in your Member’s Area Homepage for the sign-up link.

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